Words impact us. It’s true. The things people say affect us, whether we show it or not. But what affects us even more are the things we say about ourselves.
Labels mean things. Some we identify with voluntarily, while some are cast on us by other people. Others, we adopt out of hopelessness, discouragement, or desperation. These labels sink deep into our minds and affect how we think, how we act, and what we believe about who we are.
In this culture, we’re okay with living small. We don’t like risks—especially if those risks may end up costing or hurting us. It’s scary to step out too far, so we rarely do. Living small is comfortable.
It’s difficult to break out of the mediocrity of small living: the comfort zone. Yet deep down, we long for more. For adventure. We thirst for a bigger purpose, and so we turn to stories.
What is the purpose of beauty? Every day, we’re surrounded by a kaleidoscope of enrapturing glory—magic and wonder. Questions and mysteries await us at every turn: the fabric of the universe. But what is the point of it all?
Some would say wonder is a useless pursuit—and perhaps it is, for Wonder in itself does not profit, nor is it incredibly practical. It accomplishes nothing in terms of money or shelter, and yet Wonder touches a deeper part of us: the essence of our nature; our desire to explore, create, and understand. If all we live for is profit, then wonder—beauty—is absolutely and utterly useless. And life is astonishingly empty.
This world is noisy. Everywhere, every second, something is happening—and people are talking about it. News channels, YouTube, blogs, and social media blare into our lives at a constant rate. It’s almost as if silence—real, true silence—no longer exists.
In the past, I’ve talked about the purpose of beauty: the intrinsic value of the useless pursuit of Wonder and how it fills our spirits. We hunger for it, just as we hunger for peace and quiet in this age of constant noise. But life moves too quickly, it seems, whisking away silence in its crazy storm.
Has anyone told you? You are a creative person. A thousand ideas live inside you like diamonds waiting to be unearthed, cut, and set. The act of creating; of exploration and curiosity is the essence of what it means to be human.
The thirst for wonder is engrained deeply within our souls from birth: curiosity at the wide world. And Wonder is the father of all great ideas. In spite of all this, however, we do something crazy. In spite of our innate connection to Wonder, we often feel the need for permission to create.
Creative people are sometimes accused of living in a fantasy world, far out of reach of reality. Perhaps you’re one of them. Maybe you’ve been told your imagination is too big for your own good, and you should stop dreaming before you fall too far down the rabbit hole.
As an entrepreneur, blogger, and author, I’ve often been chastised for not choosing a “real career”; for thinking outside the box and making the decision to enter the Perilous Realm. I’ve been looked down on for pouring myself into writing instead of “doing life”. But what if these things—the fanciful and the practical don’t have to be at war with each other?
The most central theme of the holiday season is connection. This is the time of year when we make the most effort to reconnect with family and friends to celebrate joy, wonder, and hope. It’s the perfect opportunity to invest in and strengthen these relationships.
The trouble is, we often get caught up in the whirlwind of expectation that surrounds holiday preparation. We put our focus on creating the perfect gathering to impress our friends, or the perfect gift to surprise someone—and don’t get me wrong, these things are wonderful, but not when they cause us to miss out on actually cultivating our relationships.