Quick Note!

This section on Awe is only a very small teaser. It is a tiny taste—about 2% with 98% to go. A much more extensive section is brewing, which will have more exercises, resources, and research on Awe as it pertains to psychological well-being.

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Assess Your Awe

Awe is one of over 50 factors of well-being measured in the Assessment Center.
Measure this factor in your own life, and learn if it’s a Strength or a Growth Zone:

You stare out over the ocean. As you take in the vast world stretching before you, the waves crash, and the smell of the salt hits you on the breeze. The sand, soft and cold beneath your feet, begins to squish pleasantly between your toes. You think about the fact that only one cubic foot of that sand contains over a billion individual grains. Watching the horizon, you take note of the many colors the sunset spreads across the sky above you. You watch the sun blaze orange against the deep blue of the water. Off in the distance, you see a pod of whales, making their way through their migration.

You are on a night flight from Minneapolis to New York. Your flight is on time and you have the row to yourself. Before falling asleep, you reach over to close your window. As you look out into the sky, you see a streak of green off in the distance. As you turn to get a better look, you see the green streak dance across the sky, mingling with pink and blue and purple. You are lucky enough to get a front row view of the Northern Lights from 40,000 feet in the air. You sit back in your seat and watch the spectacle unfold across the clear sky that surrounds you.

Has a moment ever taken your breath away? Have you ever seen or heard something that made you feel small…or like you’re a part of something incredibly HUGE? Think about something that you witnessed that was truly awesome.

The Taj Mahal
The Grand Canyon
The Internet
Yosemite Valley
The Milky Way
The Chauvet Cave Paintings
Hot Air Balloons over Myanmar
Van Gogh’s Starry Night

The Great Barrier Reef
Chopin’s Nocturnes
The Tianzi Mountains
Angkor Wat
That Voyager 1 has made it past our Solar System and into interstellar space
The Redwoods
The Sistine Chapel
Victoria Falls
A Shooting Star

The Parthenon
The Swing at the end of the World
The Great Blue Hole
Bioluminescent Algae Debussy’s Clair de Lune
That there are more trees on Earth than stars in the Milky Way
Budding Flowers
Self-driving cars
A Caterpillar turning into a butterfly

All of these things are amazing. All of these things have the ability to elicit a feeling of awe.

If this reflection doesn’t have you awed quite yet, here are a few videos to inspire you before going further.

So, we feel awe, but…

Awe What Is Awe? Is Everything Awesome? The Benefits of Awe Tools for Awe Inspiring Art Inspiring Nature

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