Learning How to Wonder

In Embracing Uncertainty, Susan gives us three variations on an exercise to learn how to cultivate a Wondering Life. Here is one of them. Give this exercise a try to see how much wonder there is in your life already.

This variation of The “I Wonder” Exercise asks you to take a look at your diary or daily planner and, on a separate piece of paper or on your computer, make a list of activities that are coming up the following day. After each activity on the list, write, “I wonder how this will turn out. “ There is no hoping, there is only wondering. Then, at the end of each day, again, as if it were the end of a film, record how it actually did turn out.

It is common for us to make statements about approaching events such as, “I hope Tom and I will have a great dinner tonight”. Again, this kind of statement inherently has the opportunity for disappointment since hopes are often shattered. The dinner may be lousy. And you are disappointed. When that sentence is changed to “I wonder how my dinner with Tom will turn out”, you create an opportunity for a win-win situation. It may be good or it may be bad, but you have reduced the emotional investment that hoping usually brings. You have also increased your opportunity for adventure instead of judgment.

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