5 we are fearfully and wonderfully made

This is the first doodle I drew for the book.  It’s where I wanted to begin and it’s message is simple.

We are a species capable of being amazed and amazing.

This is how it is with every child but something takes this away as we grow older.

Once upon a time we asked hundreds of questions.  It’s been noticed by some that when we enter into formal education our questions reduce whilst the things we are taught but have not asked the questions to goes up.  Our curiosity wanes.  We thought we had grown up but the reality is our world has become smaller.

Psychologist Carol Dweck’s research has identified two kinds of mindset: fixed and growth.  The fixed mindset believes This is who I am, this is what I can do, this is my lot in life.  Even very talented people can protect their reputation, stop taking risks, and stop moving towards the horizon.  Those with a growth mindset believe it is simply impossible to know what they will be able to achieve through focus and effort.  As a result, they take different kinds of risk – rather than repeating the same sort – and keep pushing the boundaries.

We begin, then, with the wonder that is a human life.  For all we know it is the most complex entity in the universe.  We’re not only a mystery to others, we are a mystery to ourselves.

In the doodle, the first part of the text comes from Psalm 139: I am fearfully and wonderfully made; I know this full well.  I’ve always enjoyed this delight in our original goodness.

The second part comes from my friend and mentor Alex McManus’s book Makers of Fire.  A single sentence but it’s a poem to me: ‘We are a mystery wrapped in a question.’*

Life is about mystery and questions, and each of us is perfectly positioned in the universe to explore these.  Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi offers us hope, believing we can learn to be curious again – though it must be constantly nurtured.

SOMETHING TO DO: If you’re journalling, you may want to take a few minutes, imagining what you would say to yourself ten years in the past, about where you are and what you are doing now that you had never imagined yourself doing – it doesn’t have to be big.  (Four years ago I had never doodled.)

RESOURCES YOU MAY ENJOY:
Makers of Fire by Alex McManus.
Creativity by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Flow by by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Mindset by Carol Dweck
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Movie: Paterson
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s TEDtalk Flow, the Secret to Happiness

(*Quoted with permission from Alex McManus.)

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