Why wonder refreshes the brain

I have often experienced myself that wonder gives a fresh look. It puts you on the edge of your seat, you want to know the details of something, you take action. It moves you to further investigation. Professor Ab Dijksterhuis writes about wonder in his book 'Who (does not) travel is crazy':

“As a child, we are constantly amazed, but as we get older, this most passionate of all emotions is covered by an increasingly thick layer of dust. If you are not careful, she will be used only once or twice a year, just like grand ma's tableware. That is unfortunate. Not only is it wonderful to be amazed, but amazement also leads to psychological growth. It forces our minds to adapt, to rearrange our frame of reference. Wonder keeps our mind supple, and shakes up the pads of our brain. ”

“The Anatomy of Wonder: 1 Fright, 2 Amazement, 3 Delight.

That elation is your mind showing gratitude. You have given your mind mental stretching and stretching exercises by providing a new experience.

A brain shining with wonder urges man to different virtues. As Einstein taught us, wonder is the source of creativity and inspiration ”.

"The Anatomy of Wonder: 1 Fright, 2 Amazement, 3 Delight".

Ab Dijksterhuis

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"The one who can no longer wonder and be carried away by awe is as good as dead, a candle blown out"

Albert Einstein

Maker of wonder

As illusionist may I amaze people, if that succeeds, a special moment will arise in a room. The specific experience of wonder makes people happy. In the room the feeling arises that something special and special is being experienced together. It's great to be able to do.

For a good dose of wonder, adults need a professional illusionist or a special journey. Children can marvel much more easily. If you plant a flower bulb in October and it will emerge in the spring, they will see the wonder. We quickly think, well, that's just the way it works. The really small children can even be amazed by secretly pressing the light button and having the toddler blow at the lamp. Could it be true that the more one knows the faster one forgets wonder? 

Train your wonder muscle

I think it is quite possible to train your wonder muscle. A bunch of flowers on your kitchen table can already be a reason to take a closer look. The colors and structures of the flowers are amazing when you look at them again.

The question soon arises as to why every flower in the forest has a different color and a different structure, how a grower grows it, et cetera.

Wonder is often the basis of new knowledge. When you wonder about something, you start asking questions, how is it possible… how does this work… and so on.

Wonder is the basis of a healthy curiosity. So to learn more about the world around you, you often start with wonder. But the more you know, the less you will be surprised. Because you can explain everything very quickly and logically.

If a colleague or employee does something unusual, many tend to condemn that behavior. To find something of it. This stops learning and blocks the relationship. On the other hand, if you respond with wonder and ask a question, you will progress. Why does that colleague do what he does? What is his purpose with this action?

I don't know if Tower C's video would have turned out all right if the manager had asked why the employee did what she did. But maybe the manager could have learned something.

Tower c, performance review

"Wonder is the beginning of all wisdom"
Aristotle 384-322 BC.

Floating table, a scene from Privacy

The illusion of smoke and mirrors

When I show an illusion, there are always people in the room who prefer to seek an explanation for the apparent miracle as quickly as possible. Makes sense, because everyone knows it's a trick. I find the funny and humanly interesting thing that many people come up with a random solution. "It all works with smoke and mirrors"  And with that they have found a solution for themselves, then the wonder and the chance to experience something is gone. But the spectator gets the illusion of control in return. People think they have found the solution and can tell themselves that everything has been resolved and so there is peace and space in the brain to continue.
How does that work for you? When you see an illusion, do you immediately want to know how it works, do you allow yourself to be amazed? What does that say about you?

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After this lecture:
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  • Live and online capabilities