Wonder Fatigue

Have you ever noticed how the euphoria of the New Year never seems to last very long. Was it only the day before yesterday that people across the world were staying up late to party and welcome in a new year? Then today I wake up to the news that 2011 is not looking like being a very good year. The media are now into full swing letting us know about all the awful things that we’ve got to look forward to in 2011 – job loses, VAT increases, high petrol prices, continuing recession, public sector cutbacks and ……. Then, because I think that he may be worried that there was too much doom and gloom he tried to soften the blow by saying, “Don’t worry, we’ve got two royal weddings to look forward to.”

Each year has its ups and downs, that’s what life is like. It’s how we cope with those ups and downs that is so important. I’ve always been ‘a glass half full’ sort of person. What we need to do is look to 2011 as the year that brought us all sorts of opportunities and exciting challenges, not disasters and problems. Unfortunately many people live over busy lives, where they often don’t have time to think and certainly don’t allow themselves time to reflect. Instead, during their busy lives, they allow snatched readings of the news or half listened to stories on the radio and TV convince them that things are getting worse. We have an unfortunate trait of working towards the most dominant thoughts in our minds, if we think that things are going to get worse – then the chances are we will, subconsciously, make sure that they do.

I’m currently re-reading a great book called ‘Re-Think – How To Think Differently’ by Nigel May Barlow. One of many quotes from the book that I’ve enjoyed is, “The creative mind is so often trapped by dull routine and the sheer exhaustion of the workaday week that we need to stage a revolt against the unholy trinity of doing, hurrying and achieving.”

He also talks about ‘Wonder Fatigue’ – where he suggests that we are so busy  we do not see the wonder around us or take time to consider, discuss or just contemplate some of the amazing things that make up our life. Have a look at this list – allow yourself some time and space to reflect on any of the items that stretch your mind. Go for a walk & just let the idea play on your mind or discuss what it means with a friend or on this blog:

  • There are 100 billion stars in our galaxy. Is there life out there?
  • There are over 200 billion galaxies (in the observable universe)
  • The solid matter we see is completely insubstantial; we are 99.5% space.
  • You now have in your body more than a million of the atoms that were once in the body of Jesus Christ, Gandhi or Mother Teresa.
  • Of all the atoms in your body, 98% are replaced within a year = new body!
  • We share 96% of our DNA with a chimpanzee and half the banana genome is also found in the human genome.
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About Mike

Now that I'm retired I have more time to devote to writing my blog and creating short stories.
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13 Responses to Wonder Fatigue

  1. renxkyoko says:

    We have to find time to smell the roses.

  2. aquatom1968 says:

    That’s the way I like to think! 😀

  3. JennyD says:

    I feel the same way you do, Mike. Some years ago, I stumbled across a book called, “The Magic of Thinking Big”…can’t remember the author, David something I think. Anyway, it’s along the lines of positive thinking and when I finished that book, it was like a new lease on life. Now that I see this book by Nigel May Barlow, well, that one sounds even better! I’ll have to look in my bookstore for that. Glad you mentioned it.
    As for all medias proclaiming doom and gloom, they surely do. First it only seemed that way because the entire world was now linked by the internet, so we saw tons of just horrible stories, but now….. now I think it’s become a very bad habit to look for ONLY that type of news, and if it’s not there, well hell, make it up. I am not a fan.
    Ok, I’ve typed your ear off and so am going to close. Love your pages. XXX

    • Mike says:

      Hi Jenny, thanks for your comments.
      This book is certainly worth getting – I find myself going back to it over & over again. Here’s the opening thought from Chapter 1:
      “Our human blind spot is not the physical one at the point where nerves leave the retina of the eye, but our unconscious assumption that the world is as we see it. The one thing I cannot share with you, even if we are in love, is to perceive the world the way you do.”

  4. penpusherpen says:

    ahha!! so they’ve got the downs on 2011 when it’s just a little toddler….waiting for it’s mum to come and give a helping hand?…Shame on these doomsters!!
    I think the year will turn out to be what we make of it…if we have to tighten our belts then so be it…common sense is the leading light to guide anyone’s steps surely? I think the Newspapers and News channels have a vested interest in doom and gloom, happy stories don’t sell papers or get an audience, or so their minds seem to think..
    As to life in other galaxies, I don’t see why not? Surely we aren’t the only Globe, through the right kind of ingredients coming together at just the right time, able to support some sort of life-form? Maybe not life as we know it, but life all the same. Hmm…wonder what they’d be like? Plenty of shock-horror films to choose from… Marshmallows From Outer Space, (catchy title eh?…mind you I’ve totally gone off Marshmallows since I tried to put some on top of my coffee and made myself sick!!) … but the list could be endless. We are only limited by our imaginations…
    and Ugh!! to the Royal Weddings,…. OK pleased for William, and hope the marriage is happy but why are they trying to feed us a lollipop to cheer us up?…We’re grown-ups and so just treat us like that. …. but they never do…
    and I’d best go before this becomes a blog and a half… I do take time out to smell the roses and reflect, I find I need to more and more since Bess was ill, sometime in the near future my life will change and I don’t want it too be too soon… I don’t feel ready yet… but it will happen and I know we have to accept times of life and death, but doesn’t mean I have to accept with a smile now does it?… xPenx

    • penpusherpen says:

      ps/…forgot to say, good blog Mike…and hope 2011 treats you well..xx

    • Mike says:

      Thanks for your thoughts Pen.
      I agree with you when you say that the year ahead will turn out to be whatever we make it – enjoying the highs and learning from the lows. The important thing is remembering that we are in control, our lives are what we make them.
      As for other life ‘out there somewhere’ – there’s got to be hasn’t there? Surely we are not the best that the galaxy can produce? I’m reminded of a piece from Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy which describes earth as:
      “Orbiting this (small unregarded yellow sun) at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.”

      • penpusherpen says:

        and referring to Hitchhikers Guide, I loved the name Slartibartfast , he designed the fjords you know!! 🙂 Great ideas from Douglas Adams, any one of which could be true… who knows for sure…

  5. SethPopowich says:

    We see what we focus on… and that is why I don’t read the newspaper or the watch the news nowadays as often as I used to. I would love to see a “good news” newspaper published… where the reporters tell the world about the “random acts of kindness” and other happy and beautiful stories, then maybe if the world could start to be retrained people would begin to focus on being a positive force to become a “headliner” instead of blowing up something to be front page new. It would be better, but that’s unlikely to happen. It would be good if there is a balance.
    The media just love to gloat on negative things because that’s what sells!!! I don’t mind reporting, but what they’re doing is no longer just that when the newspapers, magazines, etc are so willing to just print anything to sell a copy or increase their ratings/viewers. Kindness is contagious. We need to hear the facts though, but not the sensationalized violence that media tends to focus on (to boost ratings, perhaps). People who do good, often do it anonymously…but our children need to know that there are good people in this world. Absolutely, the media should be considering reporting more good news than just the doom and gloom.
    …….. oh boy, I now return this blog back to it’s rightful owner. 🙂

    • Mike says:

      Thanks for your comments Seth.
      Like you I’ve always thought that it would be a great idea to have a ‘good news paper’ – but it wouldn’t sell, so many of us have been brain washed into thinking that bad news is all that there is, we become suspicious of too much good news.
      I sometimes worry about where our young children will learn about all the good things that are happening in the world. If they are bombarded with depressing news stories, unreal ‘reality shows’ and some very dubious sports & celebrity role models, then the future could look bleak.
      But I know from my work in schools that there are great teachers out there telling them about the good news, highlighting the work of positive role models and leading by example.
      I’m beginning to wish you hadn’t passed this blog back to me Seth!

      • SethPopowich says:

        I have a tendency to say/type too much! Really! I can go on and on and on and on and on and on about something. And seriously, you have a mighty damn good space/page here… so it needs you to keep doing what you are doing! Cheers!

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