Wondering if you've ever had an awe-inspiring experience? Answer yes or no to the following questions to find out. Have you ever had an experience when...
- You had no sense of time or space?
- You couldn't express it in words?
- It felt like pure perfection?
- It seemed truly holy?
- Something greater than yourself seemed to absorb you?
- Everything seemed to disappear from your mind?
- Everything in the world seemed to be part of the same whole?
Results: If you answered "yes" to at least four of the questions, it's very likely that you had some kind of awe-inspiring experience. Congratulations? That sense of awe is a big part of what helps make us happy.
These days, of course, the word "awe" gets thrown around like a dish rag. LeBron James, awesome basketball player. What an awesome skirt you just picked up at the sale. That wave? Totally awesome, dude.
For now, let's break away from the word's informal and loose definition of awesome and dissect it a little deeper. Awe - a relatively unstudied emotion that exists somewhere along the boundary line between pleasure and fear - can come from a variety of stimuli. We can be in true awe of Tahitian sunsets, an artist's masterpiece, a tear-inducing symphony, a hero's actions, or a heavenly slice of tiramisu. When we experience awe, we react by engaging all of our attention, thoughts, hopes, and needs. It consumes us, primarily because it's an experience in which we feel - really feel, deep in our solar plexus - as if the world is bigger than us. Why? More likely than not, it's because those awe-inspiring experiences are both unexpected (we couldn't see it coming) and mysterious (we have no idea how it came to be). In many ways, that's exactly what happiness is all about: Finding our path to happiness through the things in our life that help us experience feelings of awe.
Find out more about this book:YOU: Being Beautiful: The Owner's Manual to Inner and Outer Beauty