random thoughts: an argument for quiet wondering




Over the years, I've read that when you set a goal you should tell as many people as you can, in order to force yourself to achieve it.  The premise is, I suppose, that by telling people, you'll develop a support group who will cheer you on; although I suspect part of the reasoning behind disclosing your plans is to plant the fear of public humiliation into your psyche as motivation for continuing to strive toward your goal.

Hmm.  Perhaps.

To be honest, this technique almost never works for me.  Try as I might, every time I've made a very public declaration that I Will Accomplish This, I inevitably have to eat crow.  Public proclamations of gigantic goals, particuarly ones which are meant to be completed in the short-term, often just doesn't pan out for me.*

But you know what does? Quietly wondering.

When I think about the things in my life that have given me the greatest sense of accomplishment, in each case, I told very few people what I was attempting to do -- I would just privately start taking the first steps, and then slowly work toward it, before letting anyone know (for example, I didn't tell most people, including my parents, that I was thinking about going to law school until after I got accepted).  Usually the things I've done in my life of which I've been the most proud all started with me thinking to myself:

I wonder if I could ...


I wonder if I have it in me to ...


I wonder whether I'm the type of person who might...

I think there's something delicious about taking baby steps toward something that you dare yourself to do, all-hush-hush-like, with only yourself or, at the most, a few confidants knowing.  I love the feeling of "if they only knew!" that happens when you start to make progress.  I think there's something to be said to having wonderful secrets about what you're capable of doing, only to be revealed in due course (or, never to be spoken of again, if that works, too).

Anyway, I'm rambling.  My point is, I'll never underestimate the power of a good Wonder.  Wondering is often where all the magic is, I think.

And on that note, have a great weekend everyone.  May it include a bit of wonder.


* To be clear, rather than consider my life list a "public proclamation of gigantic goals," I like to think of it as "a curated selection of possibilities." The items on that list may eventually become concrete goals, depending on circumstances and how I feel, or they may not.  It makes the process far more exciting. 

A few months ago, I wrote my thoughts about this here.


Images:  The top two were taken with my Nikon D300 and my new Tamron 17-50mm lens; the bottom two were taken in Trinidad with my Nikon D200 and 50mm lens.  To be honest, the reason I included them on this post was more about the post-processing:  I've been really enamoured with the beautiful images on the blog Eye Poetry; specifically, I love how she processes them with selective lens blur applied, and was wondering if I would be capable of doing something similar.  The above images are my first attempts. In addition, I rarely process photographs in black and white, and I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone. 


Song: Shame by Jill Scott, featuring Eve & The A Group