How to find enchantment

There was so much magic in childhood.

Think back to the first time you saw a firefly, played with a magnet, ate ice-cream, captured a toad, looked at a lite-brite in the dark, saw a cloud that looked like a dragon, or found a prize inside your cereal box.

Those were wildly enchanting events.

Now though, as a 20-something, I hardly even notice enchantment. There are so many distractions – social obligations (and drama), work and everything that goes with it, trying to get enough sleep, following the day’s news, etc – that I rarely find myself enchanted in the way I was as a kid.

I’m told that this is all just part of growing up.

I don’t buy it though. I think we’re settling for a more mediocre experience than we have to when we forgo enchantment.

By thinking deeply about what I’m doing in any given moment, I’ve been able to restore my sense of enchantment. It doesn’t always last, but it’s refreshing all the same.

Detecting enchantment is a very favorable attribute for a leader who has to motivate and inspire.

Here is an example of how you can detect enchantment: right now you’re looking at a computer screen. That screen was manufactured in a different country and then was flown across the world to you and eventually landed in front of your eyes. It’s sophisticated enough so that it can render a two dimensional representation of anything you can imagine and produce any color the eye can see. It works without us even needing to understand how it works, and it rarely breaks or fails.

All of that, that’s pure magic. If you can’t see it, slow down and try again.

What I’ve realized by periodically pausing and thinking about the things right in front of my eyes, is that pure enchantment exists all around us. It’s just a matter of pausing to notice it.

If you develop the attributes of an adult (time-management, responsibility, effectiveness, social calibration, etc) and complement those with the wonder and enchantment of a child, your life will become inexplicably beautiful.

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