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In Awe with John O’Leary

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As kids, we see the world with excitement and we believe anything is possible. As we grow older, however, many of us lose that sense of delight. We become jaded and disconnected, no longer eagerly jumping into new experiences, but simply enduring every day. I recently interviewed survivor, bestselling author and motivational speaker John O’Learyabout his new book, “In Awe.” John explained how to recapture our childlike sense of wonder and become more engaged, successful and fulfilled in our lives by tapping into five senses that children innately possess.


When we’re young, we are full of wonder about the most ordinary things and we ask questions about everything! As we age, we learn to stop this behavior until eventually we start to take for granted what’s close to us, whether that’s family, health, freedom, citizenship, wealth or work. To find wonder in every day again, rise a little earlier than usual and write down what you’re grateful for. By taking inventory of what you have, you’re more likely to multiply the very things that matter most.


Expectancy is about moving in the direction of the things that you want to see happen. Kids expect beauty and greatness all day long. They expect to catch the foul ball while sitting in the stands at a major baseball game, so they always bring a glove. As adults, we have to ask ourselves: are we even bringing our glove to the game? Start to expect great things in your life and in the lives of those you serve and you love. Do, and you will move in that direction.


Immersion means being fully engaged in the moment. We often think that the more we multitask, the more we can get done. But all research points in the opposite direction: when you have laser focus, you get far more accomplished. When kids are at school, for example, they concentrate on learning during class, but they go all-out playing in the yard at recess. Be unapologetic when you’re having fun, and be focused on achievement when you’re working. When you’re at work, work like a dog. When you’re at home, play like a puppy!


Everyone has a desire to connect and fit in with other people – we all want to belong. But a true sense of belonging shouldn’t be dependent on income, race or even market conditions. It must start with self-acceptance and love. How do you feel about yourself when you look in the mirror? Kids don’t see flaws, they see treasure. We have to focus on the joy instead of worrying how we don’t measure up. It’s a miracle we are here at all. If you really want to feel a sense of belonging, you must recognize that fact!


Most of us think we’re free. But are we really? Are we free from the memories of yesterday or the anxieties of tomorrow? True freedom is being available to show up and be fully present for people who matter in your life. And sometimes that also means showing up for yourself.

Listen to the latest episode of “It’s a Good Life” to learn more about how to recapture your childlike joy and change how you interact with the world!

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