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How To Discover Your ‘WOW Factor’

How To Discover Your ‘WOW Factor’

Do you remember how your first crush made you feel? How butterflies appeared in your stomach every time you thought of him/her? How his/her presence seemed to take your breath away?

Your ‘WOW factor’ evokes that same magical feeling.

Your ‘WOW factor’ distinguishes you from the other 7.4+ billion human beings on planet Earth. Your ‘WOW factor’ makes you unique, special, and one-of-a-kind. Your WOW ‘factor’ commands attention and makes people stop and say: “WOW, that person (enter your ‘WOW factor’ here!)”

I have good and bad news for you. Since I always save the best for last, the bad news is that too many individuals don’t bother to discover what their ‘WOW factor’ is. The good news: every single one of us possess it.

You can either choose to ignore it even if it exists, OR you can choose to discover, craft and hone your special ability.

As opposed to conforming like others, wouldn’t you rather WOW people you meet? Wouldn’t you rather figure out what makes you special, then capitalize on it? Wouldn’t you rather turn your desires and dreams into your reality?

That’s the effect your ‘WOW factor’ can have for you.

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It took me a lot of failure, disappointment, discomfort, resiliency, love, understanding, experimentation, and change to help me discover my ‘WOW factor’. Since Lifehack.org is the premiere destination for life hacks, I figured this site is the perfect location to share my wisdom and have this article call home.

To be honest with you, it’s going to take a lot of thinking, analyzing, and gut-checking to uncover your extraordinary gift. But once you’ve uncovered your special talent, your life will become more purposeful and fulfilling!

It All Begins With Self-Awareness

 

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
– Aristotle

Self-awareness is the concept in which we, as humans, become more aware and conscious of our thoughts, needs, desires, habits, strengths, weaknesses, emotions, motivations, and everything in between.

Essentially, self-awareness is a complete and honest understanding of yourself.

To gain a complete and honest understand of yourself, you must be willing to objectively examine and acknowledge literally everything about yourself – both good and bad. Introspection, self-discovery, and meditation are useful practices to help you discover you.

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Unfortunately, some may not be able to assess themselves in such a manner. Sometimes ego gets in the way. Sometimes perceptions may be skewed or bias.

Whatever the case may be, if you cannot properly evaluate yourself, discovering your ‘WOW factor’ will not be possible.

Be candid with yourself. Be completely and brutally honest. Most importantly, identify your strengths and qualities that distinguish you from the rest of your peers.

Once you have a strong grasp on who you are, ask for feedback and opinions from those whom you trust, respect, and know are willing to give you the truth – no matter how harsh it may be.

As soon as you have mastered yourself and identified what makes you distinguishable, taking the next steps to discovering what your ‘WOW factor’ will be a breeze.

As a matter of fact, mastery of self-awareness will make literally everything you do easier.

Time To Dig For Some Passion

 

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“Without passion, you don’t have energy; without energy, you don’t have nothing. Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.”
– Donald Trump

According to merriam-webster dictionary, passion is your strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept.

Since we’re already tackled the self-awareness part, let’s figure out what your passion is.

You can literally be passionate about anything. There is no right or wrong answer. Think about what you love doing. Think about what touches your heart.

It doesn’t have to earn you money, you don’t have to spend eight hours a day doing it, it doesn’t even have to fit in your busy schedule! The only requirement for your passion is that you have to truly care about it.

Regardless of whatever it may be, clearly define what it is.

When you are truly passionate about something, time becomes an illusion. No matter what your circumstances may be, your passions will eventually emerge. Your passion will help you navigate through this journey we call life.

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Passion lights the fire under our heinies.

Finding The WOW Balance

 

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep balance, you must keep moving.”
– Albert Einstein

Now that you have sufficiently identified your distinguishable qualities and passions, the next step is to find that sweet spot where your distinguishability meets gratifying your passion. This delicate balance is also known as your ‘WOW factor.’

It’s a fact that things change and people change. When the inevitable occurs, all that is required to discover your new ‘WOW factor’ is the striking of a new balance between your new strengths, new distinguishable attributes and your new passion.

Maintaining your ‘WOW factor’ is as fun and easy as being authentic and true to yourself.

Since the ‘WOW factor’ is so readily available and accessible to anyone, let’s all do humanity a big favor. Let’s continuously WOW one another.

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Last Updated on June 6, 2019

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

In 2011, the Finnish Tourist Board ran a campaign that used silence as a marketing ‘product’. They sought to entice people to visit Finland and experience the beauty of this silent land. They released a series of photographs of single figures in the nature and used the slogan “Silence, Please”. A tag line was added by Simon Anholt, an international country branding consultant, “No talking, but action.”

Eva Kiviranta the manager of the social media for VisitFinland.com said: “We decided, instead of saying that it’s really empty and really quiet and nobody is talking about anything here, let’s embrace it and make it a good thing”.

Finland may be on to something very big. You could be seeing the very beginnings of using silence as a selling point as silence may be becoming more and more attractive. As the world around becomes increasingly loud and cluttered you may find yourself seeking out the reprieve that silent places and silence have to offer. This may be a wise move as studies are showing that silence is much more important to your brains than you might think.

Regenerated brain cells may be just a matter of silence.

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     A 2013 study on mice published in the journal Brain, Structure and Function used differed types of noise and silence and monitored the effect the sound and silence had on the brains of the mice.[1] The silence was intended to be the control in the study but what they found was surprising. The scientists discovered that when the mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day they developed new cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a region of the brain associated with memory, emotion and learning.

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    The growth of new cells in the brain does not necessarily translate to tangible health benefits. However, in this instance, researcher Imke Kirste says that the cells appeared to become functioning neurons.

    “We saw that silence is really helping the new generated cells to differentiate into neurons, and integrate into the system.”

    In this sense silence can quite literally grow your brain.

    The brain is actively internalizing and evaluating information during silence

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      A 2001 study defined a “default mode” of brain function that showed that even when the brain was “resting” it was perpetually active internalizing and evaluating information.

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      Follow-up research found that the default mode is also used during the process of self-reflection. In 2013, in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Joseph Moran et al. wrote, the brain’s default mode network “is observed most closely during the psychological task of reflecting on one’s personalities and characteristics (self-reflection), rather than during self-recognition, thinking of the self-concept, or thinking about self-esteem, for example.

      “When the brain rests it is able to integrate internal and external information into “a conscious workspace,” said Moran and colleagues.

      When you are not distracted by noise or goal-orientated tasks, there appears to be a quiet time that allows your conscious workspace to process things. During these periods of silence, your brain has the freedom it needs to discover its place in your internal and external world.

      The default mode helps you think about profound things in an imaginative way.

      As Herman Melville once wrote,[2]

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      “All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence.”

      Silence relieves stress and tension.

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        It has been found that noise can have a pronounced physical effect on our brains resulting in elevated levels of stress hormones. The sound waves reach the brain as electrical signals via the ear. The body reacts to these signals even if it is sleeping. It is thought that the amygdalae (located in the temporal lobes of the brain) which is associated with memory formation and emotion is activated and this causes a release of stress hormones. If you live in a consistently noisy environment that you are likely to experience chronically elevated levels of stress hormones.

        A study that was published in 2002 in Psychological Science (Vol. 13, No. 9) examined the effects that the relocation of Munich’s airport had on children’s health and cognition. Gary W. Evans, a professor of human ecology at Cornell University notes that children who are exposed to noise develop a stress response that causes them to ignore the noise. What is of interest is that these children not only ignored harmful stimuli they also ignored stimuli that they should be paying attention to such as speech. 

        “This study is among the strongest, probably the most definitive proof that noise – even at levels that do not produce any hearing damage – causes stress and is harmful to humans,” Evans says.[3]

        Silence seems to have the opposite effect of the brain to noise. While noise may cause stress and tension silence releases tension in the brain and body. A study published in the journal Heart discovered that two minutes of silence can prove to be even more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music. They based these findings of changes they noticed in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.[4]

        Silence replenishes our cognitive resources.

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          The effect that noise pollution can have on cognitive task performance has been extensively studied. It has been found that noise harms task performance at work and school. It can also be the cause of decreased motivation and an increase in error making.  The cognitive functions most strongly affected by noise are reading attention, memory and problem solving.

          Studies have also concluded that children exposed to households or classrooms near airplane flight paths, railways or highways have lower reading scores and are slower in their development of cognitive and language skills.

          But it is not all bad news. It is possible for the brain to restore its finite cognitive resources. According to the attention restoration theory when you are in an environment with lower levels of sensory input the brain can ‘recover’ some of its cognitive abilities. In silence the brain is able to let down its sensory guard and restore some of what has been ‘lost’ through excess noise.[5]

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          Summation

          Traveling to Finland may just well be on your list of things to do. There you may find the silence you need to help your brain. Or, if Finland is a bit out of reach for now, you could simply take a quiet walk in a peaceful place in your neighborhood. This might prove to do you and your brain a world of good.

          Featured photo credit: Angelina Litvin via unsplash.com

          Reference

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