Andy Murray just won Wimbledon; everybody was wowed! What wows you these days? You know, makes your heart start beating really fast, raises your blood pressure, and makes your mind spin at the thought of doing this or getting that? Maybe it’s a new car, a diamond ring, or a new boat? Maybe it’s a new wardrobe, or someone else’s figure to wear it? How about flying jets or becoming an actor or singer? There are plenty of things that we want, or want to be, plenty of things that we see and go “WOW” I’d die to do that or have that. Then we get it, and before too long we notice that something happens: the lustre fades. Why?
How in the world can we want something so badly, but once we’ve had it for a while it becomes so familiar that we don’t even notice it anymore? Is it because we’re never satisfied, so we want more? Is it because we take things for granted once we have them? Do we get bored? What causes the lustre of the things to fade? What causes the WOW factor to diminish, and how can we keep the passion burning?
Look at Andy Murray: he just won Wimbledon, so he wowed the crowds for sure. Now everyone wants to know about him—they want to give him advice, they want him to marry his girlfriend, and they want him to keep the wow factor going. How will he do it? How do any of us do it? Here are a few ideas:
The wow factor is intangible
Maybe the reason we lose interest in things, or the things we do, is because they stop stimulating us in the way they did in the beginning. We may love the fast car, or the shiny ring, but they may lose their meaning because the wow has to have a purpose or meaning for us. Amassing things may give us an initial feeling of value, worth, or security, but it doesn’t hold up in the long run. Even the things we do can get stale if we don’t find the magic and keep them going. The real wow involves an internal drive or passion that things alone can’t produce.
Performance is key
Whether we’re talking about a tennis star, a movie star, a writer, singer, or business executive, we’re talking about producing. If Andy Murray stops winning in tennis, if Tiger Woods keeps losing at golf, if the latest onscreen heartthrob cranks out flops, or if Nicholas Sparks quits writing great books, it’s over. To keep the wow going you have to produce great content, and that flows from something deep inside.
To keep all this performance stuff going, something intangible has to stir you. That means you find your passion and develop it. How? By exposing yourself to different things you love. Then start narrowing down what you’re passionate about. For example, if you love writing, you’ll need to find a niche there. Do you want to write fiction, non-fiction, romance, or history? Notice which genre stirs your passion and makes your creative juices flow. Then figure out how you can use that to accomplish what you want and what makes you feel alive. You don’t have to be a superstar to experience that, but you do have to harness the passion.
To keep the wow factor going you also need to be attuned and self-aware. If you’re successful, you have to be aware of how it’s affecting you. Andy Murray is getting blown up everywhere now; no-one was paying him too much attention before, and now overnight he’s a superstar. Everyone wants a piece of him. That’s a lot of pressure, and can pull you off course if you’re not careful. While we’re not all going to be superstars, we do need to pay attention to how life and our particular stresses affect our hearts. We need to check the emotional pulse on our hearts daily.
If you’re noticing your life or the things around you are losing some lustre, start fanning the flames again by setting some new goals or revamping some old ones. It’s never too late to find new things to excite you, or add some new passion into old love. When you’re happy and fulfilled from the inside, the outside stuff will be more enjoyable too.