Whatever Happened to Wonder?


Words by Jacquelyn Salvador

When we were kids, we marvelled at the simplest of things. The beating of rain on the window panes, beckoning to go jump in puddles. The thrill of stepping onto a bus or metro for an adventure, wherever the destination. The joy of reuniting with a friend, even if we’d just seen them yesterday...or this morning.

Every little moment in life was brimming with awe and potential, and we soaked it all in continuously, feeling the full power of ‘now’ right as it happened. Not anxious about the future or frustrated with the past.

When we experience those things today, though, they tend to look more like mundanity and inconvenience. We grumble about the weather, the long commute, and the various social engagements we’ve piled upon ourselves (or had piled upon us). Our general state of overwhelm and exhaustion seeps into every area of life, transforming the potential for wonder into a perception of drudgery.


Amidst the everyday grind of ‘adulting,’ though, that old sense of wonder still lies within. If we take an intentional approach to life, we can revive that ‘joie de vivre’ that our younger selves radiated so effortlessly.

It’s not so much about our actual surroundings, or our actual routine. What matters even more, if we want to restore that natural, childlike wonder, is our orientation and our ability to live in the moment.

Instead of thinking about and wishing things were another way, if we engage with what is, we can finally notice the elements that conjure magic out of the everyday.

Sure, it’s rainy, but what about that soothing, rhythmic sound of the rain, and the layer of shine that it casts on the city? Of course, the bus is crowded, but with the right music or podcast, you can spend the entire trip learning or being entertained, all the while watching the world through the window, or enjoying a little discreet people-watching (if you’re into that). And yes, those social engagements may come after an already-exhausting day of work, but think of the interactions and laughter to be had, and that is precisely what you’ll cultivate and discover.

Every moment of every day, we have the choice to resist reality and suffer, or to embrace it and wonder. That leaves just one question - which sounds better to you?


Author of 360 Living: Practical guidance for a balanced life, Jacquelyn is a tireless seeker of personal betterment, and she's on a personal mission to help others find their own best version of life. Her own (ongoing) journey of personal happiness started out with years of chasing the perfect approach to "the good life," but she eventually realised she was anything but happy, so she packed life into a backpack and hit the road to find it for herself on a backpacking adventure around Europe. Along the way, she teamed up with the Authentic Happiness Project to help others on their own journey of personal happiness (backpacking optional) through an empowering combination of inspiration, learning, and personal reflection.

Jacquelyn lives and works as a yoga instructor with Affordable Yoga & Fitness in Paris, France, helping others find better health and happiness through mindful movement. She shares her adventures in the art of living a good life on Instagram at @jj_moves.

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