Friday, December 13, 2013

Dabble In Magic Early And Often

If you don’t believe in magic on some level, your art is going to suck.

And when I say magic, I’m not referring to supernatural enthusiasms or ancient mythologies or occult practices or bewildering godspeak, rather, those moments of virtuosity and mystery and meaning, those acts of human moral beauty that provoke the kindred and start a conversation with something much larger than yourself.

In short, awe.

That’s what we mean when we say magic.

In the landmark study on awe, researchers defined it as a moral, spiritual and aesthetic emotion. Something has the power to transform people and reorient their lives, goals and values in profound and permanent ways. Making awe one of the fastest and most powerful methods of personal change and growth on the planet.

And that got me thinking.

How do we create moments of awe for our customers? How does the street performer or the landscaping company or the charity foundation embed the experience of awe into their daily work?

According to aforementioned research, awe is the intersection of two moments:

Wow and how.

Wow, meaning you’re in the presence of something sizable and powerful and prestigious, and the sense of vastness overwhelms you. Holy crap. This is amazing. Where’s my camera?

How, meaning you can’t comprehend the mechanics behind that thing, and the desire to accommodate that experience into your worldview overwhelms you. No effing way. How the hell did she do that?

That’s how you create awe. Wow plus how.

It’s not a proven formula. It’s not a predictable construct.

But if you dabble in magic early and often, eventually, it’s going to stick.