I am

Give this exercise a go.  

Sit in front of a wall and answer the question, ” I am ________.”  Try to write down ten answers.

Now, click on this YouTube link and watch a minute or so of the video.  With the video continuing to run answer the same question, “I am ___________.”  Try to write down ten answers.  

How do the answers between the two lists compare?  Are they similar or is there a difference?

Researches found that when they performed this experiment with two groups, one seated in a hallway staring at a wall and a second group sitting in front of a life-size Tyrannosaurus rex model in a museum, the group with the dinosaur provided answers that were far more expansive than the group looking at the wall who tended to be more limiting in their answers.  Experiencing a sense of awe was a catalyst to seeing a larger frontier and being less confined in one’s perception.

Consider all the opportunities that you have to bring awe into your life and that of your cause.  Do you share awe with your fans?  Where does your staff and board meet when they are thinking strategically, in front of a wall or next to T-rex?  Does your community see you as one of many pictures hanging on an art gallery wall or as a sculpture in the middle of a the room?  How do you collect feedback from those who interact with your enterprise?  Are you able to track awe?  Can you manifest it and does it come from your organization’s purpose?

“The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of bigger ideas, never returns to its original size.” Oliver Wendell Hollmes


  1. I was inspired to try this with my class. We watched a different video, but along the same lines of inspiring awe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtNsXjk2YUM

    And the results:

    Round One: Looking at the wall

    I am a caring person
    I am a good soccer player
    I am creative by putting ideas together
    I am athletic
    I am going to Sun Valley next week
    I am a thinker who thinks before they does things
    I am a ten year old boy living in Boise, Idaho
    I am part of a family
    I am a dog lover
    I am tired
    I am hungry

    Round Two: While the video played

    I am exploding inside the way lightning strikes a tree when YouTube stops and starts.
    I am free like the ocean.
    I am a mountain of goodness.
    I am like a bird, always trying to get higher, soar faster.
    I am like a grain of rice: one in a billion.
    I am like an iceberg, floating with ideas.
    I am an explosion of happiness.
    I am as active as a volcano! Watch me go!
    I am patient, like the sand waiting for water.
    I am like a big, luscious tree giving peace all around.
    I am complex like the Northern Lights.
    I am as calm as flowing water.
    I am the only person I want to be.

    Just awesome.
    Thanks for the reminder that we all need some 'awe' in our lives!

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