The Profession of Wonder

This post takes less than 7 minutes to read.

It’s a fantastic exhaustion to wonder as a profession. The pay is a little different of course, aka not a monetary currency, but that’s what makes it work. Instead of earning money, you earn your time back–time that you normally paid to a full-time job, relationships, a career, or finishing your studies. Your time was well-spent, no doubt, but what happens when one of those priorities disappear? Or more rationally said, change?

You get your time back, and that’s when you start to wonder.

The Profession of Wonder: a temporary time during a major transition to a new place, new job, or any new life game-changer

I started wondering professionally in Berlin about 5 months ago, meaning that I’ve literally spent a good amount of time in and on the profession. I wondered and still wonder about a lot of things–how I can learn German faster or why the guy at the market gave me a half-eaten cucumber; I wonder if I could teach myself about online marketing, how to use Photoshop with a crappy computer and how I can re-build a mustard website. I wonder how I’m going to continue doing hot yoga on a budget.  I wonder how I can use my iPhone better. I wonder if anyone reads my blog and if they don’t, I wonder how I can get them to?

Wonder /ˈwʌndə/
  1. a feeling of amazement and admiration, caused by something beautiful, remarkable, or unfamiliar.
  2. a person or thing regarded as very good, remarkable, or effective.
Wonder is a feeling of amazement!
Wonder is something unfamiliar.

GraduationMany of our wonders remain motionless or get swallowed up to procrastination. Before arriving in Berlin, wondering about things was a sideline hobby next to school and work. Not long after the black squared-cap dropped and I said goodbye to my loved ones, my amateur wonder skill landed in the Berlin backdrop.  Berlin brought salivating uncertainties that immediately drooled all over my regular routine; in other words, my new experiences lacked school and work, which was rather strange and often uncomfortable, and I felt as if everything I learned about having structure in my life was no longer applicable. Change can feel that way at times, as if some strange creature is drooling on your confidence and making your old way of doing things soaked and useless.

Despite being drooled on from time to time, I still loved the city. I just needed to figure out my aim, make a new routine, and feel like I wasn’t just sitting around getting drooled on. I needed to amp up my sense of wonder.

How?

WonderingI take every goal I have, every wonder I want to explore, and break it down into projects that fill up a classic workday. Everything I put on the sidelines before coming to Berlin is now as serious as school and work. It is harder. You’re teaching yourself self-discipline, creativity and your boss is as nice as you are (think about that for a minute). Wondering about things full-time is a fast-paced and demanding, but it keeps the drool off your back; in other words, it teaches you how to re-create structure into your life. It teaches you to adapt to your new surroundings successfully. It teaches you a lot about you.

Here’s how to get started.


 Wake Up Early

It’s not my forte either, as many who know me can attest, but the good news is that you don’t have to be a natural morning person to BE a morning person. You can learn it! Embracing your mornings gives you time to organize your day before diving into it (or sleeping through it). I was inspired by Dale Partridge’s, The Daily Positive to try these 3 simple steps to motivate my morning self while simultaneously enjoying it:

SleepGive yourself 3-5 minutes to wake up, eyes open

loveStart your day doing something you love …… ……

MoveDo a 5 minute muscle mover within the first 30 minutes of waking up

Simple, easy, effective. When I’m laying in bed for those first 3-5 minutes, I try to do breathing exercises which entails breathing in for the count of three, and exhaling for the count of three. I also read the news on my phone, browse Facebook or check my Snapchat stories. The key is to make it simple and stress-free so you don’t have to dread the looming task of opening your eyes.

The full article, How to Become a Morning Person & Love It is short, sweet, and worth the read. Waking up is hard, but waking up grumpy, late and begrudgingly is harder on you. Successful people are morning people, or at least they learned how to be morning people. One of the best feelings during a transition period, and arguably also with your regular routine, is falling into bed at the end of your day because you’re actually tired, because you actually spent your time currency.

How I wish I would wake up everyday:


Create a Task List

Once you get the morning thing down, you just got your first time paycheck – Congrats!  Now you need to spend it before you return back to bed. Before I started wondering professionally, my biggest problem was trying to figure out my day as my day was rolling on. I didn’t have school to plan around or a job to be to, so spending my time was/is completely up to me. I started making lists. Making lists is so important when it comes to wondering professionally. It’s the backbone of building structure into your day and allows you to cash in your time on a new skill set. Ask yourself these broad and basic questions:

imageWhat have you been wondering about lately? …………..

imageWhat skill set are you trying to learn? ………….. …………..

imageWhy did you transition into your new or present environment? …………..

Make a master list, a Wunderlist, answering these three questions. My main Wunderlist, seen below on the left, is what I came up with– I wonder about learning German, about creating an online presence, applying to graduate school and finding a job to professionally wonder at.

From the master list comes your weekly and naturally daily lists which should break down into something you can reasonably do in a week or a day. For example, to build a stronger online presense, I will create a new Vine by the end of the week. A daily goal would be to create a new tweet or browse and comment on blogs I’m interested in. If you have three to four main goals, you’ll be amazed how quick and easy your subsquential lists come together!

Keep focused on what you really want to discover and your everyday task list will follow.
wunderlist

Wunderlist is a great and simple-to-use app that you can sync to your computer and phone. As a product of my generation, I never go anywhere without my phone, which means I don’t go anywhere without my goals. Seeing your goals lined up neatly is simple yet powerful. It materializes your desires and enables you to see progress with every item you mark as complete.

They also have public lists that spark creativity. Here are some of my favorite Wunderlists:

Daily To-Do List: Tips to Live a Better Life
20 Most Watched Ted Talks
Beginners Guide to Youtube [Viewing]
10 Things to Do Before Your Next Job Interview


If you’re lost in a new city or taking a new step, know that your uncertainties are there to motivate you. Mine drool on me, maybe yours bite or smell like poo. Whatever the method, the reason you feel uncomfortable is that transitioning is full of uncertainties that exist to help you adapt to your new surroundings. Brené Brown calls it The Power of Vulnerability, (spend 20 minutes of time currency to watch her talk) and what it does is make your next step meaningful; it will help you through that transition, help you understand the uncertainties, and make the most of your time currency. Spend less than an hour brainstorming about your main Wunderlist and experience the fantastic exhaustion of a wonder career.

Thanks for spending your 7 minutes with me!  Have a fantastic weekend!


Some Extra Stuff

Here are three things I’ve wondered about professionally along with some of my favorite links:

Social Media: Twitter, Vine, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, Snapchat, Google+
New Skill: Interweb Creativity & Connection

Web Design: Blogging, Photoshop, Online Marketing
New Tools: Lynda.com, ProBlogger (highly reccommend the book!), Podcasts: Grammar Girl, Think Digital

Language Learning: German Intensive Courses, Library Resources, Networking
New Resources: German Podcasts: Deutsch Perfekt, WDR 2 Kabarett, TandemPartners.org, Twitter Feeds: GermanEveryday.com, NeinQuartely

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13 thoughts on “The Profession of Wonder”

  1. The profession. of wonder is one that I’m still in. You’re a lot more organized abo7t it than I was when I was in Austria. I’m doing a lot of the same things you mention. Hopefully, I can follow them and do my wondering in Europe again sometime.

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  2. You have so many amazing talents; writing well being among them. You have a good mind and fine ability to express yourself. Your list has many thought-provoking ideas that I think we can all learn from, no matter ones age. Yours is definitely not an idle mind. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post! I needed something like this to read. Starting over is a really strange thing, especially in a new country––even if the country is already somewhat familiar. After moving to a new place after graduation with no plan, it’s been tough to adjust to having few responsibilities. I was browsing blogs one day, mainly written by twenty-somethings who have already done many adventurous things with their life, and are in turn, very happy. It hit me then that if I just continue moping around looking for a job that doesn’t interest me, I’ll likely just be doing that my entire life…So boring and unfulfilling. Anyway, I finally “woke up” and decided to make a plan that will make me happy, and even just working towards that plan makes me happy! How awesome is that?

    Once again, great post. See you soon in Germany my friend xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Becoming movitated is a great way to share your happiness with other people. It’s very infectious and I just got a hit of yours. 🙂 I’m so looking forward to being part of/seeing what your new life plans bring you in DE.
      Keep inspiring!

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  4. Really enjoyed this. Very good advice for those with no set schedule. I like to treat my time at home as a profession, but sometimes I struggle with wasting time. It really does take an incredible amount of discipline to be productive on your own. Thanks for the motivation and tips :)!

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    1. The home profession is definitely in the same realm, with the accountability stakes being held with little fingers! I would love to hear how mothers wonder with their time. Especially you, I’ve always been impressed with your self-taught skills: bean brownies, homemade lip balm and parenting tips. You’re like a book full of life hacks!

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  5. This is a great article. Like you, I wonder if people read my blog as well. Building an online presence can be difficult and it’s difficult getting feedback from those who follow you. It looks like you’ve got some great comments/people following you thus far! Any suggestions on how to get people to your blog/comment on posts?

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