Today’s guest will be helping us tap into out own sense of wonder that can help you on your creative path. We have on the show author, entrepreneur and human potential expert Jeffrey Davis.
Jeff approach’s life and work as a quest. Everything he does – from building a thriving business to writing books to serving as a branding strategist to designing live Brand Artistry Labs to delivering keynotes to guiding his two girls’ through childhood – are part and parcel of the same quest for integrity, meaning, and making.
But like most quests, mine has been neither easy nor straightforward.
He has deliberately sought a life of meaning and making since he was 19 and declared in his private notebook that he would become a writer and preserve my imagination. In his 20s, he co-founded The Walden Institute, devoted to studying human potential through the intersections of neuroscience, existential psychology, and the literary arts. By age 31, though, he was all intellect and drive with a shrinking heart and vanishing imagination.
He got to work with top-notch change-makers, and that includes our team of creative renegades at Tracking Wonder consultancy – our boutique consultancy focused on brand story identity, strategy, and asset development. Tracking wonder is not kid’s stuff. It’s radical grown-up stuff. Jeff lives with these burning questions that shape his days:
- How does Story change us?
- How is creating a signature brand with integrity a meaningful, creative endeavor?
- How is wonder the source of every human being’s original creative genius?
- How are building a family and building a business part and parcel of living a life of making meaning, projects, a livelihood, and a difference?
The result has culminated in this quest for tracking wonder. His new book is called Tracking Wonder: Reclaiming a Life of Meaning and Possibility in a World Obsessed with Productivity. Discover how the lost art of wonder can help you cultivate greater creativity, resilience, meaning, and joy as you bring your greatest contributions to life. Beyond grit, focus, and 10,000 hours lies a surprising advantage that all creatives have—wonder.
Far from child’s play, wonder is the one radical quality that has led exemplary people from all walks of life to move toward the fruition of their deepest dreams and wildest endeavors—and it can do so for you, too. “Wonder is a quiet disruptor of unseen biases,” writes Jeffrey Davis.
“It dissolves our habitual ways of seeing and thinking so that we may glimpse anew the beauty of what is real, true, and possible.”
Rich with wisdom, inspiring stories, and practical tools, Tracking Wonder invites us to explore how the lost art of wonder can inspire a life of greater joy, possibility, and purpose. You’ll discover: The six facets of wonder—key qualities to help you cultivate the art of wonder in your work, relationships, and life How wonder can help us fertilize creativity, sustain the motivation to pursue big ideas, navigate uncertainty and crises, deepen our relationships, and more.
The biases against wonder—moving beyond societal and internalized resistance to our inherent gifts Why experiencing wonder isn’t really about achieving goals—though that happens—but about how we live each day Inspiring stories of people whose experiences of wonder helped them move through the unthinkable to create extraordinary lives Practical exercises, tools, and reflections to help you begin your own practice of tracking wonder.
A refreshing counter-voice to the exhausting narrative hyper-productivity, Tracking Wonder is a welcome guide for experiencing more meaning and joy in the present moment as you bring your greatest contributions to life. If you are stuck or just need a jump start to your creative process then get ready to take some notes.
Enjoy my “wonder” filled conversation with Jeffrey Davis.
Listen to more great episodes at Next Level Soul Podcast
Follow Along with the Transcript – Episode 021
Alex Ferrari 0:09
I'd like to welcome to the show Jeffery Davis, how you doing Jeffery?
Jeffery Davis 0:12
Doing great. How are you?
Alex Ferrari 0:13
I'm doing great, my friend. I'm doing great. I really wanted to have you on the show. Because I need some wonder in my life, I need to track some of that wonder. And I need to use it to, to help me in my creative path as well as not only creative path, but honestly, your soul's path in so many ways just like your, your life's journey. So I have to ask you, how did you get started? In this field of work?
Jeffery Davis 0:40
Yeah, yeah, this field of work attracting wonder, right? Company consultancy, like, do that. So yeah, I'll just start off briefly, we can talk about, you know, more more what is wondering what I've come to discover about the nature of these experiences of wonder after 15 plus years of deliberate research into it. You know, currently, I'm a I'm a strategist and consultant and. And that's often been my line of work for quite some time. And over 15 years ago, I was researching another project related to creativity and the creative process came across a book, little known book of yoga philosophy. And it kind of really opened me up. And I'll just say, briefly, that was kind of the moment of inspiration. Because it just it the commentary said something about the nature of reality might be like this ordinary waking world, and this world of the interior world of the dreams and mind that we have. And when you can experience ultimate reality. Right here in this ordinary world, then you're characterized quite often by Wonder, or a sort of joy filled amazement. And so when I read that, that was a moment of inspiration for me, because I realized, I had been looking for much of my life, for those sets of experiences, the sets of experiences where you feel fully alive, and like this, is it in this ordinary world, without having to seek transcendence or some other reality? Yeah. So that was a moment of inspiration, I then devoted a lot of my work toward researching. And taking some deep dives into these experiences of wonder this is 2004. So there's very little science of Wonder available.
Alex Ferrari 2:38
So I didn't know that there was any there was any period,
Jeffery Davis 2:42
There was actually some science of odd just starting. And so I was talking with some of those psychologists like Dacher, Keltner, at UC Berkeley, who actually confers with Pixar Studios that make science evolve now, so there was a little science involved, but very little, yes, on the science of wonder. And so but I was taking some deep dives in some other areas, trying to make some, some connections, about wonder, kind of an intellectual journey. And then a few years later, after experiencing just a set of personal adversity, within a year of my wife and I, getting married and buying our dream house, farmhouse in the Hudson Valley of New York, we had a house fire, I had Lyme disease. The that fire put us out of our house for 15 plus months. We ended up having a baby and that 15 months, our first baby, there was like a number of things that was just like a domino effect. But I did what I did. And I got really curious about what was going on with me in tandem with my explorations of wonder. So this is kind of the defining moment, you know, to your question, this was the set of inflection points for me. And that period, I got really curious about the relationship between our experiencing adversity, constant challenge, constant change. And whether or not experiences of wonder could help us not only navigate that adversity, but ultimately flourish in that adversity. So I committed a lot of my research and a lot of my delivery to my, my clients. With that framework in mind, and I'll just say in brief part of my discovery, and part of the premise of the book tracking wonder is that when we look at what I call fulfilled innovators, people who've really contributed to their fields, but who described their lives as being fulfilled, not burnt out. They're surprising advantages, not necessarily 10,000 hours of deliberate practice, or grit or wealth or some DNA, genius talent, it is actually they have maintained an abiding sense of wonder. And that's what I've continued to test out. And further now with the emerging science of wonder in the past six years, I've corroborated that hypothesis.
Alex Ferrari 5:22
There's there's one director that I always look at that that has that sense of wonder is that Steven Spielberg? Oh, yeah. Yes. Steven Spielberg is one of those guys who, who just you could just tell even though he's not making his his, I mean, his films that he's been making recently, in the last, let's say, 1015 years, have been more serious, more grown up tackling like Lincoln and Munich and other things like that. But there's always a sense of wonder in the stuff that he does. And he's maintained that wonder throughout his career,
Jeffery Davis 5:58
You're absolutely right. So Spielberg's early work is definitely wonder driven, very specifically, and just with what I said, it's wonder in this ordinary world, right, so I'm curious about the Harry Potter movies, in part because I have a 12 year old daughter who's really interested in them, and the Harry Potter stories. But what I, the reason I'm less interested in those is because there's some other sort of Warlock world out there. You know, I'm really interested in the magic among the Mughals. People, but you're absolutely right. Steven Spielberg, Wes Anderson, is another one who is constantly full of wonder who can sometimes take on serious subjects. esoterically, but also wondrously?
Alex Ferrari 6:43
Yeah. And it's interesting as you start going down the list of filmmakers, or just creatives in general, in whichever field, the people who are at their highest level, they all seem to have a sense of wonder of what they do. And of almost and Pixar is a great example of that. I mean, Pixar is, you know, without without a doubt, one of the best track records in history. Have Yeah, of Wonder within their, their storytelling. So when you said, oh, yeah, we I think we were talking about earlier that you've interviewed people. I've talked to people from Pixar from animation, that world seems to have so much more wonder than normal Hollywood or normal storytelling, in many ways,
Jeffery Davis 7:28
In many ways, and yes, so part of my Interviews With Innovators in so many different areas in my research, including filmmakers, like Mark Osborne, who directed Kung Fu Panda, he also directed the audacious remake of The Little Prince, the most adored story in all of France. And he had to do it very different
Alex Ferrari 7:54
It was beautiful, was beautiful and I saw it,
Jeffery Davis 7:57
Incredible remake, you know, what?
Alex Ferrari 7:59
Jeffery Davis 8:00
So beautiful. And I asked him, so he said, You know, every animator making every animated film is like a nightmare, which is not unlike what Ken Burns also says, so can you know, the amazing documentary filmmaker says, Every documentary is like a million problems. So if you know that, right, so this is pause there for a moment, because one of the premises of the book tracking wonder in my body of work, this is what I tell everybody I work with. Every big idea begets a series of challenges. So you have a great idea for a film, it's like, yeah, let's make this film that sounds great. Well, that's fine. But just know that that's going to beget a series of challenges. So you normalize that. So the question is for Mark Osborne, or Ken Burns, or Alex or anybody is like, what is going to get you and your team through those series of challenges without burning out? And without burning bridges.
Alex Ferrari 9:09
Now, one thing I one thing I remember about myself when I was younger, is my sense of wonder was a lot more than it is today. And I'm not talking about when I was a child I was talking about like, even when I was in my early 20s at film school, or, you know, have my new first job and everything seemed wonders to me like, oh, my god, is that a machine that edits? What is that? What is that camera? What is it every little part of the process for me was wonderous. And yet, as you get older, you become more cynical, and you kind of lose that wonder a bit. And those moments that I've always found happiness is when I reconnect to that wonder wherever that that wonder might be. And I think it's something that comes in we're born innately with that and the world beats it out. have us is that a fair statement?
Jeffery Davis 10:02
It's in part true. So I say I appreciate that you that you acknowledge that about your earlier self. I think that's true for most of the people I work with. Certainly it's been true for myself. So if I could I'll elaborate just a bed on. Yeah. What? Why does wonder Wayne, right? We, every human being is born, wide eyed with wonder and certain can cultural anthropologist corroborate this that we human beings, in part uniquely, are born wide eyed with wonder we're perhaps here, some evolutionary biologists are suggesting to wonder. So the question is, why do we lose it as you're as you're saying? It's important neurological, at about 12 or 13 years old. You remember that? Time? It was like the time I called like, the lowest ring of the inferno. For myself. It's like millyard years. That's pretty good.
Alex Ferrari 10:57
Jeffery Davis 10:58
Yeah. Yeah, it's hard. Yeah. My 12 year old daughter is navigating get Grace graciously, so far, but far better than I did. So. But what's happening neurologically, even for her is her synapses are pairing out. She's not making as many synaptic connections and so not everything seems so amazingly new anymore. Already, right? That just is natural neurologically. The other part is, in part social and cultural, we start becoming self conscious how we're being sized up with other people. It's also cultural Alex, we swim in a culture in this country, that prizes productivity to a fault. And daydreaming and wondering doesn't appear productive. Although, I could argue and demonstrate why it ultimately is. But it certainly doesn't appear that way. Right. So that's a part of it, too. Now, what you identified as a young filmmaker is the novelty part, that wide eyed wonder, right wonder as several facets that I explore in the book, but one is that wide eyed openness, right? When things are new, when the ideas are new, when the equipment's new, and like, oh my gosh, I'm going to be a filmmaker. And you're right if we're not careful, we can become jaded. We can become cynical we can become we can approach the world is been there, done that? Oh, yeah. Tell me something. I don't already know. That whole mindset is self defeating. And it's clearly wonder defeating Yeah, so So to answer your question, yes. It's all of that and and more, right. It's not that the world beats that out of us. It's that the the world we've inherited does not necessarily support us as wondering grownups. And but I will argue that wonders, not kids stuff. It is radical, really important grown up stuff.
Alex Ferrari 12:55
Yeah, absolutely. And I, I had friends of mine very good friends of mine who worked at Disney animation. And I would walk into Disney animation. And I would just see people playing video games, they would have like full rooms set up with video games in arcades and whatever your basketball nets and things that are absolutely nothing to do with productivity because it allowed their juices to flow and allow that I guess, sense of wonder that creativity to, to come through. And I when I saw that I was like, This isn't me This is remarkable. And now they have that in the tech companies in the you know, Google and Apple and those they have those kinds of environments now where it's not the cubicle, sit down, do your job nine to five, yes, those worlds exist. But those companies I find don't aren't nearly as productive as I mean, I just mentioned it Google Apple, I mean, Disney these are these are top of their industry kind of companies. And they're letting their their employees just kind of goofing around quote unquote, goof around. But they realize the benefit of allowing yourself even if you're working at home, allowing yourself time to wonder time to reconnect with that child. And and I go back to Spielberg because he I've said it so much. I've talked to so many people who've worked with him over the years. And they said, It's like seeing a child on set. And a lot of these big directors a lot of these big screenwriters and filmmakers, and other people in other in other fields. They seem to be able to connect to that at will and that's their superpower.
Jeffery Davis 14:34
Boy, you just set it so I love that you're making these connections. Ron Howard, I think is another one.
Alex Ferrari 14:40
Oh, love. Right! Yeah. What Ron is, he's yeah, I've spoken to a few people have worked with him. And he's just like this child on set. And he you could see it in their eyes and the actors love working with these because they start feeling like Oh, I'm at home, dressing up for my parents to put on a show. And when you can connect to that energy as an adult, it's extremely powerful because we all watching that on a subconscious level a yearning for that, that those good times if those were good times for you, but to go back to that moment of wonder to go back to believing in all the things that we believed in when we were children, it was just such a, you know, not nostalgia, but it's just something that connects you to that source. Whatever you want to use it use it.
Jeffery Davis 15:32
No, you so hit it and, and right, yeah, our childhoods are complicated. And I do want to my two girls and my younger one, I think wow, childhoods actually really confusing Oh, nothing's nothing's at your scale. Nothing sized for you. And so far, like it's really good for you, you're learning these crazy roles at these crazy giants have set up you. So you've hit it on so many tracks. So there's actually a, an assay I often go back to is written in the late 1800s by a poet and art critic named Charles Bode lair, and he was looking at the artwork of this artist, Constantine GIs who had just started painting in his 60s, I think, you know, started pretty late, and was naively trained, not formally trained, exhibiting some of his early work in Paris, like the art center of the world. And he's writing this essay about Constantine Giza, sort of like a portrait of the future modern artist, sort of forcing the 20th century. And what he was recognizing and GIs who GIS wasn't drawing or painting the sort of common romantic figures of the heroic past, he was painting ordinary women and people on the streets and sidewalks right around him. And so, so Bowdler to like something you said a minute ago, Butler says, about GIS and about painters in general about us in general is that genius is the capacity to retrieve childhood, at will, just has the capacity to retrieve childhood at will, which is exactly what you're getting on. And so not to get too philosophical for your audience. But I'm sure there are a lot to you know, if this is a film audience, I can go a little film philosophical. So genius. So I've studied philosophy for a long time, too, and in Greek philosophy among Aristotle and others. Genius, the word the Greek word for genius is de Amman. And so Aristotle and others contended that we're each born with a damn on this unique force of character. That is unique to every one of us. You know, Steven Spielberg has his Ron Howard has his Alex as his I have mine. The thing is, we're born forgetting what that unique force of character is. And occasionally, in certain moments, you will remember it. Occasionally, in certain moments, maybe a mentor will reflect back to you something innately talented in you that you don't quite see in yourself. So one thing I have teams do is actually recall moments when they might have been seven or eight, nine or 10 years old, before some of that neuronal pairing. And recall certain moments when you felt alive and free to be distinctly you without regard for reward, or recognition. And when you really delve into those memories and sensory ways, maybe even write about them, you will remember certain traits about sort of your young genius, so to speak. And the evidence is showing that when you do that, when you actually recall those moments, share those moments, and then actively bring forward some of those traits to your work at hand. I just imagine if you recalled that young genius every morning, and wrote down say three of those traits of your young genius every morning and then looked at your schedule and said, How am I going to bring one or more of those traits with me today at work? Things change, and I've seen it happen over and over again that somebody feels like they've lost that sense of wonder, starts to up their wonder ratio. It's not like you go through the whole day like Peter Pan, God forbid. You do up your wonder ratio and you maintain some of that idealism but in a pragmatic way.
Alex Ferrari 19:43
Yeah, there's there's the thing I always say, when I'm when I'm speaking, I, I always tell people how many here know an angry and bitter filmmaker, and then people would people would raise their hands or screenwriter and they would raise their hands. And I go, Whoever didn't raise your hand, you are the angry and bitter filmmaker that everybody else knows. Because it's just the way it is what in your opinion causes? You know, you know, we're using the we're using filmmaking as a as an example. But they're in any field, whether it be opening a business, writing a book, you know, being an actor or a painter or anything. What is it that causes us to lose that hope, lose that wonder of what God has started in the first place? And turns us into those angry and bitter souls walking around the planet? Who we have to deal with on Twitter?
Jeffery Davis 20:40
It's a tough question. It's really a tough question. You know, part of my job, I feel like is to keep open and wondering about our fellow human beings, especially the ones in the behaviors that so puzzled me like the trolls, right? And yes, very bitter people. And I've had some of them. Like, I'm like, How can I? How can I get through a little bit and I often will succeed by just like, acknowledging, okay, they're coming from some, someplace some good place?
Alex Ferrari 21:10
Yeah, it has nothing to do with you. It has nothing to do with you
Jeffery Davis 21:12
Nothing to do with me, right? Oh, it's nothing to do with it's not personal, like, how can I get through here, you know, through Twitter, which is, you know, this strange, medium, and sometimes, you know, sometimes that can succeed and get a little opening and connection between us. That is a complicated question. I don't know if I can answer, but I will say this. Certainly. Excessive trauma, betrayal, crisis upon crisis leads to it. But one of the facets of wonder, one of the six facets of wonder that I lay out and tracking wonder, and this comes after a lot of research, is the facet of hope. And I have to admit my own bias against hope, before I really dug into the science of Hope was Shane Lopez and some other psychologists, I had a bias against hope, because it sounded sort of like, oh, you're just hoping you know, you got maybe false hope you're delusional, something like that sort of wishful thinking. It turns out that the facet of hope is not wishful thinking. It's very proactive. So I can't completely answer what it is that leads a certain individual to completely lose hope, after crisis after trauma and so forth that I will maybe tell a story about Nick Cave, since we're talking to a creative audience here. Nick, for those listeners who don't know is a phenomenal he's probably the most renowned musician in all of Australia. He's a bard singer songwriter. The bad seeds have been his band for a few decades. I think one of his musical scores has been on a Harry Potter film again. So So Nick, I guess Muse just doesn't stay near anyone lane. He I think he's, he's published novels as well. 2000 he married his wife Susie. And they had twin sons. And he said in an interview around 2000, that he became a nine to five man, his muse, like we'd come to work at nine was off at five because he wanted to be full on as a father and husband and so forth. Habit kind of integrated life was very successful that way and kind of operating that way. It's quite often how I function and flourish to I have to, like, bring my muse on at will. So 2015 His sons are 15 years old, one of them falls off a chalk cliff while they're on vacation and falls to his death at 15 years old. And as somebody who's a father of a 12 year old daughter, like that is just I can't really fathom what he went through. So what, what, what possibly gets us out of that crisis out of that darkness when the world has gone so bleak and dark. And as it did for him, as you can imagine, and for Suzy as well. He said, he was just completely off centered, and completely, of course, self absorbed, like they couldn't just imagine why this happened to them. And it took a while to get out of that. There were a couple of, I think, central pieces to his story about what brought him hope, again, one was community. His community of fans reached out to him. So he started a blog called the Red Hand files where he writes these intimate letters to people who are asking him questions. And that support network is really important for us when we're experiencing crisis and adversity or trauma. Just surround ourselves with other hopeful people, genuinely hopeful people give us real encouragement, not just bad advice. And so the other Peace though Alex. He says in the very first blog and read and file, somebody says, How are you getting through this incredible grief and mourning? What's getting you through? How are you able to create again? So he says in that opening blog, he said, you know, we had lost our center. What was our center? Well, for me, and probably for most creative people, if not all human beings, it's a sense of wonder. And the trauma, it completely divorced us from that sense of wonder, he said, and so we had to go through our mourning and through our grief and gradually find our back our way back to the creative process. He couldn't stick to a nine to five process, it was messy, so messy, but he gradually started to string together a few chords, a few lyrics, and ultimately created Alex an incredible album that I recommend to all your listeners called Ghost teen. And it really illustrates how wonder can meet you on the other side of grief. So was a long way of not answering your question. I can't say what leads somebody to be so dark and and cynical, and so forth, Batman, I suspect, and it's been my experience with such people, that there is still a glimmer and a desire for Wonder on the other side. And if they can surround themselves with other people who are hopeful, and if they can just move a little more forward towards something creatively, they will have more light than dark along the way.
Alex Ferrari 26:37
Now when when we talk about wonder, we're also talking about connecting to creativity, creating in that creativity could be obviously in the arts, but that also could be in business that could also be in any, you know, in architecture could be in million different fields. How do you use wonder to tap into creativity? Or does creativity just begin to flow I always, I always talk to a lot of these high performing people who, who are able to get into the zone, it's a fascination of mine. I've been there a couple times, and I've been there many times in my life, especially when you're creative. Like you just lose track of time and and you're just flowing, you're in the flow, you're just there, you don't even see what's coming in. Sometimes. When I write my books, I'm sure you feel this as well. When you're writing, you'll stop writing and you'll go back the next day and read what you wrote. You're like who wrote that? Like, I don't even know that. This is good. Like, I don't even remember writing it. When you get to that place in your in your thing. How does wonder you how can you use wonder to tap into that creativity?
Jeffery Davis 27:44
Yeah, yeah, they're, they're intimately related. And so maybe a couple of definitions are useful. So and I do address creativity forefront. In the early chapters of the book, creativity, we could define in the field of psychology as the capacity to generate and act on ideas, novel and useful ideas from fantasy to fruition, right, you've got a new idea for a film, you got a new set of problems for the film, or for the book or for the business, you're going to meet those challenges all along the way. Creativity is being able to face and finesse each of those challenges and generate novel and useful solutions and then move forward with them. Right. So that's part of the creative process, and it's not always so flow. Me Hi, Chick sent me Hi, actually, the you know, the one who coined flow just died last week at 87 years old. And so he, you know, he did not define flow as being in a state of relaxation. No, no, he, he clearly acknowledged like it is often involving taking on voluntary challenges like filmmaking, or starting a business or up leveling up leveling a business, right. So the creative process is like, how do we face and finesse those challenges, more expansively with a broader range of resources, both cognitively and socially, to generate and move on those novel and useful solutions? Okay, that's creativity. Wonder. Let's define wonder, right. So, wonder is a heightened state of awareness that's brought on by something that's unexpected that defies your expectations that either delight you disorient you, or both. And for a fleeting moment, right, whether it's a bald eagle that suddenly lands in your backyard, which actually happened here last week, we couldn't believe it. That certainly was delightful and disorienting, whether it's something a colleague of yours says that helps you see that colleague in a new and beautiful way. You're like, wow, I never saw that part of that person. That's a moment of wonder as well. These moments of wonder, disrupt our biased ways of looking at a project disrupt our biased ways of looking at a collaborator disrupt our biased ways of seeing what we think is real. And something happens cognitively in our minds. And neurologically, that opens us up right to another possibility. So it turns out that these moments of wonder, are essential, both to starting the creative process, right with a brand new idea. And moving us through from curiosity to the middle stages of bewilderment, which is another facet of wonder, right? We're in the middle of a project, we're thinking, I'm never going to get out of this, like, Why did I even start this project? All the way to forming really good connections with our collaborators? Wonder happens at every one of those stages throughout the creative process. Does that make sense?
Alex Ferrari 31:06
It makes it Yeah, makes all the sense of the world. Because, you know, when you when I started this podcast, I'm sure you feel the same way. With your show. When I started this, with all my podcasts when I start them, especially the first one I you know, was just like, Hey, can I get a guest and a guest, you know, someone who can come on, let me show, you know, let me start providing value to an audience that's not listening, because I was nobody at the top. So you just and as you go through that, I'll use the analogy of a podcast, where you know, you just keep doing it and keep doing it and keep showing up and keep doing it. And, for me, I literally live in a moment, I live in a world of wonder every day with my show, because every day I get an email from something from somebody pitching a show, or like yourself, or I have these amazing, ridiculous people who I've admired all of my life, who call up and like, I'd love to be on your show, and I get to talk to a couple hours with a hero of mine. It's become almost, it's almost become normal now on the show. And everyone listening will understand why because I've had these amazing guests coming on again, and again and again and again, and has been going like this now for the last I don't know, year and a half. So it's just been growing and growing. And I just never really put a name to it. But I'm in a moment, I'm in a constant state of wonder. Because I'm waiting now for Steven Spielberg's people to call me and Steve is like Steven would love to be on your show. I'm waiting for that call. I'm not it hasn't come yet. But I'm waiting for that call to happen. Because that would just you want to talk about disruptive. It will just, it will completely this like completely shake my world. And my world has been shaken multiple times over the course of the last year and a half, by people calling me up like, Hey, can I be on your show? And I'm like, What is going on? So I've never really noticed that before. And then I and then all the all those connections and relationships that I've built, open up other doors, or ever since I started this whole show, I've been in a state of wonder, because every day or every week, something would come up and be like, What the hell is going on? So it's constant is really cost. It's really interesting. I've never really put a name to it before.
Jeffery Davis 33:24
I love that you said that too. I never put a name to it. Because that was my experience back in 2004 is like, oh my gosh, I think this is what I've been wanting since I was a towheaded boy, you know, wandering the woods there. And and so I love that on so many levels. Alex, let me let me kind of lay out for the listeners, the six facets of one Yes, please. And how they directly relate to this creative process. And even your experience in developing the podcast. It's so so spot on what you've said. So the, I think of these six facets in three pairs, and the first pair are openness and curiosity. So openness is like what I call the wide sky facet of wonder. It is that radical openness to possibility that we want to foster particularly at the onset of a new idea, a new chapter in our life. When we just want to be, you know, we want to reclaim that sort of wide eyed wonder that we were talking about. Curiosity is what I call the rebel facet of wonder because curiosity is very proactive at seeking new knowledge. It's it's, it's when you you know, you got really curious once you moved into the podcast idea, like okay, what's the best equipment and like, Who could I really get on here? And could I just set up a minimal viable experiment that like, see if this is going to work all of that experimentation as part of curiosity? Curiosity also allows us to question the status quo, which makes it really important these days to foster true curiosity. So openness and care Curiosity are foundational to us being able to approach our life and work more creatively than reactively really important distinction there. The second pair are bewilderment and hope. And the this pair. So bewilderment is what I call the deep woods facet of wonder does is when we get into that world of confusion, it's what much of the globe frankly has experienced for the past year and a half. 20 is a state of bewilderment. And if we're fortunate, and we can put language to it, then we're like, Okay, this is a normal state, can I actually fertilize this confusion instead of pathologize? It can I bring some curiosity forward into the deep woods. And then there's hope. Hope is the rainbow facet of wonder. It's proactive. It is when we set our sights on just sometimes small near future goals. And it's where we do deliberately Daydream to foresee a better possible future. And I saw a lot of literature on this during the pandemic that was actually advocating some deliberate daydreaming. Those two facets bewilderment, and hope are essential for us developing resilience without hardening up right grip without burning out, right, really, really important for us, or our well being our mental and physical well being. The third facet, it's our connection and admiration. These I think may be the most important facets of wonder for our times, and they're not what we typically associate with wonder, but connection is the what I call the Flog facet, it speaks to our yearning to sync up with one another on a film crew, right, and a dance troupe and a band or just on a team of collaborators. And it's where we really can't experience wonder with one another when we're feeling supported and buoyed and encouraged. among one another. Admiration is the mirror facet of wonder and the actual root, the Latin root of the word, um, kind of a word geek. The root of the word admiration is EMI era, which is Latin for Wonder, it is a part of wonder, and it's kind of like what you feel for Spielberg, is what I would call maybe a surprising love for someone's excellence in craft shoring character, or both, right? It's like, wow, and it wakes something up in you. That's like, oh, I want to show up a little better in my care.
Alex Ferrari 37:39
That's, that's an under that's a very big understatement, my friend.
Jeffery Davis 37:45
To possibly for you, and your experience with your podcast is that it's possible that you have and I mean, this in a very genuine way, perhaps you've seen yourself differently to in the past year and a half, like Oh, Racket, some things were like, Whoa, like, I can show up and do like, why are people coming to me? Like, there must be something they're seeing me too, that all has to do with the facet of admiration. So I hope that was helpful to you and your and your listeners
Alex Ferrari 38:12
No, it was the without question. I mean, yeah, I mean, it to show up with love, they used to show up a little bit a little bit better, I promise you when Mr. Spielberg shows up, it's gonna be a different car. No offense, obviously, with anybody else I speak to. But, you know, I'm not. The funny thing is I'm not the only one. I mean, there's a generation, you know, of people who were raised with his films, and he's one of the most famous human beings on the planet, who's not a star in front of the camera. He's, he's, you know, he's like Hitchcock. You know, he's like, one of those names that people know. So, you know, as for, and in every field, there's that, you know, they're, I mean, they're in every fifth year in the tech world, you want to talk to, you know, Elon Musk, or Jeff Bezos, or you know, any of these guys who start up they say, so it's me, there's always somebody for everybody.
Jeffery Davis 38:59
And I went and I went up the Spielberg thing, well, obviously, and it speak to what you said like it didn't have a word for it. Right? Wonder so just a one up Spielberg, you know, when you were talking about like, you didn't have a word for wonder. I recognize, too, that before I had a word for it. When I look at the people I was drawn toward from my teenage hood, like, Why was I drawn toward these musicians? What was it when I look at Spielberg that I was drawn to starting in the 90s? I recognize it was that element of wonder in his films, and I realized when I was really looking into Spielberg's history in his films, I thought, Oh, alright, remembered when I was a boy. I saw on television, his first student film duel with I think Sam Weaver.
Alex Ferrari 39:49
Yeah, it wasn't. It wasn't a student film, but yes, it was. It was his first it was, it was a TV movie. It was a TV movie. Movie that was that wasn't supposed to go anywhere. But it was so good. They released the theatrically because everyone was like, What the hell's going on?
Jeffery Davis 40:06
What is that right? He completely just, like changed everything. So yeah, but I do I, again, like I do remember, like my early fascination with Spielberg. And later I realized it was like, Oh, it was his sense of wonder, right? Even. Even in Schindler's List, right, though that use of color was impart his sense of where's the Wonder amidst this devastating story?
Alex Ferrari 40:33
Yeah. And even in even in his later work that he's doing now, there still senses of wonder even in link even in Lincoln, and absolutely, there's just a different it's just no, it doesn't have to be Peter Pan, you know, running around. It's really interesting. Why do you I have to ask you, why do you think that wonder is looked at as being so childish, that daydreaming is that the bond being so childish? I know, specifically here in the States, but I think worldwide, it there's a little less variations, depending on what country you're in, and what culture you come from. But generally speaking, you know, I don't I don't, I don't know, at least if any cultures or, or countries that are just like, you know what you need to go do? You need to just go daydream. And you need like it, that's not something that happens. Why is it look,
Jeffery Davis 41:19
You know, I've spent some time in India. And and so, you know, and I referenced like, there wasn't a lot of science of wonder in 2004. So what did I went to the philosophers, I went to the wisdom traditions of the east with and I went to the poets and I've published collections of poetry. I went to all those sources, because they, of course, were advocating wonder, in many ways, because they got it, they understood it. There are certain cultures, that actually will promote at least a wondrous state of being more so than others, I can speak specifically to the one that I have swum in all of my life and inherited, and that's, that's this one, specifically in the United States. And part of the cultural heritage that we've inherited, whether we're part of this lineage or not, it in part goes back to in this country, to a sort of Scottish Irish heritage related to the Protestant work ethic. Part of that lineage, you know, considered idleness, the devil's playground.
Alex Ferrari 42:28
Yeah, I don't have idle hands is the devil's
Jeffery Davis 42:30
The devil's playground, right? And so, so just and so I dug into this more. In Scotland in the 17th century, there is a an illness called the wonders that was characterized by sort of numbness and just sort of gazing sort of being in a stupor. This is part of what we've inherited, like you can imagine, right? A boy out the field, and he's daydreaming and they're like, Oh, look at that lad is not gonna amount to anything, right. But he turns out to be an innovator who may may make labor conditions even better, you know, a generation later for this daydreaming. So, in this culture, too, so I've been looking at the history of work as I'm you know, we're questioning the nature of work. Now at tracking wonder been looking at the history of work, and, and a fellow name. His last name was Taylor, and the turn of the 20th century, started to be one of the first organizational consultants, so to speak, who later influenced Henry Ford and others. He was, he was determined, he gave a talk and nine 1903, where he's like, you know, there's hardly a laborer alive, you know, in this country, who's not always trying to scheme or figure out some way to make it appear as if he's working more than he actually is. So, you know, then there is this whole perspective that like to be a successful company or a successful business, you needed to treat human beings as laborers of unit as units of labor. Right. And your virtues were discipline, control and speed, right. And so then the measurement of a workers value was all related to efficiency and speed, right? Not daydreaming, not having Google's 20% off to like, figure out innovate what an innovative project, right? So this is all of what we've inherited, and certainly what we're questioning it certainly in part with the pandemic and other elements of the past year and a half, it started to make us question that I can't help but tell you a recent story related to film that illustrates this point and part of its heritage in Ireland, and part of my heritage is is from Ireland and Scotland. So apologies to any Irish Irish listeners. But they'll appreciate it I think. So my daughters and I recently watched two films last week, both set in Ireland. One was Billy Elliot and the other I was seeing St. Yeah, yeah, you know, those both right. They're both set in Ireland. They're both like, you know, and they're both have a Billy Elliot is a great illustration, right? He's in Ireland, his father and and his older brother involved in the labor wars, you know trying to get better conditions for labor. And Billy, here's Billy he's wanting to dance, dance and to dance ballet of all day ballet ballet, right? Yeah. And so, but it is a beautiful story of just what we're talking about a culture that does not support wonder. And yet what the most beautiful aspect of that story, of course, is how the father ultimately recognizes the beauty of his son's dancing and why it is how he really needs to flourish. So it's a long way of answering this question, right? That we, we just inherited some of this paradigm, right? That That reduces wonder to Child's Play. The other thing is what we have to do, I would argue Alex, is then test ourselves and our own minds and disrupt our own default assumptions, about wonder about ourselves and about each other, right to just kind of check in and say, yeah, what is my, what is my view of wonder? Like, what like, Could I actually see some parts of myself that are really hungering to be more creative, more imaginative, more caring? In my relationships? And, you know, have I kind of boxed myself in, over the past 1015 20 years, right to kind of disrupt my own default assumptions and not just blame the culture I've inherited.
Alex Ferrari 46:44
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And that's the thing we there's a look, I, you can imagine me speaking to my father, who was a Cuban, who's a Cuban man who worked in a factory. And I'm like, Hey, I'm going into the film business. And this, like, what? And to this day, vaguely understands what I do 25 plus years later, and he's been on set with me, and he's like, I don't know what he does. But everyone listens to him on set. So
Jeffery Davis 47:10
That's it. Yep. All right. And so many people I've interviewed to write who often come from first generation immigrant, yeah, families, right face that, that conflict, right? Like, wait, we didn't come here to the United States for you to become a philosopher, or, you know, or a musician or something like that.
Alex Ferrari 47:30
It's, it's, it's crazy. I mean, if you look at I mean, look, Steve Jobs, I mean, who created one of the biggest company in the world, who arguably was very full of wonder. And you know, he complicated gentlemen, to say the least. But he definitely had vision, and was tapped into stuff that nobody else was, no one else saw a lot of the stuff that he saw, and he saw five, six steps before anybody else did. I mean,
Jeffery Davis 47:55
One of his most one of jobs, his most common, consistent muses was the 18% century poet, William Blake. Yeah, Blake, you know, I can't I can't recite it. Unfortunately, right now, I used to a long time ago. But, you know, Blake, and some of the poems that jobs who carry around are sort of like being able to see eternity in an hour. Right? You know, Blake just had these visionary poems really being able to see wonder Blake would talk about how most of us human beings experience reality through narrow caverns, right. But we occasionally can break out of those caverns of reality to experience infinity in the present.
Alex Ferrari 48:43
Yeah. And the other book that he had the only book he had on his iPhone, an iPad, when he died was Autobiography of a Yogi, you know, by Yogananda. So that's, I mean, talk about wonder that book, that book will mess you up. And the best way possible. Without question now, in your book, you have some examples of people using wonder to kind of build lives or to do extraordinary things.
Jeffery Davis 49:11
And in every in every chapter, so there are six facets of wonder that I laid out for you there's an unchecked or there is an unchecked or that we intentionally did not number that actually the designer surprised me at sounds true and published sideways. There is a sideways chapter, where you actually be the book sideways, right? They did just some radical work design wise. So that's the chapter on your young genius. And your young genius. I talked about Arianna Huffington. In other chapters, another one I talked about Tracy Fullerton who's an amazing in a Vader in video games. Nick Cave. I recount part of that story in the chapter on hope, but there are both what I would call exemplary geniuses of creativity who stories I tell in a variety of industries, and every day, geniuses of creativity, and these are people in our international community at tracking wonder there are people I've worked with, they're people like Evelyn Asher, who is 80 years old, who is still working hard. And she reclaimed her young genius, just a few years shy of 80 years old to completely revive her business, right? And it's those everyday geniuses of creativity over the years who've taught me so much about the real applications and the real necessity of wonder in our times.
Alex Ferrari 50:42
Now, what are some tools or exercises that creatives you know, filmmakers, screenwriters, anybody listening? Can can tap into to use to tap into that, that sense of wonder if you become that angry and bitter person? How do you get out of the darkness? How do you see the light Jeffery? Wow, okay. No pressure, no pressure? How do you come towards the light Jeffery?
Jeffery Davis 51:06
Yeah, no, I appreciate that. So the book, actually, every chapter also includes some specific tools. And I tried to be very generous in that aspect as well. And we can start actually, sort of foundational practice is what I call DOSE, D. O. S, E, that then we can apply very specifically. So D, is detecting your default pattern of thinking about something or of reacting to a surprise or challenge, right? So your default ways of trying to solve a problem or advance a business or think about your podcast? Can you detect what that default pattern is? Can you detect your confirmation bias? And can you just kind of feel right, so O stands for Open up, pause and just feel that reaction or that default pattern. And then S stands for seek out wonder seek out some different possibility. And I'll give you some examples in a moment. And then E stands for extend, which means to really appreciate and reflect upon whatever possibility or moment of wonder or surprise that you actively sought out. So this can go to the level of how you shape your days for more wonder and openness on a daily basis, your default pattern in the morning, many people I know, check their phones first thing in the morning for text and emails is like a default addictive thing. That's detecting the pattern. And when you notice that just like detect it open up to like, oh, how does this feel like not so great, like it puts me in a state of reactivity? And I'm just allowing other things to stimulate my curiosity instead of me directing it. So could I just feel that and then seek out something different? Instead of checking my phone every morning? Could I just actually get up and step outside for three minutes, and look up at the sky for just a moment and see how that helps me feel? And then could I extend and like, just write three minutes about what that experience was like? So you're shifting your default patterns, this is core to being a grown up. Right? That is, is really fostering wonder. There are other things you could do then, to disrupt your patterns. Morning, afternoon, and evening, we, we lay out some of what we call wonder interventions for teams and for individuals. So during the day, you and I I'm sure can work really hard and just get stuck. It's not really flow. It's just like, work hard and get through your to do list. Right. Right. Right. That's not real flow. So we know, cognitively and psychologically we can only focus for so long, optimally. So your work well, we have to break better. So how could we break better? So we have teams actually take wonder walks for five minutes, the science at Stanford is overwhelming for why this benefits your creativity and why it reboots your focus. So is there something you could do to just kind of disrupt your work patterns? Could you take a break and just have a curiosity conversation with somebody to open up in the evening rather than default and check out and numb out? That turns out to be Alex when you are tired and fatigued the afternoon or evening, when your best opportunities to generate new and novel useful ideas. So rather than numbing out or checking out, it's a time to maybe take that meandering walk, but also to reflect on. Okay, what were three good highlights today. I can tell you at the end of this seed today, this conversation I've had It's very surprising,
Alex Ferrari 55:03
Jeffery Davis 55:07
The open moment with you really! Yeah, I know I do talk about Spielberg, right. So I will look back at the end of this day. And I will actually write a few things about this experience. Why? Because that reflection will be will increase the meaning in my life, we make meaning and part by reflecting on these sorts of moments. And so we have teams do this sort of activity as well to recognize the meaning that happens sometimes in the margins of our work that helped us work better.
Alex Ferrari 55:39
There's, there's one thing I wanted to just go a little bit deeper on on a certain thing that because we're talking about creativity, and I always love asking high performing individuals who are creative in every field, you know, that they in whatever they do, where it comes from, like, Where does this creativity come from? Where is that thing, and I was talking to someone who, on on my other show, that had the I love this story it is I keep repeating the story because it's so beautiful. He was heartbroken. He moved, he went on a job to India, in the 60s 63, if I'm not mistaken, and his girlfriend broke up with him while he was over there. He was heartbroken. He didn't know what to do. And someone said you should go try some meditation. And he goes and he goes to, to this Ashram, where this yogi is teaching meditation. He gets to the front door and he's like, I'm here to learn meditation. I'm sorry, the ashram is closed. He goes, Why is the ashram close? Because the Beatles are here. And I'm like, he's like, What? He's like, Yeah, the Beatles are here. And we're close. He's like, and he tells him stories, like, look, I can let you in. Now, why don't you just stay, I'll bring you food. And you can sleep in one of our tents outside the door. And he did. He stayed there for eight days. Until finally, like, on the eighth day, he just thought he would just stay there because he had nowhere else to go. And he was it obviously needing help. They let them in. They go come in, I'll teach you how to meditate. They taught him how to meditate. They taught him TM meditation. And then right after he was full of this amazing, you know, euphoria, after meditating for the first time, he's going out and he goes, go meet the others at the table, and he's walking. And there's John Paul, George, and Ringo, with his wives and girlfriends. And as he's walking, he's still in a blissful state, but his heart rates started starting to go faster and faster and faster. And he started to realize, as he's walking towards it, like, Oh, my God, it's the Beatles. And for people listening, The Beatles in 1963 64, were the biggest human, the most famous human beings on the planet. There, everybody knew who they were. And he was about to go sit down with him at a table privately. And, and I never forgot what he said. He said, the little voice inside of his head, and you could say wherever it came from, but the word little word voice inside of it says that, hey, come down. They're human beings. They fart and are scared of the dark.
Jeffery Davis 58:27
And they all think they're imposters.
Alex Ferrari 58:29
Right! So but what I found her what I found about found out from talking to him was when he was talking to because he actually saw them for I think he stayed there for like, eight, nine days, and saw them writing. Like, hey, Jude. Like an album of theirs. I forgot which album was I think it was after Sergeant Pepper. I'm not sure. But it was. It wasn't the White Album, it might have been the white part of the lineup. I don't remember. But it was like these amazing songs. And he was just there taking pictures of them. Nothing. He was a professional photographer, he just happened have a camera, I was taking a picture of him. And he noticed something about their openness, their sense of wonder, I mean, being there meditating on a daily basis with with this with this yogi. And that's a sense of wonder. But anyone I've talked to who's been around, superb, Sir Paul McCartney, or Ringo Starr, or any of them, say the same thing. There is this lightness of energy around them. There's this openness to ideas that they were able because I mean, you can't argue with the output of what the Beatles did. When they all four of them were in flow for for a long, long time. They tapped into something that consistently for decades, for a couple decades, at least. That was the magical part of it. So again, this is a long question. I just wanted to tell you that story. But I always wonder and I'd love to hear what you think. Think about where you think your creativity comes from where, where that thing when you're writing the book, and you lose yourself in the writing process, and you don't even recognize the words that are coming out of, of your fingers. Where that comes from, in your opinion.
Jeffery Davis 1:00:16
Yeah, so I actually want to demystify flow and creativity a little bit, because a lot of my process in writing this book was like, pacing, talking to myself, sort of like knocking my head up against the wall, all of which I would describe as part of flow. Okay, so. So inspiration, you know, the root of which is like to be breathed in to breathe, right? And so, yeah, so your question was like, what are the origins of,
Alex Ferrari 1:00:55
Well, the Muse like the Greeks used the you, the Greeks used the Muse that the Muse would come in and whisper something in your ear. But there's people that I've continued to study over my work over the years that, and I've been studying high performers, since I was in high school, I've been reading books about an all of them, seemed even scientists seem to be able to tap into that, well, effortlessly, for a period of time. Not many do it for their entire life. But for a period of time moments, they're able to tap into that. What is what is that thing
Jeffery Davis 1:01:31
I teach a course that like 1000, people have taken around the world called deepen your focus and flow at work. Right. So it's incremental. I don't know what the source of that sort of Spark is. Because I think it can be so defeating for people who don't necessarily experience that this sort of sort of chase after it. But I will say this, I, if it's true that all wisdom begins in wonder, all true knowledge begins in not knowing, I really do think that wonder actually begins in our human relationship with the natural world. I would contend that it is our human capacity to be attuned to and to actually perceive patterns in nature, including Steve Jobs and others. That actually gives us some neuronal psychological, soulful, spiritual networking, right? To be able then in those seemingly magical moments to come up with some new inspired moment that then we can act upon. Yeah, yeah. Now for me over the years, and the people that I work with, who are high performers, they ultimately learn to set up conditions to be able to create at will to retrieve their childhood, it will you know what I mean? And that can be so individual, how do you work with the constraints of your your life circumstances? But how do you shape time? How do you redirect your attention? How do you create 90 minute blocks where you like, everything else is gone? And your mind is fully focused? And in flow, though, that requires usually some setting up and conditions to make the Muse appear at will? Does that make sense?
Alex Ferrari 1:03:30
It makes it makes all the sense in the world
Jeffery Davis 1:03:32
To get both from, you know, more of a pragmatic, yep. really help people, like actually know that it's possible for them to create out. It's imperative. Yeah.
Alex Ferrari 1:03:46
And the thing is to that and everyone listening, I want you to understand is like, I'm not saying that you have to tap into Steven Spielberg's Well, or Steve Jobs as well. Those are their wells, their, that's their flow, that's their, that's the thing that they get that they're able to tap into. You need to find out where yours is, and how to tap into yours. And now we're getting really deep. But sometimes it's Spielberg said this so beautifully. And I think I have a print story, too, that illustrates this as well, where Spielberg says ideas float around the universe. And when they come, they'll come to you. If you don't do something with it, it will leave you and go somewhere else. And that he's had so many times where an ideas come to him. He's like, Nah, I won't do that. And like, a week or two later, someone's announcing that exact same idea, like, why is it all of a sudden we had Armageddon? Deep Impact all these movies show up at the same time? Why did you know the exact same sort of volcano movies all of a sudden museum hot or there was something that popped in all of us and Prince had heard this wonderful story about the late great prince who said he would get he had he? I don't know if you know this or He has 8000 songs done, that were in a vault through his life that never got released, ever, ever got released. So he has an album, up until the year 3000. He'll release a new album, up until the year 3000. He will be releasing music. That's who Prince was. But he had people on call all the time when the Muse hit him. And he one day called up one of his backup singers is like, Hey, what are you doing? He's like, Prince, it's three o'clock in the morning. Because, yeah, I needed I need you to come down, we need to record and she's like, but But it's three o'clock in the morning. Like, I got to get this out. Because if I don't Michael Jackson's gonna take it. It is such a beautiful way of looking at want to talk about someone have wonder Jesus look at this career.
Jeffery Davis 1:05:52
But people like Prince and others, they pay attention to their innate capacity, or those sorts of goldfish ideas, we all have that capacity. And we all can retrieve that capacity. And there are different tools, meditation, being one of them huge constantly, you know, every day, writing in the morning just to see what is in that murky mind. These are all ways of, of learning to be in wonder, with one's own mind. It's, it's a mystery, the mind does. And these people like Prince, and Spielberg and others have honed the ability to pay attention to and capture those ideas, those inspirations that's the difference. We all have them. There are goldfish floating past the Aquarium of our awareness constantly, all day long. That have we set up the conditions to actually observe them and capture those goldfish.
Alex Ferrari 1:06:53
Oh, yeah, that's an amazing analogy. I've never been such a visual analogy that you're absolutely right. Most of us walk through life seeing the fish go by and there's a handful of us who've been able to go Oh, no, no one sees that. Let me just grab that. I
Jeffery Davis 1:07:09
Because it's gonna swim away before I forget it.
Alex Ferrari 1:07:12
iPhones. Okay, we'll do iPhones. Jurassic Park. Okay, that will be good things, you know the because how is it that nobody on the planet thought of an iPhone? Yeah. Nobody on the planet thought of an iPhone and and had the biggest and the brightest minds in the world thinking about stuff like that.
Jeffery Davis 1:07:31
And obviously, of course, before Apple there was somebody who had thought of the iPhone and what what, you know, Jobs is really good at was coming up in seconds. And then doing best what somebody had innovated actually before him, yeah,
Alex Ferrari 1:07:44
Right. But But oh, yeah, I mean, the Makah, less, I mean, from Xerox, of course, the famous story, but the ability to take that goldfish and then repackage it and rebuild it and redo something with it. And there was a kernel of an idea there. But how many people walked by the Xerox it labs, and saw that technology? And actually, the owners of Xerox saw that technology and said
Jeffery Davis 1:08:10
That inspiration is only about 3% of the whole creative process.The other 97% requires ongoing experiences of wonder, to move you through from that inspiration to like, is this going to work? Who do we bring on board? You see what I'm saying? It's like, that's like, that's what requires ongoing experiences of wonder to get you through all of the hell that I know they experienced and finally making the iPhone work.
Alex Ferrari 1:08:39
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And as a writer, I found that and I've talked to so many writers over the years and authors. For everyone listening who wants to write wants to be creative in whatever field, they are able to turn on the muddy water. And they have to let the mud come through first. And you just have to write and write and write and write and write. Because if not, once you have that, then the mud starts in the water starts clearing up little by little, and eventually you can drink it
Jeffery Davis 1:09:11
Completely. Yes. It's what Annie Lamott calls the SFD or the shitty first draft, you just have to,
Alex Ferrari 1:09:17
You got to get it out. Got to get it out. Gotta get it out. So I'm not going to ask you a few questions. Ask all of my guests. What is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film in the film industry, in your industry, or in life?
Jeffery Davis 1:09:32
The longest lesson to learn that's the question?
Alex Ferrari 1:09:34
What is the longest lesson that you've that you've taken you to learn? Like, the universe kept beating you with it and you were like, No, not yet.
Jeffery Davis 1:09:40
Alex Ferrari 1:09:42
That's mine. That's mine. Yeah. Yeah. It's taken me a take. I'm still learning that I'm still learning that lesson. Yeah. What advice would you have for somebody who wants to find that wonder wants to be able to connect to that creativity and is having
Jeffery Davis 1:10:00
Trouble, I would say recognize that wonder is the most pervasive yet evasive emotional experience we have, it's all around. And the first thing you could do is actually relax your eyes from hunting so much information to step away from a screen and actually just let your eyes rest and pause. And then gaze upon something very ordinary right around you for just a few breaths just to really let your eyes gaze and then maybe praise. Maybe just find the words of praise for that doorknob or the window pain, whatever it is, really, I can almost promise you if you do that, if you pause, gaze and praise, something's going to shift for you. And you say, oh, yeah, actually, there are moments of wonder that passed by me potentially every day.
Alex Ferrari 1:10:52
Jeffery, it has been an absolute pleasure talking to you thank you so much for for writing the book and making me think about wonder a little bit more than I normally do and actually being able to put a name to what I've been feeling this these last years. And and hopefully I can tap a little bit more into that myself. But thank you so much for what you do. And where can people find the book and find out more work about what you do?
Jeffery Davis 1:11:16
Yeah, well, first thank you too. For the conversation you really do illustrate that wonder can happen in a conversations when most beautiful places where wonder can happen. So tracking wonder reclaiming a life of meaning and possibility and a world obsessed with productivity comes out with sounds true, probably by the time this airs. And you can go to trackingwonder.com And you also can go to trackingwonder.com/podcastbonus, and we'll have a couple of bonuses for you.
Alex Ferrari 1:11:45
Awesome. Jeffery, thank you again, my friend and be well.
Jeffery Davis 1:11:48
Thank you, Alex. Take care!
Links and Resources
- Tracking Wonder: Reclaiming a Life of Meaning and Possibility in a World Obsessed with Productivity
- Jeffery Davis – Official Site
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