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Tracking Wonder summary

Jeffrey Davis

The Surprising Path to Purpose, Connection, and Fulfillment

4.3 (171 ratings)
15 mins

Brief summary

Tracking Wonder by Jeffrey Davis offers insights on how to turn creative visions into reality. By exploring the creative process, it provides useful tools that help readers overcome self-doubt and find meaning in their projects.

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    Tracking Wonder
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    Bringing wonder into our lives can lead to rich fulfillment, creative expression, and better relationships.

    Let’s start our exploration of wonder in Tanzania’s Gombe Stream game reserve. 

    It’s a place known for its lush rainforests and gorgeous lake views, but it’s most famous for being the place where Jane Goodall made groundbreaking discoveries about chimpanzees, like how they use tools and have many social behaviors similar to humans.

    Some time later, another scientist observed something else extraordinary about chimps— something not as well known, but perhaps equally compelling.It all started when a particular chimp caught the attention of evolutionary biologist Harold Bauer. This mature male chimp had detoured away from the food-foraging area and wandered through thick forest to a 25-foot waterfall. It was magnificent to behold, spraying mist for seventy feet in the dense green forest. There, the chimp sat, simply staring. Suddenly, he leaped up to pound his fists on the trees and hoot.

    The next day, he did it all again—and again the next day. He’d sit and gaze, run up to the waterfall, sometimes rock back and forth, and hoot. 

    The chimpanzee’s behavior was puzzling. After all, the waterfall didn’t provide food, and it wasn’t a main source of water either. In fact, it was completely out of the way from their food sources. What was going on with this ape?

    It appeared that, since the waterfall provided no material value to the chimp, that it was like doing nothing more than contemplating the waterfall’s beauty. Soon the researchers noticed other chimps marveling at the waterfall as well.

    Renowned anthropologist Marcus Konner posits that these behaviors in chimpanzees suggest that our own tendency to wonder at the beauty of life is something ancient and fundamental, something deeply hardwired into what it means to be human.

    When we contemplate a sight of power and beauty, like a 25-foot waterfall, it can lift us out of ourselves and into a higher, and objectively better, state of mind. And that state of mind is a sense of wonder.

    Like the chimpanzee’s mysterious connection to the waterfall, your own sense of wonder might not have any outwardly practical use. But, as we’ll find, pausing work to make time for wonder can paradoxically make you more productive by opening you up to approach challenges creatively.

    Let’s get into how exactly we do that, by “tracking” our wonder. It’s the practice of tapping into our innate capacity for wonder by developing its facets: openness, curiosity, hope, and admiration. 

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    What is Tracking Wonder about?

    Tracking Wonder (2021) is an inspiring and practical exploration of wonder. Through reclaiming that childlike state of amazement with the world, Davis shows how we can become happier, healthier, and more creative.

    Tracking Wonder Review

    Tracking Wonder (2020) is a thought-provoking book that offers valuable insights on living a more creative and meaningful life. Here's why it's worth reading:

    • It provides practical tools and strategies to overcome creative blocks and tap into your full potential, helping you unleash your true creativity.
    • By exploring the intersection of creativity, wonder, and business, the book offers a fresh perspective on how to integrate creativity into all aspects of life.
    • With its engaging anecdotes, research-backed insights, and thought-provoking exercises, Tracking Wonder is far from boring, keeping readers captivated from start to finish.

    Who should read Tracking Wonder?

    • Dreamers
    • Those experiencing burnout
    • Anyone fed up with toxic productivity

    About the Author

    Jeffrey Davis is a writer and branding consultant who heads up a creative team at Tracking Wonder Consultancy. He speaks at conferences and universities, and is also the author of The Journey from the Center to the Page and two poetry collections.

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    Tracking Wonder FAQs 

    What is the main message of Tracking Wonder?

    Tracking Wonder inspires us to embrace both our creativity and practicality to live a fulfilling and meaningful life.

    How long does it take to read Tracking Wonder?

    The reading time for Tracking Wonder varies depending on your reading speed. Check out the Blinkist summary for a quick overview.

    Is Tracking Wonder a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Tracking Wonder is worth reading because it offers valuable insights and practical guidance for unlocking our creative potential.

    Who is the author of Tracking Wonder?

    Tracking Wonder is written by Jeffrey Davis.

    What to read after Tracking Wonder?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Tracking Wonder, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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