2010: Be naieve – renew your sense of wonder.

A week before Christmas my two little nieces got to enjoy the wonder of snow for the first time in their young lives. They had sloshed around in slush before but never had an opportunity to build snowmen from the dry powdery stuff. In that moment in time the world was full of magical possiblity. I don't know who was more thrilled – them playing in a winter wonderland or me observing the joy that life offers to the truly naieve.

Naieve. Why does that word get such a bad rap? And generate a knee-jerk defensive reaction by most people thus labeled. 'Naieve' is an antonym of 'cynical' and I know which tag I'd rather have thrown at me. One definition is: "showing unaffected simplicity and lack of worldly experience". Now think of how that applied to my nieces in the wintry landscape and tell me naievty isn't a wonderful thing.

A few days after the snowmen had melted I went to the cinema to watch the movie 'Avatar', James Cameron's hugely hyped return to the silver screen. No doubt you've heard about the 10ft blue aliens and either explored their habitat of Pandora for yourself or decided it's not for you. Either way you don't need another summary from me. But here's a 6 word review anyway – Avatar renewed my sense of wonder.

Ardent critics will warn you about the pedestrian dialogue and simplistic storyline so I'm sure I'm being naieve but the sublime realization of another planet, sweeping vistas and sheer spectacle of it all simply took my breath away. I allowed myself to become entangled in Cameron's imagination and travel to a believable alien world. I came away renewed with a sense of wonder about what can now be achieved on the big screen. And the threshold now crossed whereby anything a story-teller can imagine can now be committed, believably, to celluloid.

It's ten years ago exactly since I left my last job and became self-employed. At the turn of the millennium I was full of optimism that I could carve out my own path. And excitement about what new business opportunities advances in technology would unleash. Ten years on and I'm more excited than ever about what the future holds. With touch-screen tablet computers, augmented reality, an emergent semantic web, immersive full body controllers, 3D TV, the commercialization of space travel and so much more on the way the new decade holds incredible opportunities for the truly naieve.

But 33% of all new businesses fail within the first six months. Fifty percent of new businesses fail within their first two years of operation and 75% fail within the first three years. The entrepreneur is the personification of naievty. The cynic would never try, never mind succeed.

So my wish for you in 2010 is that you learn to be naieve and renew your sense of wonder. Whether by seeing a new part of the world, taking up photography, learning a language, or whatever appeals to your own passions in life. Me, I threw snowballs at my nieces and went to watch Avatar a second time.

Naievty is a wonderful thing. And I'm happy to be naieve for thinking so.

One Response to “2010: Be naieve – renew your sense of wonder.”

  1. tim.bunce.name Says:

    Great post James. Wishing you a Happy Joyful and Wonder-filled New Year.

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