Full of Wonder

The Pursuit of Wonder Over Surprise: Embracing the Present Moment

The Allure of Surprise

In a world fueled by ever-changing dynamics and unpredictability, it’s easy to become addicted to the notion of surprise. The equation ( \frac{{\text{Actual}}}{{\text{Expected}}} = \text{Reality} ) encapsulates the essence of surprise. When our expectations don’t align with reality, the resulting delta creates surprise. While surprise can add flavor to life, it is essentially reactive, triggered by external events that diverge from our expectations.

The Trap of Surprise

Surprise operates on the principle of deviation; it exists only when reality deviates from expectations. This establishes a precarious loop where we may find ourselves constantly adjusting expectations, only to be met with more surprises. According to Claude Shannon’s information theory, surprise serves as a measure of information. However, this means that a life led by the pursuit of surprise becomes a constant hunt for new stimuli, for new pieces of information, often at the cost of depth and understanding.

The Timelessness of Wonder

Wonder, on the other hand, transcends the limitations of surprise. It is not tied to expectations or the absence thereof. Wonder exists in the present, inviting us to experience life as it unfolds, without the constraints of preconceived notions. It encourages us to take in the awe of the ‘here and now,’ appreciating the richness of the human experience in its raw form.

The Depth of the Present Moment

When we engage with the world through a lens of wonder, we open ourselves to the full spectrum of human experience. The present moment, devoid of any judgments or expectations, is a treasure trove of wonder. It allows us to connect deeply with our surroundings, to sense the marvel in the mundane, and to find contentment in simply ‘being.’

Wonder as an Antidote

Wonder acts as an antidote to the addictive cycle of surprise. It shifts our focus from external stimuli and the delta between expectation and reality, to an internal state of awe and appreciation. Wonder enriches our lives not by adding new pieces of information but by deepening our understanding and appreciation of what is already before us.


While surprise is a function of the difference between the Actual and the Expected, wonder is a state of mind that allows us to absorb the Actual in its purest form. A life driven by wonder rather than surprise is richer, deeper, and more fulfilling. As we navigate the complexities of modern life, let us endeavor to fill our days with wonder, embracing each moment as a unique expression of the beautiful tapestry of human existence.

Author: John Rector

John Rector, a former IBM executive and co-founder of e2open, has an impressive portfolio of leadership roles across a range of companies and industries. In the realm of digital marketing, he has successfully led Social Media Target, ensuring its competitiveness in the ever-evolving digital landscape. He has also served operationally at Rainbow Packaging, focusing on the delivery of farm-fresh produce. John's creativity and vision for web technologies shine through at Bodaro and Palm ❤️, the latter being a graphic design studio founded in June 2023. He has also ventured into the education sector with Nextyrn, a tutoring startup that leverages AI for personalized learning experiences. His entrepreneurial spirit has also seen the founding of Potyn, an innovative project that uses AI to create bespoke art. The newest additions to his extensive portfolio include Nozeus, Infinia, Blacc Ink, and Maibly, further expanding his influence across various industries.

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