This guide on how to build a watchlist with awe is the third in a series of Four Quick-And-Dirty Lists you can make to help you get out of a funk. You can find the first, second, and last of the series on this website. Please be sure to subscribe to my email list to get more tips.
Many of us have been streaming more content these days. And while being glued to our screens isn’t always healthy, it isn’t all bad. In fact, a good movie or TV series can captivate us and even give us a sense of awe. And, when we give our attention to such creativity, it has the potential to help us get out of a funk.
Why Awe and Story Matter
According to researchers at the University of California Greater Good Science at Center at UC Berkeley, when we experience “awe,” we…
- Shift our attention away from ourselves,
- See that we are a part of something larger, and
- Can make us feel more connected and generous to others.
Inspirations of awe are not only found in nature but in music, art, and sports. They can be legendary, they can also be intimate events. As Ethan Kross, Professor and Director of the Emotion and Self Control Lab at the University of Michigan, mentions in his book Chatter, “When you feel smaller in the midst of awe-inspiring insights–a phenomenon known as ‘shrinking of the self’ — so do your problems.”
A good story can be similarly awe-inspiring. Lisa Cron wrote not one but two books on how humans are Wired for Story. In Story Genius, she says, “When we’re under the spell of a compelling story, we undergo internal changes along with the protagonist and her insights become a part of the way we, too, see the world. Stories instill meaning directly into our belief system the same way experience does–not by telling us what is right, but by allowing us to feel it ourselves.”
We can get good stories from books, but we can also get them from movies or TV series. And, because they are visual, they can be inspiring in other ways as well. Moreover, when we realize that an actor has fully embodied a character, or the set designer has transported our minds to a different place, we can be mesmerized by their skill and creativity.
How to build a watchlist with awe
I, therefore, recommend starting a watchlist of movies or tv series that gave you a sense of awe. Write down the title and how it inspired you.
By keeping and adding to this list, it forces you to search for and identify what inspires you. The list can also help you remember what inspired you in the past.
It’s easy, fun, and effective.
So, what’s on your watchlist?
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