finding beauty in a broken world

In our previous post, we talked about how psychologists estimate that it takes 10 compliments to counteract a single critical comment, 10 exposures to beautiful, hopeful images to neutralize the fear of seeing a scary picture. This rule of 10 dictates that fear will draw you in at 10x the power of hope, beauty, and opportunity.

In practical terms, this means you need to surround and immerse yourself in proof that the world is, in fact, beautiful.

How can we do that?

First, what IS beauty? I’ve been thinking about this and my current definition is that beauty is the honest expression of emotion. Human history is the parade of one unprecedented thing after another that simultaneously pulls us towards each other and pushes us away from each other. The expression of how that feels IS BEAUTY.

We feel connection and beauty when our heart says “I know that feeling… despite our differences, we are the same.” And beauty isn’t all hugs and pollyanna hand-holding (though… bring it on!), it’s honesty about pain, loss, and rage as well as connection, pride, and even routine.

Beauty is EVERYWHERE… are you choosing to see it?

Here are some examples of the beauty I see:

Hope is beautiful. (The Best is Yet to Come, Sheppard)

Connection is beautiful. (Kiss You Slow, Andy Grammer)

Home is beautiful. (The Road Home, Thad Fiscella)

Forgiveness is beautiful. (It’s Quiet Uptown, Hamilton)

Parenting is beautiful. (Sara Bareilles, Everything Changes)

Anger is beautiful. (Who I am, Eminem)

Routine is beautiful. (Fiddler on the Roof)

Pride is beautiful. (Empire State of Mind)

Sadness is beautiful. (Chopin)

Observation is beautiful (Georgia O’Keeffe)

Georgia O'keefe painting

Contrast is beautiful (Joan Miro)

Contrast is Beautiful Joan Miro

Detail is beautiful (My Brother)

Ryan Holman caricatures

What do you find beautiful?

Go into it, seek it out.

Immerse yourself in it and savor it.

You need beauty way more than fear right now.

But you have to choose it.

Sign up for the ^Almost Daily Catalyst and get musings on life and business delivered to your inbox (almost) daily!

Mindset tips

About the author

Dr. Amanda Crowell is a cognitive psychologist and business coach who helps accidental entrepreneurs get more clients and have a bigger impact. Amanda's TEDx talk has received almost a million views and has been featured on TED's Ideas blog and Ted Shorts. Her ideas have also been featured on NPR, Al Jazeera, The Wall Street Journal, Quartz, and Thrive Global.