Living in Awe!

Published on August 5, 2007 in Self Improvement


What is it that takes your breath away? What is it that you can do that releases your passion? Where can you go an experience a state of wonder that nothing else can give you in your life? Where have you been that you dream about now? What is the one thing that you’ve done or feel that you want to do that you believe will touch the depth of your soul like nothing else has or can?

I read recently that, ‘Life should not be measured by the number of breathes that you take, but rather, by the number of moments that take your breath away’. I still see Tom Cruise zipping down the ocean side boulevard as he goes and gets Kelly McGinness in the classic love story of ‘Top Gun’. All the while I hear in my mind’s ear that amazing melody and words of ‘Take My Breath Away’.

I will never forget climbing the steps to the rooms of the great masters at the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia on my first trip there. As we opened the huge doors to walk into the presence of 400 plus year old canvases that were once in the studios of Rembrandt, Da Vinci, Raphael and many other geniuses, I came face to face with the most amazing story told on canvas that I had ever seen.

Six feet wide and nine feet tall, I experience one amazing moment of awe as I stood in from of ‘The Return of the Prodigal.’ Since attending Sunday school as a child, I always thought that the story was about a young man who squandered his inheritance living a life of wantonness and the darkest vice. Not until that day did realize that there was a different perspective in the eyes of Rembrandt. He saw the story as being about everyone other than the ‘prodigal’.

If you have see it, in person or in picture, you will quickly realize that Rembrandt was far more interested in the attitudes of the father, the father’s key business associates and especially, the older brother. The ‘prodigal’ is only an obscured figure in the lower left hand corner of this great masterpiece. His back is all you see. His face is buried in his father’s robe.

Two business associates stand to right side of the painting. Confused and seemingly intruding on a very private moment between the father and his wayward son. The older brother peers from behind a large column with a look of surprise and jealous ridden disdain. The ‘awe’ that captured my heart was what the artist intended. I noticed the brush strokes that were put their by the hand of the master. I later heard that a man once spent 3 months in front of this painting writing a book about it. I completely understood why.

Many nights for the past twenty plus years, when I couldn’t find sleep, I would visualize a small lagoon off of the southern tip of the island of Tobago. On the back side of this lagoon stood a small island that was then owned by the Rockefeller family. It was called, ‘Bird of Paradise Island’. Local legend has it that this was the purported island that the story of Robinson Crusoe had unfolded. All I knew was that it gave me a sense of awe and made sleep sweet on many nights.

Recently, I was sent a link in an email that showed the debut of Paul Potts. It was during the Simon Cowell show, ‘Britain’s Got Talent’. This very humble, unassuming, shy man walked on to the stage and in a broken voice, announced that he wanted to sing opera. Each of the judges looked at each other as if to say, ‘there’s no way THIS guy is going to sing opera’. What happened in the next few moments awed even the usually cynical, Simon Cowell. When Paul opened his mouth, a divine gift was unleashed upon the world that will be written in the scrolls of musical history. Needless to say, I’ve watched the YouTube video over dozen times. Not once have I watched it that tears didn’t come to this 6’3″ Texan’s eyes. If you haven’t seen it, you must. (Go to and search on ‘Paul Potts’).

In the fast pace that we all live, we must stop and allow moments of awe to extract the breath from our lungs. To stop and look into a newborn babies eyes, stirs within me hope and wonderment. To realize that generation after generation, for hundreds of years, people lived, couples met, conceived child after child in order that one day we could behold the scientifically and statistically miracle of this one baby being born. I think of that one fact when I think about the honor and respect that we should freely give to others on this planet.

Medical professionals have told me that the very real chance that a baby, or you and me, were ever conceived, is millions to one. If any other seed from the male had fertilized the egg of the female, you and I wouldn’t be here. That baby wouldn’t have been born. Your life is a miracle! You are a miracle! When life seems to have been unfair. When things don’t go near what you had planned. Begin to consider your ‘awe’. Look around you. It will take you all of 3 seconds to find something within your present environment that will be one of those moments that takes your breath away.

Michael Murphy is the author of the breakthrough book, ‘Powerful Attitudes’. He is also the author of the only completely personalized self-empowerment books for adults, on the planet. Michael’s “PowerFirmations” books have been hailed by best selling authors and success experts as ‘the most powerful, personally life-changing book you’ll ever own’. More than a book, PowerFirmations is a success tool and personal development companion. It is like having your own success coach with you 24/7, 365 days a year. Imagine your name, first and last, embedded in over 100 pages of ‘powerful affirmations’. This ‘tool’ for success will instantly immerse you into the success process as it builds unstoppable self-confidence, self-esteem and amazing personal power. To be, do and have all that you’ve ever dreamed of, this book is unparalleled. Michael also publishes a faith-based book called, ‘FaithFirmations’. With over 200 pages of ancient promises and spiritual truths, you name is embedded in several times per page. Michael is a native of Texas which he still proudly calls ‘home’. He is highly active in speaking and consulting for network marketing, direct marketing and Fortune 500 companies. Michael’s ‘Powerful Attitudes’ is available at and