Aiming for Wow

“There are three responses to a piece of design—yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.”

-Milton Glaser

I came across this quote yesterday by noted graphic designer, Milton Glaser, and it stopped me in my tracks. Aim for WOW! How many times in life or work do we seek a yes and not aim for WOW? We are all guilty at times. Yes is the easy course – WOW takes time, energy, and effort. In reality, many people often aim even lower and just hope for “not a no.”

That’s a shame.

Aiming for WOW is an interesting concept. At first hearing, it may sound like vanity – seeking the approval of men. But after some thought, I disagree. I feel it is an encouragement to match your talents, passions, and creativity to offer up your best work.

I turned the phrase over and over in my mind like a penny in my fingers. But it isn’t like a coin with just a head and tail – there are several sides to aiming for WOW. Here are a few that I came up with:

  1. WOW doesn’t just happen. It takes effort.
  2. What WOWs you may not WOW others – and that’s okay. Sometimes we have to WOW ourselves.
  3. We can’t WOW everyone every time. There will always be naysayers and we are fooling ourselves to think we can avoid them.
  4. Not everything you touch will turn to WOW. There will be a stinker or two along the way.
  5. Don’t beat yourself up if you periodically lose your WOW – keep working.
  6. You can’t force WOW. It can take time to concoct the right formula.
  7. Check your ego at the door when you present your WOW or don’t present it if you can’t handle the bitter sting of rejection.
  8. Don’t get the big head about your WOW. Life is full of cycles – WOW today, gone tomorrow.
  9. Share your WOW with the world enough and someone will be WOW’ed with it. Don’t give up.

Those are just some of the thoughts that I had. But I’ve only been chewing on the quote for a day.

Any other thoughts?

Come on, WOW me!