New year, same challenge, the ever-present need to keep the engines of life turning.What is the curious weapon we can deploy for an amazing 2017? What with global competition for business becoming bigger and the need to be one step ahead of the opposition, it is easy to fall for the trap of pushing harder. Sometimes our approach can be like a blinkered horse that has bolted. He is racing madly down a road without any thought for where he is going just so long as he is going.
“Whoa Neddy!” all this doing is not necessarily productive, especially if you are always doing what you have always done. Now it is totally natural for a horse to run from what he fears, but life can do that to us too – “If only I work a bit harder, be there more for the family, do, do, do, do. Totally exhausted from doing you collapse into bed with the dread of “I have to do it all again tomorrow”
I am positive that I am being positive. I think.
So, you pull your socks up and put on a smile, recite your positive mantra and bravely face the day. Now you find, you have given yourself something else to do. Aghh! Now you must monitor your positivity.
Now positivity is a great attitude to have but, it is not the complete story. You can think about being 20 kilos lighter or being offered that dream job but there is an essential ingredient required that will make that a reality and that is “Action.” You actually have to do something to get to where you want to go!
So how do you do that without draining yourself and becoming a bolting horse again?
We all used this natural gift beautifully as a child. Exhaustive studies on early childhood development has overwhelming evidence that within the first five years of life a child learns skills that he will take through life. These skills are mainly learnt through the power of play.
Curiosity is play for the mind. Curiosity creates an investigative mind. Curiosity leaves room for dead ends and unsatisfactory solutions without the usual mental beat up by the “Crules.” Those critical voices of the “Committee of They” that have taken up residence in our mind. I am sure you know those voices that delight in telling us, “you failed, you’re not smart enough, you can’t do it” or whatever other rhetoric they are blasting away at any given time.
“I watched a wonderful documentary, Steve Jobs: One Last Thing, and what struck me as the overarching secret to his success was his voracious curiosity. Jobs wasn’t curious about things that would make him successful. He was successful because he was so curious.” August Turak ,
Curiosity challenges us to think outside the box. To annihilate the box. It dares us to go down the untrod path. It allows us to let go of “that’s the way we have always done it” and breathe in inspiration. It allows the joy of unforeseen possibilities to surface.
Newsflash “Curious man saves the lives of millions!”
The lifesaving properties of Penicillin were discovered because Alexander Fleming had a curious mind!
After coming back from holidays, he began to sort through some petri dishes containing colonies of Staphylococcus. These are super nasty bacteria that caused boils, sore throats and abscesses. But his curious mind zoned in on one of the dishes that had a blob of mould in it. Where the mould was, immediately around it was clear. “Well that’s a curious thing.” I paraphrase but I bet it was something like that.
Then Howard Florey, Ernst Chain and their colleagues at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology at Oxford University, turned penicillin from a laboratory curiosity into a life-saving drug.
“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” — Albert Einstein
Well how do we create a curious mind? How do we implement in a work place that is focused on productivity, an environment that applauds risk taking? Who has the courage to listens intently to new ideas, even if they do sound off the wall? Who understands that drilled down with curious questions, all of a sudden, these ideas might just be the next big thing since sliced bread?
Curiosity always expands thinking. Have “Bright Idea” board for those light bulb moments. People can put up their ideas and allow others to ask curious questions and add curious solutions to implementing the idea.
So much of a business’ finest untapped resource is wasted. Discover the infinite space of inspiration and possibilities that resides within the brains of your employees
Allow people to ask curious questions. Encourage a safe environment that applauds innovation. Encourages people to ask “What if….”
I am going to let you in on a secret to creating amazing answers. Have I peaked your curiosity?
This is my all-time favourite question. I call this the magical question because your brain will immediately imagine an answer that is nothing short of miraculous.
Here is an example of how to use it.
Rather than asking “How can we achieve a successful Launch” which immediately sets the brain off scrambling for what you did in the past and brings up absolutely everything that did and did not work.
Go to the future and bring it to the present by asking this amazing question.
“Why have I achieved a successful launch?”
Believe me, your brain is going to bring you so many inspirational answers that your excitement level is going to go through the roof. Children don’t ask how do we play dress-ups. They step into it and become it. This question gives you the opportunity to play mental dress-ups. In the process your imagination expands to make it a reality. Give it a go. I promise a pathway will open.
Let’s all squeeze the juice out of 2017! Let’s all be Radical, let’s start a revolution. We demand greater curious questions!
In 2017 lets be like Alice. Lets approach everything with an attitude of curiosity. There is nothing more delicious than to approach things with the mantra that was so beautifully coined by Alice as she wandered through Wonderland, “curious and curiouser”
Would love to hear your answers you got to the miracle question that you asked!