The Importance of Curiosity
"Thank you for letting me exercise my curiosity," said Jim Collins to Tim Ferriss before the host could even start the podcast. Jim turned the tables on the host. He could not help himself; he was busting to ask questions of Tim. It is why Jim Collins, author of New York Times bestsellers Built To Last, and Good To Great, has been such a successful and prolific writer. Curiosity, like everything else, has to be worked. It’s a discipline, it needs to be part of your DNA, and you need to exercise it in every conversation daily. Sadly we are born with a voracious curiosity and imagination but as we grow up and get into the corporate world that curiosity, creativity and sense of enquiry fades. Don’t believe me? Listen to any conversation around you in a coffee shop, on an aeroplane, at dinner or a boardroom table and count how many questions are asked versus how many statements are made. The interview with Jim Collins on The Tim Ferriss show is full of great actions to exercise your curiosity and in doing so improve your productivity and performance. © GB
Don't Be Common
It is common for meetings to start late, and for people to be rushing to make that meeting. It’s common to see people eating biscuits at morning tea or people at a conference overeating for lunch. It’s common for us to get too little sleep, carry too much weight, miss our daily exercise or find excuses not to do them. It is common for people never to miss a meeting but miss a family occasion. It’s common for us to take calls when with family or friends. It is common for us to fill our day with work and have no time to think or read. To have uncompleted books by the bedside that have been there for months. It’s common to focus on tactics and not strategy. It’s common to get caught up in the day-to-day and have no clue what our dreams are for the future. Don’t be common. Be uncommon. It’s the uncommon person who swims in the opposite direction and achieves the most in all aspects of their life. Be the rare leader who defies all the "commons" in this story. Mark Twain once said, “whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority - it’s time to pause and reflect." Buck the system, don’t be common. Instead, be different to the majority. Take time to sit, pause and reflect on how you will be the one who will step away from the herd to achieve more, be more, give more, and love more. © GB
Brian Eno is a brilliant conceptualist, a founding member of Roxy Music, and a self-described "non-musician." His take on creativity speaks volumes to me. Have a read, then read again.
"Beautiful things grow out of shit. Nobody ever believes that. Everyone thinks that Beethoven had his string quartets completely in his head - they somehow appeared there and formed in his head - and all he had to do was write them down, and they would be manifest to the world. But what I think is so interesting, and would really be a lesson that everybody should learn, is that things come out of nothing. Things evolve out of nothing. You know, the tiniest seed in the right situation turns into the most beautiful forest. And then the most promising seed in the wrong situation turns into nothing. I think this would be important for people to understand because it gives people confidence in their own lives to know that's how things work. If you walk around with the idea that some people are so gifted - they have these wonderful things in their head, but you're not one of them, you're just sort of a normal person, you could never do anything like that - then you live a different kind of life. You could have another kind of life where you say, well, I know that things come from nothing, very much start from unpromising beginnings, and I'm an unpromising beginning, and I could start something.”
Take heart. You have great ideas in you. The shit (Eno’s term) is there. Believe in it, feed it, give it room to grow and develop. You are one of THEM. © GB
Taken from: Daniel Lanois & Brian Eno (Producers of U2's The Joshua Tree and No Line On The Horizon) talking about creativity in "Here Is What Is."