“Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind.”~Samuel Johnson
When you pack your bags for your next adventure—be it your brief case as you head out for work or your travel bag as you leave for your next trip—make sure you pack your curiosity. It could be more important than your smart phone or your tooth brush, and, I know you won’t go without them!
In the recently released interviews about her husband, John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy revealed that, “He thought his best quality was curiosity. I think he was right.”
Steve Jobs, as described by Wired magazine, also was a champion of curiosity: “I’m a big believer in boredom. Boredom allows one to indulge in curiosity. And out of curiosity comes everything.”
According to Michael J. Gelb, author of How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci, it is no coincidence that JFK and Jobs both credit their curiosity as being their most important personal success factor.
I recently attended the International Coach Federation annual conference in Las Vegas where Michael J Gelb spoke. He described Leonardo da Vinci as the “universal archetype of all our human potential.” Gelb believes that we can all unlock our hidden geniuses if we follow da Vinci’s lead. He delineates 5 ways to do that, but the first and most important principle is what he calls, “Curiosità. The insatiably curious approach to life and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning.”
Gelb says da Vinci was curious about everything. His curiosity took him to the skies; he designed helicopters, flying machines and parachutes before anyone could fly. Curiosity led him to design ideal cities, study anatomy, and create beautiful art. He dreamed about the depths of the ocean and designed scuba gear.
Here are 5 tips to develop your Curiosity via Gelb:
- Develop a child’s mind–the quality of being appreciatively inquisitive that is so evident in children. I wrote about that in another blog post, Develop a Child’s Mind: Pathway to Creativity.
- Keep a journal or notebook to record insights and questions. I like to carry a notebook in my purse so that I have it with me at all times. Other people like to carry a digital recorder in their pocket to record strokes of insight.
- Allow time for contemplation and reflection. I coach clients to schedule in this time on their calendar. It is that important.
- Cultivate a love of learning. One of the best ways to do that is to put yourself in new situations and environments. No time for that? Try taking a walk around your own town as if you were a visitor. You will notice and appreciate things that you never saw before—a new plant, an interesting architectural element—and then find out about it.
- Be willing to make mistakes. Some of the greatest discoveries were the result of a mistake. Wilson Greatbatch discovered the Pacemaker when he grabbed the wrong resistor from a box and plugged it in.
What ways have you found to develop your curiosity? Do you use any of these tips or are you going to try any? Let us know!
If you would like other management coaching support, please call me for a free complimentary session at 805.448.7681 or schedule a session using my on-line calendar.
p.s. I always am interested in what you think about these discussions. Please post your thoughts on the blog…your constructive criticism and support is appreciated!
Dr. Lynn K. Jones, Certified Personal and Executive Coach
Your MOJO Maven
Dr. Lynn K. Jones is a Certified Personal and Executive Coach based in Santa Barbara, California and a sought after coach and consultant for organizations and individuals across the US. Her doctoral work completed at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University concerned organizational culture; she coaches, consults and trains organizations on what they need to do to create organizational cultures that are aligned with their vision and values using a process of Appreciative Inquiry. She coaches individuals on achieving their reflected best selves. An MSW@USC faculty member, Dr. Lynn K. Jones, MSW, DSW, CSWM, teaches Human Behavior and Social Environment.