It’s as if people hold back their inquisitiveness to avoid the pedestal of ridicule. Shying away from raising your hand backlashes over time. Playing it safe merely postpones fear, submerging us into a habit of permanent hesitation that flinches instead of flourishes.
The infinitely curious never left school as an efficient automaton — they entered life as a creative enforcer.
A true explorer of the world calls on themselves to challenge the status quo if only to understand why certain conditions and fixed truths exist in the first place.
Questions are triggers for experiences. It is the inertia of others that presents an opportunity to keep pushing forward.
Ask more questions, not because you want to be right but because you’re naturally curious and want to know more about the spaces inside, not the exterior of opinion. Wrote René Magritte: “Everything we see hides another thing; we always want to see what is hidden by what we see.
Every thought has one that precedes it. Opinions can be traced back to what you’ve seen, heard, or read in an effort to confirm bias. But loosen the emotional grip of sidedness. Said physicist Richard Feynman, “You must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.”
Have strong opinions, weakly held
It is not necessary to be confident in order to act. “Rightness,” wrote author Louis Menand, “will be, in effect, the compliment you give to the outcome of your deliberations.” Your gut instincts remain plastic. Dealing with conflict and uncertainty is what makes us human and non-robotic.
Going deeper provides more questions than answers. Curiosity stimulates the will for discovery. Things tend to only make sense in reverse.
Issac Asimov used to spend four hours a day writing. He wrote nearly five hundred books in his lifetime. Warren Buffet says he spends hours a day reading in his office.
What does this say?
There’s a time for consuming and a time for producing.
Those that will thrive in the 21st century are those who can toggle between the rapid digital pace yet still create little pockets of attention for themselves to write a blog post or read a book. Single-tasking intends to go deeper.
Attention is scarce. But the abundance of information is also helpful. It feeds you with ideas and makes you realize there’s so much to learn and so much more to do. But without moments, even half-hour, of single-tasking it’s almost impossible to obtain the deep insight you’re looking for. For that, you need to chew on something for a while.
The ability to weave in and out of pockets of concentration, to get some stimulation and then come back to your work is the key, per say.
They say that it’s better to start something new when you’re young to avoid humiliation. As an adult, you’re not expected to learn new stuff: languages, sports, art, etc. Your skillsets are permanent. While that may be true, it doesn’t hurt to shake up the system to remind yourself that you’re still alive.
Think about how far you’d already come. You would’ve never thought you could pick up photography before the iPhone. Without music software like Garageband, you never thought you would’ve made music. Without Amazon Kindle author, you may have never been a publisher author. The list goes on.
Technology turned us all into foxes instead of hedgehogs. We might be amafessionals, but we’re far more capable of creative pursuits than before. It turns out all we needed was a widget, the Internet’s connectedness, and a little bit of curiosity.
We’ve been conditioned to avoid error and taught to keep doing what we’re good at. But learning to do more stuff keep things more interesting.
“I roamed the countryside searching for answers to things I did not understand. Why shells existed on the tops of mountains along with the imprints of coral and plants and seaweed usually found in the sea. Why the thunder lasts a longer time than that which causes it, and why immediately on its creation the lightning becomes visible to the eye while thunder requires time to travel. How the various circles of water form around the spot which has been struck by a stone, and why a bird sustains itself in the air. These questions and other strange phenomena engage my thought throughout my life.”
Most people confuse procrastination with doing nothing. But for Leonardo, daydreaming was work. As Walter Isaacson’s mentions about Leonardo in his new book, “procrastinating like Leonardo requires work: It involves gathering all the possible facts and ideas, and only after that allowing the various ingredients to simmer.”