Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Affliction of Certainty

The day started very simply. We asked the 23 leaders arranged at four tables to dialogue about what the opening time should be for a new tourist attraction. Seems simple? But the exercise launched a day of innovation and change that challenged everyone in the room, including me. The most important attitude highlighted in the day is to be curious, not certain.

As adults most of us move into the day, the workplace,  or our vocation with the affliction that we are supposed to know what we are doing. Okay, I'm being a little factitious here but we are afflicted with the "certainty" bug. This is the attitude that we think we need to project that we know what we are doing and we have the answers we need to proceed with our work, art, etc. This attitude is important to achieve something in the day, however it inhibits growth, learning, and moving toward personal greatness.

Curiosity is an attitude which allows us to move through the day with a mind open to new ideas and suggestions. We treat the world as a place to garner new ideas and thoughts to propel us to breakthroughs in our work and leisure. Without curiosity we tend to repeat the same behaviors over and over again and never get new results. We imprison ourselves in our own thinking without examining it from another's viewpoint and we never open up to the possibilities that new ideas might present to us.

Just try today being more curious about the world around you, about your work, about your artistry. You will find that others share some of the same challenges you do, but might have very clever ways of overcoming the challenges. Or, as the leaders in our program yesterday learned, by being curious they surfaced new ways of moving through challenges or toward opportunities. All they had to do was let go of the affliction of certainty.

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