I’m Curious, Are You?

Have you ever wondered …

 Why fish live in schools and people only go to school for a few years?

Whether stars are intentionally placed in a pattern in the sky that only you can see?

How an astronaut walked on the moon with less computer capability than your smart phone?

How a picture on your phone can be seen across the globe in an instant?

Someone once did.

“I have no special talent. I am only passionately CURIOUS”

Albert Einstein

 All of us came into the world curious – the desire to learn more.  We’ve all got the gift of curiosity, however the challenge is using and developing it for our own benefit or the benefit of others.

In the first years of life our minds are engaged in an unquenchable thirst for knowledge.  From birth, a baby’s is tuned into exploring and learning.  Babies experiment with everything in their environment.  As soon as they can speak, children start asking question after question.  Why can’t I have a cookie?  Why is it raining? Where did the sun go?  Why is it dark now?  Where do stars come from?  Why can’t I play in the puddles?  How doesn’t a plane need feathers like a bird? WHY? WHY?…

Remember how you wondered? 

As a child you too possessed a natural desire to explore the world around you.  Although you and I started life with this intense curiosity, most of us learned once we got to school, that answers were more important than questions. We were graded on our answers not our questions.  Success equaled right answers.

When I was in school I asked a lot of questions, not to get an answer, rather to challenge  THE answer.  Sometimes my questions got me into trouble and one time I had a teacher who spoke life into the fact I asked a lot of questions, little did I know how this would catapult my life.

I was one of the lucky ones who held on tight to the GIFT OF CURIOSITY.

When I started my career as a missile guidance and control engineer I realized school had not prepared me for the ‘secret classified’ world, a new vault of questions exploded in my mind. I was on a treasure hunt for anyone who would help me find the answers. Then there was the world of technical sales, I quickly learned the reward of powerful questions, seeking to really understand a persons needs rather than having answers.  I will never forget the first time I realized there was more value in coming back with an answer than having an immediate answer.  I even found myself holding onto answers and asking more questions igniting curiosity in all of us.

Without even realizing it I had developed a passion for asking questions.  The joke with my leadership team was, ask Chris a question and she replies with three more.  I had experienced the power of creative thinking and I wanted others to have a similar experience. I could give the answer and create a bunch of disengaged employees or I could help them discover the real challenge and delegate the problem solving to their creative minds.

The more I immersed myself in personal development the more I experienced the best questions, those that really inspired me to contemplate a deeper understanding, challenge my current thinking, dig deep within.  I had renewed my mind from asking “why don’t’ they…” to asking “what do I need to think or be or do differently so they will…?

Life became a treasure hunt of empowering questions rather than a quest to create a library of answers capture from outside.

 I have become passionately curious about what others THINK and what they are learning.

A few years ago I started wondering

  • What teachers would be like if they asked questions of their students with the same intensity as when they were a child?
  • How managers would lead differently if they were passionately curious about what their team thinks?
  • How the family dynamics would change if parents asked what the child thinks they should do before they decide what to tell them to do.

Because I became curious about these very three things, I explored them in depth.  

What I experienced is:

  • Much of the knowledge is already in the room, my role is to help others find the answers they already possess rather than be the answer person.  I found this approach is very empowering for the students, team members and children when they realize they already have some of the answers and possess the creativity to find those they don’t have.  On occasion I add a nugget or two. I’m excited to see them flourish when they know I learn from them.

 Everyone’s best shows up when we expand each other’s thinking  and resist becoming their thinking for them.

  • When any of us buy into the thinking that the answers are found outside our mind, we enter the cycle of mass-producing average, of the prior generations. In turn we dial down curiosity, we dam up the flow of communications, we stifle creativity and innovation.  Don’t buy in, look within.

I have the power to Intentionally turn on or off the flow of creativity.

  • When I allow others to stand on my shoulders, they can see farther than I can.  When I ask them what they see, everyone sees father, THINKs better and goes farther. The view changes based on whose shoulders I am standing on.

Masterminding together with strategically chosen people makes the impossible seem possible.

I am curious, what do you wonder about in this season of your life?

Currently I wonder what the world experience would be like if everyone chose to love and respect everyone, even just for a day?

Are you CURIOUS enough to enter into the experience with me?