Tag Archives | Try Something New

Busted


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We were talking about a subject he’s wrestled with throughout the time we’ve worked together, and it’s been two steps forward, one step back. (Sometimes one step forward, two steps back.)

“What is it that keeps you from asking your customers for testimonials, from telling people about what you can do for them?”

“It makes me feel Slick Salesman-y.”

We’ve had this conversation before.

Hmm, I thought.

“You got great feedback in your customer surveys – He’s a great guy. He came to my house and talked to me. He saved me money. He helped me with a tough situation. True?”

“Yeah.”

“And I know you are all about service. You want to be an advocate for your customers. True?”

“Yeah.”

“So, while you do have the goal of making a decent living for yourself and your family, what would happen if you held the intention when you talk to people of creating a win-win situation? Would it feel different if, when you asked for an appointment, you thought about those success stories, and all the people you’ve helped?”

“Maybe,” he said.

“Give it a try. Practice on me.” So he did. First he was quiet, and then he started practicing, while holding in his mind all the people he has helped – while earning a living. He tried a few phrases, and started to get some momentum. Suddenly he burst out,

“I CAN HELP YOU, DAMMIT!”

“Yeah!” I cried. “Now you’re getting somewhere!” We started riffing on that, and I joked it could be a great tag line for giveaways – T-shirts, travel mugs, all labeled with the name of his company, and I can help you, dammit!

His eyes lit up, and he started to laugh, and shouted, “DAMMIT, YOU NEED ME!”

Suddenly he sobered and looked at me out of the corner of his eye. “That would be a great motto for Susan T. Blake Consulting, too,” he said.

*cuethesoundofbrakessquealing*

I…er…um…well. Yeah.

Busted.

Damn it! Caught learning again.

So we practiced saying it to each other.

“I can help you, dammit!”

“I can help you, dammit!”

“That does feel different, doesn’t it?” I wondered out loud.

“Empowering,” he said.

Yeah.


Hi, I’m Susan T. Blake,
Professional Encourager and Lifelong Learner, and
I can help you, dammit!
Contact me at http://susanTblake.com/contact-me/

Now let me hear you say it – leave a comment, below!

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Being With


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Yesterday I went to the wedding celebration of a friend of mine. A friend whom I hold dear, although we don’t spend that much time together.

I almost didn’t go.

I looked forward to it all week, but when the day came I was reluctant.

I would be going alone, and I didn’t think to call anyone to carpool. Would there be anyone there I knew? I feared going and being surrounded by others but feeling isolated. Would my little gift be good enough? They wouldn’t miss me if I didn’t go…

Wait a minute. I would miss them if I didn’t go. And, I said to myself, there were a lot of people she could have invited, and didn’t. She invited me.

I wrapped up my little hand-made gift, with something for each them, something personal, far more personal (aka Vulnerable) than something I might have gotten from Pottery Barn or wherever, and wrote in my hand-made card with one of my own photographs on the front. And off I went.

I arrived at the wedding party and, as soon as I arrived, a friend I hadn’t seen in months waved at me and said, “Come sit by me!” We chatted and caught up while we ate plates of Mexican food and drank margaritas, watching as party-goers learned salsa dancing. Other friends came and went from our little group, dear friends, new friends, acquaintances I hadn’t seen in several years.

Then a man appeared in front of me and held out his hand, inviting me to dance.

I have never salsa danced. Ever.

And I feel very awkward when it comes to any dance that requires Following.

And.

Remember the movie, “Risky Business?”

Sometimes you just have to say, “What the fuck.”

I put down my plate and got up. And danced. And it worked! “It’s just like walking,” my teacher said. “You’re doing great!”

How funny, I thought, not long ago I needed help walking after a horse stepped on my foot, and my walking partner said, “We’re just dancing, and you get to lead.” “That’s good,” I remember thinking, “I suck at following when I dance.” Now I was dancing, and my partner was telling me it was just like walking, and I was doing great at following. Hmmm.

We danced, and I danced several times throughout the afternoon between conversations and hugs and laughs. Ultimately I ended up in a corner with three other friends (two old, one new), just talking and Being With. It was lovely.

As we were helping our friend load up her car with gifts and leftovers, one of her friends, with whom I had danced, handed me one of the last flower arrangements to be given away and said,

“Here, Wild Thing, you need some flowers.”

Wild Thing? Me?

I laughed, and accepted. The flowers, and the name.

This morning I got up and drank my coffee and caught up on blogs I follow, and I noticed a distinct theme. The first, What We All Need, was about the importance of just being with. The second was about belonging, and how it is a distinctly 21st Century Challenge that requires stepping outside of our comfort zones. The third was about belonging to ourselves, receiving what is here and receiving the sacred. Through just being with it. Hmmm.

Belonging. Comfort Zones. Accepting. Showing Up. The truth is that if I am willing to step out of my comfort zone, I sometimes find greater comfort. I’m glad the voice that says, “I do belong” is louder than the voice that says, “I don’t belong.”

Which voice do you listen to? Which voice do you encourage others to listen to?

Something Is Afoot


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Maybe it’s fallout from the world’s ongoing financial debacle.

Maybe it’s coincidence. (Although I tend to see connections in coincidence and not mere Chance.)

Maybe it’s how the planets are aligned.

Maybe it’s part of an awakening that seems to be happening.

Whatever it is, three different people in my life are preparing to take to the Open Road in the near future and embark upon their Adventure Of A Lifetime (Up To This Point).

The Great Adventure

It started last year when my virtual friend Drew Jacob announced his plans to walk from Minnesota to Brazil. More specifically, from the source of the Mississippi River to the mouth of the Amazon.

Seriously.

Why?

The word Adventure comes up, but it’s only part of the reason. A part of Drew’s drive to travel, to live heroically, to meet The Gods through meeting others – and himself.

Drew has been preparing for The Great Adventure since last summer, and he has been very transparent about his preparations, ranging from Spanish-language immersion in Mexico City to road-testing shoes to wrestling fear and doubt.

I have only met Drew through blog posts, comments, tweets and email. I love his commitment to living his ideals, and his willingness to ask Big Questions. And be vulnerable. And he cracks me up. Of my three friends who are setting out, he’s the only one who won’t be coming through California. So I’ll be following him online and trying to figure out a way to meet up with him somewhere along his way. Meanwhile, you can learn more about Drew and his Great Adventure at http://roguepriest.net. Oh, and while you’re at it, get his ebook, Walk Like a God. It is wonder-full.

On the lookout for Wonder

And then there’s my friend Kelly Nolan Shafer. Kel and I have been friends since high school, and she’s one of those friends you can lose touch with (I did) and then you re-connect and you not only pick right up where you left off but it’s even better than it was before.

In December, when I opened the Nolan Shafers’ holiday letter, I learned that Kelly, Steve and their twin daughters, Helen and Olivia, planned to embark on their own Great Adventure when school got out in June. Their plan was to pack up their RV and tour the U.S. and Canada for six months, meeting up with friends and family as they visit landmarks along the way. In fact, they’ve named their Great Adventure “Our A.T.L.A.S. – Adventures Touring Landmarks Across the States.”

Kelly and Steve will be home-schooling the recently-graduated-from-fourth-grade twins as they go. (Can you call it “home-schooling” when home is an RV? Hmmm…) I am sooo jealous. I don’t just want to go – I want to be a 5th-grader on the road being home-schooled in an RV, too.

Of course, Life has happened between December and June, as it usually does, but instead of letting it talk them out of it, they let it talk them further into it. So the Nolan Shafer clan is hitting the road…tomorrow! And their motto? “We’ll be on the lookout for the presence of wonder. . .”

Wonder. One of my favorite things! How can you not love that? Now you want to go, too, I’ll bet.

My thoughts and prayers go with them, and I’ll be following their adventures as they blog about it. You can follow them too, at http://ouratlas.net/.

A Complete What?

And then there’s my virtual friend LaVonne Ellis. I have a soft-spot for LaVonne for several reasons, not the least of which is that she is one of the Captains Curious.

LaVonne, curious creature that she is, has decided to set out on her Great Adventure next year, touring the country in a van and, like the others, letting us ride along virtually as she blogs her way around the country.

Not only do I adore LaVonne and everything she does, but she mentioned Charles Kuralt in her announcement (OK, I have to go check, maybe I made that up…no, she really did), and he is one of my heroes.

You can learn more about LaVonne and her plans at http://completeflake.com/road-trip/. You can sign up for her newsletter, and check out her most recent posts with updates on her preparations. And don’t be deceived – she is definitely not a Complete Flake.

Something’s definitely afoot.

Whether it’s economic/socio-political fallout, coincidence, or something more cosmic, it is pretty amazing that I know of three different Great Adventures that are in the works. And I’m sure they’re not the only ones – they’re just the ones I know about.

And, of course, there are plenty of people in my life who are on interior adventures, myself included. And that is an important point: External adventures are important, but we should not disregard the importance of interior exploration. It can be just a scary. And fun. And rewarding.

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” — Helen Keller

Life is an adventure – what adventure are you on?


Image: Ian Britton, freefoto.com

Mystery, Horses, Curiosity, and Being Open


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I recently had a profound experience with a group of fellow coaches and the human, equine and canine members of the team at The Flag Foundation for Horse/Human Partnership. (You can read about it here. Go ahead, we’ll wait.)

A central part of that experience was just being present, being totally there, being willing to let go and wonder, What will happen if I do this? Paying attention. Being open. Not worrying if I got muddy or wet or covered with dog spit. That openness made it easier to improvise. To let things happen. What’s going to happen next? And being there for it. Our whole group did that, and our human leaders did that in response to what transpired and what we needed.

* * *

A friend recently called me to talk through a situation with an organization with which she’s been working. We got curious about what she was experiencing, about why she was reacting the way she was, and about her options.

I’ve been in situations like hers, and they call for being curious about the people around us, for seeing what’s happening and yet suspending judgment, for being present in the situation, and for letting go of our egos. For being willing to get muddy and covered with dog spit. To be in a situation where getting stepped on is a possibility, and taking precautions while still being open.

* * *

Which reminds me of  a class I recently taught on strategic management for a group of leaders and managers. One of the things we dove into was why strategies fail. A key factor is the existence of competing objectives, goals that aren’t talked about openly. These can’t be uncovered if we view the situation with judgment; we must explore the situation with curiosity instead. (My objective of connecting with the horses was made difficult to achieve by my secondary goal of not getting sunburned – I slathered myself with stinky sunscreen. Ah. Next time I’ll skip the sunscreen and wear long sleeves.)

* * *

After my experience with the horses someone told me I was brave. No, I said, I was just present. I stayed present with an open heart. It occurred to me later that the root of the word “courage” is the French “coeur,” or “heart.” To have courage is to have heart. (“Ya gotta have heart… all we really need is heart…”) To be courageous is to be… hearteous.

I know, that’s not a word. You know what I mean.

To be courageous, brave, is to show up with an open heart. To be curious. And to act.

Are you willing to show up and be open, to ask, What happens next?

To suspend judgment and really experience What’s happening now?

To dive into the mystery with an open heart?

Would you like to try?

Shoot me an email: susan at susantblake dot com. And enjoy this:


This video was apparently shot when the power went out during a Tommy Emmanuel concert, and he continued – with just two luminarias on stage and someone holding a flashlight in the balcony. In it, he tells the story behind one of my favorite pieces of music.


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Image: bk images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Captains Curious: Curiosity Is the Foundation for Creativity and Success


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Welcome to Captains Curious, a weekly series of guest posts on the subject of Curiosity. The newest contributing member is Connie Harryman! To learn about the other Captains Curious, please click here.

Curiosity is the essence of creativity

“Curiosity killed the cat.”  I still laugh when I remember my Mom saying this to me.  For me, curiosity has led me on my grand journey of becoming an acknowledged expert in creativity.  For you see, curiosity is the essence of creativity.  Without curiosity creativity and success would not exist.

Examples

I will give you several examples.  When I was quite young, I lived in a tiny rural community in Texas.  I had no role models and no experience beyond what occurred within a few short miles.  However, my curiosity ate at me.  What else is out there in that other world?

I had no resources to explore that other world.  However, because of my curiosity I developed an insatiable lust for reading.  I especially loved historical novels set in far off exotic places.  I was not allowed to read because it signified laziness.   Due to my abiding curiosity I simply found hiding places where I could read.

It was this same drive of curiosity that led me to leave my community to go to college.   What do they teach in those colleges?  I had no idea but I knew they were filled with books and I knew books satisfied my curiosity.

After I graduated I was curious.  What is it like to work in a shiny multistory building with all the walls covered with windows?  My friends and even those who loved me told me that I was not meant for technology and I would not be any good at it so I should stay away from it.  However, I was curious.  Would I be any good at it?  I would not know unless I tried.  I spent the next several years working for the market leader in emerging technologies and I excelled.  My curiosity was satisfied.

It didn’t stop there

I became aware of the field of creative thinking quite by accident.  I was told, “You are the most creative person I know.”  What does this mean?  Surely this could not be true.  After all I cannot sing, dance, or even memorize poetry.  What is creativity?   My curiosity is rising again.  Where do you go to find out about creativity and what does creativity have to do with the practical things in life?

My curiosity is pulling at me.   It must be satisfied.   I decided to go to Austin to attend a conference sponsored by the American Creativity Association.   The next year I was on the organizing team for the Singapore conference.

Do you remember my curiosity led me to read about exotic far off places when I was young?  If you are curious about creativity in a far off place, then Singapore satisfied my curiosity completely.  I travelled there and met my future business partner, Lars Ringe, founder of RobotLab.  My curiosity led me to this creativity and innovation expert from Denmark.

Curiosity drives my passions

Let us now return to my passions.  These include creativity and technology.  I am curious.  How can I take advantage of the power of social networking and social media to share knowledge about creativity and innovation?  I am so curious I decided to take classes in social networking.  Six months later, I was invited to be a professional guest blogger for the Front End of Innovation Europe held in Amsterdam.  This is an event sponsored by the International Institute of Research.  My curiosity led to me a rather terrifying and daunting situation but again I succeeded.

My curiosity led me to join many social networking groups.  Many are focused on creativity and innovation but some are focused on science and technology or women in technology.   My curiosity compels me to connect with fascinating people on Twitter and LinkedIn.

I continue to satisfy my curiosity about how to build creative teams and how to increase their performance.  I wrote a white paper entitled Mastering Creative Problem Solving Within Teams and it was presented to the International Association of Science Parks by Lars Ringe, founder of RobotLab in Copenhagen, Denmark.  I was to be the presenter but, alas, I had to attend my daughter’s wedding in Dublin, Ireland.

Rejoice in your curiosity and fulfill your dreams!

My curiosity has been my major driver leading me to many adventures in the world of creativity and innovation.  For a joyful and passionate life, you must rejoice in your curiosity and satisfy it to find out what type of creative adventures you can embark upon to fulfill your dreams!

* * * * *

Connie Harryman is CEO of Applied Concepts Creativity.  She refers to herself as a Creativity Developer.  She is also the President of the American Creativity Association – Austin Global.  Her blog is http://developyourcreativethinking.com/ You are invited to connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

* * * * *


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Would you like to submit a guest post on the subject of Curiosity? Send an email to susan {at} susanTblake {dot} com with the subject line: Captains Curious.

Image: graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Goldfinches’ Guide to Creativity


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A few years ago, my sister (Hi, Casey!) gave me a very cool birthday present: A bag of cotton wool in a cotton net bag, designed to hang next to the bird feeder. Why? So goldfinches (my favorite bird) could use the cotton wool in their nest building.

It worked great, too! The goldfinches loved it, and I had a blast watching them pull out tufts nearly as large as themselves and fly away with it.

The following year I went to my neighborhood bird-feeding supply store, but I couldn’t find anything similar. Hmm. I went to the local Big Box pet supply store and trolled the Wild Bird Supplies aisle. Nothing.

“Hmm,” I thought, “now what do I do?” I picked up the cat food and cat litter that were also on the list (yes, they enjoy watching the birds, too), and on the way past the Domesticated Rodent aisle, I had an idea.

“What if I could re-purpose something made for different animals?”

I went to the Domesticated Rodent (hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, etc.) bedding section, and Aha! Tucked in between the bags of cedar shavings was… cotton wool! I picked up a bag of mixed cotton wool and grasses, feeling quite smug.

Until I realized it didn’t come with a mesh bag for hanging it next to the bird feeder, since it wasn’t intended for the birds. Hmm.

Suddenly my mind flashed on the suet feeder I had recently retired for the summer. It was made of coated wire mesh with openings the perfect size for little bird beaks. Aha! What if I re-purposed something that was intended for something else?

I went home and pulled out the suet feeder (which had been washed thoroughly before going into storage), filled it loosely with grass and cotton wool, and hung it next to the feeder. Success! The goldfinches loved it!

Well, they half-loved it. They used the cotton wool but not the grass. Oh well, that’s ok.

The following Spring, however, when I put out the grass/cotton mixture again, I had a pleasant surprise: The grasses were very popular with the titmice that came to the feeder, and a family of phoebes moved in and took advantage of it, too!

So my willingness to try something new, to re-purpose something, not only solved my problem for the goldfinches, it also solved another problem I didn’t even know I had: How to provide nesting materials for other birds as well.

*    *    *    *    *

How often in business, and in life, are you faced with a challenge that requires some creative problem-solving? Pretty often, I’ll wager. But I’ll bet you don’t think of that as being creative.

It is.

If you are willing to apply your curiosity to something and ask a positive “What if…” the answer is probably going to be a creative solution.

Creativity isn’t necessarily about painting or composing music. And it certainly isn’t about coloring inside the lines.

Yes, you are creative, too. Or you can be. Ask, “What would happen if (fill in the blank)?” Try something new.

Sometimes “the right tool for the right job” isn’t available. But you can create new possibilities.

The goldfinches – and the titmice and the phoebes – are glad I did.

Please leave a comment below!

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Photo by: Qiang Wu, Dreamstime.com

Captains Curious: Curiosity, Mischief and Sending Jesus to a Different Party


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Welcome to Captains Curious, a weekly series of guest posts on the subject of Curiosity. This week we have an encore performance from Captains Curious member Colin Beveridge! To learn about the other Captains Curious, please click here.

Who would you invite?

There’s a common ‘define yourself’ exercise that asks you to list the historical figures you’d invite to a dinner party. Almost everyone picks John Lennon and Jesus, perhaps so they can settle the debate once and for all, but also possibly to sort out the entertainment and the catering.

I recently rearranged the guest list for mine, unceremoniously revoking Jesus’ invitation so I could give it to Benjamin Franklin. I listened to a lecture series on his life recently and goggled at the range and depth of what he did. Plus, he seems like good company, and I imagine Jesus has other parties to go to.

Why?

I realised, though, that there’s a thread running through my long list of guests. Several threads, in fact, but the one that jumps out at me is insufferable curiosity.

Not just curiosity – they don’t let you into the world of science unless you’re curious – but there’s a difference between (say) Feynman and Einstein, or between Galileo and Leonardo, or even between John Lennon and Paul McCartney: A sense of mischief.

It’s the willingness to ask, “Why have we always done things that way?” and follow up with “That’s not a very good reason, is it?” and probably “Why don’t we do it _this_ way?”

This is a series of questions that has led to a lot of burnt-down laboratories, some pretty ludicrous trials, and the White Album, but it’s also responsible for pretty much every advance ever made in the fields of science, music, technology, literature, society, and everything other part of life.

I ask those questions about exams. Franklin asked them about lightning and political structures and education. Lennon asked them about the three-chord pop song and war.

Why have we always done things that way?

How good a reason is that?

Why don’t we do it _this_ way?

From same-old-same-old to revolution

It’s a series of questions that can take you from same-old-same-old to revolutionising your world, and you can apply it to almost anythingWhy do you charge people by the hour? Why do you eat your starter before your dessert? Why do you walk that way around the park?

Sometimes you come up with a good reason. Sometimes your alternative sucks. And sometimes you come up with something so crazy that it might just work.

What areas of your life and work can you ask about?

How can you apply your mischievous curiosity and change the world?

Leave a comment below!

Image: Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

* * * * *

Colin Beveridge (@icecolbeveridge, http://www.flyingcoloursmaths.co.uk) is a math confidence coach and author of the UK version of Basic Maths For Dummies. He helps children and adults overcome their fear of math and start to discover its beauty. He lives in Poole, England with an espresso pot and a guitar and nothing to prove.

* * * * *

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Captains Curious: From Itchy Feet to an Itchy Mind


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Welcome to Captains Curious, a weekly series of guest posts on the subject of Curiosity. The newest member of the Captains Curious is LaVonne Ellis! To learn about the series and the other Captains Curious, please click here.

I have a restless nature

Image: Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I have a restless nature, so I used to move a lot.

Conveniently, I wound up in broadcasting, an industry that requires frequent relocations in order to move up the career ladder. I loved it.

I was always curious about my new surroundings

The library would be my first stop, to read up on the history of the area. I loved the stimulation of new situations and things to learn: How to pronounce local place names correctly, where to find the nearest post office or pharmacy, the quickest way to get to work at five in the morning – and wow, look at that gorgeous view!

After a year or two it would all become routine

The minivan seemed to know where everything was without my even thinking about it. The view became so much wallpaper to my bleary, sleep-deprived eyes. I’d seen it all before.

That was when I’d start to feel the familiar itch to look for a new job, a new city.

This went on for years, until…

This went on for years, until I moved to a small, urban apartment in a sun-blasted San Diego neighborhood that held no interest for me at the time.

It was cheap. That was my only reason for renting it. The career was pretty much over. At 51, I had aged out. I was unemployed with a young son to raise. I told myself this place was only temporary, until I could get back on my feet. That was nearly 14 years ago.

Every year when the move-in date comes around, I marvel at how long it’s been. My son grew up here. It’s odd to think that when he is old, this is what he will remember as his childhood home.

Curiosity made it home for me too.

After the minivan was repossessed, we came to know our neighborhood inside and out, walking everywhere. I got all the bus schedules and a transit map that I tacked onto the wall, and together we explored the city.

But as time passed and finances improved, the old itch came back like clockwork every two or three years. I had a car again. I could move if I wanted to. I’d look at maps and google cities – Taos, Flagstaff, Portland, even Mazatlan. I loved San Diego, but I wanted something new to explore.

In the old days, I would have made an audition tape, typed up a resume, and sent them to all the radio stations in my city of choice. In a month or two, I’d find myself in a new and challenging environment – just the ticket.

The old itch came back like clockwork, but…

But I was tired. I no longer had the energy to be bright and perky on the air at dawn, or to prove myself to another crowd of skeptical local journalists. Plus, what station in this youth-obsessed media culture would hire a woman my age? And I had to admit, I was feeling awfully comfortable knowing exactly which shortcut home was best for avoiding all the stoplights.

Okay, I asked myself, now what? If moving is out, how do we stay, well – interested?

The answer that came back was Curiosity.

I took yoga classes, meditated, and began reading about Buddhism.

I learned a new way of cooking and eating without convenience foods.

I bought lots of books and kitchen gadgets.

I became obsessed with growing food on my balcony, and read every blog and book I could find on the subject. (I didn’t grow much food, but there’s always another summer.)

I learned about food storage, collecting mason jars and 5-gallon buckets that filled every cupboard and spare corner of the apartment. (I may have gotten a little carried away.)

And then one day…

One day, I decided to re-examine everything – every habit, every thought, every unconscious moment in my life. I washed dishes in a different order, brushed my teeth up and down instead of sideways, grew my short grey hair long. When old regrets popped up at the same automatic triggers, I let them go. I turned off the TV and found a better use for my time: Starting a business.

I was curious to see if I could find a better way to do the routine, daily stuff, but what I found was a whole new life that, ironically, looks to outsiders pretty much the same as it did before.

By examining the most mundane details of my life, I became truly present in the moment for the first time. I wasn’t dreaming of a future in another place. I was solidly here, right now, aware.

And intensely curious.

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When LaVonne Ellis isn’t busy being the Chief CustomerLover at http://customerlove.me, she is constantly learning about business, life, and herself.


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Would you like to submit a guest post on the subject of Curiosity? Send an email to susan {at} susanTblake {dot} com with the subject line: Captains Curious.

Captains Curious: What Was the Cat Doing?


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Welcome to Captains Curious, a weekly series of guest posts on the subject of Curiosity. The newest member of the Captains Curious is Delisa Carnegie! To learn about the other Captains Curious, please click here.

Curiosity killed the cat, or so they say. I’m curious about what the cat was doing before it died. What adventure did the cat go on? It had to be awesome.

Zombeez aren’t curious. Their minds are vast wastelands of cardboard. No cats live in the hive.

Creativity Needs Curiosity

My blog is filled with posts revolving around creativity, but that creativity needs curiosity. Curiosity makes us ask “What if?” and creativity provides limitless possibilities to answer with “Maybe this or that.” Working on this post made me realize how intertwined curiosity and creativity are. I hadn’t thought much about curiosity (as separate being) before. I let it hang out in the shadow of creativity. In reality, you can’t have one without the other.

Curiosity is a risk and an adventure. You can ask any cat about that.

The Hive Doesn’t Want You to Be Curious

You risk doing something new, different, or nontraditional. You lead yourself on your own customized adventure. The risks won’t always be life threatening, like jumping out of a plane, but it might feel like it. The longer you live according to the hive mind the more dangerous curiosity feels. The hive doesn’t want you to be curious; they use fear to try and control you, because they are afraid.

Think about what a dreary boring place the world would be if no one every followed their curiosity. We would still be living in caves and hunting with sticks. The caves wouldn’t even have cool cave art.

Curiosity Will Set You Free

It may be true that love will set you free, but I don’t think they got that quite right. Curiosity will set you free and lead you on a lifetime of adventure. That sounds way more exciting to me.

Why Is It Always a Cat?

Writing this post has got me wondering (curious) about why it is always a cat and not some other animal that kicks it. I think it is because cats are independent and do what they want. Cats are the opposite of zombeez (mindless drones).  Are you more cat or zombee?

How often do you follow your curiosity?

How often do you follow your curiosity? Do you jump in and go for it or do you hang back thinking about the poor dead cat?

This may sound a little morbid, but we all are going to die some day from something. Isn’t it better to spend our lives satisfying our curiosity, having adventures, being fulfilled, and being truly happy than to spend it being too afraid to live?

I think we should enjoy ourselves while we can.

If you aren’t used to being curious and seeing where it gets you, try it. The next time you are curious about something, act on that curiosity. You won’t know what you are missing out on until you do.  You could be missing out on the best things.

Are You Curious?

I know Jimmy Hendrix would ask “Are you experienced?” but I want to know “Are you curious?”

The experience comes later. First you have to be curious.

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Delisa Carnegie is the leader of The Creativity Rebellion. She spends her days creating, crafting, teaching people how to fist pump like Billy Idol and kick zombee ass at www.thecreativityrebellion.com. Follow her on Twitter @delisacarnegie or email her at delisa@thecreativityrebellion.com.

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Would you like to submit a guest post on the subject of Curiosity? Send an email to susan {at} susanTblake {dot} com with the subject line: Captains Curious.

Testing Ground


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In Nova’s “Car of the Future,” which I watched recently on PBS, one of the technologies profiled was hydrogen fuel cell vehicles that are being tested in Iceland.

Iceland prides itself on helping to improve this technology by testing it every day. Says Jon Björn Skúlason of Icelandic New Energy, Ltd., “You go to a small society like Iceland, where a lot of things are simpler than in a big society like the US or Europe, you can actually test things out here. That’s actually how we think we can help the world (emphasis mine).”

Hmm. That made me wonder: If that’s true of a small society like Iceland, is the same thing true for small organizations? How can small organizations help the world by testing ideas, processes and technologies?

Please tell me what you think!

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