Happy 75th Birthday Curious George. You look great for your age and it is great to confirm that contrary to rumours, you weren’t eaten by a lion on the safari you took with ‘the man in the yellow hat’.
‘Be like Curious George, start with a question and look under the yellow hat to find what’s there.” James Collins
In a world where polarization is becoming the norm and rigidity, partisanship and stubbornness reigns, what if you were the one to bend? Could you concede that you may only be 74% right? Would you be willing to listen to someone you disagree with and consider (not just accept) 26% of what they feel, believe or ‘know’? Are you flexible enough to sway a bit and still feel rooted in your values?
True curiousity exists when we seek to understand not seek to get an advantage. I have done both and am embarrassed to say am better at asking questions to gain ammunition. But on those days when my curiousity extends beyond my self interests to my interests, I am enriched and strengthened. Whether going to the beach or encountering an electric fence George took risks to gain additional information and awareness. He ‘asked’ ridiculous questions and began his analysis slightly a kilter from the norm. Every day was an everyday adventure because there was always something to try, something to question, something to upturn and look under.
George had a beginners mind and didn’t assume that because something was so that everything else was so. The cult of expert has made me/us lazy and we just accept and swallow ‘facts’. We are all better when we are courageous and challenge the accepted norms (even when they are true/right/best in the end).
Even if you are an expert, you can grow, learn, improve by adopting George’s posture ;not hunched over on all fours, but a posture of inquisitiveness and astonishment.
George made it to 75 and has been translated in dozens of languages, is on PBS and Disney by being curious. I wonder where you could go, if you asked 3 ridiculous questions every day?
Make Today Remarkably Curious,
Breaking out of the mold we have shaped for ourselves and our future requires 3 P’s; Passion, Patience and Persistence. More on the P’s in future posts. To continue the process of discovering original ideas discussed in the post Where Do Original Ideas Come From? let’s begin with divergence.
Begin with wicked question – like ” How can we reduce the amount of time that commuters spend in congestion?” and then restate the question so it doesn’t contain the answer. ” Can we improve the time spent in congestion and reduce the impacts on health?” (better). Research shows that commuters who spend more than 3 hours a week in congestion (not commuting time but trapped in gridlock) are 40% more likely to suffer from hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. My experience is that I am stressed, angry and less creative after just 20 minutes stopped or slow n’go on the freeway. It would seem that our collective mental health is compromised us stewing in an out-of-our-control mess. So rather than just thinking about reducing commute times, maybe we can find a different solution by asking a bigger question. “Can we make the journey from home to work and back more enjoyable, less stressful, and without negative impacts on mental and physical health?” (improved)
For sake of expediency and to attempt to develop a sample case to illustrate what comes from divergence, I will begin with that question.
Can we make the journey from home to work and back more enjoyable, less stressful, and without negative impacts on mental and physical health?
I will freeform a list (In practice, it would be better and more creative to do this with a small group of diverse folks) that begins with the obvious and attempts to get to the ridiculous.
Tele-commute more roads fewer cars work closer ride share books on tape scheduled commute times flexible commute times more public transit fewer licenses car yoga smaller cars autonomous vehicles personal hovercraft chauffeur hyperloop teleportation HOV lanes improved coordination timed ramp closures dedicated distance lanes commuter car trains sleep while travel sleep at work casual conversation drugs conversation w/other commuter early start later start Animate ride bigger cars with more people gamify ride incentive for later commute incentive for early start toll roads 15 freeway passes per month roads move not cars safe distance radar Uber mid way garage transit lots free premium freeway service disposable cars kites use river fly ride motorcycle ride bike walk skateboard Segway tech engaged car health monitoring insurance reduction behaviour driver alternating sing along car2car test prep heads up navigation congestion warning police escort convey clearance complete lane reversal 4 into 5 at rush increase speed decrease speed
The list is obviously not comprehensive and if 5 folks were freeforming the list would be 2 or 3 times longer. I am going to take the next 24 hours to let the commute problem wrestle in my subconscious and trust that a few more crazy notions will rise up. I will add them to the list tomorrow. For now, I encourage you to add to the list by suspending disbelief for 15 minutes and letting anything and everything make it through your censors. If you have a bit of courage after Intentionally Scaring Yourself post your best and worst in the comments.
Make Today Remarkable by breaking the box,