Original Thought · Self Improvement

Happy 75th George

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’.

curiousgeorge
‘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,

B

Original Thought · Self Improvement

Divergent Thinking

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.

divergent thinker

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,

B