Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Stuck in a Career Rut? Get Curious.

My wife and I recently hosted four adults and three children in our home. Having no kids ourselves, the pitter-patter of three little pairs of feet was both an exhilarating and stress-inducing experience.

Knowing that we would have a one-and-a-half year old in our house, we did our best to "childproof:" we picked up all loose objects that would fit in a little one's mouth and removed all small obstacles that could interfere with his wobbly but zestful gait. After a quick inspection the night before, we felt confident that we created a safe environment.

We were wrong.

It wasn't long after the children had arrived that their youngest was getting into drawers, pulling on window-blinds, and finding every chink in the armor that was our "danger-proof" house. It was humbling, and my wife and I were kept on our toes. But for every time that I had to leave my seat to take out of George's (name changed) hands something that would hurt him or hurt one of our belongings, I was struck by something that I found fascinating...

...his curiosity.

George explored his surroundings with an inspiring level of zeal and interest. What's this? What's in here? What does this do? What would happen if I thew this? What would happen if I pulled this? His actions were pure curiosity: he wanted to discover. What a powerful perspective to possess!

In our career lives-whether we are looking for work or still employed at the same company for decades-our capacity for curiosity can change our attitudes, performance, and success. Use the questions below to create strong, leading answers for yourself.

How does my current situation make me feel truly engaged?

What about my current professional life do I find interesting?

How am I demonstrating success through what I am doing right now?

What about me is keeping me from the professional success that I desire?

What personal qualities will I tap into to create to the professional life that I want?

Leave it to a child to remind us all the powerful revelations that come from simply being curious about ourselves and our surroundings. My challenge to you is to look at your life through a child's eyes and get curious about everything. See what you discover about yourself and your environment. Act on that curiosity and your desire to create a life of your choosing.

Open some drawers. Throw some things. Pull on some blinds. See what happens. And, most of all, enjoy.

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