Welcome to the second article in my series on professional resilience. In this article, you'll learn how to cultivate a mindset of continuous curiosity in service of building your professional resilience.
Curiosity is defined as "a strong desire to know or learn something." It seems obvious that we should always be curious in every part of our lives, but the human truth is that we tend to slack off when we get comfortable.
Here are my tips for cultivating continuous curiosity, especially when we are comfortable:
Ask "What?" and "How?" questions.
These questions open the vista, expand the horizon. Here are some of my favorites:
Seek to understand rather than to problem-solve.
We are wired, conditioned and rewarded, particularly in the U.S. culture, to fix problems. When we use our curiosity to understand rather than problem-solve, we focus on expanding our understanding, opening up to new possibilities and allowing ourselves to be beginners. We set ourselves up to learn exactly the right information we need to move forward. This article by Elizabeth Gilbert is my FAVORITE on the topic of curiosity.
Step into not knowing. Every day.
Eleanor Roosevelt's famously said, "Do one thing every day that scares you." When I first heard this quote I took it quite literally and immediately gave up. There was no way I was going to do something scary every day. Then after sitting with the quote for a while, I realized I could indeed adopt the mindset of doing scary stuff. I could look for opportunities every day to step out of my comfort zone and do something risky/scary/novel/fresh.
What might you do?
**I'm leading "Creating Meaningful Work", a three-part series designed to free you from your boring work life. Series begins on July 19, 2018 at the New York Open Center. Click here for more information**
Creating meaningful work is a lifelong process, not an event.
Do you have the skills and stamina needed to take charge of your career for the long term?
I've started over many times in my career. In fact I'm in the midst of a big career change right now!
Over and over again I've come back to what I know is true about career change. And I've used this knowledge to support myself and my clients to create work lives that more fully align with their most important values and beliefs. Here's what I've learned.
My Four Key Truths to Creating Meaningful Work
1) You don't have to find a new job to start changing your career
In fact, you can start changing your career right now by changing how you relate and react to your current work. Make a list of things at work that are positive. Even if there's just one thing on the list, focus on that one thing. Make time for it. Savor it. Shift all your mental resources to appreciating and building on that one thing.
2) Urgency is your enemy. Take your time.
Career management is like using a crock-pot. We mix in ingredients and let it simmer. We come back and check on it, adjust seasonings, add what's neeeded and let it sit again. Too often, people approach their careers with a microwave mentality. This creates stress and panic.
3) Curiosity over passion.
I trust my curiosity and tend to follow it, even when I don't know where it's leading. Even when it seems to be taking me on a major tangent. It's no surprise that I met my husband on a blind date! In this podcast, Elizabeth Gilbert, the author Eat, Pray, Love, explains the superiority of curiosity better than I ever could.
4) The resume comes last. Long-term career fulfillment begins with inner work.
A resume created out of urgency, fear and stress will not reflect your truth. A resume created out of alignment, excitement, confidence and curiosity will open doors.
By following these key truths I have navigated several career changes and started a business. Last year I decided to give up my biggest, most predictable source of income in order to create space for something more meaningful. And just last week I was awarded work that will more than cover the income source I'm leaving behind. This new assignment will also allow me to travel and work in an industry I'm fascinated by.
What would you do if these truths were guiding your career?