Final Answer: Curiosity

Quintessential Florida.

Iggy Pop, scraggly-faced musician, former frontman for The Stooges, the grandfather of punk, and Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef, television personality, stand in the sand on Miami Beach, looking at the sky. Two aging men who, by most people’s standards, have been there, done that, seen it all.

Iggy: I’m still curious. You seem like a curious person.

Anthony: It’s my only virtue. (said with a chuckle)

Iggy: There you go. All right. Curious is a good thing to be. You know it’s seems to pay some unexpected dividends.

Final clip on Mr. Bourdain’s inspired CNN series “Parts Unknown.” The Miami episode.

What a nice note to end on, I think to myself. 

Curiosity is the final answer.

You and I know that when work starts to feel stale, curiosity can be hard to come by.

Before I opened my firm I spent 5 years on the road, delivering training programs for an international training company. Within a year the programs I facilitated had become entirely routine for me.

It forced me to think. What am I still curious about? There are endless nuances to program content, but I knew these nuances would reveal themselves on their own. My curiosity needed to transcend the task I was performing.

My solution: Be curious about the variables, not the routine. Every person who showed up at one of my seminars was the variable. Every latest trend in the training industry was the variable. Every new city I trained in was the variable.

The fatal myth: Be curious about everything.

A grand thought when you stand on the beach with Iggy and contemplate the meaning of life.

At work, however, choose your curiosity. If you don’t present to your firm’s Board of Directors, let someone else be curious about that. Find the curiosity that will fuel your commitment to what you do every day.

Be curious about the variables in your sphere of influence.

Would it serve you to be more curious about the folks in your sphere?

More curious about what brilliant competitors do?

Curious about solving a recurring problem? Curious about the interplay of what you do and other business units?

You decide. But be curious, please.

Dale is a fellow who shows up every day at the Bagel joint where I grab my morning bagel. When I ask Dale how he’s doing, his answer is always the same:

Same old, same old.

Dale has extinguished any spark of curiosity. Same old, same old is simply not an option.

The unexpected dividends?

Curiosity keeps our inner spark alive. It adds a deeper purpose to everything that you and I do. It connects us to a larger world of wisdom and possibility.

That’s a good thing.

Feels good, too.

Uhuh. Iggy got this one right. It’s a good thing to be.

So be specific. Be good. And receive your dividends.