In his 2005 Stanford University commencement address Steve Jobs discussed 3 personal stories from his life. The advice he delivered was clear: find what you love, trust in your instincts, and follow your heart. I wrote a short post about this speech awhile ago after reading a portion of the transcript, but I never saw the video until today. This speech conveys a great wealth of firsthand advice on life. If you haven’t seen it, or even if you’ve only read the transcript, its well worth the 15 minutes of your time.
Do you want a rewarding life? Then be curious. The more curious you are, the more possibilities you will open throughout your lifetime. Open your eyes and look around. How many blind assumptions have you made? What do you want to know more about?
“I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
Here are 10 good reasons why you should unleash your curiosity:
- You Will Clarify Yourself – Curiosity allows you to shed light on your troubles, thoughts, and personal circumstances. It motivates you to uncover the truth about the nuances of your life. When curiosity is properly honed, it serves as a vehicle for establishing personal goals.
- You Will Uncover the Truth – All that seems obvious in life is not necessarily true. A curious person doesn’t just take someone’s word for it; they discover the truth for themselves. The curious dig deep into the details, and when they finish their detective work, they don’t only know “what” or “when”, they know “how” and “why”.
- You Will Release Your Inner Child – Children are curious. They are like an empty canvas, waiting to be filled with knowledge and experiences. They don’t have predetermined expectations fogging their judgment. Children absorb the world around with an open mind driven by sheer curiosity. Curiosity can help open your mind too.
- You Will Experience Something Fresh – New experiences are one of the most exciting acts of living. They simulate your mind and free your creative emotion, thus liberating your thoughts from the tension of a daily routine. Be curious, be daring, be alive! Go discover something fresh.
- You Will Increase Your Productivity – A curious mind dives beneath the surface of common acceptance to unravel the details driving the process. The more you comprehend the details, the better you will understand the process. Thus, the more productive you will be.
- You Will Learn More Often – When your curiosity steers you into the unknown you will return with a greater wealth of knowledge. You will stretch the boundaries of your mind. The more you learn, the more you will want to know. Every new awareness will lead you to another stimulating challenge.
- You Will Become More Efficient – Curious people look at a challenge from multiple angles. They discover alternative ways of accomplishing the same task. The greater the pool of possible solutions, the more likely it is that they will expose a better way to get things done.
- You Will Experience a Spice of Variety – Variety is the spice of life, at least that’s what the curious folks understand. There is nothing more boring than repetition. When you allow your curiosity to send you in new directions you add variety into your life. This could be as simple as eating at a new restaurant or taking a new route to work. Don’t confine yourself, go explore.
- You Will Be More Positive – It is much easier to be negative about something than it is to be positive. If you don’t understand something, or it is unusual to your senses, it’s easy to write it off as being useless or dumb. Only when you truly understand something will you be able to appreciate it. Human beings tend to be more positive toward the things they understand. Curiosity naturally broadens a person’s horizons, and thus their understanding of the things around them.
- You Will Establish New Relationships – Your curiosity will lead you down roads you would otherwise not have traveled. On occasion you will almost certainly want to stop and look around. You never know, you may bump into someone you have a lot in common with.
Abortion is one of the touchiest subjects of our time primarily due to widely varying beliefs concerning the exact moment at which “life” actually begins. The pro-choice community agrees with the point of view that abortion helps prevent young children from being born into unhappy homes. The pro-life supporters, however, would strongly disagree with this statement, instead taking the stand that abortion can be compared to ripping someone’s life away without giving them a choice or a chance. In reality there is a vast grey area in between these two extremes. My best friend once told me, “There are two sides to every story.”
I disagree with the labels of pro-choice and pro-life. Their strict affiliation with the subject of abortion is nonsensical. I’ve never met someone who is not in favor of life. Likewise, most levelheaded people realize the importance of liberty and free choice. With the exception of certain stubborn radicals, most people have a fundamental value system that trickles over the lines which divide the pro-choice and pro-life ideologies.
Based on the intrinsic complexity of personal feelings, there are an endless number of reasons why relationships fail. However, I believe there are 3 primary factors that form the basis for which every other problem stems. When a relationship turns sour you can be sure that at least 1 of these 3 factors is to blame.
1. Do I really like her, or just her gestures? – Everyone loves attention. When a member of the opposite sex goes out of their way to make you aware of it, it feels good. If they repeat the action a few more times and you return the favor, a shallow relationship forms. The true measure of compatibility occurs shortly there after. Once the initial excitement of this attention wears thin, what are you left with? Do you really like who this person is, or did you just enjoy their gestures? On occasion people you like will take actions you dislike. Likewise, people you dislike will get your attention by taking actions you do like. It’s important to understand both sides and be capable of distinguishing between the two.
2. We have stability and reliability, but I’m bored. – Once a relationship gets serious this is one of the top killers. We all want excitement in our lives. One of the most exciting things in life is discovering the unknown. Curiosity is what keeps us moving forward, but one must learn to properly hone curiosity. The first part of a serious relationship is primarily about the discovery of your partner’s entire aura. But once you know everything about them, where do you turn for a source of excitement? The answer is quite simple. Discover new things and create new experiences together. The only thing more fulfilling than a new experience is the act of sharing that same experience with someone else.
3. She has wonderful qualities, but I get stuck on her flaws. – It’s always easier to destroy than to create. Likewise, it’s easier to be negative than it is to be positive. Many relationships fail because both parties concentrate their attention on their partner’s flaws instead of the qualities they love about them. You learn the most about somebody by figuring out their strong points, rather than disputing their weak points. Over time both partners can work on their weak points collectively, so long as each person keeps a positive attitude and an honest line of communication. Keep in mind that it is impossible work on the weak points of a relationship if you are incapable of seeing your partner’s strong qualities.
Well, I’ve been part of the “real world” for a few years now. My transition from college into the 9 to 5 workforce was fairly smooth. There are certainly people who handled it better than I did, but I also know quite a few folks who are still struggling with the changeover. These first few years in the “real world” have been filled with crash-course life lessons, frequent hustle, and rapid career progression. As I progress I try to keep track of what works and what does not. I’m constantly in the process of analyzing both my successes and my failures in order to properly realign my future actions with my goals. Below you will find a list of 20 life lessons I’ve learned in the “real world” thus far.
- Be Passionate, but Also Be Realistic – I’ve experienced so many intelligent people (myself included) get overly passionate about something before fully evaluating the big picture. Passion without realistic direction leads to frustration and failure.
- Keep Up with Current Events – In college it’s easy to hold such a narrow focus on your social life and your classes that everything else in life flies right over your head. In the working world, however, not knowing who Ben Bernanke is or why North Korea is in the news so often can lead you into some horribly embarrassing dialogues.
- There is a Difference between a List of Goals and a Wish List – Most people understand that goals are desired outcomes that we must work to attain. Yet it’s amazing how many people I’ve met that lack the necessary drive and just sit there waiting for a miracle to move them forward.
- Everyone is Multidimensional and so are Our Successes – I’ve met wealthy people who seem unhappy and happy people who are underpaid. I’ve met successful businessmen who have been divorced 3 times and happily married men who can’t seem to find a job they like. Just because someone is successful in one part of their life, does not necessarily mean they are universally successful.
- Talent Does Not Equal Success – I’ve seen talented people fail. Why? Because even though they had the talent, they lacked the initiative and commitment necessary for success. Laziness will always overshadow talent.
- Relocation is the Pits – Moving all of your belongings from one place to another is usually a more intense endeavor than originally imagined. This process takes time, so plan for it. Also, do yourself a favor, don’t be a pack-rat. It only makes matters worst.
- Fear Will Only Hold You Back – The most effective means are not always the most comforting. It is imperative that we take educated chances in our lives. If it makes sense to do so, we must be ready to step outside of our comfort zone.
- Learn to Cook – This could easily save you thousands of dollars every single year. Eating out is expensive, eating in is cheap… nuff said! Learn to cook, and learn to limit the number of meals you eat out.
- Emotional Decisions are Usually Bad Decisions – Decisions driven by heavy emotion are typically misguided reactions rather than proactive judgments. These reactions are decisions made with a minimal amount of thought. Sometimes our feelings are based on impulse, instead of sound experience. Always consult your better judgment.
- There Are Different Levels of Intellect – Overall intelligence isn’t just about IQ. I’ve met some extremely intelligent people who are complete social and emotional morons.
- Drinking Water is Important – It’s a simple concept, I know. But when we get overly consumed in our busy routines, the simple act of drinking water skips our minds. Make sure your hydrate yourself. You’ll feel better and you’ll be healthier.
- Bad Feedback Can Be Better than Good Feedback – Even though I hate getting bad feedback, I’ve come to except the fact that it actually pushes me in the right direction. It gives me the ability to improve myself. Excessive good feedback just allows me sit put and feel accomplished (which isn’t always a bad thing 😉 ).
- Utilize Your Instincts – Not everything is what is seems. Not everyone who seems trustworthy actually is. Even though it is important to listen to what your friends, colleagues and acquaintances say, you must never ignore your own instincts. Sometimes they can help you evaluate circumstances far better than any third-party reference.
- Get Enough Sleep – This should seem like common sense, yet so many of us fail to get enough sleep on a regular basis. You will not be productive if you are exhausted… that’s the bottom line.
- Motivation Fluctuates, But Finish What You Start – I’ve seen countless people (myself included) get a sudden burst of motivation and start a project, but before the project is complete the motivation wears off. Thus, the project is never completed. It usually amounts to a complete waste of time, money and creativity. Understand that your levels of motivation will fluctuate, but you must still finish what you start.
- Flexibility for Change is Vital – Most of us are comfortable where we are even though the whole universe is constantly changing around us. Learning to accept change is vital to our happiness and general success.
- Identify What You Don’t Want – It’s important to understand that the things we don’t want are just as important as the things we do want. For instance, if you don’t want to have kids but you do want to have sex, there are multiple solutions to keep you inline with your goals. If you ignore what you don’t want and put all your attention on what you do want, you’ll end up getting what you don’t want.
- Problems Don’t Just Disappear – Almost everyone I know has fallen victim to the fallout of avoiding a problem. Sooner rather than later it becomes apparent that the problem only gets worse. Problems must be addressed, they don’t just disappear.
- Get the Important Things Done First – This certainly isn’t ground breaking advice, but it is a simple principle that works wonders. Let your mind tackle the important tasks while it’s rested, then the rest of the day basically is yours to enjoy.
- Take Ownership of Your Actions – Consciously think before you act. When the decision is made to act, always take full ownership of your actions, even when the outcome is negative. It’s easy to take ownership of success, but eventually the headline will read “failure”. When it does, only those who properly address the issue have the capability to succeed in the long term.