Conversations About Curiosity

Summary: “Share your curiosities with others to help discover your calling in life”¬†

I’ve previously written about the value of discovering and pursuing your true calling in life. However, sometimes when I advise people to do that, they tell me, “I just don’t know my calling. How can I go about discovering my calling if I don’t have a clue? I don’t know how to even get started on doing such a thing?” My thoughts are if you explore things you are passionate about, you might discover some interesting connections between your passions and your calling. Frequently when I have such thoughts, synchronicity kicks in and dumps something in my lap that is relevant to my thoughts. In this case, the “something dumped” was Steven Kotler’s new book The-Habit-of-Ferocity (free download).

While reading Kotler’s book, I stumbled across an interesting exercise designed to help people discover, or be reminded of, things they are passionate about. Kotler advises people to begin by writing down 25 things they are curious about. When I tried this simple exercise, I found that there were plenty of strong connections between what I am curious about and what I am passionate about. It strikes me that this will often be the case with humans. Maybe it will help you discover you calling, maybe not. In any case, I think it is a good use of your time. Here are my suggestions:

  1. Give it a try (don’t worry if you can only come up with 6, 16, 19 things, try for 25 but just do your best).
  2. You and a friend, or spouse, or co-worker, relax together (maybe over a glass of wine, or a beer, or coffee, or tea), share your list with each other, and talk about the items on your list.
  3. See if you can help each other recognize trends (ideas that are related to each other).

Perhaps in doing this you will discover more about your potential calling in life. At a minimum you will probably have an enjoyable conversation with the other person.

I’m sort of cheating with this exercise. I know my calling in life…to be a teacher. And I know my main subject…human behavior. Here are a few items that ended up on my curiosity list:

  • What are the payoffs for unproductive behavior?
  • Why do some people tolerate continued abuse?
  • What are some of the best movable jazz patterns on guitar?
  • Why are so many people addicted to busyness?
  • What can people really do about unhealthy stress (in a very practical sense)?
  • How can you best support the success of your adult children?

Do you see a pattern? Except for the jazz guitar thing, most of them relate to understanding behavior. Hopefully, you will see an imbedded pattern in your list. Who knows, maybe you will actually discover your calling. And maybe pursuing this calling will help you joyfully participate in life. Give it a try!

Joyfully participate in life today…Chris

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