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Curiosity is a creator, a catalyst, and ...

Updated: Jan 15, 2019

... a complacency killer. And complacency is a killer.


Description: The movie "Moneyball" shares the story of Billy Beane ( and his reinvention of the Oakland A's using an unconventional method, a brilliant but marginalized thinker, and forgotten (or never really known) players. The genesis of this masterful and magical season begins when Beane notices a subtle and consistent deference to the young be-speckled Peter Brand (played expertly and endearingly by Jonah Hill) during negotiations for players with a GM Counterpart from another team. Curious as to the reason for the deference, and desperate for options to help rebuild his A's on a fraction of the budget others teams enjoyed - Beane corners Brand, intent on learning what's different about him.

Discussion: Curiosity requires courage. The courage to ask ourselves questions about our strengths, limitations, goals, objectives, and performance. The courage to ask others for help. The courage to ask ourselves and others questions no one has asked before. It is daunting.

Yet, as with most courageous moments - there is rich reward on the other side of risk. In PursuingElite we define curiosity as "intellectual courage," and describe it as the co-equal and pre-cursor to physical courage. Why? Because all too often the reason we don't ask the question is fear. We're afraid of the answer. Of what we will find out. Of what others will think of us when they realize we don't know something, or don't know how to do something they (and sometimes we) thought we could do. But that is very definition of courage, isn't it? Action in the face of fear.

In sports and in combat there is an urgency to finding out when to do something, how to do something, and what to do it with, If we don't - our teammates, the fans, the enemy, the world will find out we did not/would not/could not do the work. The cost is so very high ... almost always measured in loss, sometimes measured in lives.

In our personal and professional lives it is often easier to hide, to kick the can of curiosity down the road a little bit. There is always some busy-ness or other thing to focus on rather than that void in our knowledge or skill. The truth is - this just temporarily pushes pain back, and often gives that pain more power. But asking ourselves the hard questions, the new ones, questions no one else has thought ask - this produces efficiencies, advantages, and experiences that reside only where courage lives.

Decision, Design & Discipline: Do you ask yourself as many hard questions as you ask others? Do you make it a practice to start working through challenges, conflict, and opportunities with what you can or could have done first/better/more/less? If not - decide to try that first for the next 3 weeks.

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