Ten days to go on my blog, and I can’t think of a single thing to write so I will simply wish all a good start to the week.
The weekend. I could have been curious as I went shopping and had to figure out where to find certain things on my list. I could have been curious as I tried to replace the washer in my bathroom faucet. I could have been curious as I prepared a new recipe with an ingredient, quinoa, I have only used once before. I could have been, and I might have enjoyed the day more. Sadly, I wasn’t and didn’t. I was too intent in each case on achieving a certain goal in as short a time as possible. Ah, well.
Today (rather belatedly) it occurred to me that my hypothesis is phrased almost as if I see curiosity as the only path to the outcomes I list (see below for list). This afternoon on our dogwalk I noticed that I was charging down the path through the woods simply enjoying the somewhat more strenuous movement. There was no curiosity involved. I was not paying any special attention. I was not particularly open. Nonetheless, it was reducing my stress. That is in any case one example of how there are other ways to achieve at least some of the outcomes I want.
- Reduce the stress in my life
- Set me up to be more responsive and therefore more effective
- Help me build better connections to other people
- Be the path to growth AND the way to enjoy the journey
- Be an antidote to self-righteousness and knowing it all
- Help me know more and understand more (added 31 October 2016)
- Contribute to my enjoyment of life (added 31 October 2016)
- Generally enrich my life (added 13 February 2017)
A few days ago (on Day 346), I posted a link to the Coffer Illusion. On that occasion, I was able to see the circles by looking for them. This evening, I was treated to an evening out listening to a kind of music I almost never listen to, a kind of folk rock. The headliner plays all over the United States so when I couldn’t get into his music I told myself to look for the circles, to accept they were there and to find them. I really tried, but I couldn’t see them. I couldn’t figure out why this artist has such a good reputation. It seems you can’t always make yourself see the circles amidst the rectangles.
It’s funny. I’ve written fairly often about how work pressure and to-do lists make it harder for me to be curious. Now I’m on vacation and I find I’m almost too relaxed to be curious. I am re-reading one of my favorite books, ate something for dinner I know I like, swam at a place I’ve swum countless times. It’s all great, but none of it is new, and I find I’m not even moved to practice curiosity by comparison. Perhaps tomorrow …
Why am I stressing out on vacation? Because I am experiencing a number of technical uncertainties at the moment (too long to go into). My great fear (a big curiosity killer) is damaging my computer irreparably and losing all my data. At the same time, everything seems to be working so slowly while we finally have perfect summer weather and I want to be outdoors (so performance and time pressure, also curiosity killers). Why am I even on my computer on my vacation? Because a client sent something back for revisions the day I was leaving. We agreed on an August 14 deadline, but I decided to get it done now so that I can stop thinking about it. Ick! Still, I have now sent it off and shall hope for better conditions and more curiosity tomorrow.
Well, I didn’t practice much curiosity today (Sunday), but I should have some big opportunites to practice tomorrow. I’m teaching a one-week workshop with two participants. (Don’t ask.) Curiosity may be one of my best tools, I’m thinking. Will keep you posted.