After speaking to a group about resilient leadership, at least one person will find me afterward and ask a simple question:
“There are so many things that interest me, how can I choose where to develop deep knowledge?”
This is an excellent question for several reasons.
The first reason is that pursuing deep knowledge both enriches life and also helps inspire innovative solutions through metaphorical thinking. If you are unfamiliar with the term, deep knowledge is the purposeful and active exploration of a topic that is exciting and interesting to you. I speak and write about it frequently, and it makes my day when someone expresses a desire to grow this powerful mental skill!
The second reason is that curiosity is a fundamental trait of the resilient leaders I work with and study. A question about growing deep knowledge tells me that the individual is aware of themselves. When you are aware of yourself, you are always in a place of learning about yourself. And as you learn about yourself, you become more and more acquainted with what is important to you, what drives you, your limitations, and what dreams you have. It’s this kind of thinking that leads to a person discovering their purpose. Purpose breeds confidence, and confidence provides the energy to be resilient by acting on ideas you dream up to overcome the block or challenge or change that one is being called upon to be resilient about.
Loving to learn new things opens the doors to learn. When we think we know all that we need to know, our minds tend to stop seeking new knowledge. It feels so comfortable not to have to stretch oneself anymore. You just can rest.
But this curiosity helps fuel the ability to bounce back, to know yourself and the world around you, and to thrive in the face of adversity. So it has been my experience over the years that the people who are more curious are also more resilient.
The good news is that curiosity, like resilience itself, can be cultivated and learned . In fact, the pursuit of deep knowledge, or at least deeper knowledge, in an area that interests you is a great place to start. Curiosity breeds curiosity, and in turn that breeds resilience. It is a beautiful, energizing cycle!
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