Tag Archives: Discovery

Let Your Curiosity Lead the Way

I met a woman and her husband yesterday as I was hanging out in my favorite mall coffee shop. They were very friendly, and we had a lot in common, so we chatted for quite a while. He was telling me that they were getting ready to be relocated to the other side of the country. It was a promotion, so he was getting more money, and better benefits. But nevertheless, they were both nervous. They had both lived in this relatively small town their whole lives, and were going to be moving to a big city. You know how it is, right? You feel comfortable, like you’ve gotten the hang of everything, then suddenly it gets all turned upside down. You don’t know if you will be ok, or get what you need. You don’t even know where to start because everything is so new. On the one hand, you are glad to have this opportunity, but on the other hand, you are nervous, because you don’t know how this will turn out, and you don’t even know how to proceed.

They were telling me how their daughter was just learning to walk. She just turned two. She is at the age where you just become really curious about everything. You see something new, and you want to discover what this is. The only requirements are that you haven’t seen this before. You spend your whole existence, exploring, and walking around. Touching things, smelling things, tasting things. Many neuroscientists think this is the greatest resource of humanity, the power of curiosity. To seek new things. To search and discover simply for the sake of searching and discovering. You will never know when you will find this useful and interesting.

It’s like sometimes as adults, we can just let go of any expectation, and just let our curiosity lead us. We are old enough to stay away from danger, and to know this is a resource when we see something we like. Many of the great discoveries that we still use today came from when people were just able to let go of expectations and ask “What if?” Life can seem dreary and repetitive when we forget to do this on a regular basis. Let your curiosity lead the way.

They were telling me their happiest times (so far!) of being parents was to watch their kid find something she thought was exciting, and just feel good for discovering this. Like you can really feel a sense of accomplishment when your curiosity has led you to something cool like this. She was telling me that she likes to follow her kid around in bookstores, just like the one we were sitting in, and watch her daughter go through the joys of being able to learn something new.

Which is why he was telling me that although they were a bit nervous about leaving their comfortable small town, with the same people and the same shops and the same restaurants, they were really excited about moving to the huge metropolis where they were going. He said that he jumped on the opportunity when it presented itself. I’m sure they will do fantastic in their new life.

There is Magic Inside

I was walking down the street yesterday, minding my own business, like I normally do. Well, almost normally. Most of the time at least. And I passed by this very small flower shop. It was a flower shop that I had passed by several times before. I don’t know what it was that caused me to go inside. I certainly didn’t want to buy any flowers, as I wasn’t going anywhere that warranted a gift of flowers to anyone.

The first thing that struck me was just how large the flower shop seemed on the inside. From the outside, it looked like a small shop that could only hold maybe a few dozen arrangements. The front of the store was not that large, and on either side were rather looking storefronts, so you would never imagine what you could find inside until you really look. The first thing I was reminded of is the scene in Harry Potter (book four or five, I can’t remember) when he went to watch the world Quiddich Cup, and he went inside a tent set up by the Weasley’s. It was small on the outside, but enormous and filled with magic on the inside. That’s what this flower shop was like.

Inside were incredible arrangements of flowers I’d never even seen before. The colors were tantalizingly fantastic, and the way the proprietor had arranged them was absolutely breathtaking. I won’t even begin to try and describe it, because one, I only know the vocabulary of about six colors, and two, I only know the names of maybe three flowers. Bu suffice it to say that as soon as I went inside that shop, I started racking my brains for a reason to buy an arrangement or two and a reason to give them to somebody.

I started talking to the proprietor of the place. She had been in business for about ten years, all in the same shop. She had done several renovations to maximize the small space she had to work with, and the results spoke for themselves. She had originally been a high level executive assistant, pulling close to six figures a year (and that was over ten years ago,) but something about her job was less than satisfying. She wasn’t able to find happiness answering the needs of others. She was well respected, well liked, had enjoyed several promotions over the course of her career, but something was missing. She wasn’t able to choose her own direction.

So she looked around and found the flower shop for sale. She had always had a penchant for arranging things. But up until then, she had always been arranging things according to the criteria of other people. Like when you’ve had enough, and you need to choose things that are important to you. You feel a need to set your own course, and not have to follow the orders of others. You need to be yourself, whatever that may be. And she found it in this shop.

She said that at first the money was less than a quarter than she made before, but really enjoyed it. She could find ways to express her creativity in a way that gave her that special kind of satisfaction that you get when you do things your own way.

And of course, as time went on, and her shop became more and more successful, she started to earn more money than she did before. And not only that, but she is now able to set her own hours, choose her own arrangements, and feel really proud of her work.  Something she suspects never would have been possible before.

It’s kind of nice knowing that there are still people like this to model yourself after.


Discover Something You Knew Already

One of the great things about my new neighborhood is all the small local supermarkets which are filled with locally grown foods. I enjoy cooking, so naturally I enjoy shopping for different foods to cook. Like sometimes I’ll cook a big pot of something that I’ll eat for the next several days, and other times I’ll buy several different kinds of ingredients, and then figure out what to cook day by day, in smaller amounts.

The second thing I discovered about having so many supermarkets around is being able to discover what kinds of unique style each market has. Of course they all have the main ingredients, milk, eggs, peanuts. But different markets have different kinds of vegetables, and fish, and different kinds and cuts of meat. And I find it really easy to become curious about what this has, and what that has.

Like when you buy a new computer that has all kinds of pre loaded software. You can find it easy to develop a desire to want to know more. And the more you discover, the more it makes you realize how much there really is here. I bought a laptop a couple of years ago, and was in the unfortunate situation of having to be in the hospital for a few days. It wasn’t any big deal, I didn’t need surgery or anything, but being in the hospital sure is boring. And a friend brought my laptop for me to play with. And even though that at the time I had already been using it for almost a year, I was still able to get really curious about what I could find to help me have fun while I was laying in the hospital. And I found several games that I didn’t even know that I had, and they really helped me to pass the time.

It’s funny when that happens. You see something that you’ve seen before, and you think you already know everything there is to know about this. But the more you keep reading, the more you can really start to want to discover more and more. Like when you have a friend for a long time, and you discover something about them that you hadn’t know for a long time. I had a friend once, and we’d know each other for years before I realized she had a thing for Japanese Anime. Personally, I don’t really see the draw, but to each his own, right?

Of course because of all this, I’m going to need to go grocery shopping soon. I can’t wait to see how much I will become curious to see what I can discover something new, but I’m sure you’ve realized by now that that was something you knew already.


The Greatest Gift

I remember being a kid on christmas morning. Waking up early. Actually getting out of bed early after having not been able to sleep all night. You know how when you lay there all night, maybe it wasn’t christmas eve, but you just couldn’t help to expect somethig wonderful?  Like you couldn’t wait to leap out of bed because you knew you were going to receive something fantastic?

Gifts are cool that way. When you take a normal, everyday thing, like a book, or a CD, and as you wrap it up in a nice package, it takes on an almost mysterious quality.  When you receive it, you don’t know what is inside. Your mind begins to wonder what it is. And because it is carefully wrapped, maybe with a ribbon, you start to assume good things about it. This is something wonderful, you think. This is something really special, you hope.  You are sure that this is something you are going to really enjoy.

Like when you see something, and you are not sure what’s inside. Sometimes people give those gifts that are wrapped up in box after box after until the gift is nestled nicely and safely deep inside, where it was waiting for you to discover it. And you do realize that opening the gift is half the fun, don’t you? And when somebody puts all that time and effort into something, knowing you will enjoy the discovery, that in and of itself is really fantastic, isn’t it?

Imagine, now, if you will, the best gift you ever recieved. The coolest present somebody ever gave you. The most wonderfully wrapped package that you ever had the pleasure of being able to discover what is inside. You might have gotten a bike, or a car, or even a stack of money. What was the coolest gift you were able to ever give yourself to somebody else?  What was the most fun you had hiding something you knew somebody else would be able to discover this?

Do you know what the greatest gift is? The greatest gift that be a source of joy and and wonder and support for as many people as you can imagine? The greatest gift that can help people through tough times, and let people know that anything is achievable if you set your mind, right? The gift that can convince people that no matter how bad things are, you can always overcome them? That no matter what other people think or say or do, you always have yourself, and your choices? Do you really know what the greatest gift ever is?


But you already knew that, didn’t you?