19 don't assume

‘Many people have not found their Element because they don’t understand their constant potential for renewal.’*

Should we expect or anticipate a flow to our lives?

In concluding his book Flourish, Martin Seligman offers his Signature Strengths Test.  I was reading through the group of six knowledge and wisdom strengths (in all, there are twenty four signature strengths).  These include (in rising complexity): being curious, love learning, critical thinking,** practical ingenuity, social (emotional) awareness, and perspective (wisdom).^

When I take a new path with curiosity – whether curiosity in particular things or in all things – I discover a desire to learn more.  When I learn my thinking become better, stronger – my questions improve.  When my thinking gets stronger, creativity has a chance to flourish.

My own curiosity was piqued when I saw how Edgar Schein uses curiosity to describe his preferred way of listening:

‘Accessing your ignorance, or allowing curiosity to lead you, is often the best guide to what to ask about.’^^

This encourages me to see how human curiosity, learning, critical thinking, and ingenuity should be poured into relationships (with one another, with our planet and its many species, and with ourselves).  We stand a better chance at arriving at a different way of seeing what life can mean.

‘There’s a famous old quip: “A lot of people in business say they have twenty years experience, when in fact all they have is one year’s experience, repeated twenty times.”‘*^

Perhaps, when we develop these strengths and step out on the new path, we might find ourselves in the flow of what our life can be.

I’d love to hear what you are curious about.

(*From Ken Robinson’s The Element.)
(**Critical thinking is marked by the kind of dimensions which make Nassim Taleb’s sceptical empiricist – able to arrive at judgements whilst remaining open-minded: see The Black Swan.)

(^From Martin Seligman’s Flourish.)
(^^From Edgar Schein’s Humble Inquiry.)
(*^From Hugh Macleod’s Ignore Everybody.)


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