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Disruptively curious: what happens when we follow our questions.

What would happen if we followed our curiosity?

Each of us exists in a matrix of relationships. The most prominent ones tend to be with other human beings, but we also co-exist with the natural environment, other animals, and the infrastructure of our cities and towns. On a more abstract level we relate to social and professional structures, to ideologies and systems, and, perhaps most importantly, to our internal sense of self. How would our relationships to all of these change if we asked ‘why?’ with an attitude of wanting to learn and grow and to know the world, others, and our selves a little better?

My personal and professional journeys have been most profound and successful when I have followed my curiosity. By this I mean taking risk based on a limited amount of information, and a commitment to pursuing meaningful questions. This has usually turned out well, but not without major disruption. The concept of market or product disruption describes the change and leap forward due to innovation which changes the previous status quo and consumer experience and expectation. Disruption is – disruptive. It is, on one hand, unpredictable, unstable, and the outcome is not assured. But with planning, asking the right questions, and thorough analysis of existing frameworks, the inertia and momentum can be harnessed to create a greater good (generally speaking).

My intent with this blog is to follow my curiosity in the realms of business, health, literature, nature, science, and relationships. This list is not exhaustive, and the subjects are not mutually exclusive. Based on the premise of the inter-relatedness of all things, choosing curiosity over remaining still should result in positive change – disruption. In our hyper-connected, always-on culture in the west, we are more away of our interdependence and the knock-on effects of distant political, economic, and sociocultural events. The rise of the Internet of Things and the reliance on and pursuit of big data has emphasised that we are interested in population-level and mass analysis of information which was previously only a distant fantasy.

Yet for all our technical and financial and scientific development, we are also becoming more aware of our profound humanity. As we see the rise of mental illnesses and lifestyle-related diseases in our societies, we are left to wonder about what progress has actually led to? We create an ever-growing list of global social and natural problems to solve, even as we discover new medical insights which can potentially change the course of disease progression through personalised medicine. We are being human in a deep and real way, just as we attempt to push away our mortality and aim for longevity and escape from suffering.

So, above all, we are human. I choose to believe that we are learning that the refugee is not so different from you or I; that in our midst are the abused, the lonely, the traumatised, and the recovering. How can we disrupt our systems? How can we be bottom-up instigators of social movement to challenge and affect change in our societies? How can we be the bringers of diversity and radical transparency and innovation to our workplaces? How can we save our human-human relationships from a slow demise into a screen-based simulacra of intimacy?

I think we can, if we ask the right questions, and follow our curiosity.

Thanks for joining.

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3 thoughts on “Disruptively curious: what happens when we follow our questions.

  1. My brain is doing better with this post than the next. I think to operate with particular awareness which allows curiosity must be like interacting with a layer peeled off. Somehow i think that’s the layer we grow during our 20s to protect ourselves from hurts. It probably sets and thickens! But it also serves to isolate. Curiosity seems like a good starting point for the ‘innocent eye’. Thanks Simon.

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    • Thanks Philippa. I love that – curiosity as the ‘innocent eye’. A great place to aim for. Both posts seemed somewhat rambly to me, so your brain was not alone in struggling to follow. Trying to balance writing with a goal, but unfettered, but curious, but free-flowing, but not garbled nonsense either. Will see where this leads. Very interested on your perspective on self-expression and putting your art ‘out there’. You are obviously incredibly experienced at it. I was surprised how anxious and vulnerable it made me feel. No rush, when you have time, either here on via another medium.

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      • Look at the date! Hi Simon. Putting art out there has been associated with a cringe on my part. In those cases I try to prepare for criticism – a last-minute waste of energy in case of ‘assault’ with a verbal weapon! It gets easier if I keep up the flow. Lately I have been painting 3 mornings a week at a particular cafe in the city. By the 3rd session it feels easier or my skin is thicker. I realise that a lot of potential judges don’t fully understand the process. I used to be quite shy about my artwork but now call myself a fearless public painter. I think it’s working! Age helps too. Why should I worry? It has helped me feel less vulnerable to think of the individual people rather than the “public” “out there”. Does this answer some of your questions? Cheers, Philippa

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