"I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity."Elenanor Roosevelt
"I have no special talents. I am passionately curious." Albert Einstein
Wish my parents could have read these quotes when they were raising me. My biggest gift in life gave them many stressful moments.
My Grandmother’s fenced-in yard and garden in the inner city intrigued me. The numerous trips to the emergency room to get stitches were a consequence of my wanting to see what was on the other side of the fence or perhaps just to see if I could do something I had never done before, climb all the way to the top and jump over it. Of course a four or five year old can’t reach the other side of the fence without occasionally getting hurt. In spite of the traumas I put them through my parents never attempted to tame that spirit in me.
The gift of curiosity has never been tamed in me and I do realize it can be a challenge at times for others to tolerate. I have been retired for 9 years from sales in the construction industry. Even now when land is being cleared in preparation for a new project I am so curious to know what will be built on that site that I will stop and ask the workmen.
In my marketing career that curiosity gave me the competitive edge. As soon as I would obtain information about a project I would visit the architect and get my product in the specifications before anyone else knew about the job. These appointments would also give me the opportunity to browse through the magazines in the reception area. I would acquire information regarding the architect’s interests.
Once while in the reception area of an architectural firm I saw literature on how to solve problems with the proper cleaning of bricks. Before going in to see him I went to the secretary and asked who coordinated in-house seminars for continual education credits. Luckily she said she was that person. I told her I had speakers on the subject of cleaning bricks. She immediately set a date for the seminar.
When I did get to see the architect I told him about the scheduled seminar. He was impressed and then asked how he could help me. I told him I wanted to get my color masonry in his specifications for the New Orleans Convention Center project. He immediately followed up with my request. The competition tried tirelessly to get the specifications changed but did not have success.
It is interesting to observe the reaction of people who follow the exact same routine in most of their daily activities. I picked up the VP of our company on three occasions in a month to take him to a customer’s office. On the third trip he asked if there was a reason we always took a different route to the exact same destination. I know I shocked him with my answer. I explained that I am always curious to see what is going on in different areas of the city and I wanted to make certain he didn’t get bored in route to the office.
Curiosity does not stop when a lifetime career comes to an end. It is a lifetime pursuit of living life to the fullest. I don’t want to miss anything! Being generous to others by tithing has been one of our budget items in our 49 years of marriage. It has been equally important to be generous to ourselves and invest in us by experiencing personal growth workshops, spiritual retreats, and by building a library of inspirational books and CDs. These tools keep the fire burning in my curious mind and soul.
This week you may want to move out from your comfort zone and allow your curiosity to expand. You may want to get off the fast moving interstate and take the slower scenic route to the office or shopping center. You may want to go to the library or bookstore and pick up a book or magazine on topics of interest to you. I picked up a copy of a business magazine while I was in the military in Germany. I read about a new company dealing with communications that was getting close to opening. I purchased stock in this company and made enough profit to put a down payment on my first house.