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(2) Smart vs hard work: Curiosity did not kill the cat!

Updated: Jul 2, 2019

"Curiosity killed the cat". We've heard this a lot in our growing up years, but some of us refused to believe it. Years ago Dylan wrote the song, The times they are a-changin, he couldn't have been more right. With changing times comes the need to unlearn, re-learn and adapt. This is the 2nd article I'm writing to share my thoughts on working smart vs working hard. Read on ....

Motivation to learn can come from two sources as I see it - compulsion (through fear/having no choice) or curiosity. It is quite obvious that the former is least favoured as it makes the entire experience less enjoyable. Curiosity on the other hand can be more fun, but is becoming a rarity these days. Kids seem to have it for the first few years after birth and as the digital world takes over their mind space, curiosity seems to vaporise into thin air. The curiosity to look at the real world outside - people, nature, the inter-play between different entities - seems to dissolve and disappear. Interest to learn new things seems to narrow down to an extremely small list of items. As in all cases, there are some exceptions.

So why should we even bother to learn new things? I'm working hard, my boss is happy, the pay is good, life is rosy. Many of us live with this state of mind. Live within our comfort zones. Disruption. Did you notice how I managed to throw chaos into the flow of this paragraph by simply inserting the word? That is how you can get kicked out of your comfort zone when it happens. Us having to learn new things as a result of disruption means, having to learn due to compulsion to do so. We already know how motivating that can be.

Curiosity on the other hand can make us ask questions about how we have been doing things even when we are cruising along. The processes we have been following. The ones which have been giving us acceptable results. Kept everyone happy. Asking the right questions, and exploring other options could lead us to discover better ways of doing the same tasks. Better could mean cheaper ways, quicker ways and so on. In some cases, simply looking at the processes might not yield results. Keeping track of trends in our domain / technology / solution space could give us ideas. Talking to others with similar mindsets could result in a brain-storming session leading to break-throughs. Isn't it better to learn when there is no compulsion? Who knows, instead of adapting to a disruption, you could be the one creating it in the first place. An opportunity to switch from being a follower to a leader!

Learn. Apply. Become a smart worker.

I'm convinced, a lack of curiosity is sure to kill the cat.

You can read my previous article here. And hey, if you haven't checked out my 4th initiative in 10 years' since I left a lucrative corporate career, explore! And don't forget to leave a comment. Would love to get a peek into your thoughts. Meow for now!

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