Combine Curiosity, Kinesiology, & Causes in ‘14

“If you could do something you really love, what would you do?”  A Prudential ad suggests your retirement should bring you to the answer.

James Taylor suggests “the secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.” If you’re not already spending most of your waking hours in work you love, let me offer a suggestions that may help you move in that direction in 2014–spend twenty minutes with a journal today thinking about curiosity, kinesiology, and causes.

Curiosity: what are you are drawn to? What stirs your intellectual curiosity? What would you like to learn more about?

Susan Oxnevad suggests starting your day with a Genius Hour, an “inspired, experimental, and sometimes spontaneous” research around “driving questions.”

I started teaching because I thought combining projects and simulations would be a better way to develop professionals. That curiosity about human development has animated the last 25 years of my life.

Kinesiology: what do you enjoy doing?  What physical and social aspects of your work do you enjoy most?  Do you like meeting new people?

It turns out I enjoy struggling for hours over a keyboard trying to develop and describe a point of view–but that would drive many people crazy. What gets you into the flow?

Causes: what do you really care about?  Yesterday, Pope Francis asked, “Did You Spend 2013 Helping Others?”

I had the good fortune to work with a gentleman that was animated by social injustice, “Things were not the way they were supposed to be.”  Data and field trips clarified the causes he cared about and they became the focus of his life and work.

Moving toward work you love means getting in touch with what, how, and why–what you are drawn to, how you like to spend your time, and the causes that move you to action.

When you’re clear about those three things, you can start looking for a gap, a problem to solve, a place you can add value.  When you find that, you’ll find a way to get paid (unless your Prudential retirement plan took care of that already).

Move closer to work you love in 2014. James Taylor says, “It’s okay to feel afraid / But don’t let that stand in your way.”

For more on finding your calling, see:

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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1 Comment


Good thoughts, Tom.

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