4. Curiosity First

These highlights and notes are derived from Section II: Chapter 4 of the book The Heart to Start by David Kadavy.

Opening Quote:

It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength…What is done in love is well done.

Vincent Van Gogh

Your will to start making your art has to fight against everything that tries to hold it back. You may feel like you don’t have the time. You may find yourself constantly distracted. You may feel too scared.”

“But if you have the right fuel, you can bust right through everything. Once you get moving, that fuel can keep you going consistently. “

One of the best forms of that fuel is your own curiosity. If you learn how to connect with your curiosity, not only will it propel you through the hard work of getting started, it will be there to keep you moving.”

If you Lose Track of Time, you’re on the Right Track

Here is a lovely question, really think about it:

“When was the last time you lost track of time while doing something? Maybe you were mixing a song on your computer. Maybe you were having a stimulating conversation with a friend. Maybe it’s been different things at different times.”

Think about it.

“But think how much easier it is to keep yourself going when you’re curious about something.”

Now, use your mind’s eye to watch yourself on this:

Many people resist their own curiosity because once we’ve reached adulthood, we’re encouraged to exploit what we’ve learned. If you have a skill, Ian explained, you can make money off that skill, but you won’t learn anything new. You have to find the right balance between exploitation and exploration.

Steve Job and his Curiosity

What of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on

Steve Jobs

“[Steve Jobs] told the story of wandering around his college campus. Because he had dropped out of college, he could drop in on any class he wanted. So he went to a calligraphy class. He learned about the details of drawing beautiful letters.

“None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life, but 10 years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography.”

Steve Jobs

Whenever I worried, I would return to Jobs’s story. Every day, I was learning something new. Even if I wasn’t finishing the projects, I was learning new skills with each one. I was also learning what projects could ignite my own curiosity enough to keep me moving, and which ones would quickly lose my interest.

“It was better than playing Guitar Hero. Curiosity is powerful fuel for motivation. But curiosity is also a competitive advantage. That’s because curiosity will take you places where nobody else can go.”

Exploitation and Exploration

“It’s a crowded world out there. Sometimes it feels as if every good idea is taken. But if you follow your curiosities, they’ll eventually converge into something completely original.”

“Even if you’re not the best in the world at any one of those curiosities, chances are you’re the best in the world at your particular combination of curiosities.”

“I didn’t build a company that would reinvent the world or approach a trillion dollars in value. That wasn’t what I was going for. What I did do was find the right combination of exploitation and exploration. I gave myself as much time and space as I could to follow my curiosities.Pay

Pay Attention, the substance of this next passage is lovely:

“When Steve Jobs started building the Mac, nobody was thinking about beautiful typography. They were just focused on building computers.”

Focus one more time. Please.

“If you’re looking for the fuel to get started, there’s no fuel more powerful than your own curiosity. Following your curiosity can be scary, but if you give yourself space and time, eventually curiosities converge. Then you become untouchable. Even if you have enough curiosity to fuel a strong start, things will go much better if your ideas resonate with someone else.

Great way to transition to the next Chapter:

Up Next is Chapter 4: The Voice

(I hope these notes are helping you as much as they are helping me).


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