It’s not a word I knew until 30 minutes ago when curiosity struck for the umpteenth time today. But I promise you the title of this blog is absolutely true. If you, like me, are filled with curiosity at what the P word means, let me save you a trip to your dictionary or thesaurus. Pococurantism is a synonym for boredom although perhaps, in meaning, is closer to apathy.
And this afternoon I was bored. I could avoid one particular task no longer… I had put it off as long as possible. The forecast said it had to be today. It was time to cut the grass. And for me, cutting grass is definitely 11/10 on the bore chore scoreline. But something today was different. Maybe it was because I’d had a long conversation with a fellow coach earlier this morning where we really chewed over the subject of perspective, I don’t know. As I stood there, ready to defy the grass box and once more prepared to defend the virtue of the cable against the ever enticing wheels, I decided to do something different.
It suddenly occurred to me that because it’s a task I simply hate doing, I always do it slowly. The more I begrudge the time and effort, the slower I get. Then my back starts to ache and I get even slower. So today, I got curious and decided to do it a different way. I chose to undertake the task as quickly as possible. I allowed myself the freedom not to do it perfectly, just to try doing it quickly and see how it felt and what happened. Guess what! Not a single blade of grass was injured in the speeding up of the process. My imperfect stripes stayed imperfect – but no worse than they have ever been.
When I got to the postage stamp of grass at the front of the house, curiosity struck again. It may only be postage stamp sized, but it’s an awkward shape and half of the grass hides in the shadow of the beautiful shrubbery. For the first time in 5 years, I cut it on the diagonal instead of wrestling with edging and the Save Our Shrubs campaign which is always cheer-led by the roses or, more accurately, the thorns. Guess what? I did it in half the time.
So what did I learn from my curiosity? That upping the pace gave me focus. Being curious held my attention and therefore gave me purpose. And having focus and purpose turned a chore into a far more enjoyable, purposeful task.
There’s one more thing about curiosity that I’d like to share with you. It’s a thought that I shared in a #pinkthink last week and I proved it to be true again today. When I’m cutting the grass with curiosity in mind, I’m not criticising myself for not doing it this way before, nor was I berating myself for the time I’ve wasted on previous occasions. The great thing about curiosity is that it keeps us out of judgement – of ourselves and others.
When we learn to leave judgement (and, indeed boredom!) behind, we are able to be more playful and creative – we become more resourceful. Being creative helps us to create choice. When we are choice-full we have greater flexibility which, in turn enables us to be more resourceful. Being resilient is a huge part of being more personally effective as you’ll see from the framework I use to work with clients.
It all starts with curiosity. What could you get curious about this week that would help you to create choice and become more resilient? Let me know, below.
Until next time… be bold, be brave and be brilliant.
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