“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.
Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.
And however difficult life may seem there is always something you can do and succeed.”
Stephen Hawking, theoretical physicist
Once upon a time I heard a motivational speaker ask his audience if anyone had ever been bitten by an elephant.
No hands went up.
Next he ask if anyone had ever been bitten by a mosquito.
Everyone raised their hand.
The point he was making is little things make a big difference.
For example, it only takes a few seconds to double knot the laces on your running shoes before a race. This could mean the difference between first place, second place or even an ugly stumble on the road.
And how about those magic words, please and thank you. These are little things that never go out of style. So be kind to the bank teller, the supermarket cashier, the clerk at the dry cleaner and all folks at all stops in between. This little gesture will make it a better day for you and them.
How about a smile? Long ago someone gave me this advice, “If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.” Once again, a little thing that can make a big difference in your life as well as the person you’re smiling at.
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Over the years I’ve enjoyed several classes in comedy writing. I think the most helpful advice I received was, “Be a little bit interested in everything.” And when exploring something for the first time ask. “What’s funny about this?”
I’m not a fan of major sports like football, basketball, or baseball but I do from time to time enjoy reading a biography of a star player and learning something from their climb to the top. And with a great sense of patriotism, I’ll watch the Army Navy Football game.
There is something special about a little thing called curiosity. And you just never know when this little thing can lead you to something big. Walt Disney, creator of Micky Mouse, said, “We keep moving forward, doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
Here are a few suggestions for exercising your curiosity muscles this week.
Take a different route to work.
Listen to a different radio station.
Try a different topping on your pizza.
Seek out a new restaurant.
Wear your underwear on the outside of your pants. This is sure to be a conversation starter with strangers.
Shop at a different grocery store.
If you’ve never taken dance lessons, sign up for one.
Visit a music store, buy an instrument, and learn how to play it.
Have some fun.
Expand your horizons.
I agree with Albert Einstein who said, “The mind that opens to a new idea never returns to its original size.”