“Curiosity killed the cat…”
The other night my youngest daughter came into the bedroom, she had a nightmare and couldn’t get back to sleep. Bringing her back to bed I asked her what the nightmare was about. She said that mammy and daddy died and she was really upset. I explained to her that in a dream that doesn’t mean what she thinks. I’m not into dreamology but a dreamologist would tell you that when someone dies in a dream it actually means that change is happening in her life. This seemed to calm her down and she started to drift back to sleep when she asked, “How did curiosity kill the cat?” This one I didn’t have an immediate answer for but it got me thinking.
I looked it up and it’s an old proverb to warn against unnecessary investigation and experimentation. This goes against everything I believe about living life because, as I read it, it encourages people to stay safe…to stay in their comfort zone. But nothing great was ever achieved in the comfort zone so what’s the answer? For me anyway the answer is to go and get curious about those things that interest you. Shake up your life a little bit and if you die in the process that’s a good thing! I might need to explain that one a little.
I’m going to make an assumption that you’re probably not the same person you were when you were 5 years old. It’s probably safe to say that you’re not the same person you were when you were 15 years old…or even 25! What’s changed? As we notch up more years we are exposed to different experiences and those experiences change us, perhaps in tiny ways that fly below our awareness radar at the time but over time they definitely have an impact on us. If we are warned away from being a curious cat our rate of change in life is far less than those who go out there and die every day. It’s far less than those who are willing to sacrifice who they are today for what they will become in the future. When we seek something out and learn from that…grow from that…it’s not your body that dies it’s the old you that dies, you become a different person. That’s the basis of growth, shedding an old skin because you’ve outgrown the old one.
The most important thing is this: To be able at any moment, to sacrifice what you are, for what you will become! ~ Eric Thomas
Sometimes life will force this on us. The situations that we find ourselves in will force us to make changes just to survive and we’ll become a better person for it. But how can we speed this up? The answer is a simple one but perhaps a little scary for some. We can disrupt ourselves on purpose! We can set ourselves goals that will smash through our old comfort zone so we become someone with new knowledge and a whole range of different experiences which, by the way, is what psychologists tell us is the basis for a happy life – going out and experiencing things. So if you’re not happy with your lot in life, your career, or your health perhaps it’s time to get curious, to disrupt yourself, to shed an old skin, to die and be reborn!
“…and information made him fat”
This part of the proverb is a little easier for me to understand in terms of my own life anyway. What happens when we eat too much food? You guessed it, we put on weight unnecessarily. What happens when we eat too much of the wrong food? Right again…except we get there much quicker! What’s missing is the exercise component, this tends to balance things out. It’s the same with information…the best way to not get fat with information is to use it! Popular opinion might tell us that knowledge is power but that’s only half that truth. Application of knowledge is power! Make a pact with yourself that the next thing you learn you will put into practice straight away. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know everything about the subject yet, take a small piece of it and use it. That way you’ll never get fat with information.
If you’d like to know more about how to step outside of your comfort zone and change your life, or if you’d like to explore how coaching can help you become a better leader (of others or yourself!), or even if you’re just generally curious about what professional coaching can offer you, please contact us at any time for a free consultation.