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Cultivating Curiosity

Feb 28, 2008
I recently came across the following list written/compiled by David Heenan: Ten Keys to Life Fulfillment: 1. Listen to your heart 2. Take one step at a time 3. Deliver daily 4. Maintain a maverick mind-set 5. Focus, focus, focus 6. Never stop learning 7. Build a brain trust (network of knowledgeable people) 8. Reinvent Yourself 9. Sell Yourself 10. Start now!

I love this list. I love it because it is balanced-hard work and passion, practicality and faith. I love it because it's full of hope and belief and very focused.

The items on this list are things I dedicate myself to and which I work to bring to my students in all of our seminars and coaching calls.

I believe that we can have anything and everything we want. It's possible to have satisfying work which also pays well. We can be fulfilled in our careers and have time and energy to spend with our families. At any point in life, we can decide to continue our growth and learning.

I would add to the above list the concept of 'cultivating curiosity'.

Stagnation is something many people struggle with later in their careers. I've heard from quite a few of my students who are in financial services that as some of their contemporaries begin to approach retirement age, they lose a certain passion, their hunger for achievement begins to wane. This, to me, is sad. I hope to continue to learn and deliver and focus and reinvent myself until way past "retirement age" and I think a big part of that is to cultivate curiosity.

Curiosity is something children have innately. When we are new to the world, we want to know what everything is, what is going on around us, why the sky is blue, how gravity works, who invented cake, etc. As we become overwhelmed with all that the world has, sometimes that curiosity wanes. But do you know why the sky is blue or how, exactly, gravity works, or who invented cake?

Curiosity is a desire to understand, know and learn about other people and things outside of ourselves (which is really key in gaining rapport with our clients and prospects). I have definitely had times in life when I had no interest in what was going on in the world around me. I'm in no way suggestion that having periods of introspection is not valuable, but our culture seems to nurture navel gazing, that 'me, me, me' attitude, with a bent toward pathologizing and psychologizing ourselves to an extreme.

Turning our attentions outward and soaking up what is around us has incredible value, especially where persuasion is concerned. Our goal as persuaders, especially as persuaders of an affluent clientle, is to learn, understand and know our clients in such a way that we can combine what we have to offer them with their view of the world, their criteria.

Pay attention to the details. When you're curious, you can turn the mundane into an opportunity to learn something.
About the Author
Kenrick Cleveland teaches techniques to earn the business of wealthy prospects using persuasion. He runs public and private seminars and offers home study courses and coaching programs in persuasion techniques.
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