How to be passionately curious in life and work – Tom McDermott – FLFPHOENIX talk
You’ve probably heard it from motivational speakers, entrepreneurs or maybe your mom, “follow your passion.” While this phrase resonates with many, including myself, there is another perspective of passion that Tom McDermott, founder of Ignite, posed to our audience at Free Lunch Friday Phoenix. “What about being passionately curious?” he asked.
Tom explained that being passionately curious begins as a child, but then fades as we age and take on responsibility. However, Tom stressed that curiosity still remains an important component to ones’ growth in life and career. “There’s a kid-like sense of wonder and questioning that seems to fade as we get older. We tend to turn wonder into worrying and overlook the value of curiosity for ourselves and for the good of humanity,” he said.
When considering ones’ career, Tom discussed that most people are in a job that they are good at, and may have been at for years, but may not be naturally nor passionately curious about, and that could be limiting their true potential.
“So what are you curious about? What do you spend your time reading about, studying or discussing with others?” he asked the group. As we pondered our answer, Tom introduced his “Natural Curiosity Spectrum,” a “sense of wonder” scale, where one can rate their curiosity about various topics and reflect on how those interests align with ones’ career.
“Too many of us are working on things and spending time on something that they are not passionately curious about,” Tom said.
Tom believes that if more people aligned their curiosity with their career or within their job, then we could make a larger impact on the world. “We are not solving problems in the world because we are not aligning our curiosity with the problems.”
In the end, Tom encourages all of us to “never stop being curious.” Agreed.