Why curiosity beats waiting for intuition, inspiration, or complete information

*Do you feel like if you could only figure out what you want to do next in business or life, you’d finally be able to close that gulf between where you are now and where you actually want to be?

Last week I suggested that your best tool for making that happen – even if you have absolutely no idea what you want to do – has been sitting right under your nose.

It’s your curiosity.

This tool is simple and effective! It worked for me and so many others, including Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love. Right when things seemed darkest in her life she decided to sign up for an Italian class, and that one decision eventually led to her writing the bestseller that would change her life forever.

Let me show you why it works:

Both intuition and inspiration are tricky

If life were a Hollywood movie, you’d wait until you had an intuitive hit that told you exactly what you should be doing. It would happen when you were staring out over the ocean, or while reading a passage in a book.

In real life that doesn’t happen very often, especially if what you’re considering is something that feels risky.

Many times what we think is our intuition (telling us to cool our jets) is actually fear (telling us to play it safe).

Sometimes people wait to feel inspired in order to write that great novel or take the next step in their business … but that waiting can go on for decades.

 

In a crazy twist, the best way to activate your inner motivation and tap into your creativity is to show up regularly for yourself and your dreams.

Just think back to school and how many times you dragged your feet over writing a paper, only to find the words flow once you actually sat down and started writing.

That’s probably why a woman who has inspired thousands of people to launch and grow businesses loves to remind people:

“Clarity comes from engagement, not thought.” – Marie Forleo

 

What if there were no wrong decisions?

One of the biggest mistakes we make is taking our options too seriously.

We do that because we’re worried about making the wrong decision, and then being locked into that wrong decision forever.

 

But what if the majority of our decisions weren’t completely right or wrong, they were just different? And each one would teach us what we needed to get us to our final destination faster than if we’d done nothing at all … like two roads that meet at the same intersection.

If that’s true, then 50 years from now you’re going to wish you had lightened up and enjoyed the ride.

Think about it this way: 

You will never have completely perfect information.


And even if you could make the absolutely most “right” decision – if there were such a thing – eventually you’d change course anyway. Whatever it was you had or were doing just wouldn’t completely fit anymore. 

Because that’s what people like us do. We evolve.

 

You’re missing the bigger picture

Wasting too much time on just one decision is short sighted.

I’m a huge advocate of inner game work and introspection … up to a point. But eventually you need to get into action.

Because if you look at the big picture, you’ll see it’s not about whether you’re a person who lives here or there, or does this or that, or wants widgets or wodgets.

It’s not about the specific life change you make. It could be as dramatic as running off to a Buddhist monastery or as benign as planting a garden.


What matters is that you’re a person that evolves, or takes risks, or won’t settle, or whatever else resonates with you. And your next step helps you learn, gain momentum, remain limber, and walk the walk.

It all comes down to who you are, and your transitory choices are mere reflections of that identity.

When thinking about your business, remember that it’s not about the specific step or even the specific business.

It’s about you being an entrepreneur. And the next step helps you acquire skills, and understand both your customers and your own preferences more fully. It helps you walk the walk.


So when you’re not sure what to do, think less about your choices, and more about what making a choice says about you.

Live in integrity with how you want to be in the world, and you’ll probably end up surpassing your original destination.    


And your curiosity – because it’s almost always instantly available, because it’s lighthearted, and because it’s a reflection of who you are - is the best place to start.

 

Here’s to walking the walk,

Jenna

 

P.S. Extra credit: Watch Ruth Chang’s TED talk, and ask yourself if there really are right decisions.

P.P.S. I'd love to know what YOU are feeling curious about! Are there times when you've waited too long to take action? Let's talk about it in the comments.