Fertile Ground: Lessons on Curiosity From My Five Year Old Son

I, like my father, am what my wife and mother refer to as a “rut man.” In my day-to-day life, I like to make things easy by narrowing my options and going with what works. Whether it be the meals I eat, the products I use, or what I do for entertainment, there’s no need to waste time trying something new when I can just stick to what has worked in the past (a behavior that I always eschew in my professional work).

Yesterday was a special day, my son’s fifth birthday. My wife and I decided we would let our son choose his own gift at the Lego store. There are many Lego sets with which my son is familiar and I assumed he would immediately gravitate toward one of those. Instead he chose a completely unfamiliar set with characters he didn’t know. I realized then that I had forgotten how a child’s mind works, how it is always curious and evolving. I had once been that way before I became a rut man.

In that moment I was encouraged, as I now hope to encourage you, to be a little more curious. As adults it’s easy to try to maintain an illusion of control over our lives by avoiding opportunities to grow and expand, while the world around us continues to rapidly change. But if you don’t jump in and try on a new idea once in awhile, in a few years you’ll find yourself special ordering your toothpaste and deodorant online like my father (sorry, Dad). This week, try to remember that while your body may have stopped growing, your mind is fertile ground.

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