Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it’s the lack of curiosity that will do us in. Centuries ago, Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Curiosity is the mental habit that helps us to examine…to wonder, to ponder, to question, to search, to learn. If we are truly curious, we possess an open mind.

Our Top 20 team values curiosity. For 20 years, our willingness to be curious has led us to possibilities…possibilities we never would have attained had we not been curious. But we haven’t always been curious. There are times when our pre-judgment or our need to be right have blocked us from possibilities. If we are not aware of this, the ultimate preventer of possibilities often shows up in the form of blame.

We have come to see blame as a major handicap to making a positive difference in our lives. Quite simply, blame is dysfunctional. Blame is a way by which we take our power to make a difference and posit that power in someone or something else. In other words, my life or this situation won’t get better until someone else changes. Although there may be times when that is true, the act of blaming doesn’t move the ball down the field. If we are merely blaming, nothing changes. Curiosity doesn’t block possibilities, blame does. It prevents us from seeing by closing our mind.

Click here to watch Paul’s humbling example.

We live in a culture where blame appears to have become rampant. Blame is our national habit. As soon as we don’t get what we want, we have a tendency to play the blame card. This keep us stuck in yuck. Fortunately, other possibilities await us. We only have to play the other card in our hand. Let’s lead with curiosity and maintain the power we have to make a positive difference for ourselves and others.

One of our goals at Top 20 is to keep curiosity alive in ourselves and to encourage it in others. This week let’s be mindful of the moments when blame bubbles up in us. Blame can show up in obvious ways, but also in subtle ways. In those moments, let’s remember that we have a choice. Yes, we can play the blame card, but we can be more effective and play the curious card.

Thanks to my Top 20 team…Kevin Brennan, Willow Sweeney, and Tom Cody…for being my modern-day Socrates.

Paul Bernabei
Top 20 Training