Looking for And is really about drawing upon your curiosity and open-mindedness to see additional points of view. “AND” reminds us that we do not have all the answers. It stresses the point that when we enter a situation with a certain amount of humility, we open ourselves to more creativity, better problem-solving and more accurate, objective analysis of issues.
First, I’ll be looking to interview people who have already embraced AND in their work or personal lives. One of my favorite examples is that of Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles. He inherited a city in major fiscal crisis. Many of his aides told him he needed to cut services, which is really just an either/or approach. Garcetti worked with the various agencies to balance the budget and actually INCREASE some services. Other examples of people who can contribute to our discussion…psychologists who study decision-making, power, happiness, creativity and more…artists like Luca Stricagnoli who play one instrument AND sound like an entire band!…politicians like Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio who is quick to reach across the aisle…
I think it is hard to ignore the role of Optimism in how AND takes shape. At it’s core, when we are looking for something, we have a belief that (at some point) we will find it. The minute there is no hope, we have eliminated our ability to see multiple options. Keep in mind that, like just about everything else, we can have too much AND, as well. Consider a time when you over-analyzed a decision and…took too long to make the decision. Think about all the parents who are over-scheduling their kids thinking that they need to be in band, soccer, strength-training and the debate team. It’s overwhelming.
I’m hopeful that there are enough people who are interested in joining me for this journey to find ways to be a better thinker. The podcast will hopefully appeal to people who are looking for an edge in business, possible solutions to the partisanship in our country and new ways to live a healthier, happier, more meaningful life, overall.
I rarely go a morning without listening to the Curiosity daily podcast and The Daily from the NY Times. Part of the appeal is that they are short with nuggets of helpful information. My other favorites are: Freakonomics, Hidden Brain, How I Built This, 2 Guys On Your Head, Science Friday, TED Radio Hour and WorkLife with Adam Grant.
There are likely to be 3-4 questions that I will ask in each interview.
All of these questions are aimed at challenging the person being interviewed to:
Quit. Sometimes, the most resilient thing to do is get a divorce, leave your job or stop working on a problem.
One of the simplest things you can do to focus your energy and “overcome the overwhelm” every day is to create an intentions journal. Assuming that you are like me (and millions of other people), you have a to-do list that seems to get longer every day.
Try asking yourself the following: “Considering my to-do list, what are the two things I would like to complete today that will add the most value to my life?” Write this two things down. You will be more like to complete them AND you will be more likely to take a big chunk out of the rest of your list, as well. And, here’s the added benefit: when you check these off before going to bed, you just might sleep better!
My initial hypothesis is: humility AND curiosity – as an executive coach and consumer of massive amounts of research on thinking, I can say that these two words seem to be present in the most successful leaders, parents, researchers and citizens, from what I can see.