The last couple of years of Covid, and resulting limited travel, have played havoc with my podcast listening. The slowing down of the input of new ideas has been for me, and possibly you, noticeable. Other things have taken off, of course, but the challenge posed by new thoughts has waned a little.
New year, new hopes. One of these is to reignite my own little pondering habit. As such, I recently listened to my first podcast in a long time. It was The Tim Ferris Show, hosted, not surprisingly, by Tim Ferris. This show can be a bit hit and miss personally, as it probably has an other-than-creative business focus (and too much advertising!) but I struck good one on this occasion.
The guest was Michael Bungay Stanier, the author of a book called The Advice Trap – a publication aimed at corporate managers who find themselves diving into giving advice to other employees too often and too early. I don’t think I’m an over-advice-giver (some may beg to differ) but I could relate to the premise.
There was the expected talk about drawing solutions from the people directly involved in a project and of not being immediately solution-focussed. But there was one piece of, dare I say, advice which made the whole show worth listening to. It was: Stay curious just a little bit longer.
Simply fabulous. And so applicable to everything I tend to do: ‘finish’ a painting too early, give up research too quickly, stop reading if not immediately gratified, not bother with rough artistic sketches and exploration.
It has become my mantra (if I subscribe to that sort of thing at all). Stay curious just a little bit longer. Don’t tie it all up too quickly. Don’t seek the end at the expense of the means. Leave it open, incomplete, as a question for a slightly longer time. Then see what happens.