Have you ever been told to stay in your lane? I really dislike that phrase. It makes sense when you’re driving down the road. I talk to the cars around me all the time and tell them to stay in their lanes. Fortunately, they listen to me. However, when it comes to people, this one-size-fits-all strategy doesn’t always work. Sometimes you need the person who thinks drastically different from everyone else—an outsider of curiosity—to solve the problem, finish the project, or even save the day.
Quotes Referenced in this Episode:
From Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein:
“Knowledge is a double-edged sword. It allows you to do some things, but it also makes you blind to other things that you could do” (p. 179).
“Sometimes, the home field can be so constrained that a curious outsider is truly the only one who can see the solution” (p. 181).
“The more information specialists create, the more opportunity exists for curious dilettantes to contribute by merging strands of widely available but disparate information—undiscovered public knowledge” (p. 189).
Four ways you can own the label of “curious outsider”:
- Understand the differences between the depth and breadth of experiences in your life and work.
- Figure out how you are going to deal with the negative emotions of being an outsider of curiosity.
- Allow your trusted advisors to save you from any “impulse of instability” (a concept written about by Shawn Askinosie in Meaningful Work).
- Surround yourself with people you can jam with.
- Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein
- Shawn Askinosie
- Meaningful Work: A Quest to Do Great Business, Find Your Calling, and Feed Your Soul by Shawn Askinosie
- Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do by Studs Terkel
- Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad by Austin Kleon
- The Optimist’s Telescope: Thinking Ahead in a Reckless Age by Bina Venkataraman
- Photo by Vivaan Trivedii on Unsplash
- The (Seven Deadly) Curiosity Killers
- Getting Work To Work (@gwtwpodcast) on Twitter
- Chris Martin (@cmstudios) on Twitter
- Sign up for my weekly newsletter: The Curiosity Lab