The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers… William Wordsworth
Our daily lives, full of obligation and negotiation, can be overwhelming. Our leadership roles complicate these ordinary exchanges, adding a layer of responsibility and consequence. At the turning of the year, hopeful and perhaps a little drunk, we toast together, promising to create something new and better in the days to come. In that moment, anything is possible. We are thinking big, far from the “getting and spending” that make us think small. So how do we keep the visionary resolutions that make for great leadership and healthy change?
Curiosity is the key.
Sure, we need willpower and discipline. It also helps to “lean in,” creating connections to keep us accountable for our work and our vision.
Taking care of ourselves is also important — making that doctor’s appointment or finding a great coach gives us professional support and new tools. But these excellent strategies only work when we approach the puzzle of change and creation with curiosity.
Curiosity leads us forward with a sense of wonder, moving forward with solution-generating questions — not necessarily pre-imagined outcomes. Willpower and discipline follow curiosity because determination comes with discovery. It’s the difference between change nourished by a sense of hope and abundance, and change fueled by shame and lack.
Fundamentally, curiosity expands our perspective. It’s the same impulse that makes us toast to what seems impossible the day after our New Year’s party, making resolutions and relationships out of curiosity and playfulness.
But unlike our usually broken promises to go to the gym every day, or eat less sugar, resolutions fueled by curiosity are a process, fueled by hopeful leadership and grounded in exploration.