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We must always be aware that there could exist a new, different or better way of doing things. The example I frequently cite is my own case of becoming aware at the age of 37 that there was a better way to tie my shoes than the “bunny ear” method I was first taught when I was a wee lad.
As I later recounted in this post, I was stunned to discover–almost 11 years later–that I still wasn’t tying my shoes in the most optimal fashion. I use this as a tangible reminder of the importance of staying humble.
Alas, if we want to create a better future, we must also take action. And one of the most powerful actions is quite simple: We must learn to ask better questions.
To this end–and wanting to keep with the shoe-tying theme–have you ever asked yourself what the extra holes on the top of most running and hiking shoes are for?
I never had but I recently became disappointed in my own staggering lack of curiosity when I stumbled across this fascinating video explaining how the extra holes can be used to create a “lace lock” that will prevent heel blisters.
What does this video and the topic shoe-tying and shoelaces have to do with the future?
I am convinced the future is full of extraordinary opportunities but frequently we are so focused on our day-to-day activities that we fail to become aware of these opportunities–as I was in not discovering a better method of shoe-tying until I was 37. Secondly, we often lack the humility to acknolwedge that a different or better way of doing something might exist–as I discovered at the age of 48. And, lastly, we simply don’t stay curious enough to the opportunities all around us–as I just reminded of at the age of 50.
One great way to stay curious about the future–and the opportunity it presents–is to constantly ask new questions.
In my case, I’m now reminded of all three principles every time I tie my shoes.