I saw the movie Curious George recently. I really liked it. The animation was simple, with it’s own unique style; different from the hi-tech, hyper-realistic animation that is so common these days. The super great soundtrack by Jack Johnson added a pleasant and whimsical unity to the whole thing. The story, of course, was about the little monkey created by Margret and H.A. Ray. It was fairly formulaic, as many movies of this kind are, but still a fun way to spend an hour and a half.
When watching it, I found that there was an uncredited character that appeared quite often throughout the picture: Adultitis. Many of the main characters had cases of Adultitis in varying degrees. Almost all except George himself. But it was interesting to see how they were turned around at different points.
In my book, I talk at length about the importance of curiosity. It is my observation that curiosity runs far and wild in children, before its slowly snuffed out as we advance in years. Many of us stop asking questions, questions like “Why?” and “Why not?” I suppose some of the reasons for this is because we don’t want word to get out that we don’t exactly know everything. Better to act like you’ve got it all figured out than to risk looking like a fool. And even though change is constant, we like to resist it as much as we can. Change is not comfortable, and so instead of asking questions that lead to answers that might require change, we don’t ask them in the hopes of reminding comfortable. But too often we engage in this pride protecting, comfort keeping behavior without ever really considering the consequences.
Seth Godin has an interesting commentary on how we get so wrapped up in the status quo, and go so long without asking questions, that we can lose sight of the reason we started doing something in a certain way to begin with.
The reason that you have a water bubbler in your office is that it used to be difficult to filter water effectively.
The reason the typewriter keyboard is in a weird order is that original typewriters jammed, and they needed to rearrange the letters to keep common letters far apart.
The reason we don’t have school in the summer is so our kids can help with farmwork. Or because it’s too hot and there’s no air conditioning…
The reason you go to a building to go to work every day is that steam or water power used to turn a giant winch-like structure that went right through the factory building. Every workman used that power to do his work. As factories got more sophisticated, it remained efficient to move the workers, not the stuff.
The ones who take the time to be curious, to ask the questions no one else is asking, can open up doors of wonderful opportunity for themselves — or their businesses — and save or gain time and money. So take a cur from George and get curious. Why do you do what you do? The reasons may surprise you.
[tags]Curious George, curiosity, Adultitis, change, comfort zone[/tags]