Rise of the Innerpreneur

The Power of Curiosity

This article was written by guest authors Rachel Hentsch & Sally Coldrick from InfinityFoundry.

What is the innermost power that drives us to explore, discover and learn? We are all born with it, yet early on we are often taught to restrain, or even stifle it. Its name is Curiosity, and it is the birth gift of every child and newborn living creature.

Young children are naturally inclined to investigate and experiment— before their experience is tainted by reprimand, negative outcomes, and ultimately, compounded prejudice. As an entrepreneur, being curious and asking a thousand questions will naturally make you more open to change, growth and expansion. Entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and really anyone in business needs to rediscover the roots of their inner curiosity to keep asking, tirelessly, in order to stay tuned to what really matters, and build with a view to creating relevant impact.

So how can curiosity be rediscovered and cultivated? You need to make a conscious effort to recognise the signs of your curiosity when they arise, and then be brave and make a deliberate choice to act upon your spontaneous impulse, before it gets smothered by the acquired habit of removal. When was the last time you wanted to ask a question, but didn’t feel comfortable doing so, or got distracted? What did you miss out by not asking? What opportunities may have slipped by, out of apprehension, embarrassment, or possibly sheer laziness?

Leaning into your curiosity takes courage. Making a choice to act on your curiosity when it arises means getting brave and stepping out of your normal and “safe” pattern of behaviour. Brené Brown, in her book “Rising Strong”, writes: “choosing to be curious is choosing to be vulnerable, because it requires us to surrender to uncertainty.”

Once you reawaken your appetite for curiosity, you will never stop learning, and you will rediscover the joy of expanding your knowledge and reach over the world. Curiosity has the power to make us reach far beyond our perceived limits. Run, don’t walk out of your comfort zone!

Curiosity took Sally from Australia and Rachel from Italy, and “collided” them in South Korea at the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp. It further took them to Boston to attend the Teacher’s Bootcamp in the same program. Then curiosity led them to build a business and create online courses to share their discoveries with the world. Take their free mini course The Curiosity Challenge if you feel ready to unleash the limitless power of your own curiosity.

photo credit: Gabby Orcutt

The Power of Relationships

Every relationship you develop, from the most casual to the most intimate, serves to help you become more conscious.

You are taught to honour others, yet often this is one of the most difficult acts you can perform. For not only does it require you, first and foremost, to honour yourself, it also requires you to come to know yourself. In a larger sense, your relationships are spiritual messengers, they bring into your life revelations about your own strengths and weaknesses.

Some of your relationships may be particularly painful (and necessarily so) as they’re here to help you to learn about yourself and your limitations. You may not be so enthusiastic to explore these “less attractive” aspects of self, yet recognizing your power to make choices and how they affect your world is the power of relationships. Your painful relationships help you to understand that every choice you make contributes to what you create. Choice is the process of creation itself.

Every choice you make is a creative act of spiritual power for which you are held responsible. Managing this power of choice, with all its spiritual and creative implications, is the essence of human experience. Yet you can’t know the full outcome of any choice you make, and so you may find yourself trying to control your life, and the life of others. Disappointment inevitably ensues since, try as you might, the physical world (and the people you are in relationship with) cannot be controlled. Your desires and whims are not for life to serve you on a silver platter.

Which returns you to the place where the greatest power you have is how you choose to behave in your relationships. Your relationships (especially the painful ones) help you to master your inner responses to the external world. They teach that you get to choose your thoughts and emotions.

The power and challenge of your relationships is to learn what motivates you to make the choices you do. In learning about what motivates you, you learn about the essence of your Self. Sex, power, and money are the currencies of relationships and your fear and/or faith is the energy you put behind this currency. This dynamic of choice, of fear and faith, guarantees you cannot run away from yourself or your decisions. For every outcome in some extent reflects this faith and/or fear.

To discover your personal motivations and your “false gods,” how you use and misuse the currencies of the physical world, you need relationships. So much of the way you respond to external challenges is how you respond to yourself. To guide you in developing a healthy and loving relationship with yourself, you have your relationships as a mirror. They are awakening you to your true personal power.

photo credit: Toa Heftiba

Distracted by the Noise

What distracts you from your goals? What leaves you questioning the path you are currently on?

All around you are distractions and noise. People, places, and things clamouring for your attention, for your time, and for your energy. Some may have your interests at heart, while most have their own interests in mind. Sometimes, your interests may align but this can only be possible when you know what you need and want, outside of the noise.

The noise can be overwhelming and supremely distracting. I dare say that most of us spend our lives caught up in it, swimming in it, pursuing agendas and avenues that ultimately don’t serve us. We listen to what is loudest, most authoritative, most shiny—giving our personal power away, unaware of how much we’re giving up and how distracted from our self we’ve become. Until some thing, some one, some place begins to awaken us.

The very things that distract and block you from your path, powerfully, are the very things to support you in focusing on it. They remind you of what truly matters to you, by asking you, pushing you, persuading you to focus elsewhere. They test you and teach you about the other options for your life, and allow you to feel into these choices to determine what truly feels right for you.

The noise can be your guide; not towards what it is demanding from you, but towards what you need for yourself, what truly matters to you as an individual. Your distractions can help you to focus, and your blocks can be your support. It’s your choice how they influence the life you’re building.

photo credit: Peter Hershey

What Icarus Can Teach Us

Do you know the Greek myth of Icarus? Icarus is the son of Daedalus who dared to fly too near the sun on wings of feathers and wax. His father cautioned him that flying too near the Sun would cause the wax to melt. But Icarus became enthralled with his ability to fly and forgot his father’s warning. The feathers came loose and Icarus plunged to his death in the sea.

As I see it, this myth is a lesson about balance, about finding balance with your ego and with your gifts. It was Icarus’ choice not accept his gift as it was and to see it as enough. Instead, he chose to push it further, to a place where his gift was destroyed, and he destroyed himself in the process.

We all have, and are given, wings to fly on and it is our choice what we do with them. Do we not use them and never take flight? Do we accept them as they are and fly proudly on them to new destinations? Or do we misuse them, flying too high, too close to the Sun, destroying our gift and ourselves in the process?

If you don’t fly—or you try to fly too high like Icarus, the myth teaches you’ll find yourself falling into the depths of emotional despair, drowning in your egoic feelings (as represented by the sea Icarus drowned in).

To make the most of your gifts, you don’t need to make yourself into more than you are, you don’t need to fly higher than you can and burn yourself, but you also don’t need to stay down on earth, denying your own wings to fly. You are enough. Icarus teaches you have power over what you do with your gifts, and to what heights and destinations they take you.

photo credit: Benjamin Carnevale

Your Toolbox

Every craft-person has a toolbox of tools and techniques they use to bring their work to life. You too have a toolbox full of the tools and techniques you’ve picked up over your lifetime that have helped you to shape your life into what it is today.

Your tools are very personal, as are how you use them. You can hear people talk about employing techniques and tools generally, but only you can determine how they will work best with your creations.

Like artists, you must discover the truth of your own vision, and take action through this, using the unique tools you have available.

photo credit: Jeffrey Pot