If you are not passionately curious, you are boring.
There, I said it.
If you are sitting there offended, indignant and ready to leave, perhaps that hit a little too close to home. I will not apologize. The good news? Being offended means that you want to grow.
If you are boring and not offended, you should probably stop reading.
I do not believe you are truly boring. If you are leading a boring life, I believe it is because you have been taught to do so. Instead of following your passions, you have been trapped into a mindset of security and comfort.
That mindset is the same one that most people use. It keeps them on the sidelines of their own life. You are not most people though. You do not have to warm the bench.
One Burning Question
Being mildly curious makes you mildly interesting. Great for cocktail party trivia, terrible for sustaining interest.
So how do you go from boring to engaging?
The most interesting people I have ever interacted with have one thing in common: they seek an answer to a burning question that won’t leave them alone.
Everett Bogue of Far Beyond the Stars is finding the answer to, “How can people lead a fulfilling minimalist lifestyle?”
Adam Baker of Man vs Debt is asking, “How can every day people effectively get rid of their debt?”
Steve Kamb of Nerd Fitness asks, “How can nerds and average joes get back in shape?”
I am trying to answer the question, “How can self-awareness improve people’s lives?”
If you want to stop being boring, it is a one step process. Step outside of your normal pattern and ask yourself:
What is my One Burning Question?
Why only one question? If you have many questions, you water down your passion and your efforts. Having many burning questions gives you small embers instead of an inferno.
A few tips on picking the right question:
- Make it a question that sparks your curiosity.
- Make sure your question excites you.
- Do not make it a question that is easily answered.
- Keep it simple
- Make sure that your question helps other people (Self centered = boring)
Once you have your One Burning Question (Isn’t it unfortunate that OBQ isn’t a more eloquent acronym?), you’ve taken an important first step.
What To Do With Your Question
Having a question is great. This one step alone can start attracting parts of the answer into your life. When you actively attempt to answer your burning question, your self-awareness becomes focused.
Take action. Get extremely curious about every aspect of your question. Seek out the answer in any way possible.
I guarantee that when you are passionate about this question (you better be if this is your One Burning Question), you won’t be able to help yourself from engaging with it. You will do research. You will do lifestyle experiments. You will make connections and associations from this question to the rest of your life.
At this point, you may be wondering: how is answering a question going to keep you from being boring?
How One Burning Question Makes You Interesting
You already know that talking about yourself bores other people.
Speaking about your question will not. If you ask a question that affects the lives of others, everyone you encounter can give you feedback. Ask for help from the people who’s problem you are trying to solve. The more people you have around, the deeper you will grok your question.
You want to find your Tribe? Start by asking a burning question that will draw people to you.
Share your experience. With the tools out there, you have no excuses. Talk to your friends and family about your question. Start a blog. Do a twitter search. Create a conversation. Upload a video to YouTube. Update your Facebook status.
Have you ever played with a magnifying glass in the sun? Imagine that your life is the sun, and that your question is the magnifying glass. If you pursue your question in the right way, such an intense focus can light your life on fire.
When people see that energy, they are affected. Just as people gather around a fire to warm themselves, people will gather around you to warm their lives.
I know you aren’t boring – you’re sitting here reading a self-awareness and personal development blog. You want to make a difference.
What is your One Burning Question?