THE UN-COMFORT ZONE with Robert Wilson
The Examined Life
“Hola. ¿Qué tal?”
“Bien. ¿ y tu?”
Paul and I were sixteen years old and had taken highschool Spanish for a year. We called each other every night on the phone and spoke to each other in our new language. More than anything we wanted to test our skill with a real Spanish speaking person, but we did not know any. Then we got the idea to have dinner at a Mexican restaurant. For two boys who had never dined out without their parents, this was a big adventure. We were so motivated that when we made reservations, we asked to be seated with a waiter who could not speak English.
What motivated us? Knowledge. We made the same discovery that led Sir Francis Bacon to make his famous quote in 1597, “Knowledge is power.” We were empowered by what we had learned, and it gave us the confidence to take a risk we would never have taken before.
By the end of dinner we found out we didn’t know nearly as much as we thought we did, but the important thing was that our knowledge, albeit meager, moved us to action.
It is the same reason that we find seminars and lectures so motivating — because we acquire new insights in a relatively brief period of time that we can act on right away. If the information is good, we can’t wait to put it to work making our lives better and our jobs easier.
Knowledge also motivates us because it enables us to be more inventive. Many new innovations are the result of two or more existing ideas synthesized into a new one. Creative thinkers regularly expose themselves to new learning experiences, and to different viewpoints. With each new experience, they create new synapses – electrical connections between the nerve cells – in their brains. This gives them more data to draw from when they are looking for solutions.
Robert Evans Wilson, Jr. is a motivational speaker and humorist. He works with companies that want to be more competitive and with people who want to think like innovators. For more information on Robert’s programs please visit www.jumpstartyourmeeting.com.