A Constant State of Growth
Recently I presented a talk at ASU to a group of students in their undergrad senior year. They are attending a Political History and Leadership program.
As much as I try to read my audience when speaking, the best confirmation of their connection to the subject and presentation is afterwards, when they ask questions. Several raised their hands.
One of the students asked what keeps me motivated and inspired. Although I gave him an answer that at the time made sense, I kept thinking about the question days after. What does motivate and inspire us as we grow older?
And as ‘chance’ would have its way with me, days later I received my favorite monthly magazine, American Essence, in which an article, "A Constant State of Growth, The pursuit of curiosity and its key to a happy life" by Poppy Richie, confirmed what we know about motivation and inspiration.
According to author Hector Garcia, featured in the article, who advises us, “Be led by your curiosity and keep busy by doing things that fill you with meaning and happiness.” In his book, Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, he learned the secret when visiting and researching centenarian communities in Okinawa. It came down to the usual formula; healthy exercise and diet, keeping busy doing meaningful activities, being socially active, and continued learning (curiosity) stimulates happiness, motivates and inspires us into a constant state of growth.
The article encourages us to explore and learn, whether through online courses from The Great Courses (www.BuyGreatCourses.com), affordable online courses, with presentations by award-winning professors on a variety of topics, including art, history, music and science or by listening to podcast, radio programs and literally every subject is available to us in the palm of our hand with smartphones.
Albert Einstein described; “Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is not enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day. Never lose a ‘holy curiosity’. In fact, we can cultivate the holy aspect of lifelong learning through prayer, meditation, study of scriptures, and service, as a means through which to get in touch with our spiritual energy and capacity for love.”
On this first day of my birthday month, I am committed to a constant state of growth and a healthy dose of ‘holy curiosity’ to keep me motivated and inspired. I have discovered that the less we fear, the more we love, the more curious we become about life.
Join me and let’s celebrate the divine nature of our lives. Let us release the past without condemnation, appreciate and enjoy the present, and affirm a future of a healthy and happy long life.
Grateful for all of you.