Achieving Great Work: Combining Curiosity, Effort, and Originality


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 18, 2023

3 min read


Achieving Great Work: Combining Curiosity, Effort, and Originality

In the pursuit of greatness, it is essential to identify what truly excites and interests us. We all have subjects or ideas that we find ourselves constantly drawn to, and these are the areas where we should focus our efforts. By delving deep into our passions and interests, we can unlock our full potential and create extraordinary work.

To achieve great work, it is crucial to be open to exploring connections between different fields. Often, the most innovative and groundbreaking ideas emerge from the merging of diverse disciplines. By combining our passions and interests, we can create something truly unique and impactful. Embrace outlier ideas and pursue them, even if they are not initially popular. Trust your expertise and intuition, and don't be afraid to challenge conventional wisdom.

In Richard Hamming's influential essay, "You and Your Research," he emphasizes the value of patience and persistence in achieving great work. Hamming highlights that great work often requires a depth-first search approach. This means staying committed to a problem or idea, even when faced with setbacks or challenges. The combination of curiosity, delight, and the desire to do something impressive can drive individuals to work harder and achieve greatness.

Setbacks, although often discouraging, should be embraced and viewed as opportunities for growth. Learn from your mistakes and adapt your approach to overcome obstacles. It is through these challenges that we refine our skills and develop resilience. Exposing questions that others can answer or creating ideas that others can build upon are signs of great work. By fostering a habit of original thinking, we actively seek out new ideas and perspectives. Engage in conversations, write about your interests, and ask thought-provoking questions. Seek collaboration with like-minded individuals who challenge and inspire you. Surround yourself with colleagues who offer surprising insights and bring diverse perspectives to the table.

Remember, great work is not just about the end result but also about the struggle and growth that comes with it. Stay committed, stay curious, and never stop pushing the boundaries of what is possible. With that said, here are three actionable pieces of advice to help you on your journey to achieving great work:

  • 1. Cultivate and nurture your curiosity: Constantly seek out new knowledge and explore different fields. Be open to new ideas and perspectives, and never stop learning. Curiosity fuels innovation and creativity, leading to great work.
  • 2. Embrace failure and setbacks: Instead of being discouraged by setbacks, view them as opportunities for growth. Learn from your mistakes, adapt your approach, and persevere. Great work often emerges from the lessons learned during challenging times.
  • 3. Surround yourself with diverse and inspiring individuals: Collaboration with like-minded individuals who offer different perspectives can spark new ideas and insights. Engage in meaningful conversations and seek out those who challenge and inspire you. Together, you can achieve greatness.

In conclusion, achieving great work is a multifaceted journey that requires a combination of curiosity, effort, and originality. By identifying our passions, staying committed, and constantly pushing the boundaries, we can create something truly remarkable. Embrace setbacks, foster original thinking, and surround yourself with inspiring individuals. Remember, the path to greatness is not always smooth, but the growth and fulfillment that come with it make it all worthwhile. So, go forth, stay curious, and let your passion drive you to achieve greatness.

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