Achieving Great Work: Combining Curiosity, Effort, and Design


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 19, 2023

3 min read


Achieving Great Work: Combining Curiosity, Effort, and Design


When it comes to achieving great work, there are several key factors to consider. It starts with identifying what truly excites and interests you. What subjects or ideas do you find yourself constantly drawn to? These are the areas where you should focus your efforts. By honing in on your passions and interests, you can create work that is not only fulfilling but also stands out from the crowd.

Embracing Curiosity and Exploration

To achieve greatness in your work, it's essential to be open to exploring connections between different fields. Look for opportunities to merge your passions and interests, creating something unique. 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.

The Value of Patience and Persistence

In Richard Hamming's 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.

Embracing Setbacks and Growth Opportunities

When faced with setbacks, it's crucial to view them as opportunities for growth. Learn from your mistakes and adapt your approach to overcome obstacles. Exposing questions that others can answer or creating ideas that others can build upon are signs of great work. By embracing setbacks and using them as stepping stones, you can continuously improve and push the boundaries of what is possible.

Fostering a Habit of Original Thinking

One way to achieve great work is by fostering a habit of original thinking. This involves actively seeking 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.

The Role of Design in Great Work

Design plays a crucial role in achieving great work. The concept that design is communication is key to understanding its importance. Great design is not just about aesthetics but also about effectively conveying a message. By mastering the art of communication through design, you can enhance the impact of your work and create a lasting impression.

The Struggle and Growth of Great Work

It's important to remember that great work is not just about the end result but also about the struggle and growth that comes with it. Stay committed to your goals, stay curious, and never stop pushing the boundaries of what is possible. The journey towards achieving greatness is filled with challenges, but it is through these challenges that we learn and grow.


In conclusion, achieving great work requires a combination of curiosity, effort, and design. By identifying your passions and interests, embracing curiosity, and persisting through setbacks, you can create work that stands out and makes an impact. Foster a habit of original thinking and surround yourself with like-minded individuals who inspire you. And remember, great work is not just about the end result but also about the journey of growth and learning.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Identify your passions and interests and focus your efforts on them.
  • 2. Embrace setbacks and view them as opportunities for growth and improvement.
  • 3. Foster original thinking by seeking out new ideas and collaborating with like-minded individuals who challenge and inspire you.

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