Achieving Great Work: Combining Curiosity, Effort, and Original Thinking


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 17, 2023

4 min read


Achieving Great Work: Combining Curiosity, Effort, and Original Thinking

In today's fast-paced world, it can be challenging to navigate through the overwhelming amount of information that is constantly bombarding us. The news, in particular, has become a major source of distraction and can hinder our ability to achieve greatness in our work. However, by combining curiosity, effort, and original thinking, we can break free from the cycle of news consumption and focus on what truly matters.

To begin with, it is essential to identify what truly excites and interests us. What subjects or ideas do we find ourselves constantly drawn to? These are the areas where we should focus our efforts. By honing in on our passions and interests, we can channel our energy into creating something unique and impactful.

One way to do this is by exploring connections between different fields. Often, the most groundbreaking ideas come from merging seemingly unrelated areas of knowledge. By approaching our work with an open mind and a willingness to explore uncharted territory, we can unlock new possibilities and make significant contributions.

Embracing outlier ideas is another crucial aspect of achieving great work. Sometimes, the most innovative solutions are not initially popular or widely accepted. However, by trusting our expertise and intuition, we can challenge conventional wisdom and push the boundaries of what is possible. Great work requires the courage to go against the grain and pursue ideas that may seem unconventional at first.

Patience and persistence are also key factors in achieving greatness. As Richard Hamming stated in his famous speech "You and Your Research," 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. By embracing setbacks and viewing them as opportunities for growth, we can learn from our mistakes and adapt our approach to overcome obstacles.

Fostering a habit of original thinking is essential for achieving great work. By actively seeking out new ideas and perspectives, engaging in conversations, writing about our interests, and asking thought-provoking questions, we can nurture our creativity and develop unique insights. Collaboration with like-minded individuals who challenge and inspire us is also crucial. Surrounding ourselves with colleagues who offer surprising insights and bring diverse perspectives to the table can help us expand our thinking and make breakthroughs.

When it comes to breaking free from the cycle of news consumption, it is important to recognize the detrimental effects it can have on our ability to achieve greatness. The speed at which news is delivered has increased exponentially, and the cost to produce news has dropped significantly. As a result, we are constantly bombarded with surface opinions on isolated topics, filling our heads with information that is often irrelevant to our goals.

Furthermore, the incentives behind news production are misaligned. When news is free, advertisers become the driving force behind the content, and page views become the name of the game. This leads to a focus on sensationalism and clickbait rather than in-depth analysis and meaningful information. Consuming news in this way only serves to consume our attention and distract us from the work that truly matters.

By breaking free from the cycle of news consumption, we can begin to see the benefits of a more focused and intentional approach to our work. We can develop a deeper understanding of our chosen fields and make more informed decisions. We can also free up valuable mental space to think critically and develop our own ideas, rather than relying on the opinions of others.

In conclusion, achieving great work requires a combination of curiosity, effort, and original thinking. By identifying our passions and interests, exploring connections between different fields, embracing outlier ideas, and staying committed in the face of setbacks, we can make significant contributions and push the boundaries of what is possible. Breaking free from the cycle of news consumption allows us to focus on what truly matters, develop deeper understandings, and think critically. To achieve greatness, we must stay committed, stay curious, and never stop pushing the boundaries of what is possible.

Actionable advice:

  • 1. Identify your passions and interests: Take the time to reflect on what truly excites and interests you. This will help you focus your efforts and channel your energy into areas that align with your goals and values.
  • 2. Embrace setbacks and learn from them: Instead of viewing setbacks as failures, see them as opportunities for growth. Learn from your mistakes and adapt your approach to overcome obstacles.
  • 3. Break free from the cycle of news consumption: Limit your exposure to news and instead focus on meaningful information and deep analysis. Engage in conversations, seek out new ideas, and surround yourself with individuals who challenge and inspire you.

Remember, achieving 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.

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