I am passionate about this question. Rules set the boundaries for what is possible and what is not possible, for what is permissible and what is unthinkable. Some clearly come from the outside (laws, regulations, policies….) but most of the key rules governing our lives and our work we actually set for ourselves. They impact everything from our vision for the world to how we experience each and every moment.

We give them different names: rules, rituals, habits, mindsets, best practices and much more. And yet, they all serve the same function of constraining our thinking, making it easier and biologically cheaper for us to navigate our days. However, this comes at a cost in terms of reducing our curiosity and thus blinding us to possibilities and opportunities right in front of us.

I am not suggesting we throw them all away. I am, however, inviting you to become truly curious about every default thought and action. Because so much of this happens outside of our conscious awareness, we may not even know we have created certain rules. So, ask yourself: What rule must I have created for this to be the default?

Questions in the Image:

  • What rules do I set for myself?
  • What rituals do I have?
  • What habits do I have?

Want to Read More Around This Topic?

Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One by Dr. Joe Dispenza (link to Amazon.co.uk). This book delves into the concept of breaking free from ingrained patterns of thinking and behaviour by understanding the power of our thoughts and beliefs. It offers insights and practical strategies for rewiring our brains and creating new possibilities in our lives.

Nurturing Curiosity – Daily Practice: This is part of the Nurturing Curiosity series of tools, insights and questions designed to help nurture curiosity as part of our daily practice. In point of fact, every interaction we have is an opportunity to question what we are observing and how we and others are seeing the world. Also remember that questions come in many forms throughout our day – a sense of anxiety in the morning might trigger the natural question of What is troubling me? Or going a little deeper, how might I be generating fears to keep myself safe?

What Thoughts Would You Like to Share? My name is Tom O’Leary, and I envision a world in which curiosity shapes leadership. In this world, leaders aren’t boxed in by traditional thinking or established playbooks. They are open to fresh ideas and diverse perspectives, fostering a culture of exploration and learning. My mission is to shift leadership focus from authority, over-measurement and control to curiosity, learning and innovation, empowering leaders to prioritise the essential. My journey, lived in a number of countries and through various languages, has always been driven by a profound sense of curiosity. In fact, life has taught me that possibility lies not so much in seeking answers but in learning to ask better questions – the ones that help prioritise what is truly essential. I welcome your thoughts, feedback, or personal experiences related to these questions or any insights they may have sparked.