Let’s play. Imagine you have countless millions in the bank. You don’t need to work or worry about business or investing in any way.

  • What would I do with my days?
  • What would I devote my life to doing or to being?
  • Who would I bring with me?
  • What do I want to remember on my death bed?

Make a list and prioritise. Ensure that they truly are your interests as opposed to something you picked up along the way but that no longer gives you any energy. Indeed, are there interests behind the interests? Meaning, is what the interest represents (power, status….) more important than the interest itself?

Of the list, what one or two things are you most passionate about? Imagine yourself devoting yourself to these interests. What do you see? Tell me the story right now – “Tom, I see myself……..”

Sometimes, we’re lucky in that what really interests us is already part of our lives, so it is about finding ways of giving it a larger voice – of turning up the dial. On other occasions, it requires a complete shift. For example, there are countless stories from the ages of warriors, knights and even kings renouncing their former lives and joining monastic orders. They left lives of war and violence for lives of contemplation and prayer.

So, ask yourself:

  • How do these interests currently show up in my life?
  • How can I live more into them?
  • What am I willing to sacrifice for these interests?

Questions in the Image:

  • What really interests me?
  • What excites me?
  • What could I devote my life to doing?
  • What could I devote my life to being?

Want to Read More Around This Topic?

Big Magic: How to Live a Creative Life, and Let Go of Your Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert (link to Amazon.co.uk). This book discusses the power of living a life driven by curiosity and creativity, which aligns with the author’s advocacy for a curiosity-driven life.

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. This question of What interests me? is very much on my mind. If I didn’t have to think of work, I would simply do more of what I am doing and yet it would be different. It would be around nurturing curiosity but specifically around major issues facing humanity. Many of them come from a failure or an unwillingness to question the stories we hold dear.

About Tom O’Leary

My mission is to help others think differently – meaning more broadly and deeply – and thereby make better decisions. The key to thinking differently lies in our curiosity.

The more we question, the more possible answers we uncover, and the more we expand what we thought possible. 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.

And yet, in a culture obsessed with efficiency and productivity, the paradox is that much energy and resources are wasted by a bias towards action over contemplation. If you are answering the wrong question, it doesn’t matter how ‘hard’ you work, you are still answering the wrong question.

That is why I am a big advocate of nurturing curiosity and innovative thinking at all ages, particularly amongst leaders because of the impact they have on us all. In my vision, leaders aren’t boxed in by traditional thinking or established playbooks. They are curious, open to fresh ideas and diverse perspectives, fostering a culture of exploration and learning.

How Might Tom Help?

  1. My first invitation is to take maximum advantage of the free content on this site.
  2. I also endeavour to answer every email so if you have any queries do reach out – you will find my address if you are curious. Your future self will thank you!
  3. If you would benefit from a face-to-face conversation, consider signing up for a Decision Coaching package (initial call plus follow up call).
  4. If you feel you would benefit from a chat without having to sign up for decision coaching, click on the button below to join the waiting list for the opportunity to speak face-to-face. No charge! You just need to make a case as to why we should speak.