A couple years ago I took a walkabout around the US, Eastern Europe and Japan. Parts of it were amazing, immersive experiences that I couldn’t have planned, some were hard, depressing days alone in places that weren’t what I has anticipated, many were the same normal days that escape from us no matter where we are. That’s the reality of a long, solo trip.
But throughout my trip, I always went out to explore. No matter how I felt, and let’s be frank, long-term travel can be emotionally exhausting, I went out the door to see and experience something new. I learned to optimize for friction, to put myself into new experiences to see what it looked it, see what it felt like, see how I compared to other people that sought out the same experiences. I carried a bias for curiosity.
That bias for curiosity is central to what I do today. Every day I meet a new person with a new idea, and even though I know the vast majority of them won’t turn out as they intended, I have to stay curious. Ideas that have failed in the past could succeed today. People that failed in the past could succeed today. Ideas that look like toys could be the start of something world-changing. Incumbents can be disrupted. What we see now can be be very different from where things are headed.
The lessons learned from the past protect us from making the same mistake twice, and they can hinder us from seeing something in a new, fresh light. Keep looking. Keep exploring. Keep testing. Stay curious. 1