Which Way?

Last week, Seth Godin published Furious/Curious on his blog. The post goes like this:

“They rhyme, but they have opposite meanings. It’s very difficult to feel both emotions at the same time, and one is far more productive than the other.”

I read it a few times, and to me, something felt incomplete. I understood what he said, but it was as if something was left unsaid – a secret I had to unravel. He pointed me in the direction I needed to go, but I had to figure out my path. I kept at it for a few more hours but got nowhere. It was futile; I’d lost my way.

It was night, and I made my way to the bathroom to brush my teeth. I was borderline furious. The anger helped me squeeze some of the last bits of toothpaste left in the tube. It only left me frustrated. I could squeeze the paste out, but not the words to fill up the void left by Seth’s post. I wondered what happened. I asked myself why I was angry about losing my way? Now, I was curious. As I started putting the paste to work, a nascent thought grew in my mind. As the toothpaste foamed and filled up my mouth, the idea grew and supplanted itself in my mind.

Both feelings – furious and curious – were evoked by the same cause – the unknown. One reason with radically different outcomes. An anomaly of sorts, if you may call it so. For instance, the furious person feels offended when he cannot understand why something happened the way it did. But the curious one feels humbled under the same circumstances. Mr Furious is arriving from the city of ignorance, whereas Mr Curious, from the city of acceptance. The former thinks things have to go only according to his plan. But the latter accepts things will go any which way they choose. Ignorance shackles the former as a prisoner, while acceptance – of the Universe for the way it is – frees the latter.

Progress for one; regression for the other.

This change in perspective is powerful!

Which way?

Cover Photo by Oliver Roos on Unsplash

Thanks to Seth Godin for the inspiration.

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