Stay Curious, My Friend
by Tony DiLeonardi
In Bob Dylan's classic song "Forever Young," the artist
instructs us to stay young-young at heart, young at thought and
young at action. It occurred to me recently that this concept
of youthfulness is a great concept to achieve success and
significance in your practice today.
The truth that really penetrated my thoughts was the concept of
staying curious. Curiosity is defined as: "an eager desire to
know; inquisitiveness." Like a child, always ask why. Always
be interested. Continuously seek understanding.
This trait will keep you young, but also open new ways of thinking,
producing, selling and living.
What occurred that refreshed my view of curiosity and staying
young? While dragging the entire family out for a little
frolicking family fun, it hit me. We traversed down to the
John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago from the suburbs. Since the
ticket line was long, I moved us up to the annual membership line
and proceeded to purchase the family package annual
membership. I rationalized that with just one more visit this
year, this membership would pay for itself. Furthermore, we were
doing a good thing to support the animals. Finally, I
admitted to my son, the line is a lot shorter and I didn't want to
As new members, we were all handed our entrance bracelets for
the day and tickets to a 12:30 pm show. Honestly, I didn't
really listen to the lady when she explained what the show was.
When it was about five minutes before the show was to start, I
said to my family, let's go to this show. My three teenagers
groaned and complained without knowing what the show was. I
confess my wife and I looked at each other as to say, "We don't
want to sit and listen to some guy talk about fish."
It was my 9-year-old daughter who finally said, "Let's go! Why
wouldn't we go? What is the show about, anyway?"
We went in, albeit a few minutes late, dragging the teenagers
behind the 9-year-old. To our surprise, we were all
amazed! I'm not sure the last time you've been to a dolphin
show, but this show was like no dolphin show I had ever seen as a
This was a modernized musical dolphin extravaganza! It included
a three story high multi-media screen, "floating" on top of the
water. It included video shots of the dolphins and beluga
whales in action, movie scenes of them in the wild and multi-level
screen shots of almost anything else that could create an emotional
response as your eyes flipped from the screen to the real mammals
doing amazing things in the water. The men and women
in, on and above the water were directing these creatures with
amazing precision and grace - like acrobats in a circus. It
was accompanied by an acoustic guitar and singing trio that
entertained throughout. This was not the dolphin show of my
youth. It captured every sense and emotion possible.
What lesson did I learn? Lesson one was because the
tickets were given to us for "free," we placed no value on
them. We were wrong. More importantly, lesson two was
because of the curiosity of my 9-year-old daughter, we all enjoyed
the show that moments earlier we had written off as an
inconvenience at best.
What does this mean to you? Stay curious! Ask the
why questions. Curiosity will lead you to more success and
significant relationships. Genuine curiosity will lead you to
modernizing your own sales approach, creating an innovative
solution, understanding your clients' needs and wants better, and
enjoying relationships more while learning even more about life and
yourself. All because you stayed curious and were not afraid
to ask the why questions. If you believe you've learned
enough, you've stopped asking why.
So what can childlike curiosity do for you?
-Modernize your approach or your technique; open your mind to
-Help you learn
-Enjoy people more
-Keep you optimistic
Those are the results that matter! Those are attributes
that will change lives. Those features arrive because we stay
curious and ask "why?"
Let me close with some youthful words from Mr. Dylan's
benediction as you attempt to "Stay Forever Young."
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.
Lyrics by Bob Dylan, 1974