Are You Curious Enough?

By Kathleen E. Murphy

Last week a friend of mine told me about a young man who passed away on March 28, 2017. He had been battling addiction for many years. When I attended his wake yesterday, his entire family told me they were happy he was finally at peace. Anyone who has ever suffered from an illness, or been witness to someone else who has, understands the concept of “peace” better than most. Thinking more about this concept lead me to explore the topic of “curiosity”, as I wanted to better understand the true meaning of peace. There are a number of interpretations of the word peace. As a noun, the definition states it means “freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility”. I believe this is the meaning this young man’s family embraced to express how their feeling about an extraordinary sad occasion in their life. I also imagine this word and concept helped them to come to terms with the situation based on this meaning.

On a lighter note, thank goodness for the internet and the ease of being able to research information, especially since I have always been curious about many topics. Pre-internet, the challenge to do research took far more effort, and the results of my research did not always satisfy my quest to go layers deep into exploring a topic. Given the fact I am by nature a curious person, I have often wondered if most people are as well? To set the stage on the meaning of Curiosity, according to Wikipedia’s definition “Curiosity is a quality related to inquisitive thinking such as exploration, investigation, and learning, evident by observation in humans and other animals.”

Others would likely agree there are varying degrees of curiosity, and times in our lives when we have the opportunity to be more curious. The American proverb “curiosity killed the cat” is a negative connotation of curiosity, and since my last blog article was on “Positivity”, you know where I stand in terms of whether I support this proverb. Of course, upon researching if there was a follow-up to this statement, I found out via Wikipedia that “A less frequently-seen rejoiner to ‘Curiosity killed the cat’, is “but satisfaction brought it back”. This must be why I pursue my curiosity quest on a daily basis, as finding out more information about a topic is highly satisfying.

Regardless of who you are, being a curious person has amazing advantages, particularly from a learning perspective, and I love to learn new things all the time. The challenge of researching topics I am curious about is always a fascinating process, and I am thoroughly amazed each time about what I learn. Is it possible to be too curious? I do not think it is, and my belief is when I stop being curious, my life will not be as rich in the diversity from what I learn as a result of being curious. There are numerous other advantages to being curious, as is it does not matter what gender you are, your age, your educational background, where you live, or what access you have to information.

As a business person, doing research is an integral and on-going process, as it is critical to learn as much about the industry I am in, the target markets I am pursuing, the competition and global or local events which might have an impact on my business, or the products and services I am marketing. Thankfully doing research, fueled by my curiosity makes it a pleasurable aspect to my daily activities. However, I cannot imagine if I did not have the drive to be curious every day. Are you curious enough, or does it matter whether or not you are?

This blog is in memory of Torin Michael Lekan of Chelmsford, Massachusetts who passed away at the age of 32. To honor his memory, his family asked people to please help a friend in need.

Kathleen E. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging marketing and sales teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com.

How Positive Thinking Impacts Your Life.

By Kathleen E. Murphy

My Mom Emily Murphy had a long career in nursing, and when I was growing up, she would always tell me stories about the power of positive thinking, especially as it related to healing and the patients she was taking care of. For about a decade, my Mom’s profession as a nurse was focused on Oncology. She told me she was gifted in her ability to help people deal with their cancer, and for many years I did not fully understand or appreciate what this meant. As you would imagine, most of her cancer patients were extremely sick, and some were at the early stages of dealing with this awful disease. According to my Mom, the difference between patients and how they handled this dreadful disease was their attitude. The second thing which differentiated her patients from one another was how much they were able to apply positive thinking on a daily basis to help them make their situation better in even the smallest of ways (e.g., they were able to see beautiful trees outside of their hospital window emblazoned with all of the fall colors New England is known for).

The power of positive thinking has been written about for years, and there are many well known experts on this topic such as Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale who authored the book The Power of Positive Thinking which was published in 1952, and The Dalai Lama. Ironically when I was researching lists of well known optimists, there was not a definitive list of such people, but we all know they exist, and I happen to be one of them, but I am not yet known globally for this ability. How do I know I have optimism or positivity as a strength? I know this because my top strength according to the book Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath is Positivity.  Does it matter if you do or do not have an optimistic or positive outlook on life? I firmly believe it does.

Personally for me, there have been more numerous instances when if I thought about the outcome of a situation turning out well, in over 95% of the time the situation turned out to be positive. Is this because I viewed the outcome as being positive, or was it sincerely this way? Am I simply a lucky person? Or, did my positive thinking influence the outcome, and my optimistic nature have me only see the outcome as being positive, or the “glass being half full”?

My perspective and reality has been the situations I wanted to have positive outcomes generally turned out that way. If I thought about the instances the outcome did not turn out positively, there was usually some reason why the outcome was not positive (e.g., based on timing, based on location, based on other factors I had almost no control over). In the instances when the situation did not turn out positively, I think the manner in which I looked at the outcome had a great deal to do with my perception of the situation, and ultimately was less negative than I thought it would be.

Based on what my Mom witnessed as a nurse time and time again, and which would in many instances be called a “miracle”, she would tell you the power of positive thinking or being optimistic in even the most dire situations can bring you results you did not think were possible. I challenge you to pick a day to think about having everything in your day turn out well or positively, and see what the outcome of your day is like. If you are not a positive person by nature, you might need to start more slowly and take this challenge on by the hour. Being positive may take practice, but the long-term benefits and the outcomes you will see will be worth it. Take my word, as those who truly know me, will tell you I am living proof of this concept working well.

Thanks to Greg DeGuglielmo and Holden Laquerre for inspiring me to write, and by picking this topic from my list of topics to write about.

Kathleen E. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging marketing and sales teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com.