Follow your curiosity, not someone else’s marketing

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American author and journalist Neil Stauss recently tweeted: “Most people didn't make it by imitating someone else's path, even when it seems so. They made it by walking their own path. And they made their own path by being true to what excites and interests them the most. Follow your curiosity, not someone else's marketing.”

That last sentence got me thinking about how often we are ok with following someone’s recipe. Recipe sharing works in the world of food but not when it comes to designing your life. Following someone else’s recipe is not a good idea.

We are bombarded with images of success and happiness on every social media platform. The level of success is measured by our possessions – the cars we drive, the brands we wear, the size of our homes, where we shop, the colour of our credit card.

Yet a successful life is one that is lived through understanding and pursuing one’s own recipe, not following someone else’s path.

Neil says that the way the path is made, is by being true to what excites and interests you the most. I think that you start creating your path by being true to who you are, above all else.

And you do that by becoming curious about you. Like a detective, you look at yourself…then go a little deeper and deeper still until you might exclaim – “Wow! I never knew that about me!”

American film producer Brian Grazer wrote a book called A Curious Mind. He initially started having what he called curiosity conversations, tracking down people about whom he was curious and asking if he could sit down with them for an hour.

“Over time, I discovered that I’m curious in a particular sort of way. My strongest sense of curiosity is what I call emotional curiosity: I want to understand what makes people tick; I want to see if I can connect a person’s attitude and personality with their work, with their challenges and accomplishments.”

I want you to do the same thing but instead of having a conversation with someone, have the curiosity conversation with yourself. Try to understand what makes you tick. See if you could connect your attitude and personality to your work, and all your challenges and accomplishments. Ask yourself, why you do things in a particular kind of way. Become curious and look for the clues that connect the dots, telling you why you act this way or that.

As Grazer says in the book’s introduction, “a successful life isn’t about finding the answers, it’s about asking the questions.”

I am currently reading Believe It by Jamie Kern Lima, founder of It Cosmetics. In the introduction she shares that she’s read a lot of books where she felt as if the advice was coming from a faraway pedestal without including the real, raw, messy, human side of it all.

“I was left wondering what the behind-the-scenes version was. And how I was supposed to connect to it and actually understand how to apply the lessons to my REAL life.”

When you follow someone else’s recipe, unless you are privy to everything, it means that the recipe you’re following will lack important ingredients. except you won’t be able to tell, because what you’re being given is a partial recipe.

Kern Lima says, “I realised that in our social-media/headline-driven world, we rarely get to learn the truth.” On the outside, the story the press tells looks like a fairy tale. Or it looks like it must have come easy, or the person just got lucky.

The real “REAL” is that many of us suffer with anxiety and self-doubt; we have issues with our bodies; we’ve cried, we’ve laughed, got angry and thought many times that we should just give up.

I’m not saying that you can’t borrow from the success recipes of others. What I am saying is that you have to be able to connect at a deeper level and understand how to apply what you’re learning to your life.

You need to understand how you are intrinsically motivated.

Most people don’t truly know. If they have a vague idea, they don’t have the concrete language to communicate and give expression to others. In reality, you have a core motivational drive that has probably been operative from a young age. If you examine your life closely enough, you will be able to find actions that you engaged in that brought you a deep sense of satisfaction and fulfilment. Many of us have forgotten them.

Each person’s leadership is best exercised in his or her area of giftedness. When we discover our gifts, we will naturally lead in those areas where we are most productive, intuitive, comfortable, influential and satisfied.

I love this quote by Carl Jung: “The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases. Each of us carries our own life-plan, which cannot be superseded by any other.” It’s time for you to figure out your recipe for success. Don’t look for guidance on the outside but tap within and let your own spirit guide you to the answers you seek.

Learn more about creating your recipe by visiting Click on services then coaching and discover for yourself, where following your curiosity will lead you. Forget other people’s marketing. Believe in yourself.


"Follow your curiosity, not someone else’s marketing"

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