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Judgmentally Curious

Elon Musk is in the news once again. This time, he made the headlines for his $40 billion purchase of Twitter, which will make the platform a private company. As with most things, people are passionately taking sides. They are debating the pros and cons, questioning Twitter’s future, and judging Elon’s motives. Some have even analyzed the content of Elon’s own personal tweets to support their views, good or bad. Common wisdom suggests that Elon’s motivation is his belief that Twitter should be a platform for free speech and should not censor content, as they currently seem to do. Freedom of speech is a sentiment we can all get behind, right? 😊 But let’s be honest with ourselves, an ultra-wealthy and often controversial guy buys a large social media company with a database of 200+ million people to promote free speech, which is a cornerstone of democracy could he have an ulterior, less altruistic motive? What’s in it for him? 

Wow, there was so much judgement in that last sentence. But isn’t that what so many of us do daily? We form judgements based on our biases, and inform them with what we see, hear, and assume. We judge almost everything, from small daily occurrences to major events. We judge almost everything, from Musk spending billions on Twitter to if someone’s socks match. I’ve realized recently that all this judgement leads to negativity (for me), so I decided to address it.  

Like most things, I found the answer to be staring me in the face. To break my habit of quick judgement, I needed to reframe my thinking and just be curious instead.  

Earlier this week, I went to get a haircut before leaving for vacation. It was just before noon when a client came in after me and requested a bourbon while he waited. Turns out my place serves bourbon, which is helpful information! It’s not hard to see where the judgmental part of me would have gone, really whiskey before noon? But I set that aside and engaged my curiosity. I wondered, did he just finish a night shift? Had he received bad or very good news? Or maybe he is simply celebrating the start of his vacation?! I never had a chance to ask, but by reframing my mindset, I realized there were so many possibilities that could explain his actions. Forming a judgement without knowing the answer would likely lead me to an incorrect answer and an undeserved negative view of the customer. 

Turns out, there are also many benefits to engaging curiosity. I had to pay more attention, ask more questions, and listen carefully to the answers. I learned more and in doing so became more interesting to others. There are many benefits if we just take the time to be curious!  

So, what is Elon Musk’s motivation to buy Twitter? Why not get curious and send him a tweet to ask?! 

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney 

What will you be curious about this weekend?