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Brainhack by Neil Pavitt

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22 Keep Asking Why

“Curiosity is lying in wait for every secret.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Don't come to me with questions, come to me with solutions.” Not the words of some impatient boss, but of your own mind. On second thoughts then, they are the words of an impatient boss.

Our brain has a lot on its plate, so it wants to solve problems quickly and get on to the next thing.

It was different when we were young. Our brains were full of questions it needed the answers to.

We ask about 40,000 questions between the ages of two and five. Four being our most inquisitive age when we ask about three hundred questions per day.

But these were questions we needed answers to in order to understand the world around us. Once children get older their questioning starts to tail off. A lot of people lay the blame on a school system that seems to value answers more than questions. I'm sure that's part of it, but I also think we don't need the answers as much.

From an evolutionary point of view our brains need just enough information to keep us safe and be able to function successfully in society. The answers to any other questions are just an added luxury.

But if you want to be a great problem solver, you need to cultivate a truly questioning mind.

You need that natural curiosity of a four-year-old, but you want to be asking the questions that have never been asked before.

Take Isaac Newton; he didn't ...

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