How Focusing On Curiosity Changed My Life

by Michael Simmons on Jul 3, 2014

When I started writing for Forbes last year, I made a few decisions:

  1. To focus on fewer high-quality articles.
  2. To go longer than the suggested 800 words per article.
  3. To focus on intellectual integrity by researching the ideas and proactively searching for opposing arguments.
  4. Finding and sharing stories with honesty and vulnerability.

A lot of these are against the grain of traditional article writing. I made these decisions because I’ve been pursuing writing as a hobby and wanting to put ideas into the world that I’m proud of and that are helpful for others.

In a little over a year, the 23 articles I’ve written have been viewed nearly 1 million times and shared tens of thousands of times. My article published last week has been viewed over 20,000 times and shared 2,000 times on LinkedIn, Umano, Business Insider, and Forbes, and I’m going to be syndicating it in a few more places shortly. These numbers are way more than I ever imagined.

More than anything, I’ve learned that I deeply love writing and self-expression. My passion for writing has grown to the point where I proactively have to limit the time I spend on it because it is such a rewarding activity for me and takes over other things, even though I don’t get paid. As a result of writing, I see my life unfolding in a completely new and exciting way.

Here is one of my biggest lessons learned:

Sometimes it’s good to do things purely because it piques our curiosity and is something we’re really passionate about; even if we don’t have an endgame in mind. When we focus every activity through the lens of how much profit it will this bring in to grow the company, and we do this over 10 years, I’ve seen this help the company, but also sap my personal vitality.


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I'm the co-founder of Empact, one of the leading entrepreneurship education organizations in the world. I'm obsessed with understanding how we all can lead meaningful lives that have a positive social impact. I love probing into the truth of how we experience life. I believe that challenges are what make us grow the most, and I openly share my experiences. Continue reading…