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The Value of Staying Curious. Building your CQ (Curiosity Quotient).

By Life, Life Lessons, Motivational One Comment

I’ve really come to appreciate the value being curious, where curiosity is defined as a state of mind where one is interested in the how, why, what, when, or where of an event or statement.

Curiosity allows us to challenge ourselves, challenge what we’re being told, see if things make sense (vs. blind acceptance), and make breakthrough’s that we would never even consider before. By giving ourselves the permission to dig a little deeper and feed our minds, it helps us discover new passions in ourselves and new delights in others.

Staying Curious in Business

In business, staying curious is more than a good habit. It’s critical to your success. A good way to practice curiosity is to do zero-based thinking.

What that means is taking a look at a problem or situation without the shackles of your current perception. Approach the challenge this way. Ask yourself,

“If I had not made the decision I did, and I knew then what I know today, would I still make the decision again?”

If the answer is no, then step away and see how you can unwind. There is no credit for climbing a ladder if it’s leaning against the wrong wall.

Curiosity in Personal Life

In your personal life, over the long term, staying curious is one of the key components to keeping your mind young, vibrant, sharp, and in shape. And if your mind is in shape, it’s much easier to improve your quality of life over the long term.

Try it out for a couple weeks. Do things purposely to build your CQ (curiosity quotient).

  • Order a different beverage at Starbucks
  • Go to the local coffee house instead of Starbucks
  • Go a new route to work
  • Work on displaying an emotion that has become dormant
  • Surprise your significant other and shake things up
  • Ask why
  • Ask why not
  • Ask a co-worker to respectfully challenge you on something
  • Become aware of your beliefs, then ask if they are still valid

The great Bob Dylan put it this way

“He who isn’t busy being born each day is busy dying”

Bob Dylan I Can't Sing

The Confidence Loop

By Business Philosophy, Leadership, Life Lessons, Motivational, My Writings No Comments

I was chatting with a young employee over a beer the other day and we started talking about confidence and its importance. Here is a summary of the conversation along with a diagram on the cyclical pattern of confidence.

What is confidence?

Confidence is a state of mind. It is a lens that we choose to view the world with. What’s cool about it is that it’s available at any time, to anyone.

The state of mind then carries over into how we carry ourselves and the actions we choose to take.

By acting as if you’re confident, you take on the role of a confident person. Your body changes, your mindset becomes different. You become that which you think. You begin to look and carry yourself in a certain way. And a funny thing happens. People treat you as such.

When others see confidence, they instinctually trust and follow it because we all know that these are the types of people that end up creating wins for the companies, their families, their communities, and their world. People instinctually know that the results will be beneficial and leave positive lasting affects on them.

For the most part, people admire those that make impact and they end up sharing their feedback with those that have taken action. That positive feedback helps fuel even higher levels of confidence, which in turn creates more action and results.

It’s one big loop – I call it The Confidence Loop. - The Confidence Loop

How to Get Confidence? Start the Loop

And how do you start the loop? Take Action.

Take action on things you fear. Things you know you should be doing, but are afraid of what people might think.

Take action on something you care about deeply – something that makes a difference.

Be comfortable with knowing that a lot of the action will not produce the outcome you want immediately. But if you keep working at it and persisting towards a clear path, you WILL get better, you will produce better results, and you will be able to affect change in the world.

People (except haters) love others who take action because they’re a true manifestation of living the dream. Just by getting the results, it means the confident people chased their dream, and they’re making it. They are making it work – and it shows us that we, too could have our dream.

It’s a hope for a better tomorrow. Hope for a higher plane of happiness.


Design Life. Drive Life.

By Life Lessons, Motivational, Uncategorized No Comments
Mykonos - Photo by

Mykonos – Photo by me

Drive life.

Say Yes more often.

Challenge your barriers.

Be comfortable outside your comfort zone.

But, don’t just drive life. Design it.

Design your outcome.

And design time in between driving, to be still – to float.

To explore.

To be, without trying.

To breathe, without thinking.

And to surrender, without wanting.

– Steven 2011.

You have all that you need to create an incredible life.

By Life, Life Lessons, Motivational, Quotes No Comments

My friend Erin Mellinger posted this on facebook the other day. It’s so insightful, I wanted to share it with you:

“There are only 3 colors, 10 digits, and 7 notes; its what we do with them that’s important.”

Wow! How powerful that is when you think about it.

Every number ever produced is a combination of 0 -9.

Every color I see is a blend of just three.

And every song I love is the same primary notes – played in a different way.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day. We’re all given our own two hands, and feet, and brilliant mind. We all have the space between stimulus and response where we are given the freedom to choose how to act.

Each of us choose to arrange the notes of life a certain way, or to view the digits dealt to us a through our own lens.

It’s what we decide to do each day – its how we decide to perceive – that adds the songs and color to our lives.

Nadav Wilf

What is your definition of success and what’s your relationship to it?

By Life Lessons, Motivational 2 Comments

(Nadav is my buddy and CEO of

Nadav Wilf asks on Facebook: What is your definition of success and what’s your relationship to it??
  • Stefania Andra I’d like to call our relationship successful so that answers the second part of the question as well 🙂 hehe
  • Julien Brandt Easy: It’s strictly based on how much money you make… 😉 haha JK for me its all about being able to lead a balanced life and feeling complete. My relationship to success?!?… I would say I am “dating” success. Having fun and excited about the possibilities.
  • Peter Bennett Eternal happiness and complete acceptance of the way things are. Gotta ways to go
  • Taryn Tieck happiness..
  • XTha TSit success: having a positive impact. relationship: golden “D
  • Allison Hillstrom Enlightenment
  • Matty Vee Peace of mind
  • Renee Kushnir Being fully present and fully fulfilled 🙂
  • Bianca Jaime Having peace and love in everything that I do. Love u bud! Xo
  • Rosalena Famania knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential and sowing seeds that benefit others.
  • Julio Garcia II Setting goals and then going after those goals. Doesn’t matter if u win or lose.
  • Micha Mikailian Success for me is fostering breakthroughs in leadership, performance, and community.
  • Nicholas Totah Inner peace, awareness, purpose.
  • Steven Cox Such a loaded question. There’s the definition I am still tied to, then the definition that I aspire to live by. I strive to make those differing definitions eventually into just one.

How about you?

I’d love to hear your comments below. Go ahead.


Finding Your Passion

By Art, Creative, Motivational One Comment

“I was a fidgety and noisy child. All my school reports said that I couldn’t concentrate and that I was always distracting the rest of the class – I was a pain, by all accounts.

But when I drew, I was calm.

Drawing allowed me to get lost in a bubble, and I was suddenly quiet and content. At weekends, while all my friends were out playing football in the park, I went to lessons at the local art college. I could draw happily for hours and hours and not realize what the time was.

And nothing has changed, really. I’m the same today.

But, as the years go by, it becomes harder and harder to find those uninterrupted moments when you’re left alone to be in that headspace and lose yourself in drawing. I’m lucky if I get one hour a day when the phone isn’t ringing and there are no emails to answer.

But when I find that hour, nothing tops it.

It’s about reaching that moment of pure ecstasy when a drawing just happens. Where every move you make with your hand and every thought you have in your head grows in front of you without any mistakes; no rubbing out, starting again and getting frustrated. It’s like being in a trance – it’s fluid – and you almost don’t remember doing the picture.

Drawing is an escape from all the unnecessary things in life that get in the way of being free.”

– Jamie Hewlett, Artist and Filmmaker.

(Jamie Hewlett is the award-winning artist behind the world’s most popular cartoon band, The Gorillaz. Before he created The Gorillaz with his then-flatmate Damon Albarn, he created the seminal punk-rock comic Tank Girl.  Original quote was pulled from a ad in GQ magazine.)

Steven’s Notes:

Find that place each day where you can dive deep into passion. Even if you’re at work, throw yourself completely into it. What you may find is that ‘passion’ becomes a function of who you are vs. only what you’re doing at the time. While sometimes it may not be as invigorating as creating a new drawing, remember that you have the abilty to create a sort of art each day by simply focusing 100% of your efforts, intensity, and passion into what you’re doing at that moment.