Active seeking

Tom Simpson
February 19, 2024
2 min read
2 min read

On the precipice of something new

A couple of weeks ago I pulled out my phone and opened Spotify.

As I pressed play on a podcast, I had a realisation that would send me on a delightfully surprising and obsessive tangent.

Up until that moment, I had been listening, reading and viewing a lot of the same.

I was enjoying these teachings and entertaining ramblings so much that I had stayed there.

But that morning, as I plugged in for another riff from one of my favourites, I had to stop myself.

I could feel myself wanting more.

This narrow source of input had become my comfort—it’s what I wanted to hear but it didn’t lead me beyond the confines of what I already knew.

So I challenged myself.

What if being confronted with something I disagree with could be just as important as being affirmed in what I already know.

What if in the search for something new, I stumbled upon insights, perspectives, people and stories that would strengthen and refine my own understanding.

So I did.

I asked around, scrolled new websites, listened to new podcasts, read new authors, and picked up anything that caught my eye.

In my wandering, I came across an interview with Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas on humour.

An interesting word that came up was levity.

They explain the concept—levity is a mindset; a receptiveness and an active seeking of joy.

They said something that struck me.

"If you walk around on the precipice of a smile you'll be surprised how many things you encounter that will push you over the edge."

This is a beautiful suggestion.

That the beginning of humour isn’t about trying to be funny but about navigating the world in a slightly different way.

Noticing things that are true, listening, and observing incongruences.

Bringing together odd things and drawing connections that make us think, laugh, and see differently.

This is true for creativity.

Creativity is often mistaken for picking up a paint brush or plucking an instrument.

But creativity is available in every field; from science and art, to business and product.

We can be deliberate in exposing our minds to new inputs, being open to other voices, diverging from the usual route, and learning new things.

But perhaps even more than that, it’s the way we go about leaning in.

Inclining our senses to everything around us.

To be on the precipice of something new—of learning, seeing things differently, and making new connections.

What are you actively seeking?

Maybe it’s a smile.

Or maybe it’s creativity, new ideas, conversation, inspiration, meeting new people, finding new opportunities.

Whatever it is, when you walk around on the precipice of it, perhaps you’ll be surprised at how many things you’ll encounter that will push you over the edge.

I certainly have.

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