Genuine Curiosity

Author Dwayne Melancon is always on the lookout for new things to learn. An ecclectic collection of postings on personal productivity, travel, good books, gadgets, leadership & management, and many other things.


Tinkering in the garage of my mind

You've probably seen those tinkering types who accumulate a garage full of miscellaneous spare parts (motors, belts, pulleys, etc.).  Then, one day they'll get an idea, go out to the garage, and make something out of all those spare parts.

I'm a bit like that, but not with parts.  I accumulate ideas, thoughts, concepts, and goofy ideas.  Then, they sometimes come together in the form of new ideas, lessons, and observations.  Here's an example.


  • Blog posts from David Allen, Steve Pavlina
  • Lisa Haneberg's 2w2aB program

As I was catching up on my blog reading this weekend, I noticed a few posts from David Allen on conversations he's had with his seat mates on airplanes (like this one about being spread too thin at the top).  He's had a number of posts like that since launching his revamped blog, and I've been thinking about how few such chats I have on the plane, even though I fly a lot.

In just about every case I can recall, when I had a conversation like that with a stranger on a plane, it was initiated by the other person. I've mentioned in previous posts that I'm an Introvert and that makes me more likely to sit and think (or read, or listen to audiobooks, or work on my computer) than to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger sitting next to me.

However, as I read about David's conversations, I can't help but think I might be missing out on some good discussion (and even more new ideas) by being so solitary in these situations.

This is further amplified by the positive experience I had when going through Lisa Haneberg's "2 Weeks 2 A Breakthrough" process in which I was encouraged to talk about my goals with everyone I encountered, and even enlist their help. That was way out of my comfort zone, but yielded powerful (indeed, "breakthrough") results.

I've decided I want to force myself to engage in these sorts of conversations more often, to see what happens. What better way than to use Steve Pavlina's idea about personal quotas?

I've decided to give myself a quota of having a productive conversation with at least one person for every two flights I take.  I define productive to mean that I find out a little about what the other person does and one significant goal or project they are working on (personally or professionally).

I wonder what I'll find out? I know one thing - I'll probably expand my comfort zone.

What about you - are you a conversation starter, or a mind-your-own business sort of traveler?