Adam Steltzner on Curiosity
Is fear of change stopping you from following your curiosity?
Srini Rao gets the best gems out of his podcast interviewees. Recently, I listened to his Unmistakable Creative interview with Adam Steltzner, an engineer from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory who was forced to shift his identity from high school drop-out to a Caltech PhD whose work involves landing spacecrafts on the moon. They talked about exploration as an expression of our humanity and what struck me was Adam’s point about curiosity: what stops many of us from following it is fear of change and fear of failure.
Also fear of just asking a question changes things. The answer changes our understanding of the universe. If you’re willing to ask the question, it’s the ultimate vote of self-confidence because you say ‘hey world, I’m going to open up this question and I’m confident that I can handle whatever change, whatever the truth that is discovered through opening that question and answering it, that I can handle that.’ It allows you to ask another question and another one and another one.