On Thursday, we lost the popular actor Peter Falk, who was most famous for his role as Lieutenant Colombo. In 69 episodes from 1968-2003, millions hung on the edge of their seats waiting for each mystery to be solved by our lovable hero.
Colombo’s secret of cracking the case had nothing to do with fancy DNA tests, web searches, or advanced surveillance. The techniques to bring each “perp” to justice weren’t trained in the police academy, nor were they based on standard operating protocol.
Rather, the disheveled Lt. Colombo solved each case using his most powerful weapon: curiosity.
Just when we thought the case would go cold, Colombo scratched his head and asked his trademark question: “There’s just one more thing I don’t understand….” The ever-curious character never stopped asking questions; never stopped wondering. He used his imagination to piece each puzzle together, frequently asking the subjects of his polite interrogations to “Tell me more about that.”
In our own lives, it’s easy to just accept things as they are. When we hear information that appears credible, we often take it at face value. We are coaxed into accepting the status quo, while believing we’re helpless to effectuate change.
Colombo took the unconventional route, and so can you. By awakening your curiosity, you can tune in to the limitless possibilities at your disposal. It’s time to unleash your creative potential and stick your thumb in the eye of conventional wisdom.
Curiosity is the building block of creativity, innovation, and original thought. The more curious you become, the more you see the world not for what it is, but what it can be. The ones that make history -the great inventors, explorers, and leaders of nations – all share an unquenchable sense of wonder. Their burning curiosity allows them to first see a better future, and then set about making it happen.
The good news is that curiosity is a gift that we all share. Even those grumpy curmudgeons that claim “I’m not creative”, have incredible potential to see the world from new perspectives. The research shows that creativity and curiosity are primarily learned behaviors. The more we use those skills, the sharper they become.
Today, police academies around the world teach the “Colombo Technique” of investigation. The antiquated and preposterous expression that “curiosity killed the cat” can only apply if the “cat” is referring to outdated ways of leading, winning, and living.
Give yourself and those around you permission to explore the possibilities. Become enchanted with the blank canvas in front of you. Liberate your curiosity, and you’ll be well equipped to paint your own masterpiece.