The Surprising Secret to a Better Life Is Just One Word

· · magazine

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We recently ran into a snag because we couldn’t update our website. We called our sysadmin to investigate. It’s just amazing how he approached the situation. Instead of panicking or murmuring the half-hearted ok, he just said:

“Interesting.”

That’s it. So what’s so special about all this? Think about it — what a great way to approach problems you encounter in life!

Imagine a client gives you a negative feedback on your work. You can get angry, sad, start doubting yourself, question your skills, question their judgement, rationalize, or thousands of other unproductive things. Or you can say “Interesting”, get to the root of the issue, and fix it.

You don’t have to always emotionally react to events around you and categorize them as either good and bad — instead, use them as a chance to grow and learn.

Other real-life examples:

  • Console error keep throwing error? Interesting, where could that bug hide.
  • Waiter takes too long to come with your order? Interesting, who knows how exciting today must be for their business.
  • Slack or Sketch needs another update? Interesting, wonder what new features it brings.
  • Another meeting? Interesting, who knows what new exciting thing we’ll work on next.
  • Neighbours keep drilling all day? Interesting, wonder what they’re building and how it’ll impact their life.
  • Life sucks? Interesting, maybe I should do something about it.

This applies even to positive things:

There’s a 10% bump in number of signups we can’t account for? Interesting, we should look into that.

You don’t have to have an identity crisis whenever something goes wrong or search for a silver lining when you can do something even better: look at the interesting side of life.

Learn to say interesting whenever you’re put into a tight spot. Instead of thinking about life as a series unfortunate events, think of it as a series of chances to learn, grow, and challenge your assumptions about the universe.

Little things have the greatest effect on our well-being. No matter how big or small a problem is, next time you get irritated, delighted, or have a panic attack, try saying “Interesting” instead.

“Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why.“ — Bernard Baruch

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