The Surprising Secret to a Better Life Is Just One Word

· magazine ·

WORK

We recently ran into a snag because we couldn’t update our website. We called our system administrator to investigate and it’s just amazing how he approached the whole situation. Instead of panicking or murmuring a half-hearted “OK”, he simply said:

“Hmmm, interesting.”

That’s it.

Now, you might wonder: “What’s so special about this pretty banal remark?”

Think about it — what a great way to approach problems in life!

For example, your client doesn’t like the logo you made for them. What can you do? Well, you can get angry, sad, start doubting yourself, question your skills or your client’s judgment, rationalize, or something else that’s equally unproductive.

Or, you can say “Interesting”, find the root issue, and fix it - and learn something new along the way.

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

Here’s some more examples:

  • Console keeps throwing errors? Interesting, where could that bug hide and how it happened.
  • Waiter takes too long to come with your order? Interesting, who knows how exciting today must be for them.
  • Software 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.
  • Life sucks? Interesting, maybe I should do something about it.

This curiosity-driven mindset can be applied even to positive things: “There are 10% more signups than usual? Interesting, wonder why that is and how we can replicate it.”

The point is, you don’t have to go through an identity crisis or search for a silver lining whenever something goes wrong - you can do something even better: look at the interesting side of life.

Instead of thinking about life as a series of unfortunate events, think of it as a series of chances to learn, grow, and challenge your assumptions about the universe.

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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