Stubborn vs Curious

Being persistent is critical to success.

You must be undeterred in your desire to achieve a goal or to make a dream come true.

Being curious is also critical to success. Asking why, asking how, and looking for better, faster, and easier ways to do things drives innovation and differentiation.

Although not mutually exclusive, there is a point where these two virtues intersect. It resembles a fork in the road, and it may be one for your career or for a relationship.

Holding on to an opinion just to say you didn’t give in is career limiting behavior.

If you’ve ever seen the guy with the Ph.D. working at Walmart, you’ve witnessed this. Eventually, his 25-year-old manager will fire him for stocking sporting goods in alphabetical order rather than by compensated shelf space positioning.

At home, your spouse wants the sofa and loveseat set up railroad style. This hurts your neck when you watch Jeopardy because the seating is perpendicular to the TV. So, when your spouse moves the furniture, you move it back. You know you’re right and eventually, she will give in.

No, she won’t.

Why not ask why this set-up is appealing to her? Why not try to find an agreeable option – like purchasing a chair and have it face the television?

The next time you find yourself taking a position on something, consider why you are doing it. Ask if there is another option you have not considered. If you are presented with an option ask if it will work and, even if you think it is illogical, try it.

It will make you grow intellectually and it will help your relationship.