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May 9, 2019

Some things just need to be found. For other things it’s more of a “Wouldn’t it be nice if…” Then there are those new things that just show up. Sometimes, though not very often, they just fall into your lap. But most of the time you have to go search for them.

First, the fall-into-your-lap types of things. These are the sorts of things you probably weren’t looking for but “poof” all of a sudden here they are. These are unexpected discoveries, often both in terms of what they are and what they respond to. Science generates lots of these all the time. 3M’s Post-Its are an example. When the search for one thing the scientist came up with something else.

Second, the let’s-go-looking types of things. To start, it helps to make sure you have as well defined a goal or object you’re searching for as possible. Sometimes this is very clear, as in “I need to find gas for my car.” Other times it’s a lot less clear as in “I need a new job but it’s not clear to me what that should be.” To which of course is added the reality that while gas stations sell gasoline, it’s only in times of economic prosperity that you can just go pick a job off of a shelf somewhere (and even the it’s only certain types of jobs).

Then comes the actual process of looking for what you’re trying to find. Sometimes the steps involved are quite clear as in before you can get gas you need to find a gas station… etc. Other times it’s a mystery Every.Single. Step. As in what explorers face. Those exploring new lands or new areas of science or artistry.

Then of course there’s deciding whether you’ve found whatever it is you’re looking for. If you have then great! Time to celebrate! (at least a little) And if you haven’t, then the search goes on…

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From → Learning, Life

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