I think this book may have just changed my life.
I recently finished Beginner’s Pluck by Liz Bohannon. I started it on a Friday and finished it four days later, and it’s safe to say I’m ready to start on page one all over again.
So much gold in this book.
Her words, more than any other I’ve heard from a speaker or author or pastor, left me with blunt truths like we’re all totally average, we need to dream small for a minute, and we’ll never find our passion.
The question from it all that’s burned into my mind and heart and soul—how do I live with insatiable curiosity?
I believe curiosity calls us to the best possible version of ourselves.
If we’re curious, shame has less power.
If we’re curious, there’s really nothing quite out of reach.
If we’re curious, we’re less tied to other’s opinions about us.
If we’re curious, we’re less likely to believe we hold the answers.
If we’re curious, we get to be part of a beautiful, sustainable change, rather than the one we believe is the best.
If we’re curious, we give every part of ourselves permission to show up and that gives others permission to show up too.
Isn’t curiosity beautiful? That phrase insatiable curiosity just won’t quit. It’s keeping me up at night, pulling my focus away from other things.
What does it look like to be insatiably curious?
Liz writes, “A good, unbiased investigative journalist does not ask leading questions in an effort to simply confirm what they think they already know. They, in fact, assume they don’t know the whole story and they ask questions out of a genuine sense of curiosity.”* 1
Stunning—a beautiful picture of insatiable curiosity and a call to wild courage.
You and I—we tend to walk into a room or a situation with preconceived ideas about what’s going on, who’s there, what matters, who matters. I mean, let’s be honest. It’s called bias. We all have it, and it’s really difficult to get rid of it.
It’s wildly courageous to leave bias behind in order to be insatiably curious.
When we choose to show up and leave our “leading” questions at the door, we’re choosing to say that we may not be right.
In fact, we might be wrong.
When I read Liz’s ideas about curiosity, I can’t help but think of my dear friend Kayla—the co-founder of Braverly. As someone with incredible power and privilege (so as an American) it would’ve been incredibly easy for her to enter the lives of our friends in Mae Sot with ideas for how to best love them, serve them, save them.
[American church, we have got to let this mindset go. It’s dangerous and deadly and helps absolutely no one. Don’t go on another short term missions trip until you can convince at least 10 people that you’re not going to save someone.]
Instead, Kayla did the long, courageous, curious work of listening, of asking questions, of learning. The answers she got and the stories she heard only led her to more questions to more listening, to more learning.
She didn’t move to Mae Sot to confirm her ideas of how to help women.
She moved to Mae Sot to figure out how she could best come alongside women in this town—how she could actually be a force for truth and goodness and Jesus in their lives.
And this required insatiable curiosity and wild courage.
And guess what?
Three years after Braverly’s doors opened, it still requires insatiable curiosity and wild courage.
The Everyday Practice
We never arrive. We never reach perfection. This world and the people in it constantly change, and so should the way we work.
Curiosity opens the door for listening and learning. It begs us to leave behind our leading questions and come to the table with open hands.
For me, insatiable curiosity looks like figuring out what community looks like in the town I grew up in. It looks like figuring out how to actually come alongside women in writing. Am I actually saying things that matter to you, the reader, or do I just like the sound of my own voice? It looks like asking questions like—do I actively look for ways to share my power and privilege, or do I choose to look the other way?
Difficult questions. Uncomfortable questions. Important questions.
Friend, that life of purpose and meaning you so desperately want, begs you to become a person of insatiable curiosity and wild courage.
Listen. Ask questions. Learn. Adjust.
Have the courage to let go of your preconceived ideas.
Have the courage to let go of your opinions and prejudices.
And then lean in.
Be insatiably curious every single day.
And let it wreck your life in the best way possible.
1Liz Bohannon, Beginner’s Pluck (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2019), 77.