Beston Jack Abrams on Curiosity, Experimentation and Action

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Quotes, skmurphy

Curiosity, experimentation and action are essential to moving your business forward.  I have selected a few aphorisms by Beston Jack Abrams from his self-published third volume of  “Abramisms” on these and related topics that I think are of use to entrepreneurs.

Curiosity, Experimentation, and Action

Curiosity keeps your mind open to possibilities, experimentation allows you to test your hypotheses before committing substantial resource, and action is required to leave the world or research and make a positive impact on people’s lives.

Curiosity

“Curiosity may not extend our life but it can certainly broaden it.”
Beston Jack Abrams

When I look back on my childhood what strikes me is my relentless curiosity, my ability to submerge myself in a new subject and then reflect on what I had learned to make new connections. Alternating exploration with explaining what you have learned to others and connecting it with prior knowledge keeps you from going stale.

Experimentation

“History’s major lesson: experiment.”
Beston Jack Abrams

While one action may be the most effective at a given point in time, robust survival–much less growth–seems to require the ability to master a variety of strategies. And the only way to do this is to carefully observe, tinker, and experiment.

Action

“Compassion may be a precursor but is not substitute for a charitable act.”
Beston Jack Abrams

Our actions should be judged by our intentions but intention alone is not enough. On the other hand, small acts make a difference: a smile, a compliment, taking the time to really listen, holding the door, letting someone in to traffic ahead of you, welcoming a newcomer to an event or an online group, all add up.

“Without the resolve to act, reflection and research are only entertainments.”
Beston Jack Abrams

I tend to think of the worst up front as a way to energize me to come up with contingency plans. For me, many actions spring from an intuitive reaction or gut feel. Sometimes it’s a small act to get started that knocks down the first small domino in a long series that increase in size.

“We may be unable to always act wisely but nothing prevents us from acting kindly.”
Beston Jack Abrams

I think it’s good to distinguish between courses of action that have limited risk or downside, that are “safe moves.” In chaotic situations it can be useful to make safe moves just to familiarize yourself with the environment.  If you can maintain some level of equanimity, or avoid injecting your own feelings of frustration, anxiety, and or anger into an evolving dynamic it’s unlikely you will make things worse.

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