There’s a story that occurs constantly in the biographies of many creative and brilliant people. It goes something like this: As a kid they had a question—maybe it was about how car engines work, or what Antarctica is like. It doesn’t matter if the question is about history or science or animals, because their dads all had the same response. They said, “I don’t know, but let’s go figure it out!” So they went to the library or the hardware store or the computer and they dug around and they found they answer.
What this experience did was instill the young versions of these notable figures with a few essential lessons that set them on their paths: 1) their fathers actually listened and cared; 2) curiosity is the starting point of a great adventure; and 3) there are places, like the library or the internet or some wise old neighbor, where answers can be found. Most importantly though, they learned something well-expressed in the title of Marie Forleo’s new book: they learned that “Everything is Figureoutable.” Problems can be solved. Ignorance can be eliminated. Answers can be tracked down. The unknown can be made familiar. Things can be discovered.
Your job is to teach that. Today and every day. It’s to actually listen to their questions…and then help them find the answers. That doesn’t mean give them the answers. It means teaching them how to figure things out for themselves. Teach them to love the process. Teach them to get excited about it. Teach them to head to the library or the laptop, the telephone, or their science teacher.
Everything is figureoutable. Big and small. But it takes someone to help them figure that out. It takes you.