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Open to Discovery

Isn’t it strange how the best ideas come when we are most relaxed and open to discovery? I recently attended a workshop from the Billions Institute called Skid Row School. One of the topics was focused on openness to discovery. I was not surprised when I saw the list of attributes that leave us open for true discovery:

  • Expressing genuine curiosity

  • Openly wondering about an issue

  • Listening generously

  • Requesting information

  • Showing genuine enthusiasm about the possibilities

These were among several listed. What surprised me most was learning about the personas (villain, victim, hero) that we can show up with that hinder us from being open to discovery.


The Villian

  • Seeks control, justifies actions

  • Criticizes or blames, interprets what the person is saying as an attack

  • Believes that his/her opinion is the only way

  • Keeps attention on the problem

  • Finds fault in the way a message was delivered

The Victim

  • Feels overwhelmed and powerless, defeated

  • Waits for someone else to fix the problem

  • Seeks people who want to rescue

  • Keeps score of how many times this has happened

  • Experiences pain and suffering

The Hero

  • Seeks problems to fix, people to save, conflicts to be resolved

  • Expects appreciation and reward

  • Avoids pain or discomfort by finding temporary solutions

  • Gives unsolicited help and suggestions

  • Takes on more


I could see myself in each of these personas in personal and professional situations. I learned that we all have these personas, but it’s the awareness of my persona, and even calling it out at that moment, that will hopefully make me smile in recognition, and moves me into the zone of discovery.


I recently found myself in the hero persona when I was asked to help a group of people solve a problem. I enthusiastically started creating viable solutions in my head, because I love solving problems and helping others. I stopped myself and realized that my best course was to remain curious and learn more about the problem and the people it was impacting. This would best serve my quest to help and leave me open to true discovery. Was I drawn to the problem because I wanted to be needed or did I have a genuine interest in learning more and helping?


The best ideas come when you let go of control, truly listen to others, and allow multiple perspectives to shine new light on the situation. Responding quickly can still give us a good solution, but it only allows us to work with what we know now, and doesn’t open our hearts and minds to new possibilities, moving from “Yes” to “Yes, and" where new potential can emerge.

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