Sometimes it's valuable to pause for a moment and look at a bigger picture, at ourselves, and how we relate to our callings. Microsoft Research Principal Scientist Bill Buxton offers some tips on how to keep innovating in an article he wrote for Business Week, How to Keep Innovating. He explains, "The dogged pursuit of excellence might be the wrong strategy."

Buxton explains that the tought is peculiar, perhaps provocative. To me, his thesis is about how we can approach our passions, our professional and personal callings, and what we need to do to remake ourselves and remain fresh, vital, and relevant. And this message rings especially important today.

He offers this:

As you head down the road to mastery, you run a real risk that in fact you have nothing to distinguish yourself other than the depth of your expertise.

It's a warning to all of us who go too deep without expanding our vision of ourselves.

I've pulled some quotes from the article that describe an alternative:

  • Always be a beginner at something, and always be in love with what you are beginning.
  • The limitlessness of life has to be shoe-horned through the limitations of the present.
  • When you get good at one skill, drop another in which you have achieved competence in order to make room for a new passion.
  • Life is too short to waste on bad teachers or inefficient learning.
  • You can learn from anyone.

Your thoughts on the topic welcome. I recommend the read at How to Keep Innovating.