How many times have you heard the phrase – “Well, it’s not exactly rocket science” – when someone is referring to something as easy?
I guess that means that we associate those who actually ARE rocket scientists with being exceptionally smart. 🙂
And while that’s probably true – actually it IS true – the reality is that you and I can THINK like a rocket scientist, without actually having to send anything into space.
So, just how do rocket scientists think? And how can you and I apply that thinking to our work and our lives in order to increase our impact?
My guest on Episode 47 of the Impact Makers Podcast has an idea. In fact, he’s been there, done that, and has written the book on it.
Ozan Varol is a rocket scientist turned award-winning professor and #1 bestselling author. He’s also one of the world’s foremost experts in creativity, innovation, and critical thinking.
Ozan grew up in Istanbul, Turkey, learned English as his second language, and moved to the United States by himself at the age of 17 to attend Cornell University, and major in astrophysics in order to achieve his dream of becoming an American astronaut.
While attending Cornell, he served on the operations team for the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers project that sent two rovers – Spirit and Opportunity – to Mars. Then in a surprising twist, he ditched his dream of becoming an astronaut, and chose to attend law school instead, where – in true rocket scientist form – he graduated first in his class, earning the highest grade point average in the school’s history.
After practicing law for a few years, Ozan joined the ranks of academia at Lewis & Clark Law School in beautiful Portland, Oregon, where he became a law professor, with a goal of influencing others to make giant leaps on Earth.
In April 2020, Ozan’s book – Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life – was published, and it was recently named one Inc.com’s 6 Business Books You Need to Read in 2020. It’s also listed as one of Amazon’s Top 20 books of 2020 in three categories (non-fiction, business, and science), and was chosen as the number one pick on noted author Adam Grant’s list of the top 20 leadership books of 2020.
I recently connected with Ozan, and have enjoyed learning from him through his popular weekly emails, and I’m challenging myself to apply the 9 strategies in his book to make giant leaps in my work and in my life.
I think you’ll get a lot of great takeaways from my conversation with Ozan, and I encourage you to connect with him, buy the book, and sign up for his weekly email that shares one big idea that you can read in 3 minutes or less.
Topics Discussed In This Episode:
- Why moonshot thinking can produce great results – even if you don’t reach what you’re aiming for.
- What we can learn from snakes that can create space for new ideas to emerge.
- The importance of just starting – and not waiting until everything is in place – to facilitate the emergence of new ideas.
- The benefits of moonshot thinking during times of chaos and uncertainty.
- How looking at the assumptions in your life and applying first principles thinking can generate original insights.
- 3 ways to open up your mind to allow for moonshot thinking – even if you don’t consider yourself a visionary thinker.
- What George Costanza and rocket scientists have in common – and what you can learn from both.
- The power of putting yourself into “Airplane Mode”, and why doing nothing is more valuable than you think.
IMPACT MAKERS PODCAST – EPISODE 47
(Email subscribers – click HERE to listen to the podcast.)
Key Quotes From This Episode:
“We really are a species of moonshots, even though we’ve largely forgotten it. We’ve been seduced into believing that small dreams are wiser than moonshots, that coasting is better than soaring, that flying lower is safer than flying higher. So even in moments like this, where the world is turned topsy-turvy, where there is so much uncertainty, there is a lot of room for moonshot thinking.” ~ Ozan Varol
“The great thing about moonshot thinking is – even if you don’t get what you’re aiming for, you end up soaring far higher than you otherwise would.” ~ Ozan Varol
“Moonshot thinking isn’t just about dreaming big, and then sprinkling some fairy dust and hoping that your dreams magically take flight. That’s not what moonshot thinking is. Moonshot thinking is that intersection between pragmatism and idealism. So you’re dreaming big, yeah, but you’re also combining it with a very actionable plan for actually making your dreams reality.” ~ Ozan Varol
People & Resources Mentioned In This episode:
Weekly Contrarian – one big idea you can read in 3 minutes or less
Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life Hardcover by Ozan Varol
Impact Makers Podcast episode 009 – Prison to Plan to Payoff: Becoming an Entrepreneur with Kary Oberbrunner
Connect with Jennifer:
Send her a message [https://jennifermcclure.net/contact/]
On LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifermcclure
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/JenniferMcClure
On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jennifer_mcclure/
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JenniferMcClureSpeaker