In 2012, Adam Steltzner helped lead one of the most innovative endeavors in the history of engineering: successfully landing the 2,000 pound, $2.5 billion dollar “Curiosity Rover” on the surface of Mars…the kind of mission that actually takes rocket science to complete. In his memoir, “The Right Kind of Crazy,” Adam describes what has become the dynamic and inspiring work culture at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, as well as recollects his personal journey of following his curiosity until it led him to his passion. How he got there will surprise you.
Adam’s story reminds us that while it may be a long, winding trail to discovering your passion, the secret is to stay curious in the meantime. “Curiosity” is a pun intended here because it’s exactly what it takes to keep us engaged in the present, rather than filled with anxiety about the future.
As you can imagine, there are countless risks involved with landing on Marsand risk often involves the possibility of failure. Adam reminds us that when you’re doing innovative work, there is no way to truly avoid failure; the best you can do is visualize or even expect it so that some of its power to hold sway over us goes away. We do have a say in how we interact with fearit can either freeze us or inspire us to seek a more creative approach. W e hope you’ll join us to hear how Adam’s story shows us that:
- The secret to finding our passion is to stay curious.
- When we are willing to sit with the questions rather than rush to the answers, that
experience changes us from the inside out, sparking newfound creativity.
- In order to move forward, you have to be willing to explore within the “space of
- When we expect failure to be a natural and even necessary part of the creative process,
we can face it with more resilience and confidence.