I was reading Rookie Mag the other day and came across this great interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson.
What I love about this interview is his astounding and contagious curiosity. Like when he confesses he's kind of upset that the Higgs boson was discovered. The interviewer, Hazel Cills, asks him why that is and he basically says because it is boring. The hypothesis was supported, the Higgs boson exists, and that's the end of the story.
So basically, Tyson was upset because no one was confounded. He still thinks it's significant, but he loves so much the challenge of the unexpected, the idea of rethinking the universe, that there was "a secret part of [him] that wanted [the Higgs boson] not to be there at all."
He also has this great line about embracing the unknown:
So many people only want answers. To be a scientist you have to learn to love the questions. You’ll learn that some of the greatest mysteries of the universe remain unanswered, and that’s the fun part. That’s the part that gets you awake in the morning and running to the office, because there’s a problem awaiting your attention that you might just solve that day. You have to embrace the unknown and embrace your own ignorance.
So I don’t get overwhelmed, because I don’t think about what I don’t know as oppressive to me. If you think of it as oppressive, or if you have a measure of your ego that’s larger than nature provides for you, then it’s possible that you could end up quite depressed.
If you come in with a humble enough ego, all of this is kind of enlightening instead of depressing.
Again, amazed. What an outlook. I think that's applicable to so much more than science. It applies to work, to marriage, to anything on your horizon you're contemplating and slightly trepidatious about. It's not an attitude of being blithe. It's exactly the opposite. It's knowing that there's an unknown. And getting excited about it. I want to think more like Tyson. Embrace my own ignorance.