How a Curious Mind Creates An Original Idea

“Imagine… If you had suddenly learned that the people and the places and the moments most important to you were not gone, not dead, but worse — had never been.”

I was in LA at Imagine Entertainment. It’s Brian Grazer’s studio.

He producedA Beautiful Mind,” “8 Mile”, a bunch of Jim Carrey movies. He’s worked with Eddie Murphy and produced my favorite TV series, “Arrested Development.”

“I bought the book ‘A Beautiful Mind‘ with the thematic intention of trying to make a movie that would help de-stigmatize mental disability,” he said.

So he created an alternate reality. And he’s done this in his own life.

“You see, the nightmare of schizophrenia is not knowing what’s true,” the psychiatrist says in “A Beautiful Mind.” He was talking to John Nash’s wife as she watched her husband get electroshock therapy.

She loved a schizophrenic man. A brilliant man.

She let me him keep his delusions.

They weren’t real. But what’s the harm?

Nothing. Unless you almost drown your baby.

He won the Nobel Prize.

And I cried.

His mind brought him delusions but it also brought him love.

Between two realities, he chose himself.

He lived in his contradictions. Between what’s real and what’s imaginary.

Between health and illness. That’s where he found his original idea.

Some of me is jealous. Some of me feels sad. Some of me ran out of things to say.

I don’t try to be everything I am.

So I become the rest of me. The side that practices difficult gratitude and improves just 1% a day. The part of me that listens. And flies to LA to be in an alternate reality.

Brian Grazer says, “Curiosity propels storytelling. All stories, incidentally, need propulsion. It not only creates the story, but it gives life to energy. And energy is what stories need.”

It’s what life needs. Or at least, my life.

Brian also produced “Apollo 13,” another one of my favorite movies. He used his curiosity muscle to reframe the story.

“People think it’s about space. They thought it was about aerodynamics,” he says. “To me, it was only about human resourcefulness.”

“Perspective is everything,” Brian said. “It’s everything.”

His perspective comes from curiosity. Which he wrote about in his #1 New York Times bestseller, “A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life.”

I don’t know where my curiosity will lead me.

But I can only hope it helps in your reality.

Listen to my podcast with Brian Grazer: http://apple.co/1ewcX8D

Related Post: The Ultimate Guide for Becoming an Idea Machine

James Altucher is the author of the bestselling book Choose Yourself, editor at The Altucher Report and host of the popular podcast, The James Altucher Show, which takes you beyond business and entrepreneurship by exploring what it means to be human and achieve well-being in a world that is increasingly complicated.