Somewhere in midtown, there's a shop full of wheels. Old wheels, spare wheels, rare wheels. The kind of shop you'd pass by without really noticing - even before you had a smartphone glued to your paw - unless you had a thing for exceptionally niche wheelbarrow parts.

Of course, a shop in New York City must be noticed, at least from time to time, in order to remain a shop in New York City. So it's a good thing Martha Stewart took a different course through the humming middle of the city that morning - not because she woke up and thought, I think I'll think about wheels today (though Martha, it can be imagined, would), but because she was indulging in a little habit of hers. A habit that could very well be the heart of what makes Martha, Martha.

Martha didn't discover the shop after reading about it on Yelp. Or during a determined hunt for antique bicycle fragments. She discovered the shop because, like most days, she was driving a new route through the city. And this, as she told a small crowd at the Girls Lounge at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, is the reason for her endless flow of creativity: Never taking the same street twice.

Then again, it's not really about the street. In typical Martha fashion, there are acute directions for turning this motto into a lifestyle (or for that matter, a lifestyle brand), and it's all about the execution:

First, you take a new path. Then, you pay attention to your surroundings. Then - and here's where the magic happens - you give into your curiosity. And by following that simple, childlike action, you uncover an endless stream of possibility.

That series of events is exactly how Martha found herself in front of a wheel shop she'd never seen before, in a city she'd been looking at for decades. And when she went in, she found exactly what she needed, for things she didn't even know she wanted to accomplish.

I never asked Martha what she did with the wheels she found that day. Maybe she found the inspiration for taking care of a wheelbarrow, or the spark for making a cheese wheel centerpiece. Maybe she finally cracked the case on how to adjust exercise wheels for hedgehogs

But I do know one thing for sure: She opened new creative doors simply by trying something new, and it paid off. And last year, this habit quite literally paid off, when Martha sold her company for $353 million acquisition (while remaining at the helm).

What could happen if you gave into your curiosity today?

Published on: Jul 12, 2016
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