Being curious is a first step toward remarkable learning. Leadership and learning expert Kevin Eikenberry offers six ways you can be more curious and ultimately live a more fulfilling life.
Curiosity may have killed the cat, and Curious George seemed to get in trouble due to his curiosity, you are neither a cat nor a monkey.
The fact is curiosity is your friend.
Do you admire children who learn at such a rapid rate? Ever shake your head and wish you could learn at the rate and proficiency they do?
According to the research, you can.
One of the key things that you can do to learn as rapidly and joyfully as children is to be more curious.
Along with aiding your learning speed, when you are curious you become more creative, more mentally flexible, expand your mind and generally become more alive.
At this point you might be thinking, that curiosity is good, and you know some people who seem to be curious, but that list doesn’t include you. Never fear. Even if your list doesinclude you, the reality is everyone can be more curious.
You just have to choose to, and consciously do the kinds of things that help. In other words, curiosity is a learned (or re-learned) skill. Here are six ways to help you be more curious.
Stop and smell the roses. When you are more observant, your curiosity is more easily heightened. Slow down a bit; perhaps do things a bit differently than your routine. You just might see something new or different. The new or different may peak your curiosity, allowing you to explore and learn.
Create new experiences. Stopping to smell the roses may be a new experience for you; however, there are many ways to create new experiences. Consider a new hobby, a new restaurant, a new book, a new magazine, new games, new friends (or at least a new friend), new software or new places. These are all examples of how you can use new experiences to inject the opportunity for curiosity into your life.
Ask new questions. Questions are at the heart of curiosity. It’s questions that lead the mental search for answers; it’s questions that excite the brain. Consider questions like: “How come?” “What is that?” “How is that used?” “What was the purpose?” “How long has that been the common approach?” I hope you see the point of all these. They each create a gap in knowledge because you observed something and thought to ask. Once the question is asked, your brain wants an answer!
Ask an old question more often. Specifically, you need to ask “Why?” Kids are the most curious people on the planet. They also ask “Why?” the most. You need to ask “Why?” more often. Ask it regularly. Make sure to ask it even in situations where you think you already know the answer.
Be other focused. When you are focused on yourself (a topic you probably know a lot about) you’re likely to be less curious. Have you noticed how all of the other suggestions so far have put you out into the world in some way? It is the same with this one. In any conversation or relationship, when you are more other focused you stimulate your curiosity. When with others you can observe, ask questions, learn about and from them, and find ways to serve them. You will derive many benefits from being more focused on others, you also will reap greater curiosity.
Look it up. World Book Encyclopedia had a “Look it Up Club” in the 1960’s. The catchphrase is emblazoned in my memory. “We never guess, we look it up.” Today you might first look online instead of the World Book, but the action is the same. If you don’t know something, don’t let it pass by. Grab your Dictionary, or type it into Google. When you look it up you are feeding your naturally curious mind – and getting a great answer.
All of these (and a hundred others you could add to the list) require you to make the choice to be curious. Doing them will reinforce – and add to – your curiosity.
The beautiful thing about these actions is that as you are more curious, you will find more things to be curious about! Expanding your life in these ways provides you with a way to not only learn more and be more creative, but to live a more enjoyable and fulfilling life!
Potential Pointer: Being more curious plays a significant role in creating a better life. Be aware of the need and value of curiosity in your life and do something each day to be more curious.
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