Curiosity is part of the human condition: all you have to do is look at kids; they are curious! They wonder, explore, touch, smell and ask. Yet by the time kids head to school for the first or second grade, much of that curiosity (in most kids) is squelched, dampened and seemingly lost.
The reality is that our curiosity is never lost, but it is very likely hidden — and there is a big difference. If something is truly lost, it won’t be found. But if something is hidden; with diligent searching it can be found and put back to good use.
So it is with our curiosity.
Where is the Power?
Why is curiosity a powerful tool for our growth, improvement and success?
Because curiosity is a precursor to learning.
Think about it this way. If you are sure you know the answer (which shows the absence of curiosity), then how much do you want to learn about the subject?
But when you don’t know the answer to something important, you will read, search, ask and inquire. You will try and tweak. Curiosity drives the learning process.
Hopefully that is reason enough to convince of the power of curiosity; here is how to find and regain your hidden curiosity …
Finding Your Curiosity
Here are three ways to put the power in your curiosity.
Ask “Why?” more. The trademark question of all children (remember that they are the curious ones) is “why?” “Why?” is the question of inquisition and curiosity and the open mind. When we want to understand, we ask why. When we want to know more, we ask why. When something surprises us, we ask why. If you want to practice your curiosity, ask “why?” more often — both to yourself and of others.
Suspend Judgement Longer. In my last post, I talked about the power of suspending judgment; and it is clearly related to curiosity. When you have decided, there is no room or reason for curiosity. If you want to give space to learn more, you must suspend your judgment, or stated differently, suspend your decision. Once you do that, your brain will be open to new input and new ideas. You can read that post here.
Watch (and Emulate) Kids. If you want to get better at anything, one strategy is to learn from the best — and the best at curiosity are kids! If you have kids around you, let them play and watch them. Notice how they investigate their world, how they use all their senses to learn and how they use the first two pieces of advice above. If you don’t have kids in your life, borrow some! Offer to babysit, watch them at a park or watch them anywhere. Maybe you won’t do exactly what they do (eating dirt, might not be on your preferred menu), but it is the strategies you want to take, not the specifics.
Join me in working on your curiosity — and let me know how it goes — I’m curious about how it will go for you!