Do you have a favourite childhood memory or moment? Remember my 99% fearless nephew? Well, when he gives me a chance to catch my breath, I sit back and I am pleasantly reminded of the curious nature of children.
‘Why?’ That’s the question parents, teachers, aunties & uncles, grandparents, etc. both dread and love to hear from children. Why do we dread it? Well, sometimes we don’t know the answer or we are too distracted to come up with a good one. Have you ever been stumped by a ‘why’ question from a wee munchkin?
When I was younger, I was that curious child. I was that sibling that used their sister and brothers as her imaginary patients as I was intrigued by how the body worked, and in pursuit of this knowledge, I almost hacked off my brother’s finger. Extremely fun times for me but maybe not so much for my ‘patients’. I was that little girl who wanted to see how far she could skate down the hallway… in socks. It didn’t end well but my well-earned scar and I, have lived on to tell that cautious tale. Curiosity is what encouraged me to get on my first solo international flight and embark on what eventually turned out to be, my greatest season of growth.
My curiosity quotient has taken a few hits here and there but I am reminded by my nephew and his delightful cohorts, that, this is a part of me that I never want to let grow up. I always want to be, passionately inquisitive.
Unfortunately children are sometimes only encouraged to be curious to a point. Most children get to that point (which differs from one family to another), and their curiosity gets stifled and they are instead politely nudged into pre-defined molds of what someone in authority is convinced is the right path for the next phase of their lives. This can sadly follow them into adulthood.
Curiosity is one of life’s greatest driving forces and is key to learning. It keeps your mind active instead of passive. A curious person is always asking questions which keeps the mind permanently parked in the active zone. As a result the mind, which is like a muscle becomes stronger.
Curiosity keeps you observant much like that nosey neighbor we all publicly dislike but secretly thank for being an ever vigilant presence. It separates mediocrity from genius. You never know when genius might strike so curiosity keeps your mind primed and full of positive anticipation.
Curiosity opens the door to new worlds and endless possibilities. Yes, I left the land of my birth to pursue my education, but I stayed because curiosity opened me to the possibilities that I could be so much more than even I had ever dreamed possible. In a digital age with so much information overload and mindless ‘noise’, it is more important than ever that each of us makes a concerted effort to stay open to new, positively uplifting experiences.
Curiosity coupled with a hefty dose of courage propels us to live an exciting life that is not given to robotic mindless extremes. Curiosity teaches us that there are always new things to go seek, conquer, or invent. Curious people have an easily enviable adventurous life.
They (whoever ‘they’ is) say “Curiosity killed the cat”, but Psychologists feel that the positive effects of curiosity still outweigh the negative effects. So curiosity might have killed a few cats but it has surely skilled many.
If we are going to find a meaningful purpose or calling in life, chances are good we will find it in something that unleashes our natural curiosity and fascination. Indeed, curiosity is the entry point to many of life’s greatest sources of meaning and satisfaction: our interests, hobbies and passions.
So, exercise some unrestrained curiosity and take some time to maybe discover a new language, learn how to bake, or any other skill you’ve had your eye on. I am currently attempting to expand the prowess of my green thumb by discovering what kinds herbs and vegetables I can grow on my balcony. The greater the range and depth of your curiosity, the more opportunities you have to experience things that inspire and excite you, from minute details to momentous occasions.
What are you learning to be curious about? You are most certainly on the right path, as your curiosity has led you to this blog.
If this is your first time; Welcome and feel free to increase your curiosity quotient by having a look around. As Albert Einstein famously said: “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”
(Image credit: architectsofreality.com)