“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious”. Albert Einstein.
Curiosity is an admirable trait to have (when directed with the right intention!). Notice children for example and how curious and inquisitive they are? They are sponges for knowledge and thrive to learn more about the world, how things work, about themselves and why things are they way they are.
They question things with an open mind, without judgement or preconceived notions, especially in their formative years. Sometimes our learned patterns, conditioning from society and ‘automatic’ responses don’t cut it for their inquisitive brains. They often wish to question ‘why’ and delve deeper to try and form an understanding. Listen to their questioning and it becomes quite interesting. Their way of questioning can often shift our perspective to another level.
As adults we tend we lose some of our curiosity. Questions can be viewed as prying or being ‘nosy’ (and yes some people do use questioning for this purpose) but as adults we can also develop a fear of asking questions. This fear can creep in in many ways but mainly the fear of ‘looking stupid’ would be the main one. In today’s fast paced society, asking questions can seem archaic and behind the times, especially with Google on the scene. Often we are expected to know everything or at the very least find out for ourselves and not ask anyone else. Google is amazing but at the same time it doesn’t offer a two-way communication to open up. It offers no human connection or discussion on different viewpoints.
Tony Robbins notes that, ‘the quality of your life depends on the quality of your questions’.
Showing a genuine interest in a topic can pique your curiosity and actually help increase your learning or ability to absorb new information. When curiosity is piqued in our brains, our limbic reward system is lit up. This system releases dopamine which is responsible for giving us that feeling of a natural high.
So what are other benefits of being curious?
- It can open your mind and increase consciousness. It can also increase empathy for others.
- It can increase resourcefulness. A curious person is never bored. There is always something new to learn, explore, fix, try another way, expand etc.
- It makes it easier to learn new things (even things we may find boring!).
- It can increase creativity. Curious people often see things from many different angles and perspectives which can help them solve problems or come up with new ideas.
- It can create more genuine connections. By being curious about another person, idea or way of thinking, and by asking genuine questions and listening to what the they have to say (without judgement) can help build stronger rapport and connection.
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