Curiosity is an underrated but necessary delightfully eager virtue and strength that you can use to enhance your life. Everyone is curious to some degree. But those who are exceptionally curious tend to never be bored; they are actively interested in the world and in others; and others are attracted to them. Being curious contributes highly to the good life and fulfilling life. Here are some ideas for cultivating your curiosity.
You can improve your personal and professional life if you act on your curiosity and pay attention to ideas, people, places and things. According to Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, one of the founders of the field of positive psychology and a pioneering researcher in the area of “flow” says there is a direct relationship between our attentional resources and our interest in the world: Nothing is interesting to us unless we focus our attention on it. Astronomy is not interesting until we read or study the stars. Sea shells are not interesting until we begin collecting them. According to Csikszentmihalyi, we can develop our curiosity and fight boredom by making a conscious effort to direct our attention to something in particular in our environment.
Get to Know About Others
Take an interest in people you meet. Ask them questions. Especially ask them questions that begin with the words “what” or “how”. This will allow you to ask powerful questions that probe a little more deeply than many conversations. People love to talk about themselves. So ask and then listen carefully. It is a gift to be listened to and people will generally respond very positively. They usually walk away from the conversation feeling good about themselves and you. This is helpful in both business and personal relationships. Curious people bring fun, excitement and often novelty into relationships. They also bring out important information and opinions which can benefit a conversation and our society.
Exercise Your Curiosity
Be curious and you will experience new people, new adventures, new ideas, and new experiences that can enrich your life. Take time to talk to the people in line at the bank or the grocery store. Get to know the employees behind the counters where you frequent. You might prefer when you are bored and standing in line to simply take an interest in who talks to the employee? What kinds of things do they say? Do they make small talk or not? Which people talk and who doesn’t? And get to know the people you work with. Research indicates that if you find out something new about a co-worker each week, you are happier at work. Exercise your curiosity with those around you and you’ll enrich your life.
Apply Your Curiosity to Adventures
Are you willing to undertake new adventures? You might enjoy eating at a new restaurant or driving a different way to work. You could shop at a different store. Go at a different time of day. Be curious about the differences in your usual activities and your adventures. You might even push yourself to try new forms of recreation. Get up your courage and jump out of a plane! Or take sailing lessons. Try diving. Take tennis lessons from a pro. Expand your horizons.
Enrich Your Life by Engaging with Google
Use many everyday situations to take an interest in something that might not ordinarily engage your interest. If you are given a new medication, research it on line. If you hear about a particular product, like a new floor steamer, research it. A medical procedure you or a family member may need, go to your computer and get your questions answered. Perhaps you never heard of the Ice Cream Trail. Go look it up! You will be well informed, you will be exercising your mind, and you will be enriched through your curiosity.
If you are curious about learning how to live a fulfilling life and be in love with life, you’ll want to read Todd B. Kashdan’s book Curious.
Call me at 702-242-4222 or email me if you are curious about yourself!