When you hear something new, how do you respond? Do you ask WHY or WHY NOT? Brain science reveals that our natural response is usually the negative one.
According to Wikipedia, curiosity comes from Latin curiosus “careful, diligent, curious,” akin to cura “care.” It is a quality related to inquisitive thinking such as exploration, investigation, and learning.
To cultivate your curiosity:
- Suspend judgment and practice saying, “Hmm, I wonder why that is.” Look for the possibility and wonder WHY rather than NOT.
- Make the mundane mysterious. Ask questions, lots of them, even when you think you know the answers. You may uncover something you never expected when you stop letting your mind fill in the blanks with assumptions.
- Stop labeling. Labels make your world smaller, questions expand your world.
The benefits of increased curiosity:
- Change the world – Great questions lead to new ideas that change the world. For example, Netflix came from Reed Hastings asking himself why he had to pay $40 in overdue fines after returning Apollo 13 well past its due date.
- Happiness – in Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life, Todd Kashdan explains the connection between curiosity and a happy, healthy, and meaningful life. Curious people learn new things and have unfamiliar experiences which increase their dopamine levels. Dopamine is nature’s drug of wellbeing!
- Super Power – if you only relate to life from a single perspective, you are very limited. Curious people learn many points of view which gives the multiple perspectives to view things. This super power enables curious people to see things other people miss.
Curiosity is essential to learning, innovation and change. Cultivation of curiosity is a lifelong pursuit that we encourage you to practice.