Curiosity has always been one of my favorite traits since for as long as I can remember I have been one of those insatiably curious people. Being curious has received even more momentum lately with Elizabeth Gilbert’s encouragement to lead a curiosity-driven life…. A sentiment that I am fully on board with! (If you want to hear more, definitely check out her O-Talk on being curious – well worth the time!)
I want to be a life-long learner. I want to know the stories of those around me. I want to learn foreign languages and read thousands of books and try endless new things.
There is an interesting tension that comes with curiosity though, and one that is often in opposition to my type-A planner nature. Curiosity cannot fully exist with expectation, and certainly not with too much structure. If I am rushing off to a meeting, I do not permit myself the time to be curious about your story and ask questions that could engross us in drawn out conversations. If I expect my visit to Paris to be about a long list of sites that must be seen, despite curiously eyeing the romantic cobblestone street that weaves into the quaint neighborhood I will not take the time to explore it for fear of missing out on the Louvre.
To BE CURIOUS is an openness to the unexpected, an excitement about the possibility, a desire to learn and experience and grow. Curiosity takes on many forms in my life, which could probably be divided into any number of TO BE segments, but I love the freedom and flexibility that comes from encompassing them under the umbrella of BE CURIOUS.
“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” Albert Einstein
I LOVE questions… and this often defines my curiosity. What is your story, what is your passion? These are some of my favorite questions for others. I want to know what makes someone tick, what experiences have brought them to be the person they are today. And questions extend to all aspects of life. Existential, self-reflection questions that I enjoy pondering on my own or discussing with others, to logistical questions ripe with curiosity such as “Where does this street lead…”
Questions are inherently an openness for more.
In addition to questions, learning defines my curiosity. At the moment I am trying to learn Italian, and failing miserably I might add, but I keep at it with a curiosity to learn and experience more when I travel which will come more easily if I speak the language. Reading is also one of my favorite ways of being curious. Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, there is something to be gleaned and experienced from every book, a new perspective to be learned, a challenge to grow or open my eyes to people and places and things. And as I mentioned before, trying something new. This past year I tried a pottery class, where I threw my own pottery. And while it’s not a hobby I’ll likely take up, it was exhilarating to push myself beyond my normal limits and attempt an art form I had no prior experience with.
More than anything else, the best outcome of curiosity in my life has been the amazing people that I’ve met. Simply by being curious about someone’s story, asking another question like “what is your passion or share a dream with me” has led to the best friendships of my life.
What are you curious about?
Is there something you want to learn or try?
What do you want to explore that you’ve hesitated to do so before?
What does BE CURIOUS look like for you?
“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” Dorothy Parker