We should indulge our curiosity! It turns out that unleashing your inquisitive side offers some serious wellbeing. Studies have shown that when we are curious, we can experience a greater sense of meaning and life satisfaction.
Albert Eistein said, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious”. Dr Suess championed the idea that everyone should “think and wonder, wonder and think”. Even Walt Disney embraced curiosity as a key ingredient for living a full life., saying “We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing things, because we are curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths”.
There are different curiosity types
It turns out that there are various ways to be curious. We can be passively curious, where we are thinking and musing over things (sounds like me!). Or, you can be actively curious, where we try something out. You can also transition between the two, such as wondering what it’s like to go to a dance class, and then actually attending.
Both types can be hugely beneficial for our wellbeing, but we often get caught up in the ‘I’m busy’ trap. As children we are so curious, we annoy our parents and elders with an endless stream of questions, but at some point, it stops. It is a wonderful time, as we discover and form our view of the world. As we grow up, jobs, responsibilities and social pressures take over, and it slowly kills our curiosity.
Follow your sense of wonder
We should all try to nurture our curiosity on a daily basis. Next time you go for a walk, even if it is on your commute, or after school with the kids, put your phone away and notice what’s around you. You could also take a detour, and discover something new.
Make time to have that coffee in the café you see all the time on your Instagram feed, or trying something different on the menu rather than your usual option. Get to that yoga class you’ve always wanted to try, or instead of scrolling through Facebook for 30 minutes start reading that book.
Think about what you used to be curious about as a child. Were you always reading about history or space, or maybe you loved exploring your neighbourhood on your bike? Curiosity is about keeping your mind open and seeing where it takes you.
Feel the fear, and say yes!
There will always be an element of risk when we act on our curious natures, but it does not have to be a bad thing. Sometimes we avoid acting on our curiosity because we fear the unknown. There are so many missed opportunities because we fail to explore them further. This can lead to us getting stuck in a rut. Being optimistic, open-minded, and approaching every situation with the intention of discovering something new, promotes self-development and can help us live a more exciting and fulfilling life.
What are you curious about?
As yourself this simple question. Want to know how your neighbour keeps her garden so pristine, ask them? That book you see everyone reading on the train, check out the reviews.
The life of a curious person is never boring. Keep wondering, and you will live a life of wonder. Your health might thank you for it too.
How to Fail
I fell in love with the book How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learnt From Things Going Wrong (Affiliate) by Elizabeth Day. The book was inspired by her podcast and includes chapters on dating, work, families, friendship, anger, sport and so many others. It is a great perspective on making mistakes, how to learn from them, and not being afraid.