Over time I have learned the infinite value of curiosity. It helps us develop new ideas, foster creativity and improve listening. When you invest in your curiosity you allow
As a child I would get extremely bored. I used to complain that there wasn’t anything to do.
Luckily I got to visit the Austin Children’s Museum often. Through the exhibits at the museum, I built up an interested in various topics.
I would go home and look up more information in our Encyclopedia Britannica. I often get nostalgic for the days when I flipped through the color pages of the encyclopedia and read the entries next to whatever I was looking up.
“I’m a big believer in boredom. Boredom allows one to indulge in curiosity, and out of curiosity comes everything.”— Steve Jobs
Moments of boredom as a child helped me see the value of curiosity. The questions that come to you can lead to amazing discoveries.
Many great ideas solve problems to seemingly trivial problems. And they led to huge innovations with the power to disrupt our society.
- Can you carry a computer in your pocket?
- How can you make electric cars popular?
- Can we harness energy from the wind?
But asking the question is not always enough. Sometimes my brain still holds me back. That’s when I invest in the idea or spark.
I nurture the curiosity so it takes root. After it sprouts a leaf or two, with a little watering the sprig keeps growing.
“If you’re somebody who likes to think about things and to learn things, it’s almost impossible to cancel curiosity.”— Mr. Rogers
It helps me to remember that curiosity is endless if directed properly. If something becomes less shiny and appealing, move on to the next interesting thing.
And use that curiosity to engage with others. We don’t have to keep it to ourselves. Sharing interests and enthusiasm has helped me get through many roadblocks.
Try the 5 Why’s Technique from Sataki Toyoda, the founder of the Toyota Industries. Dig deeper to the roots of an answer by asking why five times.
Let curiosity guide you to ask beautiful questions. When talking to a friend, find what’s genuinely interesting.
“I am continually surprised by the power of genuine listening. I know it sounds fairly simple, but people who are led by their curiosity and who genuinely listen to the perspectives of others, they learn like crazy.”— Shane Parrish
It feels like boredom has become the enemy. The world offers us constant stimulation and engagement; messages, news, likes.
We can’t ignore the world, but we can step away from it sometimes.
And let beauty blossom out of our curiosity.
** You might also like my article The Power of the 30 Day Challenge **
[Header photo by Jeremy Cooper]