#12: The Law of Curiosity
Growth is Stimulated by Asking Why
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not." -- George Bernard Shaw
Curiosity is the key to being a life-long learner. And if we have learned anything in growing through these chapters, it is that if you want to keep growing and developing, you must keep learning.
Curious people thirst for knowledge and are interested in life, people, ideas, experiences, and events. They live in a constant state of wanting to learn more and do so by asking, "why?".
People who remain curious don't need to be encouraged to ask questions or explore. They do it and they do it all the time.
Curiosity helps people think and expand beyond the ordinary, leading to extraordinary living. It sparks the imagination and opens up possibilities.
So is it possible to develop curiosity?
Let's start with a quick assessment to see how curious you are by simply asking yourself these ten questions:
Do you believe you can be curious?
Do you have a beginner's mindset?
Have you made "why" your favorite word?
Do you spend time with curious people?
Do you learn something new every day?
Do you partake in the fruit of failure?
Have you stopped looking for the right answer?
Have you gotten over yourself?
Do you get out of the box?
Are you enjoying your life?
If your answers are yes, you are probably more curious; but if not, you need to change to grow and develop.
1 - Believe you can be curious
We cannot perform outwardly in a way inconsistent with how we think inwardly. You cannot be what you believe you aren't, but you can change your thinking!
2 - Have a beginner's mindset
Having a beginner's mindset means wondering why and asking many questions. Your desire to learn more is stronger than the desire to look good. You may have much knowledge and experience, but there is always room to learn and experience more. If a person starts answering questions more than asking them, they have likely lost their growth momentum.
3 - Make "Why" Your Favorite Word
There is something about a well-worded question that often penetrates the heart of the matter and triggers new ideas and insights. Ask why". Explore. Evaluate what you discover. Repeat.
“Almost every advance in art, cooking, medicine, agriculture, engineering, marketing, politics, education, and design has occurred when someone challenged the rules and tried another approach. ” — Roger von Oech
4 - Spend Time with Curious People
Being around people with curiosity is contagious.
5 - Learn Something New Every Day
Begin each day with a determination to learn something new, experience something different, or meet someone you don't know. Start with an open attitude, look for opportunities throughout the day, and reflect on what you've learned.
6 - Partake in the Fruit of Failure
It is impossible to continue to grow and try new things without sometimes failing. Remember that failure is a sign of progress and another opportunity to learn!
7 - Stop Looking for the "Right" Answer
If you want to avoid becoming too comfortable and stagnant, keep asking questions and challenging the process. There is always more than one solution to a problem; no matter how good it is, it can always be improved. Keep asking if there is a better way to do things.
8 - Get Over Yourself
"It's better to look uninformed than to be uninformed. Curb your ego and keep asking questions."
9 - Get Out of the Box
Good ideas are everywhere, but it's hard to see them if you won't look outside the box. Just because "you've never done it that way before" doesn't mean it's not an option.
10 - Enjoy Your Life
When you enjoy life, everything becomes a learning experience because you do what you love, and you love what you do. And who doesn't want to find more and better ways to find enjoyment? This is the heartbeat of curiosity.
This week, think about the 3-5 major areas in your life where you focus most of your time and energy.
Do you consider yourself an expert or a beginner in those areas?
Do you enjoy those areas?
Do you push boundaries, ask questions, or take risks in those areas?
Next, list the people you spend the most time with throughout the week. Rate each person on their level of curiosity.
Are the majority of people in your world questioners?
Do they often ask "why"?
Do they like to learn new things?
Finally, evaluate how many new things you try in a week; look for something that stretches you out of your comfort zone and could make you look foolish.