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6 Ways Curiosity Can Change Your Life

Ignite your power, remind yourself to be curious, and make it a habit. Then watch the world change as you continue to explore it. Curiosity can change your life.


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Jonas Ressem

4 months ago | 4 min read
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Here are the reasons you should make curiosity a habit

Curiosity is a habit. It’s not a fixed trait that only a few of us have, but it’s a cultivated, often disciplined desire to explore. You can learn it; harness its power.

Still, however, it’s not a power that everyone takes full advantage of. Yet curiously enough, at a certain point in our life, we all possess a lot of it. As children, we have a need to be curious; we need it to discover the world.

Growing older, however, most of us grow comfortable. We have discovered more about the world, enough to get by in it, and so we stop exploring and succumb to the comfort zone. We forget about our power.

But as with any habit, there’s a way to get back to it. And reminding ourselves of what curiosity does is the first step of getting there. We need to remind ourselves why we should explore, discover the world, and see what’s behind that strange looking door.

Then we need to cultivate it, little by little. And slowly it will ignite our power again. Curiosity can change your life. This is how:

1. Greater Self-Understanding

The psychiatrist Irvin D. Yalom said,

“When people don’t have any curiosity about themselves, that is always a bad sign.”

Curiosity has an amazing ability to uncover who you are, and there are problems with not using that power. Without it, you can’t really get to know yourself.

You won’t inquire about the things inside; resulting in a life on autopilot, passivity in the face of adversity, and not being able to navigate your own psychological landscape.

But if you choose to look inwards, you can take an active role in shaping your life for the better. Learn about your values, as it will help you make better decisions.

Learn about what your desires are, as it will help you channel them into something productive. Know what your fears are, as it will help you overcome them. Be curious; explore what’s inside.

2. More Motivation

With a desire to explore — to learn something, to experience someone, to get somewhere — you move forward. It’s a law of human nature. Motivation moves us.

What makes curiosity a good source of motivation lies in its origins. It’s one of the most basic human qualities, which implies that the benefits of utilizing it are large. And for the most part, these benefits comes from three important neural circuits:

  • Executive control. Being curious about something gives you control of your exploration of life and the decisions you will have to make.
  • Reward. Being curious about something often leads to desirable outcomes.
  • Learning. An inescapable consequence of curiosity is that you’ll learn something new. Always.

Combined, these ingredients make a powerful cocktail of motivation. If you’re curious enough about an outcome, you will persist and see it through. As the author and speaker Ken Robinson put it,

“Curiosity is the engine of achievement.”

3. Mastery in What You Do

Curiosity makes you peak under the hood, climb over the wall, and open the strangest of doors. Your reward is greater understanding, which in turn forms the basis of mastery.

When you’re insanely curious about a certain topic — and you can’t help but figure out more — then there’s no limit to what you can do. As Albert Einstein, a man of incredible accomplishments, said,

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”

Seen this way, curiosity allows you to build your skills. Step by step, you continue to seek out the next level of understanding. And eventually, you will have learned enough to be considered a master in what you do — simply because you’re curious.

4. Deeper Connections

This is my favorite.

If you’re curious about other people, you can uncover new levels of connections — even with the people closest to you. Regarding those people, it’s easy to take them for granted, as you might think you know everything there is to know about them. However, a well-timed question can uncover Atlantis.

You can learn a new fact, a new story, or even discover a new layer of personality. This, in turn, allows for a deeper connection; enriching both of your lives. As the psychologist Carl Roger’s said,

“To understand is enriching in a double way…I find these understandings to be of value to me. But also, to be understood has a very positive value to [others].”

5. The Ability to Overcome Fear

James Stephens, an author and poet, said,

“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.”

His point, I think, is that curiosity is a valuable reason to do something. The desire to know what’s on the other side of fear will give you enough motivation to try to overcome it. Bravery, on the other hand, is just an act of doing something for the sake of doing it. And that won’t necessarily be motivating enough.

Specifically, curiosity helps you overcome fear in two ways:

  • Psychological fear (anxiety), is most often a response to something you don’t know about. But being curious thrives in understanding this aspect of unknown. Thus, it will act as a natural buffer against anxiety.
  • Research on fear and anxiety has also shown that motivation is a key factor in successfully overcoming a fear. Because as long as you’re motivated by curiosity, nothing can stop you from overcoming a certain fear — even if you might struggle with it at first.

6. More Creativity

While curiosity involves the pursuit of new knowledge, creativity involves transforming existing knowledge into something new and interesting. Seen this way, it’s easy to see the overlap between them. Novelty is the keyword.

With a curiosity for trying new things, you’re bound to get some creative outcomes. There will be new ways of questioning, thinking, and combining what you already know.

This is how you end up with a creative product. As Leo Burnett, an advertiser and entrepreneur said,

“Curiosity about life in all aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.”

Final Words

These are the rewards of being curious, the reasons it can change your life for the better.

So ignite your power, remind yourself to be curious, and make it a habit. Then watch the world change as you continue to explore it. Curiosity can change your life.

Want to live a more meaningful life? Get my free PDF here.

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Jonas Ressem

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From Norway. Building onliving.life. Exploring life through psychology, philosophy and entrepreneurship. Come explore with me: http://eepurl.com/dAtfdv


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