Everything in life is a skill and curiosity is no different.
While many buy into the idea that we’re allocated a fixed amount, the reality is that everyone is blessed with ample curiosity to span many lifetimes. The key is using it.
Curiosity is a skill and if you don’t feed it, it will die. The more curious you are, the better you become at being curious. You have to nurture your curiosity to grow it.
Here are 9 ways to rediscover your curious nature.
1. Ask More Questions
More often than not we’re focused on finding answers rather than thinking about questions, but questions are one of the most powerful tools for engaging your curiosity.
Asking questions essentially primes your curiosity, making you alert to new ideas and perspectives that would otherwise be overlooked.
Asking questions, even stupid ones, is an easy way to kick start your curiosity.
2. Consume Everything
There is something to be said about breadth. You never know what you might like and if we don’t expose ourselves to a wide range of ideas, we’re going to miss out on a lot.
Perhaps you love spy novels or NPR or technology, but exploring other domains and areas of knowledge will expand your perspective. The wider your knowledge, the more connections you form and the sharper your curiosity becomes.
No matter how you consume, from podcasts to books, make an effort to go beyond your comfort zone and explore the new.
3. Be Patient
Whenever we’re experiencing the new, we’re often quick to judge. We instantly form an opinion and that shapes the rest of our experience.
Instead, if we can hold off on our judgement and practice patience, we can find value when before we thought there was none.
4. Embrace Uncertainty
Things never go according to plan. Rather than stressing and worrying about uncertainty, learn to embrace it. Go with the flow.
The better you become with uncertainty and being comfortable with it, the easier it becomes to engage your curiosity amidst any ambiguity. Don’t hide from the unknown, but follow it.
Replace fear of the unknown with curiosity.
By doing so, you’ll be more confident in the face of any situation and your curiosity will take you to places you never thought you’d go.
5. Change Your Perspective
Sometimes I do this when I’m driving and about to have a fit of road rage.
Why did that f&%#!@# person cut me off!? Breathe… OK, maybe they’re rushing to the emergency room. Maybe they’re going to be late for the biggest meeting of their life. Maybe they’ve just suffered a loss in their family. Woosah.
This usually calms me down, but it also allows me to change perspectives.
The point isn’t to prevent road rage, but to put yourself in others shoes. See how someone else would view a situation or how another person is feeling.
Its a great way to explore your curiosity and how you view the world.
6. Challenge the Status Quo
Whenever you see things being done the same way everywhere, it’s an opportunity to do the opposite. To see what happens when you go against the grain. To be different.
It may work out or it may not, but it will let you engage your curiosity and break the norm.
It’s a simple method that can be used all the time, and one that will open your eyes to things that were otherwise invisible.
7. Converse With Others
The introvert in me is not a fan of this point, but it’s certainly of value. Every individual you meet has something to offer and a unique perspective on life that you’ll never experience.
That being the case, conversing with others is a great way to learn and understand more about the world. There’s so much to learn from others and you won’t get very far without talking to them.
8. Travel Abroad
There’s no better teacher than travel. When you’re in a new city with new people, cut off from your typical comforts, you are forced to adapt.
You literally have no choice but to be curious if you want to do anything: you have to figure out how to eat, how to get around, how to talk to people, and so on. It’s not only refreshing, but its the most direct way to practice being curious.
9. Search for Mysteries Not Puzzles
Puzzles can be a lot of fun, but they all have solutions. Instead of spending time on puzzles, we should instead focus on mysteries. Mysteries are the great unknowns in life.
They are full of questions and lack in concrete answers. You can get lost in mysteries for a lifetime. A mystery never stops inviting inquiry and so it never stops being a source for curiosity.
Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.
Curiosity makes you happy. There’s a certain joy that comes from chasing your curiosity and exploring the new. You experience a sense of satisfaction whenever you can scratch the itch that is curiosity.
This is why it’s important we don’t forget about curiosity. If you’re feeling bored or stagnant or lost, you may just need to re-discover your curiosity. It will help you appreciate how wonderful this crazy life can truly be.