Curiosity. According to the Dictionary it means: ‘a strong desire to know or learn something.’ Or ‘an unusual or interesting object or fact’. A word we probably all know or have heard of. We often talk about ‘having a curious mind-set’, or ‘improving our curiosity’. But what does curiosity mean to you? What are the moments when you experience this feeling we call curiosity? And what does that feeling do to you? How can we feel so different and funny when we get curious? So many questions I am fascinated by. My curiosity particularly comes up when I am living in a new country. However, after realising I missed this special, exciting feeling, I decided to look for it more often. Curious to find out what I did to create curiosity, how I try to train it and why I think it’s important? Find it out below!
Before I share the story about when I realised curiosity is just a state of mind and what tricks you can use to enhance your curiosity, I want to talk about what curiosity means to me and see if that’s aligned with what you think. For me curiosity is a drive, an engine. It is a feeling that is making you feel funny and giving you energy. You feel like you want to throw yourself into something but you are not sure into what. A certain excitement takes over your body, making you feel giggly and happy. Curiosity to me is a state of mind that is invaluable in life. A state that takes you to new places, giving you new experiences and making you develop yourself.
Do you agree? Or does curiosity means something totally different to you? I am curious to hear your opinion below! To come back to the story, or actually start the story, I always look for the feeling of curiosity when being abroad. Being abroad and outside of my ‘comfort zone bubble’, I tend to get curious naturally. I experience a certain drive that makes me want to find out everything there is to know about a certain city, culture or country. I don’t want to spend time in my room and I want to discover and experience all the beauties a city has to offer. However, for some reason this naturally tendency never occurs when being back in the Netherlands. It always takes way more effort. Annoying, if you ask me?
After I did some thinking, I realised my comfort zone bubble sucked me up and I was stuck. My curious-exploring-mode was gone. Resulting in getting stuck in a routine that didn’t give me energy or joy. Moreover, I realised how ridiculous it is to blame this lack of curiosity on not living abroad. I was, and still am, the one in charge over my mind. So if I want to be in the curious-exploring-mode, I have to do things differently and take action. I have to do things I haven’t done before, and develop a light, enjoyable, curious mind-set.
How about this one; from the same shit, different day to it might be the same shit or not, but it’s still a different day so let’s experience the differences! Exaggerated? Maybe, I agree. But the point I am trying to make is that you are responsible for your own (curious) mind-set. And there’s no situation, reason or experience you can blame for not being curious. So why would you want to be curious, you might think? What are results of being curious and what should it give you? Great questions let me answer them with some research.
According to Psychology Today curiosity is a vital skill/mind-set since by asking questions you can learn more about another person and gather additional information which may or may not turn out to be useful elegantly. In addition, curiosity is an essential part of any negotiations. Curious to know why? Click here. To conclude, according to Todd Kashdan, based on research, curiosity is good for your Health, Intelligence, Social Relationships, Happiness, and Meaning. And that last word really resonates with me.
Curiosity is the foundation of most of our interest, hobby’s and skills. We got curious and did everything we could to learn a certain skill or hobby, right? We tapped into a certain feeling and gave it our all, because it was driving us and making us feel excited. This explanation sums it up perfectly for me.
So do you agree? Or do you need more reasons to be curious? Or are you curious already to see what’s next in this week’s blog? Because you never know, right?!
I could end, but I could continue. I could have added the most valuable information at the end, but it could be boring too. Okay, I’ll stop messing with you. For me, developing a curious mind-set is looking at the world through a different lens. I started to use my ‘living-abroad-lens’ to my daily life in Maastricht at the moment. And it worked, big time! Let me explain what I did and why it worked;
The first tip I’d like to give you is when you have to go from A to B, and you are normally used to putting on music, leave the music. Doesn’t matter if it’s cycling, walking or running, just try to look around you and experience your surroundings. Listen to the sounds, look at the buildings, people, objects, whatever you see. Be curious to spot details and find things you have never seen before. I challenge you to find at least one new thing a day, even if you have lived in the same street for I don’t know how many years. I am sure you can find some! Secondly, I noticed that walking with your hands together behind your back works big time as well. I call it mindful-walking, since you tend to naturally slow down and look around you. Your chest is opened up and your chin is high, making you embrace whatever your surroundings offer.
Does this all sound like a little too much for you? Not a problem. But let me emphasize what curiosity does to me and why I believe it’s so important. Curiosity helps me to get some joy, happiness, energy and excitement out of my days, when doing ‘the same shit’ every day. It is simply making me experience life more and keeping me out of the daily sleur (a Dutch word that is best translated to negative routine).
To conclude, how curious are you? How important is having a curious mind-set to you? Do you train curiosity? Are you curious to find out if there’s pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Okay, that’s not fair since probably everyone is. DAMN, I want to know if it’s there!
On a serious note, don’t let life pass you by. Don’t regret not doing things, not taking action. Develop a childlike, curious mind-set. Try to experience new things as often as you’d like. But experience the beauty life has to offer, and please do not forget to live it! We are too busy working, saving, taking care of our children, studying, whatever it is nowadays, leaving us in the ‘same shit, different day’ bubble. And life can’t always be awesome, great or new, and it doesn’t need to be. But a little curiosity a day keeps you from letting your life slip away.
Does that make sense? I don’t know, just made that up. Have an awesome, curious day, and let me know what you think!