how to be curious the freelancer ja-nae janae
Do you shy away from the unknown or do you welcome the unexpected? Ever since I was a little girl I have thrived on curiosity and questioning things. However, many colleagues I know in business stick like glue to the familiar. They rely on the routine things that have served them in well in the past, and avoid anything new and different. This attitude can maintain stability, but if you’re not curious you are doomed to the same experiences without ever growing in business or in life.

This article by Donald Latumahina at Lifehack tells of the virtues of curiosity.  Curiosity gives you a fresh perspective, allowing you to discover fresh ideas. Being curious makes you more observant and opens up new worlds and possibilities you wouldn’t otherwise consider while also adding the spice of variety to your life.

Some of my best ideas for projects, as well as some of my best adventures, have come from stepping outside of my comfort zone and following my curious nature.

For these reasons, curiosity should be a quality you cultivate. So here are some things you can do to be more curious in your life:

  • Do Not Ignore the Mundane.  We all have boring parts of our everyday routine.  But what if we could start looking at these mundane experiences in a new light?  If we consider something boring, we refuse to explore its potential and possibilities.  Start looking at the mundane things in your life – the long commutes, the household chores, the email responses – as opportunities to learn instead of chores.
  • Dive in to Uncertainty.  Don’t fear the unknown.  Research actually shows that uncertainty and new experiences actually make people happier.  If you avoid surprises and the unfamiliar, start retraining your brain to enjoy and pursue the uncertain.   Try introducing yourself to someone new.  Start saying yes to every invitation.  Order something at a restaurant you’ve never had before.
  • Ask More Questions.  This is a simple one. Take a look at all the people you know.  Now what is it you don’t know about them?  Instead of following a usual routine of small talk, start asking them about new things.  What are their passions or interests?  What do they do on a Sunday evening?  Don’t just act curious; be curious about the lives of others.
  • Take on a New Challenge.  You don’t know what you are capable of until you find your limits.  Curious people like to take on new projects about things they are unfamiliar with and see if they can succeed.  Learn to use a new software program.  Take a class in something you know nothing about.  You learn the most about something when you start with nothing.
  • Share the Enthusiasm.  When someone is enthusiastic about something, everyone else seems to feel the same way – no matter how boring the topic may seem.  I know a mold remediation expert who can speak so passionately about household mold that I couldn’t help but be interested in the subject myself!
  • “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.” -Albert Einstein

    Curiosity may kill cats, but it makes us people much better at whatever we do. What can you start doing in your life to be more curious? How has being curious helped you in the past? Share your experiences below.

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    2 Responses

    1. Jeffrey Willius

      Just came across your blog, Ja-Naé, and love this post about curiosity. I write about this all the time and would add a few observations:
      There are too many knowers and not enough askers out there. I find myself tuning out the knowers.
      Perhaps symptomatic of this, there seems to be an epidemic of self-promotion. My wife and I often compare notes after a party or other gathering. Nine out of ten times no one we’ve “conversed” with has asked us a single thing about us or our lives. Yet we know a good deal about them. So I love your third bullet point about asking more!
      Curiosity — with perhaps a bit of faith — is the gateway to wonder!!


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