There are so many life skills you could learn. Being a better listener, speaking more honestly, being compassionate, practicing gratitude and being kind are just a few of the ways you can make a difference in the world and on the people around you.
However, there is one practice that will really shift how you relate to yourself, others, and the world.
When you become curious you shift into a space of openness. A curious person is an observer paying attention to the sites, sounds and experiences happening at any given moment.
Curiosity can be considered a form of mindfulness.
Curious people are open and eager to learn. They want to know more and understand deeply because they care.
They ponder, inquire, contemplate and wonder.
Curiosity shifts your perspective into a
For these people the unknown is exciting and inspiring. There is an endless pursuit of wanting and needing to know more, and a deep understanding that knowledge is not something to be conquered.
People who lack curiosity are closed, self-absorbed and often think they have everything they need. The non-curious are knowers, and they find it hard to see value in inquiry because they don’t trust that there is much more to learn in life.
The non-curious have a hard time seeing possibility because they live their lives being certain until proven wrong. They make presumptions about people and situations without asking.
We’ve all been around the people who lack curiosity, and feel the emptiness that comes with trying to relate to someone who just isn’t interested in anything outside of themselves.
Many of us have also had the good fortune of spending time with the curious only to feel inspired and engaged by their interest and enthusiasm.
In truth we all deeply want to feel interesting and important enough for others to inquire about us.
We all need to become more curious about life and the world if we want to be able to make any kind of difference while being here.
No change can come from thinking you have it all figured out or that there is nothing to learn from the world and others.
There are three key places in your life you can practice curiosity to see a great change in yourself and the people around you.
When you’re relating and connecting with others be curious about who they are, what they offer and what they’re doing. Everyone wants to feel that others are engaged and interested in their existence. You can do this by asking questions, asking for an opinion, or just generally being inquisitive about their life. The key to practicing curiosity (as opposed to just passive interest) is to be genuine and real about it. Ask several questions not just one, make eye contact, and really listen to what you’re learning so the other person feels your curiosity.
Getting curious about you can be harder for some and easy for others. Asking important and valuable questions of yourself will open up an internal dialogue that can change you in a big way. Curiosity about the self cannot coincide with judgment and it’s not about self-criticism. The intent is personal wonderment and a deep felt interest in knowing the most important person in your life…you. Being curious about what you like, what irks you, how you feel loved, why you feel the way you do, and where you find your happiness will expand your sense of yourself making you a more connecting and more deeply introspective person.
When you become curious about life you begin to ask important questions. What’s broken here? Where can I make an impact that matters? What needs to be changed? What makes this world better for everyone? Even on a more minutia level you could inquire about who might need your support right now or why that person sleeping on the street has ended up living like that? We tend to turn away from the parts of life that create pain or that remind us of something we don’t want to see. We can even ignore the lives of the people closest to us if we can’t bare their success or envy what they have. Staying curious about life is hard work, but it’s a gift to everyone and everything if you can manage it
Where can you practice curiosity today?
Where can you become more curious?
What can getting curious about yourself teach you?
Dr. Andra Brosh March 9th, 2015