A famous quote by Bernard Baruch says ‘Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why’.
The moment you think about curiosity, the mind sparks many questions – Why? What if? Who? How? When? Where? and so on. Curiosity has always been an important characteristic of a genius, whether it’s Newton, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Richard Feynman, or Steve Jobs – they were all curious.
Another example of curiosity is the curious and innovative mind of Steve Jobs which led to good ideas and the great discovery of products. And it is essential to keep in mind that only rigorously fostered and defended curiosity turns one good product or idea into series of subsidiary excellent products such as the invention of ‘Apple Inc.’, which stunned the computer industry with its software, and programs – Mac., iPod, iPad, and iPhone.
Now let’s explore how curiosity fits into and, more importantly, why it matters, in the workplace.
- Curiosity keeps your mind active:
Professor David Knopman said ‘Keeping your brain mentally stimulated is a lifelong enterprise’. The mind is just like a muscle which becomes stronger through practice and training; the mental exercise caused by curiosity makes your mind stronger. If you just repeat the same tasks and never reach beyond your comfort level, your mind becomes passive or inactive. Studies have shown that mental illness and Alzheimer’s disease are anticipated to occur earlier when people are not as mentally active.
- Curiosity keeps you young at heart:
We all know children are very curious and have a great desire to understand the world around them. They are not afraid to ask questions, they do not worry about whether others believe they sound already know the answers. But as children grew older, embarrassment and anxious feelings slide in, along with the aspiration to appear confident and display expertise. By the time we are adults, we often suppress our curiosity. Do not let that happen. We should remain curious and stay young at heart.
- Curiosity keeps you learning:
A good sense of curiosity keeps you learning. You may want to know how to make something or you want to learn some new things or want to know how was it made – the easiest way is to simply Google it, learn and act on the curiosity which can help you to stay curious and expand your learning skills.
- Curiosity keeps you attentive to new ideas:
A creative mind is always curious about several thoughts and ideas that cross over. Imagine! A thought crosses your mind and will soon be recognized as an idea, but without curiosity, the ideas may pass right in front of you; you miss them because your mind is not prepared to recognize them. So you must think, how many great ideas you might have lost due to a lack of curiosity and attention?
- Curiosity opens up possibilities:
By being curious you will be able to see a new world and opportunities which are normally unseen behind the surface of normal life. A study has found that we have the capabilities to enlarge our interest to not only become curious but also to be more positive on what we can achieve towards success. It takes a curious mind to look down to the surface and discover these new worlds of possibilities & opportunities.
- Curiosity brings excitement into your life:
The life of curious people is far-off from boring. It’s neither dull nor routine. There are always new things that attract their notice or have new topics to read with. Instead of being bored, curious people have a venturesome life.
Now from the above, we can understand the importance of curiosity, and here are some tips to develop it:
Nobel-prize-winner Richard Feynman, a physicist noted, ‘Everything is interesting if you go into it deeply enough’. This is the form of curiosity we need to progress in the workplace for greater collaboration and to innovate new ideas and inventions.
- Be open-minded in the workplace!
A closed mind person has no space for new knowledge. It is like a cup already full – you cannot add more liquid to the cup, or new ideas to the mind. Therefore, it becomes very important to have an open mind towards everything new in your life, be it a question, a task, or any other situation you are facing. Being selective will only decrease your curiosity as you start to separate something into ‘boring’ and ‘interesting’, which means that you might lose more than half a percentage of opportunities and challenges.
- Be passionate!
To develop passion in your job search can be an effective means. Every boss wants to see an applicant who is passionate and excited about moving forward in their career. If you can find different ways to satisfy your appetite for knowledge and continue to be a lifelong learner, you will find your career to be much more rewarding. Passion or commitment allows you to create interest in specific topics and frame challenges to explore them!
- Stop being monotonous and make changes!
When you are monotonous at work and bring no change to your daily routine, you tend to invite boredom into your life. So instead of having the same routines, you could add some variation to your life. It does not have to be some major change to your daily routine; you could, for instance, begin by brushing your teeth with the opposite hand or exploring a new route to your workplace. Inform yourself about current trends, read different books from other industries, or learn a new language. Whatever you do, be confident that you add some variation to your lifestyle and make it challenging and exciting.
- The art of questioning!
It’s great to ask questions, but do not forget you are in the workplace! Make sure your questions are appropriate and professional; smart employees satisfy their curiosity through finding answers beforehand and then dividing into smart questioning during a meeting. Ask questions until you get the conversation to a wider snapshot and the outcome will reflect your learning ability to the employer. The benefit of asking questions enables us to understand that you are engaged rather than unaware. Do you think Albert Einstein became so famous for his extraordinary ability to study what his teachers taught him? No, definitely not! It was quite his aspiration to question things and to come up with the ideas that made him develop his remarkable theory of relativity. So do not hesitate, keep asking questions until you conclude.
- Travel around the world!
Traveling creates curiosity, it may be to our nearby cities, to our neighboring countries, or a trip to different places in the world. It makes you curious when you start exploring new places and know more about the place and people living out there. Travel enhances your curiosity into knowledge which cannot be learned from books or any institution.
- Learning is fun!
Learning will be fun if you are curious. A neurological study has shown that curiosity makes our brain more interested in learning and that as we learn, we enjoy the sensation of learning. Developing the learning habit can make people happier from their training and can increase the outcome beyond our imagination. So look at life through the side of fun and enthusiasm and rejoice the learning process.
- Diverse reading!
Sometimes you need to break the barrier! You tend to spend time on one area and one topic of interest, while the word has lots of other topics. Diverse reading, such as picking up a magazine or choosing books about diverse topics to include new learning about a different subject, helps create a spark and curiosity in the brain. So, do not stop and allow your mind to be filled with the excitement of a new world.
- Eliminate boredom from your vocabulary!
By being bored you steadily decrease your curiosity. The more you say you are bored, there is less opportunity for your mind to grow. To increase it, you will have to avoid boredom by any means. Boredom arises when you are not interested anymore in new topics and when you accomplished all goals that you wanted to reach. In order to keep away boredom from your life, you need to be continuously be engaged in researching new topics that you really want to explore and learn more about it.
- Look for the positive side in all circumstances!
Positive thinking will guide you to do most of the things in an extraordinary way than negative thinking will.
If you expect something to be boring and tell yourself you will have no fun, it will definitely be the same. Instead expecting things to be fun and interesting will help you develop a positive mindset that is more open to new ideas.
- Do something different!
One should keep moving ahead, find a new door of success, and do new things, which makes us curious and that will helps out to lead down to new paths.
- Conquer fear!
Change can be a difficult thing when we become so used to a routine. If you are more curious, you will have less fear. You should focus more on the positive results when you try something new.
- Put ideas and facts into your head: Don’t rely on Google!
Some progressive educationalists said that the existing knowledge is the enemy of new ideas. At the most fundamental level, all of our new ideas are made up of old ones like to create advances in technological software, you need to know about basic software functions.
Successful innovators and artists gather knowledge which they can draw unthinkingly. Having understood the rules of their domain, they can focus on rewriting them. They mix the ideas and themes, making new theories, and identifying unusual patterns until a creative breakthrough is achieved.
If anyone who stops learning or discovering the facts because he thinks he can Google them later is literally making himself ignorant.
Digital technology cannot yet duplicate the chance of enabling the unconscious human mind to make new patterns or see new creative ideas. The more we outsource our memories to Google, the less we are sustaining the wonderful creativity of our unconscious mind.
- Be an expert who is inquisitive in everything!
In the current world where the importance is given for talent, the people most in demand will always be those who offer expertise a few others possess. And having a breadth of knowledge is highly valuable.
And in reality, you need to have the ability to think about it from a variety of perspectives and to be able to collaborate fruitfully with people who have different specializations. Also one cannot blame interest for your lack of curiosity. The only person or thing that can make you inefficient or incurious, is none other than you.
Do not just focus on puzzles but on mysteries, puzzles have exact answers, i.e., once the missing information is identified, it’s no more a puzzle. The frustration you felt when you were searching for the answer is replaced by satisfaction. Mysteries are suspicious which pose questions that cannot be answered definitively because the answers often depend on a highly intricated and interrelated set of factors, both known and unknown.
An organization or society thinks that only puzzles are the one that is too focused on the goals it has set, rather than on the possibilities it cannot yet see.
- Make the world your classroom!
Take a walk outside, or look at the sky at night and just think that the trees, the sky, the sun, and the moon have some qualities which are not yet discovered. Consider everything in your way as a learning opportunity.
- Allow time for open-ended playtime!
Toys like block creating, fashion dress-up, or even homemade when used creatively can result to shape a curious child. Since these toys are open-ended, there is no specific restriction in generating the outcome. Hence, curiosity and fascination can be developed during playtime.
- Teach and be taught!
Have you ever thought about any fascinating stories, worldviews, or skills that each of your friends and family members holds? The next time when you are feeling bored, do not reach out for the phone, television, or video game controller. Instead, try to speak with others and ask about their most cherishable memory, their passion, their favorite hobby, or even about their thoughts on the meaning and way of life. Think about interesting skills, opinions, or facts you know and offer them those in return. Teaching and allowing others to teach you, is a highly rewarding task whose gifts will come back to you in time.
- Connect the dots!
You may be familiar with the idea that it takes time and practice to master something. Try to recollect the ways you have practiced to master your best skill and see if you can apply them to other aspects of your life. How can you apply what you already know to the other side of your life? The results might surprise you.
- Get uncomfortable!
Is there something you have been looking to try out, but have not yet? Or something that has always disturbed you? One of the best ways is to try out some tasks which you think is difficult for you and that you have never done earlier, and trying them out to reach a result. When you push yourself to do new things you may feel nervous when thinking about doing it, but it helps you to expand your feeling of what you are capable of. So go out and try to do something you have never done before and you will be surprised to see what you are capable to achieve!
- Embrace thine enemy!
Trying to understand an issue from both sides is an essential part of becoming a critical thinker. Suppose you may think of a strong belief you have and flip it on its head and come up with a war of words for the opposing side. This practice will help you to see the world in a better way because you comprehend the different arguments and counter-arguments.
- Tech time-out!
Our modern world is full of bright screens that demand our attention. Smartphones, computers, and other devices allow us to pursue our curiosity in seconds. But it is important to shape yourself with and find them interesting and curious parts of life that live outside of technology. Try exploring new things by reading books, cooking your favorite recipe, or recollecting a series of your favorite memory. You could even think about tracing life skills and hobbies that do not involve technology, like learning to play an instrument.
- Mirror, mirror, on the wall!
Curiosity so often means pursuing your thoughts and ideas with passion and energy. This is where reflection demonstrates its importance. Reflection is the practice of purposefully looking back on your choices, opinions, and experiences from the past. Through great understanding, a better and often more curious self emerges.
As we gradually develop the skill of curiosity, we should always be conscious of all the factors we find ourselves in. We should always have the right aim, which is to learn, understand, grasp, or support others.
If we have the right intent, we can make a greater impact or difference in the life of others. This will also allow us to assist others in reaching their goals and feel better about ourselves.
So let’s invite curiosity in our work and keep our senses open to the unexpected.