“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”
Curiosity is a natural human instinct that drives us to explore, and seek answers to our questions. In other words, it keeps us moving forward. It opens doors that otherwise would stay shut. Say, for example, you’ve hit a wall in your life or business. Whatever path you took to begin may have worked initially but it is no longer serving you. It is then only your curiosity to see what other paths could potentially hold that will solve your problem (or, at least, lead you there eventually). Whereas, if you’re intent on staying on this problematic path with no curiosity to venture elsewhere, you’ll stay stuck in a rut, with the possibility of moving forward being zilch to none.
The minute we lose our curiosity, we also lose learning. And if we’re not learning, we’re not growing, whether that’s in your personal or professional life. Take this story told by a top executive in leadership: she had unsuccessfully tried to pitch a new customer offering to a fellow leader, and was perplexed as to why it wasn’t working. Taking a step back, she realized she wasn’t listening when her coworker spoke. In other words, she was listening to respond rather than listening to understand. The minute she incorporated curiosity back into her conversation, the communication between her and her coworker opened up and resolution was found.
While curiosity is something innately born within us, it is also something that we can cultivate and refresh. Ways to do that? For one, be open to being wrong. Yep, you heard that right. Because curiosity is a question. And if you already think you know the answer when asking a question, what good is the question? Listening to what others have to say may not only teach you something new but also provide solutions to your problems.
Secondly, try new things! Whether that’s a hobby or a new approach in your business to problem solving, both will enhance your life. It could be as simple as ordering a new flavor of ice cream rather than getting the one you always get–who knows, you might have a new favorite? Which leads us to our last point…
Never say never. You need to stay open in order to stay curious. It doesn’t mean that you’ll agree with everything (or everyone) you hear or see, but your mindset will be curious enough to take them into consideration. That way you can know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that all the possibilities of staying curious are at your fingertips.