How To Develop Curiosity And Practice It In Daily Life
‘A man should stay alive if only out of curiosity.’ Remember how as kids we wanted answers to the never-ending queries we asked so innocently? How did your focus shift from finding out “why?” to forming new personal and professional connections? Then why as adults, do most of us stop asking? Today, only a few adults have kept their childish trait of questioning alive. So how to cultivate curiosity in a mundane world with a lot on your plate already? Read on to find the various ways that help to develop curiosity and practice it in daily life.
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The Benefits Of Having A Curiosity Mindset
To learn how to cultivate curiosity, you need to understand its various benefits. Let’s look at how being curious helps us to be more innovative, joyful, and fair.
- Motivates healthy interactions:
If we genuinely want to know more about the people on our team or in our community, we are less likely to judge them. When we show interest in other people, we make them feel like they are important. We confirm how they see the world, and we get closer to them.
- The beginning of any work of art:
Curiosity is the thing that wonders “What if I do this?” and then takes the plunge to find out. Our inquiring minds are the source of all originality and progress.
- Helps seek newer challenges:
Curious thinking is a great antidote to the tendency to settle for mediocrity. Whether at a job or in personal relationships, curiosity makes you wonder and work on what else you could do. Curiosity is never satisfied; rather, it always seeks new challenges.
- Allows for positive changes:
Many groups and societies have been hurt by doing things the same way they’ve “always been done”. And they’ve been unwilling to change these habits. Because of this, change management is crucial. Cultures of curiosity make businesses more adaptable and open to new ideas. They help to accept failure and reinvention.
- Strengthens a sense of community and belonging:
Those who are curious are receptive to others and interested in their experiences. They are respectful of the value of the differences others bring to the table. There will be room for everyone.
- Brings happiness and pleasure to our work:
Curiosity is a great way to have a good time. If you’re naturally curious you will grow in knowledge and experience. You’ll feel better about yourself and the world around you.
How To Cultivate Curiosity – Tips To Stay Curious
Research indicated how encouraging curiosity helped in classrooms and workplaces. Providing opportunities to learn new information and practice skills helped people a lot. Here are five practices recommended by professionals for piquing interest.
Find Your Motivation
Intrinsic motivation drives one’s curiosity. The promise of a reward or an end goal shouldn’t be what motivates you. The fun of doing something new, and difficult should be the motivating factor. For example, if you’re signing up for a class it’s not because you have to. It’s because you want to learn more about the topic.
Experts say, “When we are curious, we are doing things for their own sake. The internal or external pressures don’t make us think whether we should or shouldn’t be doing.” So, if you want to build your sense of wonder, you should do things that fascinate, intrigue, and excite you.
This is easier to say than do. Popular research shows that humans are lousy at figuring out what drives them and why. In one experiment, they let volunteers sort a long list of words by letter. They polled each participant on their level of anticipated fun of the task before it began. And then judging immediately following its completion. He tried to entice some of the attendees with an extra incentive (money).
People given an extra reason to finish the work said they enjoyed it more than they actually did. People who didn’t get anything for their work said they had more fun with the task. That’s because they had to find their own ways to keep going, like making it into a game.
Make a list of all the topics and areas of study you’re curious about to gain insight into your personal motives. Then decide which of these you would like to do even if your efforts yielded no material benefit. In what contexts is the quest for intelligence and competence rewarded? That’s where your inquisitive energy is best put to use.
Ask Questions (Develop Curiosity)
Once we go past the “chewing to investigate” stage, questions drive our curiosity. Natalie Nixon, an expert, says, “Not all questions are the same.” To get different answers, you have to ask different questions.
Nixon puts questions into two groups: “divergent” and “convergent.” Questions that go in different ways, each of which might help you learn more about what you don’t know. Think about the questions that start with “Why,” “What If,” and “I Wonder.” Different kinds of questions go in the other direction. They look into things they don’t know to find answers that can be put together. These are your “What,” “Where,” and “When” questions.
Both types of questions are important, but convergent questions usually come first. These can prevent learning since they focus on what people already know or agree on. It’s better to jump into the dark with questions that aren’t the usual ones. These traits encourage people to be curious and try new things.
Nixon once said in an interview that you only need to know a little bit about a subject to become interested in it. Questioning is about moving away from “only with certainty” and asking fresh questions. And we want to encourage these kinds of big-picture questions.
Act The ‘Clumsy Student’
Nixon also says that everyone should find a place in their lives where they can be a “clumsy student.” She doesn’t want to improve her resume or try to get a higher-paying job. A clumsy scholarship is choosing a hobby or major that meets your desire to learn and improve.
Examples include gardening, furniture construction, animal observation, and music. Skilled woodworkers will be paid, while hard yard work will provide excellent fruits. The biggest gain, though, comes from learning new things and getting better at things. Nixon is learning to ballroom dance, but she is not very good at it. She likes going because she has to watch others and practice questioning. (It’s also a fun and healthy way to stay in shape.)
“If we’re awful at anything in life, we’ll be more secure asking new and interesting questions in class. She told me that the world would not stop, despite what other people might think.
Be In the Company Of The Curious
Ian Leslie says in his book that curiosity can spread from one person to the next. Still, another flaw is not being interested. That is to say, the people you spend time with might make or break your sense of wonder. How much and what kind of curiosity is acceptable depends on where you live, work, and raise a family. How many “likes” or “dislikes” a forum post has can alter people’s interest in a topic.
The answer is to put yourself in situations with curious people, interested in what you have to say. You could join a book club, a service group, a fan club, or take a continuing education course. People go to these events hoping to learn something new and meet interesting people.
And you should do everything you can to encourage people to ask questions when you talk to them. Curiosity increases community engagement, according to Kashdan and Silvia’s research. Growth-oriented partners are getting increasingly popular in love.
How To Cultivate Curiosity Through Encouragement
For Murayama’s study, he and Johnny Lau showed people a magic trick while they hooked up to an fMRI scanner. The term “magic trick” originates from this concept. Then, they got a chance to spin a wheel of fortune. Whoever figured out the trick got an explanation, while those who didn’t got a spark. Active incentive systems made people more likely to get an electric shock to satisfy curiosity.
Finding answers to interesting questions activates the ventral tegmental area. This area of the brain handles addictions, rewards, learning, and memory. Also, the more we use this “seeking system,” the stronger the connections in our brains become. Over time, being curious not only becomes a habit but also a good one.
Having a growth mindset opens us up to new ideas and experiences, which motivates us to tackle issues. We become curious when we try new things, learn new things, and think deeply. Mindfulness and presence help us appreciate the beauty in the everyday.
Using technology and instructional tools expands our knowledge and keeps us interested. Hanging out with curious people teaches you how to cultivate curiosity in a mundane world. We need to create a place that encourages us to ask questions.
To sum up, curiosity helps us get through every day and makes it more interesting. If we keep using these ways to discover surprises and growth, every day may be an exciting experience. Develop curiosity and practice it in daily life.