What do you want most in life? For the vast majority of us, me more than next person is to be happy. Happiness is viewed as more important than success, intelligence, knowledge, maturity, wisdom, relationships, wealth and meaning in life. Happiness is a good thing.
Yet, In my personal experience, I’ve observed that when I focused solely on what I thought would make me happy, I lost track of what actually does. One of the most reliable and overlooked keys to happiness is cultivating and exercising our innate sense of curiosity.
That’s because curiosity, a state of active interest or genuinely wanting to know more about something, creates an openness to unfamiliar experiences, laying the groundwork for greater opportunities to experience discovery, joy and delight.
Curiosity can be nurtured and developed. With practice, I can harness the power of curiosity to transform everyday tasks into interesting and enjoyable experiences. I can also use curiosity to intentionally create wonder, intrigue and play out of almost any situation or interaction I encounter.
It all starts with wanting to know more. Curiosity, at its core, is all about noticing and being drawn to things I — we find interesting. It’s about recognizing and seizing the pleasures that novel experiences offer us, and finding novelty and meaning even in experiences that are familiar.
When we are curious, we see things differently; we use our powers of observation more fully. We sense what is happening in the present moment, taking note of what is, regardless of what it looked like before or what we might have expected it to be.
We feel alive and engaged, more capable of embracing opportunities, making connections, and experiencing moments of insight and meaning all of which provide the foundation for a rich, aware and satisfying life experience.
Curiosity positively correlates with intelligence and high levels of curiosity in adults are connected to greater analytic ability, problem-solving skills and overall intelligence. All of which suggests that cultivating more curiosity in your daily life is likely to make you smarter.
It is far easier to form and maintain satisfying, significant relationships when you demonstrate an attitude of openness and genuine interest. One of the top reasons why relationships break or couples seek therapy is because they’ve become bored with each other.
This often sparks resentment, hostility, communication breakdowns and a lack of interest in spending time together (only adding to the initial problem). Curious people report more satisfying relationships and marriages. Happy couples describe their partners as interested(ing) and responsive. Curious people are inclined to act in ways that allow relationships to develop more easily.
I want to spend five minutes — at the very least, getting acquainted with a stranger of the opposite sex, so the both of us can make judgments about our personality. To gain more insight on the qualities that curious people bring to relationships.
If perfectly structured, acquaintances of five minutes would characterize curious people as highly enthusiastic and energetic, talkative, interesting in what they say and do, displaying a wide range of interests, confidence, humorous, less likely to express insecurities, keeping them safely tucked away, and lacking in timidity and anxiety compared with less curious people.
Curious people ask questions and take an interest in learning about partners, and they intentionally try to keep interactions interesting. This approach supports the development of good relationships.
If we are going to find a meaningful purpose or calling in life, chances are good we will find it in something that unleashes our natural curiosity and fascination. Indeed, curiosity is the entry point to many of life’s greatest sources of meaning and satisfaction: our interests, hobbies and passions. While being passionate about something naturally renders you curious to know as much as you can about it, it also works the other way around: The more curiosity you can muster for something, the more likely you are to notice and learn about it, and thus the more interesting and meaningful it will become for you over time.
Like blogging, the more curiosity and energy I am investing in exploring and understanding it , the more compelling it has become. This will definitely have important implications for how much meaning and passion I experience in life: The greater the range and depth of my curiosity, the more opportunities I have to experience things that inspire and excite me, from minute details to momentous occasions.
Tune in to Your Curiosity. One of the best ways to better appreciate the power of curiosity is to start exercising it more consciously in your daily experiences.
By doing so, you can transform routine tasks, enlivening them with new energy. You will also likely begin to notice more situations that have the potential to engage you, giving your curiosity even more opportunities to flourish.
Knowledge opens our eyes to interesting gaps about what we don’t know. If you want to be curious, start accumulating knowledge, thrive on uncertainty. We rarely look forward to anxiety and tension, but these mixed emotions are often what lead to the most intense and longest-lasting positive experiences.
People who take part in new and uncertain activities are happier and find more meaning in their lives than people who rely on the familiar. I — most of us mistakenly believe that certainty will make us happier than uncertainty.
Imagine me watching a movie knowing how it already ends, that that made me happy. Yet knowing the outcome in advance takes away the thrill of watching each scene and the good tension that comes with not knowing what will happen next. We forget about the pleasures of surprise and uncertainty.
Remind yourself of the pleasures of surprise by thinking back to the last five positive events in your life that began with an uncertain, unknown outcome.
Think of sporting events, first dates, job interviews and so on. You will likely be surprised to find how big a role surprise plays in your joyful experiences. Reconnect with play. We can add play and playfulness to almost any task, and the attitude of play naturally builds interest and curiosity.
With tasks that are new to you or that you haven’t even considered, ask yourself if you can find one thing that is surprising to you as a newcomer to this particular activity.
Pic credit Google