“It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education,” observed Albert Einstein. For many of us, sadly, the destruction of curiosity began long before our school days.
When I was growing up, my incessant questions were often dismissed with a reminder that curiosity killed the cat. The message, intended or not, was that shrinking was preferable to exploring. This repeated warning has an impact that goes far beyond the deceased cat.
The death of curiosity is the beginning of a lackluster life. Without curiosity we avoid challenge, growth, and new experiences. Our world gets smaller and smaller as our fears grow bigger and bigger.
According to researchers, curiosity is more important than intelligence. Curiosity makes our minds active, rather than passive. It makes us observant of new ideas. It brings excitement into our lives.
If curiosity offers all that, how did it get such a bad rap? How has it become almost synonymous with fool hardiness?
“If I were the Maker of the Universe the people who would vex me the most would be the ones who went unseeing through this fascinating world,” mused advertising whiz Bernice Fitz-Gibbon.
They’re the ones who vex me most, too. On the other hand, the ones who inspire me most are those who keep stretching themselves day in and day out. Ask such a person, “What’s new?” and they always have a fascinating answer.
Staying curious is not only something that’s available to anyone, it doesn’t cost a dime. Where it leads, depends on how willing we are to pay attention.
Discover the truth of writer Gregg Levoy’s tantalizing promise: “When people begin to follow their calls, the way opens up, even after they’ve kept the gods drumming their fingers for decades, pacing around the front hall while they take forever in the boudoir getting ready. Opportunities wash up on shore; people take an interest; the right book or the right person crosses your path. Sometimes even money follows.”
So pick a theme and do a photo essay. Create a story in pictures. How about photographing the evolution of your business? Or portraits of people who have made a difference in your life. The subject possibilities are endless.
Make creative cross training a regular activity. When Georgia Makitalo began doing mosaic work, she discovered that her writing output increased as well. Anything that stimulates your creative spirit has a multiplying effect. Sign up for a painting class or organize field trips for kids.
Listen and follow your calls. Go on a curiosity excursion. Earn money in a new way.
As my friend Ken Robert says, “There’s only one person I spend all my time with. Me. If I’m going to spend the rest of my life with that guy, I’d like to keep him interesting, so I need to give him interesting things to do and think about.”
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