Albert Einstein said “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”
Strong words from the most well known physicist in the history. And rightfully so, curiosity is the one characteristic that should be most credited for moving the world forward. Passion, motivation and drive matter as well, of course, but it all starts with curiosity.
In this blog post we’ll look at some tactics and tools that can help boost your curiosity, which will undoubtedly leave a positive impact on your overall work performance, creativity and innovativeness.
1. Practice open mindedness
Don’t let your ego get in your way. If you’re arguing about something and the other party clearly presents facts and evidence that are a lot stronger than what you’re equipped with – simply acknowledge that, agree that the other person is right and move along. It’s that simple. There’s no point to get emotional about every argument. There are more important things in life to worry about.
“But we’ve always done it like that” – this phrase has probably killed more companies than all financial crises combined. Be open to new ideas and initiatives, follow market trends in the industry of your interest, and know what’s going on.
Learn to listen carefully when your conversation partner speaks, even if you disagree.
2. Ask more questions
Ask more questions like “how”, “what”, “when”, “where” and “why”. Try to stay away from simple “yes” or “no” questions – they provide little insight and room for the person you’re asking to express themselves. Talk to people smarter / older than you to get better insight in topics of interest to you, and if you’re afraid to approach people and talk to them then…
3. Get out of your comfort zone
Afraid of public speaking? Sign up for a course. Stage fright? Go to a couple improv classes. You need to get outside of your comfort zone to give your curiosity a boost. The more open you’ll be to trying new things and stepping outside your comfort zone, the more people you’ll talk to and the more questions you’ll ask.
4. Practice mindfulness
Being mindful means being more aware of your feelings, emotions and your surroundings. Meditation can help to improve your mindfulness and you can apply those skills to become more conscious of curiosity. Many meditation practices ask you to be aware of the moments when your mind drifts away from what you were supposed to be focusing on (in most cases it’s the breath), and when that happens simply bring your focus back. You can apply the same approach to curiosity – make an effort to remind yourself daily to look for something to be curious about.
5. Travel and explore
Seeing new places, exploring and learning about them can spark your curiosity in areas you didn’t know you were interested in. Put in the effort to read about the place before you visit it. If you travel to a new country try to learn at least a couple basic phrases and words in the local language. Engaging in conversation in a new language widens your perspective of the culture. Many languages have phrases that are specific to that country or culture and cannot be directly translated. Try the local meals, experience traditions and be a little adventurous.
You don’t have to travel far to practice this. Chances are that the local coffee shop around the corner has an interesting story to tell. Don’t be afraid to engage in a conversation with the owner during your next visit.
To sum up
These 5 tactics are guaranteed to help you boost your curiosity. Whether you’re a writer, a musician, a businessman or a student, incorporate them in your daily life and you will start seeing a positive change. Like with anything these practices need to become a habit of yours to see lasting improvements. Curiosity has motivated some of history’s most important discoveries, and who knows – maybe you’ll be the one to stumble upon the next one.