Curiosity is the root of all knowledge. To question something is to want to understand it better. Curiosity begets knowledge, and knowledge begets curiosity. To learn about something opens up many more paths and many more questions. Some people are afraid of this, while others can’t quench their thirst of it. We are born with a natural ability to be curious. Some more so than others, but nonetheless, we all question the things around us. So what happened? Why do we want to go home at the end of the day and mindlessly watch TV until it’s time to go to sleep? What happened to that thirst for knowledge?
(At the risk of losing people here) I think it can partly be blamed on schools and I think it can partly be blamed on home-life. Between schools trying to force us to learn things we may not be interested in and many households that turn on the TV until bed time, we quickly associate learning as a chore and become complacent with mediocrity. Ignorance is bliss. We don’t know any better than to watch TV after a long hard day and it’s easy.
So how do we recoup our curiosity? Simple, start actively engaging in your life. No more mindless droning through the motions. Really start to think about everything you do every day. While this is great in general for constantly improving your own life (we’ll talk about this in more detail in a future article), it will also get you questioning things, and that’s the big hurdle.
Ask questions about assumptions you make everyday. Even if the assumption is there for a good reason (ie. gravity), you will still walk away with more knowledge than you previously had. Ask questions about things you like to do or you’re interested in. With Google at our fingertips these days, there’s no reason not to look deeper into your interests. This can lead you into unending paths of information and knowledge. Currently I have become very interested in strength training and have been getting my hands on any information that I can find on it. Articles, videos, people. All this information led me to an interest in Olympic lifting which in turn has led me to learning more about the musculoskeletal system which leads me to exercising for longevity and so on… (see what I mean about the unending paths?), but I digress.
Ask questions and you will discover a world of information you never even knew existed. Looking for your passion? This is a good way to find it. Bored with your work or what you thought was your passion? This is a good way to throttle that engine and get back to truly being excited every day.
So go out, be curious, and change the World!
Actionable step: If you’re having trouble finding something to be curious about, try to broaden your horizons. Put yourself in a position where you hear about new things. I understand you don’t have time to go meet with a group of scientists, engineers, artists, or the like, but you don’t have to. The easiest thing I’ve found is to listen to podcasts. Fairly simple and I don’t even change up my daily routine because I listen to them in my car on the way to work. What do you have to lose? There’s lots out there to choose from ranging from cooking, to productivity, to software programming. Almost anything you can think of. But if you’re having trouble picking one, I would highly recommend The Tim Ferriss Show. He interviews just about anybody you can think of. Scientists, artists, musicians, chemists, strength coaches, and more. Check it out, find one that sounds interesting and hit play.