In the interest of consistent self-growth and improvement, it’s vital to find ways to keep your curiosity alive. Somewhere in between being a kid and becoming an adult, many of us stop asking questions. Our fascination with the world (and everything in it) starts to shrink. Many of us get lost in our struggles or routines, and some lose focus on what’s important in life. Regardless of what happened or how it happened, we can all return to that sense of wonder and revive our curiosity.
First, break out your books.
A little reading never hurt anybody! In fact, it only helps. No matter what genre you’re reading, books are great for your brain. Aside from being a prime form of education and entertainment, reading offers several health benefits including reduced stress, better sleep, and possibly increased longevity. Avid readers have an increased imagination, which also aids in the development (or revival) of curiosity. Reading encourages you to assume a different perspective than your own and try to maintain it. When you read from another point of view, you start to see reality in a new way. You’ll ask questions about the world that you’ve never asked before. Develop good reading habits and you will surely notice the benefits.
If you’re reading an autobiography, you might begin to see the world the way the author perceived it. Or suppose you’re reading a professional development book. While reading, you may start to ask, “How can I use these words of advice to improve my life?” Whatever the case, your reading material has the potential to refresh your curiosity in a big way!
Second, zip your lips.
Have you ever noticed that when you’re really fired up about a topic, you start talking faster? And when you’ve had a tough day, you can’t help but vent to someone. As important as it is to be fired up about things or to release those pent-up emotions, it’s also important to take a step back and listen. Some people barely speak at all, and some are born talkers. But we can all benefit from sitting in silence for a while and listening to the world around us. Silence isn’t something that’s asking to be filled. It’s meant for pause and reflection.
In addition to not breaking the silence, it’s also critical to focus your attention on listening to people. Although your perspective is just as important as someone else’s, it doesn’t always need to be shared. When you listen more to others, you’ll find that you have more follow-up questions. You know the saying, “watch and learn”? Consider squeezing some listening in there, too!
Third, take time to think.
Life moves fast, so it’s not surprising that we feel the need to jump into certain decisions. Especially in the heat of the moment, it’s hard not to make hasty decisions. Slow down and give yourself time to think. Weigh your options when making decisions. Using this thinking time will encourage you to ask yourself what kind of outcomes will result from specific actions. Play out those options in your head and try to consider the best and worst-case scenarios. This type of problem-solving analysis causes you to use your imagination and become more curious about the specifics of your choices.
Fourth, change the scene.
A final and fantastic way to boost your curiosity is changing your scenery. You don’t need to move to a new town or go on a trip to a different country. Just seek out fresh views. If you go to a library to do work and always pick the same spot to sit, pick a new one on the opposite side of the building. Does your evening walk always take place on the same trail? Consider finding another trail with more varied surroundings. And if you’re feeling up to it, go on a hike that offers an expansive view. Looking for views that are uncommon to you will open your eyes to a wonderful new understanding of the world.
Curiosity and imagination have led our civilization to discoveries that were only dreamed of 100 years ago. It’s in our nature to ask, “What do you think is just beyond that hill?” or, “Why are some public speakers more compelling than others?” Questions like what, where, when, why, and how are always fueled by human curiosity. That same curious spirit doesn’t just serve the improvement of us; it also serves to improve you!
If you’re looking for even more ways to inspire curiosity, work on “Finding an Interest in People.”