Curiosity is a Very Loyal Friend
Over the weekend I had the opportunity of chatting with a few of my friends about life and what we’ve all been up to for the past 4 months. What was most interesting about our conversation is that each one of them said I was a risk-taker after I would tell them about my travel adventures.
This took me back to a quote I wrote in my journal 5 months back, which I think reflects the core of who I am.
I totally agree with my friends, but I’m more curious than a risk-taker.
Curiosity for risk-takers is an innate instinct, I think, because curious people have a hard time accepting things as they are without thinking about a way they can be improved. I’ve learned that curiosity is about taking notice and being drawn to interesting things. As children, we are consumed by this. 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 the beauty around us.
Neuroscientists strongly associate curiosity with attention, motivation, memory, and learning. Based on experiences, uncertainties, and stimuli, curiosity is something that should practice throughout one’s lifetime. When we are open to foreign experiences like I am to travel, curiosity creates a sense of wonder and imagination and has been linked with cultivating happiness. In his book Stumbling on Happiness, Daniel Gilbert, a Harvard psychology professor, makes the argument that many people believe they know what will make them happy in the future, but the reality is that we find more happiness in an unplanned occurrence than in a planned notion. By nurturing curiosity and remaining open to new experiences, risk-takers increase their probability of doing something innovative and naturally finding meaning and relevance in their lives. And that’s why I say I’m more curious than a risk-taker.
Those that know me very well will tell you that I’ve always been very curious, and this attribute has for the past years filled my life with priceless experiences and beautiful emotions. I feel more alive and engaged, more capable of embracing opportunities, making connections decisions, and experiencing moments of insight and meaning — all of which has provided the foundation for a rich and satisfying life experience.
But why is curiosity so important?
Curiosity fosters a sense of purpose in our lives. When we show interest in the things around us, we inevitably get hooked on an idea, concept or thing. Thus curiosity has incited my passion for life and had helped me develop an excitement to get out of bed in the morning as I look forward to pursue my dreams. And also many studies link having a sense of purpose with longevity, which is definitely not a bad thing.
If you’re curious, you’re more likely to be open to new ideas, ways of thinking and experiences. Curiosity makes us want to get out of our comfort zone and find out what happens when we say “yes”. It can be scary, I know, but the payoff is often well worth it. It’s curiosity that more than anything else builds an adventurous spirit and gives us the courage to break the trend.
I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of the saying that says happiness is not planned, it is stumbled upon. And it really is true. So it only makes sense that having a healthy sense of curiosity will heighten your chances of finding happiness. If happiness, is found in the unlikeliest of places, you won’t find it following your day to day routine.
I think curiosity is our friend that teaches us how to become ourselves. And it's a very gentle friend, and a very forgiving friend, and a very constant one.