Your brain is a “Curiosity Machine.”
You are hard-wired to be curious. One of the most frequently asked questions by kids is, “Why?” I remember “losing” Austin at Disneyland for about 3 -4 minutes when he was 5 or 6 simply because he “wandered off,” curiously investigating something new. Now I am the one “wandering off” investigating something new in as many ways as I can.
You hunger and crave the satisfaction that you receive from wondering about and discovering new places and new people. In fact, there may be no more important question in life than, “I wonder?”
Curiosity and Change
As a result, (apart from pain), I doubt anything will make more significant change in your life than satisfying your curiosity.
Walt Disney once said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
It all begins by taking a moment to listen to that child-like voice in the back of your head that asks, “I wonder” or even better, “What if?” I’d guess that just about every great scientific discovery in history began with one of those questions. You have the same kinds of questions, but most likely find yourself so busy with the day-to-day that you have trained yourself not to listen to that voice.
So, being curious also requires being intentional, making a conscious choice to ask yourself questions and then pay attention to those questions.
A Curious Quest
As is obvious from my blogs, I am obsessed with “the meaning of life.” So what do I do to fill that overwhelming curiosity about life? I travel; I try new and crazy things; I read.
For example, today I find myself on a fabulously curious journey to learn more about life’s meaning. I am once again reading on the subject. This time, however, I’m trying a “scientific” approach. I am reading about the meaning of life from three totally different perspectives: anthropology, psychiatry, and physics. I am reading…
- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari (Historian/Anthropologist)
- Love’s Executioner: by Irvin D. Yalom (Psychiatrist)
- The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself by Sean Carroll (Physicist)
One subject, three windows. Will these readings give me a final conclusion about the meaning of life? No way. They will lead to only more curious questions. How fun!
Later this fall I have trips planned to Italy and India. In Italy I will simply immerse myself in Italian culture. In India I will be working side-by-side with the leadership team of an organization devoted to serving women and kids caught up in the throes of sex trafficking. Learning and serving. Yes, I am fortunate. But also… I am committed to following my crazy dreams—all of which began with… “I wonder?”
Yes, curiosity continues to change my life and I hope it will do so until I breathe my final breath.
I have two questions:
- What are you curious to know or see or experience?
- How do you plan to satisfy that curiosity?
Listen to your curious desire to learn,
Then go out and have a blast.
Photo courtesy of wundervisuals at istockphoto