Toddlers have an insatiable curiosity. They’re constantly climbing up, poking around, and getting into things as they explore the world around them. Their daily experience is one of continual discoveries, making life an adventure.
As we get older, we gradually attach ourselves to certain ways of being and moving through the world. Eventually, we settle into a routine, and curiosity often takes a back seat along the way. With this loss of curiosity, we cut ourselves off from countless experiences, adventures, and discoveries that would contribute to a richer, fuller life.
Have you lost your sense of curiosity? Here are five ways to approach life with a more curious mindset.
1. Ask questions.
Asking questions is central to curiosity, and it comes with a double benefit. Not only does questioning make your life more interesting; it makes you a more interesting person as well.
Start asking questions, and your life will change as you begin to access another level to everything going on around you.
2. Become a better listener.
How many times do you find yourself tuning out when you’re listening to someone? Maybe you’re preoccupied with something you need to do. Or perhaps you’re racing ahead, thinking about how you’ll respond before the other person has finished speaking.
One way you can adopt a curious mindset is by striving to become a better listener. Doing so is incredibly rewarding in multiple ways. When you make an effort to listen carefully, you wind up hearing much more than you otherwise would. When you have an attitude of curiosity and genuine interest, you'll often find additional significance in the message being spoken.
Here are some tips for becoming a better listener:
3. Be open to examining new ideas.
It's a very big world, filled with all kinds of people from a wide range of backgrounds and different walks of life. It's inevitable that from time to time, you’ll encounter ideas that differ from what you're used to.
Rather than assuming anything you're unfamiliar with must be wrong or irrelevant, consider:
Curiosity doesn’t mean you need to shed your own views and embrace every new idea you encounter. A curious mindset simply means you’re open to examining ideas, rather than dismissing them out of hand.
4. Instead of fighting to prove you’re right, question whether you’re right.
Attempting to prove you’re right might build your ego, but it squashes curiosity, leaving no room for growth or evolution. You get locked into your position as you fight to defend it, making it difficult to see any other perspective.
Instead of fighting to prove you’re right, take a step back and be willing to question whether you’re right. This forces you to come at things from a different angle, with openness and curiosity, as you consider things more deeply and critically.
5. Commit to learning on an ongoing basis.
Curiosity and learning go hand in hand, feeding off each other. A curious mindset seeks out opportunities to learn, whether it’s from reading a book, listening to a podcast, starting a new hobby, signing up for a course, or taking in some other new experience.
The knowledge and experience you gain sets the stage for subsequent learning, since you’re able to make new connections you wouldn’t have been inclined to make before.
Conclusion: curiosity isn’t just for toddlers and children. As an adult, curiosity enables you to engage with life more deeply. And with deeper engagement, you can count on making discoveries that stimulate your mind, energize your soul, and enrich your life.
Tips for achieving optimal wellness, inside and out.