Curiosity is at the base of all intelligence — without the desire to learn things, there is no advancement, innovation, or growth. It drives creativity and innovation, fills us with wonder, and is a source of intrinsic motivation. The desire to know pushes us beyond fear and towards our goals.
So when we are faced with the chance to learn something new, how can we be sure to get the full benefit from that opportunity? To get the most out of our learning opportunities and grow, it’s imperative we enter with curiosity. Here’s how you can increase your curiosity for a better self.
Enter with a childlike mind
Children are absolutely brilliant. They question everything they come across, curious as to what makes things work and why they work that way. Each mind is full of wonder and a desire to know things.
Yet as adults, we’ve lost that sense of amazement at the little things. Often, society has trained us to be quiet based in fear — the fear of looking stupid if we don’t know something. We are afraid of being a beginner, a novice, an inexperienced individual.
But not knowing, and asking about it, is a sign of curiosity. We should be rewarding this behavior, much like we do a child when we give them the information they desire, or point them in a direction they can find the answers they need.
So the next chance you have where you don’t know something, be curious and enter with a clear, childlike mind. Accept being a beginner. Fight through your fear and instead see it as wonder, as a chance to experience something for the first time. Be curious about what new things you can learn.
Much like children, we should learn to ask questions when we don’t know answers. See it instead as a sense of wonder, and use it to learn more. Get to the bottom of things you don’t know, go searching for answers, and add them to your toolbox. Be fearless in your pursuit for answers, in everything you don’t know yet.
Get out of your comfort zone
Stretch the limits of your understanding by broadening your horizons. Read anything and everything you can get your hands on, even things beyond your interests. Study financial books even though your passion lies in art. Visit museums and watch foreign films and connect them to your love of cooking.
Try anything and everything you can, learn the basics of topics, and put yourself in situations where you are a beginner. Our growth lies at the edge and beyond our comfort zone.
Dabble with different interests
There is no law that says you can only have one passion or interest. To increase your curiosity, you should be trying new things and studying new subjects, one or more of which will probably spark your interest. When you find topics like this, don’t be afraid to dig further. The more you can gather, the more well-rounded you become and the better you can apply those concepts elsewhere.
Experience the world
Go beyond Google. Search for the unknowns out in the world. Travel to new places, even if that just means you can go down the street. Start with the library and physical books. Study new cultures, ask questions about their practices, find a new language to learn, develop your understanding of history, or find a new genre to immerse yourself.
There is so much available, even beyond our screens and fingertips, so go out and enjoy them all with some fresh air.
Connect with people
Meet new individuals. Find experts in topics and pick their brains. Give them value by asking questions they might not have considered. Challenge your social circle to grow with you as well.
Though in-person interaction is always wonderful, sometimes we need to reach out by other means. Find people online and develop communication. Break down barriers of the internet and find new people to connect with. Go beyond borders and learn new things from people. Understand their minds, how they think, and how they process information.
Bonus: Turn it inward
Sure, being curious about the world is great, but what if you could also turn it inward?
Question yourself — what makes you think, what inspires you, what interests you, and why those things mean something to you. Look at what makes you curious and then look at yourself. If you want to be a better self, you have to know how you work too. Increase your curiosity about yourself as well.