FYI | Day 16 – Curiosity

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For Your Inspiration! (FYI!) Month 2011 – This article was part of an exciting and challenging month dedicated to discovering passions, setting goals, learning success strategies, and sharing thoughts to ponder throughout the day!  If you’d like to find out what this month was all about, check out FYI Month 2011 for more information!

FYI: For-Your-Inspiration Month!

“I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Why?

If you’ve spent more than five minutes with a three-year-old, your ears are probably still ringing with the powerful and three-letter word, WHY. It’s the easiest question a person can ask, but can also be the hardest to answer… it also happens to be a child favorite. For children, questions come easily, perhaps because everything is so new to them, nevertheless, curiosity is found in abundance. I agree with John Locke, a seventeenth-century British philosopher, when he said “Curiosity in children is but an appetite for knowledge”. When do we lose this?

Stifled Curiosity

Why is it that as we age, most of us become less inquisitive? It seems that as our shoe size increases, our curiosity decreases. I’m pretty sure there isn’t a direct relationship between shoe size and curiosity, but I wouldn’t put it past a three-year-old to ask if it was true.

Over the years and after millions of ‘why’ questions, we slowly learn that asking questions doesn’t get us the results or answers we want. We are shut down by answers such as ‘Because I said so’ or ‘It just IS okay!’. We learn to give up voicing our curiosity and not divulge our ignorance by asking questions. By stifling our natural curiosity, we really miss out on a lot.

Curiosity Engaged

Curiosity is a state of mind and an attitude that can be developed (or recaptured). So what if you lost your curious-side when you found out Santa wasn’t real (oops), it’s time to reclaim it. An open mind that is receptive to the powerful mindset of curiosity can spawn some very great ideas (and perhaps lucrative ideas)! Curiosity is not limited to the youngsters, but it is they who have really captured the essence of it and we can learn the most from.

Suggestions for discovering the three-year-old in you:

  • Get excited and curious from everyday things. Why are trees green? Who decided the color red should mean stop? Who invented the paper clip? Why can’t we swallow gum? Why does Superman want to leap buildings in a single bound when he can fly? Or why do we call fried potatoes strips French Fries when they originated in Belgium? If you have the answers to these, ask more!
  • Discover! If you watch TV, check out learning shows that you are interested in. Have you checked out The Discovery Channel, History Channel, Animals Planet, etc?!
  • Make a card or full-sized sheet of paper with a big ‘Why?’ on it, and put it somewhere to see. (If other’s see it, they’ll probably ask WHY the heck you have ‘Why?’ on your wall. Beautiful irony.)
  • Or simply talk to a three-year-old… I’m sure you’ll both learning something valuable.

Your Task

Get curious. Find simple curiosities in your daily life and find out the answer, then share it with others.

Bored at work? How can you spice it up by getting curious in your workplace? What does the person next to you work on all day? Find out!

They say you learn something new every day, but I’m asking you to be mindful and recognize the things you learn every day and do it again tomorrow.

“Judge a person by their questions, rather than their answers.” – Voltaire

“It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.” – Albert Einstein

“Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly.” – Arnold Edinborough

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Greg has written 69 articles on Student of Me.

Greg is the creator and primary writer for Student of Me. He probably spends way too much time on the computer writing, researching, programming, and working on his photography. He loves escaping from screen-time to travel, ride his motorcycle, experience the outdoors and spend time with loved ones. You can contact him at greg (at) studentofme.com!

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