Why is it so powerful? You don’t need school to be curious. You don’t need good grades to be curious. For me, it is probably the most important characteristic of determining intelligence. It is one habit that can help you immensely in expanding your life and your circumstance.
Schools don’t necessarily teach us well about how to be curious. When we don’t have things right in front of us to learn. When we have to search a little bit. Stumble around until we understand what we are asking for. Not sure of what we are looking for but go from this web site to the next until our thoughts and ideas become clearer. It is not necessarily the most efficient type of learning but very powerful when it comes from within you.
Curious not in the sense of experimenting without keeping your values. It is more of a sense of maturity of trying to ask “why or how” to learn just a little bit more about what you are interested in. It’s having the maturity to know that you don’t quite understand what is being said or if it is really “true” and taking the time to better understand why someone would say what they did to me.
Curiosity fueled by doubt can be very revealing and helpful. But when doubt gains strength through rejection, curiosity runs away and hides from us. When certainty makes us feel strong, curiosity also runs away and hides from us.
In both cases, look what happens. Our relationships suffer. Our ideas never expand. Our world remains small. No learning takes place. There is no “give and take” in a conversation so we never learn anything new.
Impulsively rejecting another person’s perspective simply because of doubt or because we are stuck on being certain of “something else” as being the only thing that could be true diminishes our opportunity to touch life and engage it at a deeper level.
Yes, there are times we need to be certain and times that we rightfully should doubt and reject but we shouldn’t always do this. But not at the start. Remember, we know so little and could always benefit from learning more. Explore first, become certain later.
Other people have different experiences that could show us a different way of thinking if only we would be curious. The problem we face can be overcome with time, learning, and new approaches if we let our curiosity become the flame within our heart that helps bring us to a more effective strategy or helps reveal a new path for overcoming it.
For me, an intelligent person demonstrates the ability to grow, expand, and adapt throughout their journey in life. We are intelligent. Each one of us can better use this gift by developing the habit to be more curious. It makes the edges of our experience a little softer and provides us with multiple opportunities to visit new places and learn new things in our thoughts, minds, and lives that we just might both enjoy and benefit from.