Curiosity is one of the most important characteristics in determining intelligence. It is one habit that can help you immensely in expanding your life and your circumstance. It can help fuel both your resilience and persistence when faced with a challenge or obstacle.
What are some examples of someone being curious? When we don’t have things right in front of us to learn. When we have to search a bit, stumble around until we understand what we are asking for. Not sure of what we are looking for but go from this website to the next until our thoughts and ideas become clearer. Being curious is not necessarily the most efficient type of learning but very powerful when it comes from within you.
To be more curious you need the maturity to ask “why or how” to learn just a little bit more about what you are interested in. It’s having the intellectual humility to sense that you don’t quite understand what is being said. Either at a very basic level of definitions or how things connect into a greater whole.
Curiosity fueled by doubt can be very revealing and helpful. But when doubt, on our part, leads us to reject what we find, curiosity quickly runs away and hides. At the other extreme, when we are too certain, curiosity also disappears quickly.
In both cases, our exploring stops. We either give up or become stubborn and never consider a different point of view or possibility. Our relationships suffer, and our ideas never expand making our world remain 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 the only thing that could be true diminishes our opportunity to touch life and engage it on a much 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. Not for most things at the start. We need to remind ourselves regularly that we know less than we think we do and could always benefit from learning more. [Explore first, and become certain later.]
Why makes curiosity so powerful? Other people have different experiences that could show us a different way of thinking if only we were curious. Most problems we face can be overcome with time, more knowledge, and new approaches if we let our curiosity become the flame within our hearts that helps bring us to a more effective strategy or helps reveal a new path for overcoming what we are focused on.
For me, an intelligent person demonstrates the ability to grow, expand, and adapt throughout their journey in life. They are “flexible” in their thinking where new information or points of view makes them adjust what they first thought was either true or the best path forward.
All of us have intelligence. Either through formal education, life experiences, or both. We can better use this gift of intelligence by developing the habit of being more curious. Making our intelligence much more powerful by helping us discover new leverage points, opportunities, or paths to benefit from.