Tips for Cultivating Curiosity
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it’s a darn good thing for humans to have. Being curious keeps us engaged in life and keeps us happier and more fulfilled. It’s also a key component in lifelong learning. Natural curiosity is a trait that should be encouraged, and if you feel you have lost yours over the years, it can be rekindled! Here are some ways to cultivate your curiosity which will lead to a love of learning new things for the rest of your life.
- Ask question–the older we get, the more we think we should have all the answers. But thinking this way keeps us from learning new things and new ways of doing things. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t worry if you think they might be basic. Everyone has to start somewhere.
- Avoid judgment–have you ever noticed how when you are having a conversation with someone, you tend to tune out what they are saying once you have an opinion or judgment about something they have said? You are busy thinking about how you will rebut what they’ve said or how you will add to the conversation. We all do it. Start working on being fully present when in conversation. Just listening to what the person has to say will bring up natural opportunities to ask questions and learn from them.
- Don’t focus on the past–Sometimes we have the desire to do something, but if we have had a negative experience with something similar, we avoid learning about it for fear of failure or looking silly. Notice when your past experiences come up and make you want to resist the urge to try something new, assuming that it will have the same outcome as the last time.
- Move outside your comfort zone–It often feels safer to just learn more about something you are already really good at. But it’s hard to stay curious that way. Try learning about something new, something you know nothing about. It doesn’t matter what it is. Psychological studies prove that the more we know about a topic, the more we want to know. So do some initial research on a subject you’ve always wondered about. A quick Google search is likely to start a whole new interest. This is how lifelong learning is born.
- Make learning a game–Games motivate people. They are fun and naturally cultivate curiosity, motivation and determination. When playing a game, we will try over and over to master something, without fear of failure. Making learning something new a game can be an easy way to learn without feeling like you are learning.
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