We are all born with a curious nature, the world is new and wondrous. As we grow we start to see rich veins of knowledge and experiences stretching off in all directions. We learn, we explore, and we taste everything.
And then just as we are leaving adolescence and embarking on the journey into adulthood, it just sort of stops. In an everyday sense, we are all still curious, we consume stories, we consume news, we consume documentaries. But active pursuits of knowledge and that intellectual thirst for exploring new ideas tends to wain.
Look up and see the world around you
We are surrounded by media, content is everywhere. The latest series of Stranger Things isn’t going to watch itself now is it? We have ample opportunity to feed our inner curiosity-driven child with Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, celebrity listicles, games, TV series, movies, newspapers and magazines. These are all to a greater or lesser extent passive activities, they are the high-fat comfort foods of popular culture. They are safe with no potential for failure.
There is a desire to stay on our lane, specialise. It’s what we’re good at, it’s what we understand, it’s often what we get paid to do. New stuff is a bit scary and we couldn’t possibly try and create in these worlds. “What if I fail?”
Living curious is not about a go-getting, let's change the world lifestyle choice. It’s about having the freedom to pick up a subject, an activity, a project, a musical instrument and explore it, play with it, be bad at it, put it down and then maybe even try it again. None of this is a failure. We should give ourselves room to breath and not be good at things. Everyone is bad at things when they start. And that’s ok!
There is still a great stigma in trying lots of new things, toying with them, then moving on to something else. But the magpie nature of exploring new ideas is its strength. Innovation is not the goal, but it may be a helpful byproduct as the fuel for innovation is bringing together ideas from different domains. But a goal-oriented curiosity misses the point. Living Curious is a goal within itself. Don’t strive, just do.