Still Writing: #A-Z Challenge
“When I think of the wisest people I know, they share one defining trait: curiosity. They turn away from the minutiae of their lives–and focus on the world around them. They are motivated by the desire to explore the unfamiliar. They are drawn toward what they don’t understand.”
Still Writing: The Pleasures and Perils of a Creative Life by Dani Shapiro
Why did hard-rock band Van Halen write a bowl of M&M candies into every performance contract? What does your name have to do with where your live or your chosen career? What’s a zombie app?
If you find these questions intriguing, congratulations. Curiosity is alive and well in you, and ready to shower you with magnificent benefits to your mind, body and spirit.
How Curiosity Benefits You
I’ve added another book to my lengthy ‘to-read’ list. It’s called Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life by Todd Kashdan.
Since I haven’t read it yet, however, I’ll need to rely on an excellent post by Kashdan so I can summarize just a few of the many benefits of being curious, a.k.a. having an intense desire to know.
More than 1000 adults, aged 60-86, were tracked for five years. Those who were rated as being more curious at the beginning of the study were more likely to be alive five years later, even after researchers accounted for age, smoking, and pre-existing health concerns.
A 2005 study in Health Psychology found a correlation between curiosity and a decreased likelihood of developing hypertension or diabetes. (Remember that correlation doesn’t constitute proof, just a potential for further study.)
I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.Albert Einstein
Our brains release the feel-good chemical, dopamine, when we encounter something new.
High levels of curiosity in adults are related to greater problem-solving skills and overall intelligence.
Positive psychology pioneer Martin Seligman scientifically tested 24 human strengths. Curiosity was one of five most associated with happiness and overall fulfillment.
Relationships improve when we demonstrate curiosity and openness to one another.
5 Ways to Boost Your Curiosity Quotient
- The more you know, the more you notice. If you know a lot about dog training, for example, you will be more curious than other people about new training methods. So build your knowledge in areas of interest.
Curiosity is what separates us from the cabbages. It’s accelerative. The more we know, the more we want to know.David McCullough
- Play and playfulness builds curiosity. It doesn’t even have to be deep play. Simply relaxing and having a lighthearted approach to activities makes a positive difference.
- Pay attention. Look for what’s unfamiliar in your day-to-day familiar experiences.
- Ask questions. Have new experiences. In other words, put yourself out there.
- Check out all of the Wow Notes on this site. (Okay, this one is a little self-serving. You can also read books, watch YouTube videos or explore other people’s websites.)
What kinds of things are you curious about?