When we’re children, we’re told not to ask too many questions. We’re told not to eavesdrop, not to snoop, sometimes even not to wonder why. Some of these things have their place in the adult world (get caught going through drawers at a dinner party and see how well that goes over), but that innate curiosity we’re born with can get lost amidst the pleasing and obeying.
Curiosity is dangerously underrated. As adults we certainly know how to think through a situation – turn it over, look at it this way and that, play out all the scenarios, have the imaginary conversations in our heads. And what emotion do we bring to the table when we carry out this relentless planning? Stress? Anxiety? Dread? Unease? Worry?
What about curiosity?
What if we looked at difficult situations with interest, with a little bit of distance, and with… curiosity?
What do we feel when we’re curious? Excitement, anticipation, wonder…. we become inquisitive and look to creativity to help us figure things out. Contrast that with dread, worry, anxiety…
At it’s core, this is all just mindset. Which, did you know, you’re in control of? You control your mindset. You control your attitude. Now, your level of control over these factors can vary depending on things from your past, but that’s another topic entirely. Not saying that’s an excuse not to try, just… never underestimate the power of a good therapist.
So friends, what I’m trying to say here is that my life looks a whole lot less bleak and a lot more exciting when I enable my curiosity and disable the anxiety. It’s not always as easy as that, but it’s getting easier. Through curiosity I am able to come up with creative solutions, find more hours in the day, and have more fun. Life doesn’t always have to be so serious, even when it is. And I’m saying this to myself more than anyone.
Next time you’re faced with a problem, tilt you head to the side, let your eyes brighten, and allow your mind to wonder instead of sweating, biting your nails, and pacing. Hell, trying enabling curiosity while you’re sweating, biting your nails, and pacing. That’s where it starts.
Curiosity. Your new super power? I think so.