Do you find yourself saying “I don’t know” a lot? Do you feel like you are often confused? When you don’t know the answer turn to the feeling of curiosity! Curiosity is the opposite of confusion. It opens up your mind to new possibilities. What would be possibly in your marriage if you were more curious?
Today we are going to talk about curiosity.
Curiosity is an emotion – it means a strong desire to know or learn something.
Curiosity makes the world what it is today. If there weren’t curious people out there would be no clothes, no cars, no medicine, no internet and no recipes! In fact, you might live in a cave!
Take a moment to look around you. Almost everything you see was created by someone’s curiosity!
- Henry Ford wondered what it would be like to be able to travel longer distances faster, so he invented the motor vehicle (car).
- Thomas Edison wondered what it would be like to be able to see well in the dark without the use of candles, so he invented the light bulb.
- Alexander Graham Bell wondered what it would be like to be able to talk to someone living far away, rather than waiting on the mail. He invented the telephone.
“Only the curious have something to find.” – Anonymous
The truth is, very little happens in the world around us without curiosity. We learn, grow and improve from curiosity.
The great thing is that not only are all of us are born curious, but we are curious everyday. Here are some examples:
- When you ask a question about something to learn more you are being curious.
- When you wonder why something is the way it is, that is being curious.
- When you try something new, you are being curious
Young children are naturally curious. They are born eager to learn. They want to explore their environment. But over time, many of us seem to lose that desire.
I’m really not that curious naturally anymore. It’s something I have definitely grown out of since I was a child. Curiosity doesn’t come easy to me now, so I have to practice cultivating this emotion a lot. And the more I practice it, the more natural it is becoming for me.
Curiosity vs. Confusion
The opposite of curiosity is confusion. We choose to stay in a state of “I don’t know” instead of being curious about what the answer could be.
Confusion is what I call an indulgent emotion. An indulgent emotion is an emotion that is comfortable to you. It’s something that you allow so you don’t have to feel something else that might be uncomfortable. But confusion doesn’t actually get you anywhere. It doesn’t move you towards a result.
Curiosity on the other hand moves you towards finding out. It moves you towards getting a result.
When you are confused you are unable to think clearly or understand. When you are curious you get your brain working to solve something.
Let me give you an example –
A lot of times I choose to be curious about someone’s behavior instead of confused. I really like using this for my husband and my kids.
So when they do something that maybe I don’t like, instead of saying confusing thoughts like – “I don’t understand why he does that. Why he says that. Why he thinks that is ok.”
I choose to be curious – “I wonder why he does that? I wonder why he would say something like that? I wonder why he thinks that is ok?” “Maybe it’s because of this?” “Or maybe it could be this?”
I find that if I can be curious about his behavior instead of confused or upset, I will probably end up actually discovering why he is the way he is. I get a better result.
Curiosity puts you in a place to be open to understanding. Instead of trying to shut everything down and trying to guess and being opinionated and judgmental being curious and fascinated by everything that others do.
And for me, curiosity feels so much better than confusion. It feels better than judgement. It feels better than criticism.
I also like to do this a lot with strangers. Rather than assume the worst, I get curious about why they could be behaving the way they are and then I like to make up stories about what the answer could be. Like the guy who cuts me off in traffic. Instead of getting mad, I make up a story like “maybe his father just called from the hospital and his mom fell and he’s racing to the hospital to be with them” or something like that. This just brings me to a place of compassion and understanding rather than confusion, anger, or frustration…and curiosity gets me there.
Now, I know a lot of you will say “But you’re just making stuff up! It’s not true” But honestly…it’s a delusion either way.
When we assume things about why people are behaving the way they are, that’s a story we are telling ourself. A delusion.
When we get curious about why they are behaving that way, we start asking questions. Compassion comes in there a lot of times. Maybe we even ask them why so we can get an actual answer. But we still interpret what they tell us in a way that serves us. A delusion.
So it’s delusion either way…. which one makes you feel better?
I’ve talked about this a lot on the podcast lately, but when we are confused and say “I don’t know” we are blocking our brain’s wisdom. When we get curious, we are accessing our own wisdom. We are looking to our brain to give us the answers. To solve the problem. Which is fantastic because that is what our brain does best. It really has all the answers we need. We don’t need to look outside of ourself when we have a question.
Sometimes the answer can be to solve something ourselves. Sometimes it is looking for an answer on google or youtube. Sometimes it asking more questions so it can have more information to solve the problem. But by being curious we can totally access all of our brain’s wisdom.
If you think about all of the amazing things that have happened in our world, all of it is because someone got curious.
I wonder how this works?
I wonder what will happen if I do this?
“Just remain curious about everything and every moment can become the opportunity of learning, experimenting and experiencing different facets of life. You grow with different experiences of life, and different experience happens if you experiment with your life. No experiment is possible without knowledge, learning or diving into the unknown.
If your attitude and intention towards life, is to make the things better, it will become easier for you to rise above the conventional methods and be more creative and innovate with your day-to-day life.- Roshan Sharma
What can you do in your life by being more curious? What can you do in your relationships by being more curious?
Around here we don’t look backwards for very long… We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things because we’re curious… And curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. – Walt Disney
“The future belongs to the curious.The ones who are not afraid to try it, explore it, poke at it, question it, and turn it inside out.” – Anonymous
I want you to sincerely ask yourself, what you can do to make your relationship better. Get curious about it. What could your future and your relationship look like if you weren’t afraid to try new things? What new path could you go down? Your brain will probably quickly offer an “I don’t know” but then I want you to push yourself to get curious. Get creative. Open your mind up to all the possibilities. My Focus Friday challenge this week is to write a list of 25 things that you could do that might make your relationship better. They can be totally wacky and out there, but if it’s a possibility, write it down.
I encourage you to get curious any time the immediate answer from your brain is “I don’t know.” Pose the question again “But if I did know, what would that look like?” and put it to work again.
Curiosity could be the very thing you need to improve yourself and improve your relationship.