Curiosity Will Make You Open This. What Else Will It Do For You?
May 3, 2018
Curiosity. It’s probably the reason you’re reading this.
If I tell you there’s a mind-blowing, life-revelation at the end of this blog, you’ll probably want to scroll down and read it (I bet some people didn’t even make it to the end of that sentence without scrolling to check – you curious cats)*.
The second part of my blog is named after my passion for asking questions and discovering new things. Like the Compassion intro series, I wanted to start by penning a couple of blogs exploring what curiosity is and how it can benefit us.
What does curiosity mean to you?
Think about this for 30 seconds. What comes to mind? Maybe it’s the hours or even nights you’ve lost on Youtube? Maybe it’s a place you’ve visited or a food you’ve tried? I’d love to hear from you.
Well, The Cambridge Dictionary defines curiosity as:
an eager wish to know or learn about something
Why does it matter?
A million reasons. Essentially, when I’m curious about something, it keeps the fire in my belly burning. This helps every aspect of my life. It helps my mental health, gives me a sense of achievement, makes me a more interesting person and a better friend, daughter, brother, parent etc… I’ve written more about that here.
Two Types of Curiosity: Inward and Outward
In my mind, there are two kinds of curiosity and we need them both!
Outward: Curiosity about the world around you; people, environment, skills.
This is probably the type of curiosity that came to mind when you initially thought of the word just now. If you’ve ever wanted to know the life story of that fitty (as my mum would say) that just passed you in the street, learnt to make a foreign dish or lost an entire weekend to documentaries, this is outward curiosity. It’s the desire to understand things outside of yourself.
I’ll call this ‘Curiosity Living’. It can include anything that takes your fancy but here are some broad categories:
I’ll probably be writing a little about each of these as I really want compassionandcuriosity.com to be a look at this messy thing called life and how we can inject a little bit of those two crucial values into every aspect of it.
Inward: Curiosity about yourself and the way you do things
I’ll call this ‘Curious Thinking’. Ever found yourself taking a Buzzfeed quiz to find out what kind of sandwich you are? There’s no judgement here, we’ve all spent a shameful amount of time on pointless exercises like this. What you may not fully appreciate is just how powerful this curiosity thinking can be when directed towards slightly more helpful sources.
Being curious about our own thoughts and behaviours is actually a crucial part of mindfulness. It can help to:
recognise what fills us up and brings us down
better connect with others
manage anxiety and mental health
better align our actions with our values
Live a furiously curious life.
Overall, the more curious we are, the more we deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. A lot of what scares us does so because we don’t understand it. If we open up and embrace curiosity, fear won’t disappear but it won’t paralyse us or prevent us doing things that really matter. I’ll be brutally honest about my own curiosities and I hope you’ll share yours with me too!
*There isn’t by the way. The life-changing magic is interwoven throughout this series so you’ll have to grit your teeth and read it all! Mwuahahaha.