Curiosity is basic to human nature, and is present in varying degrees in all of us. However, there are few of us who are born naturally more curious than others, who like to explore and know everything inside out. This curious streak is regarded as healthy, but again, one must know how to use one’s curious side to gain more knowledge. There are certain habits one curiously finds in most curious people, and while one habit might stand out more than the others, there is no doubt that they together make the person what he/she is. Here’s a quick look at the what makes curious people tick:
The easiest way to build a curious bent of mind is to ask questions relentlessly. And by this we do not mean you must engage in senseless debate, rather the idea is to build a more constructive perspective on things. As kids, we aren’t afraid to ask questions and constantly seek satisfactory answers to them, and this is an attitude that most people lose as they grow up. What the curious on the other hand care about is to seek answers and dig deeper into the things that interest them, without bothering to sound socially acceptable about either. Make it a point to try and look beyond what meets the eye, go beyond the surface and at the same time discover new things through the process of asking questions. The what, why, when, who, where, and how are the best place to begin your journey into curiosity.
Don’t take things for granted
To be able to question everything, you must also be able to reject convention as the only window to understanding things. If we were to always take things for granted, the mind would lose all incentive to try new things and life would come to an intellectual standstill. However, if we were to value each and everything around us as something worth exploring and even questioning, we might even find an interesting new perspective or altogether new truth which was otherwise unknown. Yet again, we must return to the childish, yet simplistic view of our surroundings, where nothing is completely understood, and is always open to evaluation. Curious people take fewer things for granted and it keeps their curiosity not only alive, but also thriving.
Keep an open mind
Curious people aren’t in the habit of closing their minds to new experiences and even people. They never say no to trying out something unconventional and aren’t afraid to talk about subjects and issues considered taboo by society. Curiosity is all about knowing more, even if the means to attain that knowledge are limited. The best way to learn more is having an open mind, and resisting the urge to dismiss ideas because they seem senseless or stupid at first. The interplay of what we already know versus what we are yet to learn is integral to curiosity, hence it is essential to keep all entrenched beliefs as well as prejudices at bay.
Never presume anything to be boring
This is correlated to the point about keeping prejudices at bay. We often label things based on what we think or hear from people and this labeling hinders any further interaction or association with the particular idea or object. One of the most important rules of curiosity and a necessary habit to inculcate is to never presume that anything around you is boring. Make everything interesting by finding out more about it, or adding your own spin to it. One can never run out of options if one truly makes an effort to learn. Keep all doors open, and even if you feel you do not have the time to explore something fully, do not shut yourself to it. Revisit it when you do get the time.
Make learning fun
We’ve emphasized on the need to keep learning and have an open mind towards experiences, but it is also worth remembering that things are not always fun of their own accord. Sometimes we need to go the extra mile and combine curiosity with fun. For every new experience you try, or a new idea you learn about, try and make the entire activity fun. Involve your friends into it, play with the idea in your head and think of ways to make it materialize in the real world, or simply develop an alternative take on things. The crux of being curious is that curious people know how to add the fun element to almost everything around them, which makes it all the more worthy of exploration. Curious people also develop a lighter, fun side to themselves in the process.
Curious people read, and use knowledge as a weapon to explore and learn about the world around them. And while you can read everything that meets the eye, we are talking about something more specific: reading with no apparent purpose. It is only when you approach knowledge with perfect abandon, do you find things you might normally miss. Read books, read the newspapers, read good blogs on the internet, read alternative writing and essays, read humor. The important thing is to never stop reading and looking for more things to read about. If nothing, open Google and type in the first topic that comes to mind and read more about it. It’s the very first step towards being curious about your own thoughts, to read and provide constant fodder for thought.
Curiosity has much to do with the simple act of observing people and surroundings, without aiming at a value judgment. By being observant, we are automatically increase our knowledge about simple things that surround us. The relationship between observation and curiosity is a two-way street and The more curious we are, the more we observe and make an effort to explore, the more observant we are, the more curious we become over time because observation throws open an entirely new world that is waiting to be understood and explored.
Create what-if scenarios
Curious people play with their imagination and in the absence of identifiable stimuli, they use their own imagination to create what-if scenarios, and conjure up alternative ways to perceive things, as well as work out novel solutions to old problems. “What if?” is a key question that curious people often ask themselves and others, and while not every idea that come up with might be viable or practical, it opens up a new train of thought, which over time is capable of yielding interesting results. The idea is to keep having a constant dialogue with yourself and moving between practical reality and alternative patterns of thought.
Look beyond face-value
When evaluating the outside world, and forming an opinion about things, we often take situations and people at face-value instead of attempting to asking ourselves “Is there anything left unsaid?”. This attitude of trying to discover the other side of the coin is one commonly found in curious people. They are never quite satisfied with what they see at first sight, and are always looking to find a new spin, or new twist to it. This sort of an outlook does not come easily, and it is only too easy to transform into a skeptic who is constantly looking for a possible catch or ulterior motive to things. However, that is not the case with everyone. It depends entirely on individual personality and the approach you employ to explore more in life.