Curiosity is a key ingredient of learning and staying young. Not only does it lead to increased knowledge, but it also helps us stay relevant and in sync with our constantly changing environment. Research shows that curiosity is the fuel that supports other desirable traits such as creativity, positivity, and adaptability. When you choose to be more curious, you not only increase your energy and enthusiasm for life, but your memory improves (something I think we all need!).
We are all curious as children. As we grow older and begin to develop fixed goals and concrete interests, we lose our sense of curiosity — to the point that only a bare minimum remains within the average adult. Being curious opens you up to new ideas and novel solutions. It also fosters perseverance.
Practice being extremely open-minded toward anything new. Bias decreases curiosity, so when you are faced with anything — whether a question, a task or a challenging situation — stay open and curious about how to proceed. The minute you think you know the answer or that there is only one way to handle it you shut down your ability to discover a new way and potentially better way to move forward.
Listen without judgment. It’s easy to make assumptions as we listen to others, and to form opinions without first seeking to understand the other’s perspective. Next time you are talking to someone, practice listening without judging them or being invested in the outcome. Ask questions to get more clarity and understanding.
Alice Inoue is the founder of Happiness U. Visit YourHappinessU.com.