Why Curiosity Didn’t Kill The Cat: 7 Reasons Why Remaining Curious Can Move You From a Fixed Mindset to a Growth Mindset

As I was walking back to my office this past week, and I entered into the breezeway just around the corner from my office, I looked up just as I came under the overhanging second floor. Why?

To see if the second floor was aligned with the top of the building. Wait, what? Yes, I did. Why, you ask?

Photo by Juan Encalada on Unsplash

Curiosity.

I’ve been more present to my own curiosity, and sense of wonder, this past week.

Do you remember being a child, when everything, and I mean, everything was curious to you. Yep, me too.

Though early childhood memories are often fuzzy, I can remember that feeling of inner-joy as I explored every inch of my environment. Every inch.

I think retaining that childlike wonder and active curiosity about our lives and the world is important to our own development.

Alright, well, let’s see what others think of curiosity, shall we.

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” Albert Einstein

Awaken the Greatness Within

“Life must be lived and curiosity kept alive.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Awaken the Greatness Within

“Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.” Mae Jemison

Awaken the Greatness Within

There are so many good quotes about staying curious. Why? Well, let’s take a look at why; yet, as always, I’d like to first define curiosity. Here we go.

curiosity

noun  /ˌkjʊəriˈɒsəti/ /ˌkjʊriˈɑːsəti/(plural curiosities)Idioms

[uncountable, singular] curiosity (about something) | curiosity (to do something) a strong desire to know about something

Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries

There. When we remain curious, we are actively acknowledging there is much more in the world to know about than is known. Yes, by us, and by everyone else for that matter.

I’ve written many times about the known and unknown, and, essentially, that it is the space between the two where people choose to grow or not.

We can choose to go back towards what is comfortable, known, and remain as we are today; or, we can choose to go towards what may be uncomfortable, unknown, and grow.

Those that are naturally curious, are intrigued by the smallest things in life. Things that other people might pass right by without even noticing.

In fact, I think people that are curious have a keen awareness of themselves, which means they also have a keen awareness of the world around them.

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Alright, then, here are

7 Reasons Why Remaining Curious Can Move You From a Fixed Mindset to a Growth Mindset

1. Recognition of the unknown

When we know that there is much more to learn about the world, and everyone in it, than we actually know, we are instantly curious.

Being curious is about being real with ourselves about all that we know, and all that we don’t.

Just writing that last paragraph makes me smile. Smile because I know everytime I leave my house, there is an opportunity to learn something from someone. Always curious. Fun.

2. Replacing what is known with new knowns

And, as we learn more about the world from other people, we get to replace some of our knowns with new knowns. How?

Well, humans often get stuck inside of limited thinking. Thinking that because they are an expert in a certain field, that their learning is complete. No so.

Photo by Rita Morais on Unsplash

Every topic and subject is incomplete from a perspective of all there is to learn. Really. Every topic and subject.

When you are in a conversation with someone that proposes that their perspective is the final perspective on a topic, you can smile internally knowing that is not so, and remain curious about the topic.

I guarantee you there is more to learn and to know.

3. Remaining hopeful about the future

When we are curious, we are naturally hopeful about the future. We have to be. Why? Because being curious means believing in a future where growth and new possibilities flourish.

More, it means actively creating that future every day. One idea, goal, or dream and corresponding action at a time. Beautiful.

4. Recreating ourselves each day

Curiosity, like all things, starts within. When we do our internal work, inquiring into why we think and feel the way we do, we are actively interested in recreating ourselves often. Every day, in fact. Really.

In each moment lives the possibility of something new, a new possibility for that moment, and then, yes, the corresponding context, and the greater world. It starts with us, and goes out from there.

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5. Regenerating our sense of self in each moment

And, as we recreate ourselves, we also create a new sense of self. We let go of the person we were, and welcome the developmental iterations that will come as a byproduct of our own curiosity and interest in ourselves.

And, guess what?

When we treat ourselves with this kind of respect, that respect, along with the curiosity and interest, go out to others. It will infect them with a renewed sense of who they are as a human being.

Wonderful to watch and be a part of.

6. Reinventing the contexts we engage with

As we recreate ourselves each day, we also reinvent the contexts that we’re engaged with. Why?

Because, as we recreate ourselves, we are leading a transformational process that will affect everyone around us. It has to.

And, as we reinvent our contexts, we get to invite other people to participate in our curiosity. Our curiosity, yes, about ourselves, first, and then our curiosity with other people, the work they do, the possibilities we see as a product of the work we are doing in ourselves. Much fun.

7. Remembering our truth

When we remember our truth about the human being we are, and the future human being we are actively creating each day, we stay curious. Curiosity is a transformational practice.

When we remain curious, we get stuck less often. We feel more connected to ourselves and to everyone else around us.

We are, in effect, living our lives as a child would, full of wonder and hope. Knowing that dreams do come true, because we actively see them come true all the time.

When we live our truth, we see the world through a whole new lens; and, part of that lens is a lens of the curious being that we are all meant to be.

Photo by Jorge Flores on Unsplash

When we are actively curious, question all things, we are living in a growth mindset, which really just means that we are open to learning about all things from all people.

We are open, flexible, and eager to learn.

A growth mindset is about learning as much as we can, and then using that knowledge to create the life we want to live. Each and every day.

Curiously pondering everything around us, wondering, dreaming, and then taking all that we learn and applying it to our lives.

Stay curious and apply all that you learn well.

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A Quick Insight About Curiosity

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This week I wrote the post, 3 Reasons Why Writers Should Know About the Distinction Between Theory and Practice, which was fun.

The post got me thinking more about curiosity, and how important being actively curious is to life in general, and then even more so, some would say, to innovation and leadership.

You may be asking, how did you get there from the post about writing and the distinction between theory and practice? Good question.

Because when you are actively curious, you are always looking. Looking for things to wonder about, to ask questions about, to, really, know more about.

Right now, I am working on a new post about curiosity, which starts with something like,

do you remember being a child and looking around and seeing everything, really, everything, in your context as a wonder?

Children have that sense of wonder about the world. Why? Well, in part, because they’ve not been socialized into thinking and/or acting in a particular way.

At that stage of development, everything is possible. All of it. And, you know what? It’s possible to live that way as an adult, every day. Really, it is. How do you ask? Well, we will discuss that more in the forthcoming post.

For now, I’d like to send you a few quotes about curiosity, as we head into this lovely weekend.

Photo by Josh Gordon on Unsplash

Here we go.

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” Dorothy Parker

Wise Old Sayings

“Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.” Marie Curie

Wise Old Sayings

“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.” Leo Burnett

Wise Old Sayings

“I have no particular talent. I am merely inquisitive.” Albert Einstein

I’ve written before and said many times that it is in the spaces where vulnerability occurs that innovation will also occur. Well, when we are vulnerable, we are also naturally curious. I think we can safely say that

vulnerability + curiosity = innovation

That’s fun.

As you walk through your weekend, take a look around, wonder about the things you see, ask questions you normally wouldn’t, and see what you end up knowing more about.

Be well. Be vulnerable. Be curious.

#curiosity, #curiosityandhumandevelopment, #curiosityandinnovation, #curiosityandleadership, #curiosityandselfdevelopment, #curiosityandvulnerability, #curiosityandwonder, #curiosityinsight, #curiosityquotes, #curious