Curiosity is a natural and spontaneous urge to observe, learn, and discover.
Socrates once said that wonder is the beginning of wisdom.
Those with a curious mindset tend to have a more fulfilling, more exciting life simply because they approach the world as if everything was a miracle.
In today’s post I’d like to share the main four advantages of developing a curious mindset as well as seven tips to spark your curiosity.
At the end of the article you’ll also find a collection of quotes about having a curious mindset. Without further ado…
Benefits of being curious
- Personal growth. The more curious you are, the more you’ll learn new things, the more you’ll grow as a person. It’s that simple. Besides discipline, the key to personal growth is the will to try and learn new things, and that’s what curious people do spontaneously.
- More opportunities. In terms of career, relationships, and friendships. You want to be the kind of person who thinks outside the box and wants more in life, and a curious mindset helps you become that person.
- Less boredom. For those who approach the world with excitement and curiosity, life is never boring. With a curious mindset, anything can turn into a new challenge, adventure, or journey, and life can be lived to the fullest.
- More empathy. When you have a genuine interest in other people, it becomes easier to not only meet new friends but also develop stronger connections with existing ones. A curious mindset can help you understand and appreciate those around you, and this results in better relationships.
Tips to develop a curious mindset
1. Travel or move
One of the easiest (though definitely not one of the cheapest) ways to spark your curiosity is to travel or move to a new place.
The further, the better. The more you perceive the new environment as interesting, the more curious you’ll become.
Eventually, people who spend their whole life in the same place, doing the same things, meeting the same people, will tend to do things on autopilot.
This means their awareness (and curiosity) will no longer operate at optimal levels.
They won’t be able to see all the miracles around them, and it’ll be harder for them to do anything outside their comfort zone.
So to be more curious, don’t be afraid to travel and explore new places with an open mind. The more you do it, the more you’ll enjoy it, the more curious you’ll be.
2. Face your fears
This is a big one. What was the last time you actually did something you were afraid of?
Like, approaching a stranger, speaking up, saying no to someone who doesn’t deserve your time. Or traveling solo. Or doing that thing you’ve always avoided because it’s so uncomfortable.
When you face your fears, you grow as a person. And as a bonus, you’ll develop a curious mindset as well.
Why? Because once you do what scares you, 99 percent of the time you’ll realize it was all in your head.
No matter how uncomfortable it will be, it will probably be way better than the images you had in your mind before doing it.
So the more often you face your fears, the easier it’ll become, and the easier it’ll be for you to be curious and try out new things.
3. Ask questions
Interestingly enough, this is one of the skills that we lose as we grow up.
We learn how to work at our job, be productive, communicate with others, and so on. But we tend to gradually lose our ability to ask questions.
This is true for both questions to other people and questions we ask ourselves, and they are equally important.
So to develop a curious mindset, ask more questions. It’s literally that simple.
Ask what, how, when, where. But most importantly, ask why. And if you can’t find the answer, it’s probably a good thing — it usually means it was a big enough question.
Journaling really helps with this, so I encourage you to develop the habit of writing down your thoughts (including questions). For example, you could journal every night before you go to bed.
4. Set exciting goals
Big ones. Goals that are almost intimidating. Those are the kind of goals that will require you to learn new things.
And as you’ll learn new things, you’ll train your mind to be curious and never stop learning. That is, learning things that excite you and make you grow as a person.
Learning a new skill per se isn’t usually that motivating, but if you have a big enough goal, that’s what’s going to spark your curiosity.
For instance, I have met quite a few people who wanted to learn a new language, but soon gave up because they saw no practical application of it.
Conversely, those who were learning the new language to move abroad, or to talk to the locals during a holiday, or to land that dream job — those are the ones that usually succeeded.
5. Work on limiting beliefs
Though we don’t always realize it, our subconscious mind is very clear in terms of what we can and cannot do.
The issue with that is, it’s often inaccurate. Meaning: our mind believes we can’t, don’t, shouldn’t, and so on — but it couldn’t be further than the truth.
It’s simply a series of negative thoughts and limiting beliefs that have accumulated over time, and usually the longer they’ve been there the harder it is to get rid of them.
So the fifth tip to develop a curious mindset is to first become aware of these limiting beliefs, then challenge them (or eliminate them altogether).
As you realize that you are way more powerful and free than you thought, it becomes easier to explore new things because there is no longer that voice inside you that prevents you from doing so.
6. Improve your health
Your physical health affects virtually all other areas of your life, and that includes your mindset and ability to learn new things.
Have you ever noticed that you tend to be more focused and have better mental clarity after a long walk? Or more creativity, or willpower? This is because our body is designed to move.
Similarly, we tend to have more energy and clarity when our diet is optimal. When we overeat, or eat foods that are hard to digest, our brain turns off.
To develop a curious mindset, you want to take care of your physical health because your body and mind are interconnected.
If you monitor your thoughts and attitude as you improve your health, you may be surprised to notice the results.
7. Turn off your phone
Lastly, say goodbye to technology. I mean, temporarily, or from time to time.
Excessive use of the internet and social media is bad enough for our mental health, but when it comes to creativity there is one very big danger if you use your phone too often.
And that is, your brain gradually loses the ability to solve problems and find information on its own.
Kind of like a delivery driver that uses a GPS navigation app and eventually loses their ability to go from point A to B without using their phone.
Now, in the case of a delivery driver, that’s not a big deal. But when it comes to creativity, and life in general — do not develop the habit of relying on the internet to answer questions and discover new things.
Your intuition is much more powerful that a Google search. Learn to use it, and train your curiosity muscle.
Curious mindset quotes
There are no foolish questions, and no man becomes a fool until he has stopped asking questions.Charles Proteus Steinmetz
What is the intersection between technology, art, and science? Curiosity and wonder, because it drives us to explore, because we’re surrounded by things we can’t see.Louie Schwartzberg
Curiosity is the most powerful thing you own.James Cameron
Miracles, in the sense of phenomena we cannot explain, surround us on every hand. Life itself is the miracle of miracles.George Bernard Shaw
I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on. Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.Eleanor Roosevelt
In modern society, most people have access to the same information. People are distinguished much more by the questions they ask than by the answers they have access to.James Pierce
I think I still keep my sense of wonder, which I call childlike. Not childish — childlike. I still have a vivid imagination, and I like to try a lot of new things.Iris Apfel
A tree you pass by every day is just a tree. If you are to closely examine what a tree has and the life a tree has, even the smallest thing can withstand a curiosity, and you can examine whole worlds.William Shatner