September 21, 2015
When we are young, everything is new. We are in a constant state of wonder and awe, soaking up life through every pore. We learn about gravity and coordination, about color and clouds, about animals and music. We are constantly exposed to things which are new, and our natural curiosity is continuously fed.
As we grow, our rate of exposure to new things naturally begins to slow. We begin to perceive that some things aren’t going anywhere, and we conclude (logically, but falsely) they will always be there. The older we get, the more things get added to this list.
Once we have filed something into the “Oh, I already know about that” category – be it an idea or a tangible object, we stop looking at it. We come to assume that we have it all figured out, and that there’s nothing more for us to discover about it.
Yet there is always something more for us to learn, to discover, to experience, even when we are faced with the same people, same job, same objects. We can turn our curiosity back on at any time. It’s always there, waiting and wanting to learn.
You can explore this in a small way. When having a conversation with someone you know, be curious about the color of their eyes. In that moment of questioning, notice the subtle, yet wondrous opening that occurs.
In a larger way, we have two basic options in response to a stimulus – we can close ourselves off to it, or we can open to it with exploration and curiosity.
“I hate that I always do that! Why do I always get into the same kind of relationship?” exclaims a friend. From this moment of questioning, this friend can choose either to close down and beat himself up, or can explore with curiosity. In that curiosity comes great empowerment. There is the inherent assumption that there is something that can be done, that there is something to discover. It flies directly in the face of victimhood – that we’re simply slaves to the external (and internal) world.
The next time you are faced with something and you notice your tendency to shut down, hide, run away, or deny, pause. It is a great opportunity to see what joy, and power, can come from approaching the situation with curiosity.
So, what’s next?
If you would like to explore this topic further, or if you have any questions, email Dave.