What are the benefits of being curious?

by Molly Cantrell-Kraig on September 26, 2013

Have you ever read the book, “Who Moved My Cheese”?  I use the premise of the four characters quite often when I consider the various sorts of folks who cross my path on a daily basis. For example, as much as I love my mother, I know that she is squarely in the “Hem” camp. She, among the four characters outlined in the book, is the one who will continue to visit the empty cheese room, convinced that, surely, certainly, there will indeed be a new cheese shipment arriving any moment. Of course, alas, the cheese never arrives. :(

"The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you find new cheese."

You may be like her in some respects. Perhaps you have been betrayed. Perhaps your faith has not been rewarded and so you fear to try again. Perhaps your motto is, “The cheese you have is better than risking the chance that there is better cheese out there.”

HOWEVER, if you wish to grow; if you wish to evolve into your highest being, you must risk “failure” (which is actually another way of labeling “learning”).

It is to those hesitant readers I encourage to become more like “Sniff” and “Scurry” from the book. They are early adopters, and know which way the wind blows. They sense trends and anticipate movement. They are most definitely curious.

If you are reading this, you are probably either independent, or wish to further your transition to that state. Curiosity is probably one of the best ways to get there, and I’m going to give you my $.02 as to why.

  • Curious people try the path not taken.
  • Curious people see if something will work.
  • Curious people look under the hood.
  • Curious people don’t let things lie.

“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.”  ~ James Stephens

Curiosity is the reason for bravery in some instances. The curious are DRIVEN, compelled even, by the need to KNOW. As a result, we will take risks. We will shove our fear into our back pocket and “give it a shot.”

If you are still reading, I know that I have found a kindred spirit. You are familiar with that feeling in your gut that almost goads you into action. Your need to satisfy your curiosity is more powerful than your fear of failure. Good. That means that you are destined for great things. Because the curious keep trying.

“Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why.” ~ Bernard Baruch

If you are curious, you are also probably an innovator. Most folks walking this planet are content to go about their daily business without looking too far afield. They stay in their lane; color inside the lines and keep their eyes fixed on the stuff right in front of them. They are “safe,” and that’s perfectly oka-lee-dokalee.

Curious people, on the other hand, disembowel clocks. They ask ‘why’? They disrupt stuff left and right. They probably spent a LOT of time in the corner as kids. We can be maddening to people who would rather we just leave things alone. Status Quo People get really frustrated with The Curious.

“I keep six honest serving-men,

They taught me all I knew;

Their names are What and Why and When

And How and Where and Who.” ~ Rudyard Kipling

However, it is this seeking that leads to expansion and independence. The same curiosity that brought us Tang and the space program also brought us twitter, cleantech, Futurama and the cure for polio.

Speaking of social media, I also believe that the folks who are out here in the ether are a sign of a new shift in mindset (even the Bieberists). Social media has no boundaries and is populated by those who are Seekers.

Whether talking about the Kardashians or Tahir Square, this new frontier is peopled by the curious. We may not always be talking about the same thing from the same perspective, but we are talking. Which leads to …

“Be curious, not judgmental.” ~ Walt Whitman

In the pursuit of knowledge, it is vitally important to try very hard to uncover information without assigning specific value to it. For example, the earth is not the center of the universe, although at one point in human history, to state otherwise was cause for excommunication. In order to gain the most from our experiences as we pursue information, it is important to dispassionately observe what we find.

Through trial and error, consistent (and mindful) questioning and a willingness to grow our awareness, we will find ourselves on a glorious journey of wonder.

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

Thank goodness.

What led you here today? What would you like to learn? What questions drive you? What steps are you taking to grow your knowledge and change your life?

——-

Molly Cantrell-Kraig is a woman with drive. Possessing an innate sense of purpose and a pragmatic, solution-based approach to empowering people, she fused these two traits in order to establish Women With Drive Foundation. Based upon its founder’s personal history, Women With Drive Foundation is a means through which Cantrell-Kraig may effect change on both a micro and macro level. By providing women with something as essential as personal transportation in order to transition them from poverty to prosperity, she, through Women With Drive Foundation, seeks to empower women to help them help themselves. Through this action, the individual applicant benefits, as does society as a whole. Follow Molly on twitter as @mckra1g or @WWDr1ve (Women With Drive Foundation) or “Like” us on facebook.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Erich Lagasse September 26, 2013 at 11:18 am

I also agree that curiosity is an attitude all of us should maintain, and develop if necessary. We can begin by simply observing things more closely or asking questions that will help us understand ideas. We posted our review of why it’s important to cultivate a healthy sense of doubt at work, and how to do so. – Erich

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Jay September 26, 2013 at 11:42 am

Molly,

Excellent post! Short and to the point.

I like what you are doing. Will make a donation to your org as soon as I start earning some money.

Looking forward to reading more excellent posts from you

-Jay

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