Are you curious about the world? Do you follow your curiosity?
A while back, there was a talk featuring Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. Interestingly, when asked about an important trait they have, they both had the same answer. Their answer was curiosity. They both said that curiosity plays an important role in their success.
Why Curiosity Is Important
Why is that the case? Why is curiosity important?
They said that curiosity pushes them to keep exploring the world and updating their model of the world. The model then helps them make the right decisions that lead them to success.
To a much lesser extent, I can also attest to the power of curiosity. In my case, it usually leads me to new opportunities. I know that has been the case with many other people as well.
For instance, I was curious about computer programming when I was in high school. This led me to develop simple games and eventually have my own app business.
A few years after graduating from college, I was curious about blogging. This led me to start this website which eventually allowed me to leave my day job.
I often don’t know where my curiosity would lead me. I just follow it because it’s fun! But more often than not, it takes my life to the next level.
So there are at least three reasons why curiosity is important:
- It helps you make better decisions by updating your model of the world.
- It helps you find new opportunities.
- It makes your life exciting.
How to Develop Your Curiosity
Now, what should we do? How can we develop curiosity?
Here are some tips.
1. See the World as Full of Hidden Treasures
If you aren’t curious about the world, that’s probably because you think you have already found all the good things. You don’t think there are still interesting things that you haven’t found.
Curious people see the world differently, though. In their view, the world is full of hidden treasures yet to be found. There are exciting things out there that they haven’t discovered. This belief makes them eager to explore the world around them. They want to find the treasures. And they often do.
If your level of curiosity is low, instill this belief in you: “There are a lot of hidden treasures out there. I should go and find them!”
2. Avoid Labeling Something as Boring
People who aren’t curious often label something as boring. But curious people don’t. Instead of labeling something as boring, they wonder what hidden treasures may lie behind it. Even if they don’t dig into it right now (because there are many other interesting things at the moment), they keep the possibility open to come back to it.
Labeling something as boring is just the opposite of what curious people do.
3. Follow the Lead
When you become curious about something, don’t ignore it. Instead, follow your curiosity. Read articles on the topic, watch videos on YouTube, find books about it.
I often do this when I come across something that seems interesting. Without planning it before, I could spend a lot of time digging into it.
For instance, I came across an article about Jeff Bezos a while back. I ended up watching videos and reading articles about him and his business philosophy. It was unplanned, but it was exciting and gave me new insights.
4. Create Side Projects
If you want to really grasp something, it’s not enough just to consume information about it. You need to do something. A good way to apply that is creating side projects.
This website, for instance, started as a side project of mine. I was taking my master’s degree at the time, but I got interested in blogging and personal development, so I created this website. Now, more than ten years later, this website is still alive and well, and has taken my life to the next level!
Not all side projects would become successful, though. I also have side projects that didn’t go anywhere (such as this game). But that’s fine. I did it for the fun of it, so I don’t really lose anything. Plus, failure is an option.
5. Be Prepared to Change Direction
This might not happen often, but if your side project becomes successful, you might consider changing your life’s direction. This happened to me in 2009 when this website gave me enough income. I decided to leave my day job then and that’s a decision I never regret.
What about you? How do you develop your curiosity? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
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