Curiosity helps us develop empathy.
When we are curious, we are more open to exposing ourselves to different ideas and cultures. As a result, our appreciation for life increases. Curiosity makes us more knowledgeable. The more knowledge we have, the more resources we have in helping others.
We have pulled together a few suggestions on ways we can model and promote the importance of life-long learning.
1. Stay Curious with A Growth Mindset and Leverage an Abundance Mindset
When we have a growth mindset, we see every experience (including the disappointments, setbacks, and failures) as an opportunity to gain experience and develop our personal and professional competencies and capabilities. When we foster an abundance mindset, we do not allow limited time and resources to hold us back; these limitations simply provide an opportunity for creativity, innovation, and growth. Together, growth and abundance mindsets create the firm foundation for sustainable life-long learning.
2. Challenge Assumptions and Check Your Biases:
We all know we have biases that we need to overcome, but how can we go about proactively challenging our assumptions and keeping our biases in check if we do not recognize them? While there is no quick and easy solution, it also is not that complicated. We need to practice regular self-reflection, surround ourselves with a difference (so we do not get trapped in an echo chamber and our ideas can be challenged) and continually ask ourselves questions to get to the core of the issues we encounter
3. Create A Psychologically Safe Environment: Continual learning cannot happen if we do not first create and sustain a psychologically safe space, whether at home, at work out with our social network.
We need to develop trust and help each other understand that each person's unique perspective is needed.
4. Promote A Speak-Up and Questioning Culture: If we really feel that asking questions is essential to our growth and learning then we need to ensure that we are listening. Listen with the intent to learn and ask questions.
All feedback is valuable feedback, even when we may disagree with it. The key is to model
speaking up and speaking out.
5. Reframe “Boring” Situations
We all experience boring situations, but any event can be turned into something meaningful. Sharpen your observation skills and give attention to something that you would usually miss. Once you take a closer look, you will find that what is boring is fascinating.
6. Do not Let Fear Hinder Curiosity
Curiosity is the perfect counterweight to fear and anxiety. Learn to focus on the positives of any situation. Be optimistic and approach every experience with the intention to gain something positive from it. You will find that many of your worries do not serve a purpose anyway.
“People who don’t ask questions remain clueless throughout their lives.” - Neil DeGrasse Tyson
Curiosity is making the choice to look deeper into everyday things and see their true significance. Realizing that there is much to learn from everyone and everything you can encounter is the first step to living a fulfilling and happy life.
We all want to be happy; according to the Dalai Lama, it is “the very purpose of our life.”