I don’t know what I’d do without some measure of danger, risk, humor, beauty, love, and curiosity. In my opinion, curiosity is the natural drive that provides the fuel for a rich life.
I understand the need that some folks have to not sway from the straight and narrow, but that’s the path that would drive me insane. As I travel, I’m not content to just consume what the tour-guides want me to see. I like to take those side-trips into the actual nitty gritty of a place. I cannot help it, that is just how my mind works.
If you’re at all like me, you are empowered by a curious energy. We are full of energy, enthusiasm, and passion. If we encounter a new concept, idea, or thing, we can hardly wait to share it with others. Sometimes we encounter the opportunity to investigate a new way of thinking, or begin a new journey, or begin a new project. In some ways, our inner four-year-old child still asks us many questions.
What we have learned is that if we want to really find an answer or make the discovery, the skill of concentration must also be fostered. Life is more than aimlessly surfing the Internet, or watching random YouTube videos. We have inquiring minds and want to get to the bottom of whatever it is we’re investigating.
My high school journalism teacher drilled us on the “Four Ws and the H”, who, what, where, why, and how. If we’re striving to inform our readers and listeners, we must strive to answer these five questions: Who did it? What happened? Where did it happen? Why did it happen? How did it happen? I still try to answer these questions, not only when I write, but when I read something. If you aim to objectively answer these five questions, you can become your own media source.
Curious folks hear some small (or large) voice in our minds that brings up a question we cannot ignore. Instead of pushing it away out of fear or laziness, we hear a starting whistle in a race to go for the gold. A prefabricated, tried and true explanation will never satisfy us.
We go as far as we can. Often, what we discover, can upset us for awhile. Frequently, many people will not like what we report to them. Just because people may not like our discovery or may even dislike us, personally, are not reasons enough to halt our investigations. We have an inner need to link with the curious energy that keeps us alive and thriving. To live in a place where free inquiry is discouraged and prohibited would feel suffocating.
Once we get our wheels moving down the path of investigation, any roadblocks or challenges only make us more determined. If anyone threatens to shun us or bring us harm, we wonder why the answer is so frightening to them. The challenge is gladly faced.
Curious people like to associate with other curious people. I was maybe six-years-old when I discovered my first best friend. John was a real “smartypants” who egged me on and annoyed me to no end. Because he lived next door, I figured that I needed to learn to cope with his presence in my life. After I let my guard down and accepted John for who he was, I began to sincerely like him.
I still remember when we sealed our friendship with a childish ceremony to become blood-brothers. I knew we could trust each other whenever one of us, usually John, dared the other to face something frightening. Long before it became a fad, John and I frequently played “truth or dare”. Perhaps that is why I appreciate a touch of adversarial attitude in my friends, just enough to add a little spice. I crave just a tiny amount of teasing to foster curious energy. I need my friends to ask me, “Why not?”
If we thrive on curious energy, we feel most natural and happy with people who also crave learning and investigation. Our curious nature is also sensitive. We need to have an outlet for our feelings and ideas. When a friend challenges me to really push the envelope, I need to know that he will mentally and physically be with me as support. I need him to kindly egg me on. It is best when I can do the same for him.
Sometimes curious energy requires that you investigate the path alone. This is when the inate, instinctive aspect of oneself encourages one to explore, learn, and research just for its own sake. When you enjoy the world around you because the world is the world, curious energy increases. This is spontaneous. There is no need to force curiosity.
Superficial inquiry is not deeply satisfying and is a waste of time. Natural, solitary curiosity is a normal part of personal growth. When curiosity dies, so does a major life force, within.