So, not only does curiosity not kill the cat, it is beneficial to our long term health.
Curiosity plays a significant role in mental sharpness, and for those who regularly practice curiosity, increases overall mental capacity. Research indicates that curiosity that inspires experiences… helps lay down newneural pathways. Recent findings in neuro-plasticity research prove the brain is hardwired for… newness. When provided with new occurrences and relational learning, the brain remains flexible and agile. Consistent exposure to novel experiences, and this growth of new neural pathways,provides resilience to age-related illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia (shown in some studies).
“Curiosity may put the brain in a state that allows it to learn and retain any kind of information, like a vortex that sucks in what you are motivated to learn, and also everything around it,” says Dr. Matthias Gruber, lead author, University of California Davis, Cognitive Neuroscience, Insights/Link between Curiosity, Learning, and Memory.
Curiosity is innate. But, as the busy-ness and complexities of life keep us distracted, continuous curiosity requires an awareness of the rich benefits. As with many human behaviors, the reward is most often the driver.
- Open minded, objective and optimistic yet balanced with doubt and skepticism, they resist leaping to assumptions and are better able to think for themselves
- Persistent and resilient, more tolerant of ambiguity and uncertainty (less stressed)
- Adaptable and humble (they recognize learning can only come from accepting what they do not already know)
- Intrinsically interested in people, they ask genuine questions, listen sincerely for understanding and, as a consequence, develop strong relationships
- Actively seeking and exploring novel situations – excellent learners who are more likely to look for patterns, persist with challenges and derive joy from learning for learning’s sake
- Aware, with their senses alert they notice details and opportunities. They have active minds and dispositions and seek to understand themselves
- Creative and innovative they embrace problems as puzzles to solve and have an entrepreneurial spirit
- Inquisitive, engaged and naturally adept at questioning, they focus on getting to the root cause of issues
- Enthusiastic in taking up change, they take initiative to explore and understand their world.
Seems that curiosity, not only makes us more interested, but truly more interesting?
From the lips of Albert Einstein, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”