Your curiosity is the tool that will lead you to create an authentic life – yours.
Curiosity will help you imagine and create a brand new world, especially when you’ve come to the end of the old one and you need a next step forward, and a new adventure.
A great place to begin any adventure is with a good question. Questions are always more important than finding the perfect answer. As for answers, they change as often as you do, which will be a lot if you keep asking quality questions.
Having all the answers may seem like a good idea, but it can get pretty boring for you if you have nothing new to learn or discover, and no mysteries to uncover. Besides, as soon as you know everything there is to know about one thing, it’s off to the next thing you don’t know enough about – yet. Questions can lead to good adventures.
“I wonder…?” and “what will happen if…?” are very good questions. If you actually want to know the answers, start asking. This is one way psychics from all walks of life do their work and discover new things for themselves.
When you already know, or assume you know, everything, you actually know nothing. This includes thinking you know all of the possibilities because ‘everyone’ said so. When you drop your own curiosity in favor of group beliefs, you are not curious.
Needing to know every step along the way in advance is death to your curiosity. Be curious here and now, where you are breathing, thinking, imagining, and dreaming. Curiosity doesn’t assume it knows, or that anyone else has the answer.
Curiosity knows that the question is the fun part, and that one question is going to lead to another, and so on.
Some people don’t like questions. Others think they need to know all the answers so they adopt a worldview that packages up the answers for them. No more need to ask questions, because here are all the answers. Guaranteed satisfaction!
Ask any scientist how that works out for her. She might tell you, “this is what we now know to be true, but it can change any time”. In other words, there’s always more to discover.
The question of what do we do with curiosity and curious people goes to the very heart of how we educate children, and who gets to decide what they will be allowed to learn. Fundamentalism of all kinds sees curiosity as dangerous and sometimes evil.
A fundamentalist is a person who considers whether a fact is acceptable to his religion before he explores it. –Seth Godin, ‘Tribes’
Godin goes on to say that “a curious person explores first and then considers whether or not he wants to accept the ramifications”. (Godin’s definition of fundamentalism includes religion, corporations, families, and groups of all kinds.)
We’ve had conformity programmed into us for eons, with the fear of death looming over us if we don’t conform. In certain religions, you’ll be damned to hell for eternity if you stray from the party line. In every time and every culture in history, there was a ‘norm’, and if you strayed from it, you’d be punished in some way.
Which is why so many well meaning people have helped you stay true to the prevailing belief system you grew up around. Shh!, don’t ask me why. Because I said so. It’s not polite to ask so many questions.
‘Curiosity killed the cat’ is a phrase you know and have probably repeated a few times. This is fear programmed into each of us, often at a young age. Don’t ask too many questions, it’s rude, and makes you look stupid. It’s disrespectful to ask ‘why?’. Because I said so should be enough.
Once you’ve been punished for asking the adults in your world a few questions, you learn to not ask. If you’re curious and not afraid, you’ll go look for yourself. Education isn’t supposed to be about discovery and curiosity, there’s no time. You have to learn the answers to all of these standardized tests so we know where you fit in.
“Don’t ask too many questions, it’s easier for all of us this way. Here, go to sleep. Oh look, a mall. Let’s go shopping, and then we can go home and watch TV!”.
Why you won’t ask questions:
- You assume you already know.
- You are afraid to look stupid.
- You’ve been humiliated for doing so.
- You don’t want to stand out.
- You don’t want to look like a trouble maker.
- You believed the authority figures who told you not to ask questions.
Kids are born curious about the world. What adults primarily do in the presence of kids is unwittingly thwart the curiosity of children. –Neil deGrasse Tyson
What goes away when you ask the hard questions?
When you ask questions, you shine a light on something that someone somewhere may not want anyone to see, like the truth of the economic system we live in, and why do medicines cost hundreds of times more in the U.S. than in other places, and why do student loans get to charge a higher rate of interest than the loans businesses take out? By the way, why is higher education so expensive?
Real questions kill dogma. Dead dogma challenges and changes the culture.
When you are curious, dogma dies. Dogma of all kinds, whether it be corporate, religious, cultural, or the fables people in your family tell in order to explain why certain things are so.
Curiosity will help you do this: learn something new, take risks, step out of the old ways of thinking, evolve, find your own answers, get validated for figuring it out on your own, visualize a new way.
Artists, scientists, writers, explorers, inventors, thinkers … all ask questions. True education trains you to ask questions, not just work for grades, praise, and accolades. (Doing that is how you get controlled, because you’ll be afraid to lose the grades, praise, accolades, or something else you think you need. You stuff your curiosity, because you are afraid.)
It’s no fun to be spoon fed someone else’s answers your whole life. Know-it-alls may have learned to be that way because they were forced from earliest childhood to have the Right Answers, because There Is Going To Be A Test. And if you Fail, you Lose.
As a culture, we evolve and grow because somebody somewhere pushed a border, a boundary, a wall or roadblock or stop sign, out of the way. Somebody asked a question, and began finding new answers.
Curiosity is validating, and permission to be curious helps you to develop a true sense of who you are, a sense of worth. Besides, it’s really fun. It’s fun to look for yourself, and to find your answers.
Here’s a great book to read that can inspire you to ask yourself the true questions: “The Crossroads of Should and Must”, by Elle Luna. This beautiful book may be just the medicine you’re looking for.
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. -Albert Einstein