Curiosity is one of our greatest human traits, and I believe it’s the most vital part of any creative process. I believe that curiosity is what makes people mind-blowing individuals. It isn’t born intelligence, talent, or creativity that makes you unique – it’s all about curiosity.
October 3, 2021
*Curiosity; the name of the first rover that arrived on Mars on 6 august 2021 at 05:17:57 UTC. A device that would not be with us if it wasn’t for the curious minds behind the program.
When you’re curious, you challenge yourself and look beyond what’s possible. You explore new territories, sensations, ideas. Curiosity is the start of innovation. But in a world where we fill our minds with endless scrolling and where we would rather have quick, inaccurate answers, curiosity often gets pushed out. But no longer! Because we’re here to stand up for curiosity and give you an insight into its importance and how you can make it a part of your everyday life. And believe us, it’s so worth it!
Like our good old friend Albert Einstein said: “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when one contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries to comprehend only a little of this mystery every day.” And another personal favorite quote: “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” Well, that’s a quote to get tattooed on your arm… or at least one to remember.
As kids, we question everything, we wonder ‘why’ words are the words they are. We wonder ‘why’ the sky is blue and not red and ‘why’ the sun seems to go down when the moon appears. We wonder about things both big and small. Kids want to understand, instinctively using their brains to contemplate the mysteries of the world. They (often) don’t have the tools yet to know how to quickly search and find the erroneous or half-answers that provide a quick dopamine shot. They have only themselves to figure out the answers to their vast questions. They aren’t afraid to get it wrong and would rather try and fail than have their questions be left unanswered.
When asking ‘why?’, you go beyond taking orders or executing demands just for the sake of it. Whether it’s asking ‘why’ you can’t drink more than 15 cups of coffee a day (please don’t try it, your heart won’t like you afterwards), ‘why’ living on Mars will be a great solution, or ‘why’ your clients want you to develop a new website. Asking ‘why?’ sparks curiosity. You are no longer an order taker, you are now a detective, a scientist, a space explorer (maybe). You get the point! Asking ‘why?’ makes you wonder, makes you use your mind and explore the creativity inside you.
Why do we stop asking ‘why’? It often feels like the older you get, the more your days get filled with mundane tasks. You must go on and on, to keep going, all to make sure you keep up with your responsibilities. We fill our free time with watching TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram and don’t take the time to just sit, and wonder.
Boredom gets a bad rap today, but boredom can be pretty damn amazing. When you’re ‘bored’, your mind starts to wonder. It goes to places you haven’t been in a while, if ever. You start to question. Boredom creates space for your mind to explore ideas and ask the right questions.
The older we get, the less space there is to explore; to fail. You can’t be curious without having the freedom to fail. Exploration and failure go hand in hand. It took Space X four tries before Falcon 1 reached orbit. That is three, very expensive failures. But were they failures? Or just part of the process of success? What if they stopped after the first time? What if they closed the books right there and didn’t pursue their curiosity? Our trip to Mars would certainly be even further away.
Great ideas are not found on Google; they are developed in your mind. Sure, Google might help. But exploring the abilities of your mind generates ideas never seen before.
Our personal hero Nikolas Tesla didn’t google “how to create alternating current” because there was no Google, and no plan for alternating current. He considered it in his mind. Sparked by curiosity, he began asking ‘why?’.
The incredible Marie Van Brittan Brown invented the home security system we are so familiar with today. If she didn’t wonder about how she could feel safer in her home and use her curiosity and creativity to develop a system, we wouldn’t have the level of safety and security in our homes that we have today.
You might not have the ambition to launch rockets, build inventions, be the next Marie Van Brittan Brown, or have the brain of Albert Einstein. No worries, most of us don’t. But what we all have is a mind filled with curiosity, and the simple question ‘why?’.
If we create space to explore, to dive deep, to go beyond quick a google search for predictable results, we will create more innovative businesses, arrive at world-changing solutions, develop more impactful work and live more fulfilling lives. It really is that simple. Give yourself space to fail, be bored and understand that curiosity is a process. If you do what hasn’t been done before, the chances are you will most likely fail. That’s great! It means you’re moving, you’re in a process, and you’re using your mind.
So, how do you get your curiosity back? Create space and time to think. Go mentally exploring, sit alone, just you and your mind. Draw on paper, sit in silence and ask questions. Accept that it’s okay to fail and see failure as part of the process (and no longer see it as failure, but simply a step towards success).
Of course, use Google, books, museums, and other resources to fuel your mind and to find answers, but don’t settle for the quick one. Dive deep, research a new topic, figure out how a computer really works, explore where your mind goes when you think about a brighter further on earth (or Mars), and when somebody tells you something, ask ‘why?’.
Ask ‘why?’ as often as children, to the point that people get annoyed by your questions. Remember that asking ‘why?’ is what made all the great inventors shape the world we live in today, meaning your curiosity can shape a brighter tomorrow.
So, join the Utterly Insanely, Question Asking, Curiosity Seekers Club. We would love to have you!