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What If We Were More Curious

“Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough.”

Richard Feyman

I had something interesting happen to me recently that reminded me of the power of being curious. This past month we enjoyed some time with family in India. One day, I arrived a little late to an afternoon tea in a garden at a place where were we were staying. I was greeted excitedly by my children and nieces. They told me there was a magician present. He had just performed a trick. They were all trying to figure out how he did it. Somehow he was able to get a small star drawn on my daughter’s hand to appear on my niece’s hand. How did he do it? A magic pen? A hidden piece of transfer tape? Some sticky solution? Everyone was curious.

What does it mean to be curious? I think it is a feeling of wonder that invites you to explore possibilities. Research shows that curiosity can help you feel better, boost your memory, build patience, produce better workplace environments, and prompt more creative, original ideas. - just to name a few. One study at Duke showed that curious people were more willing to wait to find a solution to a puzzle. Less curious people were more impatient. They just wanted to complete the task quickly.

Another study at the University of California at Davis showed that highly curious people were more likely to remember and recall information. Curiosity not only gives the brain a dopamine hit, it seems to help prepare the brain to absorb and remember new information.

On a personal level, there is some evidence that we can train ourselves to be curious. What if we could approach life with curiosity?

What is standing out to you today? A puzzle to be solved? A question running through your mind? A person who is different? What if we could try a new trick? What if we were curious? Could it help us feel better about each other? Could it help us be more patient? Could it help us remember what is really important? Could it help improve the world around us if we tried to be a little more curious?

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