For the past several weeks, movie producer Brian Grazer's book, A Curious Mind, has occupied a place on the bestseller list. I've been delighted to see that it's received a wide audience since far too many of us have been strangers with that idea-generating force known as curiosity.
"It's a miracle that curiosity survives formal education," observed Albert Einstein. For many of us, sadly, the destruction of curiosity began long before our school days.
When I was growing up, my incessant questions were often dismissed with a reminder that curiosity killed the cat. The message, intended or not, was that shrinking was preferable to exploring. That repeated warning has an impact that goes far beyond the deceased cat.
The death of curiosity is the beginning of a lackluster life. Without curiosity we avoid challenge, growth, and new experiences. Our world gets smaller and smaller as our fears grow bigger and bigger.
According to researchers, curiosity is more important than intelligence. In fact, there's nothing silly about it. Consider the rewards. Curiosity makes our minds active instead of passive. Curiosity recognizes new ideas. It opens up new worlds and possibilities. It brings excitement to our lives.
Staying curious is not only something that's available to anyone, it doesn't cost a dime. Where it leads depends on how willing we are to pay attention.
So pick a theme. Plan some fascinating projects. Listen and follow your callings. Use it or lose it. If you don't, there's much to be lost.
As Brian Grazer points out, "You can be as curious as you want to be, and it doesn't matter when you start. And your curiosity can help you be smarter and more creative, it can hep you be more effective and also help you be a better person."
Be brave enough to see where your curiosity takes you.