Staying curious is my vaccination against sleepwalking. It’s so simple! Keep reading and I’ll tell you what I mean.
One of my greatest fears is that I will become a sleepwalker. I’m talking about a life sleepwalker. I never want to be stagnant. The life where I wake up, go to work, get home, snap at my kids because I’m tired from work, watch TV then go to bed early so I can wake up to do it again. Doesn’t that make you want to cry? Are you thinking “uh-oh” right now? I’ve got more in me than that! I’ll bet you do to. Waking up at 70 years old and looking back at a successful career is fine, but not at the expense of my relationships. Nope, that’s not ok with me.
So I stay curious.
We are born curious. What does that taste like? or What happens if I throw this food on the floor again? We are naturally bent so that we can figure out the world around us and adapt to it. But unfortunately, over time that curiosity fades. We’re made fun of for asking certain questions. It stops being cool to be into certain things. Peer pressure and “being normal” creep into our minds, numbing all the wildly colorful fringes. I’m personally curious about things like: why does this food make me feel that way? How do I teach X to my kid that doesn’t seem to care? How does that kind of investment work? And the list goes on. I had to feed that curiosity by finding the answers to those questions. The stuff Google can’t answer. And you know what? It’s a renewable source of energy.
Curiosity is it’s own fuel
Learn to say “I don’t know yet, but I can find out”. Then actually find out! Ask someone who knows (tip: don’t ask your broke uncle for investment advice). Find it from a reputable source online. Take a college class. Find a solution to a problem by using a mastermind group (multiple people brainstorming together… and make sure you aren’t the smartest one in the room). Our culture says “if you ask that question you will sound dumb, you should already know”, I say “you are dumb if you don’t ask that question”. Do you know how your tax preparer got paid? Do you know how to shut the water off to your home if a water line breaks? It might be time to find things out.
Get outside your comfort zone and push. Sometimes you just have to try something to figure out how it works. If you have never made sushi, maybe you should try. Get comfortable being curious, and the pros of improving yourself far outweigh the discomfort. I will never regret the discomfort of reading many hours of (boring) financial books. I was curious and the price I paid to learn was uncomfortable, but it was worth it. Curiosity like that changes lives. It changed mine.
Curiosity expands. You don’t know what you don’t know. A constant reminder of this is my Bible study, the more I learn the more I find I don’t know. That curiosity expands into every aspect of life. Curiosity about making healthy food choices has led me into the kitchen, trying new (amazing) recipes, and it has improved my marriage because of the time my wife and I spend together cooking. Curiosity expands, try it and you will see.
So how do I stay curious?
Ask “Why?” or “How?”
Look at things, assume they are not boring, and figure them out. Give a listen to Surprisingly Awesome, a podcast that made broccoli and concrete two of my favorite conversation topics.
Stop seeking mindless entertainment. Like I said last week, you’ve got 28,000 days in your lifetime, do you really want reality TV taking a bite out of that precious time?
Try things. Make and frost a cake from scratch. If it turns out poorly (first tries usually do) then figure out why and try again. Ask for help if you need it and practice it till you nail it. Got it? Now pick something else you wish you could do and learn how to do it. How about starting a fire in the rain?
Put a question mark in more places. There are 16 of them in this post. Is your curiosity peaked?
Let’s get rid of the idea that average is OK. Let’s end average together!
Remember to join the conversation on Facebook, the greatest compliment you can give me is to help me spread the message either in person or online! You can also help support End Average on Patreon. Every penny goes right back into making the site a better resource for people trying to get to the next level. Read more about it HERE.