How to cultivate curiosity.

Posted on May 12, 2013

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Craft A Great Story. Very little competes with a great story, especially one with drama, complicated tensions, conflicting ideas and ideals, the greatness and darkness of humanity, victory and tragedy, accomplishments and failures, and most of all, personal transparency.

Pose A Great Problem. One that has no answer, one that has no boundaries, and one that, when solved, only conjures up more questions.

Reward Questions More Than Answers. It has been said that non-Jewish parents ask their child when they come home, “What did you learn.” Jewish parents ask, “What questions did you ask.” When you reward questions, you reward curiosity.

Despise Certainty. Doubt is a not just a stumbling block to the pious. Doubt is a driver of discovery and creativity. Leverage doubt in every aspect of life, from the most simplistic, to the most profound.

Eliminate Fear. The greater the fear, the more one is governed by base instinct rather than thoughtful engagement. cf. Maslow’s Hierarchy. Eliminate the fear of failure, the fear of perception, and the fear of being wrong. Eliminating fear permits possibilities. Possibilities foster curiosity.

Embrace Discomfort. We are not curious about the familiar, though perhaps we should be. It is when we are uncomfortable that we begin to be more aware and ask more questions. Caution: forced discomfort may squelch curiosity. Thus, it is necessary that we willfully embrace it.

Why cultivate curiosity? If we cultivate curiosity we cultivate humanity, the human experience, the human gift, and the human soul. One may call it “being alive.”

Posted in: existentialism