Becoming Curious (#109)

Step 1. Awareness

Children are fast learners. Quite faster than the average adult. They pick up how to speak and learn their first language in no time. Whereas, an adult who knows how to speak already would take a considerably longer time to learn a new language than a newborn human baby. Not only in speech and articulation but it is also observed that children learn a wide range of skills really fast. Think about your own childhood decade. The time period between when you were born till when you blew 10 candles on your first double digit birthday. Recall all the things you learned back then during that forming period.
And now take the previous 10 years of your life. Think of all the new things you learned in the last 10 years of your life from the current day.
Which one gets outnumbered?

If there’s one thing this type of swift learning is accredited to, it is the curiosity of a child. Without any major infiltration of what society assumes to be reality, the child is left on it’s own. It can see the world through a lens very different from one which gets scratched and obscured as the years tick by and when one allows it’s innate curiosity to get blinded by the responsibilities and “realities” of life. For the child, everything is new. New people, things, objects, phenomena, they are present for the child to discover and learn and understand. There are little everyday explorations and experimentations to be conducted for them, by them to find out. To feed the intrinsic desire we all have to learn.
The secret to learn anything is just being intensely curious about it. To be curious to learn a skill or any subject for the sake of it. No strings attached. Don’t talk yourself into learning something by explaining how important it is in today’s generation to be aware of that. Just learn things for the sake of learning them. That’s how kids do it. They aren’t worried about missing out. They don’t think like most do today before considering learning something new. Today, we constantly hear people giving advice and taking in their own guilt by saying: You’ve got to learn this to succeed in today’s world. You’ve got to learn how to code, how to do math, AI (because it’s the future!), a second language and tons of other stuff. But that doesn’t work! Learn something for the sake of it. Not because it’s important you do so for “success” in “today’s world” which may not even be your goal! Doing that (learning for it’s own sake) will keep things way easier. And fun to learn. And easy to grasp.
If you aren’t genuinely curious, you’ll have a tough time learning something not desirous.

“Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.”

Leonardo da Vinci

Being curious, that is, really being the true version of our human self, is an incredibly tough choice in today’s world. From a very young age, children are trained and “educated” to answer questions rather than form them . But the best minds always asked the best questions. Today, a child is considered “slow” or “dumb” if he or she is not quite interested in what there is to be taught in school. And if that child asks questions that would at first seem rather foolish, but most of the time even the teacher may not know the answer. As children progress in school, they stop asking those questions as they did as kids. The enthusiasm to know is subdued. This is not because the student knows more, it is because the student does not crave to know more. The greatest innovations stemmed from the dumbest questions: Why the heck does an apple fall down from a tree? Why not up or sideways?
Nobody knew or cared to know the answer before Newton. They just knew how things were and an apple would fall down from a tree. Nothing special about that. So they didn’t give it much attention. But you can’t understand a phenomena when you only know the “How?” behind it. To really understand, we got to find the “Why?”.

Do you think there would be people such as Newton, Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci if they just followed moral conduct? (like today’s education and overall system?)
No. They stood out.
If everybody learns the same thing, won’t they all just be doing the same thing as everyone else? They’ll only be one in the herd of countless. Heading in the same direction as everyone else. But what if the GPS of the leader of the “Everyone Learns The Same Thing Group” fails? What happens then? Everyone breaks downs like a game of dominoes

Question authority at all times. Question advice at all times (even this one). Don’t follow blindly.

Step 2. Becoming

After understanding how great curiosity is to have at the top of one’s mind every moment of time, let’s now see how we can spark that child-like important behavior once again and let it keep burning, until even the fuel of our life burns out.

The question you may have is, “Well, so how do I become curious once again?”
It’s quite simple actually. But change is never easy. And not at all easy if one has got a rusty, weathered, close-minded, fixed-perspective mind, an unchanged and unmolded mind-set since a long period. Shifting perspective becomes more difficult as the roots of it’s seeds grow. The more comfortable one is with one’s mind, the lesser that person is adept at change.

But since we don’t really have to change into a superhuman, rather only like a 5 year old homo sapiens (who may ironically indeed be wearing a superman cape) one can become curious once again—no matter what their age or current scenario—by implementing some wise child-like changes in their lives which could make them more curious.

  1. Forget everything you know. Now look at the world anew with fresh eyes
    A little harsh to come straight up with. But it works! Stop assuming you know something even if you know like 5 per cent of the thing. Better, stop assuming you know everything about even in what you may specialize. Be open. Be open to perspectives, new things, phenomena, observations. Look at things from a perspective which does not know what things are. Don’t pass by the fields without keen observations. Don’t stop at “These are just flowers”. Go on to see their shape, symmetry, color, odor, leaves and broader classified type. Make connections with previously observed flowers.
    Just go a step further. Stop seeing the world as you know it. Start seeing it as you don’t .
  2. Question everything. Ask (what people may consider to be) “stupid” questions
    You find something interesting. Something peculiar, something that sparks your mind to want to know more. You have questions. Questions pouring in. Now you need ask them. No matter how foolish or embarrassing to ask you feel your questions may be. They are not. They are just an indicator of a human being trying to understand more. If stupid people laugh at your “stupid” question. Don’t bother. The right influence or teacher will always respect your queries. Just don’t be holding back on asking questions.
  3. Be interested in everything. Scream “Yes!” out loud to the world
    The world is incredible. Everything and everyone is unique. Isn’t that mind-blowing? Everything and everyone is unique. That statement is so powerful, yet all so true. There’s something different in each species, yet they all, the entire Earth is made of the explosion of the Big Bang. As astronomer Carl Sagan used to say, We are made of star-stuff. We are so different, yet the same. Find uniqueness among everything, be intensely interested in everything you do. Stay committed to learning forever.
  4. Follow every spark in the brain. Follow every curiosity (even the tiniest ones)
    Lastly, follow every definite curiosity. Every spark, every small desire to know something, to learn something, should not go wasted. Follow it, it may lead you somewhere remarkable. Even whole destinies are stemmed from single curiosities. Which are then followed. Till desire meets destiny. The first and simplest step of an action is desire. Without it, nothing ever happens. With it, you can create the most wonderful life.

Just be curious … Just be curious … Just be curious ….

Ok. The End.

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