The Value of Curiosity

Their experiences, their accomplishments, are a reminder that you cannot live by curiosity alone. To have a satisfying life (and to make valuable use of curiosity), you also have to have discipline and determination.” (Fishman, Grazer 2015, p. 198)

This excerpt written by Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman really consolidated my understanding of how learning satisfies starving curiosity. Within the process of fulfilling a curiosity, learning goes hand-in-hand with it. For when our minds become fixated on learning a concept, action or event, it is our curiosity that propels us to digest more.

The action of feeding a curiosity’s desire allows us to apply such knowledge to real, physical situations where we not only have the attained knowledge, but we also have the applied tenacity from making use of our own interest. Therefore through the process of fulfilling a curiosity, we are allowing ourselves to become receptive and equipped individuals in facing new situations.

For instance, since those good ol’ high school days I have always had a particular appeal towards the French language and upon the inception of my University degree, I decided to undertake subjects to feed my curiosity. Now two years later and a Minor in French behind me, I can happily say that my curiosity has been satisfied. Here, I can confidently say that it was my curiosity that led me to learn.

The knowledge that we obtain from pursuing a curiosity can go beyond recalling a mere fact or story. From applying “discipline and determination” to make “valuable use” of such interests as Grazer and Fishman (2015, p. 198) point out, we are enabling ourselves to become well-educated people. So ultimately by pursuing a curiosity, you might even gain a skill or two (like learning a few French words, right?).

So what we can take from curiosity is the need to pursue it in the right manner – in other words, to actually gain proper knowledge that can be utilised in the real world. As our curious writers state “…curiosity gives us the skills to better relate to people” (Fishman, Grazer 2015, p. 182) which shows us that by learning, our curiosity can make us better connect with people and better reap opportunities.

Having travelled to France last year, I put my skills to the test in an attempt to converse with native French speakers. Despite the sweaty palms and dry throat I was able to exchange a few words of understanding – even if it was just about ordering white wine. From these few words of exchange not only was I challenging myself, I was again learning how to simply communicate to a person using limited language.

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Yes, I can say white wine in French. Image via eonline.com.

Always expect to undertake some type of educational experience when feeding a curiosity. In order to live a rewarding life as Grazer and Fishman put forth, it would be valuable to remember that pursuing a curiosity with a purpose or goal in mind is what will make us learn in the end.

So always remain passionately curious, as it might even take you to a restaurant in France if you let it.

 


 

Fishman, C, Grazer, B, 2015, A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life, Simon & Schuster, New York, p. 182, 198

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