Curious: The Desire to Learn

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Our human mind is a wonder. The more we study, the greater our desire to learn gets. Our inquisitive mind never stops working, even when we are asleep.

We are born curious. As children, we are willing to learn and discover new things every minute of every day. 

Did you know that preschoolers ask up to 300 questions per day? 

A really big number, is not it? Taking into account that most of those questions start with “why” and “how”, we can conclude that curiosity is a feature of our mind.

So, what happens when we grow up? Why do we stop asking questions? Why do we become lazy to learn new things and enrich our knowledge? 

A well-known author and writer on culture and politics Ian Leslie explains how curiosity works and suggest some steps to cultivate it. Take a look at his book “Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends”, and you will probably change your attitude to many things and regain your natural desire to learn.

No matter if you are studying psychology or working in a knowledge-based field, you will surely benefit from reading this book, since it gets the reader understand the nature of curiosity and helps to develop a mindset, aimed at continuous self-improvement.

Listen to the summary at Blinkist or Listen to the book at Audible.

What is Curiosity?

We are born with a natural desire to learn; it is up to us if we nourish it or let it fade away.

By definition, curiosity is a need, a desire to learn new things. According to some scientists, curiosity occurs as a result of information gaps. Our mind has a strong desire to fill in the gaps, that is why as soon as it faces the information gap it starts asking questions.

This is how we start our research. The more results we get, the more questions will follow, because we will see that there are lots of information gaps if you start digging deeper. 

However, to spark curiosity, it is not enough to only create those information gaps. We must obtain some knowledge first. The information gap can only appear between something that we are already familiar with and the unknown. 

Read more: Curiosity Can Help in Finding Your Passion

People are born with a natural desire to learn, but when we are getting older this desire becomes weaker. We become lazy to learn new things and assume that we already know enough to live our lives. 

But do we? Curiosity opens the doors in front of us. It is that powerful mechanism which is moving the human race forward. 

We can act automatically, without thinking, just relying on our instincts and knowledge we gained a long time ago. But then, our life will be missing one of the most important components. There will be no progress, and, therefore, no movement forward. 

Curiosity in the Age of Internet Invasion

The Internet is full of information that can feed our curiosity, but we must know how to filter that amount of information.

Somebody wise once said that future belongs to the curious. 

And it is hard to agree more. Curious people have those sparkles, turning into great ideas changing the world. The modern world in a fascinating place to live. However, with all the progress of technology and all spheres of our life, we are in danger of killing the curiosity.

Read more: The Power of Transformative Technologies

Information is easily accessible. It demands a couple of clicks to get the answers to your questions. That means there is no chance you will have any information gaps left for you to fill in. No information gaps, no curiosity. The formula is simple. 

So, what to do to keep this sparkle, to nurture the desire to learn? First of all, it is important to develop the right attitude to the Internet. If you are curious, the internet will only help you build your curiosity. However, for those who are not curious, the internet is a tool which will make them even dumber. It is all up to you. It is a conscious choice each of us makes every single day. 

Keep Feeding Your Curious Mind

Venture into the unknown to gather knowledge and expand your horizons. .

If you are eager to give some food for your inquisitive mind and fulfill your desire to learn, there are some steps you can follow to stay on the right track. 

  • Keep asking questions. All the time. When we grow up, we tend to stop asking questions, unlike kids who are not afraid to look silly or get criticized for asking many questions. We should fight this fear of social criticism and never stop asking questions.
  • Gather knowledge. Remember, knowledge is power. Knowledge is an important step to build up your creativity. So, keep learning new things every day. 
  • Find the right perspective. If something seems boring, you might just need to look at it from another angle. You will be amazed at the number of marvelous things you can learn from the subjects which seem to be so trivial.
  • Be an open-minded person. Be ready for a change. Travel as often as possible, make new friends, discover new cultures. 

By feeding your curious mind, you will open lots of opportunities and become a successful and content individual.