The Secret To Intelligence: Curiosity

When was the last time you were curious?

Struggling to find an answer? Well, you’re not the only one who is so distracted in the everyday life that you forget to focus on things that are more important; and curiosity is definitely one of them.

But, what does it mean to be ‘curious’?

Simply put, curiosity is the desire to seek out new knowledge or experiences. It also involves a willingness to engage with complex, unfamiliar, and challenging concepts or endeavors.

Why is Curiosity Important?

Having a curious mind is critical — it helps you to have an active mind and always keep on learning. You’re always developing, and your knowledge base expands every single day.

Moreover, it helps our brains to unlock its potential. This is mainly because our brains are just like regular muscles — the more you exercise, the stronger it gets.

Whenever you’re curious about something, your mind wanders into learning that. You become an active learner, and gain knowledge from everything around you.

Being curious is as simple as asking questions — how, why, what if, when, etc.

Having a curious mind also helps to change the perspective at which we view our surroundings. Sometimes we get to know fascinating concepts that we wouldn’t have known otherwise.

It also makes us an interesting person to talk with, mainly because we tend to know a lot about a lot of things.

But…

How many of us regularly dive deep into our creativity pockets? It’s not that many people who stay curious for most of their life.

However, curiosity one of the most primitive thought processes that helped humans evolve to the point that we are right now. So, why do most of us deviate from the very concept that facilitated innovation in all sectors of our lives?

How Curiosity Helped Accelerate The Islamic Ages

The Islamic Golden Age (8th to the 14th century) was said to be one of the greatest times for humans to ever live. Driven by curiosity and a thriving community of scholars, this was the time that built upon the ideas derived from the Greek Scholars and established the groundwork of most modern inventions.

This was the time where legendary scholars like Al-Khwarizmi, Jabir Ibn-Hayya, Ibn-Sina, Al-Battani, and Al Razi roamed the world in order to find answers to their questions. Their unparalleled curiosity led to thousands of advancements made in the fields of astronomy, medicines, philosophy, science, chemistry, physics and a lot more!

The Five Dimensions of Curiosity

For many decades, researchers have tried to unravel the secrets into curiosity and why some people are more curious than others.

This has led to breakthrough concepts into human psychology; understanding what lies deep within a person to make him/her more curious.

Rather than regard curiosity as a single trait, we can now break it down into five distinct dimensions. Instead of asking, “How curious are you?” we can ask, “How are you curious?” — Todd Kashdan

Developed by Todd Kashdan, a professor of psychology at George Mason University and author of Curious?, the 5 dimensions of curiosity is a fundamental concept that can change the way we think about curiosity. It properly explains all the different phases that a curious mind find goes through, before stumbling to the answers that satisfy it.

The five dimensions of curiosity are:

1. Joyous Exploration

The recognition and desire to seek out new knowledge and information. This is a pleasurable state, and people tend to enjoy every bit of the exploration into the extent of knowledge gathering.

2. Deprivation Sensitivity

In this dimension, the person recognizes a gap in knowledge and tries to fill these gaps. The person works relentlessly and solves problems to gain the knowledge required. This dimension doesn’t necessarily feel good, but it’s highly effective.

3. Stress Tolerance

During this phase, the mind is willing to embrace the stress, doubt, confusion, anxiety, and other forms of distress that arise from exploring the new, unexpected, complex, mysterious, or obscure events.

4. Social Curiosity

This dimension states that the person now wants to know what others think about the concept. They observe, talk and listen into conversations to know extract as much knowledge and perspective from others.

5. Thrill Seeking

During this phase, the curious mind is willing to take physical, social and financial risks to acquire varied, complex, and intense experiences that change their life.

People who have gone through all the five dimensions of curiosity are more successful in their life and career, along with being more contented with life overall. Their knowledge and perspective into the world is also different from most people you find around you.

How To Boost Your Curiosity

Up until now, we have talked about the importance of curiosity, how it influenced people in the past and the dimensions that one has to surpass.

Now, you might ask yourself, ‘How am I going to develop my curiosity?’

While there’s a lot that you can do, here are some of the easy tips to boost your curiosity.

1. Learn, Unlearn & Relearn

Having a beginner’s mind is a crucial step to enhance your curiosity. You’ll have to actively learn, unlearn all the concepts and look forward to new concepts and relearn the concepts. Being open to newer concepts will drastically change the way you view the world, and it’ll help you accept the things that you learn while helping your curiosity. It’s also helpful for the brain because your neural system is enhanced as you gain more knowledge.

2. Asking Questions, Listening & Observing

Curious minds ask a lot of questions, and they’re restless until they find an answer. You’ll have to ask a lot of questions (many of which will be stupid questions!), and listen to what others have to say about those. Perform your research and try to excavate resources that help you to find out the answer to your questions.

3. Trying Something New

Changing your regular setting might help you become a lot more curious. Try taking a different route to your work, read a book in a genre that you usually avoid, try going to a place that you don’t normally go, read about things that you don’t read. While doing these, your mind will be open to new points of view.

4. Be Inquisitive

Try asking others about their opinions, know their viewpoints, perspectives, situations they’re in (that influence their thought process) and how they approach certain things. While doing this, you’ll notice that everyone does things differently. You’ll also find similar patterns and bottlenecks and try to find out how to eliminate those.

5. Meet New People

This is one of the easiest ways to boost your creativity. By meeting new people, you will know how people think outside your network and what’s their perspective into the problems that you’re finding answers to.

Ending Thoughts

Curiosity is something that drives us forward; it’s one of the building blocks of life. While finding answers to complex, unfamiliar, and challenging concepts or endeavors, we tend to stumble upon mind-opening thoughts that shape our perspectives and extend our knowledge.

We don’t have to ask big questions, mind that. A simple ‘what if’ can bring about the information that reshapes your understanding.

Knowing the five dimensions of curiosity, you can hardwire your brain to become more curious in everything. This can be achieved by asking a lot of questions, having a beginner’s mind and actively learning. You’ll have to research a lot and talk to people to know about their perspectives too.

By leveraging curiosity, we can achieve extensive databases of knowledge and grow our brain’s potential to hold more information. Just as it’s said, learning is like a drug, you get hooked once you know its importance!

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I'm a hustler, stoic and a hard-working person. I love traveling and to write about philosophy, science and technology!

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Shakhawat Ullah Badhon

Shakhawat Ullah Badhon

I'm a hustler, stoic and a hard-working person. I love traveling and to write about philosophy, science and technology!

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