Word-Of-the-Week #673: Curiosity

June 29, 2017 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #673: Curiosity 

Curiosity – noticing and being drawn to things we find interesting; inquisitiveness.

How curious are you? Do you take time to actually notice your surroundings? How often are you drawn to things you find interesting or question?

This week’s WOW comes from the actions of my forever man and love of my life, Chris. He had taken this picture on the Isle of Islay in Scotland when we there for the Whisky Festival the first part of June. He showed me and said, “Do you know where I took this?” To which I responded, “No.”

And then he proceeded to tell me that he had just taken it on our walk back to our B &B in the town of Bowmore. We had just arrived and were both exploring and enjoying our sweet little village on the water. Then he asked me, “Do you know how I found it? I saw one loose board on the front of the building and slid it to the side and peeked inside. And this is what I found! I wonder how long that stuff has been sitting in that garage. And what’s the story behind it?”

It occurred to me that I had completely missed what he saw and thought how great it was that he had been inquisitive enough to do that. I never thought of him as being curious. And clearly it happens most often when he has a camera in his hand!

And I just wish I would have taken a picture of the old boarded up, nondescript facade. I’m sure most people that pass it on the street never give it a second glance!

Chris is always saying to me, “You are always looking for the oyster with the pearl.” And I would have to agree that’s true. But I think this time he found the pearl. What do you think?

So that spurred me to do some research and I found “The Power of Curiosity. Discover how cultivating an inquiring mind can help you lead a happier, healthier life,” by Todd Kashdan. He writes, “What do you want most in life? For the vast majority of us, the answer is “to be happy.”In a 2007 survey of more than 10,000 people from 48 countries published in Perspectives on Psychological Sciences, happiness was viewed as more important than success, intelligence, knowledge, maturity, wisdom, relationships, wealth and meaning in life.

Happiness is a good thing. Yet, both in my professional research and in my personal experience, I’ve observed that when we focus solely on what we think will make us happy, we can lose track of what actually does.

In 2007 the Princeton economist Alan Krueger, Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman and their colleagues published a paper called “Are We Having More Fun Yet?”( I REALLY like the title!)They posed this question: Have the social progress, economic prosperity and technological advancements of the past 50 years changed the quality of our lives? Have these new opportunities allowed us to spend more time doing what we care about most, thus increasing our satisfaction and meaning in life?

For most of us, the answer is no. The majority of Americans spend less than 20 percent of each day doing what could be termed very engaging, enjoyable and meaningful activities (such as talking with close friends, bonding with loved ones, creating, playing, or pursuing a spiritual practice). Instead, most of our time and energy are spent either engaged in unsatisfying work activities and chores (commuting, standing in line at the post office, fixing broken appliances), or decompressing in ways that bring neither joy nor challenge (watching TV, snacking or just “doing nothing”).

It doesn’t have to be this way, though — if we’re willing to shake up our pursuit of happiness by introducing some elements of surprise.

One of the most reliable and overlooked keys to happiness is cultivating and exercising our innate sense of curiosity. That’s because curiosity — a state of active interest or genuinely wanting to know more about something — creates an openness to unfamiliar experiences, laying the groundwork for greater opportunities to experience discovery, joy and delight.

I don’t know about you but I LOVE the joy & delight of unfamiliar experiences & surprises! This week focus on having more curiosity. What genuinely interests you? What would you like to know more about? How open are you to unfamiliar experiences?

Stay Tuned! Next week the 5 Benefits of an Inquiring Mind.

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WOW Word-Of-the-Week #370: Curiosity

September 7, 2011 by · Comments Off on WOW Word-Of-the-Week #370: Curiosity 

Curiosity – a desire to know or learn.

Do you have a desire to learn about new things? Do you think the older you get the more curious you are? Do you think that you know everything you need to know?

This week’s WOW comes from Kim with her response to my WOW#364 on wonder.

“What a great idea for a travel theme.  I recently had to travel around the US for work, and they bought an RV for me to do it in so I could bring my dogs.  I was on the Lewis and Clark Trail and didn’t know it. I kept seeing T shirts and magnets in the stores with Lewis and Clark on it. I then started going to every museum about them, and camping in or close to their original camps. I hiked parts of the trail that are in State Parks. I looked at the statues in the various towns, and read the inscriptions. I watched the movies, and read the books. It was amazing what they did.”

“In school, it was 2 guys in a canoe going up a river. I loved it too, to be reminded that one of the miracles of the trip was that they were saved numerous times by Sacagawea, a 16-year-old young Indian woman carrying a new born on her back the whole time, who served as guide, interpreter, food expert, diplomat, doctor (and basically made the trip successful) the whole time her French husband was getting paid.  It was a pleasure to read about their adventure and to have a look into the politics of the day.”

“I had a friend tell me her travel ‘theme’ was to visit great American mansions all around the US. (The ones she has visited: Ca’ dZan: John Ringling’s Florida winter home for the circus; Moss Mansion, MT; Pittock Mansion, OR; Graceland Mansion, TN; Old Westbury Mansion, NY; Hearst Castle, CA; Biltmore Mansion, NC, Fallingwater, PA; House on the Rock, WI)

“You should take the Silk Road Marco Polo traveled!  There is an interesting book about that called “The Journeyer” by Gary Jennings. A FUN adventure read for travelers. I read that one when I traveled all over Asia. Safe travels.”

This week’s focus is on curiosity. Do you have a desire to learn something new? Do you have a travel theme? Do you have a hobby or a trade someone would like to learn about?

Reader Responses

“I like to joke with people who meet us for the first time that my daughters have their mother’s brains and good looks, but their father’s stubbornness and curiosity. The fact that I am a curious person is one of the reasons I became a journalist. I wanted to know what made people tick, and wanted to go places that I would never get to go to if I were not a journalist. We are all so different and come from so many different places that there are great stories to tell. Everyone has a unique background, and that is why we are just so darned interesting. I liked the mention of Lewis & Clark. It reminded me of when I was in grade school and learned about Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet and their travels through the Illinois and Wisconsin territories along the Mississippi River. They befriended Native Americans along their route also. Their travels piqued my curiosity as a child. Since curiosity is a natural human trait, I am always amazed when I meet people who are not curious at all! Without that natural curiosity, we really don’t open our minds to worlds – and peoples – outside of ourselves. We remain ensconced in our own little worlds. Something, unfortunately, I am seeing more and more as I approach my dotage. Thanks for the word, Susan.” – “Warrior” Joe