“Be a curious cat: how to create a life that delights” is a collaborative post.
People often associate curiosity with children, daydreaming, or brash behaviour. However, this trait has the potential to influence your outlook on life in a very practical, tangible way. Staying curious about the world means staying open to possibility, and choosing to see potential where others see a void.
Curiosity connects us to a deeper sense of wonderment within ourselves, often sparking gratitude and appreciation along the way. It also keeps us sharp, open-minded, and ready to explore uncharted territories. Some studies even suggest that curiosity is important for long-term cognitive development.
Adopting a mindset of curiosity is one of the best ways to create a life that delights, inspires, and excites—whether you’re a child or a fully grown adult. Plus, it’s one of the few areas of expertise your children probably understand better than you do, so hang tight and enjoy the ride!
The importance of curiosity
Now there’s a reason curiosity is affiliated with little children. So many of them contain a never-ending fountain of questions about the world. If you got a penny for every “but why?” your little one asked you, you’d surely be running to the bank.
Their energetic inquisitiveness can be both endearing and an annoyance at times. But at the end of the day, it’s simply how they learn, and forms an important part of their mental, emotional, and even physical development.
Unfortunately, many people lose their sense of wonder as they grow older, swapping out curiosity for apathy, and awe for indifference. And while it’s necessary to sometimes favour restraint over curiosity, numbing ourselves to that sparkle of wonder can have some bleak long-term repercussions.
Curiosity is a fundamental element of cognition. It’s the motivation for learning, growing, experimenting, and seeking innovation. Staying curious keeps us from becoming complacent, and allows us to maintain a healthy level of engagement with ourselves, our families, and the world around us.
Being curious is about having an open mindset. It means being flexible, taking calculated risks, and inviting yourself to be inspired by life rather than afraid of it.
But staying curious can be difficult when you’re a parent. There are so many landmines to avoid, and the rational fear of danger may often prevent you from embracing full curiosity. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t start incorporating a healthy swirl of wonderment into the mix.
You can draw inspiration from these five tips for staying curious and creating a delightful existence, no matter who you are, how old you are, or where your aspirations lay.
1. Ask questions
Asking questions is how we seek the truth. Children ask them unapologetically because so much of the world still remains unfamiliar to them, but adults can have a harder time admitting when they don’t have the answers. Even though there are no stupid questions, it certainly can feel like it sometimes.
But asking questions (yes, even “stupid” ones) is extremely important for personal growth. Questions are a resource you can use to better equip yourself for life and impart knowledge on to the next generation. So don’t be afraid to ask questions and embrace the unknown. You will be rewarded for your courage.
2. Nurture a variety of interests
Another way to stay inspired in life is to entertain a wide variety of interests. They will keep your mind active and your spirit curious, spurning you on to a deeper, richer experience here on earth.
Try to keep hobbies that focus on different aspects of your life: something that stimulates the mind, something that stimulates the body, and something that stimulates emotion or creativity. You could draw, read, garden, cook, hike or write. The list is endless!
3. Play more
Playing comes naturally to children, but adults can have a harder time slipping into an imaginative, carefree state. This is typically due to stress or unfinished to-do lists, which are important, but not all the time. In fact, choosing to step away from structure and routine is important for your health.
A good dose of silliness, imagination, and curiosity can help you connect better with your children, and release some of the tension that comes with 24/7 adulting. If you want to stay curious, set aside regular time to spend playing games with yourself, your friends, your partner or with your children and their toys. This playtime will ease anxiety and encourage fresh perspectives.
4. Spend time with other curious people
Like laughter, curiosity can be infectious. The more time you spend with other curious, creative people, the more likely you are to emulate those traits yourself. If you find it difficult to unlock curiosity on your own, that’s okay.
Think of others who inspire, delight, and excite you on an internal level as a type of vitamin or supplement for your soul. They are there to support you on your way and improve your health and wellbeing. Those who challenge your opinions and encourage you to think for yourself are exactly the type of people you want around you to spark curiosity. Your kids are probably a great place to start!
5. Venture outside of your comfort zone
The number one rule when it comes to staying curious and mentally motivated is to do one of the hardest things in the world; stepping outside of your comfort zone.
You aren’t likely to find that elusive spark of true stimulation and awe by refusing to explore. So, put on your metaphorical (or literal) hiking boots and prepare yourself for adventure. Trying new things on a regular basis expands your understanding of the world and opens up the door for fresh questions to arise. The more you explore, the more you will discover.
6. Keep curiosity alive at every age
Being curious and creating a delightful life is not a tangible destination you can arrive at. Instead, it’s a constant practice you can incorporate day by day to gradually open up your mind and live life with a stronger appetite for innovation.
Fortunately, motherhood beams with opportunities to exercise curiosity. With enough time and intention, you can choose enchantment over apathy any day, and become the curious cat whose satisfaction brings it back (again, and again, and again) with love.