Curiosity is the root of innovation, creativity, and learning. I love to explore new ideas, I love to make things happen. Yet sometimes I don’t feel very challenged, which makes it hard to get curious. I found a useful survey to help you measure your curiosity and exploration levels.
Over the past week or so, I’ve met with some of my students, who are starting exciting new lives – new careers, new relationships, and new cities. There is something both exciting and scary about new phases in life. Which got me thinking whether I’ve done anything new recently. New career – Nope. New relationship – Nope. New city – Nope. I’m going into my 10th year at Brescia, the longest I have ever been in a job or a city.
I have to admit, I was jealous of my students, going on to exciting new experiences, while I was stuck in the same old things. Yet I love my job and all the neat things that I get to do. So it’s not like I want to quit my job and move to Bali. So how does one trigger excitement, and a little bit of apprehension, and a lot of curiosity? My friend the vocal coach asked me this question, “What can you do that isn’t in your area of expertise? How could you get out of your comfort zone?” And she is right. I don’t need to leave the city to get excited about something, or to be a bit afraid of it. So I’ve been thinking about what the new scary, exciting thing (maybe a practice, maybe a project, maybe something else) will be for me.
Once leaders get too comfortable, they can’t relate to the experiences of their followers. We need to try new things, to be a bit afraid of trying something. Good leaders look for opportunities to stretch themselves, no matter what their life stage or career stage. So ask yourself, when did you last really take a risk, really try something that you weren’t sure you could do well? Pushing yourself to be better, different, curious, or creative can help you be more satisfied, happier, more highly motivated, or just more fun. It can also make you a better leader. It can build your ability to be strategic, creative, visionary, and has been shown to influence job performance. So foster your curiosity. Here are some ways to get curious from Psychology Today.