Usually, we connect learning to official educational systems; well-set classrooms and big fancy textbooks. In reality, learning is a continuous process that depends on having a curious mindset that asks questions more rather than gives answers.
“Curiosity is the key to being a lifelong learner, and if you want to keep growing and developing, you must keep on learning”.
The relationship between curiosity and personal growth is well is illustrated under law # 12 in The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth book by John C. Maxwell.
This post summarizes the Law of Curiosity. The rest of the laws in the mentioned book are summarized in previous posts as the following:
- The Law of Intentionality;
- The Law of Awareness;
- The Law of Mirror;
- The Law of Reflection;
- The Law of Consistency;
- The Law of Environment;
- The law of Design;
- The law of Pain;
- The law of Ladder;
- The law of Rubber Band;
- The law of trade-offs.
How to Cultivate Curiosity
If curiosity is the road to lifelong learning and growth, then, the most important question is how can we trigger it and keep it flaming? Maxwell provided us with 10 actions that help us to cultivate curiosity as the following.
- Believe you can be curious: don’t’ think that curiosity will come naturally. Firstly, give yourself the permission to be curious; ask questions, open your mind and stay eager to learn more, and then curiosity will help you to grow.
- Have a beginner’s mindset: curiosity starts with questioning everything so develop the attitude of asking questions as if you are a beginner; just like a child. Never have the attitude of I-know-it-all. “Anytime a person is answering more than asking, you can be sure they’ve slowed down in their growth and have lost the fire for personal growth”.
- Make why your favorite word: asking “why’s” more than giving answers is a great way to achieve maturity and wisdom. “Anyone who knows all the answers is not asking the right questions”.
- Spend time with other curious people: stimulating curiosity and growth can be enhanced by the people around you so choose them wisely.
- Learn something new every day: commit yourself to learning at least one something new every day. Firstly, start your day with an attitude of openness; secondly, keep your eyes and ears open during the day and finally, reflect and take time to think about what happened during the day. “Experience is not the best teacher; evaluated experience is”.
- Partake in the fruit of failure: don’t’ see your failures and mistake as a sign of weakness. “When failure is your friend, you don’t ask, “How can I distance myself from this experience?” Instead, you ask, “Why did this happen? What can I learn? How can I grow from this?” As a result, you fail fast, learn fast, and get to try again fast. That leads to growth and future success”.
- Stop looking for the right answer: don’t accept the rules and stop looking for one correct and absolute answer. “Almost every advance in art, cooking,medicine, agriculture, engineering, marketing, politics, education, and design has occurred when someone challenged the rules and tried another approach”.—Roger von Oech.
- Get over yourself: don’t be afraid to look silly or foolish while looking for answers. Roger von Oech said, “If we never tried anything that might make us look ridiculous, we’d still be in caves”.
- Get out of the box
- Enjoy your life: “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity”. —Dorothy Parker.
“There ain’t no rules around here! We’re trying to accomplish something!” —Thomas Edison.
“The best way to keep from being boring is to quote people who aren’t boring. I started looking for ideas that were stated in a funny or clever or inspiring way. But guess what happened after I had done that for several years? I began to ask why their statements and stories were so interesting. Why were they cute? Why did people laugh at them? Why were they innovative? Why did people connect with them? Before long, I was learning from the quotes I was collecting, and I was using the same kind of slant to make my own ideas creative and memorable. It took my communication to a whole new level. And better yet, it stimulated my growth and development”.– John Maxwell.