I jerked to attention when I heard a journalist call one of our political candidates (I'll let you guess which one) "stunningly uncurious." Living a life without curiosity is both sad and unimaginable to me.
According to researchers, curiosity is more important than intelligence. Without curiosity we avoid challenge, growth and new experiences. Our world gets smaller and smaller as our fears grow bigger and bigger.
Without a doubt, curiosity is a driving force of my life. Everywhere I look, I see evidence of that. What are the records of my curious life? As I begin to answer that question, I see that the physical things aren't especially dramatic. Here's what mine includes:
Photo albums--When I worked for Ethan Allen (my last job), I helped a couple who had lost everything in a fire. They told me that the only thing that made them really sad was losing all their family photos. I've heard the same from others who have had their homes destroyed.
My photo albums aren't just a collection of places and people I've loved, however. There's a big gap in my albums where no photos exist. That's part of my story too.
Library--Jim Rohn says the most important legacy we can leave is our library and our journals. I've always thought a personal library is another form of record keeping. Like photo albums, a library is a record of where we've been and what we've explored.
There's a character in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society who says, "Reading good books spoils you for reading bad books." The books that make up our personal libraries speak loudly
Passport--According to USA Today, only 27% of Americans have a current passport. In a fascinating interview in the September issue of Travel and Leisure magazine, actor Matt Damon said, "I think many of our problems as a country would be solved if people had thick passports. There's just no substitute for going and seeing things."
I keep mine in plain sight and intend to acquire some more stamps in it this year.
Stories--People who spend their lives acquiring things, rather than acquiring experiences, have fewer interesting stories to tell perhaps, which is a shame. Stories are the ultimate connector. They're important in families, in friendships and in business. Stories add the human touch in a high tech world.
As Brian Grazer points out, "Storytelling and curiosity are natural allies. Curiosity is what drives human beings out into the world every day, to ask questions about what's going on around them, about people and why they behave the way they do. Storytelling is the act of bringing home the discoveries learned from curiosity. The story is a report from the front lines of curiosity."
What evidence of curiosity have you collected? Where is your curiosity taking you next?
Pay attention. Pick a theme. Plan some fascinating projects. Listen and follow your calls. Keep your curiosity on high alert and you open yourself to a lifetime of adventures and discoveries. In fact, you could be stunningly curious.