As a child I was often told that curiosity killed the cat. I guess as children that was a way of shutting us up when adults were tired of answering our questions. Did it work or did it do much more? And cats seem to play a large role in this. After all when we stop asking questions and do not speak we are asked if the cat got our tongue!
We are taught that being curious is asking too many questions, being rude or intrusive. Of course there is a time and place for questions – and sometimes they are inappropriate. However, if we believe being curious is a bad thing then in trying to please others we often stop being curious. At that point we stop exploring our world and ourselves.
Curiosity comes from a need to explore ourselves and our world. When we stop being curious about ourselves and what is possible then we stand still and eventually stagnate. If we are always curious about what is possible for us – rather than what we cannot do – then we can still surprise ourselves. Being willing to explore what else there is or what other way there is to be makes our life much more interesting for ourselves and others.
After all if you never explore how can you know? As a child we dream about what we want to be as an adult. We don’t look at what might get in the way, or if we are clever enough. We are going to be a brain surgeon – or an astronaut – or a ballerina. We are going to explore the upper reaches of the Amazon. At that point we are not even thinking about whether we have the ability to do so. We think it might be a great idea so that’s what we’ll be.
The child is curious and explores without the filters of judgement. When we stop exploring and stand still then we step into judgement. Curiosity will always keep judgement at bay because curiosity is about what’s possible not what’s wrong.
When was the last time you allowed yourself to be curious about your life and where it might go? When was the last time you explored what is possible for you not what limits you?
Try spending 5 minutes each day exploring and being curious and see where it takes you. Try exploring the upper reaches of your own abilities – or failing that the local river. You might even find that you have many more options than you think!