Nurturing your curiosity is a way of keeping in touch with your inner child.
As kids, we were always learning, exploring, touching new things and each “expedition” made us feel excited about the world around us. Every day, there was something new to keep us running and waking up with thrill and wonder of what’s going to happen next.
Curiosity is an important part of human character because it makes us engage in new activities and stimulates us to learn. New information that was obtained while we studied out of curiosity has the tendency to “stay with us” for a longer period. (1)
Research has linked inner curiosity with happiness, positive emotions, laughter, playfulness, humor, out-of-the-box thinking, anxiety tolerance, open minded attitude and health. (2)
Part of why curiosity is so beneficial is that it has the power to largely replace our concerns and fears related to challenges we are facing with a sense of wonder and optimism about the very own process of life itself regardless of its outcomes. If we are not fully focusing on the pressure to get a certain outcome we can be busy with developing creative strategies while enjoying. When we manage to do this the problem we are facing becomes smaller and less significant. When we are curious about life as a process many of our daily problems diminish or at least don’t bother or scare us as much. (3)
Being curious keeps our mindset fresh and healthy because it makes us open up to unknown experiences. This way, we are able to notice new opportunities for joy, fun and new knowledge. An open and clear mind makes us aware of the moment we call now and our current surroundings. By paying more attention to things outside of our head and learning new information, we keep ourselves active and, in general, more excited about our day. This brings in more vitality, more energy and eventually makes us feel alive.
If you haven't felt curious about life for a while chances are that you have been feeling tired, stressed, uninspired or stuck in your routine. Don’t worry, all it takes to for “spring in your step” to return is for you to make small changes that will enhance your inner curiosity. The most efficient and sustainable way to spark up your inner curiosity is to practice it daily through a pleasant morning routine adjusted to your wants and needs.
Start with the Heart
Just like first impressions have a huge impact on our perception in social situations and our childhood is the foundation for most of our behavior later on in life, morning has the tendency to determine the “tone” of the rest of our day.
Beginnings have an important role in the further development of any path you take, so creating a safe and loving space for yourself to become curious is essential at this point. In order to spend your day “in tune with life” you will firstly have to connect to yourself (4). This is why you need to start with your heart. Shortly after you opened your eyes, take a moment, maybe 5 to 10 minutes to create conscious contact with your inner self and check how are you feeling. To enhance the experience, you can place a hand on your heart and allow any feelings or thoughts to emerge. Approach the sensation with curiosity being open to whatever is there. You don’t need to understand or control anything that you experience. Whatever happens is ok. Accept everything.
This is one of the habits that is proven to support pure curiosity and enhance mindfulness. Seems very simple and at the same time it holds a powerful potential to influence every area of your life. By developing your curiosity through connecting with your own heart you are not only bettering your ability to explore, but you are also improving your productivity, creativity, life satisfaction, self-love and health.
Let’s imagine that sleeping in, panicking and rushing to work is your morning routine. If you barely have a moment to make a proper cup of coffee, how can you expect to have a chance to connect with your inner self and create a playful, inspired day for yourself?
Waking up early sets a stage for you to remain calm because there’s enough time to do everything you’ve planned and maybe even more than that. It makes you feel like you control time. Sounds like a paradox but in order to be curious you need a bit of control and some sense of safety, otherwise, you would be too busy with “surviving” that you wouldn’t bother with learning and enjoying.
Next time you wake up make sure it happens nice are early. Don’t hit that snooze button. Instead, give yourself a gift of time and space to cultivate curiosity. Connect firstly with your heart, then sense your surroundings. Slow down and ask yourself- what is it that I would like to explore today?
Engage your Senses
When you wake up, take your time to appreciate the morning sunshine, rain or the wind, hear the noise birds are making, see the trees, plants. Engage your senses. This way, you’ll begin the day by appreciating the moment.
Senses are where we get most of our information from so focusing on them instead of the ongoing chatter in our head allows us to step away from what we know already into the current moment where everything is new and everything is possible.
Life is an amazingly creative force and it consists of millions of moments. Every moment is an event. When we see life like that we become curious about its possibilities and we start to dare to experiment, dare to live our life by design.
Declare Your Self as a Beginner
Claiming you know everything, having opinions and trying to impose them on others, creating assumptions and declaring yourself as an expert in every field will for sure influence the overall level of curiosity you will feel. No one knows everything. Even the most well-known scientists and philosophers of the world do not have the ability to know and understand the complexity and quantity of knowledge that exists today.
By declaring yourself as a beginner you are allowing yourself to make mistakes and to discover perspectives that were not available to you before when you believed “I know this”. This is a gentle and quite a humble way to allow your curiosity to increase the quality of your life. All you need to do is to set your ego aside and trust yourself that you will be able to learn anything you set our heart to.
Every morning after you brushed your teeth, look into the mirror and declare yourself a beginner in one particular aspect of life. No shame, no judgment. Just a simple and sincere act of opening up for new experiences. You can say I am beginner in learning to love myself, I am a beginner in learning to be a good employee, I am a beginner at allowing intimacy in my life…. It can be anything that makes sense to you.
Cultivating curiosity through morning routine takes some time and practice but its rewards are threefold. You get to grow, you feel more love and finally, you get to understand a little bit better what this thing called “life” means to you.
I am already curious to hear what you have learned.
(Read this next: 7 Steps to Make Progress Towards Life Goals)