Imagine one day having to wake up with powers of absolute knowledge and what you could do with it. You can probably become a very powerful investor due to the knowledge you posses, or get that dream job immediately after acing the first round of interviews. With absolute knowledge, you will be able to help those in need during times of crisis and be looked up upon.
We know that absolute knowledge is impossible; however, high levels of curiosity can still help us get to where we want to be in life. Take a step back today and ask yourself whether you’re where you want to be as planned a year ago. If the answer is no, then maybe it is a sign that you need to be more curious in your life. Here are five signs you need to further boost your curiosity.
1. You don’t have good memory and learning is ineffective
Always forgetting where you put your car keys or to do the things your boss asks you to do? Studies have shown that people with bad memory may be lacking in dopamine, a chemical in the brain that strengthens people’s memories.
A research study done on college students by a neuroscientist from the University of California might shed light on how natural curiosity can improve our memory.
Using an fMRI scanner, each of the student’s brains were monitored while being asked a bunch of trivia questions. They started with interesting questions that the students were highly curious about, and then a list of questions that were boring. The students were then asked to do memory tests on remembering the answers. In all, the students remembered 35 answers out of 50 when they were curious and 27 out of 50 when they were not.
2. You don’t have good health
A 2005 report published in the Health Psychology journal did a two-year study of more than 1,000 patients and found out that people with higher levels of curiosity also had a lesser likelihood of having hypertension or diabetes. Though it is not definite that it implies causation, its relationship however, suggests that being curious can bring about positive effects on our health.
In 1996, there was also another study to observe more than 1,000 older adults over a five-year period. Those who survived at the end of the five years were found to be more curious than the others who didn’t outlive the period of study. Another surprising finding was that among those who still lived, there were people who were smokers, who had cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
So if you think you’re not in the best of health physically, try regenerating mentally first by keeping an open mind and developing a habit for questioning things. One example could be questioning the mechanisms of everyday items that we come in contact with and how they work.
3. You have difficulty in developing intimate relationships
Difficulty in developing intimate relationships can also be a sign of poor levels of curiosity as researchers have pointed out that the highly curious experiences more interpersonal outcomes compared to the less curious.
Researchers at the University of Buffalo (UB) carried out an experiment with 90 students at UB, before which, they were first put through a test to measure their levels of curiosity. The students were then put in two conversations settings with their partners: one casual and the other intimate.
Looking at the results, the researchers concluded that individuals with higher curiosity levels are more approachable, and they exhibit more pleasure-seeking behaviors which increases shared feelings of intimacy between strangers. For example, researchers realized that people with high curiosity tend to approach the questions with wit and humor to liven up conversations.
4. You easily feel unhappy
If you’re getting frustrated problems that seem like small issues to others, then it’s probably due to the fact that you are lacking the two important components of achieving happiness in life. Polls conducted by the Gallup organization realized that the two components are “being able to count on others for help” and “learning something yesterday” — all of which leads to how high a person’s curiosity level is.
Another finding by researchers in Harvard University will surprise you. Researchers stated that we actually find less joy in anticipated events which we think will make us happy in the future because rather than stumbling on it — which will give us more joy — a planned pursuit of joy is less pleasurable. They then went on to add that cultivating curiosity helps us remain open to new experiences, which helps to increase our likelihood for stumbling upon satisfying activities.
5. You desperately want to find the meaning of life
Curiosity is the gateway to many foundations of our lives; hobbies, interests, and passions are all results of our curiosities being piqued. However, lacking curiosity later in our lives will have us desperately looking for new meaning for what we live for.
It could also be said that curiosity itself is a purpose of life and as long as we live, we’re motivated to find the answers to the big questions in life. And as long as you can muster curiosity levels and keep an open mind, the more you will uncover mysteries and hence, life will naturally become more meaningful.
Easy Ways to Cultivate Curiosity
Look around you and you’ll realize that there are many things which you do not have the answers to. For example, how does one make designs in leather? How does an air conditioning unit work? Do we really know how much sleep we require?
Keep your mind open
As adults, we have been molded to assume everything based on life experiences. But try the approach of an open mind, and you will be amazed at the many mysteries you will uncover.
Diversify your life experience
Try new things everyday and it doesn’t matter how difficult it is. As adults, we always assume things like learning a new language is hard because of what we listen from other people who have tried it. Brilliant people have diversified backgrounds because of their high levels of curiosity, and you should too.
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