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5 Ways To Develop Curiosity

5 Ways To Develop Curiosity

Curiosity might have killed the cat, but it could help you live a happier and more successful life. Curious people are not content to study a single subject of interest; instead, they learn about a wide array of topics that fascinate them. This gives them a fresh perspective that allows them to find answers to problems that others might miss. Curious people ask lots of questions and are determined to identify common threads that exist in conflicting topics (and it’s not difficult to see how that might lead to more success). If you’d like to boost your ability to think creatively, apply these 5 ways to develop curiosity. 

1. Eliminate “I’m Bored” from Your Vocabulary

“I’m bored” is a useless thing to say. I mean, you live in a great, big, vast world that you’ve seen none percent of. Even the inside of your own mind is endless; it goes on forever, inwardly, do you understand? The fact that you’re alive is amazing, so you don’t get to say “I’m bored.” – Louis C.K.

The more you say you’re bored, the less opportunity your mind has to grow. If you look at something and find it boring, you’re not looking hard enough. Stuck in a waiting room and bored out of your mind? Grab a magazine you would never read otherwise and read an article that piques your interest. Strike up a conversation with a stranger and ask them to tell you an interesting story. Watch the mannerisms of the people around you and be fascinated by their personal quirks.

2. Search for the Positive in All Situations

Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will. – Zig Ziglar

If you expect something to be dreadfully boring, it will be. If you tell yourself you will have no fun, you won’t. Instead of agonizing during a traffic jam, take the opportunity to call a friend to catch up, or listen to a few chapters of a good audio-book. Expecting things to be fun and interesting will help you develop a positive mind-set that is more open to new ideas.

3. Question Everything

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. – Albert Einstein

Could you tell me why the sky is blue? Do you know what bugs are responsible for the insect chorus that sings when darkness falls? Have you ever wondered what your dog does at home while you’re working during the day? Why does it take us longer to begin a chore than it takes us to actually complete it? Pay more attention. Life is full of questions to ask. Live in the present and notice the things that fascinate you most. Solve the mysteries that you can’t stop thinking about.

4. Do Something Different

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. – Walt Disney

Do you usually listen to hard rock while you work? Try to work while listening to smooth jazz, classical music, or R&B. Do you usually stick with self-help and autobiographies? Read a trashy romance novel or horror book. Do you usually stick with mainstream movies? Find an independent theater and watch a foreign film. You will never really know if you don’t like something until you give it a fair chance.

5. Conquer Fear

Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will. – James Stephens

Most people stick with the “same ol’, same ol'” because they are afraid to try something different. Change can be a scary thing when we become so used to a routine that we don’t even have to think about it. The more curious you are, the less afraid you will be. Focus on the positive outcomes when you try something new. For example, let’s say you are interested in theater arts, decided to audition for a play for the first time ever, got cast, and now it is opening night. Don’t think about how embarrassed you would be if you forgot your lines (hint: no one will ever notice as long as you don’t freak out). Instead, imagine booming applause and a standing ovation at curtain call.

Feel free to add to this list! How do you develop curiosity to keep your brain sharp? 

More by this author

Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on November 5, 2020

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. A rut can manifest as a productivity vacuum and be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. Is it possible to learn how to get out of a rut?

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, or a student, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on Small Tasks

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks that have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate positive momentum, which I bring forward to my work.

If you have a large long-term goal you can’t wait to get started on, break it down into smaller objectives first. This will help each piece feel manageable and help you feel like you’re moving closer to your goal.

You can learn more about goals vs objectives here.

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2. Take a Break From Your Work Desk

When you want to learn how to get out of a rut, get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the bathroom, walk around the office, or go out and get a snack. According to research, your productivity is best when you work for 50 minutes to an hour and then take a 15-20 minute break[1].

Your mind may be too bogged down and will need some airing. By walking away from your computer, you may create extra space for new ideas that were hiding behind high stress levels.

3. Upgrade Yourself

Take the down time to upgrade your knowledge and skills. Go to a seminar, read up on a subject of interest, or start learning a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college[2]. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a Friend

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while. Relying on a support system is a great way to work on self-care when you’re learning how to get out of a rut.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget About Trying to Be Perfect

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies. Perfectionism can lead you to fear failure, which can ultimate hinder you even more if you’re trying to find motivation to work on something new.

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If you allow your perfectionism to fade, soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come, and then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

Learn more about How Not to Let Perfectionism Secretly Screw You Up.

6. Paint a Vision to Work Towards

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the ultimate goal or vision you have for your life?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action. You can use the power of visualization or even create a vision board if you like to have something to physically remind you of your goals.

7. Read a Book (or Blog)

The things we read are like food for our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great material.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. You can also stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs and follow writers who inspire and motivate you. Find something that interests you and start reading.

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8. Have a Quick Nap

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep[3].

Try a nap if you want to get out of a rut

    One Harvard study found that “whether they took long naps or short naps, participants showed significant improvement on three of the four tests in the study’s cognitive-assessment battery”[4].

    9. Remember Why You Are Doing This

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall your inspiration, and perhaps even journal about it to make it feel more tangible.

    10. Find Some Competition

    When we are learning how to get out of a rut, there’s nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, and networking conventions can all inspire you to get a move on. However, don’t let this throw you back into your perfectionist tendencies or low self-esteem.

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    11. Go Exercise

    Since you are not making headway at work, you might as well spend the time getting into shape and increasing dopamine levels. Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, or whatever type of exercise helps you start to feel better.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

    If you need ideas for a quick workout, check out the video below:

    12. Take a Few Vacation Days

    If you are stuck in a rut, it’s usually a sign that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange one or two days to take off from work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax, do your favorite activities, and spend time with family members. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest.

    More Tips to Help You Get out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Ashkan Forouzani via unsplash.com

    Reference

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