Don’t Read This Post – Just Trust Me.Image under CC Attribution 2.0 from tab2_dawa
So here you are, directly disobeying my orders. Why did you do it? Don’t you realize this link could have taken you to a page full of dancing Rick Astleys… or worse?
Do you even know why you disregarded my mysterious warning? Stop and think for a moment. You just couldn’t help yourself. Something inside you yearned to learn what was on the other end of that big blue headline.
It was your unshakable sense of curiosity. And it was only human for you to follow that link.
Now let’s see what this uncanny reaction is good for.
Curiosity is a deep-seeded human instinct.
The most direct paths to garnering a person’s interest are through their age-old instincts. Curiosity is on the same level as hunger, sex and self-preservation: they’re all innate desires that play pivotal roles in our everyday lives.
Mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal once said, “Two things control men’s nature: instinct and experience.” And when something as potent as curiosity plays into our very nature, it’s easy to incite and manipulate.
Curiosity inspires action and drives progress.
It’s what encouraged the first men to reproduce fire. It’s what brought Mr. Columbus (and others before him) to North America. And, of course, it’s what killed the cat.
So while our collective nosy nature has spawned a stack of unfortunate felines through the ages, the benefits have been tenfold. As they say, no pain, no gain. And there wouldn’t be much pain to speak of without the persistence of curiosity.
Curiosity is contagious.
Whether there’s a spectacle in the street or on a coworker’s computer, when an enthused crowd starts to gather, others join up to inspect the situation. Movie or show-ending cliffhangers keep viewers coming back for the following release, and suspense gets people talking.
The more people we see getting hooked on a mystery, the more likely we are to go see for ourselves.
Fear and apathy are the enemies of curiosity.
We’re often too sheepish to investigate the strange or extraordinary things that pique our interest. This usually has something to do with social stigmas, anxieties, or plain and simple fear. We let something as easy and mundane as engaging a stranger in small talk become an unthinkably terrifying prospect.
The other half of the time, we just blow off our curiosities because it’s too far off the beaten path. Our general apathy keeps us from deviating our comfortable routine.
But don’t let fear and laziness get in the way: make curiosity work for you. Make potential employers, customers and prospective hot dates eager to learn more about you and your message. Shake the fear of pursuing your inquisitive inclinations to become a bolder person.
And it goes both ways: embrace your own curiosity every day and you’re bound to learn more. Why, didn’t you learn something just now?
In case you didn’t, here’s some supplemental reading to further catalyze your curiosity:
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