“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”
What if I was to tell there was one characteristic that could increase your ability to solve problems, think wide, broaden your self-expression, take pleasure in the world around you, enhance your goals and extend your natural talent? Wouldn’t you be interested in what it would take to see the world around you through a whole new perspective?
Truth of it is, you just demonstrated that you have it. It’s curiosity. Curiosità, according to Michael Gelb in his book “How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day, “is an “insatiably curious approach to life and unrelenting quest for continuous learning.”
By asking questions, searching for answers and digging deeper, we cultivate an open mind. We ask “why” when confronted with issues. Continuous learning is a habit that stretches our minds and makes them flexible when it comes to exploring your creativity or “thinking wide.”
How does one foster this insatiable learning addiction? Good question. I have a couple of ideas.
“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”
— Albert Einstein
Journal, Blog or Write
The best advice I have ever heard was starting a blog. It doesn’t have to be one you pimp out over the social media. It can be private with viewing privileges limited to you and your cat, Spartacus. But write your ideas, thoughts and mental musings. Keep in mind, this doesn’t have to be about grammar or readability. You may be stuck for the first couple of entries, but then you actually start looking for things that catch your interest, pique your curiosity and tap into your creative juices. To get started, try writing a few statements like “I wonder why/how” or even a few “What if . . . ”
“It surprises me how disinterested we are today about things like physics, space, the universe and philosophy of our existence, our purpose, our final destination. Its a crazy world out there. Be curious.”
— Stephen Hawking
Create Your Own Development Program
In an article published in the August 2013 edition of Success Magazine, keynote speaker and author Jason Dorsey pushed for a “breakthrough trend” where your approach for talent development “takes learning away from Human Resources and traditional classrooms and puts it directly in the palm of YOUR OWN HANDS.”
With our resources via the Internet, libraries, TED Talk programs and audio books, you have the power to create a syllabus for cultivating your passion, talents, broadening your horizons and merging ideas to create unique solutions. Here is your chance to learn on demand and change your future.
Dorsey offered three steps to creating your development or learning program:
- Find the No. 1 thinker in what you want to learn and download every free resource they offer.
- Watch a TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) video every day.
- Create a monthly learning theme. Read books, articles, etc.
“When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.”
— Walt Disney Company
Law of Attraction — or the RAS Filter
With the invention of the DVR, we are able to record the shows we want to see and filter out the ones we aren’t interesting in viewing. In our mind, we have our own little DVR called the RAS or Reticular Activating System.
The RAS is a filter that takes all the current sensory data and sorts out what is important for us to be aware of and what isn’t important. If it’s important or has a “must know” category attached to the input, the RAS lets it through. Kind of how you can hear your name in a crowded airport over all the noise.
But, you can train your RAS, to open it’s gates. By learning, reading or making new discoveries, it pushes the subject to the “important” level and you will see or experience more in that realm. Writing, reading and listening to audio about a subject or theme helps FOCUS the RAS filter — which can lead to spontaneous ideas or problem-solving answers.
It functions in the same way that say Google ads works. If you are about to take a trip to Seattle, you may Google the Emerald City for ideas on activities. Then, every time you go to Google, or visit a site with enabled advertisements, all the ads are centered around Seattle — vying for your attention about events, hotel rooms or even flights.
Some people label this as the Law of Attraction. Perhaps. I like to think that I have a bit more control over it — and call it Focusing My Filters.
The takeaway? You have the power to take control of your creative path, solve problems, think wide, broaden your self-expression, take pleasure in the world around you, enhance your goals and extend your natural talent.
Go through life asking questions. Read a wide range of topics. Never stop learning.
“To be wise is to be eternally curious.”
— Frederick Buechner
- Jason Dorsey: See Your Future (Success Magazine, August 2013)
- How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day by Michael Gelb
- Neuroscience of Success
- 10 Questions To Ask When Stuck In A Rut (theengagingbrand.typepad.com)
- Stretch Yourself! (custombuiltchiks.com)
- Four Ways to Help Your Brain Help You (leaderchat.org)
- The Best Leadership Quotes Of All Time (benchmarkemail.com)
- Creative Arts Professional Offers Insight Into Being Successful in the Design Field (rasmussen.edu)
- 5 Ways to Increase Your Curiosity (spin.atomicobject.com)
- Albert Einstein Quotes (thinknice.com)