If self-awareness is a great teacher of all things internal, then curiosity is the greatest teacher of all things external.
Applying Curiosity to Information
In the past, the education system conditioned us to believe that learning is a temporary obligation during our younger years. We were told it was the means to the real end game – work. In truth learning should be a life-long journey. The best entrepreneurs and thought leaders never stop learning about their craft. They apply a curiosity to their learning. They read books and ask ‘why?’ or ‘how come?’ or ‘can it be done better’. There curiosity leads them to discover new ideas and new ways of communicating and doing business. Curiosity is their best teacher.
When we read books or watch educational videos we should all be asking these same questions. The great thought leader Matt Church calls it the “Yes AND…” or the “Yes BUT…” principle. To apply that principle, we must let our curiosity breakthrough our fear barrier. We all have this curiosity inside of us as children but over the years fear tends to keep it locked away. Trust that curiosity. Unleash it. You will find behind every curious thought is the potential to discover your genius or a genius idea.
Applying Curiosity to People
There is also another area of knowledge, apart from books, where we can apply our curiosity – People. There is vast knowledge to be gained from listening to others. Therefore we must master the skill of listening. We can learn so much from other people when we listen to them with undivided attention. Learning by listening is a very fast way of acquiring knowledge. We can never know everything in life but by listening to others we can learn from their experience and that accelerates our learning.
Listening is a dying art. Many people overindulge in constant talking that they go through life never really learning from others. I was recently sitting in a café and overheard a conversation between a boss and what looked like her protégé. She said to him, “We have two ears and only one mouth. We must use those two faculties in that proportion. We must listen to our customers twice as much as we talk.” Very good advice, I thought. I also thought that the best entrepreneurs are the ones that are curious about what their customers are saying.
So what are you curious about? Are you accepting everyday information as it is or are you adding to it or contradicting it with your curiosity?