Curiosity – Day 13

30-Day Writing Challenge

Maintaining a life of curiosity is difficult when the world is constantly telling you to “stay in your lane”.

The cliche comments about curiosity usually revolve around children having it beaten out of them during school. Instead of constantly asking questions and following their curiosity, they’re taught to be good obedient girls and boys, to do what they’re told. Cliches are “cliche” for a reason, there’s always some truth baked into them. 🙂

I’ve begun to rub against this childhood psychological burden in the last couple of months, but this concern of limiting my curiosity is so ingrained that I no longer need someone else to tell me “Stay in your lane”, I’m doing a great job on my own. When I try to explore topics completely unrelated to my past experience, I often catch myself rationalizing why it’s a waste of time or that I’m way too underqualified to even consider learning about an area. That’s the exact mentality that kills curiosity – I’m not even allowing myself to dabble in certain areas because it’s “outside of my lane”. 

As a child my past “experience” or interest never mattered, I would bounce from dinosaurs to painting without questioning anything. This freedom of curiosity is something we all lack and would be better off if we had more. 

The best way to prevent loss of curiosity is not allowing it to happen in the first place, but if that’s not possible thanks to most public educational institutions you can always reverse engineer. 

My attempt to reverse engineer this decade-long childhood psychological experiment is kind of working… Whenever I’m interested in exploring a topic, I write it down on paper ASAP before my pre-frontal cortex starts to rationalize why I shouldn’t explore it. This immediate process of externalizing the topic allows me to look at it from a new perspective. 

Next time you’re considering a new experience, topic or experiment hurry up and externalize before your “rationale” brain convinces you otherwise.