Stay Curious! Two Simple Words
That Can Change Your Life
Stay Curious! Surely you’ve heard this phrase before. It’s a call to action that I firmly endorse — so much so that I made it a component of The Cycle of Deliberate Thinking.
Even so, I often find myself wondering, What do these 2 simple words — Stay Curious! — really mean? And, by staying curious about the meaning of this catchphrase, I’m beginning to see that it truly has the power to change not only your life, but the world!
You see, I used to think Staying Curious meant that you wanted to understand yourself, others, and the world around you. It was a call to educate yourself and acknowledge that you’ll never know everything there is to know about anything. End of story.
Or is it? Perhaps Staying Curious is just the first step toward opening yourself up to all the possibilities this world has to offer — toward seeing that we all have the same fundamental needs — and toward realizing just how insignificant you are.
Psst . . . I mean this in a good way. Realizing your insignificance can actually be very empowering. You can read more about that here:
Maybe. But enough with the ambiguities! Let’s talk about 3 specific ways heeding the call to Stay Curious can change your life. (I’d love to know if you have some other examples; let me know in the comments!)
#1 — You will Resolve Conflicts Peacefully. — We’re all going to disagree with other people, probably multiple times every day. Some disagreements will be small — Whose responsibility is it to load the dishwasher? — and some will be big — Who should you pray to? Either way, 2 simple words have the power to bring any heated argument to a grinding halt — Stay Curious!
Get curious about the other person’s point of view and what shaped it. Ask questions instead of making assumptions. Let the other person know that you are really trying to understand their perspective.
Not only will you avoid a fruitless battle of wills, I guarantee that you’ll learn something in the process.
#2 — You will Build True Relationships. — We all make two mistakes when we enter into a relationship. (Well . . . I’m sure there are way more than two, but . . .) We enter the relationship with (1) assumptions about the other person, based on our own lived experience, and (2) expectations of the other person’s needs, based on our own. Then, we use this biased information to create a story about the other person, and this story dictates how we interact with him/her, no matter how far from reality that story is.
But, when you Stay Curious, you start the relationship with a blank page. When you catch yourself filling the page with an assumption, you stop yourself, and you choose to ask questions instead — to learn more about the other person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
You’ll continue to fill this page with information you gather about the other person’s needs. Then, you can decide whether or not you are willing to meet those needs.
In the end, you’ll accept this person for who they are, rather than the character you created in your mind. And that, my friends, is the foundation of a true relationship. Wouldn’t you agree?
#3 — You will Express Empathy Freely — This one is similar to #2 — it also involves the stories we create — except it can be applied to anyone, whether you know them or not. Heeding the call to Stay Curious will help you remain skeptical of those stories so that you can express empathy freely.
Let’s say you have a frustrating experience with a customer service rep. You’re fed up because he/she isn’t meeting your expectations. You expected the rep to follow the story you created, the one that outlines the way the rep, and the company as a whole, should conduct business — because that’s the way you would conduct business, of course. But, you’re forgetting something; they’re not you.
So why not avoid that frustration, and express empathy freely, by Staying Curious. Ask yourself questions like: Is the rep overworked? Is he/she going through a life-changing event? Did he/she get a terrible night’s sleep? Is the company, as a whole, struggling so everyone is on edge? Etc.
The beauty is, you don’t even need to answer these questions. By simply posing them to yourself, you’ll start to see how many gaps there are in the story you’ve created, and, within those gaps, you’ll find the space to express some empathy.
Now, one last chance to Stay Curious before we end this essay. Think of what the world would look like if we could all resolve conflicts peacefully, build true relationships, and express empathy freely. What do you see? And would you like to be a part of that world?
Great! You can create that world for yourself. How?
Yep, that’s right, by heeding the call to Stay Curious! ?
You may also find value in these posts:
Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or would like me to point you in the direction of more tools you can use on your personal development journey. Here’s my email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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And until next time . . . have a CURIOUS day!
Take a screenshot for a quick reminder of the 3 powerful leadership traits that will change your life:
- Lead by example
- Make others feel heard
- Instill peace of mind
HOW THE EXPECTATION GAPS WORKS
You have a knot in your stomach telling you that something is missing from your life, but you don’t know what it is. On the surface, you have everything you could ever want. Yet . . .
You’re frustrated…overwhelmed…”crazy busy”…burned out…unfulfilled…
I'VE BEEN THERE!
That’s why I’ve been focused on living with intention and becoming a Deliberate Thinker for ~ 10 years.
I want to help you with your journey by sharing mine.
Sources & Inspiration