When was the last time you actively sought out information about something for no other reason than being curious to find out more about it? Though children routinely follow their whims and ask questions as they explore the unknown world around them, adults tend to get out of this habit as they age. Instead of going with the flow and being open to what life has to teach us, we become focused on trying to control our path and we take on too much responsibility in our attempts to be ‘mature’. Not only does this affect our level of happiness, but it also usually backfires since the truth of the matter is, you don’t really have control over anything in this life.
When you’re curious, you have to let go of trying to control things and you also have to be comfortable with uncertainly and a little fear. This is healthy and leads to a richer, more fulfilling life since you no longer see things in black and white. Instead of judging people or situations as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, you start looking at them instead for what they can teach you. This constant state of discovery is synonymous with happiness, harmony, and a positive outlook on life. Ready to get started? Here are three areas in your life where you can be more curious.
Be Curious About Yourself
I’m a huge advocate of getting to know yourself better. When you get curious about why you react to certain things the way you do and how you take action, you find ways to get better. If you work with a good financial planner who challenges you, he or she will encourage self-analysis so you can see how this affects your investing behavior and goals for retirement. When you’re curious about yourself, you’re able to analyze your emotions and behaviors in a neutral way. Instead of taking things personally or beating yourself up, you can instead ask yourself, ‘why did I react that way?’ and use it as a springboard for deeper discovery.
Be Curious About Others
Each person you meet carries a wealth of knowledge—much of which is probably new to you. However, so very few of us take the time to ask questions and really listen to the answers, so the majority of opportunities to learn more about others is lost. The next time you meet someone new—or even the next time you sit down with someone you’re close to—make a goal of learning something from them. It could be an interesting hobby they have, an exotic location they’ve traveled to, or more about their career that you know next to nothing about. Not only will you learn more about a subject that may pique your interest, but you’ll also deepen the relationship.
Be Curious About Subjects That Catch Your Attention
What catches your attention in the world? Are there certain colors, smells, or sounds that are particularly interesting to you? Do you gravitate toward specific types of movies, books, or restaurants? If you simply slow down and pay attention to what grabs you when you’re out and about, you’ve opened the door to curiosity. Instead of just noting that you’d love to read that new novel you saw at the bookstore, stop to think why it’s so interesting to you and what this might mean. Then buy the thing and read it! When you start indulging your curiosity, you’ll find that one step inevitably leads to another and you’ll begin filling your life with the things that truly have meaning for you.
When you ignite curiosity in your life, you become a better parent, partner, friend, and leader. You’ll benefit by being happier, more successful, and more aware of what a fulfilling working life and retirement looks like for you. Would you like to talk more about how the soft sciences affect your investing strategy and how curiosity can help you stop worrying and start living? I’d love to talk more and encourage you to reach out!
Patrick Tucker, the owner of True Measure Wealth Management, has over 20 years experience in the industry and has spent the last 15 years learning the ins and outs of the fee-only advisory business. He focuses on client behaviors and what ‘wealth’ means for each individual client to provide care-giving plans that lead to a mindful fulfillment of financial goals. A lifelong learner, Patrick uses his continued knowledge to become a valued partner for his clients and help them explore the wisdom of true wealth.