Be curious. I wish it was that simple. You know what is simple? Sitting in front of the TV and playing videogames.
I was told by a colleague about how rain forests are taking in much more CO2 than previously thought. I just looked up an article from Science Times and read about what my colleague was saying. It was clear my colleague argues against climate change and this made me feel uneasy. The general scientific consensus is that climate change is happening and humans are the cause.
But here’s a problem I ran into. I couldn’t name studies saying climate change was happening. I know CO2 is on the rise and the change in temperature is highly correlated. After that, I am basically stumped. There are other reports of the glaciers melting and the acidity level of the ocean rising because of the increased temperature, but those aren’t causes of the temperature rising. They are effects.
What else could be causing the temperature rise? Another colleague of mine mentioned the sun cycles. I know little about those. The rise could be part of a natural earth cycle. But, what causes that cycle?
Here are some questions to pursue. If I had more info, then I would have felt better at adding to the conversation. Though, I could have asked the questions. In any case, being curious would have been a benefit!
“Exploration is really the essence of human spirit.”
Frank Borman was one of the first humans to go around the moon. He was able to live the common fantasy of many children. And many adults too!
There is something about new experiences which is thrilling. We have people like Felix Baumgartner who chase after the thrills.
We also have people with neophobia, which is a fear of trying new things. For them, the thrill is just too much!
The majority of us enjoy new things, yet we get stuck in our routines. We come home, have dinner, and then sit on the computer or watch TV. Finding new thrills is not part of the routine.
Plan to Be Curious
We love surprises. Let’s modify our environment to help get them. One thing we can do is set aside time to pursue questions we have. For example, I set aside two hours this week to explore any questions that came to mind. Did you know Einstein and Bohr had debates over the validity of quantum theory? Anyway, in order to get your mind in the frame of asking questions, act like Wondercat did by starting with, “I wonder…?”
There are other types of surprises we can plan. Buy a new food that looks interesting. Abbie and I once bought a spikey-fruit for the sole reason it looked funny. I forget its name, but I remember the fun experience. And as you browse the aisles in the grocery story, say hello to a stranger. Being talked to randomly is surprising. If talking to someone is too terrifying, then begin by keeping eye contact with someone longer than they do with you. Warning: this mini-game can become addicting.
Want a day of surprises? Then break your routines and have a “No-electronics Day.” See what happens when digital technology is off the table.
Enjoy the surprises!
I’m interested in you. What are you thinking? What do you feel? What goals are you aiming for? What values do you try to live by? What great lessons have you learned and what caused you to learn them? How do you combat fear? What do you want to do each day immediately when you awake? What do you think motivates you? How can I treat you better?
Are these types of questions rare to you? I rarely ask them and rarely get asked them. We should attempt to make them more common.