As Albert Einstein famously said: “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious."
Curiosity isn't just a word to describe a childhood book character or to explain what happened to a cat. Curiosity makes our brains stronger, reinforces and motivates a mind to learn and can build confidence regardless of age. Curiosity is the key to creating a passionately curious and confident next generation.
Keys to Curiosity
Key 1: Observe
- Become an observer and wonderer
- "Ask Why?"
- Be Aware of your surroundings
Think about areas that pique your curiosity. List three things area that you are curious about below
Key 2: Develop
- An openness to novel experiences and ideas.
- Engage with and communicate with an open, friendly environment.
- Enable people to think critically, to express their thoughts, and to formulate their ideas
Think about how you handle confrontation? When people see things in a different way, do you become defensive or welcome the new perspective? If you think differently than others do you openly share your ideas or keep them to yourself
Key 3: Value
- The pursuit of knowledge
- The search for knowledge for self-interest is a tool for persons to pursue together with their academic studies, as well as during personal exploration.
Think about the books laying on your nightstand right now. What projects or hobbies have your left undone? What are you learning
that is new and exciting? Learning should never stop therefore, list one thing you would like to learn in your academic/work life and one thing you would like to learn in your personal life.
Key 4: Build
- Research competency
- The investigation into and study of materials and sources to establish facts and reach new conclusions
Think about where you go to receive up-to-date and reliable information. Are you a Google search person? Are there certain apps you use? List materials you use or know you should use.
Key 5: Seek
Pursue persons of expertise and recognize peers' expertise
Peer-to-peer mentoring is one of the successful tools in igniting curiosity in both mentors and mentoring.
- Peer-to-peer mentoring cannot only provide knowledge but emotional support
In today’s society, many people have come to recognize the importance of having a “tribe”. Think about who you provide support to and who you go to for support. List two people for each category.
People I provide support to:
People who provide support to me
Key 6: Challenge
- Conventional thinking
- The ability to live within the world and view problems and questions from different vantage points is what spurs curiosities forward.
- Asking why and taking the time to look at your world and see it through your eyes, and others is how curiosity becomes the key to breakthrough creativity.
Think about times when you find yourself saying “this is the way it has always been done?” Or “status quo works so why change things?” When do you find yourself being conventional in your thinking? How can you challenge yourself to think differently?
Key 7: Illustrate
- Self-efficacy or confidence is nurtured and developed through life’s experiences.
- You may have the ability, knowledge, and talent to do something but lack confidence.
- Confidence can be ignited by the encouragement and guidance from peers, educators, and your sense of self. (your own self-image)
- Think about the last time you lacked confidence. What happened? Were you able to gain the confidence you needed? What can you do to help increase your confidence?
- Also, think about someone you helped to ignite their confidence. How did you do it?
Key 8: Reinforce
- Intrinsic motivation and self-determination.
- Intrinsic motivation is defined as performing an action or behavior because you enjoy the activity itself.
- Self-determination is the freedom to live as one chooses or to act or decide without consulting another or others.
Think about what makes your heart sing…in other words, what do you get all excited about? When you are old, in a rocking chair, with your grandchildren on your knee, what do you want them to say about you?
Key 9: Teamwork
- Teamwork and interpersonal skill are valuable problem-solving skills and builds defining character traits.
- Learn to cooperate with others.
- Interpersonal skills help build the ability to effectively communicate with others. They encourage understanding and compassion and help to build relationships with peers and adults.
Think about the last time you worked on a team/committee. How would you define your communication skills? What were your strengths and weaknesses? What could you have done better?
Key 10: Practice
- Practice growth mindset" and resiliency
- The belief that you are in control of your own ability and can learn and improve is the key to success.
- Hard work, effort, and persistence are all important, but not as important as having that underlying belief that you are in control of your own destiny.
Think about a time when you heard yourself saying “I can’t do that.” For example, “I just can’t lose weight” or “I am terrible at math”. List one or two areas you currently have a closed mindset towards and you should work to change to a growth mindset?
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