March 1st, 2011 Archive

Ask Away!

March 1st, 2011 by Ric in Lifestyle

My boy Stefan (and to lesser extent, Chandler) asks me and Liz about a million questions each day. Daddy, how come you can grow a mustache and I can’t? How do hummingbirds stay in place while they fly? Why does cutting onions make me cry? I could probably fill pages with his questions, but that means I’d have to remember them all – that would take too long.

I’m not complaining. In fact, I’m thankful. Having to very inquisitive boys keeps me and Liz on our toes, and helps keep us asking our own questions too.

Kenrick Cleveland has a post up on Healthy Wealthy n Wise entitled Cultivate Your Curiosity where he highlights the value of staying curious. Kids are naturally curious about anything and everything, but somehow lose this curiosity bit by bit as we grow older.

Kenrick doesn’t quite outline these things in his article, but I picked up on three reasons to stay curious:

Avoiding Stagnation

“When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.” – Walt Disney

Kenrick describes how some people, as they get grow older, “they lose a certain passion, their hunger for achievement begins to wane.” The Walt Disney quote above tackles this pretty well – as you find new and interesting things to do, you may find ways to get back the hunger and passion of your younger years. At the very least, you’ll probably find new hobbies and activities to occupy your time.

Persuading Others

“The best way to persuade people is with your ears – by listening to them.” -  Dean Rusk

Curiosity allows to “learn, understand and know our clients in such a way that we can combine what we have to offer them with their view of the world, their criteria.” The more you know about others, the more likely it is that you can sway them to your point of view.

Lifelong Learning

“You learn something every day if you pay attention.” – Ray LeBlond

“When you’re curious,” Kenrick says, “you can turn the mundane into an opportunity to learn something.” Do I really need to say any more than that?

Something that Kenrick seems to point to in his article, but never quite mentions, is that curiosity leads to creativity. That last quote really captures the idea quite well – the most mundane things can be great opportunities for learning, and also for inspired ideas.

“Curiosity is the key to creativity.” -  Akio Morita

The way I see it is that asking questions is like letting your brain go free. Curiosity requires allowing your mind to wander to different places and explore different possibilities – the same things you need to come up with creative ideas.

Confused? I’ll borrow ideas from another contributor to Healthy Wealthy n Wise, Bob Proctor. In his concisely titled post Imagination, Bob introduces the concept of “Fantasy – Theory – Fact” and explains that “everything has its origination in the form of fantasy, which some adventurous souls dare turn into a theory and then boldly turn into fact.”

Everything started with somebody’s fantasy, Bob explains, citing how “communicating by email, traveling on jets, cellular phones or wearing synthetic garments were, a very short time ago, sheer fantasy. Today, they are considered commonplace.”

The fact is that almost all of the life-changing inventions started with somebody asking questions. Why did the candy bar in my pocket melt all of a sudden? Why do these burrs keep sticking to my clothes? How do I keep the people from accidentally ripping the pockets off off their work pants?

You probably have questions of your own swimming in your head, and some of them just might lead to some fantastic ideas. Turning those fantasies into theories and facts – that’s something we have to tackle some other time.

Why? I’d like to share with one more quotation with you to explain:

“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers” – Voltaire

You may not have the answers you’re looking for yet, but if you’re already asking the right questions, you’re on the way to finding them.

So, what questions have you asked today?

Stay curious,

Ric


Image by: Jeroen van Oostrom / FreeDigitalPhotos.net