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“How do I achieve my goals?”

This is probably the most common inquiry on Google. People are always looking for tools to help them achieve their greatest goals and dreams. Yet, the best tool for this matter lies within ourselves. It’s our curiosity.

Psychiatrist Judson Brewer says that you should approach every obstacle with curiosity rather than antagonizing it. For instance, if you find yourself procrastinating, you should explore this feeling instead of fighting it. This push to exploring and questioning everything we do is the essence of curiosity.

A Hidden Gem, Long Forgotten

Curiosity impacts our mindset in many different ways, which help us to achieve our goals:

  • Turning a passive mind into an active mind—when you apply curiosity in everything you do, you become more inquisitive, investigating and questioning everything.
  • Curiosity powers observation, thus, helping us to become more open-minded and approach issues from different perspectives.
  • As a consequence, curiosity-powered open-mindedness helps us discover new possibilities and opportunities.
  • Curiosity is also a great motivation booster. Approaching everything with a curious and inquisitive mindset makes you get up in the morning for a certain purpose.

When it comes to achieving goals, everyone talks about having an active, observant mind and high levels of motivation. Yet, few realize that all these aspects are the result of a curious mindset.

Theorizing Curiosity

Before diving into how you can train your curiosity, let’s explore the scientific side of things to help you understand the concept of curiosity better: curiosity continues to perplex psychologists. In the search for the answers about what drives curiosity and how a person can acquire this mindset, several theories were developed.

  • The drive theory says curiosity is a natural urge to find a solution that has to be satisfied. This theory compares curiosity to the feeling of hunger. The downside of this theory is that it doesn’t explain why curiosity sometimes can be object-specific.
  • The incongruity theory, however, digs deeper into explaining the object-specific nature of curiosity. This theory tells us that curiosity is instantly ignited when we are presented with something that doesn’t fit in our patterns of understanding the world. As we usually see the things that surround us as predictable and orderly, curiosity is instantly sparked when the order is changed.

Curiosity Cardio: How to Train Your Curiosity

I always thought we were born with or without curiosity. However, curiosity can be acquired and even trained, according to psychologist Robert J. Maurer, Ph.D. In his article about curiosity, he talks about training his curiosity by exploring and analyzing stereotypes and asking himself questions about his goals. But what are other ways to train your curiosity? What are the ones that definitely work?

1. Lifestyle Change Method

This approach involves making certain changes to your lifestyle and maintaining them until they become habits, which will keep your curiosity high:

  • Inquisitive reading: Try to research every concept you come across from many different perspectives, trying to find and understand, how different people view the same concept. This will help you form your own opinion, which is essential for achieving your goals.
  • Say less, observe more: “Observation is a tool of curiosity, and both curiosity theories cover that,” says Michael Parker, a cognitive psychologist and researcher at Flatfy. We have two ears and one mouth to listen twice as much as we speak. So, a habit of being more observant on a daily basis is a way to live more curiously.
  • Spend time with children: Kids are always curious—they don’t see everything as black and white. Hanging out with them can help you see things from unique perspectives, sparking your curiosity.

These are exercises that you can do every day to train your curiosity. They don’t require too much time or effort and doing them is actually quite enjoyable. In the long run, you’ll see the positive effects these exercises have on your mindset.

2. The 5-Question Method

I developed this method to keep myself curious and maintain my interest in achieving my goals. Essentially, I ask myself the following 5 questions on a daily basis:

  • What do I want to learn today?
  • How do I feel about it?
  • What are possible ways to look at this?
  • What are the details of this thing/concept?
  • How does it help me achieve my goal?

Ask yourself these questions on a daily basis. You’ll see more clearly what works best for you in terms of achieving your goals.

A Curious Mind is a Powerful Mind

People are constantly looking for inspiration and motivation, and often can’t find it. Yet, both inspiration and motivation lie within our minds and can be awakened by curiosity. Curiosity is a very effective method to help you achieve your goals. And if you don’t succeed, you end up with vast knowledge, which will undoubtedly bring you benefits in the future.

*Ryan is a passionate writer who likes sharing his thoughts and experience with the readers, so he hopes his content will inspire more people and will be useful. Currently, he works as a marketing specialist at Flatfy.

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