The character strength of curiosity involves an active interest in life experiences and includes novelty seeking, exploration, and openness.
Here are five ways you can use curiosity to help you bring more passion, presence, and purpose to your life and relationships.
1. Draw upon Curiosity to help you make decisions, even small or simple ones. Last week, I stopped into one of my favorite home decorating stores, where I always find something new and exciting. Within minutes, I had found several things I wanted. As I carried a few items around the store, I started asking myself questions. How much do I like each item? Where will it go in my home? What purpose will it serve? Will I still love it in a year? I have been on a personal mission to declutter my home, simplify my spaces, and part with items that don’t bring me joy. Allowing myself the time to reflect on these questions before leaving the store, I saved myself a trip to the return counter and I saved room in the donation box for something else.
2. Leverage Curiosity to learn about yourself and increase your self-awareness. I realized that one of my three core values no longer “felt right” so I set aside some time last week to reflect on this. I’ve been making it a priority to ensure all of my personal and professional intentions and goals align to my values, so I really wanted them to be accurate. I came up with three possibilities then got out my journal to explore each of them further. I got curious about how these different values had been showing up in my life lately. Through this process of discovery, I was able to quickly clarify which one of the three was most prominent and made the adjustment to my top three core values.
3. Use your curiosity to explore and open yourself to new experiences. I attended a gong bath last week. The novelty of this had piqued my curiosity a few months ago. Since I wasn’t really sure what a gong bath was or what to expect, I went with no expectations. It turned out to be a meditation to the sound of a gong. During the meditation, I let go of mental distractions and through my presence, allowed myself to be open to the whole experience. I noticed bodily sensations, I felt emotion as I connected to Spirit, and I left feeling peaceful and calm.
4. Get curious to de-escalate issues, clear up misunderstandings, and deepen relationships. When I found myself getting frustrated during interactions with other people, I became curious about my reactions and reflected on what was triggering me. Rather than sticking with my story, assumptions, and beliefs, I made an effort to ask the other person questions to understand their perspective. I also asked myself, “How might it be possible that I’m not right in this situation?” Doing this helped me quickly de-escalate issues, change my perspective, and get out of my own way to strengthen the relationship.
5. Explore to bring more focus and intention to your work. I reflected on what the mission of my business is and where I want to focus my time and energy. I brought clarity to the different ways I’d like to make an impact and I generated a whole new list of ideas about how I might go accomplishing my mission. I spent time in inquiry, wondering how all of my Signature Strengths interact to make be a more effective coach and facilitator, and how to leverage my character strengths and my passions in the pursuit of my mission. Now I have a new, purposeful action plan that excites me!
Curiosity helps us explore and learn about ourselves and other people. We increase our wisdom as we become more open to new experiences and make new discoveries. How can you bring focused attention to the strength of curiosity this week? Here are just a few ideas.
“May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.”
Resources: Character Strengths and VIA Survey
Peterson, C., & Park, N. (2009). Classifying and measuring strengths of character. In S. J. Lopez & C. R. Snyder (Eds.), Oxford handbook of positive psychology, 2nd edition (pp. 25-33). New York: Oxford University Press. www.viacharacter.org
Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification. New York: Oxford University Press and Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. www.viacharacter.org