“Stay curious,” advised Martha Stewart recently at the Invent Your Future / Indiana Governor’s Conference for Women I attended. I sat front and center to hear the amazing Martha speak along side lifelong friend Charlotte Beers and was inspired by their candid, sharp humorous advice. Both women spoke of the importance of living healthy and staying true to your passions alongside your talents, but what struck me most of all that was discussed was the great importance on staying curious.
I have to admit, I have an insatiable curiosity about how the world works and that curiosity has framed how I work, live, and parent but sometimes I wonder if my curiosity gets me into trouble.
Curious about curiosity, I pondered the notion of whether too much curiosity can be a bad thing. After six hours of racy-brain thinking about this, I realized that while curiosity—the need, thirst, or desire for knowledge—does divert energy and focus from other aspects of your day-to-day life, it is never a detrimental trade-off. Curiosity by nature demands your undivided attention, but the benefit of the time spent in curious pursuit is by far more valuable than the same amount of time focused on the mundane. The ordinary aspects of daily life require enough of our energy already; the turbo-boost benefit of indulging your curiosity is undeniable.
All explorers, investigators, inventors, designers, problem solvers, and research junkies are just curious souls spurred on by nothing much more than the charge they know they will experience as they gain knowledge and perspective from their pursuits. Curiosity combined with motivation lead to the extraordinary revelations—both personal and public.
Consider this: how can one be motivated if she is not curious and how can one ignore her curiosity without having a negative impact on her motivation. The two are dependent to the core of who many of us are as entrepreneurs, artists, writers, journalists, small business owners, chefs, scientists, and technologists. Yes, we are curious and we ask questions, and yes, we have a major crush on research but you know what? That’s okay!
Ultimately I believe that exploration of the unknown has no downside—in spite of the unfortunate outcome for that curious cat! In truth, you can never be too curious.