I woke up yesterday morning (a) feeling a bit glum and (b) realizing that the tagline of this blog is “A daily exploration of what it means to practice curiosity” and I am falling into my usual trap of exploring a topic intellectually but not necessarily trying things out.
Having just written about what a wonderful example my dog is of encountering life with curiosity I decided to try his approach—not perhaps plunging into every bush without judgment (there’s too much poison ivy here, a real—and justifiable—deterrent to unbridled curiosity!) but going out into the world with an eagerness to see what is there.
Here’s what I found out:
- I was able to sustain his level of intensity for about two minutes
- During those two minutes I sped up, walking faster to different points to inspect them
- I felt invigorated and, yes, eager and curious
- My attention was more focused on one spot at a time rather than on the overall aspect and atmosphere of where we were
- It was fun
I expect with practice I would be able to sustain the intensity for longer than two minutes and would actually take in more of what I saw in each spot. And I’ll definitely be trying it again, if just for the fun and invigoration.
My experience supported what Gretchen Rubin has laid down as her third personal commandment and described in her book The Happiness Project: Act the way I want to feel. I acted as if I was curious and eager and in a shorter time than I would have believed possible started to feel curious and eager, too.
Tomorrow I’ll take a look at point (a) above and being curious about our own emotions.