Partly because of my slump I started thinking about the difference between doing exercises in curiosity and simply being curious more or less all the time. By now you will have figured out that there are certain things I have to work quite hard to be curious about. (By the way, that sentence sounds funny to me, too—the idea of working hard at being curious—but it expresses my reality.)
On the one hand, I would love to be someone who is breathlessly curious about everything and accepts other people just the way they are (that is, with an open mind not trying to influence the outcome, so to speak). On the other hand, I can’t help thinking of one of Gretchen Rubin’s Secrets of Adulthood “You can choose what you do; you can’t choose what you like to do” or you can’t choose how you would like to be. I am the way I am. But I can choose what I do.
Perhaps this is at the root of my starting this blog. I want to change what I do frankly in the hope that it will have a particular, desired impact on my way of being. In that case, the exercises and conscious practice make sense, at least to me. They may not yet help me be more naturally curious in everyday life, but they remind me of what I want to accomplish and help me build up my capacity for curiosity the way practice helped me learn to sing, play an instrument to a pretty high level, and speak several foreign languages fluently. Surely by practicing I can learn to be curious.