Yesterday I suppose I could say I practiced curiosity by looking for a new way forward for my professional life. I attended a workshop for people who are thinking of starting their own business in Austria. We sat for three hours (without a break) and learned about taxes and social insurance as a self-employed person and which jobs require business licenses and so on. I stayed alert—and curious—for the most part. That’s a decent-sized chunk of practice for one day, I think.
Saturday I went shopping, which is something I don’t do very often (except, of course, for groceries). I need a new washing machine so went off to see what could be bought for a reasonable price. Suddenly, I found myself looking at mirrors, toaster ovens, DVDs, coffee makers, and irons–although all I need is a washing machine. But it was interesting and refreshing, and I was grateful to have the free time to do it and not keep looking at my watch.
I even carried on when I went to the natural foods store. Instead of just picking up what was on my list, I found myself exploring: What else do they have? What is that good for?
Oh, wait. Wasn’t that an exercise I actually recommended? Oh, yes. Here. 🙂
Wishing you all a good week!
Glad to know I am not the only one who sees curiosity as a choice we can make:
My phone is not very young anymore. In fact, as these pieces of equipment go it is pretty old. This means it is very slow to do what I would like it to do. And sometimes it doesn’t do what I want it to do at all—like I want to go back a step and it opens a page I didn’t really want to see. I have found this irritating up to now. (I hate being at the mercy of electronic devices. I feel they are there for my convenience.)
This morning, though, I thought “What a chance to practice curiosity! I wonder what my phone will show me this time.” 😉
(How to make the best of an annoying situation.)
And two different kinds in one context. 🙂 I am working on a new project in which I am using new psychometric instruments (those questionnaires that give you information about yourself like the Myers Briggs Type Indicator) and working with new clients. This means that as I review the reports for a coaching session this afternoon I am practicing desire-to-learn curiosity, trying to discover ever more about how the reports are helpful. And coaching itself is ideally an exercise in almost pure interpersonal curiosity–one reason I love doing it.
So today is a good example of how needing to earn a living (i.e., work) can also provide an opportunity to practice curiosity. 🙂
It would interest me to hear back what my readers think, but I think needing to earn a living can be a sizable stumbling block to curiosity. I’m not just thinking that the daily act of doing enough work to pay the bills makes it harder to engage with life with curiosity (although I find that to be true). I’m thinking more about how finding out that your job is threatened can be a curiosity inhibitor. There’s something about the phrase “We need to cut back” that turns off my ears and makes me retreat into myself. Once again a story of how I failed to practice curiosity today. I’m curious 😉 how much longer this streak can go on.
Listening to others seems to be a clear way to practice curiosity. As such, all I can say is that at the moment I seem to be finding more ways in which I am not practicing curiosity than ways I am. A colleague asked me today what I thought of Anthony Robbins and I launched into my opinion. Like a lot of introverts I think extensively about topics (or people) but rarely speak my mind. When I do, however, the other person is quite often left wishing he or she hadn’t asked. Note to self: Leave room for the other person to say something and listen to their opinion.