We love this from Joy Phenix’s blog…

February 6, 2024

Joy Phenix has a great blog at JoyPhenix.com, and we love the post she did last week so much that we wanted to share…

Being a Curiosity Rookie

“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” Voltaire

I like to think that I’m a curious person.

I think the world is an interesting place, and I believe that most people have interesting stories. One of my strengths is “Input,” which means that I routinely pay attention to new things. I dig ‘em.

However, whenever I take my kids into an unfamiliar environment, I realize how far off my self-perception of being “curious” really is. Recently I showed up with my kids early to an appointment. The person’s door was locked, so I just settled back against the wall to wait for them. Time to dink around on the phone. Check email. Tweet. Stare at my shoes.

My kids immediately got on the ground and peered through the mail slot to see if there was any movement inside. Sure enough, there was someone inside; they just hadn’t heard our knock.

That’s when I realized this fact: I am a curiosity lightweight. Had I truly lived up to my self-perception as Mrs Curious, I’d have really investigated to see what’s what with the locked door. My kids were a better picture of curiosity in this instance.

I also see how I’ve lost my curiosity edge when I’m driving. My oldest child has just hit the weight/age/height limit where she can legally ride in the front seat of my car. I am still more comfortable having her sit in the back, but on the rare day where it’s just the two of us and I’m driving less than three miles, I’ll let her sit next to me. When this happens, I learn things about my car that I’ve owned for seven years. Sometimes my daughter finds a “new” feature that I had no clue existed in this car that I drive every day. She discovered the extra sunshade that flips down to fill the space just above the rear-view mirror – (so nice!). She occasionally finds an “old” object (like CDs that I have been missing for months.) Sometimes she discovers a new way to configure my radio (and I still don’t know how her radar tunes to all stations playing Taylor Swift).

Of course, my husband Billy says this is evidence of a fundamental flaw… that I should read my owner’s manual. Still, I see it as illustrating a bigger point than my willingness to plow through a series of technical explanations.

I see it as a curiosity issue.

I don’t “play” or “explore” my car enough. I’m simply not curious enough. I get caught in the trap of thinking that investigating that which I do not know (aka, my car), would be useless time just looking around and pushing a few buttons. I may never discover new things unless I actually look.

I think about this concept outside of the home environment and wonder what I’m missing at the office, with my friends, and in the world at large because of curiosity lapses. Woe be the day that I think that I’ve learned it all!

I need challenge myself more often.

  • Am I asking enough questions?
  • Do I wonder if there’s a different approach to a situation?
  • What have I rejected as unimportant because I don’t readily understand it?
  • Do I accept that someone else may look at a situation in a different way?
  • What fascinating gifts, thoughts, or ideas does another person have?
  • Is there a simpler way to do things than the way to which I’ve grown accustomed?
  • What in that person’s experience or background has shaped the way they currently act?
  • Is there a “button” that I need to find to help solve a problem?

I’m learning that for me to have a different perspective I need, at least in part, to be askingdifferent questions, and those questions will always be steeped in curiosity.

What do you think?

I’m curious.