I know it can get me into trouble sometimes, but I really think curiosity is one of my strong points.
It helped me in engineering because I was always asking, “Why does that work?”
And it has helped me in learning about human systems as I ask, “Why do people do that?”
It helps to break down arguments logically as I’m curious why would someone think that way, or what assumptions are they basing their beliefs and position on?
I guess it goes along with my drive to continually learn things. I always check out way too many books from the library than I can reasonably read, but I’ve figured out the formula: curiosity + free = lots of library books stacked everywhere.
The foundation of real learning, is that you really want to learn. And that comes from curiosity – the desire to know what is unknown.
Someone can teach you a lot of things, but if you don’t care, or don’t really want to learn, then you won’t.
Curiosity is also connected with creativity. You have to be curious about what you can create, so you create something to satisfy that curiosity. When you create something you are making something known that was previously unknown.
Seth Godin has a great, short little post about how we might be missing out by not teaching kids how to be curious, and not letting new hires ask why.
It turns out that curiosity is also the basis for improvement.