Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Just Curious

I think at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.
-Eleanor Roosevelt

As part of my focus on curiosity this month, I am taking a photography class. Although, I have never even slept on a boat, I have always thought it would be wonderful to live on one someday. This weekend, my husband and I are opting out of a hotel and staying on a sailboat for our getaway. I also wondered what it would be like to not engage in a power struggle in my marriage. Still retaining 49% voting power, I ceded control on September 1. Wish we had defined our roles years ago. Yesterday, I met with a woman who offers parenting classes, sort of a good to great coach for moms. I am going to her workshop.  I had read about the Little Free Library project last year with interest, but after seeing one in our city, we are constructing one for our front yard. It is being installed tomorrow. Being a Midwestern gal, I grew up believing baked potatoes were vegetables. I tried an amazing vegan restaurant and actually enjoyed it. The TED conferences I wrote about last week were also all driven by curiosity too. Oh, I almost forgot the outdoor wedding I crashed in a hurricane. I was curious.

So here is what I have learned through all these new endeavors and explorations. It's fun, but purposeful. I feel happier and smarter. My family has noticed I am more open and interested. I am meeting fascinating people with inspiring stories. Dr Todd Kashdan says all of that can be good for your health. In his article Five Benefits to Curiosity, Kashdan cites several scientific studies that make a case for staying curious for life.

Are you curious to know what is at the top of the google search engine for "curiosity"? Fifth Third Bank's website says, "Curiosity is for explorers, artists, scientists and of course, bankers." Apparently there is big money in curiosity. Maybe Fifth Third invested in it's top SEO because of the little engine that could, Kickstarter. Kickstarter has generated $367 million dollars from 2.8 million inquisitive investors willing to put their cash down to fund 30,000 creative new ideas. For a really easy to understand explanation of how Kickstarter works, check out this blogpost by Cities of the Mind. You can search by category of business or by cities. In my city, I was delighted to see a student newspaper get fully funded and a comic book designer raise more than 30,000 to go to print.

Before this month long curiosity experiment ends, I still have a thick biography of Albert Einstein to read and I have the Discovery television 60-part series Curiosity to get caught up on. And I have to practice playing with the settings on my new camera. Posted today are a few photos from class.

Is there something you have always been curious about?

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