Curiosity is essential to both new invention and innovation of current systems (see Parts 1 & 2). Curious people are the ones who tend to become the movers and shakers in the world. The more our culture continues to advance technologically, the more vital it will likely become for kids to develop these life skills that stem from curiosity. Aside from potentially opening doors for greater success in higher education and future careers, what benefits can curious people experience?
Curious people tend to suffer less from boredom than their counterparts who lack curiosity. If a child is dependent on their parents, caregivers, or technology to constantly entertain them, they can tend to get grouchy and miserable when they’re left on their own for any length of time with nothing to do.
A curious child, however, is able to entertain themselves. They’ll look at time alone as an opportunity to draw a picture, write a story, make a craft, come up with a new game, or engage in countless other creative endeavors. A wise mother once told her children who were complaining of being bored one summer afternoon, “I’m not responsible for entertaining you. Go outside and figure out your own way to have fun!” Those children reaped the benefit of being forced to learn how to entertain themselves.
Curious people tend to develop the ability to come up with new solutions for problems. Because they regularly exercise their creative mental abilities, their minds are adept at figuring out ways to overcome the challenges that life throws at them. This creative mental ability is crucial to developing a healthy sense of self-sufficiency.
Curious people normally don’t give up easily on anything that is piquing their curiosity. If they’re interested in a subject, they’ll want to fully investigate and understand it before they give up and move on. This tendency can help curious people to become better at following through and finishing tasks than those who are content to sit still and be entertained.
Curious people tend to want more out of life than mere entertainment. They tend to be lifelong learners who want to discover more and more about the world that surrounds them. Their curiosity makes them less satisfied with shallow, materialistic goals and sets them on a path toward doing something meaningful with their lives.
Curious people have a tendency to make a lasting mark on the world. This goes along with our previous point. Rather than being content to just exist and get by in life, they want to figure things out and truly make a difference. These people typically don’t let fear get in the way of exploration and discovery. They’re always up for a new adventure!
Now that you’ve seen some of the common characteristics as well as the many advantages of curiosity, the next question is, how do we cultivate this important skill? For many people, curiosity doesn’t develop on its own. It has to be nurtured. This is especially true in our entertainment-saturated society that, in so many ways, actually stifles the development of curiosity. In our final article in this series, we’ll get into some hands-on, practical ways you can help put children on a path toward becoming curious, successful adults.