Something I have been thinking about and really reflecting upon in the last few months is the role of “curiosity” in our own personal growth. In many areas of my life I have always been curious. But throughout my life I find that there are times that I move from curiosity to thinking I have things mostly figured out. There is a danger in this that many of us fall victim to.
Children are naturally curious. Spend some time around a child ages 2-5 and you will see this easily! They have endless questions about the world around them.
Think about the implications of this in your life…your leadership, your relationships, your spiritual growth and even personal growth. The more curious we are about ourselves as a person and why we do what we do, the better we can become at overcoming blind-spots and challenges. As leaders, the more curious we are in our field the more we experience continued growth over a period or time instead of plateauing. In marriage this is especially applicable. After being in a relationship with someone for a set period of time it can be easy to assume for the most part you have them figured out but when you fall into this mindset you close yourself off from learning more about them and what they are really like. This can become a big challenge in many marriages.
Spiritually this is true as well. We grow more when we are curious. We shut down and quit being motivated when we stop being curious. By remaining curious we learn more about Jesus and what He is like as well as who we are in light of this.
So how do we stay curious?
There are a few ways to do this but one that I want to focus on two that are essential:
- The use of questions in developing curiosity.
- Jesus was asked 183 questions in the Gospels. He only gave direct answers to three of them. He asked over 300 questions in return
- Asking good questions helps people own and process ideas for themselves.
- Keep learning.
- When you size up a person or situation, decide you already know where you stand on an issue, or believe your opinions about God or theology are unmovable, you’ve stopped being curious. You’ve made a judgment.
- Catch yourself in those moments. Try to ask one more question.
- In addition to the use of questions, I like to use reading books, articles etc as a way to continue learning. I have even added a couple books on curiosity itself to my reading list recently.
Take some time to reflect on areas of your life where you have stopped becoming curious and instead transitioned to the phase of assuming the role of the expert instead. Could it be that by positioning ourselves as experts instead of learners we are closing ourselves off from learning more?