Hello dear reader,
When was the last time you gifted yourself something special?
It’s a good practice to give yourself little gifts from time to time as a gesture to tell yourself that you love yourself and you deserve to receive this gift.
(You can also listen to this post here from my latest podcast episode ‘Heart Of Living’)
When we think of giving ourselves a gift, most of the time we think of a watch, a bag, a new phone, or something extravagant.
But it can also be just a simple notebook, a journal, a flower, a movie ticket, a date with ourselves or anything.
And sometimes, the gift that we really need to give ourselves doesn’t always have to be the things that money can buy.
Sometimes the best gifts that we really need to give ourselves are actually free, like the gift of going for a walk, the gift of a good rest, the gift of a smile, the gift of mindful breathing, or the gift of spending uninterrupted time with our loved ones.
These are some gifts that we can give to ourselves for free every day and they instantly make us feel relaxed and refreshed.
But today I want to talk about an even more special gift that you must give to yourself this year because, for most of us, it has been a very long time since we last gave this gift to ourselves.
And this gift is the gift of curiosity.
P.S If you want to gift yourself something nice, you should gift yourself this book: The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy and it’s sure to make your day 🙂
You can also listen to this post here
The Gift of Curiosity
Table of Contents
Today I want to share with you how you can give yourself this gift again because I truly believe that curiosity is at the heart of living and the more we are curious about the right things in life, the more joyful, creative, satisfying and happy our lives will be.
Curiosity simply means a strong desire to know or learn something, so this means that curiosity actually starts with not knowing.
As kids, we embraced this ‘not knowing’. We played with it. We asked questions. We were ready to see what happens. We bumped our heads, we fell down, we cried, but most of all we enjoyed ourselves and didn’t care about not knowing something.
But as we grow up and become adults, we slowly start to become bad friends with ‘not knowing’ and only want to do things we already know.
We stop thinking of doing anything else outside of what we already know and soon our life becomes just a to and fro from work, or living with the same set of situations that help us feel a sense of safety and comfort.
Curiosity begins when we become good friends with the unknown
But curiosity starts the moment we begin to become good friends with ‘not knowing’
We feel not knowing is bad, but I don’t know who taught us to be ashamed of not knowing when every discovery started from not knowing and then being curious about how it would be if this could happen.
But many of us feel there is nothing to be curious about. Every discovery has already been done and there’s nothing much left. I myself felt all teenage life what is there to be curious about.
I had even forgotten this word existed.
But now I am coming more and close to curiosity and I feel there is so much to be curious about.
And this curiosity could be a curiosity to get through a big discovery that could benefit society, but most of all, I believe that the curiosity we need to have is the curiosity for our own life, and for our own future.
I know most of us in this generation feel hopeless, feel drained, anxious and depressed, but I once read somewhere that you don’t have to have a lot of hope for the future. You just need to be curious.
And it made so much sense.
And again you might feel there is nothing to be curious about in your life, but I assure you there is.
And here are some things I believe we all must be curious about
Things to be curious about
1. First, you don’t need to become a morning person, but you can get curious about how it would be if you woke up early and started your day on a good note with a morning routine.
You don’t need to be a reader. I hear many people say, “But I am not a reader. I don’t read books or I don’t have the habit of reading books”.
But I want to say, you don’t have to be. Nobody grows up a reader and it’s not a habit that only needs to be cultivated only in your childhood or teenage years.
You can grow to become a reader at any age.
And just because you haven’t read many books or have never loved books really, doesn’t mean that you can’t grow to become a reader.
I started reading consistently in my early 20s and it has been the greatest good habit I cultivated.
P.S Here is how I make time to read everyday
I never thought I would love books, but now I do, so I believe you can grow to love something if you give it a chance and if you are a little curious about how it would be to read at least one book a month.
And slowly out of this curiosity, you can grow to become a lover of books.
2. You can be curious about how you would feel if you started exercising even for 15 minutes every day, or get curious about how you would feel if you started writing in your journal every morning for at least a week.
I believe life is too short to not try. I see many of us are bent on saying and even feel a bit pride in saying that we’re so lazy, we don’t have that much discipline or can’t be consistent enough, and so we don’t try.
Even I used to say, I am not a morning person. I just can’t be a morning person. I had never ever seen the morning sun at 7 am till the time was in my first year of college in Kolkata.
But now that I am a morning person, I realise that it all started with me being curious about how it would be if I started waking up a little early and giving time to myself in the morning.
If you just allow yourself to be curious, instead of beating yourself up for not being perfect, or not knowing enough then you will also have a better chance of sticking to your habit.
You don’t have to start all of the good habits at once, but you could be curious about how it would feel to start a good habit you have been meaning to start or to break a bad habit for a week or so and then see for yourself what changes you feel.
There are really so many things to be curious about, and we as humans are by nature curious. It is what has helped us as humans to get evolved and reach this stage in humanity.
Without curiosity, we would have still been living in caves and using stones to make fire.
So curiosity is in-built into us, and there’s actually right curiosity and wrong curiosity.
Wrong curiosity is when we are curious about the wrong things in life- like wanting to know what others are doing with their life and gossiping, wanting to know all the news even though we know it’s bad for our mental well-being.
It’s because of wrong curiosity that we pick up bad habits so easily because they are easily available to make us curious, about how we might feel- examples are such as starting to smoke, drink, do drugs, and such things.
People only start them out of curiosity and this stuff is easily available and we see everybody doing it so we get curious.
So these are all the wrong curiosity that we end up being curious about because these are the only new things we see people doing when we reach a certain age.
Whereas good curiosity is much more abundant, it just requires a little bit of investigation on our part as responsible adults who want to change our lives in a positive direction.
You can be curious about how it would be if you decide to have a screen-free weekend, I personally am curious to do this sometime soon because I have started to feel like I really can’t do anything without a screen.
You can be curious about how it would be to start a new hobby, how you would feel if you went for evening walks, how you would feel if you gave yourself some time in silence or gave yourself some guilt-free relaxation time, or just gave time to learning something new you didn’t know.
These are all the good curiosity, the right curiosity you need to have in your life, and if not do them every day, you can be curious about how you would feel if you decide to do any of these for at least 7 days in a row, or even 3 days in a row, or even for one day.
Everything you have not done till now, everything you don’t know till now is a chance for you to be curious.
I didn’t know how to start a blog, or even grow my blog, I didn’t know a thing about WordPress and had no one as a reference.
There were many times I wanted to give up, but I really, really wanted to see how it would be if I didn’t give up.
I cannot even tell how many times I wrote in my journal saying, “I wonder how much traffic I will have this time next year.” I would be so curious and highly enthusiastic about it.
Even though it wasn’t making any money or any traffic at all, I was curious to feel the joy of starting something from scratch and knowing that I did it all by myself.
And now whatever I had previously imagined and written has come true.
And now this podcast is an experiment in curiosity.
I just want to see what happens if I don’t give up and if I keep putting on one new episode every Thursday.
I don’t care about the results or how long it will take. I just want to see what happens.
Seek opportunities to be Curious
On my recent trip to Thailand, we went to Phi Phi Island and I had never done snorkelling. They didn’t even give us any instructions, but I was really eager to do it.
So I asked the guide to take me with him. At first, it was difficult, but then soon I learned the technique and it was the best highlight of our trip.
Had I not been curious to try because I didn’t know, I would have missed seeing the spectacular life beneath the sea.
My friend didn’t try at the first stop because she was scared, but then I convinced her a lot on our second stop for snorkelling, and finally, we both went in.
And she said she felt so fulfilled and accomplished in doing a new thing. And after that, she was the one to convince another woman from our boat who was really scared to try.
And she too totally enjoyed it and overcame her fear.
This might seem small, but these are the little instances we need to be mindful of.
Whenever we come across something we don’t know how to do, it is actually a chance for us to be curious enough to try something new.
I truly feel this is what makes our life fulfilled and this is what is missing in our adult lives now.
Most of us are going about our days only taking the set path, not doing anything new and doing only things we already know, but really, where is the fun in that?
It’s just one life we’ve got, be curious, take risks and try as many new things.
Last year I was curious to go on my first solo trip.
I really wanted to know how I would feel to take a solo trip, and it was really so wonderful. I felt so free, and relaxed and enjoyed my space so much.
This year I am planning on taking one again, and it’s really doing these little things that I once didn’t know I could that have started to bring me confidence.
There really is so much confidence, courage and potential in each one of us, and it can only be unlocked if we are courageous enough to do things that we don’t currently know or that we don’t currently feel we’re capable of.
If you feel you can’t do something, that you don’t have the capacity for it like others, then don’t take that for a certain.
Instead, just be curious if that self-belief you have right now is true, and be curious enough to find out if it’s actually true and be curious to see what happens if you keep going.
This way you can be curious about so many things and just experiment with life instead of taking your present life, your present habits and your present situations as given and as unchangeable.
It is not so difficult to give yourself this gift, because this is our intrinsic nature.
Being Curious is our true nature
As kids, we gave this gift to ourselves in abundance without anybody asking us. We were all immensely curious, we wanted to know everything, we wanted to see what would happen, and we were full of wonder and in touch with joy every day.
My mother says that I used to ask so many questions that she would get tired of trying to answer.
And after coming back from school I would repeat all the things that happened at school and all the things I learned and she would listen patiently.
Even now if you look around and see kids, you will never see an anxious 1-year-old kid. We never see a depressed 3-year-old kid.
They may cry or get angry for a while, but then they return to smiling, being happy, wondering and being curious again.
And I truly believe that that is our true nature- Joy is our true nature. Being curious is our intrinsic nature, and not anxiety, hopelessness, anger or other low emotions.
So give yourself this gift of curiosity about how it would be if you started to move in the direction of your dreams and Be curious about all the possibilities your life holds.
So this is what I had to say today.
Before ending, I’d like to give you a journal prompt you can write sometime this week.
“Make a list of all things you want to try or be, that you currently don’t know. How do you think being curious about it will help you start it?”
I hope you, I hope we allow ourselves to try new things we currently don’t know.
We all move from not knowing to know slowly and slowly. So allow yourself to go slow and just be curious to lead a life you love living.
You might also love:
- My 21-Day Gratitude Challenge
- Why you should be okay with wasting time
- Allow yourself to be discouraged
- How to build self-discipline- 3 tricks