We often receive generic advice on the internet like — you should lift weights, you should learn copywriting, or you should not put a pineapple on your pizza.
I came across one such piece of advice from my absolute favorite person on the internet — Naval Ravikant. This is what he said:
Following your genuine intellectual curiosity is a better foundation for a career than following whatever is making money right now.
Let’s take a look at why he said we he said.
What Is Curiosity?
Curiosity (noun) — something that killed the cat (Haha, jk!)
Curiosity is a superpower.
Curiosity is a cure for fear.
Curiosity is jet-fuel for personal growth.
Curiosity is a strong desire to learn and understand new things.
Why should you be curious?
The human brain loves new things, new experiences, and new people. When you are curious, you open yourself up to a world of endless possibilities. You question things, you connect things, and you build new things. When you do this, you get a rush of dopamine which makes your mind happy.
If you are at a boring party, curiosity can delight you.
If you are stuck in your career, curiosity can rescue you.
If you are unmotivated with your life, curiosity can fuel you.
Curiosity can add zest to your life, and it can take you way beyond zest — it can enrich your whole sense of security, confidence, and well-being.
How can you be curious?
My favorite thing about curiosity is that it can be explored by anyone, no matter where you live or what level of education you have. You’re born curious, and no matter how much battering your curiosity has taken, it’s standing by, ready to be awakened.
The easiest way to become curious is to ask genuine questions. Keep asking questions until something interesting happens. Dickie Bush offers a framework he calls the “curiosity flywheel” that provides a systematic method for approaching curiosity.
- Converse — Talk to other people to work through and discover new ideas.
- Curate — Gather resources and content recommended by others and from your research.
- Consume — Consume content related to these ideas to better understand them.
- Clarify — Clarify the ideas in your head, synthesizing the information from each resource
- Create — Create something to do with those ideas — a blog post, tweet, or operating principle.
Curiosity can easily become a habit — the more you use it, the more naturally it will come to you. Curiosity is a path to independence — independence of thought.
What is stopping you from being curious?
You are trapped in your way of thinking, trapped in your way of relating to people. You are so used to seeing the world your way that you come to think that the world is the way you see it. One of the most important ways you can use curiosity every day is to see the world through other people’s eyes, to see the world in ways you might otherwise miss.
You assume that there’s nothing new under the sun. You assume that people are busy, and they don’t want to be bombarded with all your stupid questions. But put yourself in their shoes, and imagine you’re at a coffee shop, waiting in line to order your coffee, and the person behind asked you, Do you come here often? How do you like your coffee? Will you be annoyed, or will you be happy to converse with them?
Remember this rule: everyone is friendly, but you have to make the first move.
Your ego is always protecting you from potential failure and embarrassment. Curiosity requires a certain amount of bravery — the courage to reveal you don’t know something, the courage to ask a question of someone. But curiosity can also give you courage. It requires confidence — just a little bit — but it repays you by building up your confidence.
Here’s a little exercise for you called “Curiosity Conversations” You have to follow one simple rule, every day you have to meet one new person. It can either be in person or online. Just start a conversation with them and let your natural curiosity take it over.