There is no other avenue to cultivating creative work aside from impassioned curiosity.
I have a theory about cats.
Have you ever wondered how cats just seem so content sitting around most of the day?
I never used to be a cat person, but I have grown to appreciate them because they are so curious. When I was staying with my cousin during my recent trip to Canada, his cat wandered into my room and proceeded to stick his head into my travel tote. Sydney snooped around for a couple minutes and then jumped up on the window sill to just stare out the window for what seemed like eons.
So my theory is that cats can sit around most of the day because they are curious. Curiosity leads to discovery, which leads to experience...and experiences satisfy their souls. Sydney’s curiosity about my travel tote led him to discover new things like a Netflix movie, my Star Wars pencil case turned into makeup bag, a half-eaten cookie, and more. He then sat on the window sill to contemplate these discoveries while basking in the morning sun.
OK, I can’t say for a scientific fact that cats actually go through this process, but as someone who is naturally curious and goes through a similar process, it makes sense to me.
Don’t Follow Your Passion, Follow Your Curiosity
I recently finished listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s audio book, “Big Magic, Creative Living Beyond Fear”, and she emphasizes this idea that curiosity is the key to an interesting and creative life.
“A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner—continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you—is a fine art, in and of itself.”
This leads me to my next point...
Become More Curious About Yourself
In order to become more creative, I think it’s important to become more curious about yourself. What are your hopes? What do you believe in? Who or what inspires you? As you begin to ask these questions, you start to discover just how unique you are. And as you become more in tune with your authentic self, your mind opens up to The Creative Force that lies deep within all of us. More ideas will flow to you. You become more confident in your creativity and are more willing to share it with others.
I know this may sound a little “woo woo” to you, but this is what I’ve learned from my own experience of being more curious about myself. For example, on my other blog, BeautyIsWithin.net, I have written a ton of articles based on curiosity about my judgements towards other women and my philosophies about inner beauty and style.
Try it out and see what happens. Ask a question about yourself and see where it leads you.
How to Cultivate Your Curiosity
In his post, How To Cultivate The Habit of Curiosity, Jones Kofi Apawu shares 9 powerful tips that I resonate with.
My favorite tip is to make “Why” a favorite word. I would say at least 5 or more times a day I will say, “I wonder why…” Thankfully we have the Internet now because I can usually get an answer in a few seconds.
However, as much as we love to check out smart phones for the answer to all of our questions, Chris Wire says that “easy answers are accelerating the fading of wonderment”. Check out this TED Talk he gives about curiosity fueling creativity…
After watching this video I don’t feel so weird about my “crazy whack idea” about cats that I talked about at the beginning of this article! Interestingly enough, that theory about cats gave me an idea for a children’s book!
What are your thoughts about curiosity and creativity?