Curiosity, Not Ignorance, Is Bliss By: Ann Hoy


“Curiosity seeks to annihilate itself; there is no curiosity that does not want an answer” Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

We are naturally curious, and eager to exchange our ignorance for knowledge, and our naivety for understanding.

There is intense curiosity, like the stalking paparazzi type, or mild curiosity, like wanting to know the weather forecast, but most of us have moderate curiosity.

Like Newton’s apple that fell and inspired the theory of gravity, our Eureka! Moment comes unexpectedly. We don’t seek out something to be curious about, we stumble upon it, like an oddity in a Dickens’ Curiosity Shop; it draws our attention to it, and we desire to know more about it.

Sometimes our curiosity draws us to a person. We are like the ‘Curiosity’ rover on Mars, zooming in closer to attempt to understand someone better. Curiosity engages our senses – we feel the energy in a person’s voice, or the firmness in their handshake.

Our curiosity also draws us inward to ask ourselves questions like, who am I? Why am I here? We may have never fully answered the call to “Know Thyself” since it was inscribed outside The Temple of Apollo at Delphi in ancient Greece, but our curiosity helps us understand ourselves and others better.

Curiosity is like a muscle that we develop by questioning, seeking new experiences, and viewing old experiences with fresh eyes. It stretches us, teaches us, and changes us.
We may even contradict our former views, change our minds, and cross the floor, as it washes away outmoded ideas.

Albert Einstein’s curiosity led him to expand on Galileo’s theories. Einstein looked at Galileo’s findings and asked different questions, which led to his discovery of the theory of relativity.

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious”. – Albert Einstein

Curiosity is Bliss

Curiosity is Bliss


Neurologists have found that asking new questions helps us form new neural pathways in our brains. An active curiosity slows down the aging process, encourages openness and inquisitiveness in social relationships, reduces boredom, and increases happiness, according to an article in Experiencelife.com.

It is also crucial to rational thinking. Of the 12 Virtues of Rational Thinking, curiosity is the number one according, to The Rationality Institute:

“The first virtue is curiosity. A burning itch to know is higher than a solemn vow to pursue truth. To feel the burning itch of curiosity requires both that you be ignorant, and that you desire to relinquish your ignorance. If in your heart you believe you already know, or if in your heart you do not wish to know, then your questioning will be purposeless and your skills without direction. Curiosity seeks to annihilate itself; there is no curiosity that does not want an answer. The glory of glorious mystery is to be solved, after which it ceases to be mystery. Be wary of those who speak of being open-minded and modestly confess their ignorance. There is a time to confess your ignorance and a time to relinquish your ignorance.”

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky – The Twelve Virtues of Rationality

In order to cultivate your curiosity, you need to be open to new information, so you can leave your comfort zone and discover what could be. The key is to ask questions, and the first question to ask is – how can I be more curious?

Sources:
http://experiencelife.com/article/the-power-of-curiosity/, brainy quote,
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky – The Twelve Virtues of Rationality,www.brainpickings.org

photo credit: Russ Allison Loar via photopin cc

Happy New Year 2014! – 52 Weeks to Optimizing Yourself – Week One

Happy 2014

Happy 2014


The next 52 weeks are filled with promise. A new year’s resolution is a promise to yourself, to start doing something you want to do, or stop doing something you don’t want to do. With a positive attitude and a sense of well-being, I hope you will have a year of optimizing yourself.

A year can feel like an eternity to commit to a goal. We are always evolving, and our goals are always changing too.

The goal you set at the start of the year may lose its’ urgency by the end of the year.

As I reflect back on my 52 weeks of optimizing yourself for 2013, I sometimes found it difficult to work on my goals for even one week, but by setting the goal, I remembered to work on it for the rest of the year, while also working toward other goals, because many of my goals are linked together.

This year, with a brand new 52 weeks of optimizing yourself ahead of me, I am going to create a habit of thinking big to achieve my goals, because I already know what happens when I think small.
This year I am choosing to go big or go home!

Innovators dare to think big:

Some men look at things the way they are and ask why? I dream of
things that are not and ask why not? -Robert Kennedy

For some of my life goals, I already think big, but other times I settle for less than reaching my full potential. Since I have nothing to lose by thinking big in all my goals, and potentially much to gain, I feel I owe it to myself to try.

Jumping off my comfortable path will help me build momentum to move forward and experiment.

By forming new ways to reach my goals each week, I will try something different to see if I get a different result.

For week one, I am going to note down all the goals that I need to think big on, and as the 52 weeks unfold, begin working on each one to continue to optimize myself. I will let you know how it goes next week.

I am wishing everyone a year filled with peace and love, and may your reality be health and happiness in 2014!

Photo credit: Photo pin/ 52 weeks