Curious People Are Powerful People

December 15, 2019
Curious people dare to challenge the status quo because they're constantly observing, asking questions, and learning. They seem to have the ability to discover, modify, and create, often stepping into unknown territory. 

Curious people are powerful people. Paraphrasing Albert Einstein: you need passion and curiosity, not talent, to stand out. Powerful people are endowed with attentiveness and inner strength. What sets these people apart from the rest is they’re always interested in the small details and focused on the big challenges.

Stephen Hawking defined curiosity as “the will to never give up”. It’s about looking up at the stars and not down at your feet. Trying to make sense of what you see and wonder what makes the universe exist. Similarly, Thomas Hobbes described this competence as “mental lust” and Victor Hugo as a “form of courage”.

There are multiple explanations about what curiosity is. However, only one of them contains its true essence and reminds you that it’s the foundation of learning and the advancement of human beings. Its effect, its primary impulse in children is essential to promote their psychological development and their daily spark. Curiosity is the engine that allows you to maintain your enthusiasm for knowledge.

“The cure to boredom is curiosity. There’s no cure for curiosity.”

-Dorothy Parker-

A pondering man.

Curious people are different

What’s so special about curious people? Well, to begin, their most defining characteristic is their ability to ask questions nobody’s asking. For example, Isaac Newton was a physicist, astronomer, philosopher, mathematician, inventor, and even an alchemist. There were no limits to his passion for knowledge and curiosity. Thus, he came up with the laws of motion and the concept of gravity after his famous eureka moment — when an apple fell from a tree and hit him.

Charles Darwin is another well-known example of boundless curiosity. One of his most common habits was to write letters to scholars around the world. The letters contained endless questions about plants, birds, insects, human behaviors, expressions, and emotions. Why did he send them? Because he just had to know!

These two examples are what scientists define as a “thirst for knowledge”. This is a highly developed type of motivation in some people and is well-defined by the following processes.

Curious people thrive on knowledge and discovery

Curiosity is a type of motivation based on rewards, as understood within the psychology of learning. It’s the sensation of discovering something unexpected, of finding the answer to a question, and the experience of solving a riddle. Thus, it’s the challenge or a long-held doubt what moves a curious person.

This is the same conclusion that a recent study conducted at the University of California, published in the journal Cell, found. In it, Dr. Matthias Gruber and his colleagues show that the brains of highly curious people work differently. Their dopaminergic system has a higher intensity and connection.

It shows how the brain of a curious person of any age experiences satisfaction with the mere process of learning. It’s because it thrives in the exciting search process in which obstacles appear but are overcome. The reward centers and the hippocampus are the two most active areas in these people.

A pair of hands powdered in golden dust.

Without curiosity, humans lose their vital impulse

Donald W. Winnicott had something to say on this subject in the 50s and 60s. This man was a renowned pediatrician who later became a notable psychoanalyst. According to him, when a human being loses their curiosity, then their vital impulses such as creativity, spontaneity, and happiness also fade away.

Why does it happen? Well, according to Winnicott’s experience, some people create a false identity. Of course, they become frustrated beings chained to their routine, unsolved problems, and yet-to-heal traumas. In essence, their apathy separates them from the luminous and authentic self they’re hiding.

An unsatisfying life dims anyone’s potential and their motivation fades along with their mood and their curiosity.

Reconnect with your curiosity

Everyone is creative and holds great possible discoveries within themselves. However, your daily routine often weakens your spirit as per your culture’s design. This is because people who can challenge the status quo and the conventional and what most take for granted, are quite dangerous.

However, it’s all better when you can open your senses and experience it all. You must figure out what you like and pursue it. What arouses your passion and interests? Wouldn’t it be great to see the world through your inner child’s lenses and feel excited once again about your discoveries?

For instance, you can currently find answers to any doubt or question you might have in online search engines. However, the answers you get through your own exploration are more valuable. You must feed your curiosity through research, traveling, meeting new people, and using critical and divergent thinking. Finally, you must wake up and recover your motivation.

Therefore, look up to the stars, as per Hawking’s advice. Cure your boredom with curiosity, just like writer Dorothy Parker did.

  • Gruber, M. J., Gelman, B. D., & Ranganath, C. (2014). States of Curiosity Modulate Hippocampus-Dependent Learning via the Dopaminergic Circuit. Neuron84(2), 486–496. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2014.08.060