Curiosity Made Me Maverick. I am often described as a maverick. I never really thought about myself that way, so I was curious!
As part of the re-work of my website recently, I asked a lot of people how they would describe me … I figure what better way to make sure the About Me page is relatable, authentic and clear?
I was super curious.
One of the people I approached was my oldest brother: a man of few words. His response surprised me. He described me as curious about things … “This is probably why you are always asking ‘why’? about anything and everything. You challenge pretty much everything, but this does not come from a place of ignorance or lack of understanding of how the world works – to me it is usually more ruminative and introspective than aggressive”.
Of course, I was flattered, but I was impressed by the way he put his finger on something that I do that I have always struggled to articulate. I am curious … and I DO always ask WHY and yes, it’s because I want to understand … so that I can grow or change.
My brother continued: “If you can describe creativity as a way of doing things differently, then you have to look at the status quo with an innate curiosity and a desire to apply your own personality/creativity to any challenge or task”.
This strikes to the heart of what I feel it means to be an active creative person … all too often labelled Maverick in our world of rules, border and grey conformity.
Yes, I have a rebellious streak a mile wide, but my intentions are not rooted in destruction … they are rooted in creation, or recreation or additional creation.
In short, curiosity made me Maverick.
When people lose their curiosity, they quickly ossify and get stuck: rigid opinions, codified behaviour, resistance to change, an inability to adapt; a sense of powerlessness and depression can set in.
Children learn because they want to, because they are curious. And we manage to do that until somewhere around the end of primary school when the threat of ‘real’ life is ramped up and we get seriously exposed to the expectations and norms that lie ahead I adulthood.
Maintaining a childlike sense of curiosity though, is crucial to your mental well-being … and in a fast-changing world, it is also crucial in your work life.
If you only ever view change as a threat, your behaviour will be defensive, retroactive and repetitive. But if you can learn to be curious about changes, your world view changes to become forward looking, adaptive, curious.
It’s curious, isn’t it? That something as common and desirable in your child, curiosity, can be seen as invasive and undesirable as an adult.
And yet, everything important that has been discovered and invented in this world has been fuelled by a person’s curiosity. Are we being separated into the privileged few, (who have permission to be curious, or who are tolerated because their curiosity takes them out of play), and the masses … the drones, the worker bees?
I’m curious about that, what about you?