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Spark your curiosity

Posted on June 20, 2020 | Comments

Did curiosity really kill the cat? Probably not. Fueled by the desire to know more, some of the most intelligent and innovative figures of the past were insatiably curious—Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, and Leonardo da Vinci. Today, countless others would agree that curiosity has a wide range of benefits from personal growth to professional success.

Why be curious? Because curiosity keeps the mind active and strong, and it enhances focus, productivity, and motivation. It also boosts listening skills for better conversations and reduces anxiety for heightened happiness.

Now is the perfect time to jumpstart your curiosity. In a Forbes magazine post, Josh Ritchie offers five simple how-to techniques: (1) read about, and learn from what other people do, (2) slow down more and take your time, including time to think, (3) practice asking “why?”, (4) say less and listen more, and (5) hang out with a child.

An avid researcher, I decided to put my curiosity to good use and find intriguing new topics for discussion as an alternate to coronavirus conversations. A big fan of trivia and Jeopardy, I started by googling whatever word came to mind—a 2020 type of trivial pursuit prompted by an article about the number of google searches (488 million) for banana bread. Even googled the word, “word” however that approach wasn’t yielding what I was seeking.

Switching platforms, I used the google technique at TED.com and literally hit the jackpot with video presentations about words! In no time, I was watching charismatic people deliver captivating content about WORDS! Do you know how many talks have been presented on the subject? Take my word for it, more than you would think. After enjoying several great speakers, it was tough choosing a recommended video that offered intriguing new ideas for changing the conversation from…well you know, those words we may not want to talk about anymore.

Hands down, or thumbs up, one of TED’s most popular presenters offers plenty to dialog about. His name is Rives—a poetic performance artist and storyteller who uses images, video, and technology to bring his words to life. Watching his videos is like a Disneyland E-ticket. They’re fun, fast-moving, and absolutely fascinating. And, very educational as well. After viewing his talk, “Reinventing the Encyclopedia Game,” I can’t wait to hear what you have to say, especially about the word, Chimborazo.

Regardless of the topic, thank goodness for words. Otherwise where would conversations be without them? And, are you curious about the number of google search results for “words?” The answer is 5.1 billion.

Originally published June 11, 2020, Orange County Register

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