Sure, curiosity killed the cat. ("And many guys I know may respond... and is that a bad thing??") But I believe that human curiosity is far underrated, too little nurtured and often left unfostered. One step further: Might unleashed curiosity actually be the most valuable method to turning the mediocre performer into the outstanding leader, creator, worker? I believe this is the case.
Think of it:
No curiosity: No "new world"
No curiosity: No lightbulb
No curiosity: No airplane
No curiosity: No space program
No curiosity: No computers
No curiosity: No internet... no web pages... no social media... no blogs!
Yet, most ignore curiosity as naive. As inconsequential. As unacademic. Little or nothing is done to proactively discover or foster curiosity. So Thomas Edison is told by teachers that he's "too stupid to learn anything." He gets fired from his first job for being "unproductive." And Walt Disney similarly gets fired as a newspaper editor because he "lacked imagination." How many other curios kids, teens, employees and even leaders today are forced to stay in track with the system when their genius actually lies in their curiosity.
Think about it: how many teachers do you know who intentionally help students discover and release their curiosity? How many pastors to this for those they lead? How many bosses take the time to discover and encourage the curiosity of those on their teams? "Who has they time for that?" they might say.
So listen to the hard statistics of the consequences of squelched or unreleased curiosity.
After just 10 years, 80% of college students are working in areas totally unrelated to their college major. (Despite the $100,000 + paid by their student loans and their parent's second mortgages!)
70 % of American workers experience "stress related illness."
34% of American workers think they will "burn out" in the job in the next two years.
In Proverbs 22:6, the Bible exhorts parents: "Train up a child in the way you should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it." As Dan Miller writes in his book 48 Days to the Work You Love, "A truer reading of the original text could be ' Train up a child in the way he/she is bent...' The challenge of parenting is to discover how God has uniquely gifted this child and how the parent can help the child excel."
So, instead of asking: "What do you want to major in Joey?" Why not ask:
What would you do if you were free to create anything you wanted?
What problem(s) would you solve if you had the power to solve it?
What bugs you that doesn't seem to bug other people?
What gives you a lot of happiness, that others don't get as happy about?
What intrigues you about the way things work?
If you were given a billion dollars, and had to give it all away to just one cause over the next week: What cause would you give it to?
What are you doing when you tend to lose track of time? What else?
If you could only read books on one subject for the next year: what subject would that be?
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