As a child, I was naturally curious about everything I saw and heard around me. At some point in my life, and I’m guessing it’s the same for alot of us, this curiosity seemed to disappear, somewhere in my 30’s.
I think for me, the combination of increasing responsibilities, marriage, kids, jobs, mortgages just sucked up almost all of my time and energy. Most if not all of my hobbies took a back seat as I tried to navigate these choppy waters. There was simply no time or energy left in my day for me to be curious and follow that curiosity wherever it led.
If this sounds like an excuse, then it probably is.
Being curious about things for me these days, is mandatory. Yes I have a better handle on the above life issues now which certainly helps in terms of freeing up time and headspace but I also know that it is still possible even when super busy.
For example, today I went for my usual run at lunchtime down towards the beach. Unconsciously I always go the same route, same side of the road, same time. It is routine now, but on my way back I switched to the other side of the road and came across this most amazing house that I must have ran past a million times before and never noticed. It was like the gingerbread house the from Hansel and Gretel childhood story. It made me stop and smile just looking at it. A tiny slice of joy in the normal work day.
It just made me feel really good to have discovered something new on a route that I thought I knew really well.
It made me think – what other cool things, people or places are sitting right under my nose that I have never noticed just because I haven’t been curious enough to explore them.
This running example is obviously a very small example of a tiny piece of joy that I experienced just by noticing something that was always around there, but when I expand this out to thinking about jobs and careers, following your curiosity just seems like the natural way to approach this to me.
“What are my passions” or “how do I discover my passion” is a question I hear alot in the wellness space these days and I think a good way to start is to follow your natural curiosity and see where it brings you.
For example, when my Dad passed away in 2011, I became deeply curious about heart disease as it was related to my Dad. This led me to change up my diet, promoting veggie based food choices as my default and de-emphasising meat from my plate. I also became more aware of the impact of food and lifestyle on my body and overall health. This seed of interest has grown over time, so much so that now I am studying for my degree level qualification in nutritional therapy. From the outside this looks like one of my passions but in reality I was just following my curiosity to see where it led and my interest has grown from this.
The same thing happened with my alcohol free 365 challenge. I went into the challenge just hoping to shed some stubborn belly fat and above all else, to see what happens when you stop drinking alcohol. Armed with an open mind and a healthy curiosity about it, this challenge has changed my view of and relationship with alcohol, for the better. At day 150 now, it has changed my life in ways I could not have predicted.
Take a few minutes, mediate with an open mind and see what comes up. Write down these things, they are not just random thoughts. They could be signposts to help you identify what you are naturally curious about and help you find a path to follow in that direction.
If it helps me, it could just help you aswell.
Yours in health and happiness,