The other day, we took a drive with some friends. While navigating a bumpy, pothole-ridden dirt road, our friend Corey, who was sitting in the backseat, advised my partner Jimmy, who was driving, to “be curious”—not to be cautious or careful, but curious.
This phrase struck a chord with me, prompting me to share it with you. The way we express ourselves shapes our approach to life. Words hold a certain weight and influence the way we interpret our experiences.
Take a moment to reflect on your own sensations linked to these words:
How does your body, mind, and emotions react when you remember a time when you were being cautious or careful?
What do you notice about your breath, your chest and your belly? What about the lower half of your body and your feet?
And how about when you were being curious? What do you notice?
Personally, when I internalize the essence of these words, 'cautious' and 'careful' feel restrictive, whereas 'curiosity' feels liberating and expansive. Curiosity equips me with a sense of capability and fosters my creative thinking. Whereas, approaching things cautiously or carefully brings about a subtle uneasiness, a tinge of self-doubt and a tendency to fall back on familiar habits in an attempt to control the outcome.
I also recognize the narratives associated with the importance of caution and care, acknowledging their necessity in certain situations and their role in cultivating awareness. However, I am reminded that curiosity can serve the same purposes as care and caution, but with an added element of playfulness and adventure instead of fear of the unknown. Embracing curiosity demands awareness, and when we are aware of both our surroundings and our internal reactions, we can trust that we possess what it takes to face any situation.
What if, instead of opting for caution or carefulness, we actively chose curiosity?
Take this invitation to integrate more curiosity into your daily life. Reflect on your approach to different situations and consider choosing curiosity over caution or care. Experiment with this mindset and observe how it transforms your experiences. Share your insights with others, encouraging a community of curiosity and exploration. Life is too precious to spend all of our time in an activated, always-serious, nervous system state. We can't create new culture from a collapsed or reactive sense of place. Together, let's embrace the power of curiosity and open ourselves up to new possibilities and discoveries.