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How To Stay Curious

by Shelly Horton
Posted: May 12, 2016

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Curiousity didn't really kill the cat! Being curious is actually an attractive quality. Why? Shelly Horton shares why and how to stay curious to add more colour, passion and intrigue into your life.

Try and think back to the last time you were really curious. You were probably a kid, curious to start an ant farm, learn how to bake cupcakes or just explore under the house.  

Curiosity is simply an eagerness to learn something new; to find out what makes people tick, to use your imagination.

We tend to lose our curiosity as we age and fall into comfortable, mundane routines. That is so sad because curiosity is such an attractive quality in a person. It adds colour, passion and intrigue to our lives. So here are some tips on how to stay curious.

1.    Embrace boring

Stay curious

Put the damn smart phone down. Our obsession with our phones (and I am completely guilty of this) dulls curiosity. 

Sit in a coffee shop without your phone and simply observe your surroundings. Notice everything from the old flyers pinned to the corkboard, subtly eavesdrop on conversations nearby or listen to the music being piped through the room and see what memories it stirs in you.

2.    Practice using your imagination

People watching - observing - couple at cafe

One of my favourite games is to observe people in the café and construct a backstory for them all. Read their body language. 

Is the couple at the front table on a first date and he wants to extend it to dinner but she wants to exit stage left? Is the old man in the corner mourning his wife who died 20 years ago, but gets comfort by coming to the café where they met and sipping her favourite blend of tea? Is the woman to your left feeling chuffed because she just got a promotion?

Think of it as creating characters in a book or movie.

3.    Talk to strangers

Talk to strangers - bus stop

Stranger Danger was a necessary safety campaign when we were young kids, but it has also made us afraid to start up conversations with people we don’t know. The shame of it is Australians are losing valuable oral history. The less we talk to one another the easier it is to become insular, afraid and even racist.

Set yourself a challenge of starting a conversation at the bus stop, in the coffee line or at the gym. Simply start with a question about your surroundings. For example, “Does this bus go to Lakemba? Do you know of any good places to eat there?” You may end up finding about the person’s family history as well as discovering a great new restaurant owned by their uncle. Be open to the possibilities.

4.    Try something new

Exploring with a ukelele - adventures

The possibilities here are endless. 

Never been to the AFL? Book some tickets and give it a go. Plenty of fans would love to share their passion. Remember how much fun it was to draw when you were a kid? Embrace the adult version. Grab a friend, a glass of wine and attend one of the nude drawing classes offered in most capital cities. Ever wanted to dance like Beyonce? Then take a dance class, even if it’s just to learn one routine. 

By learning something new you are stretching yourself and remaining curious about the world. 

Curious to learn something new? Check out an endless sea of options to advance your personal goals or career here.


Shelly Horton

Known for fronting up to uncomfortable conversations and never sitting on the fence, Shelly is a well-known voice in the area of pop culture, women's issues and health. She’s interviewed everyone from Tom Cruise and Kim Kardashian to the Dalai Lama.

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