Being curious is powerful, following curiosity is even more so. In “Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman“, Richard Feynman tells stories throughout his life and the outcomes of the stories. Feynman won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965 and was one of the people who developed the atomic bomb. One of the biggest take-aways from the book was to follow curiosity as it leads to expand your awareness and open your mind.
Feynman described a story of him sitting on the toilet and seeing a few ants. The ants, he observed, were following the same path. He then attempted to diverge the ants and move them to see if they would come back on path. Through following his curiosity, he learned a whole lot about ant behavior. This story struck me as I’ve seen ants do this over and over, curious about it, though never followed my curiosity to learn really why and how they follow the path. Following the curiosity is what leads to the most interesting findings. Now whenever I notice myself being curious, instead of just forgetting about it and letting it go, I write it down and try to further understand why it was the way it was.
In modern day, it’s easier than ever to follow curiosity. Wonder how webpages are loaded, how tables are built, how buildings are constructed, or cameras work? With relatively little ease, the gist of these can be learned. Throughout time, learning about enough things allows you to build a web of sorts, which then enables you to more easily connect things together. In short, the more you know, the more you can know, and the easier you can know it.
When one follows curiosity, one finds that it never ends because for each thing you look into, there is another corner waiting to be explored. The extent at which you decide to follow it is the real question.
Big changes in the world, whether it is a cutting edge innovation, a unique observation, or finding a cure for a disease, come from following curiosity. Science is full of dark corners worth exploring, math alone is never-ending, art is a constant exploration for finding creativity. Following your curiosity is perhaps one of the greatest things one can to do to learn more about themselves and the world around them.
Question to ponder: where does curiosity come from? Why are some more curious than others?