Remember that stage as you were growing up, when “why?” was what you asked the most? Everything around you was fascinating, from the commonest of objects and people’s behaviors, to the color of the sky and animals’ sounds. But as the years go on, that wondering inquisitiveness fades, for most of us. To reawaken your natural curiosity, we’ve gathered five speeches meant to inspire that lively curiosity and urge to explore.
From chocolates to milestones
As a child, Amy Singh had a love affair with chocolate. But unlike the rest of us, she took that passion to the next level. At the age of 9, Amy researched its ingredients, wrote a letter to the author of her favorite chocolate book, and even made chocolate in her own kitchen using basic household tools. Her persistence won her a spot at a New York chocolate exhibit, and features in patisserie magazines and books. It also sparked her involvement with important world issues such as child labor.
“Today, I am 21 years old and I am passionate about many things. And yet, I don’t know what I am doing or where my curiosity will take me. But look at me today. I’m in Prague because of a chocolate bar, and this chocolate bar continues to give me the courage to meet challenges every day.” ~ Amy Singh
The more practical advice
Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, couldn’t have taken her book to the bestseller list without following her passion. In a SuperSoul Session, she describes how she tried to inspire others to do the same – until she realized that telling people “Follow your passion!” is troublesome for those who aren’t yet sure of their own purpose in life. Elizabeth’s solution? Simple: just replace the word “passion” with “curiosity!”
“Do something that’s a lot easier, a lot simpler. Just follow your curiosity – because curiosity is such a gentler, kinder, more welcoming, more humane instinct than passion.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert
How a housewife built herself a whole new life
Influenced by her traditional mother, Hitomi Kumasaka married right after graduating and gave birth to two kids. As her children grew and went out on their own, Hitomi wondered if life held anything more for her than being a housewife. At 42, she mustered her courage and went job hunting for the first time. Fortunately, a real estate company found her Excel skills an asset and brought her aboard. Following her interest in computers and the Internet, she eventually published a bestselling book on social media, and even launched her own company.
“I came to the conclusion that curiosity is some kind of sign. It is the voice of your heart telling you, “Do this.” So if you feel something itching up around here, that might be the voice of your heart. Take the plunge and follow it. Do it thoroughly.” ~ Hitomi Kumasaka
Why some don’t have just one true calling
Emilie Wapnick believes that not everyone is born to specialize in one field only. Some are broadly curious, and live best when allowed to explore their curiosities and creative pursuits. She refers to such individuals as “multipotentialites” – people with many potentials. Through many personal interactions, Emilie learned that multipotentialites are adept at idea synthesis, rapid learning, and adaptability — three qualities that can wither if the person is forced into too narrow a focus.
“Embrace your many passions. Follow your curiosity down those rabbit holes. Explore your intersections. Embracing our inner wiring leads to a happier, more authentic life. And perhaps more importantly, multipotentialites, the world needs us.” ~ Emilie Wapnick
How the stars led him to explore Mars
Adam Steltzner, a NASA engineer and team leader for the landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars, said his journey to space began with the constellation of Orion. At age 21, working an uninspiring job as a musician, one night he noticed that the stars were in different positions before and after his evening show. Deeply fascinated at this seemingly simple discovery, Adam launched himself into the world of astronomy. After earning several degrees, he landed a job in planetary exploration. In this talk, Adam explains that space exploration is not only about science; it’s also deeply involved with our curiosity to know who we are, how big we are, and how great our reach can be.
“What is your next challenge? Where will your curiosity take you? When I let my curiosity disturb my life and guide me away from my plans, tremendous things happened to me. What might happen to you?” ~ Adam Steltzner
Have you heard any other talks on the power of curiosity? Please add it to our list in the comments below, and tell us how it moved you.