“if curiosity killed the cat, then satisfaction brought it back”
The end of year is an opportunity to catch up with old friends, colleagues and those in your professional networks who you may not see that often. With more than 30 years at work I’ve had plenty of time to observe people’s careers from the outside looking in.
During that time I’ve wondered, out of a group of peers who started out at the same point and with similar opportunity ahead of them, why do some people accomplish so much.
Of course there isn’t one clear path to the top nor is there a set of personality traits we must have in order to succeed. In truth I’m sure it’s down to many internal and external factors. Add some luck for extra kick.
Nonetheless, making my way through the various end-of-year gatherings I observed characteristics the extra successful seemed to display. Firstly, it was the level of enthusiasm and freshness they brought to the conversation. No sense of weariness here. Next was their genuine interest in me and my life.
Could it be that “curiosity” can play a part in someone’s ability to succeed?
“Curiosity is the engine of achievement.” Ken Robinson.
Curiosity has been linked to the personality trait; openness. One of five personality traits commonly used to describe our characters.
- Openness is the most reliable predictor of our ability to embrace new ideas and our professional success.
As explained by Professor of Psychology Todd Kashdan “by putting curiosity at the center of everything we do, means we experience daily life in a different way.” Explains the fresh attitude brought to the conversation at the end of year drinks..
Kashdan’s work helped us understand that we’re at our most curious as children. As we grow older our instinct to explore is countered by our desire to conform. Asking questions makes us look ignorant and so we stop. As our curiosity drops away our learning slows, stagnation slowly sets in.
As a driving force when we’re young, curiosity should be embraced as a motivator as we age.