In 19 years they have managed to answer your every question in a matter of seconds, keep you entertained at every hour, designed software to help you with your every need, and more. If you have a problem there is most likely a Google solution for it. Curious what a company that has managed to connect the entire world has to say about curiosity?
“Curiosity and creativity are never far apart. You need to be curious to identify problems worth solving, and then come up with new solutions.” – Lorraine Twohill, Head of Marketing at Google
Welcome to the first post in our “Unleash the Creativity” series. In this series, we will provide information, tips, and tricks to get your creative juices flowing: Create, Mash, Inspire.
WHAT WEB BROWSER DO YOU USE?
I recently watched a thought-provoking TedTalk by Adam Grant entitled “The surprising habits of original thinkers”. In his talk, he presents an interesting study that analyzed the web browser one used and their job performance. The study concluded that FireFox and Chrome users significantly outperformed Internet Explorer and Safari users. The answer lies not in the browser itself, but in the way the users think. Internet Explorer and Safari are pre-installed browsers. People who used FireFox and Chrome questioned the default and went out of their way to download a different browser. They were curious if there was a better solution.
Questioning leads to change. It forces us to think outside the realm of what we know and consider other options. If we don’t have the curiosity to question the default we will never see a new solution.
CURIOSITY KILLED THE CAT
If we are born so creative and innovative, what really makes us lose our curiosity? We lose our curiosity out of fear, because we are encouraged to do so, and because we get too busy to care. Intentional or not, and whether we realize it or not society largely discourages curiosity. Thankfully though, this is changing as people recognize the benefits of curiosity.
Curiosity makes us happier. It improves academic achievement and student engagement, job performance and engagement, and even healthcare. Learn more about the psychological, emotional, social, and health benefits of curiosity in this article from the Great Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.
RECHANNELING YOUR INNER CHILD
While there are many reasons we lose our curiosity over the years, the good news is there are also many things we can do to foster it. I’d like to share some suggestions for strengthening your curiosity that I have picked up from TedTalks and other articles.
- Schedule it. Yes, you can actually schedule curiosity into your life. Be it 10 minutes or an hour set aside some time to explore something you are curious about. Are you interested in marine life? Schedule some time to read about the Great Barrier Reef. Love playing guitar? Set aside some time to learn about the mechanics of how a guitar works, you might just discover something that can make your playing more vibrant.
- Make an effort to question three everyday things you might normally overlook. For example, why we put postage stamps in the upper right corner instead of the left, or middle. Or why we use red for stop and green for go.
- Think/Ask before you Google. It’s convenient and easy to pull out our phones and get a quick answer, but by doing this we are missing out on other possibilities. For example, say you are on vacation and looking for a charming restaurant for dinner. You could pull out your phone and search or you could ask a local. They could recommend you a very worthwhile place that your Google search doesn’t know exist. You could also just go for a walk and stop when you find something that looks cool. Along the walk, you might also find some things you want to check out while on vacation.
- Get comfortable with the unknown. One fun way to do this is by getting into mystery, be it books, movies, or live theater. Another great way to do this one is by constantly trying new things.
I challenge you to give a few of these a try for a week and see if you don’t naturally find yourself questioning more and more by the day. If you need more ideas check out this article on “How to Be a More Curious Person”.
As Albert Einstein said, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” Tell us how you let your intelligence sparkle in the comment section below and/or share your ideas on the future of Creativity with us in the 7th iAniMagic competition.
We hope this post has inspired you to get creative, mash ideas and inspire the world!
Featured image photo credit: MOANA – (Pictured) Moana on canoe ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.
Also published on Medium.