Scott’s Thoughts: The Curiosity Cure

Question mark puzzle.Who, what, when, where and why. These are the “five Ws” of journalism. Four of the five communicate facts which are more or less on the surface of things. The one that I think matters above all? Why.

Why is the gateway to wonder. Only children are utterly unafraid to ask why. If you’ve ever met a five-year-old, you probably have experienced the moment when every explanation you offer about the world is countered with: “But why?” It can be a humbling experience when you can only answer two or three of those “but why?”s. Eventually, you come to the place where your own understanding fails. (As the Toyota Motor Corporation discovered in its early days, most problems can be broken down to root causes by the fifth “Why?”)

Curiosity is a natural human impulse, and many would argue that all of our progress, all of our art, our religion, and most intimate relationships are derived from the simple question: Why? Consider that Einstein once said, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”

Pursuing your curiosity is a magnificent way to foster learning and self-improvement. It can boost your business, too. Enlightenment follows curiosity, assuming you are persistent in your exploration. Joy also follows curiosity, especially when you are on the trail of a subject which captures your mind. Curiosity leads you to discover new connections, opportunities, and life lessons. Why is also the introduction to a story. Clients will want to know why all the time. Why didn’t the house sell? Why is this neighborhood so hot?

Don’t let the feeling of “I don’t know” discourage you. In fact, it should inspire you. Don’t shy away from why. Curiosity is the cure for ignorance, it is a teller of stories, a lamp to light the way.

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