The most interesting things come from people interested in things
In the video on the right, a few of the thousands of people who attended and/or spoke at IdeaFestival 2012 describe why curiosity is important to them.
Here are some of the reasons why I think curiosity is important.
Genuinely curious questions open us to new information. And a comfort with novel information and new experiences in general is a key trait of creative people.
There are strong links between curiosity and personal satisfaction, curiosity and good health, and curiosity and successful business. About the latter: studying a field other than your own is linked to insight, problem solving and, if the new understanding is skillfully brought to market, to profit. So yes, interesting things come from people interested in things.
When questions and a desire for novelty are preferred over answers and rigid certainty, hope and optimism grow. Fear diminishes.
We know from a number of studies that curiosity is a predictor of intelligence.
Curiosity is a social skill. It tends to diminish over time. But it's a skill that can be learned. One of the founders of modern dance, Isadora Duncan, is quoted as saying, “If I could tell you what it meant, there would be no point in dancing it.” Experience creates meaning. Curiosity informed by experience shows us the difference that can make a difference.
And as individuals, curiosity clarifies. Given permission to explore the world around us, the world around us will eventually tell us who we really are.