Why Your Curiosity May Be Just What the World Needs

Photo via Unsplash

While lately I’ve talked a lot about curiosity as a way to explore and inspire creativity, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t plenty of fear to go around.

Fear itself takes many shapes and sizes. There’s the little bit of friction when you wake up — not wanting to leave the safety and security of your warm blanket.

There’s the resistance to bothering to check schedules and maps for your curiosity exploration trip.

There’s that pause to type that first word and get the process going.. and then that second sentence.. the third paragraph..

While there’s no doubt that fear has its place — a friend wondered out loud how many things have we possibly avoided in our lives.. you know, those Sliding Doors moments when our lives could have taken a very different direction. I think that’s not only a hard thing to contemplate but it could even literally drive you crazy to dwell on that.

I’m sure we all have some specific moments in time where one relatively small decision made all the difference. Just before entering college I can remember standing there — two lines, one going into the navy, the other for the air force. One path led to the life I led; the other, who knows?

One of my favorite movies — not just for the sentimental moments but also as a great reminder — is the black & white classic It’s a Wonderful Life (apparently you can watch it online for free — the copyright glitch was actually why all the television studios would show it non-stop during the holidays).

Photo: via mvfilmsociety

Without spoiling too much of the story.. (maybe you’re one of the few people in the world who hasn’t seen or heard about it..) George Bailey decides that he’s worth more dead than alive. So he decides to kill himself so that all his money problems will be solved by an insurance policy.

An angel is sent down to show him how different the world and more importantly the live of the friends and loved ones he cares about would be without him.

Okay, most of us hesitate to believe that our words, our art, what we put out into the world really make that much impact. Sure, we want to believe it. But deep down is that doubt, and it’s a hesitation that’s just another shade of fear.

When Steve Jobs took a calligraphy class after dropping out of college, he had no idea that this would lead to anything but he was curious and loved it.

“None of this had any hope of any practical application in my life. But 10 years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would never have multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them.”

(Steve Job’s now famous commencement address for the the 1985 Stanford graduating class is well worth the 15 minutes.. it’s definitely one of the most inspiring graduation speeches for indie creatives.)

While it’s great to face our fears and overcome them, sometimes taking our first curious steps can make all the difference. We may just need the one thing that only your curiosity can bring into the world.

This was Day 20 of #My500Words challenge.

For more on exploring what makes you curious and how to become the #indiecreative entrepreneur you’re meant to be visit Butterfly Formula. To join other Indie Creatives who won’t let you fail connect with us on Blab, or to follow my food travel and digital nomad journey visit Tango Vagabond.