The Secret Sauce of Curiosity

To be wise is to be eternally curious. –Frederick Buechner



I believe that curiosity is the secret sauce that makes life juicy and enticing. I have found that when people get stuck, when they just can’t see any alternative to their problem, or when life seems unbelievably hard, one of the things that can magnify the problem is the lack of curiosity.

When we are curious, we are engaged. We want to know more. Curiosity gives us energy and vitality. Just think of the adventures of Curious George—he went to the moon for Pete’s sake! To be curious is to have fun—even with the serious matters of life and health.

When you’re in the midst of one of life’s difficulties—big or small—it can feel like your problem is sitting on your chest and making it hard to move or even breath. The focus of our energies during these times is to get through. Stopping to be curious? Are you kidding?

It’s hard to be curious when we have a problem in our grips and are determined to wrestle it into submission. But if we can loosen our grip just a little and give ourselves some time and space, curiosity can blossom.

I often find myself asking my clients if they can find any curiosity about an issue that they are struggling with. If they can, I know that we have found some working space. Together, we explore the difficulty. We ask questions, we play with possibilities, we look for patterns.  A curious stance helps me as a therapist to understand my clients without pathologizing their pain.

  • When was the last time you felt curious about something?
  • What makes you curious?
  • What issue in your life could use a sprinkling of curiosity?
  • What is your favorite Curious George adventure?