How Being a Curious Explorer Can Help You Thrive in Life After 60
Recently, I had a life crisis. Maybe you have had one of these lovely little gems. You are coasting along and then suddenly, nothing feels right and you just don’t know who you are anymore.
These crises tend to pop up during transitional times of our lives and often throw us for a loop.
My recent life crisis brought me to a point where I was second-guessing my whole existence. I wanted to live my life authentically in a way that reflected my true self. I began to be curious about the true “me” and what I really wanted.
In a research study by Seligman and Peterson, it was discovered that of the 24 strengths that lead to happiness, curiosity was one of the five most highly associated with: experiencing overall life fulfilment and happiness; taking satisfaction from one’s work; living a pleasurable life; living an engaging life; living a meaningful life.
So, what does it mean to be curious? In the book “Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life” Todd Kashdan discusses curiosity as a method for helping us find happiness in our lives.
Kashdan writes, “Curiosity is different than other ways of being fulfilled in that it’s about appreciating and seeking out the new. It’s about being flexible, recognizing the novelty and freshness of the familiar. Instead of trying desperately to explain and control our world, as a curious explorer we embrace uncertainty. Instead of trying to be certain and confident, we see our lives as an enjoyable quest to discover, learn, and grow.”
I love the term curious explorer!
As we work to create the life we desire, we must be curious about our world, our values, our relationships and our selves. The journey to happiness includes not only stopping to smell the roses but stopping to ask questions like “Why are they red? How long will they bloom? Who planted them here? How can I nurture them? What would happen if I put them in a vase with some daisies?”
Through curiosity, we not only gain a new perspective on our world but insight into who we are and what is important to us. We also can find joy in things that typically may cause stress or confuse us.
Tackling Crisis Through Curiosity
I tackled my life crisis through being curious about where I was and where I wanted to be. I asked myself questions like: “What do you really want? What gives you joy? In a perfect world, what does your future look like? What is the first step you can take to make a change?”
Curiosity eventually led me to starting two businesses and focusing on previously neglected hobbies like gardening and hiking. I consciously noted the things that made me smile as well as when things made me anxious or uncomfortable.
I thought about my values and what I wanted to do in this short but important life of mine. Through being curious about possibilities, I opened myself up to new opportunities that I previously would not have considered.
Life is an endless stream of transition and change. You can’t stop that, but through being curious, you can make the journey not only more pleasurable but easier to navigate. When things are stagnant or anxiety provoking, curiosity can help you create moments of learning and joy that you never
So, what are you curious about? How would you define what it means to be curious? How have you considered various possibilities in your life? Please join the conversation.