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Are You a Curious Explorer? How to Live a Fulfilling Life

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by Amy Temperly

My life crisis

Recently I had a life crisis. Maybe you had one of these little gems at some point. Life is smooth, and then all of a sudden, nothing feels right and you just don’t know who you are anymore. These episodes tend to happen during transitional times of our lives and often throw us for a loop. My recent crisis brought me to a point where I second guessed my whole existence. I wanted to live my life authentically, in a way that reflected my true self and to live a fulfilling life. I became curious about the true “me” and what I really wanted. 

How curiosity helps us live authentically

A research study by Seligman and Peterson found that of the 24 strengths that lead to happiness, curiosity was one of the five most highly associated with living a better life.

● 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 to help 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!

Ask yourself questions to create the life you want

As we work to create the life we desire, we must be curious about our world, our values, our relationships, and ourselves. The journey to happiness includes not only stopping to smell the roses, but asking 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 gain a new perspective on our world and insight into who we are and what’s important to us. We also can find joy in things that typically may cause stress or confusion.

live a fulfilling life

Open up to new opportunities

I tackled my life crisis with curiosity about where I was and where I wanted to be. I asked myself questions like: “What do I really want? Where do I find joy? In a perfect world, what does my future look like? What is the first step I can take to make a change?”

This curiosity eventually led me to start two businesses and focus on previously neglected hobbies like gardening and hiking. I
consciously noted what made me smile and what situations caused anxiety or discomfort. I thought about my values and what I wanted to accomplish in this short but important life of mine. I opened myself up to new opportunities I previously didn’t even consider.

Live a fulfilling life 

Life is an endless stream of transition and change. And you can’t stop what you can’t control. With curiosity, though, you can make the journey both more pleasurable and easier to navigate. When life is stagnant or provokes anxiety, asking questions helps create unexpected moments of learning and joy.

So what are you curious about?

 

About the Author:

Amy TemperlyAmy Temperley is an entrepreneur and innovator with a passion for creating change in communities. She owns two businesses, Aging is Cool and Temperley Consulting and lives in Kyle, Texas with her English husband and 4 dogs.

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