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

curious explorer

by Amy Temperley

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 fulfillment 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 and recognizing the novelty and freshness of the familiar. Instead of trying desperately to explain and control our world, as curious explorers 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.


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 Temperley

Amy 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.


FAQs About Living a Fulfilling Life

(added 10/30/2023 by Publisher)


What is the key to living a fulfilling life in your second act?

The key to a fulfilling life in your second act often involves staying active, maintaining social connections, pursuing hobbies, and prioritizing physical and mental health. It’s also essential to adapt to the changing circumstances of aging.

How can I stay physically active as a senior?

Staying physically active is crucial. You can engage in activities like walking, swimming, yoga, or tai chi. Consult with your healthcare provider to determine what’s suitable for your fitness level.

What role does mental health play in well-being?

Mental health is essential for a fulfilling senior life. Engage in activities that challenge your mind, such as puzzles, reading, or learning new skills. Seek support if you feel you need support.

How can I maintain social connections as an older adult?

You can maintain social connections by participating in community events, joining clubs, volunteering, or using technology to connect with loved ones through social media or video calls.

How to Make New Friends After 50: 7 Tips to Get Started 

How can I find purpose and meaning at age 50Plus?

Finding purpose can involve volunteering, mentoring, or pursuing hobbies and interests that bring joy and fulfillment. Reflect on your life’s accomplishments and consider how you can make a positive impact.

Everyone’s journey is unique, and the key to a fulfilling life may vary from person to person. It’s important to stay adaptable, open to new experiences, and seek support when needed to make the most of your senior years.


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