Follow Your Curiosity
by Jamie Spannhake
June 04, 2019
I was listening to an interview with Elizabeth Gilbert the other day. She’s the amazing author of Eat Pray Love, The Signature of All Things, Big Magic, and other books. She was being interviewed by Krista Tippett (love her too) of OnBeing. You can listen to the full interview here. In her interview, she said something that really resonated with me. She was asked about following her “passion.” And she responded that she found that intimidating, and suspected other people might as well, because: what if you don’t know what your passion is? what if your passion changes? then what? She said “Follow your curiosity.” I agree.
My passion changes. Sometimes I’m passionate about parenting. Sometimes I’m passionate about running. Sometimes I’m passionate about writing. And when my “passion” changes, or when it disappears, it doesn’t mean I don’t care about those things anymore. It means I don’t “feel the passion.” But aren’t we supposed to be passionate about something, and preferably, one thing?
No. Following curiosity is better. It is effortless. We are born as curious beings. As we age, we often lose our sense of curiosity. Watching a child approach life can help us re-ignite our sense of curiosity.
Things I’m curious about: What would happen if I decided to start playing tennis at age 43? What would happen if I tried to give up single-use plastics for a month? What would it be like to go on a silent yoga retreat for a long weekend? How do dreadlocks form in hair? Can I install a fence in my yard on my own? Would anyone else benefit from a blog post about following curiosity? Where does that road that I’ve never taken go? And so much more.Gilbert advocates following your curiosity rather than your passion; and following your curiosity rather than your fear. Curiosity leads to creativity and discovery and growth. Fear keeps us stagnant. I am going to follow my curiosity. What are you curious about?