The Importance of Curiosity

By Sri V | Wednesday, May 3, 2023

It’s no secret that learning a new topic can be more challenging when you’re not interested. However, when you’re already curious about what you’re learning, the process transforms into something more engaging and enjoyable. You’ve probably experienced this at some point: a topic you knew very little about suddenly captivates you, and you want to learn everything you can about it.

But that’s just what it looks like when wanting to learn more. The real value of curiosity lies in wanting to dig deeper and understand the underlying reasons, or the why, behind things. So, why is this important?

Knowing the reasons behind why things work the way they do can help develop intuition. This, in turn, can improve memory and the ability to recall information, rather than simply recognizing it when it’s presented to you. For instance, in nearly every field or subject of math, knowing how to derive a formula, as opposed to merely memorizing it can be helpful. Why? Because understanding where an equation comes from can help you apply it to different situations. Memorization alone falls short in comparison to grasping the underlying concepts.

Once again, how does curiosity relate to all this? A good question can serve as a guiding hand, helping you navigate the unknown. It does this by establishing connections to existing knowledge. To me, comprehending a topic is like tending to a tree. Continuously asking “why” and “how” drives the roots of knowledge deeper into the ground. This not only results in the tree growing larger overall, but also strengthens its foundation. By having a better understanding of the underlying reasons for things, they can become more comprehensible.

Questioning what is unfamiliar can sometimes even lead to discovering entirely new information. Even Albert Einstein’s groundbreaking theory of special relativity began with a question as simple as: “Why is light the same speed no matter how fast I go?” Arguably the greatest scientist was guided by a curious spirit. Through seeking the reasons behind things, we learn.

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Thank you Sharon V for editing this article!

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