Someone asked me to answer the following two questions, yesterday. Thought I’d share my answers with HiLobrow readers…
Q. What does curiosity mean to you?
A. In a utopian society of perfect leisure — or if we were stranded on a desert island, which is the next best thing — we’d curiose (a verb I’ve just coined, thanks to your question) all day, every day.
Q. How do you stay curious?
A. Here are some random strategies. Hope they’re helpful — they might only work for me.
- Avoid 9-to-5 wage slavery! Unless it’s writing a newspaper column, in which case you’re getting paid to be curious.
- Assign yourself research/writing projects with deadlines. This is the #1 reason, in my experience, to start a zine or blog.
- Poke around — including parts of the supermarket, bookstore, and Internet where you usually don’t go.
- Lose interest in yourself; gain interest in everyone else.
- Keep making new friends. Stay in touch with old friends.
- Never say “No” when someone wants to meet for coffee, lunch, or a drink. It’s OK to say “No” to dinner.
- Don’t watch TV in the evenings. Unless it’s So You Think You Can Dance.
- If you’re a freelancer, share an office with someone who’s in a different line of work.
- When you’re driving the carpool to school, keep your mouth shut and your ears open.
- Visit your friends where they work. Not for lunch — just for a visit.
- Ask people you meet to show you their favorite smartphone apps.
- Completely rearrange your bookshelves every so often. Don’t alphabetize.
- Avoid NPR.