"I am curious what the food will be like. I wonder how the public transportation will work with the structure of the city. I am curious what it will be like to not speak the same language as everyone else. I wonder what it will smell like to walk around the city first thing in the morning."

Curiosity and wonder - a state of mind that as children we are in a constant state of being. We are aware. As we grow we begin to loose touch with this natural state because we can predict patterns, we find ourselves overwhelmed with responsibilities and frankly "life happens". We take our most powerful tool, our imaginations, and we use it to create worry, limiting beliefs, what if's. Remember as a child when you used your imagination to play and to dream without limitations? When did that stop?

More importantly, how do we get it back?


Good News!

It (your imagination, curiosity, adventurous spirit) never left.

And since "it" never left, now all you have to do is dangle a carrot in it's path and give that wondrous spirit a playground. Do you ever think about what you were once curious about as a child and how it led you to where you are today?

For me, I was obsessed with driving. When I grew up I wanted to be a school bus driver or a racer. I loved the idea of being in control of something that could take me places. Years later a RV took me around Alaska. Years after that a plane took me to study art and design in Mexico. And while I was there my curiosity about people and places that looked different from my local community became an interest that shaped my life, my inner-being and eventually led to RATIO.

So how do we turn this curiosity on?

Cindy Meyers Foley, Executive Deputy Director for Learning and Experience at the Columbus Museum of Art spoke with great passion on this topic at Creative Mornings Columbus. Cindy gave three ways to activate curiosity:

1. Engage in not knowing.

Go somewhere to encounter something you know nothing about. Then when you get there, just wonder about it! Simple. And I can't think of a better way to do this than to travel. Whether its traveling to Tanzania to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro or to the library to read about it, just dive in. 

One of the best pieces of advice I ever heard from National Geographic photographer, Jody MacDonald, on the topic of going somewhere new was to just open the door. Then you walk out the door and next thing you know you are on the plane. Then poof, you're on the ground in India smelling, tasting, seeing all sorts of unknowns. Then, you just take another step. And another and another.

Photography © Jody MacDonald  

Photography ©Jody MacDonald 

2. Intentionally breed curiosity. 

Share your curiosities with others and encourage others to dig into theirs. Recently I had a group of about 7 women come over to my house with a "trivia" topic. All I told them was bring a topic that you are randomly interested in that you can talk about for about 5 minutes or so. Before you knew it, some of these people who were meeting for the very first time were having curious conversation about doulas, gorillas in Rwanda, and The Devil's Wine: A Brief History of Sparkling Wine & Why it is the Only Alcohol You Need.

3. Self propagate new curiosities. 

It is easy to take interest in things you are interested in (duh). But what about things you are not. What about things that someone you love might be interested in but that you think is a total waste of time. Could you take a step deeper? Could you look at something like your Dad's hobby of rebuilding vintage cars as more than a simple pastime? Could you imaging the connections you could make with people who are vastly different than yourself by seeking interests outside of your own? How would you world open up? (More on the secret to great opportunities) How would your mind open up to thinking in new, innovative ways?

I would like to leave you with this report that Cindy shared with the Creative Mornings community: 

What Job Skills Will You Need in 2020?

"As technology disrupts industries, the demand for soft skills — including creativity and emotional intelligence — is growing fast.

Although specific skills varied by industry, “on average, by 2020, more than a third of the desired core skill sets of most occupations will be comprised of skills that are not yet considered crucial to the job today … Overall, social skills — such as persuasion, emotional intelligence and teaching others — will be in higher demand across industries than narrow technical skills, such as programming or equipment operation and control. In essence, technical skills will need to be supplemented with strong social and collaboration skills.”


  1. Complex problem solving
  2. Critical thinking
  4. People management
  5. Coordinating with others
  6. Emotional intelligence (new)
  7. Judgment and decision making
  8. Service orientation
  9. Negotiation
  10. Cognitive flexibility (new)


  1. Complex problem solving
  2. Coordinating with others
  3. People management
  4. Critical thinking
  5. Negotiation
  6. Quality control (not on 2020 list)
  7. Service orientation
  8. Judgment and decision making 
  9. Active listening (not on 2020 list)


According to the World Economic Forum, creativity will be in the top three desired job skills in the near future. Personally, I think that it is already the number one skill needed in the work force, because creativity leads to innovation and thinking outside of your norms. We must embrace new ways of thinking to move towards an overall better world filled with empathy, and passion.


Suggested reads + listens:

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark By Warren Berger

More on Cindy Meyers Foley at Creative Mornings. 

Cindy's TED talks:

Teaching Art or Teaching to Think like an Artist

The Benefits of Boredom


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