Sometimes things don’t always go according to plan. We set goals for ourselves, and sometimes, for whatever reason, we don’t reach those goals. We have a setback. When it comes to academic goals, we often look at failure in light of past performance. We make internal statements like “I barely passed algebra in high school, therefore I am not good at mathematics, so it’s no wonder I didn’t pass calculus in college.”
However nothing – no past performance, or critical feedback, or outcome, or grade – can stop you from being curious. We can always ask another question or look at something a different way. At that is what today’s post is all about – diligent curiosity.
Be curious no matter what.
I love education. Anyone that knows me well knows the classroom is my sanctuary. I fine peace and serenity in lecture halls, listening to professors share knowledge and passion. It is an unquenchable thirst for knowledge – curiosity – that drives me back into the classroom semester after semester. So I asked myself, what exactly is this desire to know that drives me?
Merriam-Webster defines diligent as characterized by steady, earnest, and energetic effort. To be diligent then is to continually move forward, with energy, regardless outside forces. Curiosity is defined as simply the desire to know. Diligent curiosity therefore is continually moving forward in the desire to know.
Nothing can stop you from being curious….
It doesn’t matter how you performed on exam, or what feedback a professor (or parent or friend or boss) gave you at one specific instance in your past. Today, you can steadfastly maintain your desire to know or understand something a little bit better than you did yesterday. And tomorrow, you can steadily maintain your desire to understand that same thing a bit better than you did today. Nothing can stop you from being curious.
There is one thing that can squash your curiosity and stop your personal growth instantaneously. You. Only you can decide to stop being curious. How does that decision come to be? Because you believe your mind when it tells you that you just aren’t good at math or you were weren’t born to write. You believe some internal critic that says you have finally reached your mental limit and can progress no further. Don’t listen to that critic.
Diligently be curious
Diligently be curious. Every day, work towards understanding something a bit better than you did yesterday and don’t ever stop. You may be in university – if so, don’t let the stress of grades, due dates, exams, marks, etc. keeping you from wanting to learn. Even if you fail all your courses this semester, shrug it off and keep seeking to understand more.
Maybe you are not in the university setting. Perhaps you are tradesman or knowledge worker. Every day, you can be a bit more curious about your profession. Perhaps there is a new work technique that you want to master. Even if you get fired from your job, you can still seek to perform that technique better.