Do you believe that “curiosity killed the cat”? 

I don’t. 

This proverb may be a wise warning against poking into other people’s affairs. However, its application ends there. In fact, curiosity is one of 24 Character Strengths identified by Chris Peterson and Martin Seligman (Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification.)

This acclaimed advert packs a punch. In the past, it may have been possible to acquire skills on the way up and for these to be simply reinforced by experience. Today’s successful executives are acutely aware of the need to keep exploring and learning in our changing world. This is imperative in order to stay in the game, let alone be a step ahead. The smartest leaders appreciate the value of keeping current by learning from younger people. 

Having natural curiosity is a great attribute throughout life. Children have boundless curiosity and yet it can wane. Do we know if wood tastes good?

 Being intentional about cultivating curiosity is fruitful. In Curious? Discover the missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life, psychology professor, Todd Kashdan talks of curiosity as the engine of growth. It boosts our well-being and outcomes. Maintaining curiosity is good for our health too – one of the first neurological markers of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s is an inability to manage and deal with novelty. Dopamine generally kicks in when we encounter novelty. However, in the early stages of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases the Dopamine circuits are short-circuited.

Armed with these facts, revel in your curiosity, and fuel your mental agility, career and longevity. Who knows, a cat may have 10 lives.

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