I am continuing the inquiry into curiosity… the intrinsic motivation of humans… how you lost it, how to rekindle it… and what might be in the way.
I am going to use myself, because curiosity is so rare, and so relatively unconscious, unobserved, and unacknowledged, that I don’t even know who I could ask about their own experience… Let’s hope that this state of affairs will change soon.
The hectic, information driven culture in which we live, where everyone considers themselves eligible to post on the internet and be heard, where people talk louder and louder, where people have extra money to spend on stuff that is not needed…
In this hectic world, people think that being attracted to what is loud, what is flashy, what is novelty, unusual, is the sign of curiosity.
No, it is the sign of no curiosity… or better said: it is the sign that curiosity isn’t active.
Curiosity needs silence. Curiosity needs you to be undistracted. Long enough to matter
Why? Curiosity, the one we are talking about here, is the “language” of the Self, the language of the Divine. A whisper. Maybe not even a whisper, maybe like a breeze, compared to the whirlwind of the “world” out there.
Listening, obeying, heeding the call of curiosity feels dangerous. It is like solitary confinement, like losing their internet, like losing their smart phone… and being left with themselves. Ugh… for most of you.
It’s taken me
- getting rid of my television
- getting rid of newspapers and magazines
- unsubscribing from hundreds of mailing lists and newsletters
- my smart phone doesn’t make a peep
- no radio
- no music
- my phone is unlisted, and I don’t give it out
I do my work online, including my coaching.
I leave the house once a week, on Tuesday.
I have allowed curiosity to reign supreme. Actually, I encouraged curiosity to reign.
I am following the clues into the rabbit hole. I read what my students need me to read so I can guide them to where they want to go.
I do five steps of the 67 steps a week, I am on the last week of my third round.
I live a rich life… emotionally, intellectually, and maybe even physically… a life I can love. I have made peace with most everything…
Seemingly nothing is happening. Seemingly.
Now… that could have given you the mood, the experience of curiosity.
But let’s look at two things that prevent you from going there, and to allow that curiosity to awaken the Self, to give you a sense of oneness, a sense of meaning, a sense of purpose, a sense of motivation, a sense of competence.
All needed for a good life… or better said: without those there is no good life. There may be results, there may even be money, or sex, or a healthy body, but no sense of fulfillment, no sense that life is worth living.
I am looking at my students and observe what is keeping them from going there.
- A fear of missing life
- A lack of toughness
I now have students from many countries.
I have counted: I have five Chinese by ethnicity, none of them live in China. I am going to look at them… because I am curious if ethnicity has anything to do with toughness…
Two of them has the toughness that I am looking for, that the Self needs to be able to express itself.
The two women both have four children each, and lots of challenges. They toughened up. Yet, they are charming, and feminine, and beautiful.
But they can take what life dishes out to them like a champ, they can go beyond the pain threshold.
The three other Chinese… it doesn’t even occur to them to go beyond.
So, I say, ethnicity doesn’t define you.
For example, Finns are famous for their capacity to bear pain, cold, hunger… outlast their circumstances. But a Finn, taken out of their environment… not so much.
Some cultures are not tough… as in resilient. Others have survived, maybe even surthrived thousands of years in hardship… but just like with intelligence: what is true for a group of people isn’t necessarily true for the individual.
One of my brothers is tough, the other is not. One of my brothers is curious, the other is not. One of my brothers is intelligent, the other is not.
Fear of missing life, being anchored to the horizontal, the visible part of life, will make you miss out on the vertical life, and the oneness, the fulfillment, the intrinsic motivation of the Self.
And lack of toughness will prevent you from going beyond that fear.
One of the essential and needed elements for the Self is to feel competent.
But competence isn’t innate… capacity is, but competence can be attained through the pain of incompetence.
If you can’t bear with it, you won’t get to competence.
This seems to be the biggest barrier to people.
Curiosity, or the desire to learn something, is not stronger than the unwillingness to experience anything unpleasant.
All the incompetent people in my life are like that: can’t even hear, can’t even tolerate the thought of anything unpleasant… they run from it, and they protest when I speak it.
No tolerance for the pain of incompetence? 100% guaranteed to have a life of a mosquito…
How do you toughen up? Bear the pain?
I don’t know. I know one thing for sure: something has to be more important than something else.
In golf, the ball in the hole is more important than outside of it. So people push the ball until it gets into the hole.
Look at yourself, look at your life, and see what’s been more important than something else…
Your words are inconsequential. What your mind has to say about it is inconsequential. Your opinion, your feelings don’t matter, because they haven’t mattered, have they?
Your actions matter. Look at your actions.
If you have a history of choosing keeping the ball on the green, choosing safety, choosing positive (lol), of choosing nice, of choosing cautious… you may not be in the game your mind tells you you are in… growing, becoming one with the Self, becoming an Expanding Human Being.
It’s OK. Allow it to be OK. Nothing wrong. Listen if the stirring of the Self (Soul? Spirit?) is suddenly making itself felt.
Let me know.
PS: If you don’t have a regular challenge to your way of being, daily, then you should not answer, you have already opted to live your life unconsciously.
The 67 step coaching is that regular challenge, that forces you to look and see stuff about you, about your rules, opinions, beliefs that keep you unconscious and small… puny… soft… a mosquito.
It is impossible to do the steps and remain that way. Some of my paying students chose to pay me and not do the steps. What some people are willing to do so they can remain small and soft… quite amazing.
PPS: sometimes, (for me all the time,) negative things happen for a good purpose.
My site locked me out… so I had to send a request to hosting support.
So now I am waiting… as I was waiting I saw something: Using courses, videos, and other non-self-generated means of “learning” are still a mosquito’s way…
The essence of curiosity is not in the learning, but in the effort.
This is why I recommend reading. Reading is painful. I am reading a book where I have to struggle to make sense of every sentence it is so poorly written.
Totally effortful… totally testing my toughness… strengthening my cause… I am happy.