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by J. Vazquez

October 30, 2019

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “CURIOSITY”?  Is it 

  1. “what killed the cat”?  (for an interesting history on the origins of this proverb, click here

  2. the Mars rover?  


Despite the negative connotation of the  “Curiosity killed the cat” adage (indicating that sometimes the desire to find things out can produce more harm than good), I am quite fond of the straight forward definition of curiosity as “the desire to learn or know about anything; inquisitiveness.”  


Right Photo Source 

To me, curiosity is the characteristic I most value on my students, 3Dent employees and clients.  Curiosity is what leads to new discoveries, not being satisfied with what is, but asking “what if?” and digging deeper.  During the down cycle of the offshore oil industry, we at 3Dent took some time to pursue some of our curiosities about the industry and to ask “What if?” in approaching problems we are typically asked to solve in the industry. 


Below, I list my 4 most favorite quotes about curiosity from the below website:


  • The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing - Albert Einstein

  • Much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on - Steve Jobs

  • Curiosity keeps leading us down new paths - Walt Disney

  • Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures - Anonymous


While researching “curiosity” online, I came across a 2010 article, “The Power of Curiosity,” by Todd Kashdan.  Here is a quote from that article:


“… curiosity [:] a state of active interest or genuinely wanting to know more about something — creates an openness to unfamiliar experiences, laying the groundwork for greater opportunities to experience discovery, joy and delight.”


This article pretty much covers all the reasons why I am so keen on curiosity.  These are my take-aways:


  1. 5 Benefits of Curiosity include health, intelligence, social relationships, happiness and meaning.

  2. “Most of us mistakenly believe that certainty will make us happier than uncertainty.” (but that’s not necessarily the case). 

  3. “Reconnect with play.”  This reminds me of something I learned a few years ago and apparently forget way too often: “when you are stuck, introduce play.”  The introduction of play does not guarantee that you’ll get unstuck, but it does guarantee that you will at least have a more enjoyable experience.

  4. “Find the unfamiliar in the familiar (awaken your inner Sherlock Holmes”).  Here is a question for those of you who use stairs regularly, either at home or at work.  Do you know how many stair steps there are on the staircase(s) you take just about every day?  In my case, we have 17 + 5 steps at home, and 9+9 at the office.


My search also led me to the website, which has very interesting articles on all kinds of topics.  While there, I found quite a bit of information on puzzles - while on the subject of puzzles, I’d like to quote a line from the 2018 movie “Puzzle” (trailer available here): “Life is messy and there is nothing you can do to control anything. When you complete a puzzle, you know that you have made all the right choices…  Faith? Ambition? Love? What other pursuit can give you that kind of perfection?” To me, the only other thing that comes close to the feeling of completing a puzzle is when running a program for the first time, and seeing the answer on the screen (when it works correctly, of course). 


My inquiry on curiosity also led me to sites on what I consider curiosity’s opposite: boredom – you may be surprised to hear this, but like curiosity, boredom is a very interesting topic and has led to many innovations. For starters, “boring” is not an absolute.  I won’t go beyond this, but I’d like to point you to an article that I believe connects curiosity and boredom, entitled “why boredom is anything but boring.”   


I am not quite sure how to bring this segment to a nice close, so I’ll simply leave you with a few links for additional material. If you happen to click on more than 5, I’d like to hear from you, especially if you found something valuable/useful.  (My apologies for the abrupt ending).


Additional resources pertaining to curiosity are listed below.


Here are my favorite puzzles from  I have attempted and solved about half of them.

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