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I wonder what's over the next hill?

· activelongevity,curiosity,alwayscurious,lifelonglearner

When I rode my bike across America, I experienced the mind-body connection tangibly. From my website: “When you’re six hours into an eight hour ride, and you start feeling it in your legs, the key is to daydream - to put your mind somewhere other than on the bike. Then, whether it’s 30 minutes or maybe an hour later, the thought strikes you that, ‘Hey, I don’t even feel my legs at all,’ and that’s when the pain returns with a vengeance, and you start the process all over again.”

That experience validated that most things in our lives are connected.

As a corporate coach, regardless of what organization I am working with, I assist my clients in establishing their goals and reaching them. Regardless of their goals, they quickly find out that achieving them has less to do with smarts or skills and everything to do with Emotional Intelligence (EI). EI is defined as:

  • Our ability to know and be comfortable with the good and bad about ourselves.
  • Our ability to control disruptive influences before acting.
  • Internal Motivation - our ability to pursue goals with energy and persistence.
  • Empathy: To be able to understand the emotional make-up of others.
  • Social Skills: Our ability to build and manage relationships and networks.

The lack of EI is responsible for the ridiculously high attrition rate (48% in first year) of new hires in corporate America. It’s peoples’ lack of ability to deal with their emotions that keeps them from succeeding, not their smarts, experience or skill level.

Absence of EI also severely hampers our ability to be curious.

And as I said earlier, work, life… everything is connected.

Curiosity sparks our desire to learn and grow and is an essential ingredient for Active Longevity; staying physically, emotionally, cognitively and spiritually active as we age… for our entire life.

Curiosity is in our DNA. It’s been linked to our survival as a species and guides us to seek out and discover new things. And like eating, sex or winning the lottery, curiosity releases dopamine into our brains to reward us with a sense of well being.

"It feels good to learn something new."

But a lot of people let go of curiosity after childhood. They stop being curious for a few reasons. Whether it’s their fear of the unknown or discovering something that challenges their beliefs - fear shuts curiosity down.

As does being comfortable with “how you’ve always done something,” or the over use of technology that answers all of our questions and eliminates the need to discover what’s behind the answers, which essentially dissuades us from learning new things… and then there’s our social networks, families, parents and peers that stifle our instincts because the have fear of the unknown or feel something might be inappropriate… to them.

But if you’ve lost your curiosity over the years, you can get it back.

Stay tuned for future posts when I’ll will share how to become a lifelong curious learner and why it’s so integral to staying fit, active and engaged your entire life.

Curious to learn more?