When our minds are turned towards the quotidian realities of existence the sensation of life begins to dull. We lose sight of the moments of surprise and wonder that animated us as children, lost instead in the routine, the predictable and the necessary.
Mindfulness, the state of attentiveness to and awareness of the present moment, provides a productive grounding from which curiosity can flourish. When we are not lost in our own thoughts but open to the internal and external realities at play in each given moment, our perspective takes on a truly fundamental shift. We stop projecting our minds forward into future worries or backwards toward past regrets, but instead plant ourselves firmly in the here and now.
Curiosity implies both openness and enthusiasm. Openness to the sights, sounds and sensations unfolding in every situation, and enthusiasm to experience these to their utmost extent without wishing to change or alter them. When we are committed to savouring each experience it becomes easier to put our priorities into perspective. We are not so compelled to go chasing after the next thing but are more connected to what we find truly fulfilling or meaningful in the present.
A stronger sense of awareness allows us to know ourselves more deeply; curiosity allows us to question our negative assumptions and mental roadblocks, examining aspects of our personality that we may have previously taken for granted. Armed with this self-knowledge, we can begin to act in the world as autonomous, willing individuals, not swept along on a current of actions and choices that seem to come from a place that does not resonate with our sense of self.
When we stop being curious about what the world has to offer, we lose the will to keep going. Working to maintain our curiosity about the world can help us to embrace all aspects of the human journey and give us the strength to look forward to what is around the next corner.