The Cost of Ignoring Curiosity: What's Lost When the Flame Flickers

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One of my favorite quotes about curiosity comes from the dart scene in Ted Lasso. If you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about. (and probably have watched it 13 times on YouTube)


For the rest of us, here's an extended excerpt from the scene:




“Guys have underestimated me my entire life, and for years, I never understood why – it used to really bother me. Then, one day, I was driving my little boy to school, and I saw a quote by Walt Whitman; it was painted on the wall there and it said, ‘Be curious, not judgmental.’ I like that.” (Ted throws a dart.)


“So, I get back in my car and I’m driving to work, and all of a sudden, it hits me – all them fellas that used to belittle me, not a single one of them was curious. You know, they thought they had everything all figured out, so they judged everything, and they judged everyone. And I realized that their underestimating me – who I was had nothing to do with it. Because if they were curious, they would’ve asked questions. Questions like, ‘Have you played a lot of darts, Ted?’” (Ted throws another dart.)


“To which I would have answered, ‘Yes sir. Every Sunday afternoon at a sports bar with my father from age ten until I was 16 when he passed away.’ Barbecue sauce.” (Ted throws a double bullseye to win the game.)




*Wipes tear from eye to keep reading*


When we starve our curiosity, we're neglecting a significant part of what being human is all about.


In the following few lines, I want to showcase the nuanced consequences of sidelining curiosity, and the tangible losses incurred when the flame of inquisitiveness flickers.


Missed Opportunities:

Neglecting curiosity often translates into missed opportunities, both professionally and personally. Imagine passing up on a chance to learn a new skill, explore a different career path, or connect with potential mentors. These unexplored avenues could have been gateways to personal development and unforeseen achievements.


A lack of curiosity results in stagnation. Failure to seek new knowledge and experiences is a slow death for our organizations. How often do you do what you've always done because that's what we've always done? Yikes.

The dynamic nature of life & competition demands a constant flow of curiosity to propel us forward, preventing us from becoming stuck in a monotonous routine.

Shallow Relationships:

Neglecting empathic curiosity hinders our ability to form deep, meaningful connections with others. Superficial interactions devoid of genuine interest in someone's thoughts, feelings, and experiences lead to relationships that lack depth and understanding.

Lack of Innovation:

Curiosity is the heartbeat of innovation. Without it, creative thinking dwindles, and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances weakens. A lack of curiosity stifles the flow of fresh ideas, hindering innovation and the capacity to solve complex problems.


Avoiding conflictual curiosity (see "Decoding Curiosity" blog), contributes to closed-mindedness. Without engaging with diverse perspectives and challenging our own beliefs, we risk becoming entrenched in narrow ways of thinking. This closed-mindedness limits our ability to adapt to new information and hinders personal growth.

Rekindling Curiosity:

Rekindling curiosity is not only possible but transformative. Embrace the following strategies to reignite the flame of curiosity in your life:

  1. Ask Questions: Cultivate a habit of asking questions about the world around you. Curiosity often begins with a simple inquiry. What if? Why not? How could we?

  2. Explore New Hobbies: Dive into activities outside your comfort zone. Whether it's learning a musical instrument, trying a new sport, or picking up a hobby, novelty sparks curiosity.

  3. Read Widely: Expand your reading list to include diverse genres and subjects. Reading exposes you to new ideas and perspectives, fueling your intellectual curiosity.

  4. Engage in Conversations: Actively listen and engage in meaningful conversations with people from different backgrounds. Embrace the diversity of thought that others bring to the table.

  5. Challenge Your Assumptions: Deliberately seek out information and people that challenge your existing beliefs. This practice fosters conflictual curiosity and opens your mind to alternative viewpoints.

  6. Stay Curious About Curiosity: Reflect on your own curiosity regularly. What topics ignite your interest? How do you approach challenges and unknowns? Understanding your curiosity profile can guide you toward areas of personal growth.



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