Thursday, November 12, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness - The Gift of Curiosity

"You can't always be happy, but you can almost always be profoundly aware and curious, and reap the psychological and physical benefits. Thankfully, curiosity is not a fixed characteristic. It's a strength we can develop and wield on the path to a more fulfilling life." ~ Todd Kashdan

This quote has special meaning for me today. I learned about some unkind things that someone in my life has been spreading around about me, things that simply are just not true. This isn't someone I trusted, or someone I even liked for that matter, but it is someone I see every day and who has some impact on my life. At first I was a little shocked to learn this information, though now that I reflect on this person a bit more, it all makes sense really.

In the first few minutes of learning this information I was very unhappy. If someone drags my name through the mud because of something I actually did, then I'll take the consequences. To say things that just aren't true is another thing entirely. And then after a few minutes, I had a good laugh at myself. I had turned the corner to curiosity. Why would she do this? What could she possibly hope to gain from it?

Life throws us curve balls all the time, things we don't understand, things that make us anxious and weary. I'm finding that the trick is to develop one good question from each difficult situation, one lesson learned that we can hang our hat on and use going forward. Curiosity dissipates unhappiness and anger, it frees us up to be the kind of people we'd like to be, to live the kind of lives we'd like to live. It provides us with possibilities.

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