I have just returned from a long weekend at Boodjamulla National Park (340 km northwest of Mt Isa in Queensland, Australia). The weekend involved a combination of walking; canoeing; boating; learning and meeting new people (as well as a lot of driving on unsealed roads). This was the perfect opportunity to top up my Curiosity Quotient (CQ).

I had found work and life had depleted my CQ. The symptoms of this depletion included: a lack of ideas; reduction in my desire to learn; a leaning towards routine and simple tasks; and a feeling of unease with ambiguous situations. It was time to take action – to “top up my CQ”.

Curiosity has been linked with psychological, emotional, social, and even health benefits. According to Emily Campbell’s 2015 article this includes: boosting achievement; expanding our empathy; strengthening our relationships; and improving our well-being. All of which are important in a VUCA world (volatile; uncertain; complex and ambiguous).

So how did I top up my CQ? 

  • I completely took myself out of my comfort zone
  • I gave myself permission to stop
  • I was conscience of remaining present and doing only one thing at a time
  • I deliberately noticed my surroundings and asked lots of questions to learn more about the environment I was exploring, and
  • I connected with a wide range of people (in particular some “grey” nomads who were travelling around Australia) and found out as much as I could about them.

The benefits of this “top up” process include:

1.    I am feeling energised to take on new challenges

2.    I am more centred and focused

3.    I have greater clarity of thought and am better able to work through problems

4.    New ideas and ways of doing things are popping into my head

5.    I have made some new friends (people who have an amazing past and are looking forward to an exciting future)

Having an awareness of your CQ, and topping it up when needed, will better equip you for the future with enhanced creativity; critical thinking and complex problem solving.

Remember Albert Einstein said “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious”.

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About Maree Gardner

She's vibrant, energetic and passionate - just the kind of person you want on your team. With a distinguished career in senior executive roles across both the public and private sectors, Maree also holds a Masters of Human Resource Management. She takes a strategic, accountable and outcome-focussed approach to working with clients across a variety of industries. Her super-power? Being able to sort fad from fact at less than 20 paces.

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