Alice-john-tenniel

Exercises for the curious.

At Carat, “More Curious” is a key behaviour of our internal culture: Make Brave Happen, and in a recent ‘Tea With…’ session, the most common question I was asked is ‘where do you get your ideas from? how do you fuel your creativity?’.

I don’t think i had a good answer, as I don’t actively or consciously fuel myself, other than simply being curious.

Being interested in stuff that is happening around me, and wanting to know more about. Not focused reading up on a particular topic, but rather just a sort of ‘huh, that’s interesting’. More like being a child asking ‘why?’ than an adult asking ‘how?’.

It’s a key part of the way to feed Slow Creativity (which seems to be a common topic recently), filling yourself up with new and different stimulus and things, and over time, they’ll reconnect in unusual ways and form different thinking.

The conversations with folk made me realise though, curiosity is a muscle – something which can be developed, not a skill that one has or doesn’t have.

It’s something which weakens as we grow older, because our existing knowledge and assumptions get stronger and stronger as we experience more of life. It can be hard to maintain a child-like state of not knowing why, and having to ask – so you have to work at it, until it becomes again second nature.

I thought I’d start work on developing a tool which helps me continue to develop that muscle, but do it in the open, so anyone can benefit from it too.

I’m creating it primarily for my friends at Carat, and much of its content will be designed to point people in the direction of interesting stuff which is happening within our agency and network, but you only see Carat specific suggestions if you’re logged in as a Carat employee. If you aren’t, the activities are general and applicable to all.

So, introducing OneDayCurious (http://onedaycurious.thinkplaymake.co/)

Every day, a new suggestion for a simple 15 minute activity which helps you exercise your curiosity.

They’re weekly suggestions if you’re a guest, or daily if you’re logged in along with the ability to track your activities and see how others are getting on too.

I’m in the process of writing 365 small tasks (about 40 done so far…), and would gladly hear your suggestions for things which help you keep stay curious – comment below, and let me know, as its something which I’d love to see what techniques others use.

It’s the first of a series of hacks I’m planning this year for exploring and making better use of Slow Creativity. Let me know what you think.