How to Choose Your Path by Following Your Curiosity (+ A Simple 5 Step Process to Follow)

“I have no special talents I'm just passionately curious” Albert Einstein

How do you feel about the start of a new year?

3 years ago, I celebrated the start of 2014 with excitement-tinged frustration. Yeah I was happy about having a fresh start but I just didn't have a clue about what I wanted to do with it!

I was desperate to make a big change in my life, particularly my career. I had so much energy ready and I remember how insanely frustrating it was to not to have anywhere to put it. I felt emotionally stuck.

If I could go back and give the 2014 me some advice, it would be to unabashedly follow my curiosity. I'd tell myself not to get caught up in always having to have a purpose and be productive but to relax, have fun and play around with what I'm interested in.

So if you’re feeling like you want 2017 to be a year of big change for you but don't know where to start; simply follow your curiosity.

To convince you a little more, here are 5 reasons why it's worth doing!

1. You’ll increase your knowledge

“The more that you read, the more things you'll know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go” Dr Seuss

2. It’ll open new doors

Who knows where following your curiosity will lead? By starting down a different path you'll come across new ideas and new people. Any of these might lead to a life that you can't even imagine right now.

3. You’ll get excited about life again

You don't realise how used you are to a boring, unfulfilling life until you feel excited about something for the first time in a very long time. Once you feel that tingle in your belly you just won't understand how you went without it for so long.

4. It’ll grow your confidence

Following your curiosity is all about trying new things. Even if “trying” for you is simply watching a different sort of documentary, you'll still build your confidence.

Trying something new, no matter how small, expands your comfort zone. You'll realise that you're capable of doing something even just slightly differently and start seeing yourself as someone who can change your life.

5. You’ll learn more about yourself

By actually giving the things that you are interested in a go, you’ll learn more about what you do and don’t enjoy and what your strengths are. This quote explains it better than I ever could:

“There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart. Pursue these.” Michael Nolan

Only by finding out more about those things that catch your eye will you find out if they also catch your heart.

To put all of this into action, here are 5 simple steps you can take.

Write down a list of topics that you're curious about. It could be starting a business, learning Russian, dance or refurbishing furniture. Include all those little itches that you've never scratched.

  1. Choose one item from your list and take one tiny action to learn about it. You could read a book, watch a movie or follow a relevant blog. Do something really simple.
  2. Once you've found out a little more, ask yourself, “Am I still curious about this topic?” If the answer’s no, that it’s actually not what you thought it would be, that's fine, move on to the next item! Remember you only want to pursue things that catch your heart! It might be too early to tell but if you’re not interested now, it's probably not for you!
  3. But you are still interested, keep following your curiosity and take it up a level. Next, do something more practical that exposes you to someone or somewhere new. Take a class, visit somewhere related to the topic like a museum or go to a Meetup linked to it.
  4. Then ask yourself again, “Am I still curious about this?” Like last time, if your answer's no, move on to something new.
  5. However, if you're still curious, keep following it! This time create a project linked to the topic.  Get stuck into your business, write an article, make a film, start drawing or speaking or cooking. Just get creating!  By doing this you'll learn new things as you go, figure out your mistakes and work out the knowledge gaps you need to fill.

There's a lot to do there so if you just do one thing after reading this article, make sure it’s this:

ACTION: List everything and anything that sparks your curiosity. See if you can list 10 topics.

Here are some questions to get you started:  

  • What were your favourite subjects at school?
  • What topics did you really enjoy learning about?
  • What type of books do normally read? What interests you about them?
  • What type of TV shows or movies do you go for? What interests you about them?
  • What sports or activities have you always wanted to try?
  • What new ways would you like to be able to express yourself creatively?

When you're done tweet your favourite 3 and tag me- @ClaudiaFRoberts  I'd love to know!

“Somewhere something incredible is waiting to be known” Carl Sagan