“If you had to strip everything else away in terms of the utility of helping people change bad habits, I would keep curiosity as the last thing.”
~ Judson Brewer
Six more things that stuck with me from my conversation with Jud:
Curiosity is joyful, very experiential – it’s hard to put words on it! The drive “I have to know” doesn’t really get at the essence of curiosity — getting caught up is the opposite of curiosity. Curiosity is much more open.
Curiosity shows up in early Buddhist teaching as a “factor of awakening.”
Just be with what is happening. That being can change things around us. By being curious, we just rest in being — and that pleasant feeling of curiosity is more rewarding than giving into cravings.
The posterior cingulate cortex of the brain gets really active when we get caught up in something; it deactivates when we meditate and when we’re curious. That activation happens when we’re contracted, curiosity is the opposite.
Curiosity extends to ethical conduct. We can be curious: what’s it like when I’m a jerk? Curiosity can drive us in the direction of living a good life.
“Curiosity, that’s pretty good stuff. I want to keep smoking that.”