We have all wondered at least once in our life about the gifts and talents we possess. We wanted to figure it out so badly, that we tried everything possible to know what we are perfect at. What if I told you that what you have been searching for is not your talent, but your persistence in your search? Yes, it is a priceless gift called curiosity.
The most successful people that we look up to and aspire to be, had nothing more than curiosity. It is perhaps true that all of them were either geniuses, talented dancers, sportspersons, artists; but in reality, they were actually merely curious individuals. This is the case for most of the innovators and inventors, without whom this world would not have evolved. No, I am not talking only about Edison, Einstein or Hawking. I am talking about our ancestors from billions of years ago, who figured out the trick to make fire, weapons, utensils, prepare food, etc. None of it would have ever happened, had any of them given up on their power of thought. We have been blessed with the great gift of thought and reason, which we unfortunately lose as we age.
Consider a toddler who has just learnt to walk. Its desire to learn to walk was inculcated by his thought of how everyone around him could move about, while it lay in a crib for days. This thought bred the desire to get up and move, which eventually paved way for its first step; but that is not all. Since the day the toddler learns to walk, it cannot stay still for more than five minutes at a stretch. Everything around it arouses its curiosity, provoking the need to explore and learn. We adults are no different from this child, except for our huge size and a numbing brain. We shut down our ability to observe and question, but still wonder how the great scientists are responsible for revolutionizing the world. Our mind has made a barrier between us and them, and led us to believe that the greatest of people are “gifted”. Yet, we fail to realize that once, we too were gifted with the exact same present that we have locked away in some corner of our skull. We have learned to rely on the existing things as miracles created by our superiors so much, that we have begun to think that all the possible things which could ever be, are here now. That there is no way one could paint a better masterpiece, create a better medicine, run faster than Usain Bolt, punch harder than Mohammed Ali, or even type faster on our computers than a certain limit. “Limit” is what we created and named when our minds gave up on mere achievements as “miracles”. “Limit” is what was born when we killed our curiosity by accepting whatever happens around us as life, and started believing that there is not a reason behind it. And yet, the only thing it took for all of that to happen was just a single question consisting of a single word: “why?”. Why can I not sing the highest note? Why did the apple fall? Why is it like this? Why am I not good enough? This is what gave rise to the greatest people known to us; the people whom we idolize as the symbols of success. It is also very sad that all it took for us to become any different to them, all it took for us to be held back from achieving what we dream of, is the absence of “why?” and the acceptance of “cannot”.
Still, when we talk about curiosity being their weapon in the battle of success, we were never unarmed. It is not a special talent, granted only to some and withheld from others. All we have to do is seek. If you are not where you think you deserve to be, seek the answer; you may not find it, but in the process, you will definitely end up where you belong. The people who attained success were able to do so merely because they were passionately curious. Here, curious can be applied as both of the definitions. Since curious also means unusual, we can understand how curiosity itself is so unusual. In life, there is always something new to learn, every time. We can never fully enlighten ourselves with all that there is in this world, meaning there is always scope for improvement and innovation. We can go as far as our mind takes us, and there will still be much more. The only end is our curiosity.
As my conclusion, I would like to say that while we search for paths to success, and wonder what makes those who found it any different from us, it is their undying curiosity to know more, do more and be more. While there are no actual limits in this world, the end of our curiosity, is our limit. Those who surpass it, are termed as “great”. Yet, people like these have constantly taught us through their inspirational stories, that their only talent, which they categorize as “common” and not special, is what we disregard on a daily basis. To achieve anything, you need to be passionate and persistent, and that is how curiosity works. It will take you as far as you want to go, and that is the talent we need and we have. Surprisingly, we are only a thought away from discovering it!