Ever wondered about your curiosity quotient. You would be greatly surprised that all this while when people have been talking largely about the IQ and to some extent EQ, it is CQ (curiosity quotient) that plays a big role in deciding a person’s success probability.
What is this Curiosity Quotient?
The very notion of curiosity quotient has been put forward by Thomas L. Friedman. He laid down a very intuitive formula which illustrates that a person with a high degree of curiosity and passion in a particular field will fare far better than a person who only possesses high Intelligence quotient.
The formulae goes like this: CQ + PQ > IQ
He used this formula to explain how people are motivated to learn more about an interesting subject of their choice, even though they might not be blessed with high IQ.
Thus if curiosity is paired with passion, then the person can navigate his way through all the learning resources available at his disposal and achieve results that are comparable to the exceptionally successful people in that field if not more.
In his words,
Give me the kid with a passion to learn and a curiosity to discover and I will take him or her over the less passionate kid with a huge IQ every day of the week.” IQ “still matters, but CQ and PQ … matter even more.
Why is Curiosity important?
Every worthwhile discovery has been made by asking questions, challenging the norms and questioning the status quo. It is the curiosity quotient of the people that made them think beyond the accepted rules of the game.
The curiosity leads to learning and that learning gives way to what we call as ground breaking discoveries because they shake the very foundation of the common beliefs and its limits.
The Roman philosopher Cicero defined curiosity as “the innate love of learning and of knowledge, without the lure of any immediate profit”.
Try noticing a child today ( or you could remember your childhood ), For every statement of yours, they would have an immediate WHY.
Some of the fondest memories of my childhood days are that of my Grand Ma telling me stories of angels and demons, about the victory of good over evil. I remember her sweetly answering to all of my incessant WHYs during the stories.
Curiosity: an innate behavior
This is our innate behavior to question and learn. It is our curiosity that teaches us the ways of the world. Unfortunately, as we grow up, we are conditioned to comply with the rules and follow the accepted trends.
Growing up is almost synonym to a routine life.
Following the established rules and repeating the same pattern day in and day out pushes us in our comfort zone.
Though it is called a comfort zone, I prefer what Bear Grylls calls it, A comfort Pit. It is because there is absolutely no growth happening when you are in a pit and what worse, it is difficult to get out of it.
Read more on the mental blocks that limit our growth.
Here is an interesting fact shared by PickTheBrain in this article.
According to the article, as we make effort to come out of our comfort zone, our brain releases Dopamine. This Dopamine generates a feeling of well being and keeps us high spirited.
This conscious effort to come out and try something new has its other benefits as well.
When we learn and excel at something new, it creates a great sense of confidence and accomplishment.
I have been in the software industry for more than five years. More than the tools and technology that I have learnt, it is the feeling that I can adapt to any new technology is what is more satisfying.
What do you gain by increasing your Curiosity Quotient?
It has now been identified that your curiosity quotient greatly influences the path that you take in your life.
People with a higher CQ have a hungry mind.
There was an amazingly insightful article published in Harvard Business Review. According to this article , curiosity is just as important as intelligence.
As explained, people with a higher CQ, are counter conformist, more inquisitive and embrace new experiences readily. Since they are mostly in disagreement with the established modus operandi, they generate new ideas.
To add to that, this intrinsic habit of learning will motivate them to explore more on their area of choice and thus contribute greatly to their excellence. They are much more eager to invest time and resources in personal learning and self growth.
Curiosity begets creativity and this serves as an ultimate tool to chalk out effective solutions for perplexing problems.
Albert Einstein gave much more importance to imagination and creativity than knowledge and education.
In his words,
I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.
Curiosity Quotient and Success
The curiosity quotient differentiates an average person from a genius.
According to this article on NY times, modern day winners will not only be those with more I.Q. These winners will possess significantly higher P.Q. or the passion quotient and C.Q.
This is because to leverage all the new tools and technologies of this digital era, you need to be inherently more curious about them.
Think of all the great names that come to your mind. Starting from Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, Newton, Edison, etc. , they all had this one thing in common. They were constant curious personalities who defied long established rules.
An inquisitive mind attracts new possibilities and opportunities which remain hidden to an incurious mind. Millions saw the apple falling or for that matter, everything falling down but Newton was the one to ask WHY?
You must have heard Steve Job’s inspiring speech at Stanford’s commencement ceremony. If you recall, he mentioned that he went into the calligraphy class just out of curiosity.
This curiosity several years later led him to create the different variety of fonts that we use in our word docs. It was later adapted from Mac to Windows.
It was this one man’s curiosity that gifted us this wonderful feature along with other cool stuffs from Apple.
As Jeff Bezos put it,
You have to say, ‘Wait a second. Why are we doing it this way? Could it be better? Could it be different?’ That kind of curiosity, that explorer’s mind, that childlike wonder, that’s what makes an inventor.
Why Curiosity Quotient matters in your Job and Business?
Curiosity opens new gateways and new avenues to grow. This leads us to believe that we still have a lot to learn.
As the saying goes, the more we see, the more we are capable of seeing.”
According to Carl E Guittard from Huffington Post, high curiosity quotient is a sought after quality in the global management arena. These curious people are ever learning and sharing their learning and wisdom.
Firms now prefer candidates with a greater degree of CQ and PQ over just the technical expertise.
Curiosity is the first step to any great idea, fixes, invention or new business.
It is the curiosity quotient that makes some of the individuals excel at their workplace or their business to be wildly successful while others fail to get due attention.
Read more on subconscious mind training for success.
How to cultivate the Curiosity Quotient?
As is oxygen a necessity for the body, similarly we need to feed our brain with new experiences and activities.
Start by coming out of the auto pilot mode that you have got used to living.
Practice Mindfulness training Exercises to live more consciously.
Do not hold a fixed or prejudiced thought in your mind. Some of the things that you know might not necessarily be true or complete.
You cannot fill an already full cup with fresh water.
Hence, it is sometimes important to unlearn things in order to learn something new.
Explore new ideas. Learn from other’s perspective, broaden your outlook, be curious to explore all the dimensions of your area of choice.
One of the leading author and marketing advisor Martin Lindstrom said that in order to generate new ideas and insights, he once spent 300 nights in a year in stranger’s homes. This eventually led to the turnaround of the famous toymaker LEGO.
While you may not need to go to such extremes but the idea is clear enough. You need to disrupt your usual conditioned thinking in order to achieve the extraordinary.