“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up”.
– Pablo Picasso
Curiosity would be my superpower if I had one. I honestly believe that curiosity is the mother of all great inventions and progress in our society. If it weren’t for lazy people who literally are too lazy to walk up to the TV and change the channels, no one would have invented the remote control. Curiosity first begins with having an open mind. However, not all of us have an open mind. I believe this problem’s root cause is something I call “fear bias”.
I mean by fear bias that when we are young, we are born fearless. For example, as a young baby, a child is curious and puts everything into its mouth with no regard for taste or safety to learn what it likes and dislikes. As a toddler, the baby then has an insurmountable appetite for curiosity and adventure. It frequently climbs a coffee table only to fall and get hurt and fearlessly tries again and again. A child develops fear and stops when parents tell a baby “NO” or “Right and Wrong.” It is conditioned programming.
Somewhere along the lines, this child starts building roadblocks in their growth. It begins with the programming in which the parent says, “don’t jump on the coffee table, don’t go outside, don’t break that,” and it automatically instills fear and builds the first wall in a child. Then comes the next fence. “Don’t go outside, don’t talk to strangers and don’t eat that, etc.,” All this has happened by the time the child is five years old, and all this child has learned are boundaries/walls of what’s not possible.
As Terence Mckenna wrote, “imagine an infant lying in its cradle, and the window is open, and into the room comes something, marvelous, mysterious, glittering, shedding light of many colors, movement, sound, a transformative hierophant of integrated perception. The child is enthralled, and then the mother comes into the room and says to the child, ‘that’s a bird, baby, that’s a bird.’ Instantly, the angel’s complex wave, peacock, the iridescent, transformative mystery is collapsed into the word. All mystery is gone; the child learns this is a bird, this is a bird, and by the time we’re five or six years old, all the mystery of reality has been carefully tiled over with words. ‘This is a bird, this is a house, this is the sky,’ and we seal ourselves in within a linguistic shell of disempowered perception.”
By the time you reach high school, you realize your plan was probably already set in motion by your parents to get a good education so that you can have a good job: all noble endeavors, but all lacking freedom, vision, and missing your DREAM. Once you get a job, you are told how to dress, behave based on what human resources tell you, and act in a specific manner. Soon that same child who believed anything was possible and was so curious about the world only knows their limitations. Your parents, boss, and friends who probably tell you things like “you aren’t pretty, you aren’t smart, you can’t get the job you want, or can’t hang with those people” have already set your limitations for you.
Once you have all these self-imposed limitations set upon you, how can you be curious? Your decisions have been made for you. Therefore, you’ve never had the chance to have an open mind. Consequently, it would help if you hit the metaphorical reset button in your life. It would be best if you totally reprogrammed your mentality and thinking. It begins with deleting all these limitations which have been programmed into you. Start with this, write down all the things you want to do and then write down why you can’t do them. Once you write these down, you’ll soon discover these are all limitations you’ve put upon yourself, believing lies society has told you.
“You are not beautiful.” Erase. “You can’t move out west to California and become an actor.” Erase. “You can’t date that beautiful girl.” Erase. Now write down how you will live your dreams. “I’m entitled to a good life. I do deserve to be happy. I’m a human of possibility created from the divine.”
Remember, the chance of you even being alive is 14 trillion to one. That’s right, against every odd in the universe, you are a miracle even to be alive. If your parents decided to grab that extra glass of wine and waited five more minutes to conceive you, you might not even be alive. Now that you know you are a miracle to be alive, start living like it. Wake up each day curious about the world. Go out, breathe fresh air and tell yourself, “I’m healthy, I’m happy, I’m beautiful.”
Once you live in perpetual gratitude, tear down metaphorical walls that limit you, you will be truly free to be curious about the world. Maybe, Paris is a good idea. Maybe that girl you find beautiful is worth asking out on a date. Perhaps calling an old friend from high school to see how they are doing and not expecting anything in return is a good idea. Maybe starting that business is a great idea.
Maybe working in corporate accounting is not the best use of your time for you or society. Remember, you don’t serve the world well playing it small. You fill the world by living your most extraordinary life and empowering others to do the same. What’s the point of making money if you’re not curious enough to find ways to experiment with making the world a better place?
Maybe you want to help feed needy children, and perhaps you want to try financing solar plants in rural Africa. If you don’t try and fail, sometimes over and over again, then you’ll never succeed. You are allowed to be curious and fail as many times as you want, but as Mark Cuban says, “you only have to be right once to succeed.” Remember, you have the right to be curious to explore the world, to chase your passions, to find your bliss. We are programmed with walls around us from a young age, but you have the power to break past your programmed limitations and thrive. People don’t determine your destiny in life; only you decide on your own future.
The real battle in life is in your own mind with yourself. If you believe the walls placed on you are real, then you’ve already lost. You must fully believe that curiosity is the most potent force in the universe and that being open-minded will empower your tomorrow to be better than today. Curiosity is what will lead to a better world. Once you go through life, you’ll realize one of the biggest superpowers you had has a child was probably curiosity. It’s the curiosity that leads a toddler to walk from a crawl. It’s that exact same curiosity that makes you question can you go faster in the car than a horse that led to the invention of a better way to get around the world.
I honestly feel curiosity is marginalized today, so society doesn’t progress as fast as possible. If we all had the curiosity and asked, “why?” More often, than not we would have a better way. The office worker asks why not outsource to India and hire four workers for the price of one that creates new jobs abroad and saves money for the company (now, that might be a bit controversial). However, as I say, there is always a better way to do things when you start asking the right questions. Seek, and you shall receive. Many of us take a job that pays money and never asks whether life can be much more? Like “what if I decided to get curious and learn a higher income skill?” If you’re a camera operator working on a movie, why not become a director and get more fame and money. It’s bold thinking that asking questions and being curious often leads to a better life.
I think one person I know who exemplifies curiosity as a tool to manifest the most incredible life is my friend, actress and activist Amber Heard. She has always talked about her life and used curiosity to grow her mind. It’s the power of curiosity that’s led her to live her most extraordinary life. You see, Amber found her gift early on her in life. It’s what led to all her success in her later life.
Her modesty comes from the fact that she grew up without much money outside of Austin, Texas. Curiosity led her to manifest a more remarkable life for herself as she questioned what could life be better than the one from “Conservative, God-fearing Texas,” and she asked everyone around her as an obstinate atheist.
Amber Heard is probably one of the best examples who followed her inner voice. She mentioned during my conversations with her that she always has been an obstinate reader. I found it fascinating to note that talented actresses like Amber knew about Ayn Rand and Isaac Asimov, which led me to ask her about her fascination with so much literature, many stories, and books above my intellect.
During the Quarantine of 2020, I remember bored at home and working on writing a book, I was reading many books to motivate myself in life, and I asked Amber what she recommended. She suggested I read “Neruda by Mark Eisner, Let us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee, and Epitaph of a small winner.” All of these books were way above my wildest expectations, but then I understood Amber Heard is curious, and that’s why she’s well-read and deeply knowledgeable, which in turn has fueled her massive success.
We both really like Bauman Rare Books in NYC (which specializes in rare collectible first edition books), which I found fascinating and odd. Why? According to the Hollywood Reporter in an article, Amber Heard is described as “the most beautiful woman in the world by a scientific algorithm can recite the literary classics like a savant, speaks fluent Spanish, is the first American actress to be named Human Rights Champion of the UN Human Rights Office (alongside Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad).” Which got me wondering how does Amber Heard end up from a GED high school dropout to be a global superstar in over a billion-dollar box office movie called Aqua man and become a voice of disenfranchised women all over the world? I think I know.
The Answer, my friends, is curiosity. You see, curiosity led her to pursue acting, leave Texas, and try modeling in New York. Curiosity is why she reads books; as you can see, you start to question things when you come from not much and wonder if life could be better?
As the Hollywood Reporter magazine says, Heard spent long hours at the Austin Public Library, becoming a voracious reader of dystopian sci-fi. As Heard herself proclaims, “That’s what helped structure a lot of my thoughts, feelings, attitudes, convictions in a way that was relevant politically.” Amber manifested her success by using her superpower of curiosity to learn about social injustice, gender issues, pick vital roles that show female empowerment, and strengthen LGBTQ rights, which again is stemmed from her interest in love and relationships.
She plays one as Mera in Aqua man, and in real life, she’s become one who’s used curiosity to build a considerable following, have a massive voice, and use that power to help women and minorities get heard and live their best life. Imagine if Amber didn’t read books, or get curious, or experiment at various movie roles to improve her career, both myself and millions worldwide, and charities who need her voice would have been missing the power of this great person. Amber inspires us to pursue what’s right use our inner superpowers to become a real-life superhero. That’s why I’m proud to support and call her a real friend because I feel motivated, inspired, and passionate about being a better person. Curiosity is the driver in my view, and that’s why Amber Heard has positively impacted so many people.