“One had to cram all this stuff into one’s mind for the examinations, whether one liked it or not. This coercion had such a deterring effect on me that, after I had passed the final examination, I found the consideration of any scientific problems distasteful to me for an entire year.”
Albert Einstein (attributed)
Coerced curiosity doesn’t propel innovation, creativity, or freshness. In fact, coercion pulls us in the opposite direction, away from what might have been our natural propensity.
This is a subtle but distinct sensitivity within us to be attentive to what is naturally stimulating or invigorating for our mind…and what might actually be holding us back.
Contrary to what we might assume, what seems to stifle inquiry is neither the effort needed to accomplish our work nor the resources needed to make it happen. Our resistance to inquiry seems to come from our attempts to trick, try, want, persuade, or convince ourselves to learn something or do something we might have not have a natural inclination to otherwise.
When not given trust or space, our innate curiosity can wither away and die. When we are trusting our curiosity, and the natural expansion of our own intellect, we start to tap into and taste the deeper intelligence and deeper insight that yearns to be explored.