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Why do whispers and gossip draw our attention? Why do we, especially children, find unwrapping gifts during Christmas so fascinating?

One of the most rewarding and stimulating discussions in my unique ‘Good to Marvellous’ culture enhancement workshops revolves around the true value of information.

Why do we ‘crave’ information?

‘Information,’ as the structure of the word itself suggests, literally ‘in-forms’ us. Just as we consume food to build our bodies, we use information to build our selves – to ‘form’ ourselves. In Greek, ‘information’ translates to ‘πληροφορία,’ meaning ‘φέρω πληρότητα’ or ‘I attain completeness,’ conveying a similar idea that information helps us properly form and build ourselves.

A Primordial Craving

There is a primordial biological basis for our craving for information.

For our ancestors, exploration – the act of venturing into the unknown to expand one’s informational map – was a continual process driven by the search for new food sources, shelter, sex, or protection from danger, such as predatory cats which were plentiful at the time.

Curiosity in Our Biology

This deeply ingrained curiosity and primal drive to explore are still present in our biology today, even though dangers like sabre-toothed tigers no longer exist, and we no longer have to walk for days to find food. We exhibit an irresistible desire to inquire and explore, evident in our excitement when unwrapping gifts, engaging in treasure hunts, or seeking the secret behind a seemingly impossible magic trick. Curiosity drives us to spend hours watching documentaries, browsing Wikipedia, scrolling on social media, and clicking on intriguing headlines. It is why we are captivated by whispers or gossip.

Mapping Our World

We are explorers from the cradle, and our primitive brains constantly map out our environment, both physical and psychological, to create an internal model of the world that helps us feel oriented towards orderliness, certainty, and safety.

Creative Exploration

For this precise reason, the process of creative exploration helps us continuously upgrade our maps and prevent them from becoming obsolete. Updating our maps involves the following steps in our busy lives today:

  • Remain socially and professionally engaged: Avoid the temptations of isolation. While isolation may offer peace, it comes at a high cost – the atrophying of one’s bond with an ever-evolving and changing world.
  • Balance the known and the unknown: Keep one foot in the ‘known’ to retain stability and the other in the ‘unknown’ to keep replenishing our map and stay in sync with developments around us.
  • Confront your fears: Remember, the things we fear often remain unpacked; they contain information we have not yet acquired or skills we have not yet mastered. Fear signals that something remains unexplored.


Embrace Curiosity for Growth

Understanding and embracing our innate curiosity and drive to explore can lead to both personal and professional growth. By staying engaged, balancing the familiar and unfamiliar, and confronting our fears, we continue to develop and thrive in a constantly changing world.


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PS: Part of the above text is derived from an extract from my latest book, The MARVEL of Happiness: Principles, Stories, and Lessons for Living Fully. All rights reserved. See here: The MARVEL of Happiness. Refer to the book for multiple useful references on the concepts discussed above.

PPS: Check out some random photos from my latest ‘Good to Marvellous’ workshops here: Marvellous Media

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