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Curiosity and love of learning are powerful motivators

Todd Kashdan, author of Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life, advocates bringing your strength of curiosity to your work.  He says that the higher the level of curiosity, the greater the analytic ability and problem-solving skills. 

 Most of my dissertation coaching clients have “love of learning” and “curiosity” as two of their top five strengths. These strengths are golden; use them and enjoy them.

A curious person asks questions.  

Prompt yourself.  Ask:  What question is driving my writing? What am I discovering—from my research and also as I write? What am I saying that others are not?

It is key that you bring your curiosity to your writing, but not to some technological novelty only peripherally connected to your work.  

Stay vigilant to keep your curiosity from letting you engage in delaying tactics.

 Manage your curiosity so that it has a positive effect on your dissertation.  Curiosity boosts your motivation.

I’d love to hear from you — how are you using your curiosity?

All good wishes,

Nancy

Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation and Academic Career Coach
nancy@nancywhichard.com
www.dissertationbootcamp.net
www.usingyourstrengths.com
www.smarttipsforwriters.com

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Curiosity is a boon to dissertation writers, except when it isn’t.

Curiosity is indeed powerful, giving us the will to explore, to persevere, and even to reach a goal.

I’ve suggested in an earlier blog (“To Enjoy Writing Your Dissertation, Use your Curiosity”) that it might be worth your while as researchers and writers to try to increase your curiosity.  Talking with someone about your work or forming a supportive alliance with a coach or a colleague will very likely engage your curiosity.

The more control you have over your work and the more engaged you feel in your work, the more likely it is that you will feel free to be curious.

But can curiosity ever be too much of a good thing?

I have noticed lately that many of my dissertation and writing clients have curiosity as either their first or second strength.  If you haven’t taken the Values in Action (VIA) Signature Strengths Questionnaire at www.authentichappiness.org, you might be interested (curious?) in discovering what your Signature Strengths are.

One terrific client with whom I talk weekly says that he can spend too much time getting “too into” something, past the point where it’s beneficial.

He gets stuck in the analysis of his data.  He can find himself running his data in a hundred different ways, rather than the couple of different ways that had been his intention.  This is a problem because he said that he knew he’d get what he needed from just those two ways.

To prevent himself from going overboard or getting too into the analysis, it seems to me that he needs to ask himself what he’d do if he had a bag of Fun-Sized Snickers staring at him within arm’s reach!  Most of us couldn’t stop at eating just 2, and so we’d have to put the bag away or we’d regret it.

Is your curiosity so strong that it almost holds you hostage, urging you to keep looking for more paths, more possibilities?  If you want to move your work forward, then you have to remove yourself from the temptation.  My client’s plan was to curb his curiosity, as best he could.  He decided he could go to a graduate computer lab and take just the results of his analysis on a flash drive. He not only committed to the plan, but he would also make it hard to back out.  He would go public and tell someone his plan.

Can your curiosity get you into trouble?  Do you sometimes have to keep your curiosity in check?  I’d love to hear from you.

Happy Spring!

My very best to you,

Nancy

Nancy Whichard, PhD, PCC
Your International Dissertation Coach
nancy @ nancywhichard.com
http://www.nancywhichard.com

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