Posts Tagged ‘using curiosity’

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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 Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation and Academic Career Coach
[email protected]

  • Todd Kashdan: Why Are We Afraid of Having Regrets? (huffingtonpost.com)

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Curiosity is a powerful strength and is a great strength to cultivate if you are writing your dissertation.

Curiosity gives you:
• the will to explore,
• the will  to stay with an idea,
• the will to persevere,
•  the will to reach a goal,
• and it also gives you joy in the process.

If you have trouble moving into a project or if you are easily distracted, try to engage your curiosity.  Engaging your curiosity can help you get started on your writing and then can help you stick with it.

Most people are curious to some degree.  The amount or force or extent of curiosity can vary widely from person to person.  For curiosity to drive your writing or research or to empower you in your dissertation process, you might want to experiment with some possible ways to crank it up.

Researchers don’t appear ready to tell us definitively how to develop the strength of curiosity in an adult.

But since everyone is at least a little bit curious, there are steps you can take that will make it possible for your curiosity to flower.

At the top of my list as possibilities for increasing curiosity are
• increasing your autonomy,
• taking more control of a project,
• taking a risk.

Other strategies for arousing your curiosity are
• asking questions,
• having someone to talk to about your work,
• having someone to support you and give you feedback.

Asking yourself questions or working with someone who is curious and who will ask questions of you should be a first step in your effort to increase your curiosity.

If you’re interested in talking to someone about your work, let me know!  And go to my website (www.nancywhichard.com) to sign up for my Smart Tips e-newsletter.

Here’s to cranking up your curiosity!


Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation Coach and Academic Career Coach
nancy @ nancywhichard.com

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One of the top 5 strengths that many of my dissertation clients share is curiosity.

It’s not surprising that motivated, high-achieving academic people would have curiosity as a top strength.

And as you write a dissertation and live your life, the benefits of curiosity are many. For one thing, curiosity is among those specific strengths which are most likely to make for a happy life.  Positive Psychologist Chris Peterson has found that along with gratitude, zest, hope, and capacity to love, curiosity is one of the strengths most closely related to greatest life satisfaction.  It has also been found in at least one study to be associated with a long life.

So what else can this wonderful strength do for you?

Assuaging your curiosity has its own built-in reward.  It is fulfilling.

Another way that curiosity rewards you for the effort is that the resulting learning usually produces more curiosity.  Knowing that there is more to learn or that you don’t know everything yet can induce greater curiosity.

If curiosity is one of your top strengths and you are using that strength, you know how excited and engaged you are when you are satisfying your curiosity or in a state of curiosity.  One of my clients used the word “joy” to describe the feeling when he is in this state.

What would you be willing to do to experience joy as you’re researching or writing your dissertation?

How are you feeling about your dissertation?

I’d love to hear from you.  I’d also love to send you my Smart Tips e-newsletter.  Go to my website at www.nancywhichard.com to sign up.

Until next time, unleash your curiosity!

Happy writing,

Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation Coach and Academic Career Coach
nancy @ nancywhichard.com

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