Bored at Work or in Life? Wake Up Your Curiosity!

I woke up this morning to CBC’s Metro Morning as I always do – and Andy Barrie was sharing a quote from Dorothy Parker: “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”

Well, I couldn’t agree more! Curiosity is one of my top Via Signature Strengths (you can do a free online assessment to find out yours).  Exercising your curiosity is a great way to keep work and life interesting. Most of us were born with a natural sense of curiosity….. think of all the questions you used to ask as a kid…..and if you have children, you’ll appreciate this level of curiosity even more. 

But something happens along the way to and in ‘adulthood’ – some of us fall asleep at the wheel and over time some of that curiosity muscle atrophies.  Which can lead to boredom (which is a very bad word in my books).

The good news is you can wake up your curiosity! Here are a few questions to get you going – followed by some curiosity quotes that I thought were inspiring:


  • What are you curious about today? How can you engage that curiosity further?
  • What in your life and work inspires a sense of wonder?  
  • What used to inspire your curiosity and wonder? What if you woke up those passions again?
  • What questions are you needing to ask yourself that you haven’t asked in a long time?
  • Sometimes old questions become new again as our life/work experience evolves — some of my faves are simply: What is it to love your work and life? What conditions must be present for that fulfillment? What of my core values are being honoured – where do I need to ramp them up? Notice how the question remains but the answers could change over time…..

Worth Repeating: Quotables….

  • The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.  (Albert Einstein)
  • I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious. (Albert Einstein)
  • Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why. (Bernard Mannes Baruch)
  • Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think is still the secret of great creative people. (Leo Burnett)
  • We keep moving forward, opening up new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. (Walt Disney)
  • One of the secrets of life is to keep our intellecutal curiosity acute. (William Lyon Phelps.
  • There are no foolish questions, and no man becomes a fool until he has stopped asking questions. (Charles Proteus Steinmetz).

So, with Monday morning only three days away and a brand new week ahead of you – I invite you to get curious this week and bring this to your work and life. Then see what happens.

 As always – I’m hugely CURIOUS to hear what you have to say. Bring it on!


2 Responses to “Bored at Work or in Life? Wake Up Your Curiosity!”

  1. Gary Schlee Says:

    Eileen, I’m curious. Do you have any examples or pragmatic questions a person might ask to kick-start the curiosity process? Let’s say I’m out for a walk. What might I be looking for to exercise my curiosity? Any tips?

    By the way, congrats on your content-rich blog. Of course, you’re a veteran at this. I didn’t start my blog until the day following your launch on January 2!

  2. Eileen Chadnick Says:

    Thanks for this Gary and great questions.

    I think the questions and curiosity starters would depend on the individual (their passions, interests, etc.) but here are a couple examples that speak to your suggestion (e.g. when out on a walk).

    -When walking, so often we go about it in a ‘mindless’ fashion….kind of stuck in our heads, deep in our thoughts….but not paying attention to our environment. In a sense we walk but miss out on the fuller experience.

    I walk a lot and run. In the last few years I have been paying more attention to the environment (e.g. nature). I have a ravine nearby and have been paying attention and noticing incredible sights: stunning birds, the progression of blooming plants and their unique ways of growing, etc.

    I never realized I had an appreciation for nature until the last couple years as I developed this ability to notice and appreciate.

    As a result, more and more seems to show up in my path. Rabbits, squirrels, interesting birds, cool plants, etc. I don’t think there’s suddenly more ‘nature’ — but suddenly I’m seeing these beauties. Before, I used to run and be in my ‘head’ and I’d miss the whole show!

    My walks and runs are now so much more interesting. They are now ‘treats’ vs. something I should do (for fitness, etc.).

    Another example:

    Last summer I was walking by a busy corner near my house and passed a bus stop.There were a lot of people waiting….talking…or just waiting.

    I heard a noise above and literally just a few feet from all these people were two trees filled with what seemed like hundreds of birds! They were chattering and yattering (hence the sound). Then all of a sudden they stopped. Dead silence. Then started again. It was this amazing community and chorus of birds and they were invisible to everyone else. It was a spectaculr sight and YET NO ONE ELSE SEEMED TO NOTICE. It’s as if I had my own show.

    Morale of the story: it’s amazing what will show up when we pay attention. The most ordinary tasks and routines can be much richer if we ramp up the ‘wonder’ factor and just start to pay more attention; be in the moment, etc.

    The same can be applied in many more situations – including our worklife.

    Gary – thanks for asking…because your question called up a nice memory for me. I hope you stay in touch.

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