Interest & Curiosity as a basis for learning

The assumption: if you are truly interested in a specific field or topic, you will find learning much more enjoyable, because the content really wants to be discovered by itself. In this post I share reflections on curiosity and how following it can lead to something beautiful.

The discovery of something new

 

What is is that children and scientists have in common? What is one of the first state of mind that needs to be there in order to generate ideas?

Curiosity and the excitement to discover the world.

I think one of the biggest driving factors in any practice is the ability to build interest in that specific domain.

Want to get involved in bodybuilding? Develop a deep interest and study anatomy, training methods, figures in this field etc.. Once there is a base of interest and curiosity you will step by step unravel the domain and find out new things. You will see connections and pathways that were not there before. You will combine patterns or experiences to create something new. I personally think, that once you reached the stage, things will start flowing.

Important note: there is a huge difference in mindset when exploring something new. On the one hand there is „nothing new under the sun“ – everything has already been said or done. Looking from this perspective can lead to a pessimistic mindset. On the other side, I think it’s more important to discover things that are new to YOURSELF. It often does not matter at all for humanity if you found a new way to cook scrambled eggs – since most certainly it has been done before.
But it DOES matter for your personal learning process.

Embrace curiosity and enjoy exploring (note to myself). Since I’m researching creativity, learning processes and curiosity right now I will probably write a bit more about that.

Surroundings and how they influence us

 

Inspired by these surroundings I had a little dance that I want to share today.

I am really sensitive to my surroundings. When I don’t like the vibe of the environment I can’t express my creativity to the fullest. That’s why I like working on my apartment so it’s suits my character.
I do see value in also changing my perception in not so pleasing environments though.

Recently I tend to visit a regular gym (mostly for sauna reasons) and I find it very interesting that I feel very uncomfortable in there. It’s probably not only the looks but also the mindset that is being delivered there.

Some years back it didn’t really affect me but nowadays I feel like I need open spaces, natural lights and room to breath.

This episode: moves that make you feel good and vivid.

 

I’ve been practicing this move on and off for three years now. Hard one to wrap your head around (or better wrap your body around your head in this case).
This time I will practice it till I get it (for now, refinement will come every once in a while of course). What makes this one so hard for me?

1. In an optimal world you would constantly gaze at the floor, so your body will basically move around the head. This head tilting and backward looking maneuver feels just sketchy and awkward for me. It’s getting better but still not satisfied with it. More practice will come!

2. Ideally you would jump with your body almost over your head which implies that you need to keep the torso and the head quite low to the floor. Instead I often lift my torso and my head which makes jumping over them very unlikely. Again, just scary and awkward.

I really like the way this one looks, since I first saw it it sparked something inside of me and still I find this one just utterly beautiful. Just for you to get an idea of how this one can look like when it’s done properly I added some videos of some people doing this one. First one by @tomweksler second by @joyisabellabrown and third one by @alexkerwood – thanks for the inspiration!

Yet a new detail found.

 

How deep do you want to go in your practice/art/thing?

This one (called ‘Raiz‘) I want to understand fully and dive deep. Already practicing for a while (years, on and off) and will for another long while.

And here comes my take home message: if something catches your eyes, not only on the first sight but over and over again – maybe you can’t really explain why – go there and explore, dive deep and nurture your interest in that topic.
In the Book “The Talent Code“ the author describes some steps towards real talent (spoiler alert: which is not too much about inborn traits but long and dedicated practice). The first one he describes is called ‘ignition‘, the potent moment when something strucks you and often won’t let you go for a long time. Albert Einstein describes a moment when his father giftet him a compass: “I can still remember – or at least I believe I can remember—that this experience made a deep and lasting impression on me. Something deeply hidden had to be behind things.” Good one to reflect on: did you had one/more ignition moments? How did they influence your current path?

Ignited by a cool move I keep on practicing.

The ‘Raiz‘ somehow triggers something inside of me .. it just feels and looks absolutely great.

 

When I reflect on my past practices there were always certain moves/tricks/patterns that sparked the same feeling. In skateboarding it was and is the Smith Grind, in Olympic weightlifting the Snatch (Google them if you do not know).

I wonder what it is in these moves that produces such an intense reaction within me. Are there commonalities between these skills? Certain qualities that all of them possess?

When thinking about it, maybe it is the balancing quality of these skills? These skills not only need a certain level of strength or flexibility, they involve a balance of different traits and abilities.
Maybe it’s also something completely different – who knows? Any clues?

Either way, I love watching these moves, I love performing them and I love investing a lot of time practicing them, nerding out on them and refining them.

Traces

 

After dancing for a bit on a beach in Portugal I noticed the traces i was leaving behind. Looking at them reminded me of what @tomweksler put into words once as part of a collaboration with an artist who captured Toms movement and traces of his dance: when the Movement is gone, what will stay is only in the memory/imagination of the observer.

In this case the sand provided something more: real, visual traces of my dance. Well, actually just marks of body parts that actually touched the sand.
What I found very interesting and nice: you can clearly see the circular swipes of my hands/feet/other on the floor.
Introducing circularity in my dance allows for continuous up and down movement and since Tom Introduced me to this years ago I integrated it a lot in my dance. I am also very much inspired by @lucia.toker who swirls and spirals beautifully.

Anyways, why sharing this? I just found it very interesting and that’s what I do here.
How could have the dance looked like?