Select Page

Do you want to be curious, or afraid? You can’t be both.

Do you believe curiosity is a sin? I’m sure you’ve been told at least once that you should be less curious. But curiosity is a natural quality of every human being.

You were born curious.

Have you ever witnessed a toddler just going around and trying everything they possibly can, without fear of consequences?

It’s beautiful, isn’t it?

If you thought “it’s annoying”, it means you probably unconsciously formed the idea as a kid that if you are too curious, people will stop loving you. And if your parents stop loving you, they might abandon you, and you’ll die (not that fun anymore, right?).

Being curious was a risk.

So you “grew up”.

Adam and Eve

In the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve are permitted to eat from any tree, but the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, “for on the day you eat of it you shall surely die”. From this point on, two things appear: the desire to know what is unknown and hidden, and the fear of death. While curiosity and fear are deeply linked to each other in the Scripture, as one exists only in relation to the other, they are also antagonist, as fully expressing one means fully suppressing the other.


Ultimately, fear is about avoiding the ultimate divine punishment: death. It is a primal feeling, based on previous experiences, meant as a warning for dangerous situations, which could lead to pain, whether physical or emotional. It is a perfectly valid feeling, as it has helped countless generations of beings stay alive until they can reproduce and ensure the survival of the species.

The problem is that, given our advances in civilization, we are mostly safe from the historical life-threatening dangers.

And in the absence of these, we have moved our fears to more mundane subjects: being rejected by a potential partner or a boss, not having enough money to afford the mortgage or the new car, or even the kid’s education. While they are all perfectly valid concerns, they are far from life-threatening. Given the worse, we could still go a bit closer to the equator and live in a tent on the beach.

Waking up to the sun reflecting on the water is not such a scary thought, is it?

Fear has one major consequence on the body: bring up the fight or fly response, which basically shuts down the part of our brain related to thinking and problem solving.

Let me rephrase that: if you are afraid, you can’t think.

Nor enjoy.

Nor learn.

Any high-level brain function is sacrificed in order to increase your chances of survival.

If you don’t resonate with the word fear, replace it with worry or stress, it’s all the same thing. If you’re too stressed, you’ll get stuck and accept whatever promise of relief you can get: sucking up to your boss, your spouse, your kids, a self-proclaimed guru, anything. Which is understandable, because when the stress is overwhelming, you need some help.


Curiosity is a state of free flowing and being. You are emotionally available and craving to explore a new subject or experience. There is no real care for consequences as one relinquishes fear and realizes that nothing really bad will happen, but lots of good things might. When we are curious, we can discover new territories (America?), new talents we didn’t know we had, and simply be willing to do more, learn more, train more, be more.

It’s asking “what if?” and going on a quest to discover the answers. There might be consequences, yes, but the desire of learning is stronger than the fear of potential bad consequences.

The whole learning process, as long as it’s natural and not forced, is based on intrinsic curiosity. This is how we grow, this is how we discover. Whatever new things you discovered in your life, you did so because you were curious enough to be open to them. You could have feared, you could have closed yourself up, but you were curious.

Communicating vessels

I believe that there is one type of energy, with a definite amount, that you can decide to feed your fear, or your curiosity. That is, if you decide to feed your curiosity, you will have less energy to feed your fear. And on the other hand, if you’re looking for every reason to be afraid of an endeavor, you will crush your curiosity and be miserable.

Once you realize that you’re in control of your energy, you can choose to focus on your fears, or on your curiosity. And if you worry or believe you’re not curious, well, the worry is the fear itself. Let go of it, ask your heart what it wants, and simply follow.

Two opposites

Fear makes one focus on the dangers of an unknown path, and triggers an avoidance mechanism thereby depriving of the experience and pleasure of the activity. It also impairs the ability to learn and integrate new habits and working knowledge. At the end of it, fear prevents creativity.

Being curious, on the contrary, is about feeling free and having the desire to discover new things, to learn how they work and how we relate and feel about them. Curiosity promotes the sharing of information, experiences, social connections, and more.

You can choose

As Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, you can decide for yourself whether you prefer to be stuck and afraid, or free and curious. It might not change your life completely in a day, but if you don’t choose to get unstuck from your fear, it will never change anyway, as you’ll stay in your own knowledge-deprived version of Eden. That’s too bad, because life on Earth is pretty damn interesting…

What steps are you taking to feed your curiosity?

The Quest for Perfection

Hall of Imperfect Pixels
photo credit: Lance Shields

The quest for perfection is admirable, at least in theory, but have you ever wondered what it would really change if you were “perfect”?

The movie Equilibrium shows Libria, a future world without war, without anger, without conflicts. Can you imagine that? Looks like a perfect world.

A world of perfection

Lots of people spend their lives trying to be better, to attain perfection. Some don’t want to show their weaknesses and spend a considerable amount of energy trying to appear perfect, never say the wrong word, nor take too many risks. Being perfect is, in practice, equivalent to making no mistakes. And what’s the easiest way to never make any mistake? Always follow the rules scrupulously, never lead, never challenge anything, be invisible, don’t feel anything.

Follow the rules

When you follow the rules without thinking about them, you just “do your job”, and as you bury your compassion and anger, someday you don’t feel them anymore.

In Libria, after the population was decimated by the Third World War, the world realized that war, hatred, adultery, murder and all the sins of humankind had roots in the capacity to feel, so they decided to suppress it with mandatory drugs. Without the capacity to feel, every human being can be civilized, obeying the rules and wishes of the powers that be.

Following the rules in order to attain perfection means to relinquish our emotions and the connections with ourselves.

Creativity and perfection

Art makes us feel, makes us question what is, and envision what could be. The whole creative process is an insult to perfectionism (aka the inner critic). That’s why art is illegal in Libria, as its only presence makes us question the status quo, the laws and the concept of perfection.

A life of rules and perfection

Some people might be able to live their lives blindly following orders (and even add and follow rules of their own), hoping to be perfect. But not everybody can, and if you’re still reading, I’m sure you can’t. But even if you could, would you really want to? There is a moment in time when rules have to be questioned, and you have to detach yourself from them, if only to reconsider whether you want to follow other people’s rules or make your own. Being a simple cog in a big machine isn’t very fun, or fulfilling.


If you spend your energy trying to be perfect, all you’re gonna do is try to control yourself and your environment, draining your energy and creating a huge load of stress. Those who always want to be perfect, even though they deny it, tend to also want everything around them to be perfect, and they complain when it’s not. Have you ever heard someone (or yourself), complaining about something they have absolutely no control on? Like the weather? It is completely pointless, but the complaint itself shows a need to assert control over these events.

When you let go of control, and accept to feel again what it is to be human, everything changes.

Our natural state is one of creative imperfection

For a baby, the concept of rules doesn’t exist, a baby just want to discover the world, how they can interact and create things that matter and make them feel good. Along the way we learn what rules are, and how to follow them; but most of the time, it is for the sake of society, and of those in control, very rarely for our own gain.

If we stopped trying to be so perfect all the time, we could regain that innocence, that desire to be curious and creative. A perfect human is an imperfect machine. Why would you want to be something you’re not?

Forget perfection

The important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be done by perfect men.
George Eliot

Perfection only exists as a fulfillment and strict application of rules. No rules, no perfection. In order to touch perfection, one has to exert extreme control over their actions as to never risk disobeying orders (or what are implicit orders, like following the crowd). Not only is it boring, but it is also a sure way to destroy creativity, put your intuition in a cage and send fun in exile in a galaxy far, far away (where it stays untouched and lonely).

But on the other hand, if you set a goal to be as imperfect as you could be, now you can be real, you can ask questions, wonder what could be, and finally show your genius to the world. You might want to rebel against the system, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. As in Equilibrium, a war against the system might just be what you need to change the status quo. And if there is anything that doesn’t feel right for you in the world, why wouldn’t you want to change it?

You can start right now, if you ask yourself this simple question: how can you imperfect today?