Stay Curious

Is staying curious the most important thing you can do?

I belong to a couple of different National Park groups on Facebook. There are some great pictures and we've gotten a lot of useful info for our trips. Often, people will post questions about trips they're planning. On one such post, the person said her husband wanted to go to a park they'd never been to while she wanted to go back to the same couple of parks they been to before (more than once as I read her post).

Choosing the familiar over the unfamiliar is a common human behavior (there's an investing implication coming) but the post was sad in a way. It is important to learn new things, see new places and have different experiences. Aside from making life more interesting I have to believe there is psychic value to doing new things, even things that make us uncomfortable--not picking up a poisonous snake uncomfortable, more like having to figure out a new place uncomfortable. I lump this in with the idea of staying curious which is not always easy for people to do. I am learning that someone close to me does not have an ounce of curiosity in them and it has created awkwardness.

Sticking with the same subject, my wife and I go up to the Grand Canyon every year, the North Rim is six hours away and we just go for a couple of days. We mix the familiarity of that with going to new places, last fall we went to some new (to us) parks in Colorado and also took a big trip to Australia last April. We obviously mix the familiar with the unfamiliar but always taking the same trip and nothing but the same trip is a cycle that I would encourage people to break.

A totally unrelated example of this relates to changing your diet. About three years ago I reduced my sugar intake dramatically and then about two and half years ago I began intermittent fasting (I just skip breakfast). In doing tons of studying on these things I have concluded that everything we were told that was bad about fatty diets actually pertains to sugary diets (understanding that carb=sugar) and that cutting sugar prevents/solves a lot of health problems. I've also concluded that the concerns about cholesterol are flat out wrong, cholesterol (high cholesterol) is not the enemy. Do the research, draw your own conclusion. The point is as a function of curiosity, I learned something new and had the flexibility to do things differently with big results; A1C way down, lost 30lbs I didn't know I needed to lose while maintaining the amount of weight I workout with which I take to mean I lost no muscle mass. It is common for people to lose muscle mass when they try to lose weight which is a bad outcome. The last couple of years I did the pack test in a faster time than I'd done the previous few years (pack test is the physical requirement to fight wildfires where you hike for three miles wearing a 45 pound pack in 45 minutes or less).

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