The Leonardo Trait – Subtrait Five: Curiosity [Book Excerpt]

Insatiable curiosity is the Fifth Subtrait of The Leonardo Trait - The Leonardo Trait - Angie DixonThis is an excerpt from The Leonardo Trait: How Creative People Can Turn Creative Eccentricity into a Life You Love.

Curiosity didn’t kill the cat, but it plays a vital role in the personality of the Leonardo. We’ll look at how and why curiosity is so important as we explore the fifth sub-trait.

Leonardos are discoverers. We find something new every day, everywhere we go, with everything we do.

As much as we discover, you’d think we’d soon run out of things to discover, but happily that’s not possible.

James Burke, on his show Connections, once said that roughly 400 years ago one man could know everything that could be known. Of course, I think the show was 20 years ago. But still. Aren’t you glad you weren’t born 500 years ago?

Admit it. You peek at tabloid headlines in the checkout lane.

And I bet you listen to people’s conversations in restaurants.

We’re curious people.

My favorite software program is StumbleUpon, a browser plug-in that pulls up random web pages in categories I select. I could Stumble for hours, and sometimes do.

I don’t believe curiosity killed the cat. I think it was bludgeoned to death by someone with no imagination.

Creativity, according to Sam Harrison’s ideaspotting, is a matter of asking questions and then asking different questions, aimed at getting the best answer (Harrison, 2006, p. 86).

I’m also fond of a loosely translated quote from Leonardo: “Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is in the doing something else.”

This chapter on curiosity is the shortest of the sub-trait chapters. You may be wondering about that, since the chapter is about curiosity.

The fact is that curiosity is one of the sub-traits and one of the most important elements of the Leonardo’s personality. It’s also the hardest to explain and to talk about at length.

So I’m going to go with the probably-not-from-Leonardo quote again. Life is pretty simple. You do some stuff. And so on.

Subtrait One | Subtrait Two | Subtrait Three | Subtrait Four | Subtrait Five

Kitten Photo by Gracey. Image created by Angie Dixon.