Popular wisdom holds that “curiosity killed the cat.” This phrase is used to warn people against being to inquisitive for their own good. If you don’t ask questions, you won’t find out any information that could get you dead. Eliminating curiosity is good for people or organizations with something to hide. It also good for those who want to exert dogmatic control on their followers. However, humans need to be curious. It improves imagination and leads to greater creativity.
Curiouser and Curiouser
As Alice traveled through Wonderland, she found things getting “curiouser and curiouser.” There were times when she regretted following the White Rabbit, but her adventures left her with stories that no one would ever believe. Alice may be fictional, but the lessons from her story are applicable to the real world. Take the path that curiosity leads you down and enjoy the journey.
The Path to New Things
Walt Disney said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” Curiosity allowed the Disney company to pioneer the first synchronized sound cartoon, the first color cartoon, the multi-plane camera, the first animated feature, the forerunner to stereo, the theme park, the first daily operating monorail in the Western Hemisphere, and so much more. Disney’s curiosity about a mechanical bird led to the development of audio-animatronics. For Walt and his company, curiosity led to innovations and success.
The Path to Innovation
“The path to innovation begins with curiosity,” wrote Bob Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company in his book “The Ride of a Lifetime” (affiliate link). Creativity happens at the intersection of subject matters. If you’re not interested in facts outside your subject matter you won’t be very creative, and you won’t be able to innovate without creativity. Learning about new subjects outside of your expertise may help you find a new solution that you can apply to your business, work, or personal life.
As curiosity increases, it improves imagination and leads to new ideas. It prevents intellectual stagnation and dogmatic thinking. More importantly, it leads to an improved quality of life. Keep going down the path and stay curious, my friends. If you want to know more about creativity, join our Patreon. Check out these books for more tips on creativity: “Disneyland Is Creativity,” “The Haunted Mansion Is creativity,” and “Penguinate! Positive Creativity.” For more Disney-related articles, essays, and fun, check out “Penguinate! the Disney Company.”