Curiosity and Learning

Most of the time I believe that I’m fairly intelligent.  I have my ditzy days, as does everyone but, on the whole, I live up to the expectations of my relatively high IQ.  I’ve had doubts about my intellectual capacity through my whole life as studying and exams never really floated my boat and I found school tedious, boring and couldn’t wait to leave. I don’t believe there was even one subject that really piqued my interest and made me want to know more.

I enjoyed playing the piano when I was younger but my teacher was constantly putting pressure on me to take exams and progress to the next level which, for me, took the fun out of it and I lost interest.

When I went into IT, I felt a bit like a sponge: everything was so new and interesting that I absorbed a shedload of knowledge, despite being slightly overwhelmed at the amount that was there to be acquired.  At the start of my second job in IT, I was expected to take the Microsoft exams.  This was probably the only time I’ve ever not minded being expected to show some form of qualification for my studies and I passed them within a couple of months, acquiring the (then) heady title of “Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer” and was indeed very proud of it.  Once I’d got the qualification however, my interest in acquiring further official qualifications was lost.

Through my whole life there have been plenty of things that interested me although any potential careers which came under my scrutiny were relatively quickly discarded as they all required a period of further education and (obviously) exams.  I don’t like exams.  I simply don’t do well at them.  The need for examination seems to kill my curiosity.  Completely.

It occurred to me a few years ago that I only seem to have the capability of acquiring large tranches of new information when I have an active interest in a subject.  I lost interest in IT when it became obvious that I needed to read and study almost constantly in order to keep up with technological developments as the pace of change was so rapid.  Bored.  Moved on.  I’m still undecided whether this is part of my control freak nature.

I’ve learned a lot about thyroid conditions in the last six weeks.  I’m not saying that I know as much as any doctor, but I certainly seem to have far more curiosity about it than most of the GPs in this country, judging by the forums in which I participate.  I obviously have a vested interest because I’ve discovered that I have Hashimoto’s disease, despite being unofficially diagnosed.  The way I look at it is that if looks like a duck and quacks, the chances are high that it’s not a kitten!

A friend of mine recently suggested that I had a fear of success.  Interesting.  She may not be too far off the mark I guess and it’s certainly given me some food for thought.  I’ve always told myself that I just have a low boredom threshold.  Maybe it’s down to my (seeming) total lack of ambition: I’ve never wanted to be better than anyone else at anything.  Oh, hang on, I lie.  When I was training to be a secretary, I always wanted to be the fastest typist in the class, which I was :).  Since then, I don’t recall consciously ever wanting to be better than anyone.  I’m happy mooching along and doing my own thing until I find something that really interests me.  Then I tend to read everything I can find on the subject and learn as much as possible.

I’ve always wondered why it is that not everyone shares this particular trait …

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12 thoughts on “Curiosity and Learning

    1. Haha! If only it were that simple! They say that you do your best to live up to your internal dialogue and mine has been pretty negative through most of my life. I’ve just about got that particular problem licked but not sure whether there are still some remnants kicking around. The last time my IQ was tested it came out at 148 but that was quite a while ago – I’m not sure I’d describe myself as super capable 😐

      1. Might be subconscious. If everything has always come easy to you I would bet you feel secure on some deep level despite the negative self talk.

      2. Isn’t ‘fear of success’ as equally simplistic as my notion? Especially as it’s the kind of buzzy thing people spout without really thinking.

      3. I mean it’s not like you’re not a psychology phd, talking to a farmer. Kinda resent the ‘if only it were that simple’ patronisation.

      4. In fact, your arrogance here in your dealings with me, that first sentence of the comment for instance, kinda suggests that what Im saying is correct. Ive got a degree thats 50 psycholgy mate. Dont talk down to people automatically yeah?

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