School of Curiosity

School of Curiosity

School of Curiosity

Explore. Dream. Discover.

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Don’t worry….be happy

August 5, 2013

There’s a Dutch psychologist called Ad Kerkhof who specialises in suicide prevention. Perhaps not the most perky subject for a Monday morning, but wait….the principles he has developed and proven, apply to less extreme situations too, like the worrying that we all do.

He has found that people worry about one topic more than any other – the future, often believing that the more hours they spend contemplating it, the more likely they are to find a solution to their problems. But this isn’t the case, and though his techniques may sound remarkably straightforward, they are all backed up by trials.

Here’s one of his ideas.

Set aside a time for worrying. Your worries relate to real and practical problems in your life, so you cannot rid yourself of them altogether, but you can learn to control when you think about them. Telling people not to think of their worries isn’t going to work. Instead Kerkhof recommends the opposite. Set aside 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening to do nothing but worry about the future. Sit at a table, make a list of all your problems and then think about them. But as soon as the time is up you must stop worrying, and whenever those worries come back into your head remind yourself that you can’t contemplate them again until your next worry time. You have given yourself permission to postpone your worrying until the time of your choice. Remarkably, it can work. It puts you in control.

Have a curious day.



The School of Curiosity ‘End of Summer School’ dates announced

July 30, 2013

If only all classrooms were like this! The view from The School of Curiosity.

It’s official!

The School of Curiosity ‘End of Summer School, will take place over three days and three fabulous nights overlooking one of the world’s most beautiful bays on 23rd, 24th and 25th October 2013, in Villefranche-sur-Mer, France.

You can find out more details on the ’2013 Summer School’ page. Full programme details and information on how to book will be coming soon.

Cultural cognitive dissonance

July 2, 2013


From time to time, we are probably all pretty good at thinking that we live in a culture that’s a just a little bit superior to others. A recent question posted on Quora asked people to contemplate the question “What strikes you as odd about your own culture”.

The responses are funny, interesting, disturbing and sometimes downright bizarre. For example, India makes 3000 movies a year of which 95% are love stories. According to Anjishnu Kumar,  ”…The same society that consumes thousands of love stories for its weekly entertainment, has an arranged marriage rate of 80%+ in urban middle-class areas, and 100% in rural areas. Inter-caste and inter-faith marriages are almost like a statistical error”.

We also learn that Dutch people eat stuff that the rest of the world finds strange. Have a look here

Have a curious day.

The abandoned

July 1, 2013


There’s a certain beauty in abandonment. Here’s a link to a site that has compiled the 33 most beautiful abandoned places in the world

Indeed they are beautiful, but think of all of those amazing ideas that you have in the past abandoned. Maybe if you look at them from another angle you will find a certain beauty in abandonment, and perhaps a place worth revisiting.

Have a curious day.

It’s the skin you’re in

June 27, 2013


The twin role played by the skin – protection from excessive UV radiation and absorption of enough sunlight to trigger the production of vitamin D – means that people living in the lower latitudes, close to the Equator, with intense UV radiation, have developed darker skin to protect them from the damaging effects of UV radiation. In contrast, those living in the higher latitudes, closer to the Poles, have developed fair skin to maximize vitamin D production”.

There is a third role for skin. We often use it to make assumptions about people, which is rather like judging them on the basis of the brand of sunscreen they use. It’s not a great predictor of what kind of person they are.

Have a curious day.



June 24, 2013

Philosopher Alain de Botton has expounded a list of virtues for a modern age – a kind of ten commandments for atheists.

We like his number 10 virtue, it reminds us of Maria in the ancient but great film The Sound of Music – who was a nun by the way and therefore probably not an atheist at all. It’s this…

10. Confidence. The greatest projects and schemes die for no grander reasons than that we don’t dare. Confidence isn’t arrogance, it’s based on a constant awareness of how short life is and how little we ultimately lose from risking everything.

All together now….”I’ve got confidence in sunshine, I’ve got confidence in rain….tra, la,la”

Have a curious day.




The slow hunch

June 21, 2013

The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, when the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why.

Albert Einstein

They call it the slow hunch. Don’t be in such a hurry.

Have a curious day.

Don Juan….no not that one

June 18, 2013

Here’s some wise words from Don Juan – no not the much written about Spanish womaniser – I mean the Mexican shaman of the same name; but you knew that didn’t you?

He speaks about the ‘enemies’ we will encounter before we can become ‘a man [woman] of knowledge’:

“The first enemy we will encounter is Fear, [and] if we turn away our life can become harmless and ineffective. Dispelling the fear leads to the second enemy – Clarity of Mind – through which we may become assured and courageous. But if this newly acquired sense turns into a feeling of invincibility, it will block our pathway to further learning and understanding.

Having attained clarity of mind, we will then meet our third enemy –  Power, which can blind us and divert us from pursuing our quest for learning. At this point, the danger is that we may come to the end of our life without ever understanding our selves and the world about us.

By defeating these three enemies, we have no more fears; our clarity of mind and the self-control over power mean that we are almost at the end of our quest, but we must now confront the last enemy –Old Age. This is a battle we can and must fight while knowing we can never win….if we give in to tiredness or yearn to rest we will become feeble and loose our clarity, power and knowledge. But….if he ‘lives his fate….he can be called a man of knowledge, if only for a brief moment when he succeeds in fighting off his last invincible enemy. That moment of clarity, power and knowledge is enough”.

That brief moment creeps ever closer, so make sure you have a curious day.


The bump, bump, bump of the head

June 17, 2013

“Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin.

It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping a moment and think of it. From Winnie-The-Pooh, by A.A. Milne.

Stop bumping your head for a moment and have a curious day.



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