“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” Albert Einstein.
Great, I’m incredibly curious so that means my brain must be an encyclopedia of relevant information, right? On the contrary, all that’s happening is that I’m training my brain to be a giant book of useless information – that’s actually a book that we have at home by the way, as my mum has a fetish for crosswords so these things come in handy. Now the problem with a curious mind is that it’s rarely still – the poor thing doesn’t even know the meaning of the word.
At 6.10am on New Years Day I was full of beans and had researched everything from: hair porosity; alkaline foods; the pH of hair products; the Paleo Diet aka eating Caveman style; adrenal fatigue; facial puffiness and how I can’t fix hereditary undereye bags; then was swayed by the Daily Mail’s celebrity sidebar so read about Beyonce and Jay Z’s vegan challenge, and Googled what Kelly Rowland’s boo, Tim Witherspoon looks like when I finally decided that enough was enough. Part of this blog got drafted because after a whole night of restlessness the words were being sounded out in my head so I grabbed my phone, headed for the notepad app and tapped like a fiend in the dark. At 2pm I opened my curtains to grey skies and raindrops wondering where the freaking day had gone and told myself that this can’t happen again tomorrow.
To stop our understanding of subjects and issues being purely superficial, then of course we have to enlighten ourselves. The problem lies in that the internet is laden with people who know absolutely nothing and shift information from one dodgy source to their own site of unfounded claims so by the end of it, you still don’t have a grasp on what it was you set out to look into. But it’s quite simple to make research/ surfing time more efficient and satisfying:
1. Be your own guinea pig
Discovering that the pH levels of beauty products can be a major reason as to why they do or don’t work for us, I now want to go further and buy test strips to use at home. There are some things that you just can’t rely on others to test for you. Again, with diet and nutrition, there are so many opinions out there that until you try it yourself, you have no real clue as with a lot, it’s trial and error.
2. Try to invalidate your own opinion
Not enough people go out of their way to disprove their own opinion but it only makes sense because we’re influenced by so many outlets. Whether you like to admit it or not, initially a lot of what we think and say isn’t our point of view alone, plus just because you’ve said it a thousand times doesn’t make it any truer unless you can definitely prove it.
3. Seek peer-reviewed journals
Chances are someone has already done research into the area that you’re curious about and journals aren’t just for traditional medicine or science – they hold a wealth of well-validated and interesting stuff. Blogs are amazing for community, perspectives and often a great starting point but it’s always wise to go off and dig a little deeper, depending on the topic.
4. Jump on forums
Discussion with others who have done it, doing it or that want to do it; been there, perhaps wore the t-shirt to prove it – in a lot of cases those who take the time to comment on forums do so to genuinely share something of benefit to others. You can easily spot the comments to ignore but forums are an open invitation to voice whatever it is you need to, and have a human talk back.
“No cures exist for curiosity so exercise it responsibly, and don’t listen to everybody.” Vicky Gayle
Happy New Year.