Deep within us lies an overlooked quality that fosters learning, creativity, and even job satisfaction. Curious? Find out what it is now.

Curiosity’s simple dictionary definition of “the desire to know something” is powerful in and of itself. When we are interested in a subject, the information we are learning becomes more deeply imprinted and is easier to access when it is later necessary. A 2014 study showed that participants were much more likely to recall the faces presented to them if they went along with a trivia question that piqued their interest. When we’re trying to learn something new and difficult, this additional and unexpected memory boost could be quite helpful. After all, it is improbable to find every aspect of our study to be engaging. But if we can develop a little curiosity about at least part of the information, we could discover that the rest of it also sticks much better. Our patience might be strengthened through curiosity as well. Abigail Hsiung, a Ph.D. candidate at Duke University in North Carolina, conducted a recent, unpublished study that showed how participants were more willing to wait to learn the answer to a riddle when they were curious. Lengthier study and deeper understanding are likely to result from greater patience and sustained participation in education, especially for challenging topics. This may explain why curiosity is such a powerful predictor of academic success.

Interested in learning more about the advantages of curiosity? As physicist Richard Feynman said, “Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough.” Don’t stay in your lane, and learn more!