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Animals, masters of their soft skills: episode 1/4

“Curiosity is the essential basis of education, and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I will simply reply that the cat died nobly”

Arnold EDINBOROUGH

New month, new topic!

We brainstormed for hours -at least- to find a new topic, and we realized that at emage-me we all live with pets. On a daily basis, these life companions teach us about many things.

We then asked ourselves: why not be inspired by them to do our best & develop our soft skills? It’s true, even if they are often professionals of the worst timing, sock thieves or even sofa destroyers, they master some soft skills like masters! So this week let’s get inspired…. From the cat! 😺

By observing their lifestyle, we envy them: sleeping, playing, eating, asking for cuddles, it’s still another rhythm than metro, work, sleep! Moreover, a simple purr of our friend the cat and our anxieties are soothed. Elegant, leader & calm the cat accumulates many qualities. As the writer Ernest Hemingway said so well:

“The cat is absolutely honest: human beings hide, for one reason or another, their feelings. Cats do not.”

Cats are about being true, honest & whole, living in the present and only in the present. This zen attitude can certainly help us through the times we are living in. Be calm, serene and take each situation as it comes. The cat really does have it all together, let’s all become cats, right now! 😸

Joking aside, he has a soft skill that he masters perfectly and that often intrigues us, it is his curiosity. Indeed, it is often that the cat, challenged by a new object, a new accessory, will point the tip of his face to come and inspect.

Is this curiosity a quality or a defect? We often hear about “misplaced” or “unhealthy” curiosity, or even curiosity as a “nasty flaw”. However, we must give curiosity a better reputation. Curiosity is a skill that is indispensable in today’s world. Indeed, it is defined as follows:

Female noun (Latin curiositas, -atis): Quality of someone who has the desire to know, to know.

This soft-skills, too often decried, is finally what will give us inspiration, creativity, open-mindedness (the list is not exhaustive).

For the cat, curiosity is vital, it is what will question him and help him to know if the things he sees are dangers or not. He will be interested, take the thing as it is and analyze it. He will then by himself determine (easy this one) if there is a risk or not.

😺 The cat, curious by nature

At birth, kittens are blind and deaf, but begin to explore their living space by sniffing at every step. At the age of three weeks, little kittens become increasingly curious about the environment around them: they turn into a real tornado. The curiosity of cats is manifested by their strong survival instinct, inherited from their wild ancestors. Why a simple cardboard box can arouse so much curiosity in them? The explanation lies in a natural defense mechanism, which their ancestors applied when they felt in danger. The reason why cats are so attracted to boxes, is because they are looking for a safe place, away from the sight of predators. 📦

Even though they are a domesticated species, cats have not lost their hunting reflexes (you have real wildcats in your home, and apparently according to some sources, they plan to take over the world 😱). This impulse to hunt explains why cats spend the day examining every nook and cranny, watching carefully and observing every movement so as to catch a small prey.

This curiosity, vital for cats will allow them to discover their territory & universe perpetually and create a serene climate. For a cat, every day is a new adventure, new discoveries. We would do well to be inspired by it!

😺 How to become as curious as cats?

What cats and animals in general teach us is to reconnect to the “here and now”. Cats discover & rediscover every day, they feed their curiosity and open up endless perspectives. Curiosity brings novelty, a breath of fresh air, a certain calmness and a state of joy that must be cultivated. These attributes are essential to personal growth & well-being.

To become real cats, you must not be afraid to LEARN. To develop your curiosity, you have to learn, no matter what the information or the news is, the main thing is to stimulate your thirst to learn and get information (without going to extremes, otherwise it becomes a defect).

We must be curious about everything and analyze different situations to better understand them. Stay alert and find our natural instincts. What prevents us from being curious, from learning? Fear of the new, lasciviousness, lack of confidence? So do your cat, relearn to be permanently alert. Cats have the behavior that children can also have, so if it seems easier for you, find your childish soul!

😺 Becoming a cat ok! But applied to the world of work what does it look like?

Our professional activities are constantly subject to the need to innovate. To complete our projects, we must constantly “have ideas”, “imagine”, “find the useful solution” that will generate measurable effects.

Curiosity acts as a double stimulus for innovation, firstly through its direct link with creativity and secondly in its role as a motivating factor to sustain interest in a given field.

Being creative then means thinking outside the box and finding different, unconventional ways. But it is not only about coming up with original ideas. Before Archimedes could shout Eureka, he had to ask himself the right question. In other words, to find innovative solutions, you have to be able to set a goal and ask yourself questions by looking at things from a different, unconventional angle.

Keeping one’s curiosity alive favors opportunities that we will call, in hindsight, lucky breaks. And what better proof than that of Apple, whose founder Steve Jobs said:

“Much of what I discovered completely by chance by following my curiosity and intuition proved invaluable later on.”

Like a child in wonder or a cat, our minds should never stop questioning to discover, understand, learn and evolve the world!

😺 The checklist to become as curious as a cat:

✅ Marvel at the everyday

✅ Learn 1 thing a day

✅ Be a good listener

✅ Be attentive

✅ Cultivate the “here and now

✅ Find your childlike soul

✅ Be judgmental

The final word on this first installment of our series: BE CURIOUS!

Time spent with a cat is never wasted.

Colette

😺 Sources:

  • Acting and thinking like a cat, Stephane Garnier
  • My-Animals
  • my-psychotherapist.com
  • Central Test
  • Larousse