Only the curious learn | Value Research The 'eagerness to learn' tendency, the tendency to remain curious of one's surroundings pays off

Only the curious learn

The 'eagerness to learn' tendency, the tendency to remain curious of one's surroundings pays off

Only the curious learn

What is it? This is the tendency to remain curious of one's surroundings. The curiosity tendency is indeed a curious entry in Munger's list of tendencies. You may wonder why. Because it apparently is a positive tendency. Says Munger, "Curiosity, enhanced by the best of modern education (which is by definition a minority part in many places), much helps man to prevent or reduce bad consequences arising from other psychological tendencies."

Do not underestimate the power of curiosity. Many inventions and accidental discoveries have been found to have begun as curiosities. This behaviour is an ancient practice that old civilisations benefitted from. Says Munger, "Athens (including its colony, Alexandria) developed much math and science out of pure curiosity while the Romans made almost no contribution to either math or science. They instead concentrated their attention on the "practical" engineering of mines, roads, aqueducts, etc."

Often found in: Sources of learning, inventions and discoveries

In Life: Curiosity is often the basis of learning. Without curiosity, one cannot develop the desire to learn. And with continuous learning comes great payoffs. Says Munger, "The curious are also provided with much fun and wisdom once formal education has ended."

In corporations: The lack of curiosity in corporations can often result in disastrous results. Companies need to keep an open mind about how changes in environment could affect operations.

In Investing: Rather than looking out for the next hot stock, researching a stock with a curious mind is likely to produce better results. You won't be vulnerable to any bad tips or stocks that your broker tells you.

You just read about one of the misjudgements people generally make while investing. Read 25 ways to (Not) make mistakes to get an account of Charlie Munger's twenty-five typical misjudgements, along with our commentary on how they fit into Indian businesses and Indian investments.

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