Most children are inquisitive and they ask a lot of questions. For some reason, as people mature they begin to accept things. They neglect the sense of wonder they once had. Maintaining a sense of curiosity as an adult can be beneficial in many ways.

The most brilliant minds in history had one thing in common. They were curious people with an insatiable appetite to know more. Certainly the quest for knowledge will make you smarter. In addition, curious people are always thinking and their minds are active. The more you use your brain, the stronger it becomes. Over time, curious people tend to be better problem solvers. They see solutions that most people do not.

Curious people do not accept how things appear on the surface. They are always looking for better ways. Sometimes this quest for improvement leads to improved productivity. Sometimes it exposes amazing new opportunities and innovations.

Curious people tend to be better listeners, too. They have a genuine interest in learning from the people around them. This interest is noticeable and it is appreciated. They also ask interesting questions, which spark engaging discussions.

As a result, curious people tend to have stronger relationships.

What physiological effects does curiosity have on the human body? Several studies have shown small amounts of dopamine are released in the brain when curios people solve a problem or discover something new. Dopamine has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and depression. Healthy levels of dopamine are vital for concentration, motivation, productivity and confidence. As a result, curious people tend to be happier and healthier.

How do you increase your curiosity level?

Become interested in people around you. Ask questions, listen and learn from them. Make a conscious effort to explore things you are not interested in. Find something you take for granted and ask yourself “why?”

Bill Nordbrock is vice president of community relations for SCORE Southern Arizona, a nonprofit that offers free small-business counseling and mentoring by appointment. For information, go to southernarizona.score.org, send an email to mentoring@scoresouthernaz.org or call 505-3636.