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Urgency vs. Curiosity: How Your Brain Responds

If you were to estimate, what portion of your day is your mind filled with a sense of urgency versus curiosity?

Many individuals live their lives in a perpetual state of urgency, constantly rushing through their days.

  • The weight of expectations to excel.

  • The urge to accomplish tasks efficiently and effectively.

  • The anticipation of what the future may hold.

However, there is an important point to consider:

The sense of urgency you're experiencing could potentially impact your memory.

A recent study conducted at Duke University examined individuals' recollection of a video game experience. Participants were deliberately induced to feel either a sense of urgency or curiosity.

The study revealed that individuals experiencing curiosity demonstrated improved memory recall the next day, in contrast to those experiencing a sense of urgency.

It's truly remarkable how we possess the ability to transform our mindset and perspective!

Thoughtful woman gazing out of a window, lost in contemplation and deep in thought

Imagine, the next time you sit down (or show up) to work, you start by taking a few moments to...

  • Breathe in deeply.

  • Establish a positive intention.

  • Wonder.

Would you be willing to give it a try?


Sinclair AH, Wang YC, Adcock RA. Instructed motivational states bias reinforcement learning and memory formation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023;120(31). [link]


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