“Curious? is one of those rare books that can make you rethink how you see the world.”—Arianna Huffington
“This is the perfect book to read when you are having second thoughts about challenging yourself to explore that next step in life!”—Stephen Post, Ph.D., coauthor of Why Good Things Happen to Good People
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About the Author
Todd Kashdan, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at George Mason University. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post, and on NPR and PBS. He lives with his wife and twin daughters in Fairfax, Virginia.
What People are Saying About This
“Todd Kashdan gives us the tools, language, and plan to put a life change into effect. And the journey can be as happy as the destination.”
“Combining well-designed self-help with state-of-the-art positive psychology and profoundly inspiring stories, this is the perfect book to read when you are having second thoughts about challenging yourself to explore that next step in life!”
“Curiosity is what makes for great leaders, great parents, and great friends. Buttressed by the latest scientific research, Curious? is one of those rare books that can make you rethink how you see the world.”
“Curious? points the way to an exploring spirit that leads to wonderment, joy, and meaning. It’s one of those rare books that is both research-based and practical.”
“A vivid and pragmatic account of the mental alchemy through which curiosity and interest transform stress, fear, and pain into vital elements conducive to more purposeful living.”
“Curious? will wake you up to the rewards, adventures, and meaning inherent in both life’s most momentous and most quotidian moments.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What's missing from life? You need to follow those intuitions and dreams that you have. Live life to its fullest and cultivate your intelligence and curiosity. I wonder if this book and advice works for the not intellectually inclined, as well? An academic study with interesting workbook pages for self improvement. A good way to improve both your professional and personal life.
My feelings about Curious are¿ambiguous. I think it¿s a good book, but perhaps not a great one. Part self-help manual, part lecture series for undergrad psych majors, the book attempts to tie everything he wants to say to his audience to the concept of curiosity and at times seems forced. Kashdan¿s writing style didn¿t resonate with me and while I enjoyed the topic I really didn¿t like reading the book, and went through it more quickly than it may have merited. I found I got a lot more out of it when I started outlining the concepts for myself.The book describes why curiosity is an important ingredient in our lives ¿ that it¿s the engine of personal growth, that it enhances intelligence, and gives life meaning and purpose. It discusses the biological basis of curiosity and considers the role of curiosity in everyday life, including the effect of curiosity on lasting interests (which the author contends must be linked to our values, shared, supported, and come from within in order to be sustained).There¿s a chapter on the value of curiosity in overcoming anxiety (stop worrying about what you¿re worried about and start exploring it, and you¿ll conquer your fears, which seems to work well with the examples he uses, the boy who¿s afraid of bugs; but may be a little simplistic when it comes to other anxiety). He even discusses the downside of curiosity, when curiosity becomes obsession, or leads to nosiness, gossip, and sensation-seeking behavior of all kinds, before tying everything back together about curiosity and our search for meaning.I really think my problem with this book is with the writing style, as I¿d be a lot more enthusiastic about reading this book based on my outline of it than I ultimately ended up being. So I¿d recommend it with qualifications; definitely a YMMV work.
I enjoyed this book, but not quite as much as I had hoped to. I had wrongly primed myself to think that it would be more about the neuroscience behind curiosity. Instead, I felt the book was more about ways to increase one's openness to various experiences and relationships, etc. as a way to increase one's resilience and explore meaning in one's life, with less depth about what happens in our brains when we do so. I believe this book is therefore more of a "self-help" book than an expose of rigorous scientific study about curiosity. For example, the author does briefly theorize why evolution can select for curiosity and what benefits it may confer in doing so, however this is not explored in rigorous depth, before the author goes on to explain how curiosity might help a marriage or relationship and so forth, and, later, how curiosity can turn into morbid fascinations. There were so many loosely-related concepts that when I read the last paragraph(s) of the book, I was surprised that there was not a final tying of the conclusion back to curiosity, which occurred instead a few paragraphs before the end. (I had expected a strong tie-back to curiosity and its specific importance to be in the very conclusion of the book.) That said, there was brief mention of other scientific studies on the mechanisms of mindfulness, openness, and so forth on happiness or, perhaps more accurately "resilience" and meaning/purpose-making in life, as well as brief examples of the author's own experiences and research. I had hoped for some more "depth", though I am having difficulty expressing exactly what I mean: Perhaps it is that I expected more about CURIOSITY itself than this collection of a number of related items that seem to fit more under "well-being" than specifically curiosity, though curiosity is a component. Perhaps what I'm trying to say is that I don't feel that the author proved to me that CURIOSITY is, in itself, as big/crucial/central for one's life as he claims it to be.Todd Kashdan certainly seems enthusiastic, open, and CURIOUS himself, and I give him credit for that. He sounds interesting and, I think, would be fun to talk to. I still recommend one reading this book and drawing one's own conclusions.