“In some capacity, every human is trying to make sense of the world”. So writes Todd Kashdan in his book Curious. The extent to how mindfully we are making sense of our world and the benefits that mindful curiosity can bring is the focus of the book Curious.
The 8th inescapable truth outlined in the Intentionomics Blueprint is to develop a thirst for intentional learning and Todd Kashdan’s book Curious is a wonderful text of validation for that inescapability that being a life-long intentional learner will help you be more happy, to flourish and to prosper.
Kashdan’s premise is that “we have been sold on the idea that being happy is the only or most important goal in life.” This may sound contradictory to my own premise that the purpose of life is to be happy. However, when you realise that my definition of ‘being happy’ is not about the feeling of happiness, or to feel happy at all times, and that it is about experiencing all human emotions and to flourish and prosper, there is a strong alignment with Kashdan’s premise. He goes on to say that “We ignore the other important pieces of the puzzle, such as meaning in life, maturity, wisdom and compassion.”
Kashdan defines being curious as “how we relate to our thoughts and feelings. It’s not about whether we pay attention but how we pay attention to what is happening in the present.”
Because “curiosity is hard-wired in the brain, and its specific function is to urge us to explore, discover, and grow”, Kashdan’s book becomes a ‘how to’ experience for the reader that practically outlines not just why we need to be proactively curious, but how to go about it in practical and easy-to-implement ways.
Kashdan points out that “when we act on our curiosity, we feed our brains and are in the greatest position to enrich our lives.” He warns us to be “wary of the need for certainty” because as things will always be changing, wanting certainty can be restrictive and counter-productive to our sense of well-being.
There are five benefits of harnessing curiosity outlined by Kashdan:
- Meaning and purpose in life
- Social relationships and
Kasdan offers two simple processes (simple, not necessarily easy) at the heart of a fulfilling life. The first is triggering intrigue and the second is sustaining interest.
There is a powerful values clarification exercise to help you align your mindful intentional actions – a life full of actions aligned with your personal values is a life well lived.
At work Kashdan offers the following advice:
- Discover your strengths
- Bring your strengths into the workplace
- Find a secure base
- Take action
- Focus on people
- Find a link between your own identity, your work and your work team
- Become more curious by remembering to be more curious
Kashdan’s book Curious will help you to define what Purpose really means in your life and why purpose and meaning are so important to living a happy, flourishing and prosperous life.
There are so many other wonderful lessons and insights in this book – far too many to summarise in this book review.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, highly recommend it to you.