Dead cats. That's the image many people conjure up when you mention curiosity. An image perpetuated by a dusty old proverb that has long represented the extent of our understanding of the term. This book might not put the proverb to rest, but it will flip it upside down: far from killing anything, curiosity breathes new life into almost everything it touches.
In Curious? Dr. Todd Kashdan offers a profound new message missing from so many books on happiness: the greatest opportunities for joy, purpose, and personal growth don't, in fact, happen when we're searching for happiness. They happen when we are mindful, when we explore what's novel, and when we live in the moment and embrace uncertainty. Positive events last longer and we can extract more pleasure and meaning from them when we are open to new experiences and relish the unknown.
Dr. Kashdan uses science, story, and practical exercises to show you how to become what he calls a curious explorer—a person who's comfortable with risk and challenge and who functions optimally in an unstable, unpredictable world. Here's a blueprint for building lasting, meaningful relationships, improving health, increasing creativity, and boosting productivity. Aren't you curious to know more?
How Curious? Will Help You: An Essay by Todd Kashdan
Without question, happiness is important. Who doesn't want to be happy and wish the same for their loved ones? But this book is not limited to happiness. This is a book about living a life that matters with a broader view about what the "good life" entails. Much of what we desire often has nothing to do with happiness but is just as important. This includes meaning and purpose in life, wisdom, satisfying relationships, the ability to tolerate distress, spirituality, creativity, compassion, feeling a sense of competence and mastery, and so on. Sometimes trying to be happy actually gets in the way of making inroads toward these other elements. Effectively handling the pain and stress that life brings is an essential part of creating a rich, meaningful existence.When you adopt this broad view of what matters, an important question remains that this entire book hinges on. What is essential to creating a fulfilling life? The answer is…
- Being curious.
- Being open to new experiences.
- Being able to effectively manage ambiguity and uncertainty.
- Being able to adapt to the demands required of different situations (what I call “psychological flexibility”).
- Discovering our strengths, deepest values, and what it is we are passionate about.
- Strengthening connections to these values and passionate pursuits so that we can pursue a life aligned with them.
This book provides a closer look at curiosity; a neglected and underappreciated strength in our arsenal. People regularly ignore curiosity because it appears, on the surface, to be a very obvious, simple, impotent emotion--something unusual appears or someone captivates us by a story, we feel curious, and direct our attention to explore further. But while this emotion seemed simplistic even to me, as I began my research, I soon discovered that curiosity is a deeper, more complex phenomenon that plays a critical role in what makes people’s lives most worth living. Curiosity is the spark plug that ignites other factors that contribute to happiness and meaning in life. You can't work with strengths until you spot them and investigate them. You can't be grateful without being curious about what benefits you received in your life.
Besides a better understanding of curiosity, readers will be introduced to strategies for becoming a more curious explorer. By reclaiming curiosity and learning how to wield it, readers will be able to demonstrably alter the quality of their lives. A good portion of this book focuses on how to find, create, and sustain fulfilling moments and a fulfilling life.
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. -- David G. Myers, author, The Pursuit of Happiness
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! -- Stephen Post, Ph.D., co-author of Why Good Things Happen to Good People
Curious? will wake you up to the rewards, adventures, and meaning inherent in both life's most momentous and most quotidian moments. -- Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., author of The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want