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Curious?: Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life Paperback – Bargain Price, December 7, 2010
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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.
How Curious? Will Help You [PDF] --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“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.” (—Marci Shimoff, author of Happy for No Reason )
“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 )
“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., and coauthor of Why Good Things Happen to Good People )
“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.” (—Zindel V. Segal, Ph.D., author of The Mindful Way Through Depression )
“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 )
More About the Author
I have been involved in positive psychology since its humble beginnings. As a Professor of Psychology and Senior Scientist at the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being at George Mason University, my work has focused on social relationships, anxiety, positive emotions, purpose in life, how personal strengths operate in everyday life, and how to foster and sustain happiness and meaning in life. For over 10 years, I have been teaching college courses on the science of well-being.
Discover more about me, my work, and speaking engagements at www.toddkashdan.com
Top Customer Reviews
The fundamental insight of this book, that simply reframing life events by using the lens of curiosity can help a person thrive, is useful. It made me think some about how I might reframe the way I approach situations that cause me anxiety--being in unfamiliar and crowded places, for example--by drawing on my abundant curiosity . What, I'm trying to ask myself, is interesting to observe in this unfamiliar and crowded place. Beyond the basic insight, however, this particular book does not add a lot to the positive psychology genre. The chapter on relationships, for example, is fine--lots of research shows that good relationships matter a lot for well-being.Read more ›
This energetically-written book does all of those things. It's an exciting trip through a way of looking at life that embraces challenge, uncertainty, and unfamiliar territory and gives readers some great tools - and a lot of enthusiasm - for transforming anxious and ambivalent moments into a force for growth and fulfillment. The science is top-notch and cutting-edge, and flows satisfyingly into strategies and exercises for unleashing the curious explorer that lurks within us. Unlike many books, Curious? doesn't simply argue that more is always better. Curiosity can lead to troubling places and create distress, too. The book takes a frank look at this side of curiosity.
Personally, I especially appreciated Dr. Kashdan's call to make the mundane mysterious. Too often, we get complacent and allow the most important things in our lives (people, jobs, values, our capacity to think deeply about the world) to settle in place like concrete. This book is a great wake-up call.
Curious? stimulates readers to reveal for themselves the opportunities and magic that lie all around.
In Curious, Todd Kashdan digs deeper, suggesting that a sense of curiosity, wonder, and meaning is the core of a "fulfilling life." This book is an intriguing mix of narrative, science, and practical advice. Kashdan illustrates how the science of curiosity can be put to use in daily life and how curiosity affects things as diverse as intimacy, purpose, mindfulness, relationship quality, intelligence, and, yes, even happiness. Importantly, he is candid and realistic about the dark aspects of curiosity, such as morbid interests, gossip, and obsessions.
There's a lot to say about this book---it covers an incredible amount of ground---but I suppose what it all comes down to is that I got a lot of out it. It's a provocative and illuminating book.
Kashdan's writing style in Curious? is scholarly, eloquent and attainable. Throughout the book Kashdan illustrates his research using clear analogies which draw his concepts within reach of a broad spectrum of audiences.
Instead of oversimplifying Curious? Kashdan constructs his framework through a meta-analysis of his own and other prominent scholars' research results. It is apparent that Curious? is a result of Kashdan's collaborations, life experiences and observations through clinical counseling; the book does not rests on one man's narrow ideas.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
when all added, why do percentages in Pie of Life seem to exceed 100%? Or have I missed something?Published 3 months ago by Nermin Zukic
One of my favorite pop psychology books. Have read the book at least 3 times now--gives me a surge of positive energy when I embrace the ideas. Read morePublished 7 months ago by psyc_forever
There are hundreds (if not thousands) of books on the subject of happiness. Many of them focus on the moment-to-moment elements like gratitude, joy, hope, etc. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Doug
There was a serious need for an editor's red pen to pare down and focus this rambling author. I cannot recommend it, as it states nothing new.Published 23 months ago by C Landrey
For a book that claimed not to be a self-help book, there was an unending stream of advice here. The central concept--approaching life with curiosity--is absolutely spot on, but I... Read morePublished on November 22, 2013 by Robert Stocking
This is the book you want to read when you're unsure about life, yourself, your relationships... at those times, read this book. Read morePublished on September 25, 2013 by Profit Book
The underlying message is very good but the author can't seem to help being preachy and it's full of pop-psychology.Published on September 12, 2013 by Lorraine Fine
I recently read this book because I came across a Utube video of Todd Kashdans called "Becoming a Mad Scientist with your Life" It peeked my curiosity! Read morePublished on May 10, 2013 by Curioustotheend
I'm an Assistant Professor and Health Psychologist at a major medical center. However, I don't teach - instead, I work directly with clients suffering from serious diseases - heart... Read morePublished on April 30, 2013 by Colin