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Curious?: Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life Paperback – Bargain Price, December 7, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; Reprint edition (December 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061661198
  • ASIN: B005DI9XJI
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,660,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By A. M. Guest on August 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is one of what seems to be an exploding genre, I would guess based largely on the success of Daniel Gilbert's "Stumbling on Happiness," where academic psychologists doing work related to positive psychology take their basic area of research and try to translate it for a mass audience. Others include "The Happiness Hypothesis" by Haidt, "Positivity" by Fredrickson, "Happiness" by the Dieners, "The How of Happiness" by Lyubomirsky, etc.. A cynic would say they are cashing in (as Colbert might say--let the market decide), but being more generous one might say they are simply trying to make psychological science accessible. Either way, you can't really blame them. Most of these folks do good research and such work should have accessible outlets. Todd Kashdan, the author of "Curious" is not at this point among the top academic psychologists in these areas (as are, say, Fredrickson or Haidt or Diener--Kashdan after all is very productive but also still pretty young) but he has done some useful research, he has some interesting stories, and his style probably appeals to a more youthful market niche.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
Like many people, I have kept tabs on the tremendous explosion of books describing or promising happiness. I tend to read them for the science, and occasionally think some strategy or tidbit of advice is worth trying out. Unfortunately, it has gotten harder and harder to find a book that offers anything new, gives me an expanded perspective, or excites me to do something more in my life.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
The world of positive psychology officially has too many books about happiness. Those are good books---I won't single them out by name here---but now that we are all sitting around in a state of flourished, self-satisfied contentment, what do we do now?

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.
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Format: Hardcover
For years I have contended that there was something missing which played an integral role in the development of happiness. Many books have been published with ultra focus on positive affect and "rolling with the punches", but they are incomplete without the consideration of curiosity. This book delves into a key feature of the psyche that has been overlooked for far too long. Kashdan contends that curiosity can be developed and cultivated to predisposition you for happiness in your day to day life - this is exciting news. All too often we find ourselves in jobs we don't like, social functions we abhor and blame each for our discontent. We have learned to buy many things in attempt to discover our happiness when learning to seek the novelty in day to day interactions may prove to be the keystone to development of happiness. Kashdan sets us on the path to learning, defining and developing our own curiosity. He provides the toolkit for the reader to become a curious explorer which his ground breaking book claims will allow the reader to enhance our day to day happiness.

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.
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