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Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  241 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
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?"
eBook, 352 pages
Published April 21st 2009 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 2009)
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Jan 26, 2010 Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First heard about this book as it was being discussed on National Public Radio (NPR) - locally WAMU here in Washington DC.

I pulled over, found a bookstore, and bought the book!

Once I read it, I e-mailed the author, Dr. Todd Kashdan.

It's been nearly 25 years sine I felt compelled to read a book on
> Psychology. But I just finished your book, and I was enthralled. So many
> great applications- for myself, for my relationship with my wife, for my
> young adult children who are bright but
Jul 08, 2009 Shelley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not exactly what I was expecting, and I certainly couldn't recommend it, but we can always find something that sparks thinking. The premise is that the most important ingredient for a fuifilling life is curiosity. The importance of curiosity to education can't be overstated. He cites Sylvan Tomkins who says, "The importance of curiosity to thought and memory are so extensive that the absence...would jeopardize intellectual development no less than destruction of brain tissue...there is no human ...more
Brendan Howard
This is one of the most important books I've ever read. Its statements about the power of curiosity and openness to new experience, thought and personal growth rang loudly true, like church bells feet away, in my past and my present life. This book is actively changing my life. Like much Alan Watts writing, I know this is a boat I'm using to get across a river and will abandon it as an an absolute guide when I get where I need to go ... BUT ... I also know this book's truth stands in my life now ...more
Jan 01, 2015 Dana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: life-feelings
I have to return this book to the library today. Here are a few quotes that I've enjoyed so far:

"Instead of constantly trying to be happy, we should focus on building a rich, meaningful life, guided by our core values and interests."

"Novelty is different. We often pay attention to the unfamiliar and listen to new people because they grab our attention...There is much to learn from the unfamiliar and the familiar. No two hugs are the same, no two pizzerias make pizza slices the same way, no two t
Ann Oliveri
I always thought my inherent optimism and sense of humor were my most important assets. I was wrong. Curiosity is my superpower. So grateful for stumbling into Todd Kashdan's book, Curious?! It is the antidote to the fear, hatred, and dogmatism now rampant in our once open, inquiring society.

"Unfortunately, there are costs to working hard to feel safe, secure, and confident. We often end up shutting down our search for information too early in the process. In essence, we quickly become close-min
Kevin McAllister
Curious ? Well of course I am. Which is why I just couldn't resist a book simply titled "Curious ?" I was expecting something with a scientific or anthropological point of view but unfortunately, the book turned out to be nothing more than a simple self help book. And after reading this book the only thing I'm curious about is why people bother to read these kind of books anyway ?
Sep 23, 2009 Janelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This book reminded me of Jonathan Haidt's "The Happiness Hypothesis" in its subject matter and applicability to creating a life worth experiencing. A good reminder of how to focus our energies in the present moment and constantly be expanding ourselves and our perceptions, plus how to help mitigate anxiety by exploring things that make us uncomfortable.
Janet Frost
This was the last of three books in my in-depth research into Curiosity. This book was pack full of fascinating studies and theories on the subject.While I complained about the book by Brian Grazer being devoid of science, this one was a gold mine. I was reluctant to take it back to the library because I know I would like to follow up on many of the references shared in the book.
I have to admit that I don't have my endurance for long non-fiction built up yet so I did get kind of bogged down to
Feb 27, 2014 Shelley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: misc, 2014
The idea is that curiosity is the antidote to anxiety and being stuck in your life, so be curious and explore and learn and engage with people and ideas. The thesis is sound, the chapter break downs looked very interesting and promising but the end result wasn't there. It was a mash of some anecdata, but not a lot, and some research based things, but not a lot, and some background from his years as a therapist, but not a lot. I could have gotten that opening sentence from the introduction and st ...more
Apr 08, 2009 Rachel marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rachel by: Gretchen Rubin's blog The Happiness Project
Shelves: self-improvement
In her blog The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin interviewed author Todd Kashdan in the April 7, 2009 post. She introduced him as "a positive-psychology professor at George Mason University whose work I follow with special interest. He studies many fascinating subjects — among other things, self-regulation and how personal strengths operate in everyday life." Kashdan, too, has a blog. His is called Curious? and is linked to other Psychology Today blogs. After I get my daily dose of Doonesbury, ...more
Feb 25, 2012 Deb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*Curiosity saves the life*

If the pursuit of happiness is driving you mad, Kashdan's book may provide some much-deserved relief. Instead of focusing on concrete goals and other tangibles, Kashdan's approach shows how curiosity coupled with mindfulness can be our best guides to a more meaningful and satisfying life. By challenging the comfortably temping status quo and becoming "curious explorers," we can be more engaged in the process of being. Curiously enough, the byproduct of this process is
May 01, 2016 EA rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little fluff but a quick read that confirms a lot of my feelings about happiness / self fulfillment
My education professor leant me this book for the project I am doing on curiosity in the classroom. It looked like it would be helpful, but Curious? is actually a self-help book about how to find a way to make one's life more meaningful. I'm not really into the whole "self-help" book thing...but this one was interesting in places. The writing is good, some of the anecdotes are interesting, and the data is intriguing.
Kashdan's book was not helpful to my project but I wasn't bored reading it, and
Feb 03, 2014 Dimos rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
He could said it all in two pages. Boring with little insight.
Kris Hintz
This book hits on the missing ingredient in so many lives, which I also believe is the cornerstone of happiness. Curiosity, the search for the novel, leads to true passion and engagement in life. The author cogently made this point through research and anecdotal story. I do feel that once the point was made, there was some redundancy in "making the sale" (thus four stars instead of five). But this book has given me a new perspective, a new way of approaching social interactions, that makes life ...more
Chris Nagel
The main thing this book made me curious about is what it means to establish something as true in the self-help book business. I don't mean that as an insult. Kashdan's premises are preposterous, but he does present the value of curiosity (which could be called open-mindedness, or just openness). If making life better were as simple as self-help books seem to suggest, why would there be so many? Perhaps only because different people need different messages, or almost the exact same message in di ...more
Michele Long
This would actually get 2.5 stars if half stars were an option. It wasn't what I expected. There are a lot of interesting things in it, and I would recommend it to someone with a psychology background or pursuing a psych degree. For myself, it was interesting enough to pick up and finish the book, but I had to renew it from the library 3-4 times because it did not always keep my attention to keep reading. So it's 3 stars for content, 2 for not keeping my attention.
Jan 26, 2012 Ariadna73 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
Curious? defends that if you keep a curious attitude towards all your experiences in life; you will lead a powerful; more productive and happier life; just as little kids do all the time. I like the way it puts the same ideas of Buddhism and -to some extent- Krishnamurti's in a more understandable way and gives different approaches to lead a better life. This book will do no harm at all to those who chose to read it.
Mar 20, 2011 Keith rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The premise of this book is interesting -- by increasing our curiosity we can live more fulfilling lives -- but in it's execution it doesn't seem to offer much on how to increase your curiosity. There is a lot about values, strengths, mindfulness and a whole section on relationships (particularly finding a spouse), but precious litte how to be more curious. For that reason, I can't rate it very highly.
Mar 09, 2013 Sharon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I heard about this book in a presentation about student success. The "success" was attributed in part to the presence of curiosity. Definitely secular in the "curiosity as a path to a meaningful life" ideation, but it had some very thoughtful points about how to develop and nurture curiosity and mindfulness in anyone's life. Very interesting read.
Sep 21, 2013 Juliet marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Juliet by:
So while I like the title "Curious" the "Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life" almost made it so I didn't want to read the book. I don't believe in magic bullets. Anyway figured that if I came across this book in audio format, I'd listen. Not a high priority but an interesting concept.
Aug 16, 2013 ash rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good read!
Usually I dont read non-fiction books but this was definitely interesting. It’s more of a self help book, with examples and exercises.
Kinda wish I read it earlier but at least Ive read it and it did provide some insights to accomplishing my summer’s goal… Haha :)
Dar Hosta
Sep 07, 2012 Dar Hosta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent exploration of what makes a curious person and why this matters. This is a must read for educators, but anyone interested in how curiosity affects our lives, relationships and careers will enjoy this easy read.
A bit more of a self-help style book than I had expected. Some interesting citations to some studies and research but it is dominated by the goal of fixing/attuning. Not necessarily bad just not what I was curious about ha ha.
Apr 11, 2012 Laurenx rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: positive-psych
Curiosity is truly a spark that is missing from so many of our mundane and routine lifestyles.. Definitely an eye-opener and good contribution to positive psych mentality, despite some lack of hard evidence.
Oct 02, 2011 valpal rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
meh. People that are actively engaged and interested in their lives are happier and healthier. Well, duh. I'm gonna skim through the rest and see if there are any interesting nuggets but, yeah, meh.
The content wasn't bad, but I had no rapport with the author. I'd recommend Steven Hayes' "Acceptance and Commitment Therapy" or other books on ACT therapy as a more useful alternative.
Apr 05, 2014 Marty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for anyone interested in self-improvement. This book gives you the tools to lead a happier and healthier life.
Jan 20, 2012 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nf-psychology
This book adds curiousity and willingness to explore to the equation for a meaningful happy life. Well worth the time to read, consider, and explore.
Oct 06, 2010 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating book! Research shows that trying new things, being open to new experiences, and living with uncertainty is part of what makes us happy.
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Dr. Todd B. Kashdan's broad mission is to increase the amount of well-being in this world as a professor, scientist, writer, and consultant. He uses cutting edge science to help people function optimally in life and business. He has given keynotes and workshops to organizations as diverse as the United States Armed Forces, General Mills, Merck, Hormel, Gensler, BBDO, and The Gap.

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“Our moods change constantly and thus our ideas about the past change with them. As for the future, it remains unwritten. Anything can happen, and often we are wrong. The best we can do with the future is prepare and savor the possibilities of what can be done in the present.” 7 likes
“Rather than be encouraged to learn about ourselves and our interests, we are more often taught how to make decisions about what to do with our lives as early as possible so we won't waste time achieving our goals. Pick an academic major, choose a career, and start a family. Whether our interests are squelched isn't important. What's important is to "make something of yourself," "be able to support yourself," and "realize that life is more than just having fun.” 6 likes
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