May 7, 2009

Curiosity as an engine for growth

Todd Kashdan describes in his new book Curious?: Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life how curiosity functions as an engine for growth:
"By being curious, we explore. By exploring, we discover. When this is satisfying, we are more likely to repeat it. By repeating it, we develop competence and mastery. By developing competence and mastery, our knowledge and skills grow. As our knowledge and skills grow, we stretch and expand who we are and what our life is about. By dealing with novelty, we become more experienced and intelligent, and infuse our lives with meaning. Curiosity begets more curiosity because the more we know, the more detail that we attend to, the more we realize what there is to learn. Why? When we embrace the unknown, our perspective changes, and we begin to recognize gaps -literal and figurative- that weren't apparent before."

4 comments:

  1. Beautifully said! I believe that curiosity did not kill the cat- it gave the cat nine lives! I am passionate about teaching and sustaining curiosity in our students! (http://tinyurl.com/dzzxc9)

    Looking forward to the book!

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  2. Thank you Angela. While reading the book, I was thinking, but what about the cat? Now I know!

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  3. Hi Coert,
    I just finished the Kahdan book. I was super pumped up about it in the beggining. Then a bit bored, it is a bit to jolly and upbeat. The idea is very interesting though. I'm about to read the book by his pal Paul Silvia called "exploring the psychology of interest", which seems to be a more detailed look at this.

    I love the fact that interest and curiosity as emotions and behaviors being studied. It is the most promosing parts of positive psychology, along with Barbara Fredrickson, Lyubomirsky, and the affective neurosceince stuff of Richard Davidsson, Paul Ekman and others.

    Michael

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  4. Hi Michael, exploring the psychology of interest? that sounds very interesting! I'll look that one up

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