Curiosity

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In my broken-legged days and because it was finally time, I watched every single episode of Friday Night LightsThis came in response to the series finale of ParenthoodWhat do FNL and Parenthood have in common? Those not well-versed in the beauty of well-done point-and-shoot television might not know the answer. Heck, I didn’t know the answer until my mom hosted their mutual creator, Brian Grazer at the 92nd St Y. And, because she knows where her loyalty lies, she swiftly mailed me a copy of Grazer’s latest book: A Curious Mind, The Secret to a Bigger Life.

A Curious Mind arrived to my Portland mailbox at just the right time. With three months left to my AmeriCorps service, I am beginning the job search. But, after reading this phenomenal book, which made bus rides oh-so-pleasurable (this is the power of reading!), I feel like I should call my job search my Curiosity Quest instead. Why? One of the ways that across the board people have suggested I look for my next endeavor is through informational interviews. I’ve been reading up on them all over the place, especially on my new fave website, The Muse. The conflation of the informational interview and what Grazer calls “curiosity conversations,” however, is mine and mine only; among Grazer’s rules for harnessing curiosity conversations, he states that they shouldn’t be about “getting something” out of the conversation. That’s a good thing for my job search process – my Curiosity Quest – because I always get the best results when I don’t go in with expectations!

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But I digress – back to this fabulous book. Reading what Grazer has to say on the subject of curiosity, which he deems as a quality, which is “so little valued, taught and cultivated today,” has made abundant sense. How else would a California man who thought he was going to be a lawyer end up creating a show about a small town Texas football team? He was curious…he found a doorway to knowledge.

Here are some gems from the book:

Curiosity itself is a form of power, and also a form of courage.

Creative thoughts didn’t have to follow a straight narrative line. You could pursue your interests, your passions, you could chase any quirky idea that came from some odd corner of your experience or your brain.

Even when you’re in charge, you are often much more effective asking questions than giving orders.

A big part of “growing up on OM” is understanding what it means to give myself an education post-college. As the next class at my alma mater graduates next weekend, I’ve started to reflect on what true growth means. It means continuously learning and engaging in the cyclical process of reflecting on what it is we are learning (praxis!). This book is an excellent foray into a quality we could all use a lot more of: curiosity.

So tell me: What is it that you want to learn today? What strikes your curiosity?

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