Here, the personal and unexpected impact of my reading a single book. For reviews and summaries on Curious?, see Amazon.com.
I've signed myself up for kgb training.
Why? Because that's what the book, Curious?, has done for me lately. The way I figure it, (and I've used a lot of scratch paper to work out the calculations) Todd Kashdan's topic set me into a controlled spin, the result of which was my joining the ranks of the kgb, or "knowledge generation bureau". No, no. It's not as ominous or cold-warlike as it sounds. It's Directory Assistance on steroids, a text messaging service you can ask anything.
While reading Kashdan's book, I had every intention to write a post about it, but got tangled up in a lot of the personal questions it prompted. "What are my values?" was a big one. I'm still not sure I've got that one nailed down but with the help of the book's exercises, I'm closer to answering this.
Meanwhile, as a person who admires the buddhist philosophies, the chapters on being mindful and curious as a path to become a more fulfilled individual made good sense. The trouble came in the practice because I'd already considered myself extremely inquisitive and needed no encouragement to take it over the top. After working my way through those chapters, my examination about myself and surroundings went into overdrive. For the next few weeks, I walked around with more questions than answers and was at a loss as to how to wrestle my thoughts on Curious? into a decent blog post related to Big Ideas. My own new ideas were coming too fast and too big for me to organize them.
That's when it hit me: I needed to put this newly-widened scope of inquisitiveness to good use.
Well, first what hit me was a kgb commercial on television. I began to ask questions about the people who would research all of the questions being asked. Finally, I decided that what I needed to do was to work out some of the Investigative Energy I'd been accumulating and press my querying mind into service.
What I would further discover was that the flip side of the same mechanism which allows me to be creative and innovative had morphed into a horrible case of ADHD. In other words, the field of my questions became wide rather than narrow, and I realized that this hopscotching of creative pursuits is often the case with those who can't seem to work on a single project long enough to get it off the ground.
See, there, in that last sentence? I'd come full circle, back to this blog.
What I'm hoping Kashdan writes next is a piece for those of us who would like our curiosity go deep rather than wide. I'd be interested in learning how to sustain curiosity about a single subject rather than fostering a general interest in the Everyday. I ask for this because it seems that one of the keys to seeing an unwieldy or risky project through to finish, is the ability to remain intrigued and enchanted by our own Big Ideas. I'd like to learn that trick.