A Curious Mind — Summary

This book explores the life-changing effects curiosity can have on every person’s life.

Why is it that we stop wondering about the world when we grow up? As children, we ask questions all the time. But as we grow up we tend to loose this thirst for knowledge and learning.

A curious mind shows you why it is vital to rediscover our love to figure things out. And how our culture, careers and even democracy depends on our curiosity.

Curiosity is an essential tool for gathering knowledge

We know that knowledge is power, but what’s the best way to acquire it?

The single most important factor is curiosity. The more curious you are, the more information you will collect. The more information you collect, the more options you have to react to changing situations.

Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, applied this principle with great success. Every Saturday morning he held meetings with his top 500 managers asking them what they’d seen when visiting Walmart’s competitors. He wanted to know every detail about his rivals so that he could learn any interesting ideas.

The knowledge he gained from this meetings by his curiosity allowed him to optimize his stores and make Walmart lead the market.

Curiosity can help you conquer your fears

If your curiosity for something is strong enough it will help you to push past any obstacle that presents itself. For example, fear of rejection won’t bother you much because every time you get a NO, you will continue until you get a YES.

One of the authors, Brian Grazer, is frequently asked to give speeches, he always dreaded public speaking. But he became curious about the origin of his fear and realized that it was actually unpreparedness he feared. So he started preparing himself thoroughly, for even the smallest details. This helped him overcome his anxiety about the issue.

Curiosity helps you tell great stories

Anecdotes are often part of life, whether you share them with friends, or you are trying to sell a product.

Curiosity helps you collect the information (stories) necessary to then tell others about later.

In short, make someone curious and they’ll want to know more. Make someone curious about your product and they’ll find out more about it.

Curiosity in business

Curiosity is a powerful business tool because it fosters cooperation. Grazer tries to lead by asking questions instead of giving direct orders. This makes people more aware of their work and potential flaws.

Mutual curiosity often leads to meaningful dialogue, which can inspire innovation and lead to the solution of problems.

Additionally, curiosity also helps you connect to your customers.

The ideal salesperson would try hard to figure out what exactly you want and then tailor their suggestion accordingly.

As Dale Carnegie already pointed out in How to win friends and influence people.

Showing a genuine interest in others not only wins friends for you, but may develop in its customers a loyalty to your company.

Curiosity in relationships

You might think that you already know everything about your loved ones, but chances are high, you don’t. And even if you know everything about them, you should still be curious about what they think. This will help you not to get stuck in a routine. Instead of asking “how was your day?” just as part of your routine question, try to ask more specific questions, for example, “How did your meeting with that new client go?”.

New and specific questions like that show you’re genuinely interested in your partner’s day.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

If you are now curious to learn more, check out the book here.

Happy reading ?

Also published on Medium.