Albert Einstein said ‘I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.’
Most are born curious. But only some retain the habits of exploring, learning and discovering as they grow older. Which side of the “curiosity divide” are you on? asks Ian Leslie, in his new book ‘Curious’.
Leslie argues that our future depends on developing a deep curiosity about the world – and no he doesn’t mean clicking on Twitter links. He argues that the Internet is in effect, making us lazier, not smarter or more knowledgeable .The Internet, he argues, actually makes us less curious to develop fact into broader understanding. And, in his book’s doomy scenario, if you become incurious, “your life will become drained of colour, interest and pleasure. You will be less likely to achieve your potential at work or in your creative life. While barely noticing it you’ll become a little duller, a little dimmer.”
We need to encourage “epistemic curiosity”, which is deeper, focused and more disciplined.
Drawing on research from psychology, sociology and business, Curious looks at what feeds curiosity and what starves it, and uncovers surprising answers. Curiosity isn’t a quality you can rely on to last a lifetime, but a mental muscle that atrophies without regular exercise. It’s not a gift, but a habit that parents, schools, workplaces and individuals need to consciously nurture if it is to thrive and develop.
Curious shows how the practice of ‘deep curiosity’ – persistent, self-reflective seeking of knowledge and insight – is key to the success of our careers, the happiness of our children, the strength of our relationships, and the progress of societies. But it also argues that it is a fragile quality, which wanes and waxes over time, and that we take it for granted at our peril. But there seems to be a great divide between curious and incurious people.
Leslie makes a broader claim- a hungry, curious mind is the greatest driver of education success and success in later life.
Curious-The desire to know and Why your future depends on it-Ian Leslie-2014