A Curious Mind — Book review

What caught my attention about “A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life” were the bits about curiosity and how we should use it to empower our lives.

I had no idea who Brian Grazer was, but I found out very fast this guy has done quite a lot (with Ron Howard by his side, amazing!). If you can think of a popular movie, he probably was the producer or involved on some level.

At the end of the book, he lists all of the people he’s had a chance to have a conversation with, and I’m thinking “I WANT TO KNOW HOW THOSE WENT!” especially people like 50 Cent, Serena Williams, Pharrell and Tim Cook.

The stories he did add in this book were eye opening. It’s crazy to think he was talking to Daryl Gates right as the L.A. Riots broke out and Gates was announced by L.A. City Council as a lame duck chief (he eventually “retired”).

Then there was the interview with Fidel Castro that also stood out for me because he said he asked a stupid question, and I know for sure I would have asked a stupid question in front of a person like that. In fact, I have as a reporter a few times to celebrities! *facepalm* There are a couple of interviews with celebrities I’d like to have a do-over if possible.

He had a conversation with Isaac Asimov that was so awkward, Asimov and his wife left. But he said it was justified — he didn’t prepare well enough for the sit-down and deserved to get walked out on.

Then there was the conversation with President Bush where he afterward wanted to give a gift directly and the Secret Service basically said LOL NOPE.

Out of all of this, it was about being curious. It’s curiosity that led him to so many conversations with celebrities, athletes and dignitaries.

Why be curious?

As Grazer mentions in the book, you can’t be in your own encased bubble your whole life. At some point, in order to grow, you have to be curious about something. It could be a person, it could be a thing.

I think about being curious about coding since moving back to SoCal last November. That’s helped open up a lot of avenues, where I’ve met new friends, became certified in Excel and learned things I would have never learned had I stayed in my hometown. My curiosity has led me to people who are 10 times more curious.

Even on a smaller scale, trying to train the best Amiibo was all about curiosity. How do I train it to be the best? What’s the best setup? Could I train a champion Amiibo?

Today, even putting a priority on reading books has made me curious. What will the story be about? What’s the lesson to be taken away? How did they write the book in an attractive or unattractive tone?

And on the opposite end, I’ve met people who are not curious at all, who are content with what they know and don’t want to open up their minds to more. They give off an aura of being miserable, like nothing is going right or that their only escape is to make fun of everyone. It makes me wonder how they go through that process on a near daily basis.

I don’t think he puts it in that people who are more curious go further in life. However, by being curious, you open up avenues that lead to bigger possibilities. It seems like these days it is more important than ever to be curious.

Obviously here, Grazer focuses on people he’s curious about. So he asks to have conversations with them. For some, it took a couple of days to set up a chat, others it took a year and sometimes longer.

One of the quotes that stuck with me: “You can’t search for the answer to question that haven’t been asked yet. And you can’t Google a new idea. The Internet can only tell us what we already know.”

Make an effort to be more curious.