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The Secret to a Bigger Life
In “A Curious Mind,” Brian Grazer talks about his endless curiosity and what it led him to learn. He tells you how curiosity is the secret ingredient you need to fuel your career, courage, motivation, love and family life.
In our summary of his book, we present you the basic points he makes by telling his story.
Who Should Read “A Curious Mind”? and Why?
Brian Grazer has one of Hollywood’s most successful producers.
He has always asked people many questions, a habit he continues to have. He talks to everyone: to the rich, the famous, the powerful, the ordinary, and the royal.
In fact, he argues that his success is rooted in his insatiable curiosity.
From the starting days of his career, Grazer was never afraid to approach anyone and ask them questions. His fearless curiosity fueled his rapid rise.
He believes that curiosity leads to many positive attributes like ambition, determination, and courage.
Grazer and his co-author Charles Fishman write engagingly. We recommend “A Curious Mind” to all curious readers, and especially those interested in movies.
About Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman
Brian Grazer is the producer of A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, Splash and 8 Mile, and others.
Charles Fishman is the writer of The Walmart Effect and The Big Thirst.
“A Curious Mind Summary”
Brian Grazer argues that curiosity is a natural characteristic that teachers and parents should encourage in kids at home, at school and everywhere in society.
He presents such views since he is a curious person himself. He has never been afraid of approaching and contacting anyone who intrigued him. He did not approach people in Hollywood only. He also initiated conversations with people outside it.
What did he learn during his 35 years of starting “curiosity conversations”?
Well, he learned that curiosity is democratic. In other words, asking questions and listening to the answers unites both parties in the quest of seeking knowledge. The point is not getting the answers, but asking the questions.
How did it all start?
After Grazer graduated from the University of Southern California, he happened to overhear a discussion outside his office window. He heard that somebody left a job working for an executive at Warner Bros.
Hearing that, Grazer promptly called the executive to apply for the position. He did so without having an exact idea of what the work was going to be.
The job included distributing legal papers around Warner Bros. Grazer could have left each pack of documents with a secretary or helper, but he never did.
He always demanded to convey the papers to the recipient in person.
In this way, he got the chance to talk to many capable, well-known people in the motion picture business.
Grazer set an objective of meeting new people every day and having a conversation with every one of them. He asked many things. He inquired about how people did their jobs and what experiences they filled their lives with.
In the beginning, he looked for contacts in film and the entertainment industry. However, as time passed, he extended his search to incorporate anybody in any industry.
Now, how can we define curiosity?
The most well-known definition of it is “the desire to know.”
However, the definition is not as important as the way you use it.
Grazer utilized it as a management tool. He tried to become less shy and to increase his self-confidence. He also used it as a way to deal with anxiety, to avoid making the same mistakes and to tell stories.
Think for just a second.
Curiosity can make a dull party exciting and can move your career in a new direction. It fuels motivation and creativity and can help you channel your anger or frustration.
Following your sense of curiosity makes you more confident and brave. It conveys energy to your life and empowers you to deepen your comprehension. It empowers creativity and motivation. Curiosity is stimulating.
Key Lessons from “A Curious Mind”
1. Applied Attention
2. Persistence and Preparation
3. Personal Connection
For curiosity to be useful, really take in the answers people give you and think about them. Create a will to act on what you find out.
Just learning something is not enough. Most of the time, the answers you will get will show you new and better ways to work, learn, love, and live. So, you are not curious just for the sake of it. You do not ask questions as an exercise. If you do, then it is pointless.
You are curious, so you can find out answers that can improve your life. So, ask concrete questions that will lead you to specific insights that you can apply to your work and life.
Persistence and Preparation
Persistence requires curiosity. However, curiosity, just like any other thing, has just as many risks as it has benefits.
If you do not care about knowing more, and knowing what could happen, you will not last. Additionally, when finding answers overrule the fear of failure, you keep inquiring.
Now, if you get a chance to ask questions, make sure you get prepared.
For instance, Grazer met Isaac Asimov, a famous science fiction author, who has written many titles, including me, Robot. Asimov and his spouse sat down with Grazer, who asked them a few questions.
However, those questions did not satisfy Asimov’s wife. She stood up and told him that he was too ignorant of her husband’s books, and he would only waste his time.
Grazer knew she was right. He knew that he did not do his research and was not well prepared.
Then, he promised himself that he would never let himself waste another opportunity because of lack of preparation.
Curiosity creates a bond between you and the people in your life. Interest helps you with creating and sustaining intimacy. Many people ask questions all the time, but they do it wrong.
To be curious about the people you care about, you have to be honest, since no one wants to answer insincere questions.
To do that, ask factual questions and show sincere interest in the answers. When people answer, ask follow-up questions that show that you have indeed listened. By doing that, you create a stronger connection and a feeling of trust.
You show that you care.
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“A Curious Mind” QuotesWe are all trapped in our own way of thinking, trapped in our own way of relating to people. We get so used to seeing the world our way that we come to think that the world is the way we see it. Click To Tweet You can’t get anything done trying to absorb and neutralize everyone else’s criticisms. Click To Tweet You can’t search for the answer to questions that haven’t been asked yet. And you can’t Google a new idea. The Internet can only tell us what we already know. Click To Tweet Life isn’t about finding the answers, it’s about asking the questions. Click To Tweet You’re born curious, and no matter how much battering your curiosity has taken, it’s standing by, ready to be awakened. Click To Tweet
Our Critical Review
“A Curious Mind” is a fun book. Grazer is a fascinating storyteller, that covered everything he considered necessary. However, at times you will feel that the revelations he presents, are not as startling as he believes they are.