WHAT I’VE BEEN READING: Seek: How Curiosity Can Transform Your Life and Change the World by Scott Shigeoka

I absolutely loved this book! It is full of useful information, easy and often entertaining to read, and has very practical activities to enhance our curiosity. The title comes from a quote attributed to Rumi: “What you seek is with you.”

The first part of the book explores the role of curiosity, the difference between shallow and deep curiosity, and what gets in the way of us being curious. The second part of the book introduces the DIVE model, with four aspects of deep curiosity that we can develop: detach, intend, value and embrace. The final part of the book describes some of the limits of curiosity, but also how it can become contagious and be a powerful force in the world.

The author discusses his own experiences and academic research into curiosity in a wide variety of contexts, including religion, politics, generational differences, families and relationships, social media, gender, sexuality and race.

You may think you understand curiosity, and that you are a curious person, but this book will cause you to explore the concept more deeply and develop your skills deliberately and with awareness of the conditions in which curiosity is beneficial, and the times in which it can be harmful.

The author argues that we can use curiosity for more than just gathering information. Rather, we can use curiosity as a force for meaningful connection and transformation. It can strengthen our relationships to ourselves and each other.

The author suggests three directions of curiosity:

  • Inward – our emotions, values, past traumas or beliefs
  • Outward – other people, the planet, culture or systems
  • Beyond – greater meaning, the divine, consciousness

The DIVE model is a really useful approach:

  • Detach – let go of your ABCs (assumptions, biases, certainty)
  • Intend – prepare your mindset and your setting
  • Value – see the dignity of every person, including yourself
  • Embrace – welcome the hard times in your life

There are many exercises to help you work on each aspect. Throughout the book there are also “Out of curiosity” questions to prompt personal reflection on how curiosity shows up in your life.

If you work in conflict, curiosity is a fundamental skill for practitioners, and it’s also something we frequently want to encourage in our clients. This book will provide you with a depth of understanding and many practical tools to support you and your clients to engage in deep curiosity. 

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