Erika Andersen on Be Bad First, Part 6

In the book, Be Bad First: Get Good at Things Fast to Stay Ready for the Future, Erika Andersen shares her mindset and techniques for learning new things well and quickly.

These are some of my favorite concepts and takeaways from reading the book.

Chapter 6: Endless Curiosity: Not Just Kid Stuff

In this chapter, Erika Andersen discusses how being curious can help us take on new learning and mastery. She offers the following observations and recommendations for us to think about:

Erika defines curiosity as “I’m so fascinated by how things work and what might be possible that I’m completely willing to do what it takes to find out more and become more skilled.” Erika thinks genuine curiosity is a deep and abiding need to understand and master.

Even though our society largely socializes our curiosity out of us by the time we reach adulthood, all functional human beings are born curious. Erika believes we should reengage the endless curiosity we all had as children and apply it to becoming world-class learners.

To become endlessly curious again, we need to:

  • Find our own curiosity “sparks”: We all have at least one thing in our lives about which we are truly curious. Those are the places to look for our unextinguished sparks of curiosity.
  • Fan the flames with self-talk and action: Recognize our self-talk that impedes our curiosity and replace them with self-talk that supports our interest.
  • Feed the fire of curiosity daily: We will need to focus on making curiosity a daily habit to survive and thrive in a world that is changing faster than we ever thought possible.

We can ask some questions that help to encourage our curiosity:

  • How does that work?
  • I wonder if I could do that?
  • Why does that happen?
  • How can I find out more?
  • Why isn’t that like this?
  • I wonder what would happen if I tried this?

When we are genuinely curious about something, the “How,” “Why,” and “I wonder” questions we are asking demand answers. We should use leverage curiosity as momentum to act and find those answers. Do this every day and form a habit that can feed our curiosity daily.