In “Curious?,” author Todd Kashdan writes about several different ways to get more out of life. From taking on mundane tasks to exploring once-dismissed activities, Kashdan says curiosity is the way to make life more fulfilling. Too many times, we shut off our attention to a task, which leads to a missed opportunity to be in the moment while opening up the mind to negative self-talk.
Kashdan urges people to engage their curiosity through
practice. The steps of practice he suggests are:
Choose something you consider an unappealing activity.
Do the activity and look for three novel or unique things about it.
Write those down and discuss them with someone else. (Use our comments section below!)
Kashdan uses this technique when he changes his daughter’s
diaper, and when he does, he always finds something pleasant. He gets “a moment
to reflect and feel close to my little one. Instead of losing a moment, I gain
one” (p. 82).
“I get to decide how I spend my last days.” Jillian storms
off after her boyfriend, Liam, reveals the details of the work that he is doing
at Tanz Industries to save the world. These are details that only 41 Americans
at the Pentagon know and just a few outside of the Pentagon. She’s angry
because Liam has revealed this information after about a month of knowing which
coincides with a month into their relationship, and he made the decision for
“I get to decide how I spend my last days.” What Jillian doesn’t get, and she’s not the only one, is that these are our last days. We don’t have any more than we have. Whether it’s one because someone decides to shoot us or 146 because of an impending asteroid strike or 186 when the asteroid was just discovered or it’s a year or five years or 20 years, these are all our last days.
We don’t know how many days we have here; even if we did, it
shouldn’t change anything. We should be living our lives like today is one of
our last days. It’s certainly the last Jan. 31, 2019, I’ll ever see. If you
look at your calendar, it’s the last date with that number designation that you’ll
ever see. No one wants to face their mortality. We have to plan for our future
even if there’s the possibility that it never happens, but these are our last
“I get to decide how I spend my last days.” Yes, you, too,
get to decide how you spend your last days. Today is your last day. Tomorrow is
your last day. Three days from now is your last day. Maybe you have more or
fewer, you don’t know. The only thing that you do know is that these are your
last days and you choose how you’re going to spend them. Spend them with
friends, spend them with family. Spend them making life better for the rest of
the world. Then when someone or something tells you your time is up, you won’t
have to worry about getting mad at someone you love because they withheld a
truth from you, especially if that truth is about the number of days left for
the rest of the planet.