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You're listening to Leading Up with Udeme. This podcast is your guide to developing your skills as an emerging or seasoned leader. I'm Alan Todd, your host and the Vice President of Leadership Development at Udeme. Together, we can work, lead, and live differently to create a better world. I was super excited to have Scott Shigeoka on the podcast today. His whole book, Seek, and the way he pursues curiosity really opens up your heart to a different way. We tend to over index on our brain, and he comes at it from the heart. And I thought that was beautiful.


Curiosity is such a beautiful healing and an opening practice for us in our lives that we can take into pretty much any aspect of it. And it always will support us with reducing those feelings of fear, increasing that courage, with reducing that sense of distance, and increasing that sense of closeness and intimacy with people. And I think that is such a worthwhile practice.


This week, I'm speaking with author, speaker, and curiosity expert, Scott Shigeoka. Scott's book, Seek: How Curiosity Can Transform Your Life and Change the World, was named a best book of 2023 by Amazon and has been featured on The Today Show, Harvard Business Review, The Guardian, The Next Big Idea. Wharton's Adam Grant said, Scott's book is a timely bridge for our divided world. He conducts research with UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center, and he's on the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin. Scott, welcome to the podcast.


Thank you so much. I feel tingles in my body as you do that introduction. That's so fun.


Yeah, beautiful. Well, you have an incredible story. I've read your entire book, and I'm a student of curiosity. I have read a lot of books, anything that has the topic. I love your story and your journey and your passion and your flair.


Thank you.


Tell us, why were you curious about curiosity? Why did you embark on this project?


Yeah, it comes from a really personal place growing up. I remember being around 11 or 12, and I didn't have many friends. I felt very isolated, lonely. I was bullied often, and no one was really curious about me, what I was going through, what I was feeling, what I was excited about in life. I felt so othered and so disconnected. It really started to change as I grew older and I started to really put myself out there, and I started to get curious about others, and then in turn, they would start to get curious about me. I felt a lot less alone, and I felt like a sense of belonging. I just had much deeper social connections, which is what I was always hoping for and really yearning for. I realized now as an author and as someone who's done a lot of research on curiosity, that that's really at the core of why I'm curious about curiosity, is that Every person, every child, every adult wants to feel heard, wants to feel seen. We want to feel like we matter. At the heart of that is we must be curious towards others in order for them to feel that When we are curious about someone, they really do feel heard, seen, and they feel like they matter.


But when we are in curious about them, we dismiss them, we don't care about what they think, or maybe we do care, but we just never ask those questions or engage with curiosity to those around us, whether that's our partner, our children, our colleagues, then they don't feel like they matter. They feel devalued. That can lead to a lot of mental hardship and also make people feel really alone. I don't want folks to feel alone because I know how that feels.


How did you figure out that curiosity was a key to unlock this amazing future?


I think the big piece is, like you said, I do work at the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and we essentially translate research into more digestible stories because sometimes you read a white paper, you read the research, and you're like, I don't quite understand what this means, but I want to. We do that work of translating that into a that anyone, whether you have an advanced degree or not. We particularly focus on things like awe and happiness and curiosity and trying to understand what can these states of mind and these practices do for our lives. I did a lot of research, in translation of research, around curiosity, particularly with the divisions that are happening in our country. I don't just mean political division, although that's a big one, especially here in the United States when we're going into an election year. But it's also divisions that exist outside of politics, too. We have huge conflict around race, around age, around faith. Then there's even geopolitical crises that are happening all around the world that then seep into our lives and seep into even our workplaces. That was a lot of the work that I was doing.


How can curiosity help us around these divisions? I spent years looking into this. What I found is that, one, for instance, when we are very curious about someone, we see them as a person, as an individual, We reduce hostility, we reduce feelings of aggression, and we increase feelings of empathy, even if they have very opposing views from us. Then two, the other piece around curiosity is that when I demonstrate that and I am asking you questions, and I'm really curious about your stories and your values, that makes someone feel less defensive and actually more interested in also understanding you. In other words, curiosity is contagious. It creates mutual understanding. That was the big aha moment. But I didn't want to just be the academic in the ivory tower. I actually went on a 13-month trip after I started learning all these things after a presidential election in the United States. I was like, Okay, I'm going to practice curiosity by going to a Trump rally? Because I did not vote for Trump. I'm a progressive. I'm very queer. I'm flamboyantly dressed. But I'm not going to hide those things. But can I actually connect to folks who are at a Trump rally who feel so different from me if I use use these research-based practices of curiosity?


And I found, yes, I could. And in fact, I made many great relationships with them, and we were both able to understand one another. And a lot of that is in the book, those stories. But yeah, that's the big starting origin story of how I delved into this.


Yeah, I think one of the things that I like about your book is it was you took a much more expansive view to curiosity, delving into, how do we bridge divides at the Thanksgiving table or some holiday dinner with family and politics. So I I really like that framing that you put on it. And you talk about the spectrum of curiosity from shallow to deep. Clearly, you have a strong theme of teaching us to go deeper. So tell us what they both are and give us an example of the difference.


Yeah, there's that TikTok trend that's going on right now with the videos of... I'm about big deep talk, where I come in with my friends and it's like we're not doing small talk to catch up. We're going right in. So the heart like, Okay, how's the boo? What's going on with work? Is that still upsetting you? What's going on with your parents? I think that at the heart of that is like an illustration of the spectrum of curiosity. What I found is that most folks tend to, especially in the workplace, they tend to hang out in the shallow ends of curiosity, which is when we ask questions that only give us a little bit of data or information about someone. What's your name? What department are you in? Where do you live? Those are really great introductory questions. But as you slide down the spectrum of curiosity towards the deep end, you can start to go beneath the surface and really see someone for who they are in their rich, complicated, beautiful messiness. You start to hear their stories or relationships, what matters to them, what ticks them off. Instead of asking a question like, What's your name?


You might ask, What's the story of your name? Who named you? What's your relationship to the folks who named you? Instead of asking, What department are you working in? You might ask, What's really exciting you about your job? What's really ticking you off about your job right now? What's making it hard for you to achieve the personal success you want to? What do you really want out of life? What makes you come most alive? Those kinds of questions in the deeper end just give you so much more rich detail about who a person is. I like to talk about it as an ocean that the shallow end is almost the gateway to the deep end. It's a great place to start. You start with some of these more shallow questions, and then you move into the deep end. But one is not better than the other. I love playing in the shallow part of the ocean, but I also love free diving and scuba diving on the deep end. They just show you and expose you to different parts of our oceans and our world. The same is true for curiosity. That's the difference with shallow and deep.


It's really an invitation for folks to remind themselves, Hey, I'm feeling like we're hanging out in the shallow end of curiosity right now, but I love you and I really want to get to know you, or I'm getting to know you as a new friend or on a second date. Why don't I move a little bit more towards the deep end and ask questions that reveal a little bit more? Also, you have to be willing to answer those questions, too. You can't dish out what you're not willing to serve. It also doesn't mean starting necessarily on the deep end as well. I don't go to conferences and say, Hey, what's the deepest childhood trauma that you've ever experienced? As a first introduction to someone I've met professionally, because that can be sometimes invasive or feel really confronting for folks. It's about moving on the spectrum almost as fluidly as you would wave. Yeah.


I want to talk about courage. Charlie Munger from Berkshire Hathaway said, Acknowledging what you don't know is the dawning of wisdom. I think he's paraphrasing Confucius, Socrates, Einstein. I've seen all versions of Socrates, What I know is I know nothing, and all that. You connect the work to intellectual humility. Talk about how curiosity helps us develop intellectual humility.


Yeah. So intellectual humility is essentially the idea that we can't know everything as an individual person. There's so much more for us to learn. We must rely on other people for that learning, and that it's devoid of arrogance, essentially, that we're not going to say, I'm a know-it-all, and I have all the answers. Instead, we're going to come from a place of humility, knowing that we have limits and boundaries to our understanding, and that new experiences and new people will constantly expand that. At the heart of that is fueled by curiosity. If we recognize that we have boundaries and limitations to our knowledge, then our curiosity actually expands those boundaries and makes them wider. It reminds us of our intellectual humility that, Oh, my gosh, there's so much that we don't know about someone else, about the world around us that we need to explore and discover. I think this is also true for careers. I've had a very winding path. I've run music festivals, and I've worked at the design firm IDEO, and I've been a music reporter at the Washington I write books, and I write for the stage, and for the screen.


It's just a very winding career. Sprinkle in moments of waiting tables. I could have never known in those moments where all of these experiences were going to lead. But I came in with a sense of both curiosity, what might be possible? What could I learn from this position? Who are the people that I'm meeting now that might help me in the future? Then also with a sense of intellectual humility. Wow, what else do I not know about the world in terms of my career? What jobs do I not know about that are out there? What can I actually do that aligns with both my purpose that I want to create in the world, the things that I love, my passion, but also having money and making a livelihood and surviving in this room. That's how they all work in concert together, intellectual humility and curiosity. When you really hold those two things, which I believe was the recipe to all of my success, you start to encounter people you never would have normally encountered or experience things you've never would have normally experienced because you were open to it. And those fly open the doors to all of these incredible opportunities for you to grow, whether that's personally or professionally.


Yeah, beautiful. So let's assume we want to pursue curiosity and intellectual humility, and I want to follow some of your advice and path. Talk about some of these speed bumps, the assumptions, the biases, the certainty. What are these things that we bring that are essentially learning disablers?


Yeah, I think that you're naming a bunch of them. Fear is when I'm really afraid of what's going to happen and we need to cultivate a sense of courage, not bravery. Bravery means the fear does not exist and we're marching forward. Courage instead is that we recognize that there is fear inside of me, but I'm going to do it anyway because I know that I and others will benefit if I do that. We have to embrace courage to move through the fear that we're feeling. The other piece is around certainty. We have to come from a place of intellectual humility rather than certainty of, I know if I apply to this job, there's no way that they're ever going to accept me. Or, I know that if I try to ask for a raise, there's no way that they're going to give me a raise. Or, I know that if I talk to my partner about this issue we're having, I know how they're going to react. That certainty becomes a barrier from you actually giving it a try and being curious and taking what I call in the book a brave pause to actually see whether your beliefs are true or not.


What we know from the research is oftentimes, those negative beliefs that we have are often are over-exaggerated. Yeah, you might have not gotten the grand raise that you're hoping for, but you got a little raise and that's great. You wouldn't have gotten that if you hadn't asked. Or, yeah, it didn't go perfectly with your partner when you brought up that need that wasn't being met in the relationship, but you now understand one another even more and you recognize, wow, this is a journey we're going on with the conversations we're having together. When you have certainty, you prevent yourself from action. Without action, there's no way you can change anything that's going on in your life. That's where curiosity comes in to be like, what would it look like if I were to apply for this job that I'm really excited about? Then the other piece that I love to talk about as well, because it's really important and I feel like it's under talked about, especially in these spaces in business, is trauma, which is, let's say we go through a really hard moment with the previous employer where we feel really unseen, unheard. We feel like we get yelled at.


Very toxic workplace environments that many people, including those listening right now might be going through. It can be really, really challenging when that is your experience to be like, what is another experience in work that could be better for me, safer for me, it could be more emotionally beneficial for me? What would that look like? It's even hard to get into that headspace because we're almost in a really dramatic moment now. We're in a moment that feels really debilitating and feels really minimizing. What we need to do first in order to access that curiosity is to heal from that experience. That really starts with, A, acknowledging what we're going through. Wow, this is a really toxic situation. I have a boss who's expectations are so high that they're unmeetable or if I'm going to I do meet them, I'm up to 1:00 in the morning, and that is not healthy for me. It starts with acknowledgement. Two is to really think about who are the people in our network that we can go to for support, whether that's our parents, our friends, trusted folks that we have in our lives, therapists, et cetera, to go through that process.


Then three is to do that work of really caring for ourselves. I don't necessarily mean like crystals and bubble bouts. What I mean by caring for ourselves is giving ourselves rest and a break when we need that. Allowing ourselves to be pampered by those who love us and want to support us rather than pushing them away. Writing a compassionate love letter to ourselves that highlight our assets and the positive things we bring to the world so that we can battle Balance that with the negative rumination that we're feeling. When we do all three of those things, acknowledgement, leaning on our networks of care, and then also caring for ourselves, we can heal. Then when we heal, curiosity becomes possible again. I've actually learned this from trauma-informed therapists who have worked with survivors of some of the most traumatic experiences. They've said, It is difficult for you to be curious if you're traumatized. If you're in a really hard moment, it is very hard for you to get curious. But paradoxically, curiosity is a barometer of healing. In other words, you will only truly heal if you become curious again. It's a great aspiration for folks to try to work to get back to that spot so that they can open up possibilities again and feel into that part of the human condition again.


If you want to develop invested leaders who motivate, inspire, and engage distributed teams across your organization, visit business. Udemy. Com. Forward/invested-leaders. I think it's a really important topic, and I'm glad you brought it up, the whole trauma and healing. I read a lot of research that indicates that a majority of us are tired, we're not getting enough sleep. A majority of us are stressed beyond belief, having a work debilitating stress event at least once a week. That we know, Vivek Murthy, you quoted him in the book, our surgeon general, that there's a loneliness epidemic. So we're stressed, we're tired, we're lonely. There's all this is going on. And I do think it's a big issue in the workplace because we assume in a lot of leadership and management, we assume everybody comes to work and everything's great. Let's just focus on management and leadership. And when we started studying this and unpacking the topic during the pandemic and remote work and hybrid, all of these things were being exacerbated and getting worse. And so I'm wondering, I'd love to hear your thoughts. You just gave us some really good advice for ourselves, right? Acknowledge and build a network and care for yourself.


Let's try and think that through. I'd love to get like, now I'm a team leader and I manage five or six or seven people. How do I have the conversation or even bring this up? Because certainly know this from research, that a lot of people, this is not on the agenda. They have their team meeting. They don't have a topic called healing and building trust and rapport. I know that's a really big, important piece, but a lot of your book teaches us ways in which it would be really easy to start bringing that stuff to life. What would you do if you're a manager?


Yeah. Well, I would push a little bit back on that, saying that I do actually see this in a lot of corporations, whether they call it well-being or culture or leadership and development or people operations. There's many words for it. But I think at the heart of many of these professionals and leaders who I meet that occupy these spaces in companies is that they recognize, wow, when I look out at our workforce, when I look at employees and even leaders, there is a huge mental health and relational issue that's happening right now. Folks are really anxious, folks are depressed, and that affects the ways in which they're showing up to work, and let alone how they show up outside of the office walls to their families and to their communities. Then there's also relational issues, like a deterioration either between leaders and those who are new in the company, or even just a lack of feeling connectedness to other team members because maybe there was a reorganization, or maybe there's a lot of new people coming and they're feeling like, Oh, I'm part of the new guard, not the old guard. How do I really connect to folks who are different from me?


I do think that folks know that these are problems and they affect things like productivity, absenteeism, whether folks are able to give their best selves to work I think there's all these real business imperatives for why you want to do this. A big lever for all of that is to instill more curiosity into your workplace. How do you get leaders, for instance, to model and practice curiosity by rewarding questions, not just answers. So not saying things like, Okay, those questions are slowing down our project or our timeline. Let's just move on. Moving away from that messaging to, Those are really great questions that we know through discovery that there's so much that we can learn from those who are here right now in this team meeting and the efforts that are happening even outside of our organization. We can learn a lot from others and what's happening in the field. Those are two different dispositions. Leaders can also ask what's going on with their team members and what they might need and want rather than operating from assumptions. Maybe it's not a ping-pong table that folks want to feel happier and healthier and more playful in their workplace.


Maybe it's actually getting more access to leave, parental leave or bereavement leave. Maybe it's to be able to feel like their voices and their perspectives actually matter and make a difference in the business or in projects. I I think there needs to be more of an expiration that comes from leaders to really understand what's happening. Also, I see, I call it supervisory gaslighting, which is when more positive managers who are like, Oh, I'm very curious. Then I watch them and observe them in the work context. An employee will come up to them and say, I'm so sorry, I did such a bad job on that client presentation. I'm really sorry. The manager who I'm observing will say, No, you did great. The client loved it. They emailed me. It was awesome. Don't think like that. That is also not a great way to respond because you're essentially gaslighting them. You're saying your perspective on your own performance is wrong. My perspective is right. Stop seeing yourself in this way, which effectively reduces their confidence. Because confidence is all about, I trust and believe in the way that I view myself in the way that I move through the world.


You're essentially saying, Don't see yourself failure, see it in my eyes instead. When I call that to attention, it's like, oh, my gosh, that was so subtle. I didn't even notice I was doing that. Next time, I can come from a place of curiosity and say, No, I don't think you feel, but tell me more. Why do you feel that way? What do you think that you did in the client conversation that you'd like to improve on? Tell me more about that. That actually opens the door for connection. It makes that employee feel like, Wow, my supervisor is listening to me. They actually want to hear more from me. I feel closer to them. Through that sharing, they might even discover things about themselves that, Oh, wow, I have a negative self-taught voice in my head. I should probably do something about that. Or that supervisor might realize, Wow, your definition of failure is so different from mine. You actually see it in this very positive way where I see it in this very catastrophic way. I think all of those pieces for leaders are so, so important to model curiosity. When you actually have curiosity in a culture, it becomes contagious and everyone becomes curious in that workplace.


Then you start to see from the research, anxiety levels go down. You start to see absenteeism levels go down. You start to see depression go down. There's all this research to show at the individual and the collective level that when folks are practicing curiosity, it has these real well-being impacts. I think that's so exciting because curiosity is a capacity we all have. We don't have to learn it. It's not like a new skill, like coding or something. We all are born with curiosity, so it's already inside of us, and we just need to exercise it like a muscle.


Yeah, I wonder. One of the things that I can't figure out is why we still have employee engagement at 30-year lows and happiness bumbling around. We So much the research is there. You just made a perfect argument. You gave us some very specific things to do for addressing well-being in the workplace and how a leader can do it. I'm struggling with... It's common sense. It's rooted in theory. It's grounded in evidence. It's Why aren't we doing it more?


Yeah. Well, one thing to remember about these surveys is that, let's say you're tracking happiness with your employees, right? You can't really know whether an increase in happiness is happening because of the workplace environment or because of Maybe things that are happening in their personal lives, right? In their lives outside of work. There's so much that goes on outside of work that impacts the way we show up to work. And so I think that's really important to remember because we're operating currently in a society, in my opinion, that is dying in many ways, from our Earth to society as we know it. We're all in this collective grieving process. I think that it makes sense that we're starting to see some of these levels go down because there's real, real issues that are causing real suffering to people, both inside and outside of work. I just want to put that out there as a starting place. Until we solve things like climate change or until we bring more peace and reconciliation into spaces where there is constant war, until we can really lift people's economic situations so they're not living paycheck to paycheck or worse, until we solve for social isolation and loneliness, as Vivek Murthy talks about.


We will still have these issues that bring down these measures of happiness, et cetera. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't do anything about it. We shouldn't feel defeated by it. Companies are in a position to actually be levers of change in society. Society because A, many people are employed by them, so you're affecting lots of people, and then B, we spend a lot of time working. This is a huge opportunity for us to make a meaningful difference. Those meaningful differences not only help people in society, but they also make a meaningful difference in our businesses as well for the objectives we have. I think what I'm seeing as blockages is, one, folks will do these surveys, they'll start to ask about needs and wants, they'll hear things from their employees. But then there's some blockage on actually translating those insights into action. Actually coming up with projects, ideas, and investing in them that can actually help employees feel more supported, feel like they have access to mental health care, get the leave that they're looking for, et cetera. A lot of that has to do with those who are in power, being able and willing to be risky and experimental and try new things based on the knowledge that they're learning from their staff and implementing new projects and seeing whether they work or not.


But that's not happening oftentimes. There's a collection of evidence and then there's no action. That's one thing I'm noticing. The second thing that I'm noticing is that we live in this world where there is a lot of unpredictable, especially if you're a younger worker. But I would also say this for older workers, too. There's a lot of unpredictable. What is AI going to do for my job? Oh, my gosh, there was another round of layoffs. Wow, can I actually afford to buy a house? How would that even be possible? A lot of those unpredictable abilities create a lack of connection and a lack of attachment to the places that we're working in. Even if you were to create action and have these projects and initiatives, the engagement from employees, that percentage might be low. There are ways to fix that, but I definitely see that as something that's happening where you're offering all the initiatives. Why aren't employees taking advantage of these things that protect them and their families or give them more happiness? Then the third piece that I'm often seeing is that I think that, unfortunately, there's just been a general erosion of trust in power and in institutions.


I think there are positive reasons for that. I think that it's important to question power and authority and institutions. But I think in this landscape of disinformation, in this landscape of polarization and division that's happening, I think we look to senior leaders or we look to an institution like companies and we say, Can I really trust them? They're saying, We believe in supporting our environment in one way, or, We believe in LGBTQ rights in one way. But then what I see them doing as an employee is totally different. It's totally opposite to what they're vocalizing publicly, what's happening behind closed doors. I think that's why many young people are craving purposeful companies. Does this company have a purpose that is greater than growth, growth, growth, growth, growth about what I have to say and make me feel valued and make me feel heard and seen, or do they just see me as a low-paid grunt worker who's just putting more data into an Excel sheet? Then three, is this employer actually giving me pathways to advance and to learn and to grow. And I'm actually feeling that as I'm on the journey in my career.


And so those things need to change in order to create more trust back in our leaders and institutions, I think. Yeah.


So one of the things you write in the book, and I think that all of us can feel, being loud and right are two contributors to being promoted at work. And loudness is rewarded, you said, and humility is devalued. And so I'm wondering what that tells us, probably. And I know it's true because we've seen studies on we tend to promote the people that talk the most that are extroverted, and they tend to look or act like us. And then you perpetuate a bunch of how you ultimately get to a bunch of white male extroverts leading all the businesses. But we'll save that for another time. Really, what I want to get to is if humility is devalued and we want humble leaders who are caring and compassionate and care about people and care about purpose more than profit, how can we be humble and still get ahead? What might we do today? Back to that, I'm going to I'm a hiring leader or I'm a team leader right now. How do I use humility and not just get pushed aside by the loudmouth that talks a lot?


Yeah, and I think we need to recognize ourselves that leaders are not just those who are vocal or the best orators or are the ones who are often talking or talking the loudest. That some of the best leaders actually can be what folks call quiet leadership or servant leadership. They are always there, always supporting larger efforts, but maybe they're not talking as much because they actually like to digest and integrate what they're hearing and then go back after that meeting and really do research and formulate a really thoughtful response and a thoughtful approach to what it is that they're hearing. I think recognizing that ourselves is the first step. Then two, it's to actually make those more visible. So noticing, are we only ever celebrating a certain type of leader? How could we do that same celebration or increase the visibility of other types of leaders who have different styles and different forms of leadership? How do we recognize that leadership is not just based on your role or your position or how much salary you make relative to others in your organization, that you can actually be two months in in a junior-level position and exemplify tremendous leadership that has huge ramifications for the business and for the teams that you work alongside.


How do we note that and say that out loud as leaders? Those are all pieces of self-transformation that we need to do. Then just setting that norm and saying, We're the type of organization that recognizes that leadership comes in all kinds of ways. Then we also recognize that when people are coming from very different sets of experiences, and different backgrounds. There's actually tremendous value that comes from that. We know that a well-managed, diverse team has way more creative, innovative, and more effective solutions for business problems. We want that, actually, because that's good for our business and that's good for everyone's collective growth. But it's still that well-managed piece is really important. You can bring a really diverse group together, but it doesn't mean that you're actually going to come up with those great solutions unless it's well-managed. A big lens to use to make sure that it's well managed is curiosity. That's why a lot of D, E, and I folks will bring me in to do curiosity workshops because it's directly tied to D, E, and I. When we are more curious about what this person is feeling or we want to understand scan them, understand their perspectives, versus pushing out our own points of views or our own biases or our own assumptions, that's going to create a better working environment that's more collaborative, and that's going to lead to better outcomes.


So I think all of that is really helpful.


Yeah, beautiful. So if I take all of that and we're living in this world of uncertainty, and we're trying to deal with chaos, I'm wondering, how should we deal with uncertainty and chaos? And how can we start to dance with change and absorb it and live with it and feed off of its energy as opposed to fight it.


Yeah, a dear friend of mine, Uma, told me about a Jain teacher who taught her about this principle called Anake tovata, which essentially is translated roughly into living in the perhaps-ness. Living in the perhaps-ness. I love this because it's all about life. Let's say you're thinking about your career, you're 28 years old and you're looking ahead at your career, or Or you're starting a new relationship and you're in year one, and you're looking ahead at this relationship with this person that you really like. Or you're just maybe at the end of your life and your time horizon is different, and you're looking at the next transition and stage of life. You're looking at your own death. Wherever you are in life, there is always a moment and always an opportunity to live in the perhaps-ness, to push away that impulse of feeling so certain about your career, feeling so certain about this romantic partner you're dating, feeling so certain about what death is going to look like or feel like or what that means for you, and to instead come from a place of curiosity and to really wonder and to revel in awe at all the possibilities that could be about this career that you could journey on or this romantic relationship you could love on or this dying process you might be going through.


I learned this from folks who are coaches, whether they're career coaches or they're marriage and family therapists or whether they're death dealers. They work with people and they all essentially say the same thing, which is I want to encourage my clients or the people I'm working with to embrace curiosity, to really instill that sense of curiosity in themselves and the people around them, because that's going to create the kinds of beautiful benefits and meaning that they're all looking for. When you are curious about your career, and so are your parents and the other people around you, they're like, Oh, I don't know where you could go, instead of being like, No, you should probably be safe and get a STEM degree instead, or whatever. Whatever In curiosity, it's come towards us. Instead, everyone around you is coming from curiosity and saying, Wow, that entrepreneurship, that sounds really interesting. Where could that go? What are you thinking about? You are curious yourself of, What would that look like if I took that leap into a new career path for me? So much opens up for you. And also that journey becomes so much more encouraging and you feel so much more supported in that versus feeling resentful or angry.


Why do people feel this? Why does my parent feel this way? So encouraging curiosity from others around you, but also within yourself, I think that is such a worthwhile practice.


If I summarize it all, Scott, you close the book with, When life pulls the rug out from under, you don't hide, I ask you to seek. And I think you titled the book Seek, and you tell us to become seekers, and really to use curiosity as that fuel. It's beautiful. So as we wrap up here, we have a question that we ask every guest, and that is, What are you curious about and learning now?


I think one of the big pieces that I'm looking to call more into my life is, what does my spiritual life look like when lived out loud? I am a queer person that grew up in a particular part of a religious space that asked me to cut off a life limb, which was to silence the part of my queerness in order to connect to the divine and to God. Obviously, that created a lot of shame and self-hatred and that was hard for me. But since I've healed through that and learned that not all religious or spiritual spaces are like that, they're actually really affirming and they can be welcoming of all kinds of people, I've become really curious again at what is my spiritual life? What is this vessel of a body holding? What is my soul? And how do I cultivate that over a lifetime? So I'm so grateful to be on that path and connecting to the divine again. So that's a curiosity of mine.


I love it. Well, I'd love to keep tabs to hear about the spiritual journey, the divine life's purpose as you continue the quest to discover what it is, why we're here. The wisdom is in the pursuit, the journey, the purpose. So Scott, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast. This has been great.


Thanks so much. And reach out if you're listening and you just want to talk or you have curiosities, please slip into the DMs, @scotchigeoka on Instagram and all the other socials. And I really do respond to readers. So that's my favorite part about being an author. So if you read the book, you have thoughts, questions, please reach out. I will respond. Beautiful.


Thanks again to Scott Shigeoka for joining us today on the podcast. Follow Leading Up, a podcast from Udemy Business wherever you find your podcast. We'll be back next Wednesday with another episode to help you level up your leadership skills. Follow the show so you never miss a new episode. And if you like the show, leave a rating or a review. We love the feedback, and it really helps us to find new listeners. To learn more about Leading Up or how Udemy can help you develop leaders at scale and move business forward, visit business. Udemy. Com. The Leading Up podcast is produced in partnership with pod people. Our original theme is by Soundboard.