Sam Radford

July 27, 2021

A curious idiot

Austin Kleon shares some great thoughts on curiosity in a recent blog post of his.

He starts by sharing sharing a quote from Jason Sudekis, discussing his approach to playing the character Ted Lasso:

What if you played an ignorant guy who was actually curious?

Austin then points to another quote, this one by Mike Monteiro:

The secret to being good at anything is to approach it like a curious idiot, rather than a know-it-all genius.

I love this. How much better would our world be if we all had enough humility to play the role of curious idiots?

And humility is key. As Austin goes on to point out, this approach only works if we can manage our egos:

The “curious idiot” approach can serve you well if you can quiet your ego long enough to perform it.

A curious idiot is unafraid to ask stupid questions. Every stupid question you ask takes a teeny, tiny act of courage. Sometimes you have to muster the will to push the words out of your lips.

I can still relive those moments from my school days: Shy and timid, holding back from asking the ‘stupid’ question that would have taken my learning to another level. And though I could blame being shy, the truth is that it was fear of asking a dumb question that held me back. How would I look? What would people think of me?

What a waste of learning and growth opportunity!

Thankfully, I’m a little older and wiser now and I think I’ve gotten better at asking questions. I still have room for growth though.

Here’s to being curious idiots!


Got some thoughts on this? I’d love to hear from you – do hit reply or drop me a note.

@samradford |

About Sam Radford

Husband, father, lover of books, writer, tech geek, sports fan, and pragmatic idealist from Sheffield, England.