Hollywood producer Brian Grazer’s grandmother changed his life when she told him curiosity would be his greatest attribute as long as he maintained the courage to use it. Grazer’s latest book, A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life, maps his life’s journey of courage and curiosity.
Brian Grazer: It began when I was a kid and my grandmother, grandma Sonya, probably about this high, said to me that curiosity would you be my greatest attribute and it would be a superpower in my life and all I had to do was just have the courage to use it. I remember looking at one of my report cards and it was basically all F's and she saying, "You're going to be special. You're going all the way." And she's telling me how great I'm going to be. But I'm looking at this report card in her presence and there was just no empirical evidence whatsoever to me that that would ever transpire. And then out of college I thought how can I apply this in a bigger way? And I had this one outstanding professor in my entire four years at USC and his name was Dr. Milton Wolpin, who was a graduate professor of abnormal psychology at USC. And I'm now two weeks out of college and I thought I want to get together with Dr. Milton Wolpin because I was just one of 300 kids in this class, and of course had never had a chance to really introduce myself.
So I pursued him unable to get this meeting, so I thought I'm just going to show up at school again and wait for him to leave his class. And he leaves his class and I say, "Dr. Wolpin, I would really like to just have 10 minutes, a coffee with you. I don't really have any big asks beyond that other than 10 minutes." He said, "But Brian haven't you already graduated?" And I said, "Well I have graduated, but I'd just love to have a coffee with you." Anyway he agreed. And I turned that 10 minutes, I expanded it into about an hour and a half conversation, which had greater value for sure than the year I spent in that classroom. And for over 30 years, actually about 35 years, I've been doing this every two weeks meeting a new person in any subject other than entertainment. So science, medicine, politics, religion, every art form. And I've just been doing it and it really has expanded my universe physically and mentally. It's created opportunities that I never even thought existed in my life or would exist. And so that's kind of the sense of the breadth of what I've been doing.