Curiosity Quotes to Inspire You
What’s the secret to being a life long learner? The answer, of course, is curiosity! The 18th century English author Samuel Johnson called curiosity “the thirst of the soul.” Two centuries later American author William Arthur Ward described it as “the wick in the candle of learning.” And the late, great Walt Disney claimed that it “keeps leading us down new paths.” These are just some quick curiosity quotes to get you started.
If asked to nominate one person who, perhaps more than any other, might epitomize the word “curiosity,” it would be hard to overlook the late Richard P. Feynman. He was a Nobel Prize-winning American physicist, scholar, and author, who served for many years as a professor at the prestigious California Institute of Technology, or, as it’s popularly known, Caltech.
In many ways, Feynman belied the scholarly image of a professor and scientist and was better known in many circles as a prankster and practical joker. For example, while based at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where the atom bomb was being developed, he amused himself by picking the locks of cabinets containing top secret documents and leaving behind cryptic notes suggesting the presence of enemy agents.
At other times he taught himself how to juggle, play bongo drums, paint, and learn other skills with seemingly little if any connection to his scientific endeavors. Asked to explain what “made him tick,” he told one interviewer: “I’ve been caught, so to speak—like someone who was given something wonderful when he was a child and he’s always looking for it again. I’m always looking, like a child, for the wonders I know I’m going to find—maybe not every time, but every once in a while.”
In two books he wrote, Feynman would go on to describe his never-ending search for such wonders. The first, Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman, was subtitled Adventures of a Curious Character. It was followed by, What Do You Care What Other People Think?, subtitled Further Adventures of a Curious Character.
It was his lifelong curiosity that enabled Feynman to reach the pinnacle of his profession and earn the respect of his peers.
The Questions You Ask
There are a couple of good ways to keep that wick of curiosity burning. One is by asking questions and another is by reading. Not long ago I heard a great story about a young boy named Martin Perl, who was born in New York City in 1927 to Jewish parents who had emigrated from Russia to the United States around the start of the twentieth century.
In his autobiography, Perl described the importance his parents placed on his education. “Going to school,” he wrote, “and working for good marks, indeed working for very good marks, was a serious business. My parents regarded school teachers as higher beings, as did many immigrants. School principals were gods to be worshiped but never seen by children or parents. Parents never visited the school to talk about the curriculum or to meet with their child’s teacher.”
Yet it was his mother who instilled in him perhaps the most important lesson of all. “Every day when I came home from school,” he explained, “she asked me, ‘So, Marty, did you ask any good questions today?’” It was that habit of asking questions that helped Martin Perl become a distinguished physicist who, in 1995, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of the tau lepton—an elementary particle similar to the electron.
Curiosity Quotes to Inspire
Remaining curious throughout your life is key. If you are a physician looking to start a side-gig, it is important that you remain curious, ask questions, and look for new solutions.
- “The best in business have boundless curiosity and open minds.” Robin Sharma
- “I want people to believe in themselves. I want intellectual curiosity. I want someone who realizes that they don’t know it all and that they’re dying to learn.” Kevin Plank
- “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” Albert Einstein
- “Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.” James Stephens
- “Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.” Marie Curie
- “Be curious. Read widely. Try new things. What people call intelligence just boils down to curiosity.” Aaron Swartz
- “Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last.” Samuel Johnson
- “Life must be lived and curiosity kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.” Eleanor Roosevelt
- “If you can let go of passion and follow your curiosity, your curiosity just might lead you to your passion.” Elizabeth Gilbert
- “Remember that things are not always as they appear to be. Curiosity creates possibilities and opportunities.” Roy T. Bennett
- “At the heart of great leadership is a curious mind, heart, and spirit.” Chip Conley
Being curious will help you continually learn. As an entrepreneur, it is important to never stop learning. It doesn’t matter if you have 12 Masters degrees and have written one thousand award-winning books, there is always something new to learn. If you’re wise, the learning process shouldn’t stop the day you bid the campus farewell. That diploma or degree may testify that you’ve been educated, but education and wisdom aren’t the same thing, nor are education and learning synonymous.
Learning is undoubtedly a lifetime pursuit. By keeping your mind open to new possibilities you open yourself up to an unimaginable realm of continuous knowledge.
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