As the proverb goes, “A man should go on living – if only to satisfy his curiosity.” If we look upon life as an adventure, we may find that there’s a lot more to discover than there is to stress over. May these curiosity quotes fan the flames of your deepest desires, interests, dreams, and your sense of adventure.
“The purpose of education is not to fill a vessel but to kindle a flame.” – Alfred North Whitehead
As the notable mathematician and philosopher above once suggested, education is meant to kindle a flame. This desire to learn–this curiosity–makes this life a richer one to live, a worthwhile journey to travel.
I think curiosity is a wonderful gift, an effective stress-reliever, and a way back to joy.
As Elizabeth Gilbert writes in her book Big Magic, curiosity just asks if you’re interested in something, anything at all. Your answer only needs to capture your attention for a moment–it’s a clue, so follow it. Following it might lead you to amazing places, eventually to your passion, or maybe nowhere. No matter what, “you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you passed your entire existence in devotion to the noble human virtue of inquisitiveness.”
Curiosity tells us that there are better things waiting for us ahead, just waiting to be found. Curiosity can open new doors for us, but I think it gives something more: it allows us the chance to move forward with the hope that there is something worth finding.
The most wonderful thing about curiosity, perhaps, is that it’s accessible to everyone. And so, I hope these curiosity quotes inspire you to reacquaint yourself with what you’re interested in, even if it seems mundane, small, or silly. Treat your curiosity as a lighthearted and sacred path back to joy, for that is what it can be.
31 Curiosity Quotes to Rekindle Your Flame
1. “I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could as a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
2. “Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
3. “Desire and curiosity are the two eyes which can magically transform the world.” – Unknown
5. “Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” – E. E. Cummings
6. “Listening and being curious and wide-eyed in the world, I think, is what allows us to move forward, progress, evolve and learn and alter our behavior and become more self-aware. I think that listening is kind of what it’s all about.” – Andrew Zuckerman
7. “Do not grow old, no matter how long you live. Never cease to stand like curious children before the Great Mystery into which we were born.” – Albert Einstein
9. “Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.” – Leo Burnett
10. “Or is there a natural curiosity and sense of wonder that arises and puts you very much in touch with all of the mysterious elements that make up this particular moment? Does this curiosity lead you to rash and silly decisions, or does it allow impulses and intuitions to arise from a deeper place?” – Unknown
11. “The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards.” – Anatole France
13. “Human curiosity, the urge to know, is a powerful force and is perhaps the best secret weapon of all in the struggle to unravel the workings of the natural world.” – Aaron Klug
14. “Although there may be nothing new under the sun, what is old is new to us and so rich and astonishing that we never tire of it. If we do tire of it, if we lose our curiosity, we have lost something of infinite value, because to a high degree it is curiosity that gives meaning and savour to life.” – Robertson Davies
15. “Satisfaction of one’s curiosity is one of the greatest sources of happiness in life.” – Dr. Linus Pauling
17. “Joy in the universe, and keen curiosity about it all – that has been my religion.” – John Burroughs
18. “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” – Albert Einstein
19. “Curiosity only does one thing, and that is to give. And what it gives you are clues on the incredible scavenger hunt of your life.” – Elizabeth Gilbert
21. “Around here, we don’t look backwards for very long… we keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney
22. “Be curious. Read widely. Try new things. What people call intelligence just boils down to curiosity.” – Aaron Swartz
23. “Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.” – Samuel Johnson
25. “It is curiosity that compels us to find new ways to do old things, and to do new things even though fear would tempt us to remain idle. It is curiosity that makes it possible for us to accept change or to embrace uncertainty at all.” – J. W.
26. “Curiosity is lying in wait for every secret.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
27. “Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.” – James Stephens
29. “When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.” – Walt Disney
30. “By replacing fear of the unknown with curiosity we open ourselves up to an infinite stream of possibility. We can let fear rule our lives or we can become childlike with curiosity, pushing our boundaries, leaping out of our comfort zones, and accepting what life puts before us.” – Alan Watts
31. “Curiosity is one of the great secrets of happiness.” – Bryant McGill
Please share your thoughts, favorite curiosity quotes, the paths your curiosity has led you down, and any stories with me in the comments.
Share these curiosity quotes with someone who might enjoy them.
May your curiosities outnumber your fears.
Free light bulb graphic by We Lived Happily Ever After; lettering by Aim Happy.