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On Discovery...


To discover something new, all you need to do is look. But then so few people know how to look and fewer still know where to look. Discovery can also be an inner journey, and the person who is at home with themselves can be more effective at looking outside without being disturbed by inner critics.

See also

curiosity, daring, deviation, exploration*, imagination, leaping, persistence, seeing*, vision


‘A professor can never better distinguish himself in his work than by encouraging a clever pupil, for the true discoverers are among them, as comets amongst the stars.’

Henry Brooks Adams

‘The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself.’

Alan Alda

‘The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the only one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!", but rather, "Hmm... that’s funny...".’

Isaac Asimov

‘They are ill discoverers that think there is no land when they can see nothing but sea.’

Francis Bacon

‘Great discoveries and improvements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds. I may be given credit for having blazed the trail, but when I look at the subsequent developments I feel the credit is due to others rather than myself.’

Alexander Graham Bell

‘The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance--it is the illusion of knowledge.’

Daniel J. Boorstin

‘The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them.’

William Bragg

‘Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself up to it.’

Gautama Buddha

‘Discovery is the ability to be puzzled by simple things.’

Noam Chomsky

‘There is nothing so far removed from us to be beyond our reach, or so far hidden that we cannot discover it.’

René Descartes

‘The process of scientific discovery is, in effect, a continual flight from wonder.’

Albert Einstein

‘All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.’

Galileo Galilei

‘Creativity often consists of merely turning up what is already there. Did you know that right and left shoes were thought up only a little over a century ago?’

Bernice Fitz-Gibbon

‘One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.’

André Gide

‘We don’t know who first discovered water, but we can be sure that it wasn’t a fish.’

Howard Gossage

‘Who never walks save where he sees men’s tracks makes no discoveries.’

J. G. Holland

‘Nobody is bored when he is trying to make something that is beautiful or to discover something that is true.’

William Ralph Inge

‘Fertility of imagination and abundance of guesses at the truth are among the first requisites of discovery.’

William Jevons

‘When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.’

Tuli Kupferberg

‘One of the advantages to being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.’

A. A. Milne

‘No great discovery was ever made without a bold guess.’

Isaac Newton

‘I do not seek. I find.’

Pablo Picasso

‘The real voyage of discovery lies not in seeking new landscapes but in seeing with new eyes.’

Marcel Proust

‘I invent nothing. I rediscover.’

Auguste Rodin

‘What people think of as the moment of discovery is really the discovery of the question.’

Jonas Salk

‘No one ever made a great discovery without the exercise of the imagination.’

George Henry Lewes

‘Man’s "progress" is but a gradual discovery that his questions have no meaning.’

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

‘A single discovery within a lifetime is a very remarkable thing. Two over the course of a career–why, you’d be very lucky indeed.’

Alan Toomre
‘What is there that confers the noblest delight? What is that which swells a man’s breast with pride above that which any other experience can bring to him? Discovery!’

Mark Twain

‘Everything important has been said before by somebody who did not discover it.’

Alfred North Whitehead



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