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On Learning...


Learning is one of the great joys of life, perhaps because the brain rewards our gift to it with a dose of dopamine that gives us that ‘Eureka’ feeling. It is an engine of progress and an enemy of conservatism. The secret of success is not in how much you learn, but in never stopping learning.

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change, education*, enjoyment, knowledge*, progress, thinking, truth


‘The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.’

Muhammad Ali

‘It is what we think we know that keeps us from learning.’

Chester Barnard

‘It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot, irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it.’

Jacob Bronowski

‘To learn something new, take the path that you took yesterday.’

John Burroughs

‘In order to learn one must change one’s mind.’

Orson Scott Card

‘That there should one man die ignorant who had capacity for knowledge, this I call a tragedy.’

Thomas Carlyle

‘The chief object of education is not to learn things but to unlearn things.’

G. K. Chesterton

‘Personally, I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.’

Winston Churchill

‘It’s what you learn after you know it all that really counts.’

Winston Churchill

‘If men could learn from history, what lessons it might teach us! But passion and party blind our eyes; and the light which experience gives is a lantern on the stern which shines only on the waves behind us.’

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

‘He who stops being better stops being good.’

Oliver Cromwell

‘To develop a complete mind, study the science of art, study the art of science. Learn how to see. Realise that everything connects to everything else.’

Leonardo Da Vinci

‘The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know.’

Albert Einstein

‘Anyone who stops learning is old, whether twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning today is young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.’

Henry Ford

‘One of the reasons mature people stop learning is that they become less and less willing to risk failure.’

John W. Gardner

‘There is no learning without some difficulty and fumbling. If you want to keep on learning, you must keep on risking failure—all your life.’

John W. Gardner

‘Learning is its own exceeding great reward.’

William Hazlitt

‘Humans hardly ever learn from the experience of others. They learn–when they do, which isn’t often–on their own, the hard way.’

Robert Heinlein

Belief gets in the way of learning.’

Robert Heinlein

‘Much learning does not teach understanding.’


‘In times of profound change, the learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.’

Eric Hoffer

‘He who has imagination without learning has wings and no feet.’

Joseph Joubert

‘Creative activity could be described as a type of learning process where teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.’

Arthur Koestler

‘The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn.’

John Lubbock

‘A person who can create ideas worthy of note is a person who has learned much from others.’

Konosuke Matsushita

‘I am still learning.’


‘The pupil who is never required to do what he cannot do, never does what he can do.’

John Stuart Mill

‘I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.’

Pablo Picasso

‘Some people never learn anything because they understand everything too soon.’

Alexander Pope

‘A little learning is a dangerous thing.’

Alexander Pope

‘It is wise to learn; it is God-like to create.’

John Saxe

‘Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for.’


‘If you want the present to be different from the past, study the past.’

Benedict de Spinoza

‘To hold the same views at forty as we held at twenty is to have been stupefied for a score of years, and take rank, not as a prophet, but as an unteachable brat, well birched and none the wiser.’

Robert Louis Stephenson

‘Man’s capacities have never been measured, nor are we to judge of what he can do by any precedent, so little has been tried.’

Henry David Thoreau

‘I said that an expert was a fella who was afraid to learn anything new because then he wouldn’t be an expert any more.’

Harry S. Truman

‘The illiterate of future are not those who can’t read or write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and re-learn.’

Alvin Toffler

‘One learns through the heart, not the eyes or the intellect.’

Mark Twain

‘We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it—and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again—and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.’

Mark Twain



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