‘For curiosity, interest, and a longing to know more and more types of experience are the qualities that stimulate a desire to know about life and to understand it. They provide the zest that makes it possible to meet any situation as an adventure. Without that spirit of adventure, life can be a dull business. With it, there is no situation, however limiting, physically or economically, which cannot be filled to the brim with interest. Indeed, without interest, it is almost impossible to continue to learn; certainly, it is impossible to continue to grow.
Now and then, I am surprised to read of the death of someone I have known, because I thought he or she had died long ago. Actually, he had only stopped growing.’
– Eleanor Roosevelt, You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life.
This is taken from a 1960 book that Eleanor Roosevelt, the First Lady from 1933 to 1945, wrote towards the end of her life. It’s a bit like your nan telling you what to do when you grow up – if your nan had hobnobbed with various world leaders, that is. She doesn’t offer any basis for her advice other than her own experience and opinions, but her experience was pretty impressive, as it goes. I found myself nodding along to many of the passages and itching to show them to everyone else because it just makes sense. Well worth a read.