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Exploration & Discovery
  • 08
  • 10
  • 2014

Exploration & Discovery

Human history and literature is full of inspirational instances and stories of great journeys of exploration and discovery.

Epic journeys of many kinds have created immense value in expanding the horizons of our knowledge, understanding our natural world, improving quality of life, and enriching our culture.   I have great admiration for the qualities of the human spirit that have driven adventurous exploration and discovery since ancient times in science, medicine, education, business, art, public policy and otherwise. 

by David E Shaw

The spirit of exploration, and its value, has been captured eloquently by many writers.  Below are several examples, and others are included in the gallery:

“We will not cease from our exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”  —T.S. Elliot 

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”  —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“In wisdom gathered over time I have found that every experience is a form of exploration.”   —Ansel Adams

“From the freedom to explore comes the joy of learning. From knowledge acquired by personal initiative arises the desire for more knowledge. And from mastery of the novel and beautiful world awaiting every child comes self-confidence.” —Edward O. Wilson

“Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.”  ―Edwin Hubble 

“I have ever been prone to seek adventure and to investigate and experiment where wiser men would have left well enough alone.”  —Edgar Rice Burroughs

“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”  —Stephen Hawking

“Be brave enough to live creatively. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can only get there by hard work, by risking and by not quite knowing what you are doing. What you will discover will be wonderful: Yourself.
”  —Alan Alda 

“Your task is not to foresee the future, but to enable it.
 It is in the compelling zest of high adventure and of victory, and in creative action, that man finds his supreme joys.”
  —Antoine de Saint Exupéry

“You see things; and you say “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?” 
—George Bernard Shaw

“I am a part of all that I have met.” —
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, excerpt of the poem Ulysses

“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.” —
Henry David Thoreau

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”  —Confucius

“A ship in harbor is safe -but that is not what ships are built for.”
 —John A. Shedd

 “I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.
”  —Jack London

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”
 —Theodore Roosevelt

“There is no greater high than discovery.” -EO Wilson

I have been fortunate to be associated with many adventurous and thoughtful explorers, and I’ve witnessed the ability of these experiences to push the bar higher in terms of getting the most out of life, helping people discover their best self. I have admired those who challenge convention to create new perspectives and exceptional value with high purpose.  I admire those who incorporate a spirit of exploration and discovery into their lives through public service, advocacy, business, science, art, and adventure in the natural world. I have seen the benefit of habitually asking “what does great look like” as a framework for tackling worthy challenges and opportunities. I have seen exceptional value created via “game changing” initiatives ranging from environmental stewardship and public policy to scientific research, education, high tech businesses and other arena.

Closing with an addendum to the great Mark Twain’s admonition:

“Throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”   —Mark Twain

Shaw addendum: “in seeking to create exceptional value in the world … challenge convention,  address game-changing opportunities, and discover “what great looks like” for every worthy endeavor” 

Click through the gallery below: