Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning.

William Arthur Ward

Just as the length of a wick in a candle determines how long the flame will last, the depth of one's curiosity fuels their pursuit of knowledge. It’s an apt metaphor, coined by motivational writer William Arthur Ward (1921-1994). Ward published more than 100 poems, articles, and essays, as well as a book titled The Inspirational Maxim. Since Ward first wrote about curiosity, science has quantified its benefits in new and fascinating ways. One such study indicated that when we are curious, changes in our brain prepare us to learn not only the information we originally sought out, but also incidental information we might encounter along the way. Ward may not have had neuroimaging technology, but his instincts were correct: Curiosity is at the center of our capacity to learn.