English essayist William Hazlitt is best known for his humanist writings, which stress free will and self-actualization. In 1826, he published “On Application to Study,” an essay discussing how staying engaged keeps us moving forward. With this line, Hazlitt suggests that the drive for knowledge keeps our minds sharp — that genius is a muscle that can be exercised. He wrote that “by continuing our efforts, as by moving forwards in a road, we extend our views, and discover continually new tracts of country.” In other words, we will always learn something new when we’re out looking for it with an open mind.
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