The self-renewing man

The self-renewing man is versatile and adaptive. He is not trapped in techniques, procedures, or routines of the moment. He is not the victim of fixed habits and attitudes. He is not imprisoned by extreme specialization.  

For the self-renewing man, the development of his own potentialities and the process of self-discovery never end. It is a sad but unarguable fact that most human beings go through life only partially aware of the full range of their abilities.. By middle-age, most of use are accomplished fugitives from ourselves..How long is it since you have failed at anything? If it is long, you are in poor shape. If you are sufficiently adventurous, sufficiently willing to try new things, you will stumble fairly often.  

John Gardner,  Saturday Review XLVI (January 5, 1963)