Feeling Of Achievement Quotes

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Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.
Bob Marley
Promise Yourself To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. To make all your friends feel that there is something in them To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. To think only the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best. To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile. To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble. To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words but great deeds. To live in faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you.
Christian D. Larson (Your Forces and How to Use Them)
My task, which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel--it is, before all, to make you see.
Joseph Conrad (Lord Jim)
People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don't deserve them, or that they'll be unable to achieve them.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
My brother cleared his throat. "I wish she knew that I think she is the most hilarious person on Earth. And that whenever she's not home, I feel like I'm missing my partner in crime." My throat tightened. Do not cry. Do not cry. "I wish she knew that she's really Mom's favorite--" I shook my head here. "--the princess she always wanted. That Mom used to dress her up like a little doll and parade her around like Mara was her greatest achievement. I wish Mara knew that I never minded, because she's my favorite too.
Michelle Hodkin (The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2))
I don't need a baby growing inside me for nine months. If I'm going to feel nauseous and achy when I wake up, I want to achieve that state the old-fashioned way: getting good and drunk the night before.
Ellen DeGeneres
Maybe we all live life at too high a pitch, those of us who absorb emotional things all day, and as mere consequence we can never feel merely content: we have to be unhappy, or ecstatically, head-over-heels happy, and those states are difficult to achieve within a stable, solid relationship.
Nick Hornby (High Fidelity)
It’s a very American illness, the idea of giving yourself away entirely to the idea of working in order to achieve some sort of brass ring that usually involves people feeling some way about you – I mean, people wonder why we walk around feeling alienated and lonely and stressed out.
David Foster Wallace
If you have a past with which you feel dissatisfied, then forget it, now. Imagine a new story for your life and believe in it. Focus only on the moments when you achieved what you desired, and that strength will help you to get what you want.
Paulo Coelho (The Fifth Mountain)
Beauty is the enemy . We try to conquer not feeling beautiful all our lives. It's a battle that can't be won. There's no definition of beauty. The only way to achieve beauty is to feel it from inside without breaking down into individual physical attributes
Miley Cyrus
When I was little and running on the race track at school, I always stopped and waited for all the other kids so we could run together even though I knew (and everybody else knew) that I could run much faster than all of them! I pretended to read slowly so I could "wait" for everyone else who couldn't read as fast as I could! When my friends were short I pretended that I was short too and if my friend was sad I pretended to be unhappy. I could go on and on about all the ways I have limited myself, my whole life, by "waiting" for people. And the only thing that I've ever received in return is people thinking that they are faster than me, people thinking that they can make me feel bad about myself just because I let them and people thinking that I have to do whatever they say I should do. My mother used to teach me "Cinderella is a perfect example to be" but I have learned that Cinderella can go fuck herself, I'm not waiting for anybody, anymore! I'm going to run as fast as I can, fly as high as I can, I am going to soar and if you want you can come with me! But I'm not waiting for you anymore.
C. JoyBell C.
A healthy feeling of inferiority is not something that comes from comparing oneself to others; it comes from one’s comparison with one’s ideal self.
Ichiro Kishimi (The Courage to Be Disliked: The Japanese Phenomenon That Shows You How to Change Your Life and Achieve Real Happiness)
If some people are so hungry for a feeling of importance that they actually go insane to get it, imagine what miracle you and I can achieve by giving people honest appreciation this side of insanity.
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)
People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them. We, their hearts, become fearful just thinking of loved ones who go away forever, or of moments that could have been good but weren’t, or of treasures that might have been found but were forever hidden in the sands. Because, when these things happen, we suffer terribly.
Paulo Coelho
I feel that art has something to do with the achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos. A stillness which characterizes prayer, too, and the eye of the storm. I think that art has something to do with an arrest of attention in the midst of distraction.
Saul Bellow
We stand there for a moment, looking at each other, and in that instant I feel our connection so strongly it's as though it achieves physical existence, becomes a hand all around us, cupping us together, protecting us. This is what people are always talking about when they talk about god: this feeling, of being held and understood and protected. feeling this way seems about as close to saying a prayer as you could get...
Lauren Oliver (Delirium (Delirium, #1))
The world needs a sense of worth, and it will achieve it only by its people feeling that they are worthwhile.
Fred Rogers
Be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. Make all your friends feel there is something special in them. Look at the sunny side of everything. Think only the best, be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give everyone a smile. Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others. Be too big for worry and too noble for anger.
Norman Vincent Peale
I feel to invite women everywhere to rise to the great potential within you. I do not ask that you reach beyond your capacity. I hope you will not nag yourselves with thoughts of failure. I hope you will not try to set goals far beyond your capacity to achieve. I hope you will simply do what you can do in the best way you know. If you do so, you will witness miracles come to pass.
Gordon B. Hinckley
Happiness is not something that you have to achieve. You can still feel happy during the process of achieving something
Kim Namjoon
The barrier during self-improvement is not so much that we hate learning, rather we hate being taught. To learn entails that the knowledge was achieved on one's own accord - it feels great - but to be taught often leaves a feeling of inferiority. Thus it takes a bit of determination and a lot of humility in order for one to fully develop.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
If you're trying to be miserable, it's important you don't have any goals. No school goals, personal goals, family goals. Your only objective each day should be to inhale and exhale for sixteen hours before you go to bed again. Don't read anything informative, don't listen to anything useful, don't do anything productive. If you start achieving goals, you might start to feel a sense of excitement, then you might want to set another goal, and then your miserable mornings are through. To maintain your misery, the idea of crossing off your goals should never cross your mind.
John Bytheway (How to Be Totally Miserable)
So much of the pain of loneliness is to do with concealment, with feeling compelled to hide vulnerability, to tuck ugliness away, to cover up scars as if they are literally repulsive. But why hide? What's so shameful about wanting, about desire, about having failed to achieve satisfaction, about experiencing unhappiness? Why this need to constantly inhabit peak states, or to be comfortably sealed inside a unit of two, turned inward from the world at large?
Olivia Laing (The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone)
The POSITIVE THINKER sees the INVISIBLE, feels the INTANGIBLE, and achieves the IMPOSSIBLE.
Winston S. Churchill (My Early Life, 1874-1904)
What were you thinking?" I demanded once we were moving to the music. I was trying to ignore his hands. "Do you know how much trouble you may have gotten me in?" Adrian grinned. "Nah. They all feel bad for you. You'll achieve martyrdom after dancing with a mean, wicked vampire. Job security with the Alchemists.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
I’m a modern man, a man for the millennium. Digital and smoke free. A diversified multi-cultural, post-modern deconstruction that is anatomically and ecologically incorrect. I’ve been up linked and downloaded, I’ve been inputted and outsourced, I know the upside of downsizing, I know the downside of upgrading. I’m a high-tech low-life. A cutting edge, state-of-the-art bi-coastal multi-tasker and I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond! I’m new wave, but I’m old school and my inner child is outward bound. I’m a hot-wired, heat seeking, warm-hearted cool customer, voice activated and bio-degradable. I interface with my database, my database is in cyberspace, so I’m interactive, I’m hyperactive and from time to time I’m radioactive. Behind the eight ball, ahead of the curve, ridin the wave, dodgin the bullet and pushin the envelope. I’m on-point, on-task, on-message and off drugs. I’ve got no need for coke and speed. I've got no urge to binge and purge. I’m in-the-moment, on-the-edge, over-the-top and under-the-radar. A high-concept, low-profile, medium-range ballistic missionary. A street-wise smart bomb. A top-gun bottom feeder. I wear power ties, I tell power lies, I take power naps and run victory laps. I’m a totally ongoing big-foot, slam-dunk, rainmaker with a pro-active outreach. A raging workaholic. A working rageaholic. Out of rehab and in denial! I’ve got a personal trainer, a personal shopper, a personal assistant and a personal agenda. You can’t shut me up. You can’t dumb me down because I’m tireless and I’m wireless, I’m an alpha male on beta-blockers. I’m a non-believer and an over-achiever, laid-back but fashion-forward. Up-front, down-home, low-rent, high-maintenance. Super-sized, long-lasting, high-definition, fast-acting, oven-ready and built-to-last! I’m a hands-on, foot-loose, knee-jerk head case pretty maturely post-traumatic and I’ve got a love-child that sends me hate mail. But, I’m feeling, I’m caring, I’m healing, I’m sharing-- a supportive, bonding, nurturing primary care-giver. My output is down, but my income is up. I took a short position on the long bond and my revenue stream has its own cash-flow. I read junk mail, I eat junk food, I buy junk bonds and I watch trash sports! I’m gender specific, capital intensive, user-friendly and lactose intolerant. I like rough sex. I like tough love. I use the “F” word in my emails and the software on my hard-drive is hardcore--no soft porn. I bought a microwave at a mini-mall; I bought a mini-van at a mega-store. I eat fast-food in the slow lane. I’m toll-free, bite-sized, ready-to-wear and I come in all sizes. A fully-equipped, factory-authorized, hospital-tested, clinically-proven, scientifically- formulated medical miracle. I’ve been pre-wash, pre-cooked, pre-heated, pre-screened, pre-approved, pre-packaged, post-dated, freeze-dried, double-wrapped, vacuum-packed and, I have an unlimited broadband capacity. I’m a rude dude, but I’m the real deal. Lean and mean! Cocked, locked and ready-to-rock. Rough, tough and hard to bluff. I take it slow, I go with the flow, I ride with the tide. I’ve got glide in my stride. Drivin and movin, sailin and spinin, jiving and groovin, wailin and winnin. I don’t snooze, so I don’t lose. I keep the pedal to the metal and the rubber on the road. I party hearty and lunch time is crunch time. I’m hangin in, there ain’t no doubt and I’m hangin tough, over and out!
George Carlin
A garden should make you feel you've entered privileged space -- a place not just set apart but reverberant -- and it seems to me that, to achieve this, the gardener must put some kind of twist on the existing landscape, turn its prose into something nearer poetry.
Michael Pollan (Second Nature: A Gardener's Education)
It is not only by one's impulses that one achieves greatness, but also by patiently filing away the steel wall that separates what one feels from what one is capable of doing.
Vincent van Gogh
I feel the reason we are all here, our purpose of being, is to help others find their little piece of happiness and heaven right here on earth.
Ken Poirot (Mentor Me: GA=T+E—A Formula to Fulfill Your Greatest Achievement)
If my poetry aims to achieve anything, it's to deliver people from the limited ways in which they see and feel.
Jim Morrison
People’s confidence in their abilities influences how they approach life. Their dreams are likely anchored to what they feel they can achieve.
Raoul Davis Jr. (Firestarters: How Innovators, Instigators, and Initiators Can Inspire You to Ignite Your Own Life)
It seems to me that if you place music (and books, probably, and films, and plays, and anything that makes you feel) at the center of your being, then you can’t afford to sort out your love life, start to think of it as the finished product. You’ve got to pick at it, keep it alive and in turmoil, you’ve got to pick at it and unravel it until it all comes apart and you’re compelled to start all over again. Maybe we all live life at too high a pitch, those of us who absorb emotional things all day, and as a consequence we can never feel merely content: we have to be unhappy, or ecstatically, head-over-heels happy, and those states are difficult to achieve within a stable, solid relationship.
Nick Hornby
Do you know the hallmark of a second rater? It's resentment of another man's achievement. Those touchy mediocrities who sit trembling lest someone's work prove greater than their own - they have no inkling of the loneliness that comes when you reach the top. The loneliness for an equal - for a mind to respect and an achievement to admire. They bare their teeth at you from out of their rat holes,thinking that you take pleasure in letting your brilliance dim them - while you'd give a year of my life to see a flicker of talent anywhere among them. They envy achievement, and their dream of greatness is a world where all men have become their acknowledged inferiors. They don't know that that dream is the infallible proof of mediocrity, because that sort of world is what the man of achievement would not be able to bear. They have no way of knowing what he feels when surrounded by inferiors - hatred? no, not hatred, but boredom - the terrible, hopeless, draining, paralyzing boredom. Of what account are praise and adulation from men whom you don't respect? Have you ever felt the longing for someone you could admire? For something, not to look down at, but up to?" "I've felt it all my life," she said.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
On the surface, I was calm: in secret, without really admitting it, I was waiting for something. Her return? How could I have been waiting for that? We all know that we are material creatures, subject to the laws of physiology and physics, and not even the power of all our feelings combined can defeat those laws. All we can do is detest them. The age-old faith of lovers and poets in the power of love, stronger than death, that finis vitae sed non amoris, is a lie, useless and not even funny. So must one be resigned to being a clock that measures the passage of time, now out of order, now repaired, and whose mechanism generates despair and love as soon as its maker sets it going? Are we to grow used to the idea that every man relives ancient torments, which are all the more profound because they grow comic with repetition? That human existence should repeat itself, well and good, but that it should repeat itself like a hackneyed tune, or a record a drunkard keeps playing as he feeds coins into the jukebox... Must I go on living here then, among the objects we both had touched, in the air she had breathed? In the name of what? In the hope of her return? I hoped for nothing. And yet I lived in expectation. Since she had gone, that was all that remained. I did not know what achievements, what mockery, even what tortures still awaited me. I knew nothing, and I persisted in the faith that the time of cruel miracles was not past.
Stanisław Lem (Solaris)
Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.
Brian Tracy (Focal Point: A Proven System to Simplify Your Life, Double Your Productivity, and Achieve All Your Goals)
How many things do we feel obliged to do for the sake of it, or for appearances, or because we are trained to do them, but which weigh us down and don’t in fact achieve anything?
Antoine Laurain (The Red Notebook)
Another thing that got forgotten was the fact that against all probability a sperm whale had suddenly been called into existence several miles above the surface of an alien planet. And since this is not a naturally tenable position for a whale, this poor innocent creature had very little time to come to terms with its identity as a whale before it then had to come to terms with not being a whale any more. This is a complete record of its thoughts from the moment it began its life till the moment it ended it. Ah … ! What’s happening? it thought. Er, excuse me, who am I? Hello? Why am I here? What’s my purpose in life? What do I mean by who am I? Calm down, get a grip now … oh! this is an interesting sensation, what is it? It’s a sort of … yawning, tingling sensation in my … my … well I suppose I’d better start finding names for things if I want to make any headway in what for the sake of what I shall call an argument I shall call the world, so let’s call it my stomach. Good. Ooooh, it’s getting quite strong. And hey, what’s about this whistling roaring sound going past what I’m suddenly going to call my head? Perhaps I can call that … wind! Is that a good name? It’ll do … perhaps I can find a better name for it later when I’ve found out what it’s for. It must be something very important because there certainly seems to be a hell of a lot of it. Hey! What’s this thing? This … let’s call it a tail – yeah, tail. Hey! I can can really thrash it about pretty good can’t I? Wow! Wow! That feels great! Doesn’t seem to achieve very much but I’ll probably find out what it’s for later on. Now – have I built up any coherent picture of things yet? No. Never mind, hey, this is really exciting, so much to find out about, so much to look forward to, I’m quite dizzy with anticipation … Or is it the wind? There really is a lot of that now isn’t it? And wow! Hey! What’s this thing suddenly coming towards me very fast? Very very fast. So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding name like … ow … ound … round … ground! That’s it! That’s a good name – ground! I wonder if it will be friends with me? And the rest, after a sudden wet thud, was silence. Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
People don't want to think. And the deeper they get into trouble, the less they want to think. But by some sort of instinct, they feel that they ought to and it makes them feel guilty. So they'll bless and follow anyone who gives them a justification for not thinking. Anyone who makes a virtue - a highly intellectual virtue - out of what they know to be their sin, their weakness and their guilt... They envy achievement, and their dream of greatness is a world where all men have become their acknowledged inferiors. They don't know that that dream is the infallible proof of mediocrity, because that sort of world is what the man of achievement would not be able to bear
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
originality and a feeling of one's own dignity are achieved only through work and struggle.
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Love does that. It makes you feel infinite and invincible, like the whole world is open to you, anything is achievable, and each day will be filled with wonder. Maybe it’s the act of opening yourself up, letting someone else in— or maybe it’s the act of caring so deeply about another person that it expands your heart. I’ve heard so many people say some version of I never knew how much I could love another human being until . . . And after the until is usually something like my niece was born or I gave birth to a child or I adopted a baby. I never knew how much I could love another human being until I met you, Gabe. I’ll never forget that.
Jill Santopolo (The Light We Lost)
She explained that many people, but especially women, feel fraudulent when they are praised for their accomplishments. Instead of feeling worthy of recognition, they feel undeserving and guilty, as if a mistake has been made. Despite being high achievers, even experts in their fields, women can't seem to shake the sense that it is only a matter of time until they are found out for who they really are- impostors with limited skills or abilities.
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
I think what I want is for someone to know me. Really know me. Know me better than anyone else and maybe even me. Isn’t that why we commit to another? It’s not for sex. If it were for sex, we wouldn’t marry one person. We’d just keep finding new partners. We commit for many reasons, I know, but the more I think about it, the more I think long-term relationships are for getting to know someone. I want someone to know me, really know me, almost like that person could get into my head. What would that feel like? To have access, to know what it’s like in someone else’s head. To rely on someone else, have him rely on you. That’s not a biological connection like the one between parents and children. This kind of relationship would be chosen. It would be something cooler, harder to achieve than one built on biology and shared genetics. I think that’s it. Maybe that’s how we know when a relationship is real. When someone else previously unconnected to us knows us in a way we never thought or believed possible.
Iain Reid (I'm Thinking of Ending Things)
Whenever you feel afraid, just remember. Courage is the root of change - and change is what we're chemically designed to do. So when you wake up tomorrow, make this pledge. No more holding yourself back. No more subscribing to others' opinions of what you can and cannot achieve. And no more allowing anyone to pigeonhole you into useless categories of sex, race, economic status, and religion. Do not allow your talents to lie dormant, ladies. Design your own future. When you go home today, ask yourself what YOU will change. And then get started.
Bonnie Garmus (Lessons in Chemistry)
So there I was, feeling like the luckiest girl on earth. To be buried alive in such a majestic coffin! MAJOR life goal achieved!!!!
Rob Reger (Dark Times (Emily the Strange, #3))
However gross a man may be, the minute he expresses a strong and genuine affection, some inner secretion alters his features, animates his gestures, and colors his voice. The stupidest man will often, under the stress of passion, achieve heights of eloquence, in thought if not in language, and seem to move in some luminous sphere. Goriot's voice and gesture had at this moment the power of communication that characterizes the great actor. Are not our finer feelings the poems of the human will?
Honoré de Balzac (Père Goriot)
I want you, Hank. I'm much more of an animal than you think. I wanted you from the first moment I saw you - and the only thing I'm ashamed of is that I did not know it. I did not know why, for two years, the brightest moments I found were the ones in your office, where I could lift my head to look up at you. I did not know the nature of what I felt in your presence, nor the reason. I know it now. That is all I want, Hank. I want you in my bed - and you are free of me for all the rest of your time. There's nothing you'll have to pretend - don't think of me, don't feel; don't care - I do not want your mind, your will, your being or your soul, so long as it's to me you will come for that lowest one of your desires. I am an animal who wants nothing but the sensation of pleasure which you despise - but I want it from you. You'd give up amy height of virtue for it , while I - I haven't any to give up. There's none I seek or wish to reach. I am so low that I would exchange the greatest sight of beauty in the world for the sight of your figure in the cab of a railroad engine. Amd seeing it, I would not be able to see it indifferently. You don't have to fear that you're now dependent on me. It's I who will depend on any whim of yours. You'll have me anytime you wish, anywhere, on any terms. Did you call it the obscenity of my talent? It's such that it gives you a safer hold on me than on any other property you own. You may dispose of me as you please - I'm not afraid to admit it - I have nothing to protect from you and nothing to reserve. You think that this is a threat to your achievement, but it is not to mine. I will sit at my desk, and work, and when the things around me get hard to bear, I will think that for my reward I will be in your bed that night. Did you call it depravity? I am much more depraved than you are: you hold it as your guilt, and I - as my pride. I'm more proud of it than anything I've done, more proud than of building the Line. If I'm asked to name my proudest attainment, I will say: I have slept with Hank Rearden. I had earned it.
Ayn Rand
The source to low self-esteem is the lack of control you feel you have in your life. If you spend your life competing with others, trying to make right the wrongs done to you, or waste your time trying to look right, you will never achieve contentment and emotional balance. People you encounter in life can’t be controlled by you. You only have control of yourself. Build your life around a relationship with a higher power and achieving what you’re passionate about. When you let go of what you can’t control, true peace can then enter your life. This is the path to achieving emotional balance.
Shannon L. Alder
It is not what happens to you that matters; it is how you feel about it that does.
Shannon L. Alder
There are seconds, they come only five or six at a time, and you suddenly feel the presence of eternal harmony, fully achieved. It is nothing earthly; not that it's heavenly, but man cannot endure it in his earthly state. One must change physically or die. The feeling is clear and indisputable. As if you suddenly sense the whole of nature and suddenly say: yes, this is true. God, when he was creating the world, said at the end of each day of creation: 'Yes, this is true, this is good.' This . . . this is not tenderheartedness, but simply joy. You don't forgive anything, because there is no longer anything to forgive. You don't really love — oh, what is here is higher than love! What's most frightening is that it's so terribly clear, and there's such joy. If it were longer than five seconds — the soul couldn't endure it and would vanish. In those five seconds I live my life through, and for them I would give my whole life, because it's worth it. To endure ten seconds one would have to change physically . . . .
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Demons)
Each man lives for himself, uses his freedom to achieve his personal goals, and feels with his whole being that right now he can or cannot do such-and-such an action; but as soon as he does it, this action, committed at a certain moment in time, becomes irreversible, and makes itself the property of history, in which is has not a free but a predestined significance.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
Achievements can bring you satisfaction but not happiness.
David D. Burns (Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy)
If one really has a feeling of contribution, one will no longer have any need for recognition from others. Because one will already have the real awareness that “I am of use to someone,” without needing to go out of one’s way to be acknowledged by others. In other words, a person who is obsessed with the desire for recognition does not have any community feeling yet, and has not managed to engage in self-acceptance, confidence in others, or contribution to others.
Ichiro Kishimi (The Courage to Be Disliked: The Japanese Phenomenon That Shows You How to Change Your Life and Achieve Real Happiness)
If you want to achieve your objectives, you have to be prepared for a daily dose of pain or discomfort. At first, it's unpleasant and demotivating, but in time you come to realise that it's part of the process of feeling good, and the moment arrives when, if you don't feel pain, you have a sense that the exercises aren't having the desired effect.
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
There is no desire that anyone holds for any other reason than that they believe they will feel better in the achievement of it. Whether it is a material object, a physical state of being, a relationship, a condition, or a circumstance - at the heart of every desire is the desire to feel good. And so, the standard of success in life is not the things or the money - the standard of success is absolutely the amount of joy you feel.
Esther Hicks (Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires)
You’re so damn strong, Liv, and you don’t even realize it. I’m the one who’s always had to show people I’m successful, an achiever, the best at everything I did. I’m the one who’s always been a goddamn egotist. A groveler. And you…you’re the first person who’s ever…Christ, Liv, sometimes the way you look at me makes me feel like I can hang the fucking moon.
Nina Lane (Arouse (Spiral of Bliss, #1))
It is hard to see how a great man can be an atheist. Without the sustaining influence of faith in a divine power we could have little faith in ourselves. We need to feel that behind us is intelligence and love. Doubters do not achieve; skeptics do not contribute; cynics do not create. Faith is the great motive power, and no man realizes his full possibilities unless he has the deep conviction that life is eternally important, and that his work, well done, is a part of an unending plan.
Calvin Coolidge
Some people think they can find satisfaction in good food, fine clothes, lively music, and sexual pleasure. However, when they have all these things, they are not satisfied. They realize happiness is not simply having their material needs met. Thus, society has set up a system of rewards that go beyond material goods. These include titles, social recognition, status, and political power, all wrapped up in a package called self-fulfillment. Attracted by these prizes and goaded on by social pressure, people spend their short lives tiring body and mind to chase after these goals. Perhaps this gives them the feeling that they have achieved something in their lives, but in reality they have sacrificed a lot in life. They can no longer see, hear, act, feel, or think from their hearts. Everything they do is dictated by whether it can get them social gains. In the end, they've spent their lives following other people's demands and never lived a life of their own. How different is this from the life of a slave or a prisoner?
Liezi (Lieh-tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living)
In the beginning war looks and feels like love. But unlike love it gives nothing in return but an ever-deepening dependence, like all narcotics, on the road to self-destruction. It does not affirm but places upon us greater and greater demands. It destroys the outside world until it is hard to live outside war's grip. It takes a higher and higher dose to achieve any thrill. Finally, one ingests war only to remain numb.
Chris Hedges (War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning)
The basic project of art is always to make the world whole and comprehensible, to restore it to us in all its glory and its occasional nastiness, not through argument but through feeling, and then to close the gap between you and everything that is not you, and in this way pass from feeling to meaning. It's not something that committees can do. It's not a task achieved by groups or by movements. It's done by individuals, each person mediating in some way between a sense of history and an experience of the world.
Robert Hughes (The Shock of the New)
I'm a romantic and I kinda believed in this fairy tale. And in some ways I think that's always been to my advantage, because like if you can believe in something great, I feel like you can achieve something great.
Katy Perry
More often than not, people who are obsessed with their desires and feelings are generally unhappier in life vs. people that refocus their attention on service to others or a righteous cause. Have you ever heard someone say their life sucked because they fed the homeless? Made their children laugh? Or, bought a toy for a needy child at Christmas time?
Shannon L. Alder
I hate the indifferent. I believe that living means taking sides. Those who really live cannot help being a citizen and a partisan. Indifference and apathy are parasitism, perversion, not life. That is why I hate the indifferent. The indifference is the deadweight of history. The indifference operates with great power on history. The indifference operates passively, but it operates. It is fate, that which cannot be counted on. It twists programs and ruins the best-conceived plans. It is the raw material that ruins intelligence. That what happens, the evil that weighs upon all, happens because the human mass abdicates to their will; allows laws to be promulgated that only the revolt could nullify, and leaves men that only a mutiny will be able to overthrow to achieve the power. The mass ignores because it is careless and then it seems like it is the product of fate that runs over everything and everyone: the one who consents as well as the one who dissents; the one who knew as well as the one who didn’t know; the active as well as the indifferent. Some whimper piously, others curse obscenely, but nobody, or very few ask themselves: If I had tried to impose my will, would this have happened? I also hate the indifferent because of that: because their whimpering of eternally innocent ones annoys me. I make each one liable: how they have tackled with the task that life has given and gives them every day, what have they done, and especially, what they have not done. And I feel I have the right to be inexorable and not squander my compassion, of not sharing my tears with them. I am a partisan, I am alive, I feel the pulse of the activity of the future city that those on my side are building is alive in their conscience. And in it, the social chain does not rest on a few; nothing of what happens in it is a matter of luck, nor the product of fate, but the intelligent work of the citizens. Nobody in it is looking from the window of the sacrifice and the drain of a few. Alive, I am a partisan. That is why I hate the ones that don’t take sides, I hate the indifferent.
Antonio Gramsci
To do something well is so worthwhile that to die trying to do it better cannot be foolhardy. It would be a waste of life to do nothing with one's ability, for I feel that life is measured in achievement, not in years alone.
Bruce McLaren
That is one thing I am sure of amid my many uncertainties regarding the literary vocation: deep inside, a writer feels that writing is the best thing that ever happened to him, or could ever happen to him, because as far as he is concerned, writing is the best possible way of life, never mind the social, political, or financial rewards of what he might achieve through it.
Mario Vargas Llosa (Letters to a Young Novelist)
The reason that so many people don’t really feel happy while they’re building up their success in the eyes of society is that they are living in competition.
Ichiro Kishimi (The Courage To Be Disliked: How to free yourself, change your life and achieve real happiness (Courage To series))
Everything is hard in some way. It’s hard to be in the wrong relationship. It’s hard to be in the right one. It’s hard to be broke and miserable, it’s hard to achieve your dreams. It’s hard to be stuck in the middle, not really feeling anything at all. Everything is hard, but you choose your hard. You choose what’s worth it. You don’t choose whether or not you’ll suffer, but you do choose what you want to suffer for.
Brianna Wiest (101 Essays That Will Change the Way You Think)
If the thought inspires you, and it feels good and right...it is yours, alone, to exercise. So get right on it!
T.F. Hodge (From Within I Rise: Spiritual Triumph Over Death and Conscious Encounters with "The Divine Presence")
Often the narcissist believes that other people are "faking it", leveraging emotional displays to achieve a goal. He is convinced that their ostensible "feelings" are grounded in ulterior, non-emotional motives. Faced with other people's genuine emotions, the narcissist becomes suspicious and embarrassed. He feels compelled to avoid emotion-tinged situations, or worse, experiences surges of almost uncontrollable aggression in the presence of expressed sentiments. They remind him how imperfect he is and how poorly equipped.
Sam Vaknin (Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited)
The true opposite of depression is neither gaiety nor absence of pain, but vitality—the freedom to experience spontaneous feelings. It is part of the kaleidoscope of life that these feelings are not only happy, beautiful, or good but can reflect the entire range of human experience, including envy, jealousy, rage, disgust, greed, despair, and grief. But this freedom cannot be achieved if its childhood roots are cut off. Our access to the true self is possible only when we no longer have to be afraid of the intense emotional world of early childhood. Once we have experienced and become familiar with this world, it is no longer strange and threatening.
Alice Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self)
If one really has confidence in oneself, one doesn’t feel the need to boast. It’s because one’s feeling of inferiority is strong that one boasts. One feels the need to flaunt one’s superiority all the more. There’s the fear that if one doesn’t do that, not a single person will accept one “the way I am.” This is a full-blown superiority complex.
Ichiro Kishimi (The Courage to Be Disliked: The Japanese Phenomenon That Shows You How to Change Your Life and Achieve Real Happiness)
In our studies we keep seeing how difficult it is for traumatized people to feel completely relaxed and physically safe in their bodies. We measure our subjects’ HRV by placing tiny monitors on their arms during shavasana, the pose at the end of most classes during which practitioners lie face up, palms up, arms and legs relaxed. Instead of relaxation we picked up too much muscle activity to get a clear signal. Rather than going into a state of quiet repose, our students’ muscles often continue to prepare them to fight unseen enemies. A major challenge in recovering from trauma remains being able to achieve a state of total relaxation and safe surrender.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
You didn't choose God. He chose you. When you stop feeling hurt by everyone and plotting your comeback, he has some very important things he wants you to accomplish with your life.
Shannon L. Alder
Love does that. It makes you feel infinite and invincible, like the whole world is open to you, anything is achievable, and each day will be filled with wonder.
Jill Santopolo (The Light We Lost)
My task which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel — it is, before all, to make you see. That — and no more, and it is everything. If I succeed, you shall find there according to your deserts: encouragement, consolation, fear, charm — all you demand; and, perhaps, also that glimpse of truth for which you have forgotten to ask.
Joseph Conrad (The Nigger of the Narcissus and the Secret Sharer)
...when he kneels at other times and prays or meditates or tries to achieve a Big-Picture spiritual understanding of God as he can understand Him, he feels Nothing — not nothing, but Nothing, an edgeless blankness that somehow feels worse than the sort of unconsidered atheism he Came In with.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
He'll be delivered from madness. What then? He'll feel himself acceptable! What then? Do you think feelings like his can be simply re-attached, like plasters? Stuck on to other objects we select? Look at him! ... My desire might be to make this boy an ardent husband - a caring citizen - a worshipper of abstract and unifying God. My achievement, however, is more likely to make a ghost!
Peter Shaffer (Equus)
Beauty is the enemy. We try to conquer not feeling beautiful all our lives. It’s a battle that can’t be won. There’s no definition of beauty. The only way to achieve beauty is to feel it from inside without breaking it down into individual physical attributes.
Miley Cyrus (Miles to Go)
Embracing the idea that you can want things for yourself even if nobody else understands the whys behind them is the most freeing and powerful feeling in the world.
Rachel Hollis (Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals)
Nothing is more usual than to feel that others have shared in our failures, just as it is an ordinary reaction to forget those who have shared in our achievements.
Truman Capote (In Cold Blood)
Whenever in my dreams I see the dead, they always appear silent, bothered, strangely depressed, quite unlike their dear, bright selves. I am aware of them, without any astonishment, in surroundings they never visited during their earthly existence, in the house of some friend of mine they never knew. They sit apart, frowning at the floor, as if death were a dark taint, a shameful family secret. It is certainly not then - not in dreams - but when one is wide awake, at moments of robust joy and achievement, on the highest terrace of consciousness, that mortality has a chance to peer beyond its own limits, from the mast, from the past and its castle tower. And although nothing much can be seen through the mist, there is somehow the blissful feeling that one is looking in the right direction.
Vladimir Nabokov (Speak, Memory)
Your depression is connected to your insolence and refusal to praise. Whoever feels himself walking on the path, and refuses to praise--that man or woman steals from others every day--is a shoplifter! The sun became full of light when it got hold of itself. Angels only began shining when they achieved discipline. The sun goes out whenever the cloud of not-praising comes. The moment the foolish angel felt insolent, he heard the door close.
Rumi
And the pathetic part of it is that frequently those who have the least justification for a feeling of achievement bolster up their egos by a show of tumult and conceit which is truly nauseating. As Shakespeare put it: “ … man, proud man, / Drest in a little brief authority, / … Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven / As make the angels weep.
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends & Influence People)
When we lose certain people, or when we are dispossessed from a place, or a community, we may simply feel that we are undergoing something temporary, that mourning will be over and some restoration of prior order will be achieved. But maybe when we undergo what we do, something about who we are is revealed, something that delineates the ties we have to others, that shows us that these ties constitute what we are, ties or bonds that compose us. It is not as if an “I” exists independently over here and then simply loses a “you” over there, especially if the attachment to “you” is part of what composes who “I” am. If I lose you, under these conditions, then I not only mourn the loss, but I become inscrutable to myself. Who “am” I, without you? When we lose some of these ties by which we are constituted, we do not know who we are or what to do. On one level, I think I have lost “you” only to discover that “I” have gone missing as well.
Judith Butler (Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence)
I write in order to attain that feeling of tension relieved and function achieved, which a cow enjoys on giving milk.
H.L. Mencken
Self-belief, also called self-efficacy, is the kind of feeling you have when you have, like a Jedi, mastered a particular kind of skill and with its help have been able to achieve your set goals.
Stephen Richards (Develop Jedi Self-Confidence: Unleash the Force within You)
Our growing dependence on technologies no one seems to understand or control has given rise to feelings of powerlessness and victimization. We find it more and more difficult to achieve a sense of continuity, permanence, or connection with the world around us. Relationships with others are notably fragile; goods are made to be used up and discarded; reality is experienced as an unstable environment of flickering images. Everything conspires to encourage escapist solutions to the psychological problems of dependence, separation, and individuation, and to discourage the moral realism that makes it possible for human beings to come to terms with existential constraints on their power and freedom.
Christopher Lasch (The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations)
Who you know determines who you are—how you feel, how you act, and what you achieve.
Keith Ferrazzi (Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time)
Love is, without a doubt, the basis of everything. Not some abstract, hard-to-fathom kind of love but the day-to-day kind that everyone knows-the kind of love we feel when we look at our spouse and our children, or even our animals. In its purest and most powerful form, this love is not jealous or selfish, but unconditional. This is the reality of realities, the incomprehensibly glorious truth of truths that lives and breathes at the core of everything that exists or will ever exist, and no remotely accurate understanding of who and what we are can be achieved by anyone who does not know it, and embody it in all of their actions.
Eben Alexander (Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife)
At your birth a seed is planted. That seed is your uniqueness. It wants to grow, transform itself, and flower to its full potential. It has a natural, assertive energy to it. Your Life's Task is to bring that seed to flower, to express your uniqueness through your work. You have a destiny to fulfill. The stronger you feel and maintain it--as a force, a voice or in whatever form-- the greater your chance of fulfilling this Life's Task and achieving mastery.
Robert Greene (Mastery)
That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the débris of a universe in ruins—all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.
Bertrand Russell (Free Man's Worship)
Well,’ you may ask, ‘how may I know when I am in love?’ . . . George Q. Morris [who later became a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, gave this reply]: ‘My mother once said that if you meet a girl in whose presence you feel a desire to achieve, who inspires you to do your best, and to make the most of yourself, such a young woman is worthy of your love and is awakening love in your heart.
David O. McKay
The truest human is the one whose conduct proceeds from goodwill and an acute sense of propriety, and whose self control is equal to all emergencies; who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity; who is himself humbled if necessity compels him to humble another; who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, or boast of his own possessions or achievements; who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity and sympathy; whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others rather than his own; and who appears well in any company, a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe.
Markesa Yeager
The greatest hunger in life is not for food, money, success, status, security, sex, or even love from the opposite sex. Time and again people have achieved all these things and wound up still feeling dissatisfied- indeed, often more dissatisfied than when they began. The deepest hunger in life is a secret that is revealed only when a person is willing to unlock a hidden part of the self. In the ancient traditions of wisdom, this quest has been likened to diving for the most precious pearl in existence, a poetic way of saying that you have to swim far out beyond shallow waters, plunge deep into yourself, and search patiently until the pearl beyond price is found. The pearl is also called essence, the breath of god, the water of life…labels for what we, in our more prosaic scientific age, would simply call TRANSFORMATION.
Deepak Chopra (The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life)
The apex of mathematical achievement occurs when two or more fields which were thought to be entirely unrelated turn out to be closely intertwined. Mathematicians have never decided whether they should feel excited or upset by such events.
Gian-Carlo Rota (Indiscrete Thoughts)
I don’t care what religion you were raised in. You weren’t taught guilt and shame by your creator. You were taught guilt and shame by people. That means whatever your people thought was shameful is what you learned to be ashamed of. Whatever your family or the influential people in your life thought was something to feel guilty about is what you have guilt about now.
Rachel Hollis (Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals)
Asian Americans inhabit a purgatorial status: neither white enough nor black enough, unmentioned in most conversations about racial identity. In the popular imagination, Asian Americans are all high-achieving professionals. But in reality, this is the most economically divided group in the country, a tenuous alliance of people with roots from South Asia to East Asia to the Pacific Islands, from tech millionaires to service industry laborers. How do we speak honestly about the Asian American condition—if such a thing exists?
Cathy Park Hong (Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning)
It is one of the unexpected disasters of the modern age that our new unparalleled access to information has come at the price of our capacity to concentrate on anything much. The deep, immersive thinking which produced many of civilization's most important achievements has come under unprecedented assault. We are almost never far from a machine that guarantees us a mesmerizing and libidinous escape from reality. The feelings and thoughts which we have omitted to experience while looking at our screens are left to find their revenge in involuntary twitches and our ever-decreasing ability to fall asleep when we should.
Alain de Botton (Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion)
It’s almost like the better I do, the more my feeling of inadequacy actually increases, because I’m just going, ‘Any moment, someone’s going to find out I’m a total fraud, and that I don’t deserve any of what I’ve achieved.’ I can’t possibly live up to what everyone thinks I am and what everyone’s expectations of me are.
Emma Watson
Over the last few days, I have been able to see my life as from a great altitude, as a sort of landscape, and with a deepening sense of the connection of all its parts. This does not mean I am finished with life. On the contrary, I feel intensely alive, and I want and hope in the time that remains to deepen my friendships, to say farewell to those I love, to write more, to travel if I have the strength, to achieve new levels of understanding and insight.
Oliver Sacks (Gratitude)
May I invite you to rise to the great potential within you. But don’t reach beyond your capacity. Don’t set goals beyond your capacity to achieve. Don’t feel guilty or dwell on thoughts of failure. Don’t compare yourself with others. Do the best you can, and the Lord will provide the rest. Have faith and confidence in Him, and you will see miracles happen in your life and the lives of your loved ones. The virtue of your own life will be a light to those who sit in darkness, because you are a living witness of the fulness of the gospel (see D&C 45:28). Wherever you have been planted on this beautiful but often troubled earth of ours, you can be the one to “succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees” (D&C 81:5).
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
The boy continued to listen to his heart as they crossed the desert. He came to understand its dodges and tricks, and to accept it as it was. He lost his fear, and forgot about his need to go back to the oasis, because, one afternoon, his heart told him that it was happy. "Even though I complain sometimes," it said, "it's because I'm the heart of a person, and people's hearts are that way. People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don't deserve them, or that they'll be unable to achieve them. We, their hearts, become fearful just thinking of loved ones who go away forever, or of moments that could have been good but weren't, or of treasures that might have been found but were forever hidden in the sands. Because, when these things happen, we suffer terribly.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
I do strongly feel that among the greatest pieces of luck for high achievement is ordeal. Certain great artists can make out without it, Titian and others, but mostly you need ordeal. My idea is this: the artist is extremely lucky who is presented with the worst possible ordeal which will not actually kill him. At that point, he's in business: Beethoven's deafness, Goya's deafness, Milton's blindness, that kind of thing.
John Berryman
In our culture we tend to equate thinking and intellectual powers with success and achievement. In many ways, however, it is an emotional quality that separates those who master a field from the many who simply work at a job. Our levels of desire, patience, persistence, and confidence end up playing a much larger role in success than sheer reasoning powers. Feeling motivated and energized, we can overcome almost anything. Feeling bored and restless, our minds shut off and we become increasingly passive.
Robert Greene (Mastery (The Robert Greene Collection))
When does one ever know a human being? Perhaps only after one has realized the impossibility of knowledge and renounced the desire for it and finally ceased to feel even the need of it. But then what one achieves is no longer knowledge, it is simply a kind of co-existence; and this too is one of the guises of love.
Iris Murdoch (Under the Net)
And even though we may be involved with the most important affairs, achieve distinction or fall into some great misfortune- all the same, let us never forget how good we all once felt here, all together, united by such good and kind feelings as made us, too,...perhaps better than we actually are.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
When life seems too cruel, and there seems too little love in it. When you feel you have failed. When you don't know what the point is. When you cannot go on. I want you to draw strength from me then. I want you to remember how much I cherished you, how I lived for you. When the world seems full of giants who dwarf you, when it feels like a struggle just to keep your head up, I want you to remember there is more to live for than mere achievement. It is worth something to be a good man. It cannot be worth nothing to do the right thing.
Matthew Thomas (We Are Not Ourselves)
Even though I complain sometimes," it said, "it's because I'm the heart of a person, and people's hearts are that way. People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don't deserve them, or that they'll be unable to achieve them.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
In space flight, “attitude” refers to orientation: which direction your vehicle is pointing relative to the Sun, Earth and other spacecraft. If you lose control of your attitude, two things happen: the vehicle starts to tumble and spin, disorienting everyone on board, and it also strays from its course, which, if you’re short on time or fuel, could mean the difference between life and death. In the Soyuz, for example, we use every cue from every available source—periscope, multiple sensors, the horizon—to monitor our attitude constantly and adjust if necessary. We never want to lose attitude, since maintaining attitude is fundamental to success. In my experience, something similar is true on Earth. Ultimately, I don’t determine whether I arrive at the desired professional destination. Too many variables are out of my control. There’s really just one thing I can control: my attitude during the journey, which is what keeps me feeling steady and stable, and what keeps me headed in the right direction. So I consciously monitor and correct, if necessary, because losing attitude would be far worse than not achieving my goal.
Chris Hadfield (An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth)
What’s the point of opening yourself up to your friends if they don’t notice you in your vulnerable state? The point of it all is to love friends completely and utterly, at their best and worst, and to love more than just the good things. It’s about showing that you’re willing to accept them for whatever they are, that they should not feel insecure or self-conscious in your presence, which can be a hard task to achieve.
Esther Earl (This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl)
Happiness is simply the absence of desire.- When you observe a cue, but do not desire to change your state, you are content with the current situation. Happiness is not about the achievement of pleasure, but about the lack of desire. It arrives when you have no urge to feel differently. Happiness is the state you enter when you no longer want to change your state. As Caed Budris says, “Happiness is the space between on desire being fulfilled and a new desire forming.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
Sometimes, before even attempting to achieve something we feel afraid because we don’t know what will be the result of our efforts. We don’t know whether we will go all the way or whether dissatisfaction with the results would make us abandon our goals midway.
Prem Jagyasi
Do I, then, belong to the heavens? Why, if not so, should the heavens Fix me thus with their ceaseless blue stare, Luring me on, and my mind, higher Ever higher, up into the sky, Drawing me ceaselessly up To heights far, far above the human? Why, when balance has been strictly studied And flight calculated with the best of reason Till no aberrant element should, by rights, remain- Why, still, should the lust for ascension Seem, in itself, so close to madness? Nothing is that can satify me; Earthly novelty is too soon dulled; I am drawn higher and higher, more unstable, Closer and closer to the sun's effulgence. Why do these rays of reason destroy me? Villages below and meandering streams Grow tolerable as our distance grows. Why do they plead, approve, lure me With promise that I may love the human If only it is seen, thus, from afar- Although the goal could never have been love, Nor, had it been, could I ever have Belonged to the heavens? I have not envied the bird its freedom Nor have I longed for the ease of Nature, Driven by naught save this strange yearning For the higher, and the closer, to plunge myself Into the deep sky's blue, so contrary To all organic joys, so far From pleasures of superiority But higher, and higher, Dazzled, perhaps, by the dizzy incandescence Of waxen wings. Or do I then Belong, after all, to the earth? Why, if not so, should the earth Show such swiftness to encompass my fall? Granting no space to think or feel, Why did the soft, indolent earth thus Greet me with the shock of steel plate? Did the soft earth thus turn to steel Only to show me my own softness? That Nature might bring home to me That to fall, not to fly, is in the order of things, More natural by far than that improbable passion? Is the blue of the sky then a dream? Was it devised by the earth, to which I belonged, On account of the fleeting, white-hot intoxication Achieved for a moment by waxen wings? And did the heavens abet the plan to punish me? To punish me for not believing in myself Or for believing too much; Too earger to know where lay my allegiance Or vainly assuming that already I knew all; For wanting to fly off To the unknown Or the known: Both of them a single, blue speck of an idea?
Yukio Mishima (Sun & Steel)
I didn't like the way I looked, the way I dressed and moved, what I achieved and what I felt I was worth. But there was so much energy in me, such belief that one day I'd be handsome and clever and superior and admired, such anticipation when I met new people and new situations. Is that what makes me sad? The eagerness and belief that filled me then and exacted a pledge from life that life could never fulfill? Sometimes I see the same eagerness and belief in the faces of children and teenagers and the sight brings back the same sadness I feel in remembering myself.
Bernhard Schlink (The Reader)
It is certainly not then—not in dreams—but when one is wide awake, in moments of robust joy and achievement, on the highest terrace of consciousness, that mortality has a chance to peer beyond its own limits, from the mast, from the past and its castle tower. And although nothing much can be seen through the mist, there is somehow the blissful feeling that one is looking in the right direction.
Vladimir Nabokov (Speak, Memory)
You're talking like a Stalinist!' I cried. 'People don't get jobs to achieve things and learn values! They do it because they have to, and then they use whatever's left over to buy themselves things that make them feel less bad about having jobs! Can't you see, it's just a terrible vicious circle!
Paul Murray (An Evening of Long Goodbyes)
Love is a mighty power, a great and complete good; Love alone lightens every burden, and makes the rough places smooth. It bears every hardship as though it were nothing, and renders all bitterness sweet and acceptable. The love of Jesus is noble, and inspires us to great deeds; it moves us always to desire perfection. Love aspires to high things, and is held back by nothing base. Love longs to be free, a stranger to every worldly desire, lest its inner vision become dimmed, and lest worldly self-interest hinder it or ill-fortune cast it down. Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing stronger, nothing higher, nothing wider, nothing more pleasant, nothing fuller or better in heaven or earth; for love is born of God, and can rest only in God above all created things. Love flies, runs, leaps for joy; it is free and unrestrained. Love gives all for all, resting in One who is highest above all things, from whom every good flows and proceeds. Love does not regard the gifts, but turns to the Giver of all good gifts. Love knows no limits, but ardently transcends all bounds. Love feels no burden, takes no account of toil, attempts things beyond its strength; love sees nothing as impossible, for it feels able to achieve all things. Love therefore does great things; it is strange and effective; while he who lacks love faints and fails.
Thomas à Kempis (The Inner Life)
A goal is a specific objective that you either achieve or don't sometime in the future. A system is something you do on a regular basis that increases your odds of happiness in the long run. If you do something every day, its a system. If you're waiting to achieve it someday in the future, it's a goal. If you achieve your goal, you celebrate and feel terrific, but only until you realize you just lost the thing that gave you purpose and direction. Your options are to feel empty and useless, perhaps enjoying the spoils of your success until they bore you, or set new goals and reenter the cycle of permanent presuccess failure. All I'm suggesting is that thinking of goals and systems as very different concepts has power. Goal-oriented people exist in a state of continuous presuccess failure at best, and permanent failure at worst if things never work out. Systems people succeed every time they apply their systems, in the sense that they did what they intended to do. The goals people are fighting the feeling of discouragement at each turn. The systems people are feeling good everytime they apply their system. That's a big difference in terms of maintaining your personal energy in the right direction.
Scott Adams (How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life)
When I ask French parents what they most want for their children, they say things like "to feel comfortable in their own skin" and "to find their path in the world." They want their kids to develop their own tastes and opinions. In fact, French parents worry if their kids are too docile. They want them to have character. But they believe that children can achieve these goals only if they respect boundaries and have self-control. So alongside character, there has to be cadre.
Pamela Druckerman (Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting)
Why does a human body become deceased? The reason is that as long as the human body is not free from suffering, mind cannot be happy. If a man lacks enthusiasm, either his body or mind is in a deceased condition.... Now what saps the enthusiasm in man? If there is no enthusiasm, life becomes drudgery - a mere burden to be dragged. Nothing can be achieved if there is no enthusiasm. The main reason for this lack of enthusiasm on the part of a man is that an individual looses the hope of getting an opportunity to elevate himself. Hopelessness leads to lack of enthusiasm. The mind in such cases becomes deceased.... When is enthusiasm created? When one breaths an atmosphere where one is sure of getting the legitimate reward for one's labor, only then one feels enriched by enthusiasm and inspiration.
B.R. Ambedkar (Writings And Speeches: A Ready Reference Manual)
All you can possibly need or desire is already yours. You need no helper to give it to you; it is yours now. Call your desires into being by imagining and feeling your wish fulfilled. As the end is accepted, you become totally indifferent as to possible failure, for acceptance of the end wills the means to that end. When you emerge from the moment of prayer, it is as though you were shown the happy and successful end of a play although you were not shown how that end was achieved. However, having witnessed the end, regardless of any anticlimactic sequence, you remain calm and secure in the knowledge that the end has been perfectly defined.
Neville Goddard (Feeling is the Secret)
When God becomes man in Jesus of Nazareth, he not only enters into the finitude of man, but in his death on the cross also enters into the situation of man's godforsakenness. In Jesus he does not die the natural death of a finite being, but the violent death of the criminal on the cross, the death of complete abandonment by God. The suffering in the passion of Jesus is abandonment, rejection by God, his Father. God does not become a religion, so that man participates in him by corresponding religious thoughts and feelings. God does not become a law, so that man participates in him through obedience to a law. God does not become an ideal, so that man achieves community with him through constant striving. He humbles himself and takes upon himself the eternal death of the godless and the godforsaken, so that all the godless and the godforsaken can experience communion with him.
Jürgen Moltmann (The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ as the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology)
So here’s a really stupid thing about the world: The trick to looking cool is not caring whether you look cool. So the moment you achieve perfect coolness is simultaneously the moment that you actually, completely don’t care. I didn’t care about the gravitas of that TV show, and the freedom and security and confidence that came with that was a rush. It took me a while to realize that the feeling I was feeling was power.
Hank Green (An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (The Carls, #1))
I wish Mara knew that I’m jealous of her.” I whipped around to face him. “You can’t be serious.” Brooke shook her finger. “No interruptions, Mara.” My brother cleared his throat. “I wish she knew that I think she’s the most hilarious person on Earth. And that whenever she’s not home, I feel like I’m missing my partner in crime.” My throat tightened. Do not cry. Do not cry. “I wish she knew that she’s really Mom’s favorite—” I shook my head here. “—the princess she always wanted. That Mom used to dress her up like a little doll and parade her around like Mara was her greatest achievement. I wish Mara knew that I never minded, because she’s my favorite too.” A chin quiver. Damn. “I wish she knew that I’ve always had acquaintances instead of friends because I’ve spent every second I’m not in school studying or practicing piano. I wish she knew that she is literally as smart as I am—her IQ is ONE POINT lower,” he said, raising his eyes to meet mine. “Mom had us tested. And that she could get the same grades if she weren’t so lazy.” I slouched in my seat, and may or may not have crossed my arms over my chest defensively. “I wish she knew that I am really proud of her, and that I always will be, no matter what.
Michelle Hodkin (The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2))
Initially, I feel expansive when I try something new, and then contract as soon as I encounter difficulty or the unknown. I am learning to experiment with my tolerance of difficulty and the not knowing, in order to go further with my creative dreams. Whenever I experience contraction, I explore it by asking, "Where did I stop and why?" Building a creative dream life is not just about achieving, succeeding, or "meeting goals." It is also about floundering, stumbling, tripping and failing.
S.A.R.K.
We want a house, a car, a fancy f*cking vacation, and prestige. So what do we do? We go to school and we get jobs we hate to pay for the things we want. We deal with people we don't like and waste years of our lives sitting in stark fluorescent-lit rooms and listening to coworkers who bore us so we can pay for a small amount of precious time to enjoy what makes us happy, to achieve a fraction of our lives just feeling as if it was all worth it. We sacrifice to earn.
Penelope Douglas (Falling Away (Fall Away, #3))
Everything is possible, and yet nothing is. All is permitted, and yet again, nothing. No matter which way we go, it is no better than any other. It is all the same whether you achieve something or not, have faith or not, just as it is all the same whether you cry or remain silent. There is an explanation for everything, and yet there is none. Everything is both real and unreal, normal and absurd, splendid and insipid. There is nothing worth more than anything else, nor any idea better than any other. Why grow sad from one’s sadness and delight in one’s joy? What does it matter whether our tears come from pleasure or pain? Love your unhappiness and hate your happiness, mix everything up, scramble it all! Be a snowflake dancing in the air, a flower floating downstream! Have courage when you don’t need to, and be a coward when you must be brave! Who knows? You may still be a winner! And if you lose, does it really matter? Is there anything to win in this world? All gain is a loss, and all loss is a gain. Why always expect a definite stance, clear ideas, meaningful words? I feel as if I should spout fire in response to all the questions which were ever put, or not put, to me.
Emil M. Cioran (On the Heights of Despair)
That dead-eyed anhedonia is but a remora on the ventral flank of the true predator, the Great White Shark of pain. Authorities term this condition clinical depression or involutional depression or unipolar dysphoria. Instead of just an incapacity for feeling, a deadening of soul, the predator-grade depression Kate Gompert always feels as she Withdraws from secret marijuana is itself a feeling. It goes by many names — anguish, despair, torment, or q.v. Burton's melancholia or Yevtuschenko's more authoritative psychotic depression — but Kate Gompert, down in the trenches with the thing itself, knows it simply as It. It is a level of psychic pain wholly incompatible with human life as we know it. It is a sense of radical and thoroughgoing evil not just as a feature but as the essence of conscious existence. It is a sense of poisoning that pervades the self at the self's most elementary levels. It is a nausea of the cells and soul. It is an unnumb intuition in which the world is fully rich and animate and un-map-like and also thoroughly painful and malignant and antagonistic to the self, which depressed self It billows on and coagulates around and wraps in Its black folds and absorbs into Itself, so that an almost mystical unity is achieved with a world every constituent of which means painful harm to the self. Its emotional character, the feeling Gompert describes It as, is probably mostly indescribable except as a sort of double bind in which any/all of the alternatives we associate with human agency — sitting or standing, doing or resting, speaking or keeping silent, living or dying — are not just unpleasant but literally horrible. It is also lonely on a level that cannot be conveyed. There is no way Kate Gompert could ever even begin to make someone else understand what clinical depression feels like, not even another person who is herself clinically depressed, because a person in such a state is incapable of empathy with any other living thing. This anhedonic Inability To Identify is also an integral part of It. If a person in physical pain has a hard time attending to anything except that pain, a clinically depressed person cannot even perceive any other person or thing as independent of the universal pain that is digesting her cell by cell. Everything is part of the problem, and there is no solution. It is a hell for one. The authoritative term psychotic depression makes Kate Gompert feel especially lonely. Specifically the psychotic part. Think of it this way. Two people are screaming in pain. One of them is being tortured with electric current. The other is not. The screamer who's being tortured with electric current is not psychotic: her screams are circumstantially appropriate. The screaming person who's not being tortured, however, is psychotic, since the outside parties making the diagnoses can see no electrodes or measurable amperage. One of the least pleasant things about being psychotically depressed on a ward full of psychotically depressed patients is coming to see that none of them is really psychotic, that their screams are entirely appropriate to certain circumstances part of whose special charm is that they are undetectable by any outside party. Thus the loneliness: it's a closed circuit: the current is both applied and received from within.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
Sometimes I feel proud of myself, not because of any success I’ve achieved, but because I’m aware of all the difficulties that I have suffered or went through. I’m an eyewitness at all the fear, weakness, frustration, failure, depression, refraction and bad luck moments that I’ve been through alone and which affected significantly but never was able to beat me for so long. This is why I’m proud, because I’m here now stronger that yesterday, I'm still able to stand and continue on my way, still following up my dreams, still trying my best to build better future for me and my family and I will never ever give up!
Shadi Kamal Kandil
But I am not impressed with America’s progress. I am not impressed that slavery was abolished or that Jim Crow ended. I feel no need to pat America on its back for these “achievements.” This is how it always should have been. Many call it progress, but I do not consider it praiseworthy that only within the last generation did America reach the baseline for human decency. As comedian Chris Rock says, I suppose these things were progress for white people, but damn. I hope there is progress I can sincerely applaud on the horizon. Because the extrajudicial killing of Black people is still too familiar. Because the racist rhetoric that Black people are lazier, more criminal, more undeserving than white people is still too familiar. Because the locking up of a disproportionate number of Black bodies is still too familiar. Because the beating of Black people in the streets is still too familiar. History is collapsing on itself once again.
Austin Channing Brown (I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness)
All improvements, transformations, achievements, liberations; everything you want to change about yourself and your life; everything you want to make happen, any obstacle you want to overcome, any crisis you must survive—the prerequisite is being able to allow yourself to feel whatever it is you feel and not pretend to feel something you don’t.
Augusten Burroughs (This Is How: Surviving What You Think You Can't)
Alone has quite a different meaning; alone has beauty. To be alone means something entirely different. And you must be alone. When man frees himself from the social structure of greed, envy, ambition, arrogance, achievement, status—when he frees himself from those, then he is completely alone. That is quite a different thing. Then there is great beauty, the feeling of great energy.
J. Krishnamurti (The Book of Life: Daily Meditations with Krishnamurti)
It is the fate of great achievements, born from a way of life that sets truth before security, to be gobbled up by you and excreted in the form of shit. For centuries great, brave, lonely men have been telling you what to do. Time and again you have corrupted, diminished and demolished their teachings; time and again you have been captivated by their weakest points, taken not the great truth, but some trifling error as your guiding principal. This, little man, is what you have done with Christianity, with the doctrine of sovereign people, with socialism, with everything you touch. Why, you ask, do you do this? I don't believe you really want an answer. When you hear the truth you'll cry bloody murder, or commit it. … You had your choice between soaring to superhuman heights with Nietzsche and sinking into subhuman depths with Hitler. You shouted Heil! Heil! and chose the subhuman. You had the choice between Lenin's truly democratic constitution and Stalin's dictatorship. You chose Stalin's dictatorship. You had your choice between Freud's elucidation of the sexual core of your psychic disorders and his theory of cultural adaptation. You dropped the theory of sexuality and chose his theory of cultural adaptation, which left you hanging in mid-air. You had your choice between Jesus and his majestic simplicity and Paul with his celibacy for priests and life-long compulsory marriage for yourself. You chose the celibacy and compulsory marriage and forgot the simplicity of Jesus' mother, who bore her child for love and love alone. You had your choice between Marx's insight into the productivity of your living labor power, which alone creates the value of commodities and the idea of the state. You forgot the living energy of your labor and chose the idea of the state. In the French Revolution, you had your choice between the cruel Robespierre and the great Danton. You chose cruelty and sent greatness and goodness to the guillotine. In Germany you had your choice between Goring and Himmler on the one hand and Liebknecht, Landau, and Muhsam on the other. You made Himmler your police chief and murdered your great friends. You had your choice between Julius Streicher and Walter Rathenau. You murdered Rathenau. You had your choice between Lodge and Wilson. You murdered Wilson. You had your choice between the cruel Inquisition and Galileo's truth. You tortured and humiliated the great Galileo, from whose inventions you are still benefiting, and now, in the twentieth century, you have brought the methods of the Inquisition to a new flowering. … Every one of your acts of smallness and meanness throws light on the boundless wretchedness of the human animal. 'Why so tragic?' you ask. 'Do you feel responsible for all evil?' With remarks like that you condemn yourself. If, little man among millions, you were to shoulder the barest fraction of your responsibility, the world would be a very different place. Your great friends wouldn't perish, struck down by your smallness.
Wilhelm Reich (Listen, Little Man!)
In his life, after all, he had achieved nothing, had been totally unproductive. He couldn’t make anyone else happy, and, of course, couldn’t make himself happy. Happiness? He wasn’t even sure what that meant. He didn’t have a clear sense, either, of emotions like pain or anger, disappointment or resignation, and how they were supposed to feel. The most he could do was create a place where his heart - devoid now of any depth or weight - could be tethered, to keep it from wandering aimlessly
Haruki Murakami (Hombres sin mujeres)
The 'Other Half' is the word. The 'Other Half' is an organism. Word is an organism. The presence of the 'Other Half' is a separate organism attached to your nervous system on an air line of words can now be demonstrated experimentally. One of the most common 'hallucinations' of subject during sense withdrawal is the feeling of another body sprawled through the subject's body at an angle...yes quite an angle it is the 'Other Half' worked quite some years on a symbiotic basis. From symbiosis to parasitism is a short step. The word is now a virus. The flu virus may have once been a healthy lung cell. It is now a parasitic organism that invades and damages the central nervous system. Modern man has lost the option of silence. Try halting sub-vocal speech. Try to achieve even ten seconds of inner silence. You will encounter a resisting organism that forces you to talk. That organism is the word.
William S. Burroughs (The Ticket That Exploded (The Nova Trilogy #3))
Graham Chapman, co-author of the "Parrot Sketch", is no more. He has ceased to be. Bereft of life, he rests in peace. He's kicked the bucket, hopped the twig, bit the dust, snuffed it, breathed his last, and gone to meet the great Head of Light Entertainment in the sky. And I guess that we're all thinking how sad it is that a man of such talent, of such capability for kindness, of such unusual intelligence, should now so suddenly be spirited away at the age of only forty-eight, before he'd achieved many of the things of which he was capable, and before he'd had enough fun. Well, I feel that I should say: nonsense. Good riddance to him, the freeloading bastard, I hope he fries. And the reason I feel I should say this is he would never forgive me if I didn't, if I threw away this glorious opportunity to shock you all on his behalf. Anything for him but mindless good taste. (He paused, then claimed that Chapman had whipered in his ear while he was writing the speech): All right, Cleese. You say you're very proud of being the very first person ever to say 'shit' on British television. If this service is really for me, just for starters, I want you to become the first person ever at a British memorial service to say 'fuck'.
John Cleese
The joy of having something comes from the length of time you have been wanting it, expecting it. Happiness really lies in the expectation. So once you achieve it, it loses its charm for you. Every happiness is imaginary: so long as you don’t possess it, it seems to be abounding happiness. But as soon as it is actualized, it ceases to be happiness; our hands are as empty as before. And then we seek some other object for our desire, and we begin to expect it again. We feel so unhappy without it and imagine that happiness will come with it.
Osho (Krishna: The Man and his Philosophy)
When we live completely from the mind over a period of time, we lose touch with the infinite self, and then we begin to feel lost. This happens when we'are in doing mode all the time, rather than being . The latter means letting ourselves be who and what we are without judgment. Being doesn't mean that we don't do anything. It's just that our actions stem from following our emotions and feelings while staying present in the moment. Doing, on the other hand, is future focused, with the mind creating a series of tasks that take us from here to there in order to achieve a particular outcome, regardless of our current emotional state.
Anita Moorjani (Dying to Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing)
When one of the emperors of China asked Bodhidharma (the Zen master who brought Zen from India to China) what enlightenment was, his answer was, “Lots of space, nothing holy.” Meditation is nothing holy. Therefore there’s nothing that you think or feel that somehow gets put in the category of “sin.” There’s nothing that you can think or feel that gets put in the category of “bad.” There’s nothing that you can think or feel that gets put in the category of “wrong.” It’s all good juicy stuff—the manure of waking up, the manure of achieving enlightenment, the art of living in the present moment.
Pema Chödrön (Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living)
I like what I do. Some writers have said in print that they hated writing and it was just a chore and a burden. I certainly don't feel that way about it. Sometimes it's difficult. You know, you always have this image of the perfect thing which you can never achieve, but which you never stop trying to achieve. But I think ... that's your signpost and your guide. You'll never get there, but without it you won't get anywhere. [Interview with Oprah Winfrey, June 5, 2007]
Cormac McCarthy
The Master doesn't try to be powerful; thus he is truly powerful. The ordinary man keeps reaching for power; thus he never has enough. The Master does nothing, yet he leaves nothing undone. The ordinary man is always ding things, yet many more are left to be done. […] Therefore the Master concerns himself With the depths and not the surface, With the fruit and not the flower. […] Teaching without words, Performing without actions: That is the Master’s way. […] The Master arrives without leaving, Sees the light without looking, Achieves without doing a thing. […] The Master is above the people, And no one feels oppressed. She goes ahead of the people, And no feels manipulated. The whole world is grateful to her. Because she completes with no one, No one can complete with her.
Lao Tzu
Pride combined with wealth leads to idleness because you falsely feel that God just wants you to have fun; if unchecked, this sin will grow into entertainment-driven lust; if unchecked, this sin will grow into hardness of heart that declares other people’s problems no responsibility or care of your own; if unchecked, we become bold in our sin and feel entitled to live selfish lives fueled by the twin values of our culture: acquiring and achieving.
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor's Journey into Christian Faith)
It’s as if your kind needs adversity in order to achieve. (Leta) No, we don’t. That’s just a lie people tell themselves to feel better about all the people who kick them in their teeth when it’s just as easy to help a man up as it is to knock him to the ground. That’s why I’ve withdrawn from this world. I don’t want to have to watch my back all the time and I’m tired of trying to figure out if the loyalty someone professes is real and true, or just another lie that will crumble the instant they taste jealousy. (Aiden)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Upon the Midnight Clear (Dark-Hunter, #12; Dream-Hunter, #2))
In life, the question is not if you will have problems, but how you are going to deal with your problems. If the possibility of failure were erased, what would you attempt to achieve? The essence of man is imperfection. Know that you're going to make mistakes. The fellow who never makes a mistake takes his orders from one who does. Wake up and realize this: Failure is simply a price we pay to achieve success. Achievers are given multiple reasons to believe they are failures. But in spite of that, they persevere. The average for entrepreneurs is 3.8 failures before they finally make it in business. When achievers fail, they see it as a momentary event, not a lifelong epidemic. Procrastination is too high a price to pay for fear of failure. To conquer fear, you have to feel the fear and take action anyway. Forget motivation. Just do it. Act your way into feeling, not wait for positive emotions to carry you forward. Recognize that you will spend much of your life making mistakes. If you can take action and keep making mistakes, you gain experience. Life is playing a poor hand well. The greatest battle you wage against failure occurs on the inside, not the outside. Why worry about things you can't control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you? Handicaps can only disable us if we let them. If you are continually experiencing trouble or facing obstacles, then you should check to make sure that you are not the problem. Be more concerned with what you can give rather than what you can get because giving truly is the highest level of living. Embrace adversity and make failure a regular part of your life. If you're not failing, you're probably not really moving forward. Everything in life brings risk. It's true that you risk failure if you try something bold because you might miss it. But you also risk failure if you stand still and don't try anything new. The less you venture out, the greater your risk of failure. Ironically the more you risk failure — and actually fail — the greater your chances of success. If you are succeeding in everything you do, then you're probably not pushing yourself hard enough. And that means you're not taking enough risks. You risk because you have something of value you want to achieve. The more you do, the more you fail. The more you fail, the more you learn. The more you learn, the better you get. Determining what went wrong in a situation has value. But taking that analysis another step and figuring out how to use it to your benefit is the real difference maker when it comes to failing forward. Don't let your learning lead to knowledge; let your learning lead to action. The last time you failed, did you stop trying because you failed, or did you fail because you stopped trying? Commitment makes you capable of failing forward until you reach your goals. Cutting corners is really a sign of impatience and poor self-discipline. Successful people have learned to do what does not come naturally. Nothing worth achieving comes easily. The only way to fail forward and achieve your dreams is to cultivate tenacity and persistence. Never say die. Never be satisfied. Be stubborn. Be persistent. Integrity is a must. Anything worth having is worth striving for with all your might. If we look long enough for what we want in life we are almost sure to find it. Success is in the journey, the continual process. And no matter how hard you work, you will not create the perfect plan or execute it without error. You will never get to the point that you no longer make mistakes, that you no longer fail. The next time you find yourself envying what successful people have achieved, recognize that they have probably gone through many negative experiences that you cannot see on the surface. Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward.
John C. Maxwell (Failing Forward)
Love and hatred are not merely subjective feelings, affecting the inward universe of those who experience them, but they are also objective forces, altering the world outside ourselves...if this is true of my love, it is true to an incomparably greater extent of Christ's love. The victory of his suffering love upon the Cross does not merely set me an example, showing me what I myself may achieve if by my own efforts I imitate him. Much more than this, his suffering love has a creative effect upon me, transforming my own heart and will, releasing me from bondage, making me whole, rendering it possible for me to love in a way that would lie altogether beyond my powers, had I not first been loved by him.
Kallistos Ware (The Orthodox Way)
When emotionally abandoned people describe their childhoods, it is always without feeling. Alice Miller writes, They recount their earliest memories without any sympathy for the child they once were. Very often they show disdain and irony, even derision and cynicism. In general, there is a complete absence of real emotional understanding or serious appreciation of their own childhood vicissitudes and no conception of their true need—beyond the need for achievement. The internalization of the original drama has been so complete that the illusion of a good childhood can be maintained.
John Bradshaw (Healing the Shame that Binds You)
Andre, I won't ever try to change you, because I've never tried to change anybody. If I could change somebody, I'd change myself. But I know I can give you structure and a blueprint to achieve what you want. There's a difference between a plow horse and a racehorse. You don;t treat them the same. You hear all this talk about treating people equally, and I'm not sure equal means the same. As far as I'm concerned, you're a racehorse, and I'll always treat you accordingly. I'll be firm, but fair. I'll lead, never push. I'm not one of those people who expresses or articulates feelings very well, but from now on, just know this: It's on, man. It is on. You know what I'm saying? We're in a fight, and you can count on me until the last man is standing. Somewhere up there is a star with your name on it. I might not be able to help you find it, but I've got pretty strong shoulders, and you can stand on my shoulders while you're looking for that star. You hear? For as long as you want. Stand on my shoulders and reach, man. Reach.
Andre Agassi (Open)
How could you tell how much of it was lies? It might be true that the average human being was better off now than before the Revolution. The only evidence to the contrary was the mute protest in your own bones, the instinctive feeling that the conditions you lived in were intolerable and that at some other time they must have been different. It struck him that the truly characteristic thing about modern life was not its cruelty and insecurity, but simply its bareness, its dinginess, its listlessness. Life, if you looked about you, bore no resemblance not only to the lies that streamed out of the telescreens, but even to the ideals that the Party was trying to achieve. Great areas of it, even for a party member, were neutral and nonpolitical, a matter of slogging through dreary jobs, fighting for a place on the Tube, darning a worn-out sock, cadging a saccharine tablet, saving a cigarette end. The ideal set up by the Party was something huge, terrible, and glittering--a world of steel and concrete, of monstrous machines and terrifying weapons--a nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, fighting, triumphing, persecuting--three hundred million people all with the same face.
George Orwell (1984)
The most effective weapon a parent has to control a child is the withdrawal of love or its threat. A young child between the ages of three and six is too dependent on parental love and approval to resist this pressure. Robert's mother, as we saw earlier, controlled him by "cutting him out." Margaret's mother beat her into submission, but it was the loss of her father's love that devastated her. Whatever the means parents use, the result is that the child is forced to give up his instinctual longing, to suppress his sexual desires for one parent and his hostility toward the other. In their place he will develop feelings of guilt about his sexuality and fear of authority figures. This surrender constitutes an acceptance of parental power and authority and a submission to the parents' values and demands. The child becomes "good", which means that he gives up his sexual orientation in favor of one directed toward achievement. Parental authority is introjected in the form of a superego, ensuring that the child will follow his parents' wishes in the acculturation process. In effect, the child now identifies with the threatening parent. Freud says, "The whole process, on the one hand, preserves the genital organ wards off the danger of losing it; on the other hand, it paralyzes it, takes its function away from it.
Alexander Lowen (Fear of Life)
Philosophy, then, is not a doctrine, not some simplistic scheme for orienting oneself in the world, certainly not an instrument or achievement of human Dasein. Rather, it is this Dasein itself insofar as it comes to be, in freedom, from out of its own ground. Whoever, by stint of research, arrives at this self-understanding of philosophy is granted the basic experience of all philosophizing, namely that the more fully and originally research comes into its own, the more surely is it "nothing but" the transformation of the same few simple questions. But those who wish to transform must bear within themselves the power of a fidelity that knows how to preserve. And one cannot feel this power growing within unless one is up in wonder. And no one can be caught up in wonder without travelling to the outermost limits of the possible. But no one will ever become the friend of the possible without remaining open to dialogue with the powers that operate in the whole of human existence. But that is the comportment of the philosopher: to listen attentively to what is already sung forth, which can still be perceived in each essential happening of world. And in such comportment the philosopher enters the core of what is truly at stake in the task he has been given to do. Plato knew of that and spoke of it in his Seventh Letter: 'In no way can it be uttered, as can other things, which one can learn. Rather, from out of a full, co-existential dwelling with the thing itself - as when a spark, leaping from the fire, flares into light - so it happens, suddenly, in the soul, there to grow, alone with itself.
Martin Heidegger
But do you ever experience a sort of diluted, personalised version of that feeling, as if your own life, your own world, has slowly but perceptibly become an uglier place? Or even a sense that while you used to be in step with the cultural discourse, you’re not anymore, and you feel yourself adrift from the world of ideas, alienated, with no intellectual home? Maybe it is about our specific historical moment, or maybe it’s just about getting older and disillusioned, and it happens to everyone. When I look back on what we were like when we first met, I don’t think we were really wrong about anything, except about ourselves. The ideas were right, but the mistake was that we thought we mattered. Well, we’ve both had that particular error ground out of us in different ways – me by achieving precisely nothing in over a decade of adult life, and you (if you’ll forgive me) by achieving as much as you possibly could and still not making one grain of difference to the smooth functioning of the capitalist system. When we were young, we thought our responsibilities stretched out to encompass the earth and everything that lived on it.
Sally Rooney (Beautiful World, Where Are You)
As a rule, we don't like to feel to sad or lonely or depressed. So why do we like music (or books or movies) that evoke in us those same negative emotions? Why do we choose to experience in art the very feelings we avoid in real life? Aristotle deals with a similar question in his analysis of tragedy. Tragedy, after all, is pretty gruesome. […] There's Sophocles's Oedipus, who blinds himself after learning that he has killed his father and slept with his mother. Why would anyone watch this stuff? Wouldn't it be sick to enjoy watching it? […] Tragedy's pleasure doesn't make us feel "good" in any straightforward sense. On the contrary, Aristotle says, the real goal of tragedy is to evoke pity and fear in the audience. Now, to speak of the pleasure of pity and fear is almost oxymoronic. But the point of bringing about these emotions is to achieve catharsis of them - a cleansing, a purification, a purging, or release. Catharsis is at the core of tragedy's appeal.
Brandon W. Forbes (Radiohead and Philosophy: Fitter Happier More Deductive)
the function all expressions of contempt have in common is the defense against unwanted feelings. Contempt simply evaporates, having lost its point, when it is no longer useful as a shield—against the child’s shame over his desperate, unreturned love; against his feeling of inadequacy; or above all against his rage that his parents were not available. Once we are able to feel and understand the repressed emotions of childhood, we will no longer need contempt as a defense against them. On the other hand, as long as we despise the other person and over-value our own achievements (“he can’t do what I can do”), we do not have to mourn the fact that love is not forthcoming without achievement. Nevertheless, if we avoid this mourning it means that we remain at bottom the one who is despised, for we have to despise everything in ourselves that is not wonderful, good, and clever. Thus we perpetuate the loneliness of childhood: We despise weakness, helplessness, uncertainty—in short, the child in ourselves and in others. The contempt for others in grandiose, successful people always includes disrespect for their own true selves, as their scorn implies: “Without these superior qualities of mine, a person is completely worthless.” This means further: “Without these achievements, these gifts, I could never be loved, would never have been loved.” Grandiosity in the adult guarantees that the illusion continues: “I was loved.
Alice Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self)
In particular those who are condemned to stagnation are often pronounced happy on the pretext that happiness consists in being at rest. This notion we reject, for our perspective is that of existentialist ethics. Every subject plays his part as such specifically through exploits or projects that serve as a mode of transcendence; he achieves liberty only through a continual reaching out towards other liberties. There is no justification for present existence other than its expansion into an indefinitely open future. Every time transcendence falls back into immanence, stagnation, there is a degradation of existence into the ‘en-sois’ – the brutish life of subjection to given conditions – and of liberty into constraint and contingence. This downfall represents a moral fault if the subject consents to it; if it is inflicted upon him, it spells frustration and oppression. In both cases it is an absolute evil. Every individual concerned to justify his existence feels that his existence involves an undefined need to transcend himself, to engage in freely chosen projects.
Simone de Beauvoir (The Second Sex)
Six Beliefs That Set the Course of Your Life 1. If you don’t believe the impossible can happen, then you are right. 2. When you feel like you are less than others, then you are right. 3. When you believe what you have and how you were raised keeps you from having everything you ever dreamed of, you are right. 4. When you believe your mistakes can’t be undone, you are right. 5. When you feel this is the best it is going to get, you are right. 6. When you think someone will never change or rise above their brokenness, you are WRONG!
Shannon L. Alder
What does it mean that man is a 'social animal? Only that humans need one another in order to define themselves and achieve self-consciousness, in a way that molluscs or earthworms do not. We cannot come to a proper sense of ourselves if there aren't others around to show us what we're like. 'A man can acquire anything in solitude except a character,' wrote Stendhal, suggesting that character has its genesis in the reactions of others to our words and actions. Our selves are fluid and require the contours provided by our neighbours. To feel whole, we need people in the vicinity who know us as well, sometimes better, than we know ourselves.
Alain de Botton (On Love)
A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.
Jon Kabat-Zinn (Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness)
It's a success story," said Chanu, exercising his shoulders. "But behind every story of immigration success there lies a deeper tragedy." Kindly explain this tragedy." I'm talking about the clash between Western values and our own. I'm talking about the struggle to assimilate and the need to preserve one's identity and heritage. I'm talking about children who don't know what their identity is. I'm talking about the feelings of alienation engendered by a society where racism is prevalent. I'm talking about the terrific struggle to preserve one's own sanity while striving to achieve the best for one's family. I'm talking--" p. 88
Monica Ali (Brick Lane)
We like to stress the commonness of heroes. Essences seem undemocratic. We feel oppressed by the call to greatness. We regard an interest in glory or perfection as a sign of mental unhealthiness, and have decided that high achievers, who are called overachievers, owe their surplus ambition to a defect in mothering (either too little or too much). We want to admire but think we have a right not to be intimidated. We dislike feeling inferior to an ideal. So away with ideals, with essences. The only ideals allowed are healthy ones -- those everyone may aspire to, or comfortably imagine oneself possessing.
Susan Sontag (The Volcano Lover)
Hope is something that is demanded of us; it is not, then, a mere reasoned calculation of our chances. Nor is it merely the bubbling up of a sanguine temperament; if it is demanded of us, it lies not in the temperament but in the will... Hoping for what? For delivereance from persecution, for immunity from plague, pestilence, and famine...? No, for the grace of persevering in his Christian profession, and for the consequent achievement of a happy immortality. Strictly speaking, then, the highest exercise of hope, supernaturally speaking, is to hope for perseverance and for Heaven when it looks, when it feels, as if you were going to lose both one and the other.
Ronald Knox
The cult of self dominates our cultural landscape. This cult has within it the classic traits of psychopaths: superficial charm, grandiosity, and self-importance; a need for constant stimulation, a penchant for lying, deception, and manipulation, and the inability to feel remorse or guilt. This is, of course, the ethic promoted by corporations. It is the ethic of unfettered capitalism. It is the misguided belief that personal style and personal advancement, mistaken for individualism, are the same as democratic equality. In fact, personal style, defined by the commodities we buy or consume, has become a compensation for our loss of democratic equality. We have a right, in the cult of the self, to get whatever we desire. We can do anything, even belittle and destroy those around us, including our friends, to make money, to be happy, and to become famous. Once fame and wealth are achieved, they become their own justification, their own morality. How one gets there is irrelevant. Once you get there, those questions are no longer asked.
Chris Hedges (Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle)
Evil is not one large entity, but a collection of countless, small depravities brought up from the muck by petty men. Many have traded the enrichment of vision for a gray fog of mediocrity--the fertile inspiration of striving and growth, for mindless stagnation and slow decay--the brave new ground of the attempt, for the timid quagmire of apathy. Many of you have traded freedom not even for a bowl of soup, but worse, for the spoken empty feelings of others who say that you deserve to have a full bowl of soup provided by someone else. Happiness, joy, accomplishment, achievement . . . are not finite commodities, to be divided up. Is a child’s laughter to be divided and allotted? No! Simply make more laughter! Every person’s life is theirs by right. An individual’s life can and must belong only to himself, not to any society or community, or he is then but a slave. No one can deny another person their right to their life, nor seize by force what is produced by someone else, because that is stealing their means to sustain their life. It is treason against mankind to hold a knife to a man’s throat and dictate how he must live his life. No society can be more important than the individuals who compose it, or else you ascribe supreme importance, not to man, but to any notion that strikes the fancy of the society, at a never-ending cost of lives. Reason and reality are the only means to just laws; mindless wishes, if given sovereignty, become deadly masters. Surrendering reason to faith in unreasonable men sanctions their use of force to enslave you--to murder you. You have the power to decide how you will live your life. Those mean, unreasonable little men are but cockroaches, if you say they are. They have no power to control you but that which you grant them!
Terry Goodkind (Faith of the Fallen (Sword of Truth, #6))
Bleak as the scene was, though, there was growing joy in Inman's heart. He was nearing home; he could feel it in the touch of thin air on skin, in his longing to see the lead of hearth smoke from the houses of people he had known all his life. People he would not be called upon to hate or fear. He rose and took a wide stance on the rock and stood and pinched down his eyes to sharpen the view across the vast propect to one far mountain. It stood apart from the sky only as the stroke of a poorly inked pen, a line thin and quick and gestural. But the shape slowly grew plain and unmistakable. It was to Cold Mountain he looked. He had achieved a vista of what for him was homeland.
Charles Frazier (Cold Mountain)
Dear friend…' The Witcher swore quietly, looking at the sharp, angular, even runes drawn with energetic sweeps of the pen, faultlessly reflecting the author’s mood. He felt once again the desire to try to bite his own backside in fury. When he was writing to the sorceress a month ago he had spent two nights in a row contemplating how best to begin. Finally, he had decided on “Dear friend.” Now he had his just deserts. 'Dear friend, your unexpected letter – which I received not quite three years after we last saw each other – has given me much joy. My joy is all the greater as various rumours have been circulating about your sudden and violent death. It is a good thing that you have decided to disclaim them by writing to me; it is a good thing, too, that you are doing so so soon. From your letter it appears that you have lived a peaceful, wonderfully boring life, devoid of all sensation. These days such a life is a real privilege, dear friend, and I am happy that you have managed to achieve it. I was touched by the sudden concern which you deigned to show as to my health, dear friend. I hasten with the news that, yes, I now feel well; the period of indisposition is behind me, I have dealt with the difficulties, the description of which I shall not bore you with. It worries and troubles me very much that the unexpected present you received from Fate brings you worries. Your supposition that this requires professional help is absolutely correct. Although your description of the difficulty – quite understandably – is enigmatic, I am sure I know the Source of the problem. And I agree with your opinion that the help of yet another magician is absolutely necessary. I feel honoured to be the second to whom you turn. What have I done to deserve to be so high on your list? Rest assured, my dear friend; and if you had the intention of supplicating the help of additional magicians, abandon it because there is no need. I leave without delay, and go to the place which you indicated in an oblique yet, to me, understandable way. It goes without saying that I leave in absolute secrecy and with great caution. I will surmise the nature of the trouble on the spot and will do all that is in my power to calm the gushing source. I shall try, in so doing, not to appear any worse than other ladies to whom you have turned, are turning or usually turn with your supplications. I am, after all, your dear friend. Your valuable friendship is too important to me to disappoint you, dear friend. Should you, in the next few years, wish to write to me, do not hesitate for a moment. Your letters invariably give me boundless pleasure. Your friend Yennefer' The letter smelled of lilac and gooseberries. Geralt cursed.
Andrzej Sapkowski (Krew elfów (Saga o Wiedźminie, #1))
But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. A bad usage can spread by tradition and imitation even among people who should and do know better. The debased language that I have been discussing is in some ways very convenient. Phrases like a not unjustifiable assumption, leaves much to be desired, would serve no good purpose, a consideration which we should do well to bear in mind, are a continuous temptation, a packet of aspirins always at one's elbow. Look back through this essay, and for certain you will find that I have again and again committed the very faults I am protesting against. By this morning's post I have received a pamphlet dealing with conditions in Germany. The author tells me that he "felt impelled" to write it. I open it at random, and here is almost the first sentence I see: "[The Allies] have an opportunity not only of achieving a radical transformation of Germany's social and political structure in such a way as to avoid a nationalistic reaction in Germany itself, but at the same time of laying the foundations of a co-operative and unified Europe." You see, he "feels impelled" to write -- feels, presumably, that he has something new to say -- and yet his words, like cavalry horses answering the bugle, group themselves automatically into the familiar dreary pattern. This invasion of one's mind by ready-made phrases (lay the foundations, achieve a radical transformation) can only be prevented if one is constantly on guard against them, and every such phrase anaesthetizes a portion of one's brain.
George Orwell (Politics and the English Language)
So if you really go the whole way and see how you feel at the prospect of vanishing forever. Have all your efforts, and all your achievements, and all your attainments turning into dust and nothingness. What is the feeling? What happens to you? That's what it's all going to come to. And for some reason or other, we are supposed to find this depressing. Do you see in a way, how that is saying: the most real state is the state of nothing? But if somebody is going to argue that the basic reality is nothingness. Where does all this come from? Obviously from nothingness. Once again you get how it looks behind your eyes. You see? So in this way, by seeing that nothingness is the fundamental reality, and you see it's your reality. Then how can anything contaminate you? All the idea of you being scared, and put out and worried, and so on, this is nothing, it's a dream. Because you're really nothing. But this is most incredible nothing. So cheer up! You see? The essence of your mind is intrinsically pure. Pure means clear, void. See? If you think of this idea of nothingness as mere blankness, and you hold onto this idea of blankness then kind of grizzly about it, you haven't understood it. Nothingness is really like the nothingness of space, which contains the whole universe. All the sun and the stars and the mountains, and rivers, and the good men and bad men, and the animals, and insects, and the whole bit. All are contained in void. So out of this void comes everything and You Are IT. What else could You BE?
Alan W. Watts (The Essence of Alan Watts)
When I am gone, I want you to hear my voice in your head. Hear it when you most need to, when you feel most hopeless, when you feel most alone. When life seems too cruel, and there seems too little love in it. When you feel you have failed. When you don’t know what the point is. When you cannot go on. I want you to draw strength from me then. I want you to remember how much I cherished you, how I lived for you. When the world seems full of giants who dwarf you, when it feels like a struggle just to keep your head up, I want you to remember there is more to live for than mere achievement. It is worth something to be a good man. It cannot be worth nothing to do the right thing.
Matthew Thomas (We Are Not Ourselves)
My father, who lived to ninety-four, often said that the eighties had been one of the most enjoyable decades of his life. He felt, as I begin to feel, not a shrinking but an enlargement of mental life and perspective. One has had a long experience of life, not only one’s own life, but others’ too. One has seen triumphs and tragedies, booms and busts, revolutions and wars, great achievements and deep ambiguities. One has seen grand theories rise, only to be toppled by stubborn facts. One is more conscious of transience and, perhaps, of beauty. At eighty, one can take a long view and have a vivid, lived sense of history not possible at an earlier age. I can imagine, feel in my bones, what a century is like, which I could not do when I was forty or sixty. I do not think of old age as an ever grimmer time that one must somehow endure and make the best of, but as a time of leisure and freedom, freed from the factitious urgencies of earlier days, free to explore whatever I wish, and to bind the thoughts and feelings of a lifetime together. I am looking forward to being eighty.
Oliver Sacks (Gratitude)
Proust so titillates my own desire for expression that I can hardly set out the sentence. Oh if I could write like that! I cry. And at the moment such is the astonishing vibration and saturation and intensification that he procures—there’s something sexual in it—that I feel I can write like that, and seize my pen and then I can’t write like that. Scarcely anyone so stimulates the nerves of language in me: it becomes an obsession. But I must return to Swann. My great adventure is really Proust. Well—what remains to be written after that? I’m only in the first volume, and there are, I suppose, faults to be found, but I am in a state of amazement; as if a miracle were being done before my eyes. How, at last, has someone solidified what has always escaped—and made it too into this beautiful and perfectly enduring substance? One has to put the book down and gasp. The pleasure becomes physical—like sun and wine and grapes and perfect serenity and intense vitality combined. Jacques Raverat...sent me a letter about Mrs Dalloway which gave me one of the happiest moments days of my life. I wonder if this time I have achieved something? Well, nothing anyhow compared with Proust, in whom I am embedded now. The thing about Proust is his combination of the utmost sensibility with the utmost tenacity. He searches out these butterfly shades to the last grain. He is as tough as catgut & as evanescent as a butterfly's bloom. And he will I suppose both influence me & make out of temper with every sentence of my own.
Virginia Woolf
By the time we grow up we become masters at dissimulation, at cultivating a self that the world cannot probe. But we pay a price. After years of turning people away, of protecting our inner self, of cultivating it by living in a different world, of furnishing this world with our fantasies and dreams—lo and behold we find that we are hopelessly separated from everyone else. We have become victims of our own art. We touch people on the outsides of their bodies, and they us, but we cannot get at their insides and cannot reveal our insides to them. This is one of the great tragedies of our interiority—it is utterly personal and unrevealable. Often we want to say something unusually intimate to a spouse, a parent, a friend, communicate something of how we are really feeling about a sunset, who we really feel we are—only to fall strangely and miserably flat. Once in a great while we succeed, sometimes more with one person, less or never with others. But the occasional break-through only proves the rule. You reach out with a disclosure, fail, and fall back bitterly into yourself. We emit huge globs of love to our parents and spouses, and the glob slithers away in exchange of words that are somehow beside the point of what we are trying to say. People seem to keep bumping up against each other with their exteriors and falling away from each other. The cartoonist Jules Feiffer is the modern master of this aspect of the human tragedy. Take even the sexual act—the most intimate merger given to organisms. For most people, even for their entire lives, it is simply a joining of exteriors. The insides melt only in the moment of orgasm, but even this is brief, and a melting is not a communication. It is a physical overcoming of separateness, not a symbolic revelation and justification of one’s interior. many people pursue sex precisely because it is a mystique of the overcoming of the separateness of the inner world, and they go from one partner to another because they can never quite achieve “it." So the endless interrogations: “What are you thinking about right now—me? Do you feel what I feel? Do you love me?
Ernest Becker
child. This ability to grieve—that is, to give up the illusion of his “happy” childhood, to feel and recognize the full extent of the hurt he has endured—can restore the depressive’s vitality and creativity and free the grandiose person from the exertions of and dependence on his Sisyphean task. If a person is able, during this long process, to experience the reality that he was never loved as a child for what he was but was instead needed and exploited for his achievements, success, and good qualities—and that he sacrificed his childhood for this form of love—he will be very deeply shaken, but one day he will feel the desire to end these efforts. He will discover in himself a need to live according to his true self and no longer be forced to earn “love” that always leaves him empty-handed, since it is given to his false self—something he has begun to identify and relinquish.
Alice Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self)
Do not despise your inner world. That is the first and most general piece of advice I would offer… Our society is very outward-looking, very taken up with the latest new object, the latest piece of gossip, the latest opportunity for self-assertion and status. But we all begin our lives as helpless babies, dependent on others for comfort, food, and survival itself. And even though we develop a degree of mastery and independence, we always remain alarmingly weak and incomplete, dependent on others and on an uncertain world for whatever we are able to achieve. As we grow, we all develop a wide range of emotions responding to this predicament: fear that bad things will happen and that we will be powerless to ward them off; love for those who help and support us; grief when a loved one is lost; hope for good things in the future; anger when someone else damages something we care about. Our emotional life maps our incompleteness: A creature without any needs would never have reasons for fear, or grief, or hope, or anger. But for that very reason we are often ashamed of our emotions, and of the relations of need and dependency bound up with them. Perhaps males, in our society, are especially likely to be ashamed of being incomplete and dependent, because a dominant image of masculinity tells them that they should be self-sufficient and dominant. So people flee from their inner world of feeling, and from articulate mastery of their own emotional experiences. The current psychological literature on the life of boys in America indicates that a large proportion of boys are quite unable to talk about how they feel and how others feel — because they have learned to be ashamed of feelings and needs, and to push them underground. But that means that they don’t know how to deal with their own emotions, or to communicate them to others. When they are frightened, they don’t know how to say it, or even to become fully aware of it. Often they turn their own fear into aggression. Often, too, this lack of a rich inner life catapults them into depression in later life. We are all going to encounter illness, loss, and aging, and we’re not well prepared for these inevitable events by a culture that directs us to think of externals only, and to measure ourselves in terms of our possessions of externals. What is the remedy of these ills? A kind of self-love that does not shrink from the needy and incomplete parts of the self, but accepts those with interest and curiosity, and tries to develop a language with which to talk about needs and feelings. Storytelling plays a big role in the process of development. As we tell stories about the lives of others, we learn how to imagine what another creature might feel in response to various events. At the same time, we identify with the other creature and learn something about ourselves. As we grow older, we encounter more and more complex stories — in literature, film, visual art, music — that give us a richer and more subtle grasp of human emotions and of our own inner world. So my second piece of advice, closely related to the first, is: Read a lot of stories, listen to a lot of music, and think about what the stories you encounter mean for your own life and lives of those you love. In that way, you will not be alone with an empty self; you will have a newly rich life with yourself, and enhanced possibilities of real communication with others.
Martha C. Nussbaum
In the last twenty-five years, the borderline patient, who confronts the psychiatrist not with well-defined symptoms but with diffuse dissatisfactions, has become increasingly common. He does not suffer from debilitating fixations or phobias or from the conversion of repressed sexual energy into nervous ailments; instead he complains "of vague, diffuse dissatisfactions with life" and feels his "amorphous existence to be futile and purposeless." He describes "subtly experienced yet pervasive feelings of emptiness and depression," "violent oscillations of self-esteem," and "a general inability to get along." He gains "a sense of heightened self-esteem only by attaching himself to strong, admired figures whose acceptance he craves and by whom he needs to feel supported." Although he carries out his daily responsibilities and even achieves distinction, happiness eludes him, and life frequently strikes him as not worth living.
Christopher Lasch (The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in An Age of Diminishing Expectations)
THE OPTIMIST CREED Promise Yourself… To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. To make all your friends feel that there is something in them. To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best. To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile. To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble. To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words, but in great deeds. To live in the faith that the whole world is on your side, so long as you are true to the best that is in you.
Christian D. Larson (The Optimist Creed)
The ability to feel 'with' rather than 'for' is the essential difference between consciousness and emotion. When we feel for things we are emotionally moved. Pity, sympathy, and kindred feelings stir us, and yet they seldom give any definite impulse that is of value in the adjustment of any chain of circumstances. When we feel with things we are so much a part of them that we understand the innermost elements of their being. Thus understanding comes with consciousness, and knowledge with intellectual comprehension. According to the ancient doctrines, perfect consciousness — the ability to feel with everything as part of everything — was regarded as the ultimate state of so-called human unfoldment, and he who had achieved this had attained to godhood in his own right. The gods are simply emblematic of varying degrees of consciousness in that vast interval between ignorance and realization.
Manly P. Hall (The Illumined Mind: The Universal Savior)
Among the many forms of alienation, the most frequent one is alienation in language. If I express a feeling with a word, let us say, if I say "I love you," the word is meant to be an indication of the reality which exists within myself, the power of my loving. The word "love" is meant to be a symbol of the fact love, but as soon as it is spoken it tends to assume a life of its own, it becomes a reality. I am under the illusion that the saying of the word is the equivalent of the experience, and soon I say the word and feel nothing, except the thought of love which the word expresses. The alienation of language shows the whole complexity of alienation. Language is one of the most precious human achievements; to avoid alienation by not speaking would be foolish -- yet one must be always aware of the danger of the spoken word, that it threatens to substitute itself for the living experience. The same holds true for all other achievements of man; ideas, art, any kind of man-made objects. They are man's creations; they are valuable aids for life, yet each one of them is also a trap, a temptation to confuse life with things, experience with artifacts, feeling with surrender and submission.
Erich Fromm (Marx's Concept of Man)
Though many of my arguments will be coolly analytical — that an acknowledgment of human nature does not, logically speaking, imply the negative outcomes so many people fear — I will not try to hide my belief that they have a positive thrust as well. "Man will become better when you show him what he is like," wrote Chekhov, and so the new sciences of human nature can help lead the way to a realistic, biologically informed humanism. They expose the psychological unity of our species beneath the superficial differences of physical appearance and parochial culture. They make us appreciate the wondrous complexity of the human mind, which we are apt to take for granted precisely because it works so well. They identify the moral intuitions that we can put to work in improving our lot. They promise a naturalness in human relationships, encouraging us to treat people in terms of how they do feel rather than how some theory says they ought to feel. They offer a touchstone by which we can identify suffering and oppression wherever they occur, unmasking the rationalizations of the powerful. They give us a way to see through the designs of self-appointed social reformers who would liberate us from our pleasures. They renew our appreciation for the achievements of democracy and of the rule of law. And they enhance the insights of artists and philosophers who have reflected on the human condition for millennia.
Steven Pinker (The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature)
The Byronic hero, incapable of love, or capable only of an impossible love, suffers endlessly. He is solitary, languid, his condition exhausts him. If he wants to feel alive, it must be in the terrible exaltation of a brief and destructive action. To love someone whom one will never see again is to give a cry of exultation as one perishes in the flames of passion. One lives only in and for the moment, in order to achieve "the brief and vivid union of a tempestuous heart united to the tempest" (lermontov). The threat of mortality which hangs over us makes everything abortive. Only the cry of anguish can bring us to life; exaltation takes the place of truth. To this extent the apocalypse becomes an absolute value in which everything is confounded—love and death, conscience and culpability. In a chaotic universe no other life exists but that of the abyss where, according to Alfred Le Poittevin, human beings come "trembling with rage and exulting in their crimes" to curse the Creator.
Albert Camus (The Rebel)
First thing: There is no need to survive in this world. This world is a madhouse. There is no need to survive in it. There is no need to survive in the world of ambition, politics, ego. It is the disease. But there is another way to be, and the whole religious standpoint is: You can be in this world and not be of it. “When I listen to my feelings, my inner voice, they tell me to do nothing.…” Then don’t do anything. There is nobody higher than you, and God speaks to you directly. Start trusting your inner feelings. Then don’t do anything. If you feel just to sleep, eat, and play on the beach, perfect. Let that be your religion. Don’t be afraid then. You will have to drop fear. And if it is a question of choosing between the inner feeling and the fear, choose the inner feeling. Don’t choose the fear. So many people have chosen their path out of fear, so they live in a limbo, they live in indecision. Fear is not going to help. Fear always means the fear of the unknown. Fear always means the fear of death. Fear always means the fear of being lost—but if you really want to be alive, you have to accept the possibility of being lost. You have to accept the insecurity of the unknown, the discomfort and the inconvenience of the unfamiliar, the strange. That is the price one has to pay for the blessing that follows it, and nothing can be achieved without paying for it. You have to pay for it: Otherwise you will remain fear-paralyzed. Your whole life will be lost. Enjoy whatsoever your inner feeling is.
Osho (Living on Your Own Terms: What Is Real Rebellion?)
Christianity had, in Nietzsche’s account, emerged from the minds of timid slaves in the Roman Empire who had lacked the stomach to climb to the tops of mountains, and so had built themselves a philosophy claiming that their bases were delightful. Christians had wished to enjoy the real ingredients of fulfilment (a position in the world, sex, intellectual mastery, creativity) but did not have the courage to endure the difficulties these goods demanded. They had therefore fashioned a hypocritical creed denouncing what they wanted but were too weak to fight for while praising what they did not want but happened to have. Powerlessness became ‘goodness’, baseness ‘humility’, submission to people one hated ‘obedience’ and, in Nietzsche’s phrase, ‘not-being-able-to-take-revenge’ turned into ‘forgiveness’. Every feeling of weakness was overlaid with a sanctifying name, and made to seem ‘a voluntary achievement, something wanted, chosen, a deed, an accomplishment’. Addicted to ‘the religion of comfortableness’, Christians, in their value system, had given precedence to what was easy, not what was desirable, and so had drained life of its potential.
Alain de Botton (The Consolations of Philosophy)
No one can heal by maintaining or fostering illusion. The paradise of preambivalent harmony, for which so many patients hope, is unattainable. But the experience of one’s own truth, and the postambivalent knowledge of it, make it possible to return to one’s own world of feelings at an adult level—without paradise, but with the ability to mourn. And this ability does, indeed, give us back our vitality. It is one of the turning points in therapy when the patient comes to the emotional insight that all the love she has captured with so much effort and self-denial was not meant for her as she really was, that the admiration for her beauty and achievements was aimed at this beauty and these achievements and not at the child herself. In therapy, the small and lonely child that is hidden behind her achievements wakes up and asks: “What would have happened if I had appeared before you sad, needy, angry, furious? Where would your love have been then? And I was all these things as well. Does this mean that it was not really me you loved, but only what I pretended to be? The well-behaved, reliable, empathic, understanding, and convenient child, who in fact was never a child at all? What became of my childhood? Have I not been cheated out of it? I can never return to it. I can never make up for it. From the beginning I have been a little adult. My abilities—were they simply misused?
Alice Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self)
Simply changing one three-letter word can often spell the difference between failure and success in changing people without giving offense or arousing resentment. Many people begin their criticism with sincere praise followed by the word “but” and ending with a critical statement. For example, in trying to change a child’s careless attitude toward studies, we might say, “We’re really proud of you, Johnnie, for raising your grades this term. But if you had worked harder on your algebra, the results would have been better.” In this case, Johnnie might feel encouraged until he heard the word “but.” He might then question the sincerity of the original praise. To him, the praise seemed only to be a contrived lead-in to a critical inference of failure. Credibility would be strained, and we probably would not achieve our objectives of changing Johnnie’s attitude toward his studies. This could be easily overcome by changing the word “but” to “and.” “We’re really proud of you, Johnnie, for raising your grades this term, and by continuing the same conscientious efforts next term, your algebra grade can be up with all the others.
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends & Influence People)
Disclosing my real thoughts and feelings is risky. Disclosing what I really think and feel frees up energy and expands possibilities. Most people can’t handle the truth, so it’s better not to say anything. Though I have trouble handling the truth sometimes, I’ll keep telling it and inviting it from others. It’s important that I convince others that my point of view is correct. Exploring multiple points of view will lead to better decisions. I will gain approval and promotions by exchanging my personal identity for my organization’s identity. My personal identity will be expanded as my colleagues and I exchange diverse points of view. Reality can’t be changed. There’s no point in fighting it. Perhaps we can change reality with thoughtful conversations. As an expert, my job is to dispense advice. My job is to involve people in the problems and strategies affecting them. I’ll keep my mouth shut; this is a job for the experts. My point of view is as valid as anyone else’s. I need to ignore what I’m feeling in my gut; just put my head down and do my job. I know what I know, and what I know, I need to act on. Let’s
Susan Scott (Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time)
Wisdom is really the key to wealth. With great wisdom, comes great wealth and success. Rather than pursuing wealth, pursue wisdom. The aggressive pursuit of wealth can lead to disappointment. Wisdom is defined as the quality of having experience, and being able to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting. Wisdom is basically the practical application of knowledge. Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs. Become completely focused on one subject and study the subject for a long period of time. Don't skip around from one subject to the next. The problem is generally not money. Jesus taught that the problem was attachment to possessions and dependence on money rather than dependence on God. Those who love people, acquire wealth so they can give generously. After all, money feeds, shelters, and clothes people. They key is to work extremely hard for a short period of time (1-5 years), create abundant wealth, and then make money work hard for you through wise investments that yield a passive income for life. Don't let the opinions of the average man sway you. Dream, and he thinks you're crazy. Succeed, and he thinks you're lucky. Acquire wealth, and he thinks you're greedy. Pay no attention. He simply doesn't understand. Failure is success if we learn from it. Continuing failure eventually leads to success. Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly. Whenever you pursue a goal, it should be with complete focus. This means no interruptions. Only when one loves his career and is skilled at it can he truly succeed. Never rush into an investment without prior research and deliberation. With preferred shares, investors are guaranteed a dividend forever, while common stocks have variable dividends. Some regions with very low or no income taxes include the following: Nevada, Texas, Wyoming, Delaware, South Dakota, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Panama, San Marino, Seychelles, Isle of Man, Channel Islands, Curaçao, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Monaco, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Bermuda, Kuwait, Oman, Andorra, Cayman Islands, Belize, Vanuatu, and Campione d'Italia. There is only one God who is infinite and supreme above all things. Do not replace that infinite one with finite idols. As frustrated as you may feel due to your life circumstances, do not vent it by cursing God or unnecessarily uttering his name. Greed leads to poverty. Greed inclines people to act impulsively in hopes of gaining more. The benefit of giving to the poor is so great that a beggar is actually doing the giver a favor by allowing the person to give. The more I give away, the more that comes back. Earn as much as you can. Save as much as you can. Invest as much as you can. Give as much as you can.
H.W. Charles (The Money Code: Become a Millionaire With the Ancient Jewish Code)
The highest and most fruitful form of human freedom is found in accepting, even more than in dominating. We show the greatness of our freedom when we transform reality, but still more when we accept it trustingly as it is given to us day after day. It is natural and easy to go along with pleasant situations that arise without our choosing them. It becomes a problem, obviously, when things are unpleasant, go against us, or make us suffer. But it is precisely then that, in order to become truly free, we are often called to choose to accept what we did not want, and even what we would not have wanted at any price. There is a paradoxical law of human life here: one cannot become truly free unless one accepts not always being free! To achieve true interior freedom we must train ourselves to accept, peacefully and willingly, plenty of things that seem to contradict our freedom. This means consenting to our personal limitations, our weaknesses, our powerlessness, this or that situation that life imposes on us, and so on. We find it difficult to do this, because we feel a natural revulsion for situations we cannot control. But the fact is that the situations that really make us grow are precisely those we do not control.
Jacques Philippe (Interior Freedom)
The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer. There are many men who feel a kind of twister pride in cynicism; there are many who confine themselves to criticism of the way others do what they themselves dare not even attempt. There is no more unhealthy being, no man less worthy of respect, than he who either really holds, or feigns to hold, an attitude of sneering disbelief toward all that is great and lofty, whether in achievement or in that noble effort which, even if it fails, comes to second achievement. A cynical habit of thought and speech, a readiness to criticise work which the critic himself never tries to perform, an intellectual aloofness which will not accept contact with life’s realities — all these are marks, not as the possessor would fain to think, of superiority but of weakness. They mark the men unfit to bear their part painfully in the stern strife of living, who seek, in the affection of contempt for the achievements of others, to hide from others and from themselves in their own weakness. The role is easy; there is none easier, save only the role of the man who sneers alike at both criticism and performance.
Theodore Roosevelt (The Roosevelt Book: Selections from the Writings of Theodore Roosevelt (Classic Reprint))
Does God exist? Unlike many people, this had not been the great inner debate of her life. Under the old Communist regime, the official line in schools had been that life ended with death, and she had gotten used to the idea. On the other hand, her parents’ generation and her grandparents’ generation still went to church, said prayers, and went on pilgrimages, and were utterly convinced that God listened to what they said. At twenty-four, having experienced everything she could experience—and that was no small achievement—Veronika was almost certain that everything ended with death. That is why she had chosen suicide: freedom at last. Eternal oblivion. In her heart of hearts, though, there was still a doubt: What if God did exist? Thousands of years of civilization had made of suicide a taboo, an affront to all religious codes: Man struggles to survive, not to succumb. The human race must procreate. Society needs workers. A couple has to have a reason to stay together, even when love has ceased to exist, and a country needs soldiers, politicians and artists. If God exists, and I truly don’t believe he does, he will know that there are limits to human understanding. He was the one who created this confusion in which there is poverty, injustice, greed, and loneliness. He doubtless had the best of intentions, but the results have proved disastrous; if God exists, he will be generous with those creatures who chose to leave this Earth early, and he might even apologize for having made us spend time here. To hell with taboos and superstitions. Her devout mother would say: “God knows the past, the present, and the future.” In that case, he had placed her in this world in the full knowledge that she would end up killing herself, and he would not be shocked by her actions. Veronika began to feel a slight nausea, which became rapidly more intense.
Paulo Coelho (Veronika Decides to Die)
Because people who live their lives this way can look forward to a single destiny, shared with others of this type - though such people do not believe they represent a type, but feel themselves distinguished from the common run of man, who they see as held down by the banal anchors of the world. But while others actually build a life in which things gain meaning and significance, this is not true of the puer. Such a person inevitably looks back on life as it nears its end with a feeling of emptiness and sadness, aware of what they have built: nothing. In their quest for a life without failure, suffer, or doubt, that is what they achieve: a life empty of all those things that make a human life meaningful. And yet they started off believing themselves too special for this world! But - and here is the hope - there is a solution for people of this type, and it's perhaps not the solution that could have been predicted. The answer for them is to build on what they have begun and not abandon their plans as soon as things start getting difficult. They must work - without escaping into fantasies about being the person who worked. And I don't mean work for its own sake, but they must choose work that begins and ends in a passion, a question that is gnawing at their guts, which is not to be avoided but must be realized and live through the hard work and suffering that inevitably comes with the process. They must reinforce and build on what is in their life already rather than always starting anew, hoping to find a situation without danger. Puers don't need to check themselves into analysis. If they can just remember this - It is their everlasting switching that is the dangerous thing, and not what they choose - they might discover themselves saved. The problem is the puer ever anticipates loss, disappointment, and suffering - which they foresee at the very beginning of every experience, so they cut themselves off at the beginning, retreating almost at once in order to protect themselves. In this way, they never give themselves to life - living in constant dread of the end. Reason, in this case, has taken too much from life. They must give themselves completely to the experience! One things sometimes how much more alive such people would be if they suffered! If they can't be happy, let them at least be unhappy - really, really unhappy for once, and then the might become truly human!
Sheila Heti (How Should a Person Be?)
It is said that there are four kinds of horses: excellent ones, good ones, poor ones, and bad ones. The best horse will run slow and fast, right and left, at the driver’s will, before it sees the shadow of the whip; the second best will run as well as the first one does, just before the whip reaches its skin; the third one will run when it feels pain on its body; the fourth will run after the pain penetrates to the marrow of its bones. You can imagine how difficult it is for the fourth one to learn how to run! When we hear this story, almost all of us want to be the best horse. If it is impossible to be the best one, we want to be the second best. That is, I think, the usual understanding of this story, and of Zen. You may think that when you sit in zazen you will find out whether you are one of the best horses or one of the worst ones. Here, however, there is a misunderstanding of Zen. If you think the aim of Zen practice is to train you to become one of the best horses, you will have a big problem. This is not the right understanding. If you practice Zen in the right way it does not matter whether you are the best horse or the worst one. When you consider the mercy of Buddha, how do you think Buddha will feel about the four kinds of horses? He will have more sympathy for the worst one than for the best one. When you are determined to practice zazen with the great mind of Buddha, you will find the worst horse is the most valuable one. In your very imperfections you will find the basis for your firm, way-seeking mind. Those who can sit perfectly physically usually take more time to obtain the true way of Zen, the actual feeling of Zen, the marrow of Zen. But those who find great difficulties in practicing Zen will find more meaning in it. So I think that sometimes the best horse may be the worst horse, and the worst horse can be the best one. If you study calligraphy you will find that those who are not so clever usually become the best calligraphers. Those who are very clever with their hands often encounter great difficulty after they have reached a certain stage. This is also true in art and in Zen. It is true in life. So when we talk about Zen we cannot say, 'He is good,' or 'He is bad,' in the ordinary sense of the words. The posture taken in zazen is not the same for each of us. For some it may be impossible to take the cross-legged posture. But even though you cannot take the right posture, when you arouse your real, way-seeking mind, you can practice Zen in its true sense. Actually it is easier for those who have difficulties in sitting to arouse the true way-seeking mind that for those who can sit easily.
Shunryu Suzuki
Good morning on the 7th of July. while still in bed my thoughts turn towards you my Immortal Beloved, now and then happy, then sad again, waiting whether Fate might answer us. – I can only live either wholly with you or not at all, yes, I have resolved to stray about far away until I can fly into your arms, and feel at home with you, and send my soul embraced by you into the realm of the Spirits. – Yes, unfortunately it must be. – You will compose yourself, all the more since you know my faithfulness to you, never can another own my heart, never – never. – Oh God why do I have to separate from someone whom I love so much, and yet my life in V[ienna] as it is now is a miserable life. – Your love makes me at once most happy and most unhappy. – At my age, I would now need some conformity regularity in my life – can this exist in our relationship? – Angel, I just learned that the post goes every day – and I must therefore conclude so that you get the l[etter] straightway – be patient, only through quiet contemplation of our existence can we achieve our purpose to live together – be calm – love me – today – yesterday. – What yearning with tears for you – you – you – my life – my everything – farewell – oh continue to love me – never misjudge the most faithful heart of your Beloved L. Forever thine forever mine forever us.
Ludwig van Beethoven
The desire to make art begins early. Among the very young this is encouraged (or at least indulged as harmless) but the push toward a 'serious' education soon exacts a heavy toll on dreams and fantasies....Yet for some the desire persists, and sooner or later must be addressed. And with good reason: your desire to make art -- beautiful or meaningful or emotive art -- is integral to your sense of who you are. Life and Art, once entwined, can quickly become inseparable; at age ninety Frank Lloyd Wright was still designing, Imogen Cunningham still photographing, Stravinsky still composing, Picasso still painting. But if making art gives substance to your sense of self, the corresponding fear is that you're not up to the task -- that you can't do it, or can't do it well, or can't do it again; or that you're not a real artist, or not a good artist, or have no talent, or have nothing to say. The line between the artist and his/her work is a fine one at best, and for the artist it feels (quite naturally) like there is no such line. Making art can feel dangerous and revealing. Making art is dangerous and revealing. Making art precipitates self-doubt, stirring deep waters that lay between what you know you should be, and what you fear you might be. For many people, that alone is enough to prevent their ever getting started at all -- and for those who do, trouble isn't long in coming. Doubts, in fact, soon rise in swarms: "I am not an artist -- I am a phony. I have nothing worth saying. I'm not sure what I'm doing. Other people are better than I am. I'm only a [student/physicist/mother/whatever]. I've never had a real exhibit. No one understands my work. No one likes my work. I'm no good. Yet viewed objectively, these fears obviously have less to do with art than they do with the artist. And even less to do with the individual artworks. After all, in making art you bring your highest skills to bear upon the materials and ideas you most care about. Art is a high calling -- fears are coincidental. Coincidental, sneaky and disruptive, we might add, disguising themselves variously as laziness, resistance to deadlines, irritation with materials or surroundings, distraction over the achievements of others -- indeed anything that keeps you from giving your work your best shot. What separates artists from ex-artists is that those who challenge their fears, continue; those who don't, quit. Each step in the artmaking process puts that issue to the test.
David Bayles (Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking)
Well I want something to do, to create, to achieve, to whatever.... Something I can’t get enough of. You know something that I can't wait to get up in the morning to do something I can't get enough of, something that brings me joy and makes my heart sing. It could be anything, could be more than one thing but something that grabs me. Even a job, if it grabs me so that I could hardly wait to get there. Something that makes me feel good, allows me to be me, gives me freedom to grow and expand, something that grasps my heart, my joy, my excitement and leads me down the path to more joyful things, exciting challenges and challenging things. Barely stopping to take a breath I continued. Need a new journey a new destination, I want to grow to be or become, tread a new path, see what I haven't seen be what I haven't been ask what I haven't asked dare to what I haven't dared to . . . I don't even think it is so much a physical thing or mental it's just sort of un-learning some of what I learned It’s being happy, while I am happy but I want something to do that creates even more. (..) Doing it for the joy of doing it not for any other reason; also I want it from and un-edited creativity free flowing something… I have some things that seem very interesting and somehow just don’t feel right almost like I’m taking the wrong path and yet there are other things that I could be doing like writing but it seems that it does not feel good to sit and write but yet some part of me seems to love it and something in me hates it sort of like it could be the thing for me to do and yet it might not be.
Klaus J. Joehle (A Weekend With 'a' Drunken Leprechaun: Finding Your Joy)
The word “coherence” literally means holding or sticking together, but it is usually used to refer to a system, an idea, or a worldview whose parts fit together in a consistent and efficient way. Coherent things work well: A coherent worldview can explain almost anything, while an incoherent worldview is hobbled by internal contradictions. … Whenever a system can be analyzed at multiple levels, a special kind of coherence occurs when the levels mesh and mutually interlock. We saw this cross-level coherence in the analysis of personality: If your lower-level traits match up with your coping mechanisms, which in turn are consistent with your life story, your personality is well integrated and you can get on with the business of living. When these levels do not cohere, you are likely to be torn by internal contradictions and neurotic conflicts. You might need adversity to knock yourself into alignment. And if you do achieve coherence, the moment when things come together may be one of the most profound of your life. … Finding coherence across levels feels like enlightenment, and it is crucial for answering the question of purpose within life. People are multilevel systems in another way: We are physical objects (bodies and brains) from which minds somehow emerge; and from our minds, somehow societies and cultures form. To understand ourselves fully we must study all three levels—physical, psychological, and sociocultural. There has long been a division of academic labor: Biologists studied the brain as a physical object, psychologists studied the mind, and sociologists and anthropologists studied the socially constructed environments within which minds develop and function. But a division of labor is productive only when the tasks are coherent—when all lines of work eventually combine to make something greater than the sum of its parts. For much of the twentieth century that didn’t happen — each field ignored the others and focused on its own questions. But nowadays cross-disciplinary work is flourishing, spreading out from the middle level (psychology) along bridges (or perhaps ladders) down to the physical level (for example, the field of cognitive neuroscience) and up to the sociocultural level (for example, cultural psychology). The sciences are linking up, generating cross-level coherence, and, like magic, big new ideas are beginning to emerge. Here is one of the most profound ideas to come from the ongoing synthesis: People gain a sense of meaning when their lives cohere across the three levels of their existence.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
Table 3–1. Definitions of Cognitive Distortions 1. ALL-OR-NOTHING THINKING: You see things in black-and-white categories. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure. 2. OVERGENERALIZATION: You see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat. 3. MENTAL FILTER: You pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively so that your vision of all reality becomes darkened, like the drop of ink that colors the entire beaker of water. 4. DISQUALIFYING THE POSITIVE: You reject positive experiences by insisting they “don’t count” for some reason or other. In this way you can maintain a negative belief that is contradicted by your everyday experiences. 5. JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS: You make a negative interpretation even though there are no definite facts that convincingly support your conclusion. a. Mind reading. You arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you, and you don’t bother to check this out. b. The Fortune Teller Error. You anticipate that things will turn out badly, and you feel convinced that your prediction is an already-established fact. 6. MAGNIFICATION (CATASTROPHIZING) OR MINIMIZATION: You exaggerate the importance of things (such as your goof-up or someone else’s achievement), or you inappropriately shrink things until they appear tiny (your own desirable qualities or the other fellow’s imperfections). This is also called the “binocular trick.” 7. EMOTIONAL REASONING: You assume that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are: “I feel it, therefore it must be true.” 8. SHOULD STATEMENTS: You try to motivate yourself with shoulds and shouldn’ts, as if you had to be whipped and punished before you could be expected to do anything. “Musts” and “oughts” are also offenders. The emotional consequence is guilt. When you direct should statements toward others, you feel anger, frustration, and resentment. 9. LABELING AND MISLABELING: This is an extreme form of overgeneralization. Instead of describing your error, you attach a negative label to yourself: “I’m a loser.” When someone else’s behavior rubs you the wrong way, you attach a negative label to him: “He’s a goddam louse.” Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded. 10. PERSONALIZATION: You see yourself as me cause of some negative external event which in fact you were not primarily responsible for.
David D. Burns (Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy)
Faking depends on a measure of complicity between the perpetrator and the victim, who together conspire to believe what they don’t believe and to feel what they are incapable of feeling. There are fake beliefs, fake opinions, fake kinds of expertise. There is also fake emotion, which comes about when people debase the forms and the language in which true feeling can take root, so that they are no longer fully aware of the difference between the true and the false. Kitsch is one very important example of this. The kitsch work of art is not a response to the real world, but a fabrication designed to replace it. Yet both producer and consumer conspire to persuade each other that what they feel in and through the kitsch work of art is something deep, important and real. Anyone can lie. One need only have the requisite intention — in other words, to say something with the intention to deceive. Faking, by contrast, is an achievement. To fake things you have to take people in, yourself included. In an important sense, therefore, faking is not something that can be intended, even though it comes about through intentional actions. The liar can pretend to be shocked when his lies are exposed, but his pretence is merely a continuation of his lying strategy. The fake really is shocked when he is exposed, since he had created around himself a community of trust, of which he himself was a member. Understanding this phenomenon is, it seems to me, integral to understanding how a high culture works, and how it can become corrupted.
Roger Scruton
From time to time our national history has been marred by forgetfulness of the Jeffersonian principle that restraint is at the heart of liberty. In 1789 the Federalists adopted Alien and Sedition Acts in a shabby political effort to isolate the Republic from the world and to punish political criticism as seditious libel. In 1865 the Radical Republicans sought to snare private conscience in a web of oaths and affirmations of loyalty. Spokesmen for the South did service for the Nation in resisting the petty tyranny of distrustful vengeance. In the 1920's the Attorney General of the United States degraded his office by hunting political radicals as if they were Salem witches. The Nation's only gain from his efforts were the classic dissents of Holmes and Brandeis. In our own times, the old blunt instruments have again been put to work. The States have followed in the footsteps of the Federalists and have put Alien and Sedition Acts upon their statute books. An epidemic of loyalty oaths has spread across the Nation until no town or village seems to feel secure until its servants have purged themselves of all suspicion of non-conformity by swearing to their political cleanliness. Those who love the twilight speak as if public education must be training in conformity, and government support of science be public aid of caution. We have also seen a sharpening and refinement of abusive power. The legislative investigation, designed and often exercised for the achievement of high ends, has too frequently been used by the Nation and the States as a means for effecting the disgrace and degradation of private persons. Unscrupulous demagogues have used the power to investigate as tyrants of an earlier day used the bill of attainder. The architects of fear have converted a wholesome law against conspiracy into an instrument for making association a crime. Pretending to fear government they have asked government to outlaw private protest. They glorify "togetherness" when it is theirs, and call it conspiracy when it is that of others. In listing these abuses I do not mean to condemn our central effort to protect the Nation's security. The dangers that surround us have been very great, and many of our measures of vigilance have ample justification. Yet there are few among us who do not share a portion of the blame for not recognizing soon enough the dark tendency towards excess of caution.
John F. Kennedy
When clients relinquish symptoms, succeed in achieving a personal goal, or make healthier choices for themselves, subsequently many will feel anxious, guilty, or depressed. That is, when clients make progress in treatment and get better, new therapists understandably are excited. But sometimes they will also be dismayed as they watch the client sabotage her success by gaining back unwanted weight or missing the next session after an important breakthrough and deep sharing with the therapist. Thus, loyalty and allegiance to symptoms—maladaptive behaviors originally developed to manage the “bad” or painfully frustrating aspects of parents—are not maladaptive to insecurely attached children. Such loyalty preserves “object ties,” or the connection to the “good” or loving aspects of the parent. Attachment fears of being left alone, helpless, or unwanted can be activated if clients disengage from the symptoms that represent these internalized “bad” objects (for example, if the client resolves an eating disorder or terminates a problematic relationship with a controlling/jealous partner). The goal of the interpersonal process approach is to help clients modify these early maladaptive schemas or internal working models by providing them with experiential or in vivo re-learning (that is, a “corrective emotional experience”). Through this real-life experience with the therapist, clients learn that, at least sometimes, some relationships can be different and do not have to follow the same familiar but problematic lines they have come to expect.
Edward Teyber (Interpersonal Process in Therapy: An Integrative Model)
I think of two landscapes- one outside the self, the other within. The external landscape is the one we see-not only the line and color of the land and its shading at different times of the day, but also its plants and animals in season, its weather, its geology… If you walk up, say, a dry arroyo in the Sonoran Desert you will feel a mounding and rolling of sand and silt beneath your foot that is distinctive. You will anticipate the crumbling of the sedimentary earth in the arroyo bank as your hand reaches out, and in that tangible evidence you will sense the history of water in the region. Perhaps a black-throated sparrow lands in a paloverde bush… the smell of the creosote bush….all elements of the land, and what I mean by “the landscape.” The second landscape I think of is an interior one, a kind of projection within a person of a part of the exterior landscape. Relationships in the exterior landscape include those that are named and discernible, such as the nitrogen cycle, or a vertical sequence of Ordovician limestone, and others that are uncodified or ineffable, such as winter light falling on a particular kind of granite, or the effect of humidity on the frequency of a blackpoll warbler’s burst of song….the shape and character of these relationships in a person’s thinking, I believe, are deeply influenced by where on this earth one goes, what one touches, the patterns one observes in nature- the intricate history of one’s life in the land, even a life in the city, where wind, the chirp of birds, the line of a falling leaf, are known. These thoughts are arranged, further, according to the thread of one’s moral, intellectual, and spiritual development. The interior landscape responds to the character and subtlety of an exterior landscape; the shape of the individual mind is affected by land as it is by genes. Among the Navajo, the land is thought to exhibit sacred order…each individual undertakes to order his interior landscape according to the exterior landscape. To succeed in this means to achieve a balanced state of mental health…Among the various sung ceremonies of this people-Enemyway, Coyoteway, Uglyway- there is one called Beautyway. It is, in part, a spiritual invocation of the order of the exterior universe, that irreducible, holy complexity that manifests itself as all things changing through time (a Navajo definition of beauty).
Barry Lopez (Crossing Open Ground)
In 1924, Nikola Tesla was asked why he never married? His answer was this: "I had always thought of woman as possessing those delicate qualities of mind and soul that made her in her respects far superior to man. I had put her on a lofty pedestal, figuratively speaking, and ranked her in certain important attributes considerably higher than man. I worshipped at the feet of the creature I had raised to this height, and, like every true worshiper, I felt myself unworthy of the object of my worship. But all this was in the past. Now the soft voiced gentle woman of my reverent worship has all but vanished. In her place has come the woman who thinks that her chief success in life lies on making herself as much as possible like man - in dress, voice, and actions, in sports and achievements of every kind. The world has experience many tragedies, but to my mind the greatest tragedy of all is the present economic condition wherein women strive against men, and in many cases actually succeed in usurping their places in the professions and in industry. This growing tendency of women to overshadow the masculine is a sign of a deteriorating civilization. Practically all the great achievements of man until now have been inspired by his love and devotion to woman. Man has aspired to great things because some woman believed in him, because he wished to command her admiration and respect. For these reasons he has fought for her and risked his life and his all for her time and time again. Perhaps the male in society is useless. I am frank to admit that I don't know. If women are beginning to feel this way about it - and there is striking evidence at hand that they do - then we are entering upon the cruelest period of the world's history. Our civilization will sink to a state like that which is found among the bees, ants, and other insects - a state wherein the male is ruthlessly killed off. In this matriarchal empire which will be established, the female rules. As the female predominates, the males are at her mercy. The male is considered important only as a factor in the general scheme of the continuity of life. The tendency of women to push aside man, supplanting the old spirit of cooperation with him in all the affairs of life, is very disappointing to me." Galveston Daily News, Galveston, Texas, page 23. August 10, 1924.
Nikola Tesla
I will take you down my own avenue of remembrance, which winds among the hazards and shadows of my single year as a plebe. I cannot come to this story in full voice. I want to speak for the boys who were violated by this school, the ones who left ashamed and broken and dishonored, who departed from the Institute with wounds and bitter grievances. I want also to speak for the triumphant boys who took everything the system could throw at them, endured every torment and excess, and survived the ordeal of the freshman year with a feeling of transformation and achievement that they never had felt before and would never know again with such clarity and elation. I will speak from my memory- my memory- a memory that is all refracting light slanting through prisms and dreams, a shifting, troubled riot of electrons charged with pain and wonder. My memory often seems like a city of exiled poets afire with the astonishment of language, each believing in the integrity of his own witness, each with a separate version of culture and history, and the divine essentional fire that is poetry itself. But i will try to isolate that one lonely singer who gathered the fragments of my plebe year and set the screams to music. For many years, I have refused to listen as his obsessive voice narrated the malignant litany of crimes against my boyhood. We isolate those poets who cause us the greatest pain; we silence them in any way we can. I have never allowed this furious dissident the courtesy of my full attention. His poems are songs for the dead to me. Something dies in me every time I hear his low, courageous voice calling to me from the solitude of his exile. He has always known that someday I would have to listen to his story, that I would have to deal with the truth or falsity of his witness. He has always known that someday I must take full responsibility for his creation and that, in finally listening to him, I would be sounding the darkest fathoms of myself. I will write his stories now as he shouts them to me. I will listen to him and listen to myself. I will get it all down. Yet the laws of recall are subject to distortion and alienation. Memory is a trick, and I have lied so often to myself about my own role and the role of others that I am not sure I can recognize the truth about those days. But I have come to believe in the unconscious integrity of lies. I want to record even them. Somewhere in the immensity of the lie the truth gleams like the pure, light-glazed bones of an extinct angel. Hidden in the enormous falsity of my story is the truth for all of us who began at the Institute in 1963, and for all who survived to become her sons. I write my own truth, in my own time, in my own way, and take full responsibility for its mistakes and slanders. Even the lies are part of my truth. I return to the city of memory, to the city of exiled poets. I approach the one whose back is turned to me. He is frail and timorous and angry. His head is shaved and he fears the judgment of regiments. He will always be a victim, always a plebe. I tap him on the shoulder. "Begin," I command. "It was the beginning of 1963," he begins, and I know he will not stop until the story has ended.
Pat Conroy (The Lords of Discipline)
Among this bewildering multiplicity of ideals which shall we choose? The answer is that we shall choose none. For it is clear that each one of these contradictory ideals is the fruit of particular social circumstances. To some extent, of course, this is true of every thought and aspiration that has ever been formulated. Some thoughts and aspirations, however, are manifestly less dependent on particular social circumstances than others. And here a significant fact emerges: all the ideals of human behaviour formulated by those who have been most successful in freeing themselves from the prejudices of their time and place are singularly alike. Liberation from prevailing conventions of thought, feeling and behaviour is accomplished most effectively by the practice of disinterested virtues and through direct insight into the real nature of ultimate reality. (Such insight is a gift, inherent in the individual; but, though inherent, it cannot manifest itself completely except where certain conditions are fulfilled. The principal pre-condition of insight is, precisely, the practice of disinterested virtues.) To some extent critical intellect is also a liberating force. But the way in which intellect is used depends upon the will. Where the will is not disinterested, the intellect tends to be used (outside the non-human fields of technology, science or pure mathematics) merely as an instrument for the rationalization of passion and prejudice, the justification of self-interest. That is why so few even of die acutest philosophers have succeeded in liberating themselves completely from the narrow prison of their age and country. It is seldom indeed that they achieve as much freedom as the mystics and the founders of religion. The most nearly free men have always been those who combined virtue with insight. Now, among these freest of human beings there has been, for the last eighty or ninety generations, substantial agreement in regard to the ideal individual. The enslaved have held up for admiration now this model of a man, now that; but at all times and in all places, the free have spoken with only one voice. It is difficult to find a single word that will adequately describe the ideal man of the free philosophers, the mystics, the founders of religions. 'Non-attached* is perhaps the best. The ideal man is the non-attached man. Non-attached to his bodily sensations and lusts. Non-attached to his craving for power and possessions. Non-attached to the objects of these various desires. Non-attached to his anger and hatred; non-attached to his exclusive loves. Non-attached to wealth, fame, social position. Non-attached even to science, art, speculation, philanthropy. Yes, non-attached even to these. For, like patriotism, in Nurse Cavel's phrase, 'they are not enough, Non-attachment to self and to what are called 'the things of this world' has always been associated in the teachings of the philosophers and the founders of religions with attachment to an ultimate reality greater and more significant than the self. Greater and more significant than even the best things that this world has to offer. Of the nature of this ultimate reality I shall speak in the last chapters of this book. All that I need do in this place is to point out that the ethic of non-attachment has always been correlated with cosmologies that affirm the existence of a spiritual reality underlying the phenomenal world and imparting to it whatever value or significance it possesses.
Aldous Huxley (Ends and Means)