Greatest Gift Quotes

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This is the greatest gift God can give you: to understand what happened in your life. To have it explained. It is the peace you have been searching for.
Mitch Albom (The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Meniti Bianglala)
Your children are the greatest gift God will give to you, and their souls the heaviest responsibility He will place in your hands. Take time with them, teach them to have faith in God. Be a person in whom they can have faith. When you are old, nothing else you've done will have mattered as much.
Lisa Wingate
The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.
Denis Waitley
The greatest gift you ever give is your honest self.
Fred Rogers
The dog is the most faithful of animals and would be much esteemed were it not so common. Our Lord God has made His greatest gifts the commonest.
Martin Luther
Being chosen is the greatest gift you can give to another human being.
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood)
Life’s greatest gift is the freedom it leaves you to step out of it whenever you choose.
André Breton (Anthology of Black Humor)
My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.
Jim Valvano
If you love someone, the greatest gift you can give them is your presence
Thich Nhat Hanh
Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can't make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you'll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time. It is not enough to just say relationships are important; we must prove it by investing time in them. Words alone are worthless. "My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action." Relationships take time and effort, and the best way to spell love is "T-I-M-E.
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?)
Forgiveness is God's greatest gift
Dan Brown (The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, #2))
The Council agrees," Zeus said. "Percy Jackson, you will have one gift from the gods." I hesitated. "Any gift?" Zeus nodded grimly. "I know what you will ask. The greatest gift of all. Yes, if you want it, it shall be yours. The gods have not bestowed this gift on a mortal hero in many centuries, but, Perseus Jackson-if you wish it-you shall be made a god. Immortal. Undying. You shall serve as your father's lieutenant for all time." I stared at him, stunned. "Um...a god?" Zeus rolled his eyes. "A dimwitted god, apparently. But yes. With the consensus of the entire Council, I can make you immortal. Then I will have to put up with you forever." "Hmm," Ares mused. "That means I can smash him to a pulp as often as I want, and he'll just keep coming back for more. I like this idea.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
The greatest gift is the passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination.
Elizabeth Hardwick
The greatest gift you can ever give another person is your own happiness
Esther Hicks
There are five people you meet in heaven. Each of us was in your life for a reason. You may not have known the reason at the time, and that is what heaven is for. For understanding your life on earth. This is the greatest gift God can give you: to understand what happened in your life. To have it explained. It is the peace you have been searching for.
Mitch Albom (The Five People You Meet in Heaven)
One of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone is the gift of attention
Jim Rohn
Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle.
Helen Keller
Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.
Gautama Buddha
. . . besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child.
Bryce Courtenay (The Power of One (The Power of One, #1))
Our task is to become our best selves. One of God's greatest gifts to us is the joy of trying again, for no failure ever need be final.
Thomas S. Monson
The greatest gift you can give anyone is your undivided attention...
Will Schwalbe (The End of Your Life Book Club)
The greatest gift you can give somebody is your own personal development. I used to say, "If you will take care of me, I will take care of you. "Now I say, I will take care of me for you, if you will take care of you for me.
Jim Rohn
Memory was a curse, yes, he thought, but it was also the greatest gift. Because if you lost memory you lost everything.
Anne Rice (Blood And Gold (The Vampire Chronicles, #8))
The greatest blessing granted to mankind come by way of madness, which is a divine gift.
Socrates
Intelligence is one of the greatest human gifts. But all too often a search for knowledge drives out the search for love. This is something else I've discovered for myself very recently. I present it to you as a hypothesis: Intelligence without the ability to give and receive affection leads to mental and moral breakdown, to neurosis, and possibly even psychosis. And I say that the mind absorbed in and involved in itself as a self-centered end, to the exclusion of human relationships, can only lead to violence and pain.
Daniel Keyes (Flowers for Algernon)
The best love in the world, is the love of a man. The love of a man who came from your womb, the love of your son! I don't have a daughter, but maybe the love of a daughter is the best, too. I am first and foremost me, but right after that, I am a mother. The best thing that I can ever be, is me. But the best gift that I will ever have, is being a mother.
C. JoyBell C.
Isn't that the greatest gift in the world-just not to care?
Nic Sheff (Tweak: Growing Up On Methamphetamines)
I think reading is a gift. It was a gift that was given to me as a child by many people, and now as an adult and a writer, I'm trying to give a little of it back to others. It's one of the greatest pleasures I know.
Ann M. Martin
Our deepest wounds surround our greatest gifts.
Ken Page
Usually life’s greatest gifts come wrapped in adversity.
Richard Paul Evans (Finding Noel)
I've come to know that what we want in life is the greatest indication of who we really are.
Richard Paul Evans (The Gift)
Your little buddy just gave me the greatest    Christmas gift I've ever gotten.
Kyle Keyes (Under the Bus)
the ability to earn a living by doing the thing one loves must be one of life’s greatest gifts.
Jojo Moyes (The Girl You Left Behind)
You rescued me and I found my ruin." I bit down on my lip. "I'm ruined for you - and I won't ever be the same. It's the greatest gift anyone has ever given me.
Rachel Van Dyken (Ruin (Ruin, #1))
One of the greatest gifts from God is the eternal perspective. It is a level of fearlessness, a level of understanding where one can experience even emotional harmony with God.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
My grandmother's greatest gift was tolerance. Now, in the old days, Indians used to be forgiving of any kind of eccentricity. In fact, weird people were often celebrated. Epileptics were often shamans because people just assumed that God gave seizure-visions to the lucky ones. Gay people were seen as magical too. I mean, like in many cultures, men were viewed as warriors and women were viewed as caregivers. But gay people, being both male and female, were seen as both warriors and caregivers. Gay people could do anything. They were like Swiss Army knives! My grandmother had no use for all the gay bashing and homophobia in the world, especially among other Indians. "Jeez," she said, Who cares if a man wants to marry another man? All I want to know is who's going to pick up all the dirty socks?
Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian)
Would you like to save the world from the degradation and destruction it seems destined for? Then step away from shallow mass movements and quietly go to work on your own self-awareness. If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.
Lao Tzu
If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.
Lao Tzu
Perhaps the greatest gift an animal has to offer is a permanent reminder of who we really are.
Nick Trout (Love Is the Best Medicine: What Two Dogs Taught One Veterinarian about Hope, Humility, and Everyday Miracles)
I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply ALL my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy.
Og Mandino (The Greatest Salesman in the World (2001): 2001 Gift Edition)
This is your body, your greatest gift, pregnant with wisdom you do not hear, grief you thought was forgotten, and joy you have never known.
Marion Woodman
Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.
Garth Brooks
Love is the greatest gift we can give or receive.
Laura Thalassa (Pestilence (The Four Horsemen, #1))
One of the greatest barriers to connection is the cultural importance we place on "going it alone." Somehow we've come to equate success with not needing anyone. Many of us are willing to extend a helping hand, but we're very reluctant to reach out for help when we need it ourselves. It's as if we've divided the world into "those who offer help" and "those who need help." The truth is that we are both.
Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection)
Hope -- Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope! In the end, that is God’s greatest gift to us...A belief in things not seen. A belief that there are better days ahead.
Barack Obama
The greatest gift is a passion for reading.
Edmund Burke
Books! I dunno if I ever told you this, but books are the greatest gift one person can give another.
Bono
He had taught her to love reading, one of the greatest gifts a parent could give a child, and in doing so, he had opened the world to her.
Kristin Harmel (The Book of Lost Names)
The greatest gift you can give someone is the power to be successful. Giving people the opportunity to struggle rather than giving them the things they are struggling for will make them stronger.
Ray Dalio (Principles: Life and Work)
LOVE is and will ALWAYS be the greatest GIFT ƸӜƷ
M.G. Wells
When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you'll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?)
Unconditional love is the greatest gift we can ever give.
Amy Leigh Mercree
My 'morals' were sound, even a bit puritanic, but when a hidebound old deacon inveighed against dancing I rebelled. By the time of graduation I was still a 'believer' in orthodox religion, but had strong questions which were encouraged at Harvard. In Germany I became a freethinker and when I came to teach at an orthodox Methodist Negro school I was soon regarded with suspicion, especially when I refused to lead the students in public prayer. When I became head of a department at Atlanta, the engagement was held up because again I balked at leading in prayer. I refused to teach Sunday school. When Archdeacon Henry Phillips, my last rector, died, I flatly refused again to join any church or sign any church creed. From my 30th year on I have increasingly regarded the church as an institution which defended such evils as slavery, color caste, exploitation of labor and war. I think the greatest gift of the Soviet Union to modern civilization was the dethronement of the clergy and the refusal to let religion be taught in the public schools.
W.E.B. Du Bois (The Autobiography of W.E.B. Du Bois: A Soliloquy on Viewing My Life from the Last Decade of Its First Century)
The greatest gift God gave us is the power to make decisions.
Paulo Coelho (Manuscript Found in Accra)
One of the greatest gifts you can give is your undivided attention.
Oprah Winfrey
The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence
Denis Waitley
The greatest gift of life on the mountain is time. Time to think or not think, read or not read, scribble or not scribble -- to sleep and cook and walk in the woods, to sit and stare at the shapes of the hills. I produce nothing but words; I consumer nothing but food, a little propane, a little firewood. By being utterly useless in the calculations of the culture at large I become useful, at last, to myself.
Philip Connors (The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009)
The liberty of the individual is no gift of civilization. It was greatest before there was any civilization.
Sigmund Freud
The greatest gift life has to offer is the opportunity to work hard at work worth doing.
Theodore Roosevelt
Sometimes the greatest gift you can give someone is to accept whatever it is they’ve got to offer you
Anna Humphrey (Rhymes with Cupid)
Sometimes, niña, our greatest gifts grow from what we are not given.
Erica Bauermeister (The School of Essential Ingredients)
The greatest gift you can give another person is strength.
Caroline Myss
Sooner or later all mankind will realize that the greatest cure for all the ills and wrongs, the cares, the sorrow and crimes of humanity rests solely in acts of love. Love is the greatest gift from God. It is the divine spark that everywhere produces and restores life. To each and every one of us, love gives us the power to work miracles with your own life and those we touch.
Og Mandino (The Christ Commission)
He chose to have me in his life... Being chosen is the greatest gift you can give to another human being
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood)
You make me feel at home in my own skin, and that is one of the greatest gifts anyone has ever given me.
John Mark Green
The greatest gift is not being afraid to question.
Ruby Dee
But free will is what it means to be human, and no one can determine the path you take through this universe. Choice is our greatest right, our greatest gift-and our greatest responsibility.
Amie Kaufman (Their Fractured Light (Starbound, #3))
The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals.
Martin Luther King Jr.
You deserve a man who makes you feel butterflies. Love isn't safe. Love is crazy and scary and unpredictable. You can't control it and you sure as hell can't fight it. It's one of life's greatest risks...but it's also one of life's greatest gifts.
Karli Perrin (April Showers (April, #1))
Never deny yourself love, my child. For to deny love is to deny God's greatest gift. And who are we to deny God?
John Shors (Beneath a Marble Sky)
The greatest gift that you were ever given was the gift of your imagination.
Wayne W. Dyer (Wishes Fulfilled)
To exist in this vast universe for a speck of time is the great gift of life. Our tiny sliver of time is our gift of life. It is our only life. The universe will go on, indifferent to our brief existence, but while we are here we touch not just part of that vastness, but also the lives around us. Life is the gift each of us has been given. Each life is our own and no one else's. It is precious beyond all counting. It is the greatest value we can have. Cherish it for what it truly is..... Your life is yours alone. Rise up and live it.
Terry Goodkind
In teaching me independence of thought, they had given me the greatest gift an adult can give to a child besides love, and they had given me that also.
Bryce Courtenay (The Power of One (The Power of One, #1))
The greatest gift a parent can leave a child is that parent's own independence.
Rosamunde Pilcher (The Shell Seekers)
One human life, a human heart freely given--it's the greatest gift anyone can give.
Stacey Jay (Juliet Immortal (Juliet Immortal, #1))
But I've learned that intelligence alone doesn't mean a damned thing. Here in your university, intelligence, education, knowledge, have all become great idols. But I know now there's one thing you've all overlooked: intelligent and education that hasn't been tempered by human affection isn't worth a damn...Intelligence is one of the greatest human gifts. But all too often a search for knowledge drives out the search for love...Intelligence without the ability to give and receive affection leads to mental and moral breakdown, to neurosis, and possibly even psychosis.
Daniel Keyes (Flowers for Algernon)
One of the greatest gifts we receive from dogs is the tenderness they evoke in us. The disappointments of life, the injustices, the battering events that are beyond our control, and the betrayals we endure, from those we befriended and loved, can make us cynical and turn our hearts into flint – on which only the matches of anger and bitterness can be struck into flame. By their delight in being with us, the reliable sunniness of their disposition, the joy they bring to playtime, the curiosity with which they embrace each new experience, dogs can melt cynicism,and sweeten the bitter heart.
Dean Koontz (A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog)
Be a light unto the world, and hurt it not. Seek to build not destroy. Bring My people home. How? By your shining example. Seek only Godliness. Speak only in truthfulness. Act only in love. Live the Law of Love now and forever more. Give everything require nothing. Avoid the mundane. Do not accept the unacceptable. Teach all who seek to learn of Me. Make every moment of your life an outpouring of love. Use every moment to think the highest thought, say the highest word, do the highest deed. In this, glorify your Holy Self, and thus too, glorify Me. Bring peace to the Earth by bringing peace to all those whose lives you touch. Be peace. Feel and express in every moment your Divine Connection with the All, and with every person, place, and thing. Embrace every circumstance, own every fault, share every joy, contemplate every mystery, walk in every man’s shoes, forgive every offense (including your own), heal every heart, honor every person’s truth, adore every person’s God, protect every person’s rights, preserve every person’s dignity, promote every person’s interests, provide every person’s needs, presume every person’s holiness, present every person’s greatest gifts, produce every person’s blessing, pronounce every person’s future secure in the assured love of God. Be a living, breathing example of the Highest Truth that resides within you. Speak humbly of yourself, lest someone mistake your Highest Truth for boast. Speak softly, lest someone think you are merely calling for attention. Speak gently, that all might know of Love. Speak openly, lest someone think you have something to hide. Speak candidly, so you cannot be mistaken. Speak often, so that your word may truly go forth. Speak respectfully, that no one be dishonored. Speak lovingly, that every syllable may heal. Speak of Me with every utterance. Make of your life a gift. Remember always, you are the gift! Be a gift to everyone who enters your life, and to everyone whose life you enter. Be careful not to enter another’s life if you cannot be a gift. (You can always be a gift, because you always are the gift—yet sometimes you don’t let yourself know that.) When someone enters your life unexpectedly, look for the gift that person has come to receive from you…I HAVE SENT YOU NOTHING BUT ANGELS.
Neale Donald Walsch (Conversations With God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 2)
But the problem with readers, the idea we're given of reading is that the model of a reader is the person watching a film, or watching television. So the greatest principle is, "I should sit here and I should be entertained." And the more classical model, which has been completely taken away, is the idea of a reader as an amateur musician. An amateur musician who sits at the piano, has a piece of music, which is the work, made by somebody they don't know, who they probably couldn't comprehend entirely, and they have to use their skills to play this piece of music. The greater the skill, the greater the gift that you give the artist and that the artist gives you. That's the incredibly unfashionable idea of reading. And yet when you practice reading, and you work at a text, it can only give you what you put into it. It's an old moral, but it's completely true.
Zadie Smith
If we could raise one generation with unconditional love, there would be no Hitlers. We need to teach the next generation of children from Day One that they are responsible for their lives. Mankind’s greatest gift, also its greatest curse, is that we have free choice. We can make our choices built from love or from fear.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
Of all the gifts God gave me, he thought, the greatest one is you.
Sylvain Reynard (Gabriel's Redemption (Gabriel's Inferno, #3))
There's such a big difference between being dead and alive, I told myself, the greatest gift that anyone can give anyone else is life. And the greatest sin a person can do to another is to take away that life. Next to that, all the rules and religions in the world are secondary; mere words and beliefs that people choose to believe and kill and hate by. My life won't be lived that way, and neither, I hope, will my children's.
James McBride (The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother)
Your children are the greatest gift God will give to you and their souls the heaviest responsibility He will place in your hands. When you are old, nothing else you’ve done will have mattered…
Lisa Wingate (Tending Roses (Tending Roses #1))
Intelligence is one of the greatest human gifts. But all too often a search for knowledge drives out the search for love... Intelligence without the ability to give and receive affection leads to mental and moral breakdown, to neurosis, and possibly even psychosis.
Daniel Keyes
The greatest gift is a passion for reading.
Elizabeth Hardwick
The greatest gift that you can give yourself is a little bit of your own attention.
Anthony J. D'Angelo
Sometimes the greatest gift you can give someone is the freedom to pursue their happiness.
S.K. Nicholls (Red Clay and Roses)
If love is the greatest gift of all-and I believe it is- then the greatest privilege of all is to be able to love someone.
Laura Schroff (An Invisible Thread)
Yet the world is a mystery and I am a detective. I have to discover the truth and solve it. It is one which takes life to solve and when you solve it, it’s the greatest gift of all.
Potterhead Aanya (Letter to the World from a Naive Mind)
Because, you see, God—whatever anyone chooses to call God—is one's highest conception of the highest possible. And whoever places his highest conception above his own possibility thinks very little of himself and his life. It's a rare gift, you know, to feel reverence for your own life and to want the best, the greatest, the highest possible, here, now, for your very own. To imagine a heaven and then not to dream of it, but to demand it.
Ayn Rand (We the Living)
It's one of the greatest gifts you can give someone, knowing their stories.
Emily Skrutskie (The Abyss Surrounds Us (The Abyss Surrounds Us, #1))
The greatest gift a parent has to give a child—and a lover has to give a lover—is emotionally attuned attention and timely responsiveness.
Sue Johnson (Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships)
I know now that I can make it through more than I thought, with less than I thought. I know better than to believe that the changes are over, and I know better than to believe the next ones will be easier, but I've learned the hard way that change is one of God's greatest gifts and one of his most useful tools.
Shauna Niequist (Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way)
I will live this day as if it is my last. …I will waste not a moment mourning yesterday’s misfortunes, Yesterday’s defeats, yesterday’s aches of the heart, for why should I throw good after bad?” I will live this day as if it is my last. This day is all I have and these hours are now my eternity. I greet this sunrise with cries of joy as a prisoner who is reprieved from death. I lift mine arms with thanks for this priceless gift of a new day. So too, I will beat upon my heart with gratitude as I consider all who greeted yesterday’s sunrise who are no longer with the living today. I am indeed a fortunate man and today’s hours are but a bonus, undeserved. Why have I been allowed to live this extra day when others, far better than I, have departed? Is it that they have accomplished their purpose while mine is yet to be achieved? Is this another opportunity for me to become the man I know I can be?
Og Mandino (The Greatest Salesman in the World)
We had been so close to missing each other, he and I. He had turned out to be the greatest gift of all.
Jacqueline Kelly (The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (Calpurnia Tate, #1))
I acquired expensive habits and affected manners. I got a third-class degree and a first-class illusion: that I was a poet. But nothing could have been less poetic that my seeing-through-all boredom with life in general and with making a living in particular. I was too green to know that all cynicism masks a failure to cope-- an impotence, in short; and that to despise all effort is the greatest effort of all. But I did absorb a small dose of one permanently useful thing, Oxford's greatest gift to civilized life: Socratic honesty. It showed me, very intermittently, that it is not enough to revolt against one's past. One day I was outrageously bitter among some friends about the Army; back in my own rooms later it suddenly struck me that just because I said with impunity things that would have apoplexed my dead father, I was still no less under his influence. The truth was I was not a cynic by nature, only by revolt. I had got away from what I hated, but I hadn't found where I loved, and so I pretended that there was nowhere to love. Handsomely equipped to fail, I went out into the world.
John Fowles (The Magus)
I’m ruined for you — and I won’t ever be the same. It’s the greatest gift anyone’s ever given me.
Rachel Van Dyken (Ruin (Ruin, #1))
Above all, consider this: The greatest gift we can give ourselves, our children, and our world is to live well and love well.
Alexandra Katehakis (Erotic Intelligence: Igniting Hot, Healthy Sex While in Recovery from Sex Addiction)
Loving others is the greatest gift we can give ourselves. Altruism that rewards one's self.
Allan Lokos (Pocket Peace: Effective Practices for Enlightened Living)
The greatest gift you can give (yourself or anyone else) is just being present
Rasheed Ogunlaru
The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention.
Richard Moss
Music is everywhere,” Maude said softly. “It is in the water, in the wind’s hum, in the bird’s cry, in the boat’s horn. Rhythm surrounds us. That is one of life’s greatest gifts.
Anna Adams (A French Girl in New York (The French Girl, #1))
Don't let other's say "That road is better" or "That route is easier." The greatest gift God gave us is the power to make decisions.
Paulo Coelho (Manuscript Found in Accra)
He wanted to be loved for being just what he was. In this community of Yskalnari there was harmony, but no love. He no longer wanted to be the greatest, strongest or cleverest. He had left all that far behind. He longed to be loved just as he was, good or bad, handsome or ugly, clever or stupid, with all his faults - or possibly because of them. But what was he actually? He no longer knew. So much have been given to him in Fantastica, and now, among all these gifts and powers, he could no longer find himself.
Michael Ende (The Neverending Story)
Anastasia, you are the best thing to ever happen to me, and to call you the love of my life does not do justice to how much I love you. My existence doesn’t make sense without you by my side. For the rest of our lives, in the next life, in every alternate reality, I’ll be yours if you’ll have me. You are my best friend, my greatest gift, and Mila—and Bunny—are so blessed to have you as their mom.
Hannah Grace (Icebreaker (UCMH, #1))
Worry is belief gone wrong. Because you don't believe that God will get it right.
Ann Voskamp (The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas)
Unconditional love is the greatest gift of all" ~ The Soul Bearers, by Sylvia Massara
Sylvia Massara
Mozart, who was buried in a pauper’s grave, was one of the greatest successes we know of, a man who in his early thirties had poured out his inexhaustible gift of music, leaving the world richer because he had passed that way. To leave the world richer—that is the ultimate success.
Eleanor Roosevelt (You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life)
The days passed in a dream. I pictured our reunion again and again, played it out in my mind over and over until I’d almost worn a groove in my thoughts, so deep that it seemed the only thing I could think of was our reunion. Anticipation is a gift. Perhaps there is none greater. Anticipation is born of hope. Indeed it is hope’s finest expression. In hope’s loss, however, is the greatest despair.
Steven L. Peck (A Short Stay in Hell)
Health is the greatest of God's gifts, but we take it for granted; yet it hangs on a thread as fine as a spider's web and the tiniest thing can make it snap, leaving the strongest of us helpless in an instant.
Jennifer Worth (Shadows of the Workhouse)
The sight of an achievement was the greatest gift a human being could offer to others.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
One loves because Love is the Greatest Gift, not because it gives us something in return.
Paulo Coelho (The Supreme Gift)
The greatest gift love ever gave was a choice.
Kelly Eileen Hake (Rugged and Relentless (Husbands for Hire, #1))
Death is only dreadful for those who live in dread and fear of it. Death is not wild and terrible, if only we can be still and hold fast to God’s Word. Death is not bitter, if we have not become bitter ourselves. Death is grace, the greatest gift of grace that God gives to people who believe in him. Death is mild, death is sweet and gentle; it beckons to us with heavenly power, if only we realize that it is the gateway to our homeland, the tabernacle of joy, the everlasting kingdom of peace. How do we know that dying is so dreadful? Who knows whether, in our human fear and anguish we are only shivering and shuddering at the most glorious, heavenly, blessed event in the world? Death is hell and night and cold, if it is not transformed by our faith. But that is just what is so marvelous, that we can transform death.
Eric Metaxas (Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy)
What you think and do now builds. Value this moment. Be patient. Smile often. Love the process of living each minute fully. Your presence is a source of strength and an inspiration to people you spend time with. Give your greatest gift-- your full attention, yourself.
Alexandra Stoddard
The greatest gift you can bestow upon your children is your time and undivided attention.
Jim Brozina (The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared)
Having the ability to feel is the greatest gift God has ever given.
Scott Hildreth (Finding Parker)
Sometimes, the greatest gift you can give your team is to let them go home.
Kim Malone Scott (Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity)
God's greatest gift to man In all the bounty He was moved to make Throughout creation-the one gift the most Close to his goodness and the one He calls Most precious-is free will.
Dante Alighieri (Paradiso (The Divine Comedy, #3))
Men lose their birthrights for a mess of pottage only if they stop using the gifts given them by God for their betterment. By prayer. That is the first and greatest gift. Use the gift of prayer. Ask for strength of mind, and a clear vision. Then sense. Use your sense. … Think long and well. By prayer and good thought you will conquer all enemies.
Richard Llewellyn (How Green Was My Valley)
The greatest gift anyone could give anyone is for the other to feel worthy, adored and more than enough for all that they are. This is a gentle reminder that the people you surround yourself with in every direction should feel both uplifting and safe to your mind and heart. Not confusing, not draining, not controlling, not vague, not calculating, not unreliable, not cold, not dismissive, and not manipulative. Don’t mess around with the energy you take into your body and being, work wise, friendship wise, and relationship wise. Life is too short and delicate for these damaging things. It’s really that simple.
Victoria Erickson
In a way, I see religion as a pinnacle of human achievement. In inventing God, we’ve developed the ability to consider our own straits—and we’ve equipped Him with the kind of handy loopholes that enable us to believe we only have so much control. The truth is that most people enjoy a certain level of impotence. But I think we do have control—so much that it scares us to death. As a species, God might be the greatest gift we’ve ever given ourselves. The gift of sanity.
Chloe Benjamin (The Immortalists)
The dark is generous. Its first gift is concealment: our true faces lie in the dark beneath our skins, our true hearts remain shadowed deeper still. But the greatest concealment lies not in protecting our secret truths, but in hiding from the truths of others. The dark protects us from what we dare not know. Its second gift is comforting illusion: the ease of gentle dreams in night’s embrace, the beauty that imagination brings to what would repel in the day’s harsh light. But the greatest of its comforts is the illusion that dark is temporary: that every night brings a new day. Because it’s the day that is temporary. Day is the illusion. Its third gift is the light itself: as days are defined by the nights that divide them, as stars are defined by the infinite black through which they wheel, the dark embraces the light, and brings it forth from the center of its own self. With each victory of the light, it is the dark that wins. The dark is generous, and it is patient. It is the dark that seeds cruelty into justice, that drips contempt into compassion, that poisons love with grains of doubt. The dark can be patient, because the slightest drop of rain will cause those seeds to sprout. The rain will come, and the seeds will sprout, for the dark is the soil in which they grow, and it is the clouds above them, and it waits behind the star that gives them light. The dark’s patience is infinite. Eventually, even stars burn out. The dark is generous, and it is patient, and it always wins. It always wins because it is everywhere. It is in the wood that burns in your hearth, and in the kettle on the fire; it is under your chair and under your table and under the sheets on your bed. Walk in the midday sun, and the dark is with you, attached to the soles of your feet. The brightest light casts the darkest shadow. The dark is generous and it is patient and it always wins – but in the heart of its strength lies its weakness: one lone candle is enough to hold it back. Love is more than a candle. Love can ignite the stars.
Matthew Woodring Stover
THE GREATEST GIFT One of the greatest gifts we can offer people is to embody nonattachment and nonfear. This is a true teaching, more precious than money or material resources. Many of us are very afraid, and this fear distorts our lives and makes us unhappy. We cling to objects and to people like a drowning person clings to a floating log. Practicing to realize nondiscrimination, to see the interconnectedness and impermanence of all things, and to share this wisdom with others, we are giving the gift of nonfear. Everything is impermanent. This moment passes. That person walks away. Happiness is still possible.
Thich Nhat Hanh (How to Love (Mindfulness Essentials, #3))
You have given me something ... I didn't even know I needed. It's the greatest gift I will ever receive--it's, like, completing me already in places I wasn't aware were empty. And yet ... in spite of all that? I don't love you one bit more. You are as important to me as you've always been." He curled down and pressed a kiss to the loose shirt she was wearing--it was one of his, actually, and wasn't that great. "I was wholly bonded to you before this, and will be after this--and forevermore." "You're going to make me cry again." "So cry. And let me take care of you. I got this.
J.R. Ward (The King (Black Dagger Brotherhood #12))
The answer to deep anxiety is the deep adoration of God.
Ann Voskamp (The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas)
Forgiveness is God's greatest gift.
Dan Brown (The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, #2))
It's easy to forget that life is the greatest gift of all
Karli Perrin (The Gift)
What are you giving him?" She grins smugly. "Only the greatest gift a woman can give the man she loves." I take my best guess. "Anal?" Kate covers her eyes. Dee-Dee's smile turns into a scowl. "No--pig. I'm giving him the gift of health. My acupuncturist cleared her schedule. She's going to work on Matthew the whole day." I laugh. Because this explains so much. "That's your gift? Really? It's the guy's birthday and you're gonna make him get needles stuck in his face all day? What are you gonna get him for Christmas - a colonoscopy?
Emma Chase (Tied (Tangled, #4))
The dark is generous. Its first gift is concealment: our true faces lie in the dark beneath our skins, our true hearts remain shadowed deeper still. But the greatest concealment lies not in protecting our secret truths, but in hiding from us the truths of others. The dark protects us from what we dare not know.
Matthew Woodring Stover (Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (Star Wars: Novelizations #3))
Beginning with Santa Claus as a cognitive exercise, a child is encouraged to share the same idea of reality as his peers. Even if that reality is patently invented and ludicrous, belief is encouraged with gifts that support and promote the common cultural lies. The greatest consensus in modern society is our traffic systems. The way a flood of strangers can interact, sharing a path, almost all of them traveling without incident. It only takes one dissenting driver to create anarchy.
Chuck Palahniuk (Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey)
I am not more gifted than the average human being. If you know anything about history, you would know that is so--what hard times I had in studying and the fact that I do not have a memory like some other people do… I am just more curious than the average person and I will not give up on a problem until I have found the proper solution. This is one of my greatest satisfactions in life--solving problems--and the harder they are, the more satisfaction do I get out of them. Maybe you could consider me a bit more patient in continuing with my problem than is the average human being. Now, if you understand what I have just told you, you see that it is not a matter of being more gifted but a matter of being more curious and maybe more patient until you solve a problem.
Albert Einstein
School did give me one of the greatest gifts of my life, though. I learned how to read, and for that I remain thankful. I would have died otherwise. As soon as I was able, I read, alone. Under the covers with a flashlight or in my corner of the attic—I sought solace in books. It was from books that I started to get an inkling of the kinds of assholes I was dealing with. I found allies too, in books, characters my age who were going through or had triumphed against the same bullshit.
Craig Ferguson (American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot)
It is growing up different. It is extreme hypersensitivity. It is a bottomless pit of feeling you're failing, but three days later, you feel you can do anything, only to end the week where you began. It is not learning from your mistakes. It is distrusting people because you have been hurt enough. It is moments of knowing your pain is self inflicted, followed by blaming the world. It is wanting to listen, but you just can’t anymore because your life has been to full of people that have judged you. It is fighting to be right; so for once in your life someone will respect and hear you for a change. It is a tiring life of endless games with people, in order to seek stimulus. It is a hyper focus, so intense about what bothers you, that you can’t pay attention to anything else, for very long. It is a never-ending routine of forgetting things. It is a boredom and lack of contentment that keeps you running into the arms of anyone that has enough patience to stick around. It wears you out. It wears everyone out. It makes you question God’s plan. You misinterpret everything, and you allow your creative mind to fill the gaps with the same old chains that bind you. It narrows your vision of who you let into your life. It is speaking and acting without thinking. It is disconnecting from the ones you love because your mind has taken you back to what you can’t let go of. It is risk taking, thrill seeking and moodiness that never ends. You hang your hope on “signs” and abandon reason for remedy. It is devotion to the gifts and talents you have been given, that provide temporary relief. It is the latching onto the acceptance of others---like a scared child abandoned on a sidewalk. It is a drive that has no end, and without “focus” it takes you nowhere. It is the deepest anger when someone you love hurts you, and the greatest love when they don't. It is beauty when it has purpose. It is agony when it doesn’t. It is called Attention Deficit Disorder.
Shannon L. Alder
I’ve come to know that what we want in life is the greatest indication of who we really are.
Richard Paul Evans (The Gift)
Among the many worlds which man did not receive as a gift of nature, but which he created with his own mind, the world of books is the greatest. Every child, scrawling his first letters on his slate and attempting to read for the first time, in so doing, enters an artificial and complicated world; to know the laws and rules of this world completely and to practice them perfectly, no single human life is long enough. Without words, without writing, and without books there would be no history, there could be no concept of humanity. And if anyone wants to try to enclose in a small space in a single house or single room, the history of the human spirit and to make it his own, he can only do this in the form of a collection of books.
Hermann Hesse (My Belief)
What I like most about us is the innocence. You bring the child out of me. And this is really the greatest gift of all: to have someone encourage and take delight in your childish manifestations. The day you lose this quality, this vast curiosity, will and hunger to explore all that is around you is the day you stop living.
Kamand Kojouri
[Real scientist are delighted when they find out they are wrong. And to me that is one of the greatest gifts that a scientific education can bring.] There are too many people in this world who want to be right. And too few who just want to know.
Brian Cox (Forces of Nature)
There is no Jesus without Judas, no Martin Luther King, Jr., without the Klan; no Ali without Joe Frazier; no freedom without tyranny. No wisdom exists that does not include perspective. Relativity is the greatest gift.
Chris Crutcher (King of the Mild Frontier: An Ill-Advised Autobiography)
Your greatest fulfillment in life will come when you discover your unique gifts and abilities and use them to edify others and glorify the LORD." (pg. 146)
Neil T. Anderson (Victory Over the Darkness)
Every time we turn to Christ in faith it is like a moment of Sabbath, a little foretaste of eternal rest and glory. The gift of that moment lies not in what we do but what we receive. It is the holy time set aside to receive the greatest gift of God ever has to give, which is himself, in his own beloved Son.
Phillip Cary (Good News for Anxious Christians: Ten Practical Things You Don't Have to Do)
The greatest gift that anyone can give anyone is LIFE. And the greatest sin a person can do is to take away that life. NEXT to that, all rules and religions in the worldare secondary, mere words and beliefs that people CHOOSE to believe and KILL and HATE by.
James McBride (The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother)
Perhaps the greatest gift ever bestowed upon us by evolution is the ability to believe we are more powerful than we are . . . You walk around with the fundamental belief that the world is uncaring, that no matter how hard you work there is no promise of success, that you are competing against billions, that you are vulnerable to the elements, and that everything you ever love will eventually be destroyed. A little lie can take the edge off, can help you keep charging forward into the gauntlet of life, where you sometimes, accidentally, prevail.
Lulu Miller (Why Fish Don't Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life)
The greatest Emotion is Love. The greatest quality is seeking to serve others. The greatest gift is your own Life. The greatest pleasure is CHOCOLATE! The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is that there's always something new to learn. The greatest virtue is temperance. The greatest meditation is a peaceful mind. The greatest practice is to be Kind. education. The greatest challenge is to let go. The greatest wisdom is to be in the NOW
Pablo
Why are we so afraid when we think about death? Death is only dreadful for those who live in dread and fear of it. Death is not wild and terrible, if only we can be still and hold fast to God's Word. Death is not bitter, if we have not become bitter ourselves. Death is grace, the greatest gift of grace that God gives to people who believe in Him.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Elder's Meditation of the Day - February 18 "laughter is a necessity in life that does not cost much, and the Old Ones say that one of the greatest healing powers in our life is the ability to laugh." --Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA Laughter is a good stress eliminator. Laughter causes healing powers to be distributed through our bodies. Laughter helps heal relationships that are having problems. Laughter can change other people. Laughter can heal the sick. Laughter is spiritual. One of the greatest gifts among Indian people has been our ability to laugh. Humor is natural to Indian people. Sometimes the only thing left to do is laugh. Great Spirit, allow me to laugh when times get tough.
Larry P. Aitken (Two Cultures Meet: Pathways For American Indians To Medicine)
It's happened many times before. Usually it results in an exceptional and gifted human. Some of the greatest figures in Earth's history were actually the product of humans and the Loric, including Buddha, Aristotle, Julius Ceasar, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein... Aprodite, Apollo, Hermes, and Zeus were all real, and had one Loric parent
Pittacus Lore (I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies, #1))
My Dear Son, I am so very proud of you. Now, as you embark on a new journey, I'd like to share this one piece of advice. Always, always remember that - adversity is not a detour. It is part of the path. You will encounter obstacles. You will make mistakes. Be grateful for both. Your obstacles and mistakes will be your greatest teachers. And the only way to not make mistakes in this life is to do nothing, which is the biggest mistake of all. Your challenges, if you let them, will become your greatest allies. Mountains can crush or raise you, depending on which side of the mountain you choose to stand on. All history bears out that the great, those who have changed the world, have all suffered great challenges. And, more times than not it's precisely those challenges that, in God's time, lead to triumph. Abhor victimhood. Denounce entitlement. Neither are gifts, rather cages to damn the soul. Everyone who has walked this earth is a victim of injustice. Everyone. Most of all, do not be too quick to denounce your sufferings. The difficult road you are called to walk may, in fact be your only path to success.
Richard Paul Evans (A Winter Dream)
To be Cuban is to be proud—it is both our greatest gift and our biggest curse. We serve no kings, bow no heads, bear our troubles on our backs as though they are nothing at all. There is an art to this, you see. An art to appearing as though everything is effortless, that your world is a gilded one, when the reality is that your knees beneath your silk gown buckle from the weight of it all. We are silk and lace, and beneath them we are steel.
Chanel Cleeton (Next Year in Havana)
Now discontent nibbled at him - not painfully, but constantly. Where does discontent start? You are warm enough, but you shiver. You are fed, yet hunger gnaws you. You have been loved, but your yearning wanders in new fields. And to prod all these there's time, the bastard Time. The end of life is now not so terribly far away - you can see it the way you see the finish line when you come into the stretch - and your mind says, "Have I worked enough? Have I eaten enough? Have I loved enough?" All of these, of course, are the foundation of man's greatest curse, and perhaps his greatest glory. "What has my life meant so far, and what can it mean in the time left to me?" And now we're coming to the wicked, poisoned dart: "What have I contributed in the Great Ledger? What am I worth?" And this isn't vanity or ambition. Men seem to be born with a debt they can never pay no matter how hard they try. It piles up ahead of them. Man owes something to man. If he ignores the debt it poisons him, and if he tries to make payments the debt only increases, and the quality of his gift is the measure of the man.
John Steinbeck (Sweet Thursday (Cannery Row, #2))
believe this is the greatest gift we can give each other as human beings, this sacred field of unconditional friendship where we allow each other to be imperfect. It is the space in which we give up trying to fix each other and instead listen with our entire being. It is the space in which true relaxation can happen, where the frazzled nervous system can breathe a sigh of relief.
Matt Licata (The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You)
People think of heaven as a paradise garden, a place where they can float on clouds and laze in rivers and mountains. But scenery without solace is meaningless. - This is the greatest gift God can give you: To understand what happened in your life. To have it explained. It is the peace you have been searching for.
Mitch Albom (The Five People You Meet in Heaven)
My family lauded my bravery, I radiated with pride, and something about that moment set me on a path. I came to realize that while I struggled to be good, I could excel at being courageous. I began to delight in surprising adults with my refined palate and disgusting my inexperienced peers with what I would discover to be some of nature’s greatest gifts.
Michelle Zauner (Crying in H Mart)
Deeds may speak more compellingly than words,but I believe words have their place too. A man who has both is gifted indeed.
Elizabeth Chadwick (The Greatest Knight (William Marshal, #2))
The beauty of being a woman is that even without children of your own, you can still be the greatest mother.
Gift Gugu Mona
We’re all born with the greatest treasures we’ll ever have in life. One of those treasures is your mind, another is your heart. And the indispensable tools of those treasures are time and health. How you use the gifts of Allah to help yourself and humanity is ultimately how you honor Him.
Susan Abulhawa (Mornings in Jenin)
The magi, as you know, were wise men--wonderfully wise men--who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.
O. Henry (The Gift of the Magi)
Freewill. Some have called it the greatest gift bestowed on humanity. It is our ability to control what happens to us and exactly how it happens. We are the masters of our fate and no one can foist their will on us unless we allow it. Others say freewill is a crap myth. We have a preordained destiny and no matter what we do or how hard we fight it, life will happen to us exactly as it’s meant to happen. We are only pawns to a higher power that our meager human brains can’t even begin to understand or comprehend.
Sherrilyn Kenyon
Relationships take work. Hours and days and years of getting close to that person. That's real love, real intimacy. If your mind to believe that the work isn't important, you'll not only be going against every plan God has for your life... you'll lose out on a chance to experience the greatest gift He's given us. The gift of true love.
Karen Kingsbury (A Time to Embrace (Timeless Love, #2))
To create a new business that makes money, and more significantly, employs others, and more significantly, gives a product to a customer that improves their life, is our greatest challenge, our greatest opportunity, and the greatest gift, far greater than any charity that we can give our fellow person.
Paul Zane Pilzer
God doesn't want to number your failures or count your accomplishments as much as He wants you to have an encounter with Him.
Ann Voskamp (The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas)
But you...are my sweetest gift. The life surprise that soothed all my ills and gave me my greatest joys. I feel so blessed you are mine. —Mama Ya-Ya
Jewell Parker Rhodes (Ninth Ward)
Never mistake the uncomfortable feeling of insecurity and the fear of the unknown with the Holy Ghost’s promptings. Sometimes those feelings are simply Satan keeping you stuck where you are because he knows you will have a half-life there. He knows that you will spend half of your life disconnected, discontented and convincing your mind of what its heart will never accept. He knows when you have settled, gave up and didn’t try. Inaction is his greatest weapon, while regret is his second.
Shannon L. Alder
A mature person has the integrity to be alone. And when a mature person gives love, he gives without any strings attached to it: he simply gives. And when a mature person gives love, he feels grateful that you have accepted his love, not vice versa. He does not expect you to be thankful for it – no, not at all, he does not even need your thanks. He thanks you for accepting his love. And when two mature persons are in love, one of the greatest paradoxes of life happens, one of the most beautiful phenomena: they are together and yet tremendously alone, they are together so much so that they are almost one. But their oneness does not destroy their individuality; in fact, it enhances it: they become more individual. Two mature persons in love help each other to become more free. There is no politics involved, no diplomacy, no effort to dominate. How can you dominate the person you love? Just think over it. Domination is a sort of hatred, anger, enmity. How can you even think of dominating a person you love? You would love to see the person totally free, independent; you will give him more individuality. That’s why I call it the greatest paradox: they are together so much so that they are almost one, but still in that oneness they are individuals. Their individualities are not effaced; they have become more enhanced. The other has enriched them as far as their freedom is concerned. Immature people falling in love destroy each other’s freedom, create a bondage, make a prison. Mature persons in love help each other to be free; they help each other to destroy all sorts of bondages. And when love flows with freedom there is beauty. When love flows with dependence there is ugliness. Remember, freedom is a higher value than love. That’s why, in India, the ultimate we call moksha. Moksha means freedom. Freedom is a higher value than love. So if love is destroying freedom, it is not of worth. Love can be dropped, freedom has to be saved; freedom is a higher value. And without freedom you can never be happy, that is not possible. Freedom is the intrinsic desire of each man, each woman – utter freedom, absolute freedom. So anything that becomes destructive to freedom, one starts hating it. Don’t you hate the man you love? Don’t you hate the woman you love? You hate; it is a necessary evil, you have to tolerate it. Because you cannot be alone you have to manage to be with somebody, and you have to adjust to the other’s demands. You have to tolerate, you have to bear them. Love, to be really love, has to be being-love, gift-love. Being-love means a state of love. When you have arrived home, when you have known who you are, then a love arises in your being. Then the fragrance spreads and you can give it to others. How can you give something which you don’t have? To give it, the first basic requirement is to have it.
Osho (Tantric Transformation: When Love Meets Meditation)
You need to challenge your fear of life becoming unreasonable - because it is already unreasonable. In truth, your life has never been reasonable, it’s just that you keep hoping tomorrow will be different and that you will find a way to bring more control into your world. Recognize that life will always be full of challenges and crisis. The wise way is not to attempt to find one path that promises you will never have to endure the pain of loss and illness, but instead to learn how to endure and transcend when unreasonable events come your way. Learning to defy gravity in your world - to think, perceive, and act at the mystical level of consciousness - is the greatest gift you can give yourself, because it is the gift of truth. And as we are bound to learn again and again in this life, the truth does indeed set us free.
Caroline Myss
When people know you too well, they eventually see your damage, your weirdness, carelessness, and mean streak. They see how ordinary you are after all, that whatever it was that distinguished you in the beginning is the least of who you actually are. This will turn out to be the greatest gift we can offer another person: letting them see, every so often, beneath all the trappings and pretense to the truth of us.
Anne Lamott (Dusk, Night, Dawn: On Revival and Courage)
Great teachers had great personalities and that the greatest teachers had outrageous personalities. I did not like decorum or rectitude in a classroom; I preferred a highly oxygenated atmosphere, a climate of intemperance, rhetoric, and feverish melodrama. And I wanted my teachers to make me smart. A great teacher is my adversary, my conqueror, commissioned to chastise me. He leaves me tame and grateful for the new language he has purloined from other kings whose granaries are filled and whose libraries are famous. He tells me that teaching is the art of theft: of knowing what to steal and from whom. Bad teachers do not touch me; the great ones never leave me. They ride with me during all my days, and I pass on to others what they have imparted to me. I exchange their handy gifts with strangers on trains, and I pretend the gifts are mine. I steal from the great teachers. And the truly wonderful thing about them is they would applaud my theft, laugh at the thought of it, realizing they had taught me their larcenous skills well.
Pat Conroy (The Lords of Discipline)
If you live each moment in heart, love, will fill your world. It cannot be seen, only felt and, is by far the greatest gift. So, dance as if no one is watching. Love, as if it were your last day. Be comfortably immersed in the stillness, so you can always be authentic. Smile and be kind. The world will unfold in presents that reach to touch the depth of other's souls. lls
Lori L. Spencer (7 Best Kept Secrets to Painless Aging)
The ultimate good of the gospel is seeing and savoring the beauty and value of God. God’s wrath and our sin obstruct that vision and that pleasure. You can’t see and savor God as supremely satisfying while you are full of rebellion against Him and He is full of wrath against you. The removal of this wrath and this rebellion is what the gospel is for. The ultimate aim of the gospel is the display of God’s glory and the removal of every obstacle to our seeing it and savoring it as our highest treasure. “Behold Your God!” is the most gracious command and the best gift of the gospel. If we do not see Him and savor Him as our greatest fortune, we have not obeyed or believed the gospel.
John Piper (God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God's Love as the Gift of Himself)
When I come to the Lord after I’ve blown it, I’ve only one argument to make. It’s not the argument of the difficulty of the environment that I am in. It’s not the argument of the difficult people that I’m near. It’s not the argument of good intentions that were thwarted in some way. I come to the Lord with only one appeal; his mercy. I’ve no other defense. I’ve no other standing. I’ve no other hope. I can’t escape the reality of my biggest problem; me! So I appeal to the one thing in my life that’s sure and will never fail. I appeal to the one thing that guaranteed not only my acceptance with God, but the hope of new beginnings and fresh starts. I appeal on the basis of the greatest gift I ever have or ever will be given. I leave the courtroom of my own defense, I come out of hiding and I admit who I am. But I’m not afraid, because I’ve been personally and eternally blessed. Because of what Jesus has done, God looks on me with mercy. It’s my only appeal, it’s the source of my hope, it’s my life. Mercy, mercy me!
Paul David Tripp (Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy)
[I]t is the greatest absurdity to suppose it in the power of one, or of any number of men, at the entering into society to renounce their essential natural rights, or the means of preserving those rights, when the grand end of civil government, from the very nature of its institution, is for the support, protection, and defence of those very rights; the principal of which, as is before observed, are life, liberty, and property. If men, through fear, fraud, or mistake, should in terms renounce or give up an essential natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right of freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave.
Samuel Adams
Success demands singleness of purpose. You need to be doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects. It is those who concentrate on but one thing at a time who advance in this world. Passion for something leads to disproportionate time practicing or working at it. That time spent eventually translates to skill, and when skill improves, results improve. Better results generally lead to more enjoyment, and more passion and more time is invested. It can be a virtuous cycle all the way to extraordinary results. The ONE Thing shows up time and again in the lives of the successful because it’s a fundamental truth. More than anything else, expertise tracks with hours invested. The pursuit of mastery bears gifts. When people look back on their lives, it is the things they have not done that generate the greatest regret...People’s actions may be troublesome initially; it is their inactions that plague them most with long-term feelings of regret. Make sure every day you do what matters most. When you know what matters most, everything makes sense. When you don’t know what matters most, anything makes sense.
Gary Keller (The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results)
The precious gift of life must be preserved no matter now painful and pointless it seemed. Peace, I told them, is a gift so perfect that only God should grant it. I told people, only God’s most selfish children would steal God’s greatest gift, His only gift greater than life. The gift of death. This lesson is to the murderer, I said. This is to the suicide. This is to the abortionist. This is to the suffering and sick. Only God has the right to surprise His children with death.
Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
Well, if I asked people whether they believed in life, they'd never understand what I meant. It's a bad question. It can mean so much that it really means nothing. So I ask them if they believe in God. And if they say they do -- then, I know they don't believe in life. Because, you see, God -- whatever anyone chooses to call God -- is one's highest conception above his own possibility thinks very little of himself and his life. It's a rare gift, you know, to feel reverence for your own life and to want the best, the greatest, the highest possible, here, now, for your very own. To imagine a heaven and then not to dream of it, but to demand it.
Ayn Rand (We the Living)
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not money, I am become as a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not money, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not money, it profiteth me nothing. Money suffereth long, and is kind; money envieth not; money vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. . . . And now abideth faith, hope, money, these three; but the greatest of these is money. I Corinthians xiii (adapted)
George Orwell (Keep the Aspidistra Flying)
This was the greatest gift that he had, the talent that fitted him for war; that ability not to ignore but to despise whatever bad ending there could be. This quality was destroyed by too much responsibility for others or the necessity of undertaking something ill planned or badly conceived. For in such things the bad ending, failure, could not be ignored. It was not simply a possibility of harm to one's self, which could be ignored. He knew he himself was nothing, and he knew death was nothing. He knew that truly, as truly as he knew anything. In the last few days he had learned that he himself, with another person, could be everything. But inside himself he knew that this was the exception. That we have had, he thought. In that I have been most fortunate. That was given to me, perhaps, because I never asked for it. That cannot be taken away nor lost. But that is over and done with now on this morning and what there is to do now is our work.
Ernest Hemingway (For Whom the Bell Tolls)
1. What is Gilderoy Lockhart's favorite colour? 2. What is Gilderoy Lockhart's secret ambition? 3. What, in you opinion, is Gilderoy Lockhart's greatest achievement to date? On and on it went, over three sides of paper, right down to: 54. When is Gilderoy Lockhart's birthday, and what would his ideal gift be?
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2))
Napoleon, the greatest of the conquerors, is a sufficient proof that great men of action are criminals, and therefore, not geniuses. One can understand him by thinking of the tremendous intensity with which he tried to escape from himself. There is this element in all the conquerors, great or small. Just because he had great gifts, greater than those of any emperor before him, he had greater difficulty in stifling the disapproving voice within him. The motive of his ambition was the craving to stifle his better self.
Otto Weininger (Sex and Character: An Investigation of Fundamental Principles)
Let us not underestimate how hard it is to be compassionate. Compassion is hard because it requires the inner disposition to go with others to the place whey are weak, vulnerable, lonely, and broken. But this is not our spontaneous response to suffering. What we desire most is to do away with suffering by fleeing from it or finding a quick cure for it. As busy, active, relevant ministers, we want to earn our bread by making a real contribution. This means first and foremost doing something to show that our presence makes a difference. And so we ignore our greatest gift, which is our ability to enter into solidarity with those who suffer.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
Now that the book is out in the world, I’m amazed all over again at what my friend did for me in prompting me to ditch realism for a more magical approach. In some ways, the Golem and the Jinni are the ultimate immigrants. They aren’t just new to New York or America; they’re new to people. Like those around them, they wrestle with issues of religion versus doubt and duty versus self-determination—but as inescapable aspects of their own otherworldly natures. For seven years I’ve lived with their questions, arguments, and adventures, and it’s been one of the greatest gifts of my life.
Helene Wecker (The Golem and the Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni, #1))
Madness, provided it comes as the gift of heaven, is the channel by which we receive the greatest blessings . . . the men of old who gave things their names saw no disgrace or reproach in madness; otherwise they would not have connected it with it the name of the noblest of arts, the art of discerning the future, and called it the manic art . . . So, according to the evidence provided by our ancestors, madness is a nobler thing than sober sense . . . madness comes from God, whereas sober sense is merely human.
Plato (Phaedrus)
Mankind, I suppose, is designed to run on - to be motivated by - temptation. If progress is a virtue then this is our greatest gift. (For what is curiosity if not intellectual temptation? And what progress is there without curiosity?) On the other hand, can you call such profound weakness a gift,or is it a design flaw? Is temptation itself at fault for man's woes, or it simply the lack of judgment in response to temptation? In other words, who is to blame? Mankind , or a bad designer? Because i can't help but think that if God had never told Adam and Eve to avoid the fruit of the tree of knowledged, that the human race would still be running around naked, dancing, in wonderment and blissfully naming and stuff between snacks, naps, and shags. By the same token, if Balthasar had passed that great ironclad door that first day without a word a warning, I might have never given it a second glance, and once again, much trouble could have been avoided. Am I to blame for what happened, or is it the author of temptation, God Hisownself?
Christopher Moore (Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal)
We think conscious thought is somehow better, when in fact, intuition is soaring flight compared to the plodding of logic. Nature’s greatest accomplishment, the human brain, is never more efficient or invested than when its host is at risk. Then, intuition is catapulted to another level entirely, a height at which it can accurately be called graceful, even miraculous. Intuition is the journey from A to Z without stopping at any other letter along the way. It is knowing without knowing why.
Gavin de Becker (The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence)
Creating is the greatest expression of reverence I can think of because I recognize that the desire to make something is a gift from God. The freedom to carve out the time and have a safe place to create that art is a blessing of the highest level in a world where so many people are unable to have either. Every time I indulge in the art of creation without worrying about what the public will think of it is craft in its purest form—and craft can be any old thing at all. For me it’s writing.
Rachel Hollis (Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be)
You know, it’s interesting. Children learn much more, far more quickly than adults. Do you know why that is?” Elizabeth assumed there was some scientific explanation for it, but shook her head. “Because they’re open-minded. Because they want to know and they want to learn. Adults”—he shook his head sadly—“think they know it all. They grow up and forget so easily instead of opening their minds, they choose what to believe and what not to believe. You can’t make a choice on things like that, you either believe or you don’t. That’s why their learning is slower. They are more cynical, they lose faith, and they only demand to know things that will help them get by day by day. They’ve no interest in the extras. But, Elizabeth,” he said, his voice a loud whisper, eyes wide and sparkling, and Elizabeth shivered as goose pimples rose on her arms. She felt as if he were sharing the world’s greatest secret with her. “It’s the extras that make life.” “That make life what?” she whispered. He smiled. “That make life.” Elizabeth swallowed the lump in her throat. “That’s it?” Ivan smiled. “What do you mean, that’s it? How much more can you get than life, how much more can you ask for than life? That’s the gift. Life is everything, and you haven’t lived it properly until you believe.
Cecelia Ahern
Never before in his life had he known what happiness was. He knew at most some very rare states of numbed contentment. But now he was quivering with happiness and could not sleep for pure bliss. It was as if he had been born a second time; no, not a second time, the first time, for until now he had merely existed like an animal with a most nebulous self-awareness. but after today, he felt as if he finally knew who he really was: nothing less than a genius... He had found the compass for his future life. And like all gifted abominations, for whom some external event makes straight the way down into the chaotic vortex of their souls, Grenouille never again departed from what he believed was the direction fate had pointed him... He must become a creator of scents... the greatest perfumer of all time.
Patrick Süskind (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer)
If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered over the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions of some of them which well deserve the attention even of those who have studied Plato and Kant, I should point to India. And if I were to ask myself from what literature we who have been nurtured almost exclusively on the thoughts of Greeks and Romans, and of the Semitic race, the Jewish, may draw the corrective which is most wanted in order to make our inner life more perfect, more comprehensive, more universal, in fact more truly human a life... again I should point to India.
F. Max Müller (India: What Can It Teach Us)
Three persons of the Trinity – Father God, Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit – gathered close together to imagine you. And God in three persons, uncontainable affection, knelt down and kissed warm life into you with the breath of his love. You are made of dust of this earth and you are made of the happiness of heaven, and you are flesh and you are spirit, and you are of two worlds longing for the home of forever and him. No matter your story before, this is your beginning now: you were formed by Love…for love.
Ann Voskamp (The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas)
On my website there's a quote from the writer Anthony Burgess: "The greatest gift is the passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind." I've always found that inspiring because the written word, as an art form, is unlike any other: movies, TV, music, they're shared experiences, but books aren't like that. The relationship between a writer and a reader is utterly unique to those two individuals. The world that forms in your head as you read a book will be slightly different to that experienced by every other reader. Anywhere. Ever. Reading is very personal, a communication from one mind to another, something which can't be exactly copied, or replicated, or directly shared. If I read the work of, say, one of the great Victorian novelists, it's like a gift from the past, a momentary connection to another's thoughts. Their ideas are down on paper, to be picked up by me, over a century later. Writers can speak individually to readers across a year, or ten years, or a thousand. That's why I love books.
Simon Cheshire
[Adapted and condensed Valedictorian speech:] I'm going to ask that you seriously consider modeling your life, not in the manner of the Dalai Lama or Jesus - though I'm sure they're helpful - but something a bit more hands-on, Carassius auratus auratus, commonly known as the domestic goldfish. People make fun of the goldfish. People don't think twice about swallowing it. Jonas Ornata III, Princeton class of '42, appears in the Guinness Book of World Records for swallowing the greatest number of goldfish in a fifteen-minute interval, a cruel total of thirty-nine. In his defense, though, I don't think Jonas understood the glory of the goldfish, that they have magnificent lessons to teach us. If you live like a goldfish, you can survive the harshest, most thwarting of circumstances. You can live through hardships that make your cohorts - the guppy, the neon tetra - go belly-up at the first sign of trouble. There was an infamous incident described in a journal published by the Goldfish Society of America - a sadistic five-year-old girl threw hers to the carpet, stepped on it, not once but twice - luckily she'd done it on a shag carpet and thus her heel didn't quite come down fully on the fish. After thirty harrowing seconds she tossed it back into its tank. It went on to live another forty-seven years. They can live in ice-covered ponds in the dead of winter. Bowls that haven't seen soap in a year. And they don't die from neglect, not immediately. They hold on for three, sometimes four months if they're abandoned. If you live like a goldfish, you adapt, not across hundreds of thousands of years like most species, having to go through the red tape of natural selection, but within mere months, weeks even. You give them a little tank? They give you a little body. Big tank? Big body. Indoor. Outdoor. Fish tanks, bowls. Cloudy water, clear water. Social or alone. The most incredible thing about goldfish, however, is their memory. Everyone pities them for only remembering their last three seconds, but in fact, to be so forcibly tied to the present - it's a gift. They are free. No moping over missteps, slip-ups, faux pas or disturbing childhoods. No inner demons. Their closets are light filled and skeleton free. And what could be more exhilarating than seeing the world for the very first time, in all of its beauty, almost thirty thousand times a day? How glorious to know that your Golden Age wasn't forty years ago when you still had all you hair, but only three seconds ago, and thus, very possibly it's still going on, this very moment." I counted three Mississippis in my head, though I might have rushed it, being nervous. "And this moment, too." Another three seconds. "And this moment, too." Another. "And this moment, too.
Marisha Pessl
Our Heavenly Father loves each one of us and understands that this process of climbing higher takes preparation, time, and commitment. He understands that we will make mistakes at times, that we will stumble, that we will become discouraged and perhaps even wish to give up and say to ourselves it is not worth the struggle. We know it is worth the effort, for the prize, which is eternal life, is “the greatest of all the gifts of God.” And to qualify, we must take one step after another and keep going to gain the spiritual heights we aspire to reach.
Joseph B. Wirthlin
Wild eyes were another sign. It is something I have seldom seen — the expression of an ecstatic state — though much is foolishly written of them, as if they grew like Jerusalem artichokes along the road. The eyes are black, right enough, whatever their normal color is; they are black because their perception is condensed to a coal, because the touch and taste and perfume of the lover, the outcry of a dirty word, a welcome river, have been reduced in the heat of passion to a black ash, and this unburnt residue of oxidation, this calyx, replaces the pupil so it no longer receives but sends, and every hair is on end, though perhaps only outspread on a pillow, and the nostrils are flared, mouth agape, cheeks sucked so the whole face seems as squeezed as a juiced fruit; I know, for once Lou went into that wildness while we were absorbing one another, trying to kiss, not merely forcefully, not the skull of our skeleton, but the skull and all the bones on which the essential self is hung, kiss so the shape of the soul is stirred too, that's what is called the ultimate French, the furtherest fuck, when a cock makes a concept cry out and climax; I know, for more than once, though not often, I shuddered into that other region, when a mouth drew me through its generosity into the realm of unravel, and every sensation lay extended as a lake, every tie was loosed, and the glue of things dissolved. I knew I wore the wild look then. The greatest gift you can give another human being is to let them warm you till, in passing beyond pleasure, your defenses fall, your ego surrenders, its structure melts, its towers topple, lies, fancies, vanities, blow away in no wind, and you return, not to the clay you came from — the unfired vessel — but to the original moment of inspiration, when you were the unabbreviated breath of God.
William H. Gass (The Tunnel)
You already know I love you,” Park said, shaking his head impatiently. “So today I promise, I vow that I know you love me, too. I never doubt it. How could I when I feel it all the time? I feel it when you make me laugh and then watch with that pleased little look on your face. I feel it when you touch me like I’m special and when you can’t touch me anymore because you’re over-full of sensations, but let me stay by you anyway. I feel so safe in loving you, because I know you love me, too. And it’s the greatest gift of my life.” “You love me,” Cooper said. “Obviously.” And it was, wasn’t it? Park pulled Cooper closer, arms around his waist. “So if you’re the Moon, fine. I’m the sky. If you’re a human, I’m your wolf. If you’re a prickly, sarcastic, awkward, independent, randy-as-hell, secretly good-hearted porcupine, well, then I’m Oliver Park.” “I can’t believe I’m being slandered in my own vows.” “Whatever happens next, whoever we are or whoever they think we are, it doesn’t matter. Because the way we love is already the stuff of legends.” Cooper couldn’t help smiling. “Well. I guess if you say it like that, it doesn’t sound like such a bad life,” he said, leaning in to kiss him, and felt Park’s body sigh into his like it was coming home. No, not a bad life at all.
Charlie Adhara (Cry Wolf (Big Bad Wolf, #5))
As I look back on my own life, I recognize that some of the greatest gifts I received from my parents stemmed not from what they did for me—but rather from what they didn’t do for me. One such example: my mother never mended my clothes. I remember going to her when I was in the early grades of elementary school, with holes in both socks of my favorite pair. My mom had just had her sixth child and was deeply involved in our church activities. She was very, very busy. Our family had no extra money anywhere, so buying new socks was just out of the question. So she told me to go string thread through a needle, and to come back when I had done it. That accomplished—it took me about ten minutes, whereas I’m sure she could have done it in ten seconds—she took one of the socks and showed me how to run the needle in and out around the periphery of the hole, rather than back and forth across the hole, and then simply to draw the hole closed. This took her about thirty seconds. Finally, she showed me how to cut and knot the thread. She then handed me the second sock, and went on her way. A year or so later—I probably was in third grade—I fell down on the playground at school and ripped my Levi’s. This was serious, because I had the standard family ration of two pairs of school trousers. So I took them to my mom and asked if she could repair them. She showed me how to set up and operate her sewing machine, including switching it to a zigzag stitch; gave me an idea or two about how she might try to repair it if it were she who was going to do the repair, and then went on her way. I sat there clueless at first, but eventually figured it out. Although in retrospect these were very simple things, they represent a defining point in my life. They helped me to learn that I should solve my own problems whenever possible; they gave me the confidence that I could solve my own problems; and they helped me experience pride in that achievement. It’s funny, but every time I put those socks on until they were threadbare, I looked at that repair in the toe and thought, “I did that.” I have no memory now of what the repair to the knee of those Levi’s looked like, but I’m sure it wasn’t pretty. When I looked at it, however, it didn’t occur to me that I might not have done a perfect mending job. I only felt pride that I had done it. As for my mom, I have wondered what
Clayton M. Christensen (How Will You Measure Your Life?)
Recounting the experience of individuals brings home, as nothing else can, the sheer complexity of the choices they had to make, and the difficult and often opaque nature of the situations they confronted. Contemporaries could not see things as clearly as we can, with the gift of hindsight: they could not know in 1930 what was to come in 1933, they could not know in 1933 what was to come in 1939 or 1942 or 1945. If they had known, doubtless the choices they made would have been different. One of the greatest problems in writing history is to imagine oneself back in the world of the past, with all the doubts and uncertianties people faced in dealing with a future that for the historian has also become the past. Developments that seem inevitable in retrospect were by no means so at the time, and in writing this book I have tried to remind the reader repeatedly that things could easily have turned out very differently to the way they did at a number of points in the history of Germany in the second half of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth. People make their own history, as Karl Marx once memorably observed, but not under conditions of their own choosing. These conditions included not only the historical context in which they lived, but also the way in which they thought, the assumptions they acted upon, and the principles and beliefs that informed their behavior. A central aim of this book is to re-create all these things for a modern readership, and to remind readers that, to quote another well-known aphorism about history, 'the past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.
Richard J. Evans (The Coming of the Third Reich (The History of the Third Reich, #1))
One day on a ranging we brought down a fine big elk. We were skinning it when the smell of blood drew a shadowcat out of its lair. I drove it off, but not before it shredded my cloak to ribbons. Do you see? Here, here, and here?” He chuckled. “It shredded my arm and back as well, and I bled worse than the elk. My brothers feared I might die before they got me back to Maester Mullin at the Shadow Tower, so they carried me to a wildling village where we knew an old wisewoman did some healing. She was dead, as it happened, but her daughter saw to me. Cleaned my wounds, sewed me up, and fed me porridge and potions until I was strong enough to ride again. And she sewed up the rents in my cloak as well, with some scarlet silk from Asshai that her grandmother had pulled from the wreck of a cog washed up on the Frozen Shore. It was the greatest treasure she had, and her gift to me.” He swept the cloak back over his shoulders. “But at the Shadow Tower, I was given a new wool cloak from stores, black and black, and trimmed with black, to go with my black breeches and black boots, my black doublet and black mail. The new cloak had no frays nor rips nor tears … and most of all, no red. The men of the Night’s Watch dressed in black, Ser Denys Mallister reminded me sternly, as if I had forgotten. My old cloak was fit for burning now, he said. “I left the next morning … for a place where a kiss was not a crime, and a man could wear any cloak he chose.
George R.R. Martin (A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3))
Here’s the stark truth about the person who is right for you: They want the same lifestyle that you do. How do I know this? Because that is, by definition, what makes them right for you. To be with someone whose eyes light up when yours do, whose heart races when your blood also pounds, who is enticed and inspired by the same forces that drive you forward, is a gift many of us never truly get to experience. Because we settle. We settle for the person we love over the person who could push us – to be bigger, stronger, greater versions of ourselves. We tell ourselves that love is enough. That it conquers everything. But we forget that love shouldn’t be the thing that conquers our lives – we should be. And we should do it deliberately, triumphantly, by the side of somebody who shares all of our joys and successes. So how do we meet such a person? That’s simple – we do more of what we love. We give ourselves up to uncertainty, to searching, to pursuing what we want out of life without the certainty of having someone beside us while we do it. We throw ourselves wholeheartedly into the things that we love and we consequently attract the people who love what we love. Who value what we prioritize. Who appreciate all that we are. We throw ourselves into the heart of possibility instead of staying comfortably settled inside of certainty. Because we owe it to ourselves to do so. We owe it to ourselves to live the greatest life that we’re capable of living, even if that means that we have to be alone for a very long time. At the end of the day, love is wonderful but it isn’t enough to make up for an entire lifetime of compromising your core values. You don’t want to spend forever gazing into somebody’s eyes expecting to find all of the answers you need inside of them. Wait for the person who is gazing outward in the same direction as you are. It’s going to make all of the difference in the world
Heidi Priebe
1. Success is a choice. -Rick Pitino 2. Success in life comes not from holding a good hand, but in playing a poor hand well. -Warren Lester 3. I shall tell you a great secret, my friend. Do not wait for the last judgment; it takes place every day. -Albert Camus 4. If you're not fired up with enthusiasm, you'll be fired with enthusiasm. -Vince Lombardi 5. There is no security on this earth; there is only opportunity. -Douglas MacArthur 6. Yesterday's the past and tomorrow's the future. Today is a gift, which is why they call it the present. -Bill Keane 7. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure. -Thomas Edison 8. When you get to the end of your rope tie a knot and hang on. -Franklin D. Roosevelt 9. The best way to predict your future is to create it. -Author unknown 10. I always remember an epitaph which is in the cemetery at Tombstone, Arizona. It says, "Here lies Jack Williams. He done his damnedest." I think that is the greatest epitaph a man can have. -Harry S Truman 11. Triumph? Try Umph! -Author unknown 12. You hit home runs not by chance but by preparation. -Roger Maris 13. If you don't have enough pride, you're going to get your butt beat every play. -Gale Sayers 14. My mother taught me very early to believe I could achieve any accomplishment I wanted to. The first was to walk without braces. -Wilma Rudolph 15. You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it. -Margaret Thatcher
Samuel D. Deep (Close the Deal: 120 Checklists for Sales Success)
A Christian people doesn't mean a lot of goody-goodies. The Church has plenty of stamina, and isn't afraid of sin. On the contrary, she can look it in the face calmly and even take it upon herself, assume it at times, as Our Lord did. When a good workman's been at it for a whole week, surely he's due for a booze on Saturday night. Look: I'll define you a Christian people by the opposite. The opposite of a Christian people is a people grown sad and old. You'll be saying that isn't a very theological definition. I agree... Why does our earliest childhood always seem so soft and full of light? A kid's got plenty of troubles, like everybody else, and he's really so very helpless, quite unarmed against pain and illness. Childhood and old age should be the two greatest trials of mankind. But that very sense of powerlessness is the mainspring of a child's joy. He just leaves it all to his mother, you see. Present, past, future -- his whole life is caught up in one look, and that look is a smile. Well, lad, if only they'd let us have our way, the Church might have given men that supreme comfort. Of course they'd each have their own worries to grapple with, just the same. Hunger, thirst, poverty, jealousy -- we'd never be able to pocket the devil once and for all, you may be sure. But man would have known he was the son of God; and therein lies your miracle. He'd have lived, he'd have died with that idea in his noddle -- and not just a notion picked up in books either -- oh, no! Because we'd have made that idea the basis of everything: habits and customs, relaxation and pleasure, down to the very simplest needs. That wouldn't have stopped the labourer ploughing, or the scientist swotting at his logarithms, or even the engineer making his playthings for grown-up people. What we would have got rid of, what we would have torn from the very heart of Adam, is that sense of his own loneliness... God has entrusted the Church to keep [the soul of childhood] alive, to safeguard our candour and freshness... Joy is the gift of the Church, whatever joy is possible for this sad world to share... What would it profit you even to create life itself, when you have lost all sense of what life really is?
Georges Bernanos (The Diary of a Country Priest)
Leaders instill courage in the hearts of those who follow. This rarely happens through words alone. It generally requires action. It goes back to what we said earlier: Somebody has to go first. By going first, the leader furnishes confidence to those who follow. As a next generation leader, you will be called upon to go first. That will require courage. But in stepping out you will give the gift of courage to those who are watching. What do I believe is impossible to do in my field, but if it could be done would fundamentally change my business? What has been done is safe. But to attempt a solution to a problem that plagues an entire industry - in my case, the local church - requires courage. Unsolved problems are gateways to the future. To those who have the courage to ask the question and the tenacity to hang on until they discover or create an answer belongs the future. Don’t allow the many good opportunities to divert your attention from the one opportunity that has the greatest potential. Learn to say no. There will always be more opportunities than there is time to pursue them. Leaders worth following are willing to face and embrace current reality regardless of how discouraging or embarrassing it might be. It is impossible to generate sustained growth or progress if your plan for the future is not rooted in reality. Be willing to face the truth regardless of how painful it might be. If fear causes you to retreat from your dreams, you will never give the world anything new. it is impossible to lead without a dream. When leaders are no longer willing to dream, it is only a short time before followers are unwilling to follow. Will I allow my fear to bind me to mediocrity? Uncertainty is a permanent part of the leadership landscape. It never goes away. Where there is no uncertainty, there is no longer the need for leadership. The greater the uncertainty, the greater the need for leadership. Your capacity as a leader will be determined by how well you learn to deal with uncertainty. My enemy is not uncertainty. It is not even my responsibility to remove the uncertainty. It is my responsibility to bring clarity into the midst of the uncertainty. As leaders we can afford to be uncertain, but we cannot afford to be unclear. People will follow you in spite of a few bad decisions. People will not follow you if you are unclear in your instruction. As a leader you must develop the elusive skill of leading confidently and purposefully onto uncertain terrain. Next generation leaders must fear a lack of clarity more than a lack of accuracy. The individual in your organization who communicates the clearest vision will often be perceived as the leader. Clarity is perceived as leadership. Uncertainty exposes a lack of knowledge. Pretending exposes a lack of character. Express your uncertainty with confidence. You will never maximize your potential in any area without coaching. It is impossible. Self-evaluation is helpful, but evaluation from someone else is essential. You need a leadership coach. Great leaders are great learners. God, in His wisdom, has placed men and women around us with the experience and discernment we often lack. Experience alone doesn’t make you better at anything. Evaluated experience is what enables you to improve your performance. As a leader, what you don’t know can hurt you. What you don’t know about yourself can put a lid on your leadership. You owe it to yourself and to those who have chosen to follow you to open the doors to evaluation. Engage a coach. Success doesn’t make anything of consequence easier. Success just raises the stakes. Success brings with it the unanticipated pressure of maintaining success. The more successful you are as a leader, the more difficult this becomes. There is far more pressure at the top of an organization than you might imagine.
Andy Stanley