Immediately Happy Quotes

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Part of the problem with the word 'disabilities' is that it immediately suggests an inability to see or hear or walk or do other things that many of us take for granted. But what of people who can't feel? Or talk about their feelings? Or manage their feelings in constructive ways? What of people who aren't able to form close and strong relationships? And people who cannot find fulfillment in their lives, or those who have lost hope, who live in disappointment and bitterness and find in life no joy, no love? These, it seems to me, are the real disabilities.
Fred Rogers (The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember)
I believe compassion to be one of the few things we can practice that will bring immediate and long-term happiness to our lives. I’m not talking about the short-term gratification of pleasures like sex, drugs or gambling (though I’m not knocking them), but something that will bring true and lasting happiness. The kind that sticks.
Dalai Lama XIV
Dogs are minor angels, and I don't mean that facetiously. They love unconditionally, forgive immediately, are the truest of friends, willing to do anything that makes us happy, etcetera. If we attributed some of those qualities to a person we would say they are special. If they had ALL of them, we would call them angelic. But because it's "only" a dog, we dismiss them as sweet or funny but little more. However when you think about it, what are the things that we most like in another human being? Many times those qualities are seen in our dogs every single day-- we're just so used to them that we pay no attention.
Jonathan Carroll
If you like books with happy endings then put this book down immediately.
Lemony Snicket (The Complete Wreck (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Books 1-13))
Happiness means being close to the one you love, that's all. (Taking immediate possession is not necessary.)
Orhan Pamuk (The Museum of Innocence)
Money isn't the solution to your problems. It only lets you carry your unhappiness around in style.
Shannon L. Alder
I was astonished to see Adrian watching me, a look of contentment on his face. His eyes seemed to study my every feature. Seeing me notice him, he immediately looked away. His usual smirky expression replaced by a dreamy one. “The mechanic will wait,” he said. “Yeah, but I’m supposed to meet Brayden soon, I’ll be-” That’s when I got a good look at Adrian. “What have you done? Look at you! You shouldn’t be out here.” “It’s not that bad.” He was lying, and we both knew it. “Come on, we have to get you out of here before you get worse. What were you thinking?” His expression was astonishingly nonchalant for someone who looked like he would pass out. “It was worth it. You looked…happy
Richelle Mead
No beating yourself up. That’s not allowed. Be patient with yourself. It took you years to form the bad habits of thought that you no longer want. It will take a little time to form new and better ones. But I promise you this: Even a slight move in this direction will bring you some peace. The more effort you apply to it, the faster you’ll find your bliss, but you’ll experience rewards immediately.
Holly Mosier
Fearghus entered what he now considered her chamber, but immediately ducked the book flung at his head. Clearly she’d been waiting for him. And she was not happy. “He’s the one supposed to be helping me,” she roared at him. “Did you just throw a book at me? In my own den?” “Yes. And I’d throw it again!” Fearghus scratched his head in confusion. He’d never met a human brave enough—or stupid enough, depending on your point of view—to challenge him. “But,” he croaked out, amazed, “I’m a dragon.” “And I have tits. It means nothing to me!
G.A. Aiken (Dragon Actually (Dragon Kin, #1))
Self satisfaction alone cannot determine if a desire or action is positive or negative. The demarcation between a positive and a negative desire or action is not whether it gives you a immediate feeling of satisfaction, but whether it ultimately results in positive or negative consequences.
Dalai Lama XIV (The Art of Happiness)
Your peers when you're a teenager will always be the keepers of your embarrassment and regret. It was one of life's great injustices, that you can move on and be accomplished and happy, but the moment you see someone from high school you immediately become the person you were then, not the person you are now.
Sarah Addison Allen
Soon after the completion of his college course, his whole nature was kindled into one intense and passionate effervescence of romantic passion. His hour came,—the hour that comes only once; his star rose in the horizon,—that star that rises so often in vain, to be remembered only as a thing of dreams; and it rose for him in vain. To drop the figure,—he saw and won the love of a high-minded and beautiful woman, in one of the northern states, and they were affianced. He returned south to make arrangements for their marriage, when, most unexpectedly, his letters were returned to him by mail, with a short note from her guardian, stating to him that ere this reached him the lady would be the wife of another. Stung to madness, he vainly hoped, as many another has done, to fling the whole thing from his heart by one desperate effort. Too proud to supplicate or seek explanation, he threw himself at once into a whirl of fashionable society, and in a fortnight from the time of the fatal letter was the accepted lover of the reigning belle of the season; and as soon as arrangements could be made, he became the husband of a fine figure, a pair of bright dark eyes, and a hundred thousand dollars; and, of course, everybody thought him a happy fellow. The married couple were enjoying their honeymoon, and entertaining a brilliant circle of friends in their splendid villa, near Lake Pontchartrain, when, one day, a letter was brought to him in that well-remembered writing. It was handed to him while he was in full tide of gay and successful conversation, in a whole room-full of company. He turned deadly pale when he saw the writing, but still preserved his composure, and finished the playful warfare of badinage which he was at the moment carrying on with a lady opposite; and, a short time after, was missed from the circle. In his room,alone, he opened and read the letter, now worse than idle and useless to be read. It was from her, giving a long account of a persecution to which she had been exposed by her guardian's family, to lead her to unite herself with their son: and she related how, for a long time, his letters had ceased to arrive; how she had written time and again, till she became weary and doubtful; how her health had failed under her anxieties, and how, at last, she had discovered the whole fraud which had been practised on them both. The letter ended with expressions of hope and thankfulness, and professions of undying affection, which were more bitter than death to the unhappy young man. He wrote to her immediately: I have received yours,—but too late. I believed all I heard. I was desperate. I am married, and all is over. Only forget,—it is all that remains for either of us." And thus ended the whole romance and ideal of life for Augustine St. Clare. But the real remained,—the real, like the flat, bare, oozy tide-mud, when the blue sparkling wave, with all its company of gliding boats and white-winged ships, its music of oars and chiming waters, has gone down, and there it lies, flat, slimy, bare,—exceedingly real. Of course, in a novel, people's hearts break, and they die, and that is the end of it; and in a story this is very convenient. But in real life we do not die when all that makes life bright dies to us.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
We've all heard about people who've exploded beyond the limitations of their conditions to become examples of the unlimited power of the human spirit. You and I can make our lives one of these legendary inspirations, as well, simply by having courage and the awareness that we can control whatever happens in our lives. Although we cannot always control the events in our lives, we can always control our response to them, and the actions we take as a result. If there's anything you're not happy about--in your relationships, in your health, in your career--make a decision right now about how you're going to change it immediately.
Anthony Robbins
There are people who are never content, never appeased, forever dissatisfied—who continually look to what escapes them, convincing themselves that if only they could attain that one desire outside of reach they would be happy.  It seems almost pointless to give to these people because their eyes immediately shift from the gift to stare miserably at the portion held back.  Their wants, demands, expectations, appetites are never satiated, thus they refuse to be happy.  And you cannot make them so.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
Those only are happy (I thought) who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness; on the happiness of others, on the improvement of mankind, even on some art or pursuit, followed not as a means, but as itself an ideal end. Aiming thus at something else, they find happiness by the way. The enjoyments of life (such was now my theory) are sufficient to make it a pleasant thing, when they are taken en passant, without being made a principal object. Once make them so, and they are immediately felt to be insufficient. They will not bear a scrutinizing examination. Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so. The only chance is to treat, not happiness, but some end external to it, as the purpose of life. Let your self-consciousness, your scrutiny, your self-interrogation, exhaust themselves on that; and if otherwise fortunately circumstanced you will inhale happiness with the air you breathe, without dwelling on it or thinking about it, without either forestalling it in imagination, or putting it to flight by fatal questioning.
John Stuart Mill (Autobiography)
Instead of telling the world What it is supposed to do, Why don't you immediately do it yourself? In this way, I assure you, Your happiness will be surprisingly multiplied.
Sri Chinmoy
The sunset has turned the sky into a carnival of color as Noah and Brian walk out of the forest, hand in hand. Brian notices Dad and me first and shrugs his hand away, but Noah immediately finds it again. At this, Brian's eyes squint up and his face cracks open in a heart-crushing smile. Noah, like always around Brian, can barely keep his head on his neck, he's so happy.
Jandy Nelson (I'll Give You the Sun)
Yet each disappointment Ted felt in his wife, each incremental deflation, was accompanied by a seizure of guilt; many years ago, he had taken the passion he felt for Susan and folded it in half, so he no longer had a drowning, helpless feeling when he glimpsed her beside him in bed: her ropy arms and soft, generous ass. Then he’d folded it in half again, so when he felt desire for Susan, it no longer brought with it an edgy terror of never being satisfied. Then in half again, so that feeling desire entailed no immediate need to act. Then in half again, so he hardly felt it. His desire was so small in the end that Ted could slip it inside his desk or a pocket and forget about it, and this gave him a feeling of safety and accomplishment, of having dismantled a perilous apparatus that might have crushed them both. Susan was baffled at first, then distraught; she’d hit him twice across the face; she’d run from the house in a thunderstorm and slept at a motel; she’d wrestled Ted to the bedroom floor in a pair of black crotchless underpants. But eventually a sort of amnesia had overtaken Susan; her rebellion and hurt had melted away, deliquesced into a sweet, eternal sunniness that was terrible in the way that life would be terrible, Ted supposed, without death to give it gravitas and shape. He’d presumed at first that her relentless cheer was mocking, another phase in her rebellion, until it came to him that Susan had forgotten how things were between them before Ted began to fold up his desire; she’d forgotten and was happy — had never not been happy — and while all of this bolstered his awe at the gymnastic adaptability of the human mind, it also made him feel that his wife had been brainwashed. By him.
Jennifer Egan (A Visit from the Goon Squad)
What is illusion? M.: To whom is the illusion? Find it out. Then illusion will vanish. Generally people want to know about illusion and do not examine to whom it is. It is foolish. Illusion is outside and unknown. But the seeker is considered to be known and is inside. Find out what is immediate, intimate, instead of trying to find out what is distant and unknown.
Ramana Maharshi (Talks with Ramana Maharshi: On Realizing Abiding Peace and Happiness)
The present life of man upon earth, O King, seems to me in comparison with that time which is unknown to us like the swift flight of a sparrow through the mead-hall where you sit at supper in winter, with your Ealdormen and thanes, while the fire blazes in the midst and the hall is warmed, but the wintry storms of rain or snow are raging abroad. The sparrow, flying in at one door and immediately out at another, whilst he is within, is safe from the wintry tempest, but after a short space of fair weather, he immediately vanishes out of your sight, passing from winter to winter again. So this life of man appears for a little while, but of what is to follow or what went before we know nothing at all.
Bede (Ecclesiastical History of the English People)
I thought there's something to be said for honor in this world where there doesn't seem to be any honor left. I thought that maybe happiness wasn't really anything more than the knowledge of a life well spent, in spite of whatever immediate discomfort you had to undergo, and that if a life well spent meant compromises and conciliations and reconciliations, and suffering at the hands of the person you love, well then better that than live without honor.
William Styron (Lie Down in Darkness)
On the job people feel skillful and challenged, and therefore feel more happy, strong, creative, and satisfied. In their free time people feel that there is generally not much to do and their skills are not being used, and therefore they tend to feel more sad, weak, dull, and dissatisfied. Yet they would like to work less and spend more time in leisure. What does this contradictory pattern mean? There are several possible explanations, but one conclusion seems inevitable: when it comes to work, people do not heed the evidence of their senses. They disregard the quality of immediate experience, and base their motivation instead on the strongly rooted cultural stereotype of what work is supposed to be like. They think of it as an imposition, a constraint, an infringement of their freedom, and therefore something to be avoided as much as possible.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience)
My advice is really this: what we hear the philosophers saying and what we find in their writings should be applied in our pursuit of the happy life. We should hunt out the helpful pieces of teaching, and the spirited and noble-minded sayings which are capable of immediate practical application—not far-fetched or archaic expressions or extravagant metaphors and figures of speech—and learn them so well that words become works. No one to my mind lets humanity down quite so much as those who study philosophy as if it were a sort of commercial skill and then proceed to live in a quite different manner from the way they tell other people to live.
Seneca (Letters from a Stoic)
My Selection wasn’t a farce, but it wasn’t that far off. My father chose all the contestants by hand, picking young women with political alliances, influential families, or enough charm to make the entire country worship the ground they walked on. He knew he had to make it varied enough to seem legit, so there were three Fives thrown into the mix but nothing below that. The Fives were meant to be little more than throwaways to keep anyone from being suspicious.” I realized my mouth was gaping open and shut it immediately. “Mom?” “Was meant to be gone almost immediately. Truth be told, she barely made it past my father ’s attempts to sway my opinion or remove her himself. And look at her now.” His whole face changed. “Though it was hard for me to imagine, she is even more beloved as queen than my mother. She has made four beautiful, intelligent, strong children. And she has been the source of every happiness in my life.
Kiera Cass (The Heir (The Selection, #4))
There are some people that see the half full cup and get upset about where the other half of the cup went... With an attitude like that, they will never be happy. I see a half full cup and I immediately take half of someone else’s cup and then I have a full cup and I’m happy. With the right attitude, life is really very simple." Peter Pan from 'Leaving Neverland' (Why Little Boys Shouldn't Run Big Corporations)
Daniel Prokop (Leaving Neverland: Why Little Boys Shouldn't Run Big Corporations)
And while there's nothing wrong with good business, the problem is that giving too many fucks is bad for your mental health. It causes you to become overly attached to the superficial and fake, to dedicate your life to chasing a mirage of happiness and satisfaction. The key to a good life is not giving a fuck about more; it's giving a fuck about less, giving a fuck about only what is true and immediate and important.
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
I would like to bring to people something like happiness. I would like to discover a method so that if I want it to rain, it will start right away to rain. If one of my friends is ill, I'd like to play a certain song and he will be cured; when he'd be broke, I'd bring out a different song and immediately he'd receive all the money he needed.
John Coltrane
Forgetfulness is not just a vis inertiae, as superficial people believe, but is rather an active ability to suppress, positive in the strongest sense of the word, to which we owe the fact that what we simply live through, experience, take in, no more enters our consciousness during digestion (one could call it spiritual ingestion) than does the thousand-fold process which takes place with our physical consumption of food, our so-called ingestion. To shut the doors and windows of consciousness for a while; not to be bothered by the noise and battle which our underworld of serviceable organs work with and against each other;a little peace, a little tabula rasa of consciousness to make room for something new, above all for the nobler functions and functionaries, for ruling, predicting, predetermining (our organism runs along oligarchic lines, you see) - that, as I said, is the benefit of active forgetfulness, like a doorkeeper or guardian of mental order, rest and etiquette: from which can immediately see how there could be no happiness, cheerfulness, hope, pride, immediacy, without forgetfulness.
Friedrich Nietzsche (On the Genealogy of Morals / Ecce Homo)
This country is founded on some very noble ideals but also some very big lies. One is that everyone has a fair chance at success. Another is that rich people have to be smart and hardworking or else they would´t be rich. Another is that if you´re not rich, don´t worry about it, because rich people aren´t really happy. I am the white male living proof that all of that is garbage. The vast degree to which my mental health improved once I had the smallest measure of economic security immediately unmasked this shameful fiction to me. Money cannot buy happiness, but it buys the conditions for happiness: time, occasional freedom from constantly worry, a moment of breath to plan for the future, and the ability to be generous.
John Hodgman (Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches)
We all have an inner intuition for authenticity, for matched up internal and external truth. When we detect this, we feel immediate comfort. We know truth when we hear it.
Vironika Tugaleva (The Love Mindset: An Unconventional Guide to Healing and Happiness)
Stop immediately and go silent, until he goes out of his way doing things for you to make you happy and content. 
Leslie Braswell (Ignore the Guy, Get the Guy: The Art of No Contact: A Woman's Survival Guide to Mastering A Breakup and Taking Back Her Power)
He recognized her immediately when he saw her again. And what he recognized was her energy, which seemed to precede her. As if her spirit were thrusting itself forward, into the unknown; dazzled, charmed, challenged, hopeful, happy to be energized by the mysterious, loving the adrenaline rush of surprise.
Alice Walker
I like eggs and bacon,” George tells me. “But”—his face clouds—“do you know that bacon is”—tears leap to his eyes—“Wilbur?” Mrs. Garrett sits down next to him immediately. “George, we’ve been through this. Remember? Wilbur did not get made into bacon.” “That’s right.” I bend down too as wetness overflows George’s lashes. “Charlotte the spider saved him. He lived a long and happy life—with Charlotte’s daughters, um, Nelly and Urania and—” “Joy,” Mrs. Garrett concludes. “You, Samantha, are a keeper. I hope you don’t shoplift.”I start to cough. “No. Never.” “Then is bacon Babe, Mom? Is it Babe?”“No, no, Babe’s still herding sheep. Bacon is not Babe. Bacon is only made from really mean pigs,George.” Mrs. Garrett strokes his hair, then brushes his tears away.“Bad pigs,” I clarify.“There are bad pigs?” George looks nervous. Oops.“Well, pigs with, um, no soul.” That doesn’t sound good either. I cast around for a good explanation. “Like the animals that don’t talk in Narnia.” Dumb. George is four. Would he know Narnia yet? He’s still at Curious George.But understanding lights his face. “Oh. That’s okay then. ’Cause I really like bacon.
Huntley Fitzpatrick (My Life Next Door)
There is nothing so annoying as to be fairly rich, of a fairly good family, pleasing presence, average education, to be "not stupid," kindhearted, and yet to have no talent at all, no originality, not a single idea of one's own—to be, in fact, "just like everyone else." Of such people there are countless numbers in this world—far more even than appear. They can be divided into two classes as all men can—that is, those of limited intellect, and those who are much cleverer. The former of these classes is the happier. To a commonplace man of limited intellect, for instance, nothing is simpler than to imagine himself an original character, and to revel in that belief without the slightest misgiving. Many of our young women have thought fit to cut their hair short, put on blue spectacles, and call themselves Nihilists. By doing this they have been able to persuade themselves, without further trouble, that they have acquired new convictions of their own. Some men have but felt some little qualm of kindness towards their fellow-men, and the fact has been quite enough to persuade them that they stand alone in the van of enlightenment and that no one has such humanitarian feelings as they. Others have but to read an idea of somebody else's, and they can immediately assimilate it and believe that it was a child of their own brain. The "impudence of ignorance," if I may use the expression, is developed to a wonderful extent in such cases;—unlikely as it appears, it is met with at every turn. ... those belonged to the other class—to the "much cleverer" persons, though from head to foot permeated and saturated with the longing to be original. This class, as I have said above, is far less happy. For the "clever commonplace" person, though he may possibly imagine himself a man of genius and originality, none the less has within his heart the deathless worm of suspicion and doubt; and this doubt sometimes brings a clever man to despair. (As a rule, however, nothing tragic happens;—his liver becomes a little damaged in the course of time, nothing more serious. Such men do not give up their aspirations after originality without a severe struggle,—and there have been men who, though good fellows in themselves, and even benefactors to humanity, have sunk to the level of base criminals for the sake of originality)
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Idiot)
We are not encouraged, on a daily basis, to pay careful attention to the animals we eat. On the contrary, the meat, dairy, and egg industries all actively encourage us to give thought to our own immediate interest (taste, for example, or cheap food) but not to the real suffering involved. They do so by deliberately withholding information and by cynically presenting us with idealized images of happy animals in beautiful landscapes, scenes of bucolic happiness that do not correspond to anything in the real world. The animals involved suffer agony because of our ignorance. The least we owe them is to lessen that ignorance.
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson (The Face on Your Plate: The Truth About Food)
For human nature is such that grief and pain - even simultaneously suffered - do not add up as a whole in our consciousness, but hide, the lesser behind the greater, according to a definite law of perspective. It is providential and is our means of surviving in the camp. And this is the reason why so often in free life one hears it said that man is never content. In fact it is not a question of a human incapacity for a state of absolute happiness, but of an ever-insufficient knowledge of the complex nature of the state of unhappiness; so that the single name of the major cause is given to all its causes, which are composite and set out in an order of urgency. And if the most immediate cause of stress comes to an end, you are grievously amazed to see that another one lies behind; and in reality a whole series of others. So that as soon as the cold, which throughout the winter had seemed our only enemy, had ceased, we became aware of the hunger; and repeating the same error, we now say: "If it was not for the hunger!...
Primo Levi (If This Is a Man • The Truce)
Gratitude is the creative force, the mother and father of love. It is in gratitude that real love exists. Love expands only when gratitude is there. Limited love does not offer gratitude. Limited love is immediately bound by something- by constant desires or constant demands. But when it is unlimited love, constant love, then gratitude comes to the fore. This love becomes all gratitude.
Sri Chinmoy (The Jewels of Happiness: Inspiration and Wisdom to Guide Your Life-Journey)
Man is unhappy because he doesn't know he's happy; only because of that. It's everything, everything, Whoever learns will at once immediately become happy, that same moment... "And when did you find out that you were so happy?" "Last week, on Tuesday, no, Wednesday, because it was Wednesday by then, in the night." "And what was the occasion?" "I don't remember, just so; I was pacing the room...it makes no difference. I stopped my clock, it was two thirty-seven." "As an emblem that time should stop?" Kirillov did not reply. "They're not good," he suddenly began again, "because they don't know they're good. When they find out, they won't violate the girl. They must find out that they're good, then they'll all become good at once, all, to a man. "Well, you did find out, so you must be good?" "I am good." "With that I agree, incidentally," Stavrogin muttered frowningly. "He who teaches that all are good, will end the world." "He who taught it was crucified." "He will come, and his name is the man-god." "The God-man?" "The man-god--that's the whole difference." "Can it be you who lights the icon lamp?" "Yes, I lit it." "You've become a believer?" "The old woman likes the icon lamp...she's busy today," Kirillov muttered. "But you don't pray yet?" "I pray to everything. See, there's a spider crawling on the wall, I look and am thankful to it for crawling." His eyes lit up again. He kept looking straight at Stavrogin, his gaze firm and unflinching. Stavrogin watched him frowningly and squeamishly, but there was no mockery in his eyes. "I bet when I come the next time you'll already believe in God," he said, getting up and grabbing his hat. "Why?" Kirillov also rose. "If you found out that you believe in God, you would believe; but since you don't know yet that you believe in God, you don't believe," Nikolai Vsevolodovich grinned.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Demons)
How often is not the prospect of future happiness thus sacrificed to one's impatient insistence upon an immediate gratification.
Marcel Proust (Swann's Way)
Men in the vehement pursuit of happiness grasp at the first object which offers to them any prospect of satisfaction, but immediately they turn an introspective eye and ask, ‘Am I happy?’ and at once from their innermost being a voice answers distinctly, ‘No, you are as poor and as miserable as before.' Then they think it was the object that deceived them and turn precipitately to another. But the second holds as little satisfaction as the first…Wandering then through life restless and tormented, at each successive station they think that happiness dwells at the next, but when they reach it happiness is no longer there. In whatever position they may find themselves there is always another one which they discern from afar, and which but to touch, they think, is to find the wished delight, but when the goal is reached discontent has followed on the way stands in haunting constancy before them.
Johann Gottlieb Fichte
(about William Blake) As for Blake's happiness--a man who knew him said: "If asked whether I ever knew among the intellectual, a happy man, Blake would be the only one who would immediately occur to me." And yet this creative power in Blake did not come from ambition. ...He burned most of his own work. Because he said, "I should be sorry if I had any earthly fame, for whatever natural glory a man has is so much detracted from his spiritual glory. I wish to do nothing for profit. I wish to live for art. I want nothing whatever. I am quite happy." ...He did not mind death in the least. He said that to him it was just like going into another room. On the day of his death he composed songs to his Maker and sang them for his wife to hear. Just before he died his countenance became fair, his eyes brightened and he burst into singing of the things he saw in heaven.
Brenda Ueland (If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit)
The sound of laughter is like the vaulted dome of a temple of happiness, "that delectable trance of happiness, that ultimate peak of delight. Laughter of delight, delight of laughter." There is no doubt: this laughter goes "far beyond joking, jeering, and ridicule." The two sisters stretched out on their bed are not laughing at anything concrete, their laughter has no object; it is an expression of being rejoicing at being... and in this ecstatic laughter he loses all memory, all desire, cries out to the immediate present of the world, and needs no other knowledge.
Milan Kundera (The Book of Laughter and Forgetting)
If you will thank me," he replied, "let it be for yourself alone. That the wish of giving happiness to you might add force to the other inducements which led me on, I shall not attempt to deny. But your family owe me nothing. Much as I respect them, I believe I thought only of you." Elizabeth was too much embarrassed to say a word. After a short pause, her companion added, "You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged; but one word from you will silence me on this subject for ever." Elizabeth, feeling all the more than common awkwardness and anxiety of his situation, now forced herself to speak; and immediately, though not very fluently, gave him to understand that her sentiments had undergone so material a change since the period to which he alluded, as to make her receive with gratitude and pleasure his present assurances.The happiness which this reply produced was such as he had probably never felt before, and he expressed himself on the occasion as sensibly and as warmly as a man violently in love can be supposed to do.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
Your first purpose is to find a purpose for yourself. And your second purpose must not immediately be trying to reach that purpose you found but to investigate thoroughly whether that purpose is really necessary for yourself or whether it is worth at all to struggle for it! Because millions are fighting for a purpose which will in no way make them happy at the end!
Mehmet Murat ildan
Anne could not immediately fall into a quotation again. The sweet scenes of autumn were for a while put by - unless some tender sonnet, fraught with the apt analogy of the declining year, with declining happiness, and the images of youth and hope, and spring, all gone together, blessed her memory.
Jane Austen (Persuasion)
This is, perhaps, the greatest challenge of our time – to love in the absence of any immediate rewards for our love.
Vironika Tugaleva (The Love Mindset: An Unconventional Guide to Healing and Happiness)
I love you,” he said. I immediately broke down, tears springing to my eyes. Happy tears.
Penelope Douglas (Kill Switch (Devil's Night, #3))
What do you think happiness is?” she asked him. “A by-product,” he answered immediately, “to being useful.
Jenny Colgan (The Christmas Bookshop)
The object of life is not happiness, but to serve God or the Grail. All of the Grail quests are to serve God. If one understands this and drops his idiotic notion that the meaning of life is personal happiness, then one will find that elusive quality immediately at hand.
Robert A. Johnson (He: Understanding Masculine Psychology)
But it’s tempting to be Cool Girl. For someone like me, who likes to win, it’s tempting to want to be the girl every guy wants. When I met Nick, I knew immediately that was what he wanted, and for him, I guess I was willing to try. I will accept my portion of blame. The thing is, I was crazy about him at first. I found him perversely exotic, a good ole Missouri boy. He was so damn nice to be around. He teased things out in me that I didn’t know existed: a lightness, a humor, an ease. It was as if he hollowed me out and filled me with feathers. He helped me be Cool Girl – I couldn’t have been Cool Girl with anyone else. I wouldn’t have wanted to. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy some of it: I ate a MoonPie, I walked barefoot, I stopped worrying. I watched dumb movies and ate chemically laced foods. I didn’t think past the first step of anything, that was the key. I drank a Coke and didn’t worry about how to recycle the can or about the acid puddling in my belly, acid so powerful it could strip clean a penny. We went to a dumb movie and I didn’t worry about the offensive sexism or the lack of minorities in meaningful roles. I didn’t even worry whether the movie made sense. I didn’t worry about anything that came next. Nothing had consequence, I was living in the moment, and I could feel myself getting shallower and dumber. But also happy.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
The gospel is unintelligible to most people today, especially in the West, because their own particular stories are remote from the story of creation, fall, redemption, and consummation that is narrated in the Bible. Our focus is introspective and narrow, confided to our own immediate knowledge, experience, and intuition. Trying desperately to get others, including God, to make us happy, we cannot seem to catch a glimpse of the real story that gives us a meaningful role.
Michael S. Horton
Hapi?" I asked. "Why, yes, I am happy!" Hapi beamed. "I'm always happy because I'm Hapi! Are you happy?" Zia frowned up at the giant. "Does he have to be so big?" The god laughed. Immediately he shrank down to human size, though the crazy cheerful look on his face was still pretty unnerving. "Oh, Setne!" Hapi chuckled and pushed the ghost playfully. "I hate this guy. Absolutely despise him!" Hapi's smile became painfully wide. "I'd love to rip off your arms and legs, Setne. That would be amazing!" Setne ... drifted a little farther away from the smiling god. "Oh!" Hapi clapped excitedly. "The world is going to end tomorrow. I forgot!" "You'd never get to Memphis without my help. You'd get torn into a million pieces!" He seemed genuinely pleased to share that news.
Rick Riordan
In contrast, investing time and energy in your relationship with your spouse and children typically doesn’t offer that same immediate sense of achievement. Kids misbehave every day. It’s really not until 20 years down the road that you can put your hands on your hips and say, “I raised a good son or a good daughter.” You can neglect your relationship with your spouse, and on a day-to-day basis, it doesn’t seem as if things are deteriorating. People who are driven to excel have this unconscious propensity to underinvest in their families and overinvest in their careers—even though intimate and loving relationships with their families are the most powerful and enduring source of happiness.
Clayton M. Christensen (The Innovator's Dilemma with Award-Winning Harvard Business Review Article ?how Will You Measure Your Life (2 Items))
In the inner life, if there is no sincerity, nothing can be achieved. And to whom are you being sincere? You are being sincere to yourself. You have a higher reality and you have a lower reality. When you become sincere, immediately you pull your lower reality up to your higher reality. Just like a magnet, your higher reality pulls up your lower reality so that it can take shelter in the higher reality.
Sri Chinmoy (The Jewels of Happiness: Inspiration and Wisdom to Guide Your Life-Journey)
Depression is like … it’s like when you meticulously scroll up through hundreds of pages in a Word document to find a specific paragraph you need to fix, and then you try to type but it automatically takes you right back down to the bottom because you forgot to place your cursor where you wanted to type. And then you bang your head against the desk because you just totally lost your place and then your boss walks in while you have your head planted on your desk and you see her shoes behind you so you immediately say, “I’m not sleeping. I was just banging my head against the desk because I fucked something up.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
So I heard on the news that the Tard died and your house burnt down. I bet secretly you're relieved you don't have to live with him anymore in that dump." The whole commotion in the hallway immediately stopped, as if her words had been spoken over the intercom. It became so quiet that you could hear Mina's and Nan's sharp intakes of breath. Mina wasn't prone to violence and was about to think of something mean to say back to Savannah, but she didn't have the chance to, because Nan Taylor, perky, happy-go-lucky Nan Taylor, pulled back her fist and punched Savannah in the face. Savannah wasn't prepared, and fell to the floor. Nan stood over her shocked face and yelled, "No way was he handicapped, or different. He was the most special, coolest and smartest kid ever. And the world is a much sadder place because he's not here. And don't you ever, EVER, insult him again!" Nan shook with anger. The hall was full of students and teachers, and one by one they started to clap.
Chanda Hahn (Fable (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale, #3))
It was natural, she supposed, to be tense around him. Your peers when you're a teenager will always be the keepers of your embarrassment and regret. It was one of life's great injustices, that you can move on and be accomplished and happy, but the moment you see someone from high school you immediately become the person you were then, not the person you are now.
Sarah Addison Allen
Severe punishment unquestionably has an immediate effect in reducing a tendency to act in a given way. This result is no doubt responsible for its widespread use. We 'instinctively' attack anyone whose behavior displeases us - perhaps not in physical assault, but with criticism, disapproval, blame, or ridicule. Whether or not there is an inherited tendency to do this, the immediate effect of the practice is reinforcing enough to explain its currency. In the long run, however, punishment does not actually eliminate behavior from a repertoire, and its temporary achievement is obtained at tremendous cost in reducing the over-all efficiency and happiness of the group. (p. 190)
B.F. Skinner (Science and Human Behavior)
According to Buddhism, most people identify happiness with pleasant feelings, while identifying suffering with unpleasant feelings. People consequently ascribe immense importance to what they feel, craving to experience more and more pleasures, while avoiding pain. Whatever we do throughout our lives, whether scratching our leg, fidgeting slightly in the chair, or fighting world wars, we are just trying to get pleasant feelings. The problem, according to Buddhism, is that our feelings are no more than fleeting vibrations, changing every moment, like the ocean waves. If five minutes ago I felt joyful and purposeful, now these feelings are gone, and I might well feel sad and dejected. So if I want to experience pleasant feelings, I have to constantly chase them, while driving away the unpleasant feelings. Even if I succeed, I immediately have to start all over again, without ever getting any lasting reward for my troubles.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Peasants and princes, bailiffs and bakers' boys, merchants and mermaids, the figures were all immediately familiar. I had read these stories a hundred, a thousand, times before. They were stories everyone knew. But gradually, as I read, their familiarity fell away from them. They became strange. They became new. These characters were not the colored manikins I remembered from my childhood picture books, mechanically acting out the story one more time. They were people.... The stories were shot through with an unfamiliar mood. Everyone achieved their heart's desire...but only when it was too late did they realize the price they must pay for escaping their destiny. Every Happy Ever After was tainted.
Diane Setterfield (The Thirteenth Tale)
If we could see a graph of how much pain and limitation we cause in our own lives through the lies we tell ourselves, we would immediately eliminate this nasty habit.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
The goal here is to realize you’re doing it so you can immediately choose not to fall down the rabbit hole of feeling like the biggest failure that ever graced this planet.
Andrea Owen (How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t: 14 Habits that Are Holding You Back from Happiness)
Perfectionism is a disease. Procrastination is a disease. ACTION is the cure.
Richie Norton
For the animal to be happy it is enough that this moment be enjoyable. But man is hardly satisfied with this at all. He is much more concerned to have enjoyable memories and expectations — especially the latter. With these assured, he can put up with an extremely miserable present. Without this assurance, he can be extremely miserable in the midst of immediate physical pleasure.
Alan W. Watts (The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety)
Love has two affirmations. First of all, when the lover encounters the other, there is an immediate affirmation (psychologically: dazzlement, enthusiasm, exaltation, mad projection of a fulfilled future: I am devoured by desire, the impulse to be happy): I say yes to everything (blinding myself). There follows a long tunnel: my first yes is riddled by doubts, love’s value is ceaselessly threatened by depreciation: this is the moment of melancholy passion, the rising of resentment and oblation. Yet I can emerge from this tunnel; I can ‘surmount,’ without liquidating; what I have affirmed a first time, I can once again affirm, without repeating it, for then what I affirm is the affirmation, not its contingency. I affirm the first encounter in its difference, I desire its return, not its repetition. I say to the other (old or new): Let us begin again.
Roland Barthes (A Lover's Discourse: Fragments)
For example, even if this was some kind of fairy tale with a happy ending, real people's lives keep on going after the story finishes. As a story it ends happily, even if the characters die of something immediately afterwards. In the same way, I suppose you could present my life as a happy tale if you ended it in the right place.
Fuminori Nakamura (Evil and the Mask)
When I’d checked into the bathroom with Seymour’s diary under my arm, and had carefully secured the door behind me, I spotted a message almost immediately. It was not, however, in Seymour’s handwriting but, unmistakably, in my sister Boo Boo’s. With or without soap, her handwriting was always almost indecipherably minute, and she had easily managed to post the following message up on the mirror; 'Raise high the roof beam, carpenters. Like Ares comes the bridegroom, taller far than a tall man. Love, Irving Sappho, formerly under contract to Elysium Studios Ltd. Please be happy happy happy with your beautiful Muriel. This is an order. I outrank everybody on this block.
J.D. Salinger (Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction)
When I went on my first antidepressant it had the side effect of making me fixated on suicide (which is sort of the opposite of what you want). It’s a rare side effect so I switched to something else that did work. Lots of concerned friends and family felt that the first medication’s failure was a clear sign that drugs were not the answer; if they were I would have been fixed. Clearly I wasn’t as sick as I said I was if the medication didn’t work for me. And that sort of makes sense, because when you have cancer the doctor gives you the best medicine and if it doesn’t shrink the tumor immediately then that’s a pretty clear sign you were just faking it for attention. I mean, cancer is a serious, often fatal disease we’ve spent billions of dollars studying and treating so obviously a patient would never have to try multiple drugs, surgeries, radiation, etc., to find what will work specifically for them. And once the cancer sufferer is in remission they’re set for life because once they’ve learned how to not have cancer they should be good. And if they let themselves get cancer again they can just do whatever they did last time. Once you find the right cancer medication you’re pretty much immune from that disease forever. And if you get it again it’s probably just a reaction to too much gluten or not praying correctly. Right?
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
People always want something more than immediate joy or that deeper sense called happiness. This is one of the secrets by which we shape the fulfillment of our designs. The something more assumes amplified power with people who cannot give it a name or who (most often the case) do not even suspect its existence. Most people only react unconsciously to such hidden forces. Thus, we have only to call a calculated something more into existence, define it and give it shape, then people will follow.
Frank Herbert (Heretics of Dune (Dune Chronicles #5))
For action, whatever its immediate purpose, also implies relief at doing something, anything, and the joy of exertion. This is the optimism that is inherent in, and proper and indispensable to action, for without it nothing would ever be undertaken. It in no way suppresses the critical sense or clouds the judgment. On the contrary this optimism sharpens the wits, it creates a certain perspective and, at the last moment, lets in a ray of perpendicular light which illuminates all one's previous calculations, cuts and shuffles them and deals you the card of success, the winning number.
Blaise Cendrars (Moravagine)
AT TIMES ALMOST ALL OF US ENVY THE ANIMALS. They suffer and die, but they do not seem to make a “problem” of it. Their lives seem to have so few complications. They eat when they are hungry and sleep when they are tired, and instinct rather than anxiety seems to govern their few preparations for the future. As far as we can judge, every animal is so busy with what he is doing at the moment that it never enters his head to ask whether life has a meaning or a future. For the animal, happiness consists in enjoying life in the immediate present—not in the assurance that there is a whole future of joys ahead of him. This
Alan W. Watts (The Wisdom of Insecurity)
Annie, who up until this very day had always felt like a child--which is why she could not marry, she could not be a wife--now felt quietly ancient. She thought how for years onstage she had used the image of walking up the dirt road holding her father's hand, the snow-covered fields spread around them, the woods in the distance, joy spilling through her--how she had used this scene to have tears immediately come to her eyes, for the happiness of it, and the loss of it. And now she wondered if it had even happened, if the road had ever been narrow and dirt, if her father had ever held her hand and said that his family was the most important thing to him.
Elizabeth Strout (Anything Is Possible)
People who choose to earn money first, people who put off their real plans until later, until they are rich, are not necessarily wrong. People who want only to live, and who reckon living is absolute freedom, the exclusive pursuit of happiness, the sole satisfaction of their desires and instincts, the immediate enjoyment of the boundless riches of the world [...] such people will always be unhappy. It is true [...] that there are people for whom this kind of dilemma does not arise, or hardly arises, either because they are too poor and have no requirements beyond a slightly better diet, slightly better housing, slightly less work, or because they are too rich, from the start, to understand the import or even the meaning of such a distinction. But nowadays and in our part of the world, more and more people are neither rich nor poor: they dream of wealth, and could become wealthy; and that is where their misfortunes begin." -from "Things: A Story of the Sixties
Georges Perec (Things: A Story of the Sixties; A Man Asleep)
The 'what' of life is immediate, but the 'why' trails along at its own pace.
Garry Lee Wright (Happiness for Beginners)
When you see the flower of happiness on your way, don’t take it immediately; sit and watch it and realise how rare it is!
Mehmet Murat ildan
Prefer enduring satisfaction to immediate gratification.
Epictetus (The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectiveness)
What raises great kids is coaching them—to handle their emotions, manage their behavior, and develop mastery—rather than controlling for immediate compliance.
Laura Markham (Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting)
I want a gun, Happy said immediately. "A really big gun. I want a fully functioning Death Star gun." "Not even if Godzilla himself were to show up," said JC.
Simon R. Green (Ghost of a Chance (Ghost Finders, #1))
Epicurus as a moral empiricist felt that our immediate feelings are far more cogent and authoritative guides to the good life than abstract maxims, verbal indoctrination, or even the voice of reason itself. Hence he based his ethics on nature, not on convention or on reason.
Epicurus (The Art of Happiness)
Have you seen a leaf, a leaf from a tree?" "I have. " "I saw one recently, a yellow one, with some green,decayed on the edges. Blown about by the wind. When I was 10 years old, I'd close my eyes on purpose, in winter, and imagine a leaf – green, bright, with veins, and the sun shining. I'd open my eyes and not believe it, because it was so good, then I'd close them again. " "What's that, an allegory?" "N-no... Why? Not an allegory, simply a leaf, one leaf. A leaf is good. Everything is good." "Everything? " "Everything. Man is unhappy because he doesn't know he's happy; only because of that. It's everything, everything! Whoever learns will at once immediately become happy, that same moment. This mother-in-law will die and the girl won't remain – everything is good. I discovered suddenly. " "And if someone dies of hunger, or someone offends and dishonors the girl – is that good? " "Good. And if someone's head get smashed in for the child's sake, that's good, too; and if it doesn't get smashed in, that's good, too. Everything is good, everything. For all those who know that everything is good. If they knew it was good with them, it would be good with them, but as long as they don't know it's good with them, it will not be good with them. That's the whole thought, the whole, there isn't any more! " "And when did you find out that you were so happy? " "Last week, on Tuesday, no, Wednesday, because it was Wednesday by then, in the night.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Demons)
The true danger of romanticism is that the principles through which it rules itself are of such nature that everybody can invoke them to grant themselves the category of artist. Taking the anxiety of an unreachable happiness, the angst of unrealized dreams, the indifference towards action and life, as the defining criteria of genius or talent, immediately facilitates everyone who feels or has felt that same anxiety, suffers that same angst and is prey of that particular indifference, to feel themselves convinced that they themselves are an interesting individuality, and that Destiny, granting them that longing, suffering and dreams, implicitly bestowed on them intellectual greatness.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
People who choose to earn money first, people who put off their realplans until later, until they are rich, are not necessarily wrong. People who want only to live, and who reckon living is absolute freedom, the exclusive pursuit of happiness, the sole satisfaction of their desires and instincts, the immediate enjoyment of the boundless riches of the world - such people will always be unhappy.
Georges Perec (Things: A Story of the Sixties)
It might not be immediately obvious to some readers why the ability to perform 10^85 computational operations is a big deal. So it's useful to put it in context. [I]t may take about 10^31-10^44 operations to simulate all neuronal operations that have occurred in the history of life on Earth. Alternatively, let us suppose that the computers are used to run human whole brain emulations that live rich and happy lives while interacting with one another in virtual environments. A typical estimate of the computational requirements for running one emulation is 10^18 operations per second. To run an emulation for 100 subjective years would then require some 10^27 operations. This would be mean that at least 10^58 human lives could be created in emulation even with quite conservative assumptions about the efficiency of computronium. In other words, assuming that the observable universe is void of extraterrestrial civilizations, then what hangs in the balance is at least 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 human lives. If we represent all the happiness experienced during one entire such life with a single teardrop of joy, then the happiness of these souls could fill and refill the Earth's oceans every second, and keep doing so for a hundred billion billion millennia. It is really important that we make sure these truly are tears of joy.
Nick Bostrom (Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies)
When we get lost in our stories, we lose touch with our actual experience. Leaning into the future, or rehashing the past, we leave the living experience of the immediate moment. Our trance deepens as we move through the day driven by “I have to do more to be okay” or “I am incomplete; I need more to be happy.” These “mantras” reinforce the trance-belief that our life should be different from what it is.
Tara Brach (Radical Acceptance: Awakening the Love that Heals Fear and Shame)
I remember going to the British Museum one day to read up the treatment for some slight ailment of which I had a touch – hay fever, I fancy it was. I got down the book, and read all I came to read; and then, in an unthinking moment, I idly turned the leaves, and began to indolently study diseases, generally. I forget which was the first distemper I plunged into – some fearful, devastating scourge, I know – and, before I had glanced half down the list of “premonitory symptoms,” it was borne in upon me that I had fairly got it. I sat for awhile, frozen with horror; and then, in the listlessness of despair, I again turned over the pages. I came to typhoid fever – read the symptoms – discovered that I had typhoid fever, must have had it for months without knowing it – wondered what else I had got; turned up St. Vitus’s Dance – found, as I expected, that I had that too, – began to get interested in my case, and determined to sift it to the bottom, and so started alphabetically – read up ague, and learnt that I was sickening for it, and that the acute stage would commence in about another fortnight. Bright’s disease, I was relieved to find, I had only in a modified form, and, so far as that was concerned, I might live for years. Cholera I had, with severe complications; and diphtheria I seemed to have been born with. I plodded conscientiously through the twenty-six letters, and the only malady I could conclude I had not got was housemaid’s knee. ... I had walked into that reading-room a happy, healthy man. I crawled out a decrepit wreck. I went to my medical man. He is an old chum of mine, and feels my pulse, and looks at my tongue, and talks about the weather, all for nothing, when I fancy I’m ill; so I thought I would do him a good turn by going to him now. “What a doctor wants,” I said, “is practice. He shall have me. He will get more practice out of me than out of seventeen hundred of your ordinary, commonplace patients, with only one or two diseases each.” So I went straight up and saw him, and he said: “Well, what’s the matter with you?” I said: “I will not take up your time, dear boy, with telling you what is the matter with me. Life is brief, and you might pass away before I had finished. But I will tell you what is NOT the matter with me. I have not got housemaid’s knee. Why I have not got housemaid’s knee, I cannot tell you; but the fact remains that I have not got it. Everything else, however, I HAVE got.” And I told him how I came to discover it all. Then he opened me and looked down me, and clutched hold of my wrist, and then he hit me over the chest when I wasn’t expecting it – a cowardly thing to do, I call it – and immediately afterwards butted me with the side of his head. After that, he sat down and wrote out a prescription, and folded it up and gave it me, and I put it in my pocket and went out. I did not open it. I took it to the nearest chemist’s, and handed it in. The man read it, and then handed it back. He said he didn’t keep it. I said: “You are a chemist?” He said: “I am a chemist. If I was a co-operative stores and family hotel combined, I might be able to oblige you. Being only a chemist hampers me.” I read the prescription. It ran: “1 lb. beefsteak, with 1 pt. bitter beer every 6 hours. 1 ten-mile walk every morning. 1 bed at 11 sharp every night. And don’t stuff up your head with things you don’t understand.” I followed the directions, with the happy result – speaking for myself – that my life was preserved, and is still going on.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat (Three Men, #1))
The more a job inherently resembles a game—with variety, appropriate and flexible challenges, clear goals, and immediate feedback—the more enjoyable it will be regardless of the worker’s level of development. Hunting,
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Flow: The Classic Work On How To Achieve Happiness: The Psychology of Happiness)
When I went on my first antidepressant it had the side effect of making me fixated on suicide (which is sort of the opposite of what you want). It’s a rare side effect so I switched to something else that did work. Lots of concerned friends and family felt that the first medication’s failure was a clear sign that drugs were not the answer; if they were I would have been fixed. Clearly I wasn’t as sick as I said I was if the medication didn’t work for me. And that sort of makes sense, because when you have cancer the doctor gives you the best medicine and if it doesn’t shrink the tumor immediately then that’s a pretty clear sign you were just faking it for attention. I mean, cancer is a serious, often fatal disease we’ve spent billions of dollars studying and treating so obviously a patient would never have to try multiple drugs, surgeries, radiation, etc., to find what will work specifically for them. And once the cancer sufferer is in remission they’re set for life because once they’ve learned how to not have cancer they should be good. And if they let themselves get cancer again they can just do whatever they did last time. Once you find the right cancer medication you’re pretty much immune from that disease forever. And if you get it again it’s probably just a reaction to too much gluten or not praying correctly. Right? Well, no. But that same, completely ridiculous reasoning is what people with mental illness often hear … not just from well-meaning friends, or people who were able to fix their own issues without medication, or people who don’t understand that mental illness can be dangerous and even fatal if untreated … but also from someone much closer and more manipulative. We hear it from ourselves. We listen to the small voice in the back of our head that says, “This medication is taking money away from your family. This medication messes with your sex drive or your weight. This medication is for people with real problems. Not just people who feel sad. No one ever died from being sad.” Except that they do. And when we see celebrities who fall victim to depression’s lies we think to ourselves, “How in the world could they have killed themselves? They had everything.” But they didn’t. They didn’t have a cure for an illness that convinced them they were better off dead. Whenever I start to doubt if I’m worth the eternal trouble of medication and therapy, I remember those people who let the fog win. And I push myself to stay healthy. I remind myself that I’m not fighting against me … I’m fighting against a chemical imbalance … a tangible thing. I remind myself of the cunning untrustworthiness of the brain, both in the mentally ill and in the mentally stable. I remind myself that professional mountain climbers are often found naked and frozen to death, with their clothes folded neatly nearby because severe hypothermia can make a person feel confused and hot and convince you to do incredibly irrational things we’d never expect. Brains are like toddlers. They are wonderful and should be treasured, but that doesn’t mean you should trust them to take care of you in an avalanche or process serotonin effectively.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
For a moment he could do nothing but close his eyes. Was this a taste of the rest of his life as Billie Bridgerton’s husband? Was he destined to live in terror, wondering what sort of danger she’d thrown herself into that day? Was it worth it? “George?” she whispered. She sounded uneasy. Had she seen something in his expression? A sign of doubt? He touched her cheek, and he looked into her eyes. He saw his whole world there. “I love you,” he said. Someone gasped. It might have been his mother. “I cannot live without you,” he said, “and in fact, I refuse to do so. So no, you will not be going on some ill-advised mission to the coast to hand off a potentially dangerous package to people you don’t know. Because if anything happened to you…” His voice broke, but he didn’t care. “If anything happened to you, it would kill me. And I’d like to think you love me too much to let that happen.” Billie stared at him in wonder, her softly parted lips trembling as she blinked back tears. “You love me?” she whispered. He nearly rolled his eyes. “Of course I do.” “You never said.” “I must have done.” “You didn’t. I would have remembered.” “I would remember, too,” he said softly, “if you’d ever said it to me.” “I love you,” she said immediately. “I do. I love you so much. I —” “Thank God,” Lady Manston exclaimed. George and Billie both turned.
Julia Quinn (Because of Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys, #1))
If we are ever going to see a paradigm shift, we have to be clear about how we want the present paradigm to shift. We must be clear that veganism is the unequivocal baseline of anything that deserves to be called an “animal rights” movement. If “animal rights” means anything, it means that we cannot morally justify any animal exploitation; we cannot justify creating animals as human resources, however “humane” that treatment may be. We must stop thinking that people will find veganism “daunting” and that we have to promote something less than veganism. If we explain the moral ideas and the arguments in favor of veganism clearly, people will understand. They may not all go vegan immediately; in fact, most won’t. But we should always be clear about the moral baseline. If someone wants to do less as an incremental matter, let that be her/his decision, and not something that we advise to do. The baseline should always be clear. We should never be promoting “happy” or “humane” exploitation as morally acceptable.
Gary L. Francione
Have you ever noticed that all of the stuff on the posters of what you can’t bring into the airport terminal is pretty much exactly the same stuff that would come in really handy if a zombie apocalypse broke out? Swords, guns, grenades, meat cleavers, fire, disinfectant, booze, chain saws: these are all things I’d want on me if there were a zombie epidemic in Terminal B. Basically, if we get attacked inside the airport we’re all fucked, so maybe people are just scared because they’ve been disarmed. Even the phrasing of where you’re headed (the “terminal”) is another word for “approaching immediate death.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
Using the power of decision gives you the capacity to get past any excuse to change any and every part of your life in an instant. It can change your relationships, your working environment, your level of physical fitness, your income, and your emotional states. It can determine whether you’re happy or sad, whether you’re frustrated or excited, enslaved by circumstances, or expressing your freedom. It’s the source of change within an individual, a family, a community, a society, our world.
Anthony Robbins (Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!)
In wrapping things up the writer had a choice: the "happy" ending in which the two former enemies are rescued and we can imagine them going forward with their lives as friends the "realistic" ending in which they are rescued but immediately resume their quarrel: or the cruelly ironic ending where fate takes a hand. The class was about evenly divided among the three endings. For Me though there was no choice the writer absolutely had to go with the ironic one. What would be the point I argued of a story like that with a happy ending The two men walking off into the sunset together and unharmed isnt an ending-it's a cop-out.
Michael D. Beil (The Mistaken Masterpiece (The Red Blazer Girls, #3))
I made it three days before the text messages started one afternoon while I was trying to finish warming up before our afternoon session. I had gotten to the LC later than usual and had gone straight to the training room, praising Jesus that I’d decided to change my clothes before leaving the diner once I’d seen what time it was and had remembered lunchtime traffic was a real thing. I was in the middle of stretching my hips when my phone beeped from where I’d left it on top of my bag. I took it out and snickered immediately at the message after taking my time with it. Jojo: WHAT THE FUCK JASMINE I didn’t need to ask what my brother was what-the-fucking over. It had only been a matter of time. It was really hard to keep a secret in my family, and the only reason why my mom and Ben—who was the only person other than her who knew—had kept their mouths closed was because they had both agreed it would be more fun to piss off my siblings by not saying anything and letting them find out the hard way I was going to be competing again. Life was all about the little things. So, I’d slipped my phone back into my bag and kept stretching, not bothering to respond because it would just make him more mad. Twenty minutes later, while I was still busy stretching, I pulled my phone out and wasn’t surprised more messages appeared. Jojo: WHY WOULD YOU NOT TELL ME Jojo: HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME Jojo: DID THE REST OF YOU KEEP THIS FROM ME Tali: What happened? What did she not tell you? Tali: OH MY GOD, Jasmine, did you get knocked up? Tali: I swear, if you got knocked up, I’m going to beat the hell out of you. We talked about contraception when you hit puberty. Sebastian: Jasmine’s pregnant? Rubes: She’s not pregnant. Rubes: What happened, Jojo? Jojo: MOM DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS Tali: Would you just tell us what you’re talking about? Jojo: JASMINE IS SKATING WITH IVAN LUKOV Jojo: And I found out by going on Picturegram. Someone at the rink posted a picture of them in one of the training rooms. They were doing lifts. Jojo: JASMINE I SWEAR TO GOD YOU BETTER EXPLAIN EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW Tali: ARE YOU KIDDING ME? IS THIS TRUE? Tali: JASMINE Tali: JASMINE Tali: JASMINE Jojo: I’m going on Lukov’s website right now to confirm this Rubes: I just called Mom but she isn’t answering the phone Tali: She knew about this. WHO ELSE KNEW? Sebastian: I didn’t. And quit texting Jas’s name over and over again. It’s annoying. She’s skating again. Good job, Jas. Happy for you. Jojo: ^^ You’re such a vibe kill Sebastian: No, I’m just not flipping my shit because she got a new partner. Jojo: SHE DIDN’T TELL US FIRST THO. What is the point of being related if we didn’t get the scoop before everybody else? Jojo: I FOUND OUT ON PICTUREGRAM Sebastian: She doesn’t like you. I wouldn’t tell you either. Tali: I can’t find anything about it online. Jojo: JASMINE Tali: JASMINE Jojo: JASMINE Tali: JASMINE Tali: Tell us everything or I’m coming over to Mom’s today. Sebastian: You’re annoying. Muting this until I get out of work. Jojo: Party pooper Tali: Party pooper Jojo: Jinx Tali: Jinx Sebastian: Annoying ... I typed out a reply, because knowing them, if I didn’t, the next time I looked at my phone, I’d have an endless column of JASMINE on there until they heard from me. That didn’t mean my response had to be what they wanted. Me: Who is Ivan Lukov?
Mariana Zapata (From Lukov with Love)
I need to pull away from this - She gestured between them languidly - "because When I'm with you, I lose my balance. I don't feel calm and happy. She leaned forward, and Kane swallowed down his immediate urge to leap across the table and crush her thin lips under his. "When I am with you," Claire said, her accent rolling through the words like thunder, "I am a starving lion, raging at my captivity.
Louisa Edwards
Everyone has been wounded. It is almost inevitable that our parents will wound us in some way. If we are not wounded by our parents, we may be wounded by the death or illness of a parent or sibling, by a bitter marriage or bitter divorce, or if our immediate family is close to idyllic, we might be wounded by some other adult who abuses us or peers who mock us. An unscarred childhood is possible but very rare.
Dennis Prager (Happiness Is a Serious Problem: A Human Nature Repair Manual)
WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY? Over two thousand years ago, Aristotle came to the unsurprising conclusion that what a person wants above all is to be happy. In 1961, the US psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi wrote: ‘While happiness itself is sought for its own sake, every other goal – health, beauty, money or power – is valued only because we expect that it will make us happy.’ Csikszentmihalyi looked for a term that described the state of feeling happy. He called it ‘flow’. But when are we ‘in the flow’? After interviewing over a thousand people about what made them happy, he found that all the responses had five things in common. Happiness, or ‘flow’, occurs when we are: • intensely focused on an activity • of our own choosing, that is • neither under-challenging (boreout) nor over-challenging (burnout), that has • a clear objective, and that receives • immediate feedback. Csikszentmihalyi discovered that people who are ‘in the flow’ not only feel a profound sense of satisfaction, they also lose track of time and forget themselves completely because they are so immersed in what they are doing.
Mikael Krogerus (The Decision Book: 50 Models for Strategic Thinking)
[p]eople who are mentally healthy and happy have a higher degree of "vertical coherence" among their goals - that is, higher-level (long term) goal and lower-level (immediate) goals fit together well so that pursuing one's short-term goals advances the pursuit of long-term goals.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
We lose our temper easily when we know that the other person can’t hit us back. We rarely lose our temper before our bosses, valuable clients, or powerful people in spite of great provocation. Our temper immediately gets annulled when we are pitted against a person more powerful than us.
Awdhesh Singh (31 Ways to Happiness)
When you really understand who you are, you will experience unalloyed happiness. Happiness that you only dreamed about, happiness in the Silence, when nothing is happening but you’re happy. Always happy, always at peace. All of the Gods that you have been praying to all your life, all of the Buddha’s you’ve taken refuge in, the Krishnas, the Kalmias, the Shivahs, the Christ, Allah, they’re all within you. You are that. There is only the one Self and you are That. Ponder this. The knowledge of this brings you eternally infinite happiness instantly. When you begin to understand who you are, your Divine nature, that you are not the body, you’re not the mind, once you understand your Infinite nature, who you really are and there’s nothing else, you immediately become instantly happy. For happiness is your very nature. Happiness, the Self are synonymous. Consciousness, Absolute Reality, Pure Awareness, are all synonymous. There is only One. It has many names, but the One pervades all of space and time. And it is the only existence and you are That. There is no other existence. Awaken to this truth. You are the only One that does exist. And you are Consciousness.
Robert Adams (Silence of the Heart: Dialogues with Robert Adams)
He began to describe the house to her on the flight over, and she immediately said, “I love it!” “But you haven’t even seen it yet,” he laughed, “just wait!” “It doesn’t matter!” Carol replied. “Happiness is something you choose ahead of time. How much I like the house has nothing to do with the exterior paint or the way you’ve arranged the furniture; it has everything to do with how I choose to look at it, and I have already decided to love it!
Timber Hawkeye (Faithfully Religionless)
Readers develop unique histories with the books they read. It may not be immediately apparent at the time of reading, but the person you were when you read the book, the place you were where you read the book, your state of mind while you read it, your personal situation (happy, frustrated, depressed, bored) and so on – all these factors, and others, make the simple experience of reading a book a far more complex and multi-layered affair than might be thought.
Alasdair Gray (Lanark)
OPTIMISTS’ CLUB CREED Promise yourself… To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. To talk health, happiness, prosperity to every person you meet. To make all your friends feel that there is something of value in them. To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
Anthony Robbins (Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!)
everything. I would never want depression to be a public or political excuse, but I think that once you have gone through it, you get a greater and more immediate understanding of the temporary absence of judgment that makes people behave so badly—you learn even, perhaps, how to tolerate the evil in the world.” On the happy day when we lose depression, we will lose a great deal with it. If the earth could feed itself and us without rain, and if we conquered the weather and declared permanent sun, would we not miss grey days and summer storms? As the sun seems brighter and more clear when it comes on a rare day of English summer after ten months of dismal skies than it can ever seem in the tropics, so recent happiness feels enormous and embracing and beyond anything I have ever imagined. Curiously enough, I love my depression. I do not love experiencing my depression, but I love the depression itself. I love who I am in the wake of it. Schopenhauer said, “Man is [content] according to how dull and insensitive he is”; Tennessee Williams, asked for the definition of happiness, replied “insensitivity.” I do not agree with them. Since I have been to the Gulag and survived it, I know that if I have to go to the Gulag again, I could survive that also; I’m more confident in some odd way than I’ve ever imagined being. This almost (but not quite) makes the depression seem worth it. I do not think that I will ever again try to kill myself; nor do I think
Andrew Solomon (The Noonday Demon)
VERY FEW PEOPLE really understand the difficulties of accepting Christianity. The picture painted by the well-meaning is that after a conversion God gives the new believer a steady diet of happiness and all is immediately well. Nothing of the sort is true. On the contrary, like every other sincere person who is striving to believe in spite of having so long lived another way with a mind conditioned to cynicism, I had to go through a period of despondency, doubt, and painful self-examination.
Louis Zamperini (Devil at My Heels)
If you work at that which is before you, following right reason   seriously, vigorously, calmly, without allowing anything else to distract   you, but keeping your divine part pure, as if you should be bound   to give it back immediately; if you hold to this, expecting nothing,   fearing nothing, but satisfied with your present activity according   to nature, and with heroic truth in every word and sound which you   utter, you will live happy. And there is no man who is able to   prevent this.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations (Illustrated))
Biologically speaking, feeling good plays an important role as part of our survival machine. Our brains use it to drive survival behaviors that do not relate to immediate threats. To achieve that, our brains flood our bodies with serotonin, oxytocin, and other feel-good chemicals during acts they want to encourage us to do more often.
Mo Gawdat (Solve For Happy: Engineering Your Path to Uncovering the Joy Inside You)
From his earliest years Cincinnatus, by some strange and happy chance comprehending his danger, carefully managed to conceal a certain peculiarity. He was impervious to the rays of others, and therefore produced when off his guard a bizarre impression, as of a lone dark obstacle in the world of souls transparent to one other; he learned however to feign translucence, employing a complex system of optical illusions, as it were--but he had only to forget himself, to allow a momentary lapse in self control, in the manipulation of cunningly illuminated facets and angles at which he turned his soul, and immediately there was alarm. In the midst of the excitement of a game his coevals would suddenly forsake him, as if they had sensed that his lucid gaze and the azure of his temples were but a crafty deception and that actually Cincinnatus was opaque. Sometimes, in the midst of sudden silence, the teacher, in a chagrined perplexity, would gather up all the reserves of skin around his eyes, gaze at him for a long while and finally say: "What is wrong with you, Cincinnatus?" Then Cincinnatus would take hold of himself, and, clutching his own self to his breast, would remove that self to a safe place.
Vladimir Nabokov (Invitation to a Beheading)
In Varenka she saw that it was only necessary to forget oneself and to love others in order to be at peace, happy, and lovely. And such a person Kitty wished to be. Having now clearly understood what was most important, Kitty was not content merely to delight in it, but immediately with her whole should devoted herself to this newly-revealed life.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
The world of conspiracy theories is one where stupid people dismiss the expertise of highly qualified people, and attribute to these experts a wicked desire to lie to and gull the masses. In other words, they portray experts as sinister enemies of the people. Conspiracy theories reflect the increasingly prevalent notion that the average, uneducated person is always right – can always see the real truth of a situation – while the educated experts are always wrong because they are deliberately lying to the people to further a conspiracy by the elite against the people. It is increasingly being perceived as a “sin”, a crime, to be smart, to be an expert. Average people do not like smart people, do not trust them, and are happy to regard them as nefarious conspirators. They are constructing a fantasy world where the idiot is always right and honest, and anyone who opposes the idiot always wrong and dishonest. A global Confederacy of Dunces is being established, whose cretinous values are transmitted by bizarre memes that crisscross the internet at a dizzying speed, and which are always accepted uncritically as the finest nuggets of truth. Woe betide anyone who challenges the Confederacy. They will be immediately trolled.
Joe Dixon (Dumbocalypse Now: The First Dunning-Kruger President)
At first, like a lot of trauma survivors, I was impatient and wanted immediate results. Once I caught myself in this behavior, I realized that it takes consistent commitment to heal patterns. After three or four months, I noticed a huge positive shift within myself. I felt a new level of happiness and contentment that I hadn't even known existed. I finally understood how my old trauma patterns had attracted drama in my present life. once I saw this dynamic, I made a conscious decision to "Drama Detox," and the patterns faded away.
Doreen Virtue
I’m allergic to latex and it makes me break out in a rash so most condoms are out for me because the last thing any of us wants is a vagina rash. The alternative is the ones made of sheepskin, but it always creeps me out because does that mean Victor and I are having sex with a sheep? A dead sheep, actually. So it’s bestiality and necrophilia. And a three-way, I think. I actually mentioned that to Victor and he immediately booked a vasectomy, which is sweet because it’s nice that he cares about me. He claimed it was less his caring and more “I’d rather have my nuts cut off than have to listen to you talk about having three-ways with dead sheep.” But now I have all these leftover condoms. They make great water balloons though and I bet they’d be really good for championship bubblegum-blowing competitions. Really chewy sheep bubblegum. That might be cheating. I don’t know the rules about bubblegum contests.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
Hence, it's obvious to see why in AA the community is so important; we are powerless over ourselves. Since we don't have immediate awareness of the Higher Power and how it works, we need to be constantly reminded of our commitment to freedom and liberation. The old patterns are so seductive that as they go off, they set off the association of ideas and the desire to give in to our addiction with an enormous force that we can't handle. The renewal of defeat often leads to despair. At the same time, it's a source of hope for those who have a spiritual view of the process. Because it reminds us that we have to renew once again our total dependence on the Higher Power. This is not just a notional acknowledgment of our need. We feel it from the very depths of our being. Something in us causes our whole being to cry out, “Help!” That's when the steps begin to work. And that, I might add, is when the spiritual journey begins to work. A lot of activities that people in that category regard as spiritual are not communicating to them experientially their profound dependence on the grace of God to go anywhere with their spiritual practices or observances. That's why religious practice can be so ineffective. The real spiritual journey depends on our acknowledging the unmanageability of our lives. The love of God or the Higher Power is what heals us. Nobody becomes a full human being without love. It brings to life people who are most damaged. The steps are really an engagement in an ever-deepening relationship with God. Divine love picks us up when we sincerely believe nobody else will. We then begin to experience freedom, peace, calm, equanimity, and liberation from cravings for what we have come to know are damaging—cravings that cannot bring happiness, but at best only momentary relief that makes the real problem worse.
Thomas Keating (Divine Therapy and Addiction)
In this moment, however you are searching, stop. Whether you are searching for peace and happiness in a relationship, in a better job, or even in world peace, just for one moment stop absolutely. There is nothing wrong with these pursuits, but if you are engaging in them to get peace or to get happiness, you are overlooking the ground of peace that is already here. Once you discover this ground of peace, then whatever pursuits you engage in will be informed by your discovery. Then you will naturally bring what you have discovered to the world, to politics, to all your relationships. This discovery has infinite, complex ramifications, but the essence of it is very simple. If you will stop all activity, just for one instant, even for one-tenth of a second, and simply be utterly still, you will recognize the inherent spaciousness of your being that is already happy and at peace with itself. Because of our conditioning, we normally dismiss this ground of peace with an immediate, “Yes, but what about my life? I have responsibilities. I need to keep busy. The absolute doesn’t relate to my world, my existence.” These conditioned thoughts just reinforce further conditioning. But if you will take a moment to recognize the peace that is already alive within you, you then actually have the choice to trust it in all your endeavors, in all your relationships, in every circumstance of your life. It doesn’t mean that your life will be swept clean of conflicts, challenges, pain, or suffering. It means that you will have recognized a sanctuary where the truth of yourself is present, where the truth of God is present, regardless of the physical, mental, or emotional circumstances of your life.
Gangaji (The Diamond in Your Pocket: Discovering Your True Radiance)
In a society that dreads old age and death, aging holds a special terror for those who fear dependence and whose' self-esteem requires the admiration usually reserved for youth, beauty, celebrity, or charm. The usual defenses against the ravages of age—identification with ethical or artistic values beyond one's immediate interests, intellectual curiosity, the consoling emotional warmth derived from happy relationships in the past—can do nothing for the narcissist. Unable to derive whatever com-fort comes from identification with historical continuity, he finds it impossible, on the contrary, "to accept the fact that a younger generation now possesses many of the previously cherished gratifications of beauty, wealth, power and, particularly, creativity. To be able to enjoy life in a process involving a growing identification with other people's happiness and achievements is tragically beyond the capacity of narcissistic personalities.
Christopher Lasch (The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in An Age of Diminishing Expectations)
But there is an unbounded pleasure to be had in the possession of a young, newly blossoming soul! It is like a flower, from which the best aroma evaporates when meeting the first ray of the sun; you must pluck it at that minute, breathing it in until you’re satisfied, and then throw it onto the road: perhaps someone will pick it up! I feel this insatiable greed, which swallows everything it meets on its way. I look at the suffering and joy of others only in their relation to me, as though it is food that supports the strength of my soul. I myself am not capable of going mad under the influence of passion. My ambition is stifled by circumstances, but it has manifested itself in another way, for ambition is nothing other than a thirst for power, and my best pleasure is to subject everyone around me to my will, to arouse feelings of love, devotion and fear of me—is this not the first sign and the greatest triumph of power? Being someone’s reason for suffering while not being in any position to claim the right—isn’t this the sweetest nourishment for our pride? And what is happiness? Sated pride. If I considered myself to be better, more powerful than everyone in the world, I would be happy. If everyone loved me, I would find endless sources of love within myself. Evil spawns evil. The first experience of torture gives an understanding of the pleasure in tormenting others. An evil idea cannot enter a person’s head without his wanting to bring it into reality: ideas are organic creations, someone once said. Their birth gives them form immediately, and this form is an action. The person in whom most ideas are born is the person who acts most. Hence a genius, riveted to his office desk, must die or lose his mind, just as a man with a powerful build who has a sedentary life and modest behavior will die from an apoplectic fit. Passions are nothing other than the first developments of an idea: they are a characteristic of the heart’s youth, and whoever thinks to worry about them his whole life long is a fool: many calm rivers begin with a noisy waterfall, but not one of them jumps and froths until the very sea. And this calm is often the sign of great, though hidden, strength. The fullness and depth of both feeling and thought will not tolerate violent upsurges. The soul, suffering and taking pleasure, takes strict account of everything and is always convinced that this is how things should be. It knows that without storms, the constant sultriness of the sun would wither it. It is infused with its own life—it fosters and punishes itself, like a child. And it is only in this higher state of self-knowledge that a person can estimate the value of divine justice.
Mikhail Lermontov (A Hero of Our Time)
Without a philosophy of life, we do not know how to react to what life deals us. Our happiness bounces up and down, determined by the day’s events and the immediate emotions they elicit rather than by sober reflection. Without being able to place events into perspective—which comes from having a philosophy of life—we are at the mercy of events. Our ship has no destination and no compass.
Dennis Prager (Happiness Is a Serious Problem: A Human Nature Repair Manual)
Oh," I said, obviously startled by him blocking the door. I swallowed hard as my eyes darted back downward, trying desperately to avoid his searing, deep emerald gaze. It was damning, yet my toes curled with need in seeing him in such a raw state. When I stole another peek into his face, I immediately regretted it. He did not look happy. In fact, he was scowling. He looked so …so …fierce.
Baylee Crush (Judge's Chambers: A Due Process Erotic Short Story)
Make for thyself a definition or description of the thing which is presented to thee, so as to see distinctly what kind of a thing it is in its substance, in its nudity, in its complete entirety, and tell thyself its proper name, and the names of the things of which it has been compounded, and into which it will be resolved. For nothing is so productive of elevation of mind as to be able to examine methodically and truly every object which is presented to thee in life, and always to look at things so as to see at the same time what kind of universe this is, and what kind of use everything performs in it, and what value everything has with reference to the whole, and what with reference to man, who is a citizen of the highest city, of which all other cities are like families; what each thing is, and of what it is composed, and how long it is the nature of this thing to endure which now makes an impression on me, and what virtue I have need of with respect to it, such as gentleness, manliness, truth, fidelity, simplicity, contentment, and the rest. ... If thou workest at that which is before thee, following right reason seriously, vigorously, calmly, without allowing anything else to distract thee, but keeping thy divine part pure, as if thou shouldst be bound to give it back immediately; if thou holdest to this, expecting nothing, fearing nothing, but satisfied with thy present activity according to nature, and with heroic truth in every word and sound which thou utterest, thou wilt live happy. And there is no man who is able to prevent this.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
I genuinely believe that relationships with family and close friends are one of the greatest sources of happiness in life. It sounds simple, but like any important investment, these relationships need consistent attention and care. But there are two forces that will be constantly working against this happening. First, you’ll be routinely tempted to invest your resources elsewhere—in things that will provide you with a more immediate payoff. And second, your family and friends rarely shout the loudest to demand your attention. They love you and they want to support your career, too. That can add up to neglecting the people you care about most in the world. The theory of good money, bad money explains that the clock of building a fulfilling relationship is ticking from the start. If you don’t nurture and develop those relationships, they won’t be there to support you if you find yourself traversing some of the more challenging stretches of life, or as one of the most important sources of happiness in your life.
Clayton M. Christensen (How Will You Measure Your Life?)
Modern elevators are strange and complex entities. The ancient electric winch and “maximum-capacity-eight-persons" jobs bear as much relation to a Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Happy Vertical People Transporter as a packet of mixed nuts does to the entire west wing of the Sirian State Mental Hospital. This is because they operate on the curious principle of “defocused temporal perception.” In other words they have the capacity to see dimly into the immediate future, which enables the elevator to be on the right floor to pick you up even before you knew you wanted it, thus eliminating all the tedious chatting, relaxing and making friends that people were previously forced to do while waiting for elevators. Not unnaturally, many elevators imbued with intelligence and precognition became terribly frustrated with the mindless business of going up and down, up and down, experimented briefly with the notion of going sideways, as a sort of existential protest, demanded participation in the decision-making process and finally took to squatting in basements sulking. An impoverished hitchhiker visiting any planets in the Sirius star system these days can pick up easy money working as a counselor for neurotic elevators.
Douglas Adams (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #2))
For human nature is such that grief and pain—even simultaneously suffered—do not add up as a whole in our consciousness, but hide, the lesser behind the greater, according to a definite law of perspective. It is providential and is our means of surviving in the camp. And this is the reason why so often in free life one hears it said that man is never content. In fact it is not a question of a human incapacity for a state of absolute happiness, but of an ever-insufficient knowledge of the complex nature of the state of unhappiness; so that the single name of the major cause is given to all its causes, which are composite and set out in an order of urgency. And if the most immediate cause of stress comes to an end, you are grievously amazed to see that another one lies behind; and in reality a whole series of others.
Primo Levi (Survival in Auschwitz)
You may have read or heard about the so-called positive thinkers of the West. They say just the opposite -- they don't know what they are saying. They say, "When you breathe out, throw out all your misery and negativity; and when you breathe in, breathe in joy, positivity, happiness, cheerfulness." Atisha's method is just the opposite: when you breathe in, breathe in all the misery and suffering of all the beings of the world -- past, present and future. And when you breathe out, breathe out all the joy that you have, all the blissfulness that you have, all the benediction that you have. Breathe out, pour yourself into existence. This is the method of compassion: drink in all the suffering and pour out all the blessings. And you will be surprised if you do it. The moment you take all the sufferings of the world inside you, they are no longer sufferings. The heart immediately transforms the energy. The heart is a transforming force: drink in misery, and it is transformed into blissfulness... then pour it out. Once you have learned that your heart can do this magic, this miracle, you would like to do it again and again. Try it. It is one of the most practical methods -- simple, and it brings immediate results. Do it today, and see. That is one of the approaches of Buddha and all his disciples. Atisha is one of his disciples, in the same tradition, in the same line. Buddha says again and again to his disciples, "IHI PASSIKO: come and see!" They are very scientific people. Buddhism is the most scientific religion on the earth; hence, Buddhism is gaining more and more ground in the world every day. As the world becomes more intelligent, Buddha will become more and more important. It is bound to be so. As more and more people come to know about science, Buddha will have great appeal, because he will convince the scientific mind -- because he says, "Whatsoever I am saying can be practiced." And I don't say to you, "Believe it," I say, "Experiment with it, experience it, and only then if you feel it yourself, trust it. Otherwise there is no need to believe.
Osho (The Book of Wisdom)
IT TAKES A certain amount of effort to be miserable and another kind of effort to be happy, and I was willing to do the work of happiness. I figured even if I couldn’t make Lucy deeply happy, I could very likely make her cheaply and immediately happy. I could provide the kind of happiness that would seem hollow if we had had the money or the time to stay in it too long. It was the same as carrying her. I couldn’t do it forever, but I could do it for a while. I booked Lucy a massage and had her eyelashes dyed. I took her for a pedicure. I bought her the best pâté I could find in Nashville along with Spaghetti-O’s and Hungry Jack biscuits and everything else I knew she liked. We went to a bad movie and then stayed for a second bad movie. I took her shopping and bought her whatever she wanted. And she was happy, and I was happy.
Ann Patchett (Truth and Beauty)
I have a heart!” “No, you don’t.” “Yes, I do,” he says. “Look, I’ll prove it to you.” He reaches into the tub and wraps his arms around Hector, suds and all. “Oooh,” he says in a baby voice. “Ooooh, Hector, you’re such a good boy, oooh, I love you, Hector.” Hector’s tail immediately starts wagging, and he pushes his snout into Jace’s face and starts licking it. “Oh, Hector, you’re so sweet,” Jace says. “You’re just the best dog.” Hector moves and Jace’s elbows slip, causing Jace’s whole upper body to slide over the side and into the tub. For a second, everyone freezes. I’m afraid Jace is going to be mad, since now he’s soaking wet, but instead he just says, “Oooh, Hector, that’s okay,” and then slides his whole body into the tub, clothes and all. Hector gives a happy bark, glad to have a friend with him, and then plants his front paws on Jace’s chest.
Lauren Barnholdt (Right of Way)
After a long and happy life, I find myself at the pearly gates (a sight of great joy; the word for “pearl” in Greek is, by the way, margarita). Standing there is St. Peter. This truly is heaven, for finally my academic questions will receive answers. I immediately begin the questions that have been plaguing me for half a century: “Can you speak Greek? Where did you go when you wandered off in the middle of Acts? How was the incident between you and Paul in Antioch resolved? What happened to your wife?” Peter looks at me with some bemusement and states, “Look, lady, I’ve got a whole line of saved people to process. Pick up your harp and slippers here, and get the wings and halo at the next table. We’ll talk after dinner.” As I float off, I hear, behind me, a man trying to gain Peter’s attention. He has located a “red letter Bible,” which is a text in which the words of Jesus are printed in red letters. This is heaven, and all sorts of sacred art and Scriptures, from the Bhagavad Gita to the Qur’an, are easily available (missing, however, was the Reader’s Digest Condensed Version). The fellow has his Bible open to John 14, and he is frenetically pointing at v. 6: “Jesus says here, in red letters, that he is the way. I’ve seen this woman on television (actually, she’s thinner in person). She’s not Christian; she’s not baptized - she shouldn’t be here!” “Oy,” says Peter, “another one - wait here.” He returns a few minutes later with a man about five foot three with dark hair and eyes. I notice immediately that he has holes in his wrists, for when the empire executes an individual, the circumstances of that death cannot be forgotten. “What is it, my son?” he asks. The man, obviously nonplussed, sputters, “I don’t mean to be rude, but didn’t you say that no one comes to the Father except through you?” “Well,” responds Jesus, “John does have me saying this.” (Waiting in line, a few other biblical scholars who overhear this conversation sigh at Jesus’s phrasing; a number of them remain convinced that Jesus said no such thing. They’ll have to make the inquiry on their own time.) “But if you flip back to the Gospel of Matthew, which does come first in the canon, you’ll notice in chapter 25, at the judgment of the sheep and the goats, that I am not interested in those who say ‘Lord, Lord,’ but in those who do their best to live a righteous life: feeding the hungry, visiting people in prison . . . ” Becoming almost apoplectic, the man interrupts, “But, but, that’s works righteousness. You’re saying she’s earned her way into heaven?” “No,” replies Jesus, “I am not saying that at all. I am saying that I am the way, not you, not your church, not your reading of John’s Gospel, and not the claim of any individual Christian or any particular congregation. I am making the determination, and it is by my grace that anyone gets in, including you. Do you want to argue?” The last thing I recall seeing, before picking up my heavenly accessories, is Jesus handing the poor man a Kleenex to help get the log out of his eye.
Amy-Jill Levine (The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus)
The Dalai Lama has said: “My religion is kindness.” If we all adopted such a stance and embodied it in thought and action, inner and outer peace would be immediate, for in reality they are never not present, only obscured, waiting to be discovered. This is the work and the power of lovingkindness, the embrace that allows no separation between self, others, and events—the affirmation and honoring of a core goodness in others and in oneself.
Sharon Salzberg (Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness (Shambhala Library))
Was this how you were going to awaken the creatures?" Machiavelli,clutching the bars of his cell,smiled but said nothing. Virginia stood in front of Dee and stared into his eyes,using herwill to calm him down. "So you tried to use the pages to awaken the cratures.Tell me what happened." Dee jabbed a finger into the nearest cell. It was empty. Virginia stepped closer and discovered the pile of white dust in the corner. "I don't even know what was in the cell-some winged monstrosity.Giant vampire bat,I think.I said the words,and the creature opened its eyes and immediately crumbled to dust." "Maybe you said a word wrong?" Virginia suggested. She plucked a scrap of paper from Josh's hands. "I mean,it looks difficult." "I am fluent," Dee snapped. "He is," Machiavelli said, "I will give him that.And his accent is very good too, though not quite as good as mine." Dee spun back to the cell holding Machiavelli. "Tell me what went wrong." Machiavelli seemed to be considering it; then he shook his head. "I don't think so." Dee jerked his thumb at the sphinx. "Right now she's absorbing your aura,ensuring that you cannot use any spells against me. But she'll be just as happy eating your flesh.Isn't that true?"he said, looking up into the crature's female face. "Oh,I love Italian," she rumbled. She stepped away from Dee and dipped her head to look into the opposite cell. "Give me this one," she said,nodding at Billy the Kid. "He'll make a tasty snack." Her long black forked tongue flickered in the air before the outlaw, who immediately grabbed it,jerked it forward and allowed it to snap back like an elastic band. She screamed,coughed, and squawked all at the same time. Billy grinned."I'll make sure I'll choke you on the way down." "It might be difficult to do that if you have no arms," the sphinx said thickly,working her tongue back and forth. "I'll still give you indigestion." Dee looked at Machiavelli. "Tell me," he said again, "or I will feed your young American friend to the beast." "Tell him nothing," Billy yelled. "This is one of those occasions when I am in agreement with Billy.I am going to tell you nothing." The Magician looked from one side of the cell to the other. Then he looked at Machiavelli."What happened to you? You were one of the Dark Elders' finest agents in this Shadowrealm. There were times you even made me look like an amateur." "John,you were always an amateur." Machiavelli smiled."Why, look at the mess you're in now.
Michael Scott (The Warlock (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #5))
Benefits Now—Costs Later We have seen that predictable problems arise when people must make decisions that test their capacity for self-control. Many choices in life, such as whether to wear a blue shirt or a white one, lack important self-control elements. Self-control issues are most likely to arise when choices and their consequences are separated in time. At one extreme are what might be called investment goods, such as exercise, flossing, and dieting. For these goods the costs are borne immediately, but the benefits are delayed. For investment goods, most people err on the side of doing too little. Although there are some exercise nuts and flossing freaks, it seems safe to say that not many people are resolving on New Year’s Eve to floss less next year and to stop using the exercise bike so much. At the other extreme are what might be called sinful goods: smoking, alcohol, and jumbo chocolate doughnuts are in this category. We get the pleasure now and suffer the consequences later. Again we can use the New Year’s resolution test: how many people vow to smoke more cigarettes, drink more martinis, or have more chocolate donuts in the morning next year? Both investment goods and sinful goods are prime candidates for nudges. Most (nonanorexic) people do not need any special encouragement to eat another brownie, but they could use some help exercising more.
Richard H. Thaler (Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness)
For human beings, simply put, the default state is happiness. If you don’t believe me, spend a little time with a human fresh from the factory, an infant or toddler. Obviously, there’s a lot of crying and fussing associated with the start-up phase of little humans, but the fact is, as long as their most basic needs are met—no immediate hunger, no immediate fear, no scary isolation, no physical pain or enduring sleeplessness—they live in the moment, perfectly happy.
Mo Gawdat (Solve For Happy: Engineering Your Path to Uncovering the Joy Inside You)
Or even a really good hug! Jesus, your arms around another person, someone's arms round you, tight, so tight. Cause it's impossible to be happy all the time, to have a happy whole life, but you can be happy in bursts: with a really good hug you could be happy for...for half an hour maybe, and then that would be the best way, not to waste your time trying to get permanently happy, but just the next half-hour you are happy for, well immediately after, just fucking kill yourself.
Duncan McLean
Here ends Prometheus' surprising itinerary. Proclaiming his hatred of the gods and his love of mankind, he turns away from Zeus with scorn and approaches mortal men in order to lead them in an assault against the heavens. But men are weak and cowardly; they must be organized. They love pleasure and immediate happiness; they must be taught to refuse, in order to grow up, immediate rewards. Thus Prometheus, in his turn, becomes a master who first teaches and then commands. Men doubt that they can safely attack the city of light and are even uncertain whether the city exists. They must be saved from themselves. The hero then tells them that he, and he alone, knows the city. Those who doubt his word will be thrown into the desert, chained to a rock, offered to the vultures. The others will march henceforth in darkness, behind the pensive and solitary master. Prometheus alone has become god and reigns over the solitude of men. But from Zeus he has gained only solitude and cruelty; he is no longer Prometheus, he is Caesar. The real, the eternal Prometheus has now assumed the aspect of one of his victims. The same cry, springing from the depths of the past, rings forever through the Scythian desert.
Albert Camus
Suddenly, with a roar like that of a waterfall, I felt a stream of liquid light entering my brain through the spinal cord. Entirely unprepared for such a development, I was completely taken by surprise; but regaining my self control instantaneously, I remained sitting in the same posture, keeping my mind on the point of concentration. The illumination grew brighter and brighter, the roaring louder, I experienced a rocking sensation and then felt myself slipping out of my body, entirely enveloped in a halo of light. It is impossible to describe the experience accurately. I felt the point of consciousness that was myself growing wider surrounded by waves of light. It grew wider and wider, spreading outward while the body, normally the immediate object of its perception, appeared to have receded into the distance until I became entirely unconscious of it. I was now all consciousness without any outline, without any idea of corporeal appendage, without any feeling or sensation coming from the senses, immersed in a sea of light simultaneously conscious and aware at every point, spread out, as it were, in all directions without any barrier or material obstruction. I was no longer myself, or to be more accurate, no longer as I knew myself to be, a small point of awareness confined to a body, but instead was a vast circle of consciousness in which the body was but a point, bathed in light and in a state of exultation and happiness impossible to describe.
Gopi Krishna (Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man)
Achieving goals by themselves will never make us happy in the long term; it’s who you become, as you overcome the obstacles necessary to achieve your goals, that can give you the deepest and most long-lasting sense of fulfillment. So maybe the key question you and I need to ask is, “What kind of person will I have to become in order to achieve all that I want?” This may be the most important question that you can ask yourself, for its answer will determine the direction you need to head personally.
Anthony Robbins (Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!)
The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts. For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes. But these considerations, however powerfully they address themselves to your sensibility, are greatly outweighed by those which apply more immediately to your interest. Here every portion of our country finds the most commanding motives for carefully guarding and preserving the union of the whole.
George Washington (George Washington's Farewell Address)
At the time you’re living it you can sometimes think your life is nothing much. It’s ordinary and everyday and should be and could be in this or that way better. It is without the perspective by which any meaning can be derived because it’s too sensual and urgent and immediate, which is the way life is to be lived. We’re all, all the time, striving, and though that means there’s a more-or-less constant supply of failure, it’s not such a terrible thing if you think that we keep on trying. There’s something to consider for that.
Niall Williams (This Is Happiness)
As you’ll learn in this book, research shows that human beings are hardwired to choose immediate gratification over benefits we have to wait to receive. Logic doesn’t motivate us—emotions do. But there is real science behind the idea that moving our bodies changes our brains in ways that lead to happiness and much more. The benefits that research shows for regular exercise are truly astounding: more energy, better sleep, less stress, less depression, enhanced mood, improved memory, less anxiety, better sex life, higher life satisfaction, more creativity, and better well-being overall.
Michelle Segar (No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness)
As I thought about endings and – being a lover of fairy tales – I knew immediately that the deeply rooted last line in folk stories, ‘And they lived happily ever after’, is the core of what we think we know about endings. We hear it always in our hindbrain because it’s the last line most of us in the West have grown up with. That line stops the story at the point of greatest happiness. The wedding, the homecoming, the mystery unraveled, the villain disposed of, families reunited, babies born. If we went on in the story Cinderella, she might be whispered about in court: after all, her manners are not impeccable, she always has smudges of ash on her nose, and no one can trace her bloodline back enough generations. Perhaps she has grown fat eating all that rich food in the castle, and the prince’s eye has strayed. If we went on in The Three Little Pigs, the brother who builds with bricks will have kicked the other two lay-abouts out of his house, or hired them to run his successful company and they – angry at their lower status – plot to kill him. But, having little imagination, do it the only way they know how, by trying to boil him in the pot that still holds the memory of the wolf’s demise, so of course the brick building pig finds them out. But modern books pose a different problem. They present harder choices. It’s no longer fairy tale endings we are talking about, but the other stuff, more realistic, stronger, difficult, and maybe not happy-ever-after stuff.
Jane Yolen
Personal happiness is an end game; it is not an immediate necessity. A person whom attains lasting happiness will necessarily endure many hardships. People earn happiness by courageously braving the storms of life, instead of merely existing. A person must steep oneself in the type of experiences that girds one when times on the streets are the meanest. I will garner a comforting sense of self-satisfaction from taking the longer and more difficult road to personal happiness. I can never again work exclusively for money. I shall seek truth wherever it exists, muster the courage to plunge along headfirst without fear, maintain personal dreams when all hope seems lost, and adamantly refuse to be mollified or satisfied with anything less than my very best work. I will dedicate personal efforts to mining my substratum while maintaining a diligent stewardship of a cherished central individuality.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
Human reason reduced to its own resources is perfectly worthless, not only for creating but also for preserving any political or religious association, because it only produces disputes, and, to conduct himself well, man needs not problems but beliefs. His cradle should be surrounded by dogmas, and when his reason is awakened, it should find all his opinions ready-made, at least all those relating to his conduct. Nothing is so important to him as prejudices, Let us not take this word in a bad sense. It does not necessarily mean false ideas, but only, in the strict sense of the word, opinions adopted before any examination. Now these sorts of opinions are man’s greatest need, the true elements of his happiness, and the Palladium of empires. Without them, there can be neither worship, nor morality, nor government. There must be a state religion just as there is a state policy; or, rather, religious and political dogmas must be merged and mingled together to form a complete common or national reason strong enough to repress the aberrations of individual reason, which of its nature is the mortal enemy of any association whatever because it produces only divergent opinions. All known nations have been happy and powerful to the extent that they have more faithfully obeyed this national reason, which is nothing other than the annihilation of individual dogmas and the absolute and general reign of national dogmas, that is to say, of useful prejudices. Let each man call upon his individual reason in the matter of religion, and immediately you will see the birth of an anarchy of belief or the annihilation of religious sovereignty. Likewise, if each man makes himself judge of the principles of government, you will at once see the birth of civil anarchy or the annihilation of political sovereignty. Government is a true religion: it has its dogmas, its mysteries, and its ministers. To annihilate it or submit it to the discussion of each individual is the same thing; it lives only through national reason, that is to say through political faith, which is a creed. Man’s first need is that his nascent reason be curbed under this double yoke, that it be abased and lose itself in the national reason, so that it changes its individual existence into another common existence, just as a river that flows into the ocean always continues to exist in the mass of water, but without a name and without a distinct reality.
Joseph de Maistre (Against Rousseau: On the State of Nature and On the Sovereignty of the People)
But that is what the scoffers don’t understand: “He had a dream,” they say, “a delirium, a hallucination.” Eh! As if that’s so clever? And how proud they are! A dream? what is a dream? And is our life not a dream? I’ll say more: let it never, let it never come true, and let there be no paradise (that I can understand!) - well, but I will preach all the same. And yet it’s so simple: in one day, in one hour - it could all be set up at once! The main thing is - love others as yourself, that’s the main thing, and it’s everything, there’s no need for anything else at all: it will immediately be discovered how to set things up. And yet this is merely an old truth, repeated and read a billion times, but still it has never taken root! “The consciousness of life is higher than life, the knowledge of the laws of happiness is higher than happiness” - that is what must be fought! And I will. If only everyone wants it, everything can be set up at once.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Dream of a Ridiculous Man)
I always got the feeling with John Paul that if he could have narrowed down the people he met and blessed those he loved the most, they would not be cardinals, princes, or congressman, but nuns from obscure convents and Down syndrome children, especially the latter. Because they have suffered, and because in some serious and amazing way the love of God seems more immediately available to them. Everyone else gets themselves tied up in ambition and ideas and bustle, all the great distractions, but the modest and unwell are so often unusually open to this message: God loves us, his love is all around us, he made us to love him and be happy
Peggy Noonan
Pilots were not excused all these rigorous new checks, and when Woodie Menear’s turn came, the security screener expressed concern about the presence of a pair of tweezers in his cabin baggage. As it happened, tweezers – unlike corkscrews or metal scissors, for example – were not on the list of forbidden items; Menear was not breaching regulations by trying to bring them on board. But the official paused just long enough to spark frustration on the part of the pilot, who, like his colleagues, had been growing ever more exasperated by each new restriction. This time it was too much. Menear did not explode in rage; he merely asked a sarcastic question. But it was one that would lead to his immediate arrest, a night in jail, his suspension by US Airways, and months of legal wranglings before he was finally acquitted of ‘making terroristic threats’ and permitted to return to his job. ‘Why are you worried about tweezers,’ Menear asked, ‘when I could crash the plane?
Oliver Burkeman (The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking)
Happiness is no longer a stroke of good luck, a moment of splendor wrung from the monotony of the everyday, it is our condition, our destiny. when the desirable becomes possible, it is immediately integrated into the category of the necessary. What used to be edenic is now ordinary. Social status is no longer determined soley by wealth or power, but also by appearance: it is not enough to be rich, you also have to look good, and this produces a new kind of discrimination and invidious comparison that is no less severe. There is a whole ethic of seeming to feel good about oneself that governs us and is supported by the smiling intoxication of advertising and merchandise.
Pascal Bruckner (Perpetual Euphoria: On the Duty to Be Happy)
Tristan: I had to leave early to help a friend move this morning and I didn't want to wake you. I was almost late, though. I couldn't stop staring at you. Who knew you’re so cute when you’re not yelling at me. A huge smile breaks across my face. He didn't run from me. He wanted to stay with me. Remy: Might want to figure that out before Jax gets home today. He might not appreciate you ogling his sister. His reply comes almost immediately, which sends another burst of happiness through my chest. Tristan: No promises. When you’re yelling, all I can think about is how much I want to bend you over and hear you make that breathy little sound right before you come all over my cock.
Nikki Castle (5 Rounds (The Fight Game, #1))
I.P. was at that age when our sense of who we are, or of who we have been told we are, chafes against what we discover in our reading. And immediately a choice seems to appear: to let the reading show us the way forward, like water picking its course over unfamiliar ground; or to direct the reading, to channel the stream, so that it confirms what we already think we know. I.P. was among those few people who could do the former. He had a mind that welcomed doubt and uncertainty; he revelled in it, in fact; he was not one to ever make the perilous decision of deciding to know. His mind was happy to grope its way to its own conclusions, happy to breathe easy in a state of unknowing.
Aatish Taseer (The Way Things Were)
I’ve never quite mastered the art of holding my liquor,” she replied. He watched her root around in her purse a moment, before pulling out a tube of lip balm. As Jonas watched her apply it, he nearly got distracted from her answer. Leaning forward, Jonas murmured, “Can’t hold your liquor, huh?” She replaced the cap and dropped it back into her purse. “Not so much. I tend to get a bit too happy.” His eyebrows shot up and his cock came to full-alert status. Happy--he liked the sound of that. “And that’s a bad thing?” To his utter shock, Deanna blushed. “In my case it is.” Curiosity got the better of him. “Care to explain?” The waiter returned with the check, forcing Jonas to drop the conversation while he fished out his credit card. Once they were alone again, Jonas waited, hoping Deanna would go into more detail. She didn’t disappoint him. “All my inhibitions disappear. It’s not a comfortable feeling for me.” She was killing him. An immediate picture of a carefree Deanna sprang to mind. He liked it a hell of a lot. “Most people enjoy letting it all hang out every once in a while. Taking life too seriously leads to an early grave.” “Maybe, but if I suddenly develop the urge, I’d rather be coherent.” “You don’t like to give up control,” he surmised. She cocked her head to the side, as if unsure how to respond at first. “It’s not that,” she said. “I guess if I’m in the mood to go romping naked through a forest, for example, then I don’t want alcohol to blur the memorable event for me.” She laughed. “I mean, I’d want to remember a crazy moment like that. Wouldn’t you?” No doubt about it, Jonas liked the way the lady’s mind worked. “You had me at ‘running naked’.” Deanna snorted. “You need serious help.
Anne Rainey (Pleasure Bound (Hard to Get, #2))
As Bell stood in silence, watching the judges turn their backs to him and begin to walk away, he suddenly heard a familiar voice. “How do you do, Mr. Bell?” Surprised, he turned to find Emperor Dom Pedro II of Brazil, his full, white beard neatly trimmed, his deep-set eyes bright with curiosity, looking directly at him. A passionate promoter of the sciences, Dom Pedro had asked to accompany the judges on their rounds that morning, perfectly happy to be in the tropical-like heat that reminded him of home. When he saw Bell standing in the crowd of some fifty judges and a handful of hovering inventors, he immediately recognized him as the talented teacher of the deaf whom he had met in Boston.
Candice Millard (Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President)
Without a memory, EP has fallen completely out of time. He has no stream of consciousness, just droplets that immediately evaporate. If you were to take the watch off his wrist—or, more cruelly, change the time—he’d be completely lost. Trapped in this limbo of an eternal present, between a past he can’t remember and a future he can’t contemplate, he lives a sedentary life, completely free from worry. “He’s happy all the time. Very happy. I guess it’s because he doesn’t have any stress in his life,” says his daughter Carol, who lives nearby. In his chronic forgetfulness, EP has achieved a kind of pathological enlightenment, a perverted vision of the Buddhist ideal of living entirely in the present.
Joshua Foer (Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything)
Still lying on the ground, half tingly, half stunned, I held my left hand in front of my face and lightly spread my fingers, examining what Marlboro Man had given me that morning. I couldn’t have chosen a more beautiful ring, or a ring that was a more fitting symbol of my relationship with Marlboro Man. It was unadorned, uncontrived, consisting only of a delicate gold band and a lovely diamond that stood up high--almost proudly--on its supportive prongs. It was a ring chosen by a man who, from day one, had always let me know exactly how he felt. The ring was a perfect extension of that: strong, straightforward, solid, direct. I liked seeing it on my finger. I felt good knowing it was there. My stomach, though, was in knots. I was engaged. Engaged. I was ill-prepared for how weird it felt. Why hadn’t I ever heard of this strange sensation before? Why hadn’t anyone told me? I felt simultaneously grown up, excited, shocked, scared, matronly, weird, and happy--a strange combination for a weekday morning. I was engaged--holy moly. My other hand picked up the receiver of the phone, and without thinking, I dialed my little sister. “Hi,” I said when Betsy picked up the phone. It hadn’t been ten minutes since we’d hung up from our last conversation. “Hey,” she replied. “Uh, I just wanted to tell you”--my heart began to race--“that I’m, like…engaged.” What seemed like hours of silence passed. “Bullcrap,” Betsy finally exclaimed. Then she repeated: “Bullcrap.” “Not bullcrap,” I answered. “He just asked me to marry him. I’m engaged, Bets!” “What?” Betsy shrieked. “Oh my God…” Her voice began to crack. Seconds later, she was crying. A lump formed in my throat, too. I immediately understood where her tears were coming from. I felt it all, too. It was bittersweet. Things would change. Tears welled up in my eyes. My nose began to sting. “Don’t cry, you butthead.” I laughed through my tears. She laughed it off, too, sobbing harder, totally unable to suppress the tears. “Can I be your maid of honor?” This was too much for me. “I can’t talk anymore,” I managed to squeak through my lips. I hung up on Betsy and lay there, blubbering on my floor.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Instead of admitting that happiness is an art of the indirect that is achieved or not through secondary goals, it is presented as if it were an immediately accessible objective, and recipes are provided. Whatever the method chosen, psychic, somatic, chemical, spiritual, or computer-based, the presupposition is everywhere the same: contentment is within your reach, all you have to do is undergo a "positive conditioning," an "ethical discipline" that will lead you to it. This amounts to an astonishing inversion of the will, which seeks to establish its protectorate over psychic states and feelings that are traditionally outside its jurisdiction. It wears itself our trying to change what does not depend on it (at the risk of not dealing with what can be changed).
Pascal Bruckner (Perpetual Euphoria: On the Duty to Be Happy)
Often when he was not working he had come here and sat an entire afternoon, lulled by the din and music from the other rooms into a state of vague ecstasy, while he contemplated the small sheet of water outside the window. It was that happy frame of mind into which his people could project themselves so easily - the mere absence of immediate unpleasant preoccupation could start it off, and a landscape which included the sea, a river, a fountain, or anything that occupied the eye without engaging the mind, was of use in sustaining it. It was the world behind the world, where reflection precludes the necessity for action, and the calm which all things seek in death appears briefly in the guise of contentment, the spirit at last persuaded that the still waters of perfection are reachable.
Paul Bowles (The Spider's House)
There is no tomorrow. Time cannot be saved and spent. There is only today and how we choose to live it. The future is unknowable and unpredictable; it offers no clear path to happiness. Science will not save us. Each of us, then, needs to cobble together a daily routine filled with basic human pleasures, wedded, to be sure, to the best that modernity has to offer. It is a life of compromise rather than extremes. It is a touch of the old and a taste of the new. And cooking, it seems to me, offers the most direct way back into the very heart of the good life. It is useful, it is necessary, it is social, and it offers immediate pleasure and satisfaction. It connects with the past and ensures the future. Standing in front of a hot oven, we remind ourselves of who we are, of what we are capable of and how we might stumble back to the center of happiness. Effort and pleasure go hand in hand.
Christopher Kimball
It had been a nice night, but not one they’d repeat. Like, ever. Why was he dialing his phone? A few rings later, a familiar voice picked up on the other end. “Whitman.” Dammit, my subconscious really is out to get me. “Matt? Brennan. I was wondering if…” make it something good, “…you…wanted to…” his gaze flew around the room, settling on his DVD shelf, “…watch Star Wars with me?”Star Wars? A hundred DVDs on the shelf and he settled on fucking Star Wars? He was never going to get in Matt’s pants ever again. There was a pause on the other end. Great, I’ve scared him off with my closet geekery. Go me. “Which one?” His heart skipped a beat. Or not.“I have all six.” “My favorite is Strikes Back. I can be at my place in about twenty. I’ll bring food?” Brennan’s eyes squeezed closed and he grinned, kicking his feet in delight. I am such a girl. “You know we can’t watch Strikes Back without immediately going to Return, right?” “We should pace ourselves. Star Wars is serious business. Usually I don’t watch them without consuming about five pounds of Skittles and three bottles of Coke.” “I’ll grab the junk food. We can pull an all -nighter.” “It’s a weeknight.” Matt sounded ridiculously disappointed about the fact, which was so happy-dance-worthy that Brennan almost literally jumped out of his chair. “But maybe we could turn it into a three-part date? Start tonight? End Friday?
Christine Price
As for Proust, his contribution has been to create, from an obstinate contemplation of reality, a closed world that belonged only to him and that indicated his victory over the transitoriness of things and over death. But he uses absolutely the opposite means. He upholds, above everything, by a deliberate choice, a careful selection of unique experience, which the writer chooses from the most secret recesses of his past. Immense empty spaces are thus discarded from life because they have left no trace in the memory. If the American novel is the novel of men without memory, the world of Proust is nothing but memory. It is concerned only with the most difficult and most exacting of memories, the memory that rejects the dispersion of the actual world and derives, from the trace of a lingering perfume, the secret of a new and ancient universe. Proust chooses the interior life and, of the interior life, that which is more interior than life itself in preference to what is forgotten in the world of reality— in other words, the purely mechanical and blind aspects of the world. But by his rejection of reality he does not deny reality. He does not commit the error, which would counterbalance the error of American fiction, of suppressing the mechanical. He unites, on the contrary, into a superior form of unity, the memory of the past and the immediate sensation, the twisted foot and the happy days of times past.
Albert Camus (The Rebel)
Live your life in real time -- live and suffer directly on-screen. Think in real time -- your thought is immediately encoded by the computer. Make your revolution in real time -- not in the street, but in the recording studio. Live out your amorous passions in real time -- the whole thing on video from start to finish. Penetrate your body in real time -- endovideoscopy: your own bloodstream, your own viscera as if you were inside them. Nothing escapes this. There is always a hidden camera somewhere. You can be filmed without knowing it. You can be called to act it all out again for any of the TV channels. You think you exist in the original-language version, without realizing that this is now merely a special case of dubbing, an exceptional version for the `happy few'. Any of your acts can be instantly broadcast on any station. There was a time when we would have considered this a form of police surveillance. Today, we regard it as advertising.
Jean Baudrillard (The Perfect Crime)
I saw a group of women standing by a station wagon. There were seven of them, pushing cartons and shopping bags over the open tailgate into the rear of the car. Celery stalks and boxes of Gleem stuck out of the bags. I took the camera from my lap, raised it to my eye, leaned out the window a bit, and trained it on the ladies as if I were shooting. One of them saw me and immediately nudged her companion but without taking her eyes off the camera. They waved. One by one the others reacted. They all smiled and waved. They seemed supremely happy. Maybe they sensed that they were waving at themselves, waving in the hope that someday if evidence is demanded of their passage through time, demanded by their own doubts, a moment might be recalled when they stood in a dazzling plaza in the sun and were registered on the transparent plastic ribbon; and thirty years away, on that day when proof is needed, it could be hoped that their film is being projected on a screen somewhere, and there they stand, verified, in chemical reincarnation, waving at their own old age, smiling their reassurance to the decades, a race of eternal pilgrims in a marketplace in the dusty sunlight, seven arms extended in a fabulous salute to the forgetfulness of being. What better proof (if proof is ever needed) that they have truly been alive? Their happiness, I think, was made of this, the anticipation of incontestable evidence, and had nothing to do with the present moment, which would pass with all the others into whatever is the opposite of eternity. I pretended to keep shooting, gathering their wasted light, letting their smiles enter the lens and wander the camera-body seeking the magic spool, the gelatin which captures the image, the film which threads through the waiting gate. Sullivan came out of the supermarket and I lowered the camera. I could not help feeling that what I was discovering here was power of a sort.
Don DeLillo (Americana)
My father,' I replied, 'I am fond of action. I like to succour the afflicted, and make people happy. Command that there be built for me a tower, from whose top I can see the whole earth, and thus discover the places where my help would be of most avai1.' 'To do good, without ceasing, to mankind, a race at once flighty and ungrateful, is a more painful task than you imagine,' said Asfendarmod. ------ After saying these words, my father motioned to us to retire; and immediately I found myself in a tower, built on the summit of Mount Caf - a tower whose outer walls were lined with numberless mirrors that reflected, though hazily and as in a kind of dream, a thousand varied scenes then being enacted on the earth. Asfendarmod's power had indeed annihilated space, and brought me not only within sight of all the beings thus reflected in the mirrors, but also within sound of their voices and of the very words they uttered. (“The Story of The Peri Homaiouna”)
William Beckford (The Episodes of Vathek)
If you work at that which is before you, following right reason seriously, vigorously, calmly, without allowing anything else to distract you, but keeping your divine part pure, as if you should be bound to give it back immediately; if you hold to this, expecting nothing, fearing nothing, but satisfied with your present activity according to nature, and with heroic truth in every word and sound which you speak, you will live happy. And there is no man who is able to prevent this.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations: Adapted for the Contemporary Reader (Harris Classics))
Do you ever think about it? About nothingness. I do, I think about it all the time. Because of course it’s nothingness that awaits us. Of course it is. If it weren’t why would our hearts keep pumping any longer than they had to? Why wouldn’t we all emerge into the world pure and innocent, and then before we had a chance to get in any trouble, before we had a chance to take our first oily shit, just immediately shut down our systems and head straight to the hereafter? If there were a better life after death, why bother getting fitter for survival’s sake? Why would evolution even be a thing? Why fight for something second best? If death was really awesome, in a life or death situation, our bodies wouldn’t muscle up with epinephrine and cortisol. Our brains would hit us up instead with sloppy, sleepy happy love. Hannibal Lecter would be our Mickey Mouse. No, there’s fuckall to look forward to. Our bodies understand this. The real problem is, it’s unbearable to know this. So we cope.
Elizabeth Little
ONE OF THE main differences between standard and behavioral economics involves this concept of “free lunches.” According to the assumptions of standard economics, all human decisions are rational and informed, motivated by an accurate concept of the worth of all goods and services and the amount of happiness (utility) all decisions are likely to produce. Under this set of assumptions, everyone in the marketplace is trying to maximize profit and striving to optimize his experiences. As a consequence, economic theory asserts that there are no free lunches—if there were any, someone would have already found them and extracted all their value. Behavioral economists, on the other hand, believe that people are susceptible to irrelevant influences from their immediate environment (which we call context effects), irrelevant emotions, shortsightedness, and other forms of irrationality (see any chapter in this book or any research paper in behavioral economics for more examples). What good news can accompany this realization? The good news is that these mistakes also provide opportunities for improvement. If we all make systematic mistakes in our decisions, then why not develop new strategies, tools, and methods to help us make better decisions and improve our overall well-being? That’s exactly the meaning of free lunches from the perspective of behavioral economics—the idea that there are tools, methods, and policies that can help all of us make better decisions and as a consequence achieve what we desire.
Dan Ariely (Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions)
At the time I was revisiting books from my childhood, and when I got to this part in Frog and Toad Are Friends, I started crying like a little baby: 'I am happy. I am very happy. This morning when I woke up I felt good because the sun was shining. I felt good because I was a frog. And I felt good because I have you for a friend. I wanted to be alone. I wanted to think about how fine everything is.' It’s the most perfect example of love and friendship I think I’ve ever read, and I immediately picked up my paintbrush and got to it.
Lauren Gregg
Jacob, is something wrong? Is Isabella okay?” “Probably. She is not well today. It could be a normal thing for a human female, but since she is usually as resistant to common ailments now as we are, she is nervous. I figured Gideon could ease her mind.” Noah missed the wince that crossed his friend’s face that would have given away the indignant argument flying through the Enforcer’s thoughts. Jacob’s female counterpart huffily took umbrage to his claims of exactly who it was that was nervous and who had insisted on seeking Gideon, because it certainly had not been her. “Tell her I hope she feels better,” Noah said, his fondness for Bella quite clear in his tone. “Bear with her, old friend. She’s breaking new ground. It can be pretty frightening to play Eve for an entire race.” “Do not worry. When it comes to my Bella, I would do anything to see to her happiness. That includes making others do anything to see to her happiness,” Jacob said. He meant the words, of course, but he was hoping they’d help sooth someone’s bristling pride. “I’m sure Gideon is going to love that,” Noah laughed. Jacob grinned, altering gravity so that he began to float up from the floor. “If you see Gideon before I do, will you tell him to come to Bella?” “Of course. Tell her I said to start behaving like a real Druid or I—” Noah was cut off by a sharp hand motion and a warning expression from the Enforcer. It came a little too late, however, if Jacob’s pained expression was anything to judge by. “There goes your invitation for our wedding,” Jacob muttered. “And I think I am close behind you.” “I would believe that if I were not the one who is supposed to perform it and if you were not the father of her otherwise illegitimate child,” Noah countered loudly, clearly talking to the person beyond his immediate perception. “Ow! Damn it, Noah!” Jacob grumbled, rubbing his temples as Bella’s scream of frustration echoed through him. “Do you remember I am the one who has to go home to her, would you?” “Sorry, my friend,” Noah chuckled, not looking at all repentant. “Now get out of here, Enforcer. Find Gideon and tend to your beautiful and charming mate. Be sure to mention to her that I said she looks ravishing and that her pregnancy has made her shine like a precious jewel.” “Noah, if you were not my King, I would kill you for this.” “Yes, well, as your King I would have you arrested for treason just for saying that. Luckily for you, Jacob, you are the man who would arrest you, and the woman who also has the power to do so is sure to punish you far better than I can when you get home.” “You are all heart, my liege,” Jacob said wryly. “Thank you. Now leave, before I begin to expound on the disrespect that this mouthy little female of yours seems to have engendered my formerly loyal subjects.
Jacquelyn Frank (Gideon (Nightwalkers, #2))
Lord, here's what we need today, right away, or as soon as we can get it: we need world peace, prosperity, security, life without risk, pleasure without pain, happiness without cost, and discipleship with no cross. That's why we're here, at church, to get our needs met. Our church tries to be user-friendly and seeker sensitive. That's why on Sundays we serve espresso with a dash of amaretto before our services, a little caffeine boost until we get to the main point of our worship: the prayer requests. So like we were saying, we need a quick recovery from gall bladder surgery, an effortless cataract removal, a happy marriage, obedient and chaste kids, and a reason to get out of bed in the morning. If you love us, you'll meet our needs. Now then, is there something that we could do for you? You're thirsty? Well, if you're the Messiah, why don't you fix yourself a divine drink? We've got needs of our own, thank you. It's our job to have need; it's your job to meet need. For this and all other needs, spoken and unspoken, felt and unfelt, incipient and obvious, personal and corporate, immediate and long term, we pray. Amen.  
William H. Willimon (The Best of William H. Willimon: Acting Up in Jesus' Name)
The man who had abused him would ask, ”I abused you yesterday, why did you not reply yesterday? You are very strange.” No one waits for a second when you abuse him. He retorts immediately.” Junnaid answered, ”My master taught me not to hurry in anything. Take some time. I must wait a little when someone insults me. If I were to give an immediate answer, the heat of the happening would catch hold of me; the smoke would blind my eyes. So I have to wait and let the cloud pass. When twenty-four hours have passed and the skies are clear again, then I can give my reply in full consciousness. Now I realize how tricky my guru was. Because I have never been able to answer my opponents since then.” Is it possible to hold on to anger for twenty-four hours? It is impossible to maintain it for twenty-four minutes or even twenty-four seconds. The truth is that, even if you hold back and watch for a single second, the anger vanishes. But you do not wait even for a moment. A person abuses you – as if someone switches the button, and the fan starts whirring. There is not the slightest gap between the two, no distance! And you pride yourself in your alertness! You have no control of yourself. How can an unconscious person be master of himself? Anybody can push the button and goad him into action. Someone comes and flatters you, and you are filled with joy; you are happy. Someone insults you, you are full of tears. Are you your own master or anyone can manipulate you? You are the slave of slaves. And those who are manipulating are not their own masters either! And the irony is that everyone is expert in manipulating others and none of them is conscious. What greater insult can there be for your soul than the fact that anyone can affect you?
Osho (Bliss: Living beyond happiness and misery)
Let’s just run through this again, shall we?” said the Demon King. He leaned back in his throne. “You happened to find the Tezumen one day and decided, I think I recall your words correctly, that they were ‘a bunch of Stone-Age no-hopers sitting around in a swamp being no trouble to anyone,’ am I right? Whereupon you entered the mind of one of their high priests—I believe at that time they worshipped a small stick—drove him insane and inspired the tribes to unite, terrorize their neighbors and bring forth upon the continent a new nation dedicated to the proposition that all men should be taken to the top of ceremonial pyramids and be chopped up with stone knives.” The King pulled his notes toward him. “Oh yes, some of them were also to be flayed alive,” he added. Quezovercoatl shuffled his feet. “Whereupon,” said the King, “they immediately engaged in a prolonged war with just about everyone else, bringing death and destruction to thousands of moderately blameless people, ekcetra, ekcetra. Now, look, this sort of thing has got to stop.” Quezovercoatl swayed back a bit. “It was only, you know, a hobby,” said the imp. “I thought, you know, it was the right thing, sort of thing. Death and destruction and that.” “You did, did you?” said the King. “Thousands of more-or-less innocent people dying? Straight out of our hands,” he snapped his fingers, “just like that. Straight off to their happy hunting ground or whatever. That’s the trouble with you people. You don’t think of the Big Picture. I mean, look at the Tezumen. Gloomy, unimaginative, obsessive…by now they could have invented a whole bureaucracy and taxation system that could have turned the minds of the continent to slag. Instead of which, they’re just a bunch of second-rate axe-murderers. What a waste.
Terry Pratchett (Eric (Discworld, #9))
It is in this sense that Nietzsche is driven, against many explicit resolutions to the contrary, to be a No-sayer. For what the décadents who surround him are doing is to say No where they should be saying Yes, where they should be Dionysian; and what is leading them to this life-denying perversity, mostly of course unconsciously, is that they subscribe to a set of values that puts the central features of *this* world at a discount. Where they find suffering, they immediately look for someone to blame, and end up hating themselves, or generalize that into a hatred of "human nature". They look for "peace of mind", using it as a blanket term and failing to see the diversity of states, some of them desirable and some of them the reverse, which that term covers. They confuse cause and effect, thinking that the connection between virtue and happiness is that the former leads to the latter, whereas in fact the reverse is the case. They have, in Nietzsche's cruelly accurate phrase, "the vulgar ambition to possess generous feelings" ("Expeditions of an Untimely Man, number 6). They confuse breeding fine men with taming them. Throughout the major part of Twilight this devastating list of our vulgarities continues.
Michael Tanner (Twilight of the Idols / The Anti-Christ)
It’s harder than you think to admit your even occasional dissatisfaction as a mother without feeling instant guilt, an immediate sensation of shame for even suggesting you might not be happy when you’ve got a wonderful healthy child in this world who depends on you and loves you no matter what. It’s almost impossible to separate your “bad” feelings about the normal frustrations of post-baby life from your “good” feelings about the very baby who instigated the transformation. But it’s not realistic or healthy to deny the fact that a mother is a complicated person—or to deny that a mother is a person at all.
Andrea J. Buchanan (Mother Shock: Tales from the First Year and Beyond -- Loving Every (Other) Minute of It)
Others will appear, with more serious intentions, who, on the basis of the same despairing nihilism, will insist on ruling the world. These are the Grand Inquisitors who imprison Christ and come to tell Him that His method is not correct, that universal happiness cannot be achieved by the immediate freedom of choosing between good and evil, but by the domination and unification of the world. The first step is to conquer and rule. The kingdom of heaven will, in fact, appear on earth, but it will be ruled over by men—a mere handful to begin with, who will be the Cassars, because they were the first to understand—and later, with time, by all men. The unity of all creation will be achieved by every possible means, since everything is permitted. The Grand Inquisitor is old and tired, for the knowledge he possesses is-bitter. He knows that men are lazy rather than cowardly and that they prefer peace and death to the liberty of discerning between good and evil. He has pity, a cold pity, for the silent prisoner whom history endlessly deceives. He urges him to speak, to recognize his misdeeds, and, in one sense, to approve the actions of the Inquisitors and of the Caesars. But the prisoner does not speak. The enterprise will continue, therefore, without him; he will be killed.
Albert Camus (The Rebel)
The judicious words of Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), the first existentialist philosopher, are apropos to end this lumbering manuscript. 1. “One must learn to know oneself before knowing anything else.” 2. “Life always expresses the results of our dominate thoughts.” 3. “Face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are.” 4. “Personality is only ripe when a man has made the truth his own.” 5. “Love is all, it gives all, and it takes all.” 6. “Don’t forget to love yourself.” 7. “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” 8. “Life has its own hidden forces, which you can only discover by living.” 9. “The highest and most beautiful things in life are not to be heard about, or read about, nor seen, but if one will, are to be lived.” 10. “Patience is necessary, and one cannot reap immediately where one has sown.” 11. “It seems essential, in relationships and all tasks, that we concentrate on only what is most significant and important.” 12. “To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.” 13. “Since my earliest childhood, a barb of sorrow has lodged in my heart. As long as it stays I am ironic, if it is pulled out I shall die.” 14. “A man who as a physical being is always turned to the outside, thinking that his happiness lies outside of him, finally turns inward and discovers that the source is within him.” 15. “Just as in earthly life lovers long for the moment when they are able to breathe forth their love for each other, to let their souls blend into a soft whisper, so the mystic longs for the moment in prayer he can, as it were, creep into God.” Kierkegaard warned, “The greatest hazard of all, losing the self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss – an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. – is sure to be noticed.” Kierkegaard said that the one method to avoid losing oneself is to live joyfully in the moment, which he described as “to be present in oneself in truth,” which in turn requires “to be today, in truth be today.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
In the center of the room Elizabeth stood stock still, clasping and unclasping her hands, watching the handle turn, unable to breathe with the tension. The door swung open, admitting a blast of frigid air and a tall, broad-shouldered man who glanced at Elizabeth in the firelight and said, “Henry, it wasn’t necess-“ Ian broke off, the door still open, staring at what he momentarily thought was a hallucination, a trick of the flames dancing in the fireplace, and then he realized the vision was real: Elizabeth was standing perfectly still, looking at him. And lying at her feet was a young Labrador retriever. Trying to buy time, Ian turned around and carefully closed the door as if latching it with precision were the most paramount thing in his life, while he tried to decide whether she’d looked happy or not to see him. In the long lonely nights without her, he’d rehearsed dozens of speeches to her-from stinging lectures to gentle discussions. Now, when the time was finally here, he could not remember one damn word of any of them. Left with no other choice, he took the only neutral course available. Turning back to the room, Ian looked at the Labrador. “Who’s this?” he asked, walking forward and crouching down to pet the dog, because he didn’t know what the hell to say to his wife. Elizabeth swallowed her disappointment as he ignored her and stroked the Labrador’s glossy black head. “I-I call her Shadow.” The sound of her voice was so sweet, Ian almost pulled her down into his arms. Instead, he glanced at her, thinking it encouraging she’d named her dog after his. “Nice name.” Elizabeth bit her lip, trying to hide her sudden wayward smile. “Original, too.” The smile hit Ian like a blow to the head, snapping him out of his untimely and unsuitable preoccupation with the dog. Straightening, he backed up a step and leaned his hip against the table, his weight braced on his opposite leg. Elizabeth instantly noticed the altering of his expression and watched nervously as he crossed his arms over his chest, watching her, his face inscrutable. “You-you look well,” she said, thinking he looked unbearably handsome. “I’m perfectly fine,” he assured her, his gaze level. “Remarkably well, actually, for a man who hasn’t seen the sun shine in more than three months, or been able to sleep without drinking a bottle of brandy.” His tone was so frank and unemotional that Elizabeth didn’t immediately grasp what he was saying. When she did, tears of joy and relief sprang to her eyes as he continued: “I’ve been working very hard. Unfortunately, I rarely get anything accomplished, and when I do, it’s generally wrong. All things considered, I would say that I’m doing very well-for a man who’s been more than half dead for three months.” Ian saw the tears shimmering in her magnificent eyes, and one of them traced unheeded down her smooth cheek. With a raw ache in his voice he said, “If you would take one step forward, darling, you could cry in my arms. And while you do, I’ll tell you how sorry I am for everything I’ve done-“ Unable to wait, Ian caught her, pulling her tightly against him. “And when I’m finished,” he whispered hoarsely as she wrapped her arms around him and wept brokenly, “you can help me find a way to forgive myself.” Tortured by her tears, he clasped her tighter and rubbed his jaw against her temple, his voice a ravaged whisper: “I’m sorry,” he told her. He cupped her face between his palms, tipping it up and gazing into her eyes, his thumbs moving over her wet cheeks. “I’m sorry.” Slowly, he bent his head, covering her mouth with his. “I’m so damned sorry.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Well, happy birthday anyway.” “Wow--that’s right, I forgot! I’m seventeen!” Harry seized the wand lying beside his camp bed, pointed it at the cluttered desk where he had left his glasses, and said, “Accio Glasses!” Although they were only around a foot away, there was something immensely satisfying about seeing them zoom toward him, at least until they poked him in the eye. “Slick,” snorted Ron. Reveling in the removal of his Trace, Harry sent Ron’s possessions flying around the room, causing Pigwidgeon to wake up and flutter excitedly around his cage. Harry also tried tying the laces of his trainers by magic (the resultant knot took several minutes to untie by hand) and, purely for the pleasure of it, turned the orange robes on Ron’s Chudley Cannons posters bright blue. “I’d do your fly by hand, though,” Ron advised Harry, sniggering when Harry immediately checked it. “Here’s your present. Unwrap it up here, it’s not for my mother’s eyes.” “A book?” said Harry as he took the rectangular parcel. “Bit of a departure from tradition, isn’t it?” “This isn’t your average book,” said Ron. “It’s pure gold: Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches. Explains everything you need to know about girls. If only I’d had this last year I’d have known exactly how to get rid of Lavender and I would’ve known how to get going with…Well, Fred and George gave me a copy, and I’ve learned a lot. You’d be surprised, it’s not all about wandwork, either.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Obviously, in those situations, we lose the sale. But we’re not trying to maximize each and every transaction. Instead, we’re trying to build a lifelong relationship with each customer, one phone call at a time. A lot of people may think it’s strange that an Internet company is so focused on the telephone, when only about 5 percent of our sales happen through the telephone. In fact, most of our phone calls don’t even result in sales. But what we’ve found is that on average, every customer contacts us at least once sometime during his or her lifetime, and we just need to make sure that we use that opportunity to create a lasting memory. The majority of phone calls don’t result in an immediate order. Sometimes a customer may be calling because it’s her first time returning an item, and she just wants a little help stepping through the process. Other times, a customer may call because there’s a wedding coming up this weekend and he wants a little fashion advice. And sometimes, we get customers who call simply because they’re a little lonely and want someone to talk to. I’m reminded of a time when I was in Santa Monica, California, a few years ago at a Skechers sales conference. After a long night of bar-hopping, a small group of us headed up to someone’s hotel room to order some food. My friend from Skechers tried to order a pepperoni pizza from the room-service menu, but was disappointed to learn that the hotel we were staying at did not deliver hot food after 11:00 PM. We had missed the deadline by several hours. In our inebriated state, a few of us cajoled her into calling Zappos to try to order a pizza. She took us up on our dare, turned on the speakerphone, and explained to the (very) patient Zappos rep that she was staying in a Santa Monica hotel and really craving a pepperoni pizza, that room service was no longer delivering hot food, and that she wanted to know if there was anything Zappos could do to help. The Zappos rep was initially a bit confused by the request, but she quickly recovered and put us on hold. She returned two minutes later, listing the five closest places in the Santa Monica area that were still open and delivering pizzas at that time. Now, truth be told, I was a little hesitant to include this story because I don’t actually want everyone who reads this book to start calling Zappos and ordering pizza. But I just think it’s a fun story to illustrate the power of not having scripts in your call center and empowering your employees to do what’s right for your brand, no matter how unusual or bizarre the situation. As for my friend from Skechers? After that phone call, she’s now a customer for life. Top 10 Ways to Instill Customer Service into Your Company   1. Make customer service a priority for the whole company, not just a department. A customer service attitude needs to come from the top.   2. Make WOW a verb that is part of your company’s everyday vocabulary.   3. Empower and trust your customer service reps. Trust that they want to provide great service… because they actually do. Escalations to a supervisor should be rare.   4. Realize that it’s okay to fire customers who are insatiable or abuse your employees.   5. Don’t measure call times, don’t force employees to upsell, and don’t use scripts.   6. Don’t hide your 1-800 number. It’s a message not just to your customers, but to your employees as well.   7. View each call as an investment in building a customer service brand, not as an expense you’re seeking to minimize.   8. Have the entire company celebrate great service. Tell stories of WOW experiences to everyone in the company.   9. Find and hire people who are already passionate about customer service. 10. Give great service to everyone: customers, employees, and vendors.
Tony Hsieh (Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose)
The duties, which a man performs as a friend or parent, do not seem merely owing to his benefactor or children; nor can he be wanting to these duties, without breaking through all the ties of nature and morality. A strong inclination may prompt him to the performance: A sentiment of order and moral obligation joins its force to these natural ties: And the whole man, if truly virtuous, is drawn to his duty, without any effort or endeavour. Even with regard to the virtues, which are more austere, and more founded on reflection, such as public spirit, filial duty, temperance, or integrity; the moral obligation, in our apprehension, removes all pretension to religious merit; and the virtuous conduct is deemed no more than what we owe to society and to ourselves. In all this, a superstitious man finds nothing, which he has properly performed for the sake of his deity, or which can peculiarly recommend him to the divine favor and protection. He considers not, that the most genuine method of serving the divinity is by promoting the happiness of his creatures. He still looks out for some immediate service of the supreme Being, in order to allay those terrors, with which he is haunted. And any practice, recommended to him, which either serves to no purpose in life, or offers the strongest violence to his natural inclinations; that practice he will the more readily embrace, on account of those very circumstances, which should make him absolutely reject it. It seems the more purely religious, because it proceeds from no mixture of any other motive or consideration. And if, for its sake, he sacrifices much of his ease and quiet, his claim of merit appears still to rise upon him, in proportion to the zeal and devotion, which he discovers. In restoring a loan, or paying a debt, his divinity is nowise beholden to him; because these acts of justice are what he was bound to perform, and what many would have performed, were there no god in the universe. But if he fast a day, or give himself a sound whipping; this has a direct reference, in his opinion, to the service of God. No other motive could engage him to such austerities. By these distinguished marks of devotion, he has now acquired the divine favor; and may expect, in recompense, protection, and safety in this world, and eternal happiness in the next.
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever)
■​Imagine yourself in your counterpart’s situation. The beauty of empathy is that it doesn’t demand that you agree with the other person’s ideas (you may well find them crazy). But by acknowledging the other person’s situation, you immediately convey that you are listening. And once they know that you are listening, they may tell you something that you can use. ■​The reasons why a counterpart will not make an agreement with you are often more powerful than why they will make a deal, so focus first on clearing the barriers to agreement. Denying barriers or negative influences gives them credence; get them into the open. ■​Pause. After you label a barrier or mirror a statement, let it sink in. Don’t worry, the other party will fill the silence. ■​Label your counterpart’s fears to diffuse their power. We all want to talk about the happy stuff, but remember, the faster you interrupt action in your counterpart’s amygdala, the part of the brain that generates fear, the faster you can generate feelings of safety, well-being, and trust. ■​List the worst things that the other party could say about you and say them before the other person can. Performing an accusation audit in advance prepares you to head off negative dynamics before they take root. And because these accusations often sound exaggerated when said aloud, speaking them will encourage the other person to claim that quite the opposite is true. ■​Remember you’re dealing with a person who wants to be appreciated and understood. So use labels to reinforce and encourage positive perceptions and dynamics.
Chris Voss (Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It)
Facing your fears is key to flowing with Life…Flowing is an important word here: are you flowing with Life or are you fighting it? When you flow with Life, through accepting and living with what is, then miraculously, magically, Life reveals a big secret to you – that fearlessness is not the absence of fear…in fact, it is what fear delivers to you when you turn around and face a situation that is tormenting you, scaring you. What you run away from, will chase you, haunt you…but when you face your fears, the game changes dramatically! You are in control now, not your fears! And when you are in control, while you may not be able to solve every problem immediately, you can deal with the situation calmly, efficiently. This is how you learn to be happy, no matter what you are going through!
AVIS Viswanathan
Louis XIV was a very proud and self-confident man. He had such and such mistresses, and such and such ministers, and he governed France badly. The heirs of Louis XIV were also weak men, and also governed France badly. They also had such and such favourites and such and such mistresses. Besides which, certain persons were at this time writing books. By the end of the eighteenth century there gathered in Paris two dozen or so persons who started saying that all men were free and equal. Because of this in the whole of France people began to slaughter and drown each other. These people killed the king and a good many others. At this time there was a man of genius in France – Napoleon. He conquered everyone everywhere, i.e. killed a great many people because he was a great genius; and, for some reason, he went off to kill Africans, and killed them so well, and was so clever and cunning, that, having arrived in France, he ordered everyone to obey him, which they did. Having made himself Emperor he again went to kill masses of people in Italy, Austria and Prussia. And there too he killed a great many. Now in Russia there was the Emperor Alexander, who decided to reestablish order in Europe, and therefore fought wars with Napoleon. But in the year ’07 he suddenly made friends with him, and in the year ’11 quarrelled with him again, and they both again began to kill a great many people. And Napoleon brought six hundred thousand men to Russia and conquered Moscow. But then he suddenly ran away from Moscow, and then the Emperor Alexander, aided by the advice of Stein and others, united Europe to raise an army against the disturber of her peace. All Napoleon’s allies suddenly became his enemies; and this army marched against Napoleon, who had gathered new forces. The allies conquered Napoleon, entered Paris, forced Napoleon to renounce the throne, and sent him to the island of Elba, without, however, depriving him of the title of Emperor, and showing him all respect, in spite of the fact that five years before, and a year after, everyone considered him a brigand and beyond the law. Thereupon Louis XVIII, who until then had been an object of mere ridicule to both Frenchmen and the allies, began to reign. As for Napoleon, after shedding tears before the Old Guard, he gave up his throne, and went into exile. Then astute statesmen and diplomats, in particular Talleyrand, who had managed to sit down before anyone else in the famous armchair1 and thereby to extend the frontiers of France, talked in Vienna, and by means of such talk made peoples happy or unhappy. Suddenly the diplomats and monarchs almost came to blows. They were almost ready to order their troops once again to kill each other; but at this moment Napoleon arrived in France with a battalion, and the French, who hated him, all immediately submitted to him. But this annoyed the allied monarchs very much and they again went to war with the French. And the genius Napoleon was defeated and taken to the island of St Helena, having suddenly been discovered to be an outlaw. Whereupon the exile, parted from his dear ones and his beloved France, died a slow death on a rock, and bequeathed his great deeds to posterity. As for Europe, a reaction occurred there, and all the princes began to treat their peoples badly once again.
Isaiah Berlin (Russian Thinkers)
How, I wondered, could you regain a poetical frame of mind at times like this? I came to the conclusion that it could be done, if only you could take your feelings and place them in front of you, and then taking a pace back to give yourself the room to move that a bystander would have, examine them calmly and with complete honesty. The poet has an obligation to conduct to conduct a post-mortem on their own corpse and to make public their findings as to any disease they may encounter. There are many ways in which they may do this, but the best, and certainly the most convenient, is to try and compress every single incident which they come across into the seventeen syllables of a Hokku. Since this is poetry in its handiest and simplest form, it may be readily composed while you are washing your face, or in the lavatory, or on a tram. When I say that it may be readily composed, I do not mean it in any derogatory sense. On the contrary, I think it is a very praiseworthy quality, for it makes it easy for one to become a poet; and to become a poet is one way to achieve supreme enlightenment. No, the simpler it is, the greater its virtue. Let us assume that you are angry: you write about what it is that has made you lose your temper, and immediately it seems that it is someone else's anger that you are considering. Nobody can be angry and write a Hokku at the same time. Likewise, if you are crying, express your tears in seventeen syllables and you feel happy. No sooner are your thoughts down on paper, than all connection between you and the pain which caused you to cry is severed, and your only feeling is one of happiness that you a person capable of shedding tears.
Natsume Sōseki (The Three-Cornered World)
An acquiescence in the Lord's will, founded in a persuasion of his wisdom, holiness, sovereignty, and goodness.--This is one of the greatest privileges and brightest ornaments of our profession. So far as we attain to this, we are secure from disappointment. Our own limited views and short-sighted purposes and desires, may be, and will be, often over-ruled; but then our main and leading desire, that the will of the Lord may be done, must be accomplished. How highly does it become us, both as creatures and as sinners, to submit to the appointments of our Maker! And how necessary it is to our peace! This great attainment is too often unthought of, and overlooked: we are prone to fix our attention upon the second causes and immediate instruments of events; forgetting that whatever befalls us is according to his purpose, and therefore must be right and seasonable in itself, and shall in the issue be productive of good. From hence rise impatience, resentment, and secret repinings, which are not only sinful, but tormenting: whereas, if all things are in his hand; if the very hairs of our head are numbered; if every event great and small, is under the direction of his providence and purpose; and if he has a wise, holy, and gracious end in view, to which every thing that happens is subordinate and subservient; then we have nothing to do, but with patience and humility to follow as he leads, and cheerfully to expect a happy issue. The path of present duty is marked out; and the concerns of the next and every succeeding hour are in his hands. How happy are they who can resign all to him, see his hand in every dispensation, and believe that he chooses better for them than they possibly could for themselves!
John Newton (Jewels from John Newton: Daily Readings from the Works of John Newton)
Rautu sighed and in his exhalation blew on his dear chocolate. The few specs it had incurred were easily blown away and the giant inspected his confection with a contented glint in his eye. All was amended and the chocolate, which had nearly succumbed to ruination, was saved. He took in the aroma of his favourite treat and tasted it. All seemed right in the world and the almost catastrophic incident was averted. “I thought your scripture says that your people are not permitted to eat from the ground because of illness caused by doing so,” the commander said with a suppressed laugh for her mate’s immediate happiness. “It does,” the Den Asaan quietly replied. “However, most of our provisions are not dry in nature and our meals are eaten on the sand.” “And so eating from the stone upon which many feet walk is acceptable?” Rautu glared at his mate. “It is for chocolate,” he growled.
Michelle Franklin (Tales from Frewyn: Short Stories from the Haanta Series Vol. 1)
A man who is awake in the open field at night or who wanders over silent paths experiences the world differently than by day. Nighness vanishes, and with it distance; everything is equally far and near, close by us and yet mysteriously remote. Space loses its measures. There are whispers and sounds, and we do not know where or what they are. Our feelings too are peculiarly ambiguous. There is a strangeness about what is intimate and dear, and a seductive charm about the frightening. There is no longer a distinction between the lifeless and the living, everything is animate and soulless, vigilant and asleep at once. What the day brings on and makes recognizable gradually, emerges out of the dark with no intermediary stages. The encounter suddenly confronts us, as if by a miracle: What is the thing we suddenly see - an enchanted bride, a monster, or merely a log? Everything teases the traveller, puts on a familiar face and the next moment is utterly strange, suddenly terrifies with awful gestures and immediately resumes a familiar and harmless posture. Danger lurks everywhere. Out of the dark jaws of the night which gape beside the traveller, any moment a robber may emerge without warning, or some eerie terror, or the uneasy ghost of a dead man - who knows what may once have happened at that very spot? Perhaps mischievous apparitions of the fog seek to entice him from the right path into the desert where horror dwells, where wanton witches dance their rounds which no man ever leaves alive. Who can protect him, guide him aright, give him good counsel? The spirit of Night itself, the genius of its kindliness, its enchantment, its resourcefulness, and its profound wisdom. She is indeed the mother of all mystery. The weary she wraps in slumber, delivers from care, and she causes dreams to play about their souls. Her protection is enjoyed by the un-happy and persecuted as well as by the cunning, whom her ambivalent shadows offer a thousand devices and contrivances. With her veil she also shields lovers, and her darkness keeps ward over all caresses, all charms hidden and revealed. Music is the true language of her mystery - the enchanting voice which sounds for eyes that are closed and in which heaven and earth, the near and the far, man and nature, present and past, appear to make themselves understood. But the darkness of night which so sweetly invites to slumber also bestows new vigilance and illumination upon the spirit. It makes it more perceptive, more acute, more enterprising. Knowledge flares up, or descends like a shooting star - rare, precious, even magical knowledge. And so night, which can terrify the solitary man and lead him astray, can also be his friend, his helper, his counsellor.
Walter F. Otto (The Homeric Gods: Spiritual Significance of Greek Religion)
Forget it, we can do it another time.” I turn around to go back into my parents’ room, but Mom catches my hand. She knows I may never feel ready to do this, that I may keep finding excuses to push this off until long after my dad is gone, and then maybe I’ll go to his grave and come out. But the time has to be now so I can feel as comfortable in my home as I am chilling with Collin. “Mark,” Mom says again. His eyes are still on the TV. I take a deep breath. “Dad, I hope you’re cool with this, but I sort of, kind of am dating someone and . . .” I can already see him getting confused, like I’m challenging him to solve an algebraic equation with no pen, paper, or calculator. “And that someone is my friend Collin.” Only then does Dad turn toward us. His face immediately goes from confused to furious. You would think the Yankees not only lost the game but also decided to give up and retire the team forever. He points his cigarette at Mom. “This is all your doing. You have to be the one to tell him he’s wrong.” He’s talking about me like I’m not even in the room. “Mark, we always said we would love our kids no matter what, and—” “Empty fucking promise, Elsie. Make him cut it out or get him out of here.” “If there’s something about homosexuality you don’t understand, you can talk to your son about it in a kind way,” Mom says, maintaining a steady tone that’s both fearless for me and respectful toward Dad. We all know what he’s capable of. “If you want to ignore it or need time, we can give that to you, but Aaron isn’t going anywhere.” Dad places his cigarette in the ashtray and then kicks over the hamper he was resting his feet on. We back up. I don’t often wish this, but I really, really wish Eric were here right now in case this gets as ugly as I think it might. He points his finger at me. “I’ll fucking throw him out myself.
Adam Silvera (More Happy Than Not)
You put a hard question on the virtue of discipline. What you say is true: I do value it—and I think that you do too—more than for its earthly fruit, proficiency. I think that one can give only a metaphysical ground for this evaluation; but the variety of metaphysics which gave an answer to your question has been very great, the metaphysics themselves very disparate: the bhagavad gita, Ecclesiastes, the Stoa, the beginning of the Laws, Hugo of St Victor, St Thomas, John of the Cross, Spinoza. This very great disparity suggests that the fact that discipline is good for the soul is more fundamental than any of the grounds given for its goodness. I believe that through discipline, though not through discipline alone, we can achieve serenity, and a certain small but precious measure of freedom from the accidents of incarnation, and charity, and that detachment which preserves the world which it renounces. I believe that through discipline we can learn to preserve what is essential to our happiness in more and more adverse circumstances, and to abandon with simplicity what would else have seemed to us indispensable; that we come a little to see the world without the gross distortion of personal desire, and in seeing it so, accept more easily our earthly privation and its earthly horror—But because I believe that the reward of discipline is greater than its immediate objective, I would not have you think that discipline without objective is possible: in its nature discipline involves the subjection of the soul to some perhaps minor end; and that end must be real, if the discipline is not to be factitious. Therefore I think that all things which evoke discipline: study, and our duties to men and to the commonwealth, war, and personal hardship, and even the need for subsistence, ought to be greeted by us with profound gratitude, for only through them can we attain to the least detachment; and only so can we know peace.
J. Robert Oppenheimer
To narrow natural rights to such neat slogans as "liberty, equality, fraternity" or "life, liberty, property," . . . was to ignore the complexity of public affairs and to leave out of consideration most moral relationships. . . . Burke appealed back beyond Locke to an idea of community far warmer and richer than Locke's or Hobbes's aggregation of individuals. The true compact of society, Burke told his countrymen, is eternal: it joins the dead, the living, and the unborn. We all participate in this spiritual and social partnership, because it is ordained of God. In defense of social harmony, Burke appealed to what Locke had ignored: the love of neighbor and the sense of duty. By the time of the French Revolution, Locke's argument in the Second Treatise already had become insufficient to sustain a social order. . . . The Constitution is not a theoretical document at all, and the influence of Locke upon it is negligible, although Locke's phrases, at least, crept into the Declaration of Independence, despite Jefferson's awkwardness about confessing the source of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." If we turn to the books read and quoted by American leaders near the end of the eighteenth century, we discover that Locke was but one philosopher and political advocate among the many writers whose influence they acknowledged. . . . Even Jefferson, though he had read Locke, cites in his Commonplace Book such juridical authorities as Coke and Kames much more frequently. As Gilbert Chinard puts it, "The Jeffersonian philosophy was born under the sign of Hengist and Horsa, not of the Goddess Reason"--that is, Jefferson was more strongly influenced by his understanding of British history, the Anglo-Saxon age particularly, than by the eighteenth-century rationalism of which Locke was a principal forerunner. . . . Adams treats Locke merely as one of several commendable English friends to liberty. . . . At bottom, the thinking Americans of the last quarter of the eighteenth century found their principles of order in no single political philosopher, but rather in their religion. When schooled Americans of that era approved a writer, commonly it was because his books confirmed their American experience and justified convictions they held already. So far as Locke served their needs, they employed Locke. But other men of ideas served them more immediately. At the Constitutional Convention, no man was quoted more frequently than Montesquieu. Montesquieu rejects Hobbes's compact formed out of fear; but also, if less explicitly, he rejects Locke's version of the social contract. . . . It is Montesquieu's conviction that . . . laws grow slowly out of people's experiences with one another, out of social customs and habits. "When a people have pure and regular manners, their laws become simple and natural," Montesquieu says. It was from Montesquieu, rather than from Locke, that the Framers obtained a theory of checks and balances and of the division of powers. . . . What Madison and other Americans found convincing in Hume was his freedom from mystification, vulgar error, and fanatic conviction: Hume's powerful practical intellect, which settled for politics as the art of the possible. . . . [I]n the Federalist, there occurs no mention of the name of John Locke. In Madison's Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention there is to be found but one reference to Locke, and that incidental. Do not these omissions seem significant to zealots for a "Lockean interpretation" of the Constitution? . . . John Locke did not make the Glorious Revolution of 1688 or foreordain the Constitution of the United States. . . . And the Constitution of the United States would have been framed by the same sort of men with the same sort of result, and defended by Hamilton, Madison, and Jay, had Locke in 1689 lost the manuscripts of his Two Treatises of Civil Government while crossing the narrow seas with the Princess Mary.
Russell Kirk (Rights And Duties: Reflections On Our Conservative Constitution)
We Negroes of America are tired of a world divided superficially on the basis of blood and color, but in reality on the basis of poverty and power—the rich over the poor, no matter what their color. We Negroes of America are tired of a world in which it is possible for any group of people to say to another: "You have no right to happiness, or freedom, or the joy of life." We are tired of a world where forever we work for someone else and the profits are not ours. We are tired of a world where, when we raise our voices against oppression, we are immediately jailed, intimidated, beaten, sometimes lynched. Nicolás GuiIlén has been in prison in Cuba, Jacques Roumain, in Haiti, Angelo Herndon in the United States. Today a letter comes from the great Indian writer, Raj Anand, saying that he cannot be with us here in Paris because the British police in England have taken his passport from him. I say, we darker peoples of the earth are tired of a world in which things like that can happen.
Langston Hughes (Good Morning, Revolution: Uncollected Social Protest Writings)
It seems to us that there are four great collective sociological assumptions in the modern world. By this we mean not only the Western world, but all the world that shares a modern technology and is structured into nations…. That man’s aim in life is happiness, that man is naturally good, that history develops in endless progress, and that everything is matter. The other great psychological reflection of social reality is the myth. The myth expresses the deep inclinations of a society. Without it, the masses would not cling to a certain civilization, or its process of development and crisis. It is a vigorous impulse, strongly colored, irrational, and charged with all of man’s power to believe… In our society the two great fundamentals myths on which all other myths rest are Science and History. And based on them are the collective myths that are man’s principal orientations: the myth of Work, the myth of Happiness (which is not the same thing as presupposition of happiness), the myth of the Nation, the myth of Youth, the myth of Hero. Propaganda is forced to build on those presuppositions and to express these myths, for without them nobody would listen to it. And in so building it must always go in the same direction as society; it can only reinforce society. A propaganda that stresses virtue over happiness and presents man’s future as one dominated by austerity and contemplation would have no audience at all. A propaganda that questions progress or work would arouse distain and reach nobody; it would immediately be branded as an ideology of the intellectuals, since most people feel that the serious things are material things because they are related to labor, and so on. It is remarkable how the various presuppositions and aspects of myths complement each other, support each other, mutually defend each other: If the propagandist attacks the network at one point, all myths react to the attack. Propaganda must be based on current beliefs and symbols to reach man and win him over.
Jacques Ellul (Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes)
Next week is Beltane,” she reminded him. “Do you suppose we will make it through the wedding this time?” “Not if Gideon says you cannot get out of this bed,” he countered sternly. “Absolutely not!” she burst out, making him wince and cover the ear she’d been too close to. She immediately regretted her thoughtlessness, making a sad sound before reaching to kiss the ear she had offended with quiet gentleness. Jacob extricated himself from her hold enough to allow himself to turn and face her. “Okay, explain what you meant,” he said gently. “I refuse to wait another six months. We are getting married on Beltane, come hell or . . . necromancers . . . or . . . the creature from the Black Lagoon. There is no way Corrine is going to be allowed to get married without me getting married, too. I refuse to listen to her calling me the family hussy for the rest of the year.” “What does it matter what she says?” Jacob sighed as he reached to touch the soft contours of her face. “You and I are bonded in a way that transcends marriage already. Is that not what is important?” “No. What’s important is the fact that I am going to murder the sister I love if she doesn’t quit. And she will not quit until I shut her up either with a marriage or a murder weapon. Understand?” Clearly, by his expression, Jacob did not understand. “Thank Destiny all I have is a brother,” he said dryly. “I have been inundated with people tied into knots over one sister or another for the past weeks.” “You mean Legna. Listen, it’s not her fault if everyone has their shorts in a twist because of who her Imprinted mate is! Frankly, I think she and Gideon make a fabulous couple. Granted, a little too gorgeously ‘King and Queen of the Prom’ perfect for human eyes to bear looking at for long, but fabulous just the same.” Jacob blinked in confusion as he tried to decipher his fiancée’s statement. Even after all these months, she still came out with unique phraseologies that totally escaped his more classic comprehension of the English language. But he had gotten used to just shrugging his confusion off, blaming it on the fact that English wasn’t his first, second, or third language, so it was to be expected. “Anyway,” she went on, “Noah and Hannah need to chill. You saw Legna when she came to visit yesterday. If a woman could glow, she was as good as radioactive.” She smiled sweetly at him. “That means,” she explained, “that she looks as brilliantly happy as you make me feel.” “I see,” he chuckled. “Thank you for the translation.” He reached his arms around her, drawing her body up to his as close as he could considering the small matter of a fetal obstacle. He kissed her inviting mouth until she was breathless and glowing herself. “I thought I would be kind to you,” she explained with a laugh against his mouth. “You, my love, are all heart.” “And you are all pervert. Jacob!” She laughed as she swatted one of his hands away from intimate places, only to be shanghaied by another. “What would Gideon say?” “He better not say anything, because if he did that would mean he was in here while you are naked. And that, little flower, would probably cost him his vocal chords in any event.” “Oh. Well . . . when you put it that way . . .
Jacquelyn Frank (Gideon (Nightwalkers, #2))
Midway through the gruesomely pleasant dinner, Kev became aware that Amelia, who was seated at the end of the table, was unusually quiet. He looked at her closely, realizing her color was off and her cheeks were sweaty. Since he was seated at her immediate left, Kev leaned close and whispered, “What is it?” Amelia gave him a distracted glance. “Ill,” she whispered back, swallowing weakly. “I feel so … Oh, Merripen, do help me away from the table.” Without another word, Kev pushed his chair back and helped her up. Cam, who was at the other end of the long table, looked at them sharply. “Amelia?” “She’s ill,” Kev said. Cam reached them in a flash, his face taut with anxiety. As he gathered Amelia in his arms and carried her, protesting, from the room, one would think she’d suffered a severe injury rather than a probable case of indigestion. “Perhaps I might be of service,” Dr. Harrow said with quiet concern, laying his napkin on the table as he made to follow them. “Thank you,” Win said, smiling at him gratefully. “I’m so glad you’re here.” Kev barely restrained himself from gnashing his teeth in jealousy as Harrow left the room. The rest of the meal was largely neglected, the family going to the main receiving room to wait for a report on Amelia. It took an unnervingly long time for anyone to appear. “What could be the matter?” Beatrix asked plaintively. “Amelia’s never ill.” “She’ll be fine,” Win soothed. “Dr. Harrow will take excellent care of her.” “Perhaps I should go to their room,” Poppy said, “and ask how she is.” But before anyone could offer an opinion, Cam appeared in the doorway of the receiving room. He looked bemused, his hazel eyes vivid as he glanced at the assorted family members around him. He appeared to search for words. Then a dazzling smile appeared despite his obvious effort to moderate it. “No doubt the gadje have a more civilized way to put this,” he said, “but Amelia is with child.” A chorus of happy exclamations greeted the revelation. “What did Amelia say?” Leo asked. Cam’s smile turned wry. “Something to the effect that this wouldn’t be convenient.” Leo laughed quietly. “Children rarely are. But she’ll adore having someone new to manage.
Lisa Kleypas (Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways, #2))
Prayer and Meditation Matthew 14 AND HE WENT UP INTO THE MOUNTAIN APART TO PRAY This was always the practice of Jesus when he would move into the masses, the crowd, afterwards he would go alone into deep prayer and meditation. Why did he do this? If you have been meditating, you will understand. You will understand that once you start meditating, a very fragile and delicate quality of consciousness is born in you. A flower of the unknown, of the beyond, starts opening, which is delicate. And whenever you move into the crowd, you lose something. Whenever you come back from the crowd, you come back lesser than you had gone. Something has been lost, some contact has been lost. The crowd pulls you down, it has a gravitation of it's own. You may not feel it if you live on the same plane of consciousness. Then there is no problem, then you have nothing to lose. In fact, when you live in the crowd, on the same plane, alone you feel very uneasy. When you are with people, you feel good and happy. But alone, you feel sad, your aloneness is not aloneness. It is loneliness, you miss the other. You do not find yourself in the aloneness, you simply miss the other. When you are alone, you are not alone, beacuse you are not there. Only the desire to be with others is there - that is what loneliness is. Always remember the distinction between aloneness and loneliness. Aloneness is a peak experience - loneliness is a valley. Aloneness has light in it, loneliness is dark. Loneliness is when you desire others; aloneness is when you enjoy yourself. When Jesus would move into the masses, into the crowd, he would tell his disciples to got to the other shore of the lake, and he would move into total aloneness. Not even the disciples were allowed to be with him. This was a constant practice with him. Whenever you go into the crowd, you are infected by it. You need a higher altitude to purify yourself, you need to be alone so that you can become fresh again. You need to be alone with yourself, so that you become together again. You need to be alone, so that you become centered and rooted in yourself again. Whenever you move with others, they push you off centre. AND WHEN THE EVENING WAS COME, HE WAS THERE ALONE Nothing is said about his prayer in the Bible, just the word "prayer". Before God or before existence, you simply need to be vulnerable - that is prayer. You are no to say something. So when you go into prayer, don't start saying something. It will all be desires, demands and deep complaints to God. And prayer with complaints is no prayer, a prayer with deep gratitude is prayer. There is no need to say something, you can just be silent. Hence nothing is said about what Jesus did in his aloneness. It simply says "apart to pray". He went apart, he became alone. That is what prayer is, to be alone, where the other is not felt, where the other is not standing between you and existence. When God's breeze can pass througn you, unhindered. It is a cleansing experience. It revejunates your spirit. To be with God simply means to be alone. You can miss the point, if you start thinking about God, then you are not alone. If you start talking to God, then in imagination you have created the other. And then you God is a projection, it will be a projection of your father. A prayer is not to say something. It is to be silent, open, available. And there is no need to believe in God, because that too is a projection. The only need is to be alone, to be capable of being alone - and immediately you are with God. Whenever you are alone, you are with God.
Swami Dhyan Giten (The Way, the Truth and the Life: On Jesus Christ, the Man, the Mystic and the Rebel)
I would like to see you cheat,” Elizabeth said impulsively, smiling at him. His hands stilled, his eyes intent on her face. “I beg your pardon?” “What I meant,” she hastily explained as he continued to idly shuffle the cards, watching her, “is that night in the card room at Charise’s there was mention of someone being able to deal a card from the bottom of the deck, and I’ve always wondered if you could, if it could…” She trailed off, belatedly realizing she was insulting him and that his narrowed, speculative gaze proved that she’d made it sound as if she believed him to be dishonest at cards. “I beg your pardon,” she said quietly. “That was truly awful of me.” Ian accepted her apology with a curt nod, and when Alex hastily interjected, “Why don’t we use the chips for a shilling each,” he wordlessly and immediately dealt the cards. Too embarrassed even to look at him, Elizabeth bit her lip and picked up her hand. In it there were four kings. Her gaze flew to Ian, but he was lounging back in his chair, studying his own cards. She won three shillings and was pleased as could be. He passed the deck to her, but Elizabeth shook her head. “I don’t like to deal. I always drop the cards, which Celton says is very irritating. Would you mind dealing for me?” “Not at all,” Ian said dispassionately, and Elizabeth realized with a sinking heart that he was still annoyed with her. “Who is Celton?” Jordan inquired. “Celton is a groom with whom I play cards,” Elizabeth explained unhappily, picking up her hand. In it there were four aces. She knew it then, and laughter and relief trembled on her lips as she lifted her face and stared at her betrothed. There was not a sign, not so much as a hint anywhere on his perfectly composed features that anything unusual had been happening. Lounging indolently in his chair, he quirked an indifferent brow and said, “Do you want to discard and draw more cards, Elizabeth?” “Yes,” she replied, swallowing her mirth, “I would like one more ace to go with the ones I have.” “There are only four,” he explained mildly, and with such convincing blandness that Elizabeth whooped with laughter and dropped her cards. “You are a complete charlatan!” she gasped when she could finally speak, but her face was aglow with admiration. “Thank you, darling,” he replied tenderly. “I’m happy to know your opinion of me is already improving.” The laughter froze in Elizabeth’s chest, replaced by warmth that quaked through her from head to foot. Gentlemen did not speak such tender endearments in front of other people, if at all. “I’m a Scot,” he’d whispered huskily to her long ago. “We do.” The Townsendes had launched into swift, laughing conversation after a moment of stunned silence following his words, and it was just as well, because Elizabeth could not tear her gaze from Ian, could not seem to move. And in that endless moment when their gazes held, Elizabeth had an almost overwhelming desire to fling herself into his arms. He saw it, too, and the answering expression in his eyes made her feel she was melting. “It occurs to me, Ian,” Jordan joked a moment later, gently breaking their spell, “that we are wasting our time with honest pursuits.” Ian’s gaze shifted reluctantly from Elizabeth’s face, and then he smiled inquisitively at Jordan. “What did you have in mind?” he asked, shoving the deck toward Jordan while Elizabeth put back her unjustly won chips. “With your skill at dealing whatever hand you want, we could gull half of London. If any of our victims had the temerity to object, Alex could run them through with her rapier, and Elizabeth could shoot him before he hit the ground.” Ian chuckled. “Not a bad idea. What would your role be?” “Breaking us out of Newgate!” Elizabeth laughed. “Exactly.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Honorable, happy, and successful marriage is surely the principal goal of every normal person. Marriage is perhaps the most vital of all the decisions and has the most far-reaching effects, for it has to do not only with immediate happiness, but also with eternal joys. It affects not only the two people involved, but also their families and particularly their children and their children’s children down through the many generations. In selecting a companion for life and for eternity, certainly the most careful planning and thinking and praying and fasting should be done to be sure that of all the decisions, this one must not be wrong. In true marriage there must be a union of minds as well as of hearts. Emotions must not wholly determine decisions, but the mind and the heart, strengthened by fasting and prayer and serious consideration, will give one a maximum chance of marital happiness. It brings with it sacrifice, sharing, and a demand for great selflessness. . . . Some think of happiness as a glamorous life of ease, luxury, and constant thrills; but true marriage is based on a happiness which is more than that, one which comes from giving, serving, sharing, sacrificing, and selflessness. . . . One comes to realize very soon after marriage that the spouse has weaknesses not previously revealed or discovered. The virtues which were constantly magnified during courtship now grow relatively smaller, and the weaknesses which seemed so small and insignificant during courtship now grow to sizable proportions. The hour has come for understanding hearts, for self-appraisal, and for good common sense, reasoning, and planning. . . . “Soul mates” are fiction and an illusion; and while every young man and young woman will seek with all diligence and prayerfulness to find a mate with whom life can be most compatible and beautiful, yet it is certain that almost any good man and any good woman can have happiness and a successful marriage if both are willing to pay the price. There is a never-failing formula which will guarantee to every couple a happy and eternal marriage; but like all formulas, the principal ingredients must not be left out, reduced, or limited. The selection before courting and then the continued courting after the marriage process are equally important, but not more important than the marriage itself, the success of which depends upon the two individuals—not upon one, but upon two. . . . The formula is simple; the ingredients are few, though there are many amplifications of each. First, there must be the proper approach toward marriage, which contemplates the selection of a spouse who reaches as nearly as possible the pinnacle of perfection in all the matters which are of importance to the individuals. And then those two parties must come to the altar in the temple realizing that they must work hard toward this successful joint living. Second, there must be a great unselfishness, forgetting self and directing all of the family life and all pertaining thereunto to the good of the family, subjugating self. Third, there must be continued courting and expressions of affection, kindness, and consideration to keep love alive and growing. Fourth, there must be a complete living of the commandments of the Lord as defined in the gospel of Jesus Christ. . . . Two individuals approaching the marriage altar must realize that to attain the happy marriage which they hope for they must know that marriage is not a legal coverall, but it means sacrifice, sharing, and even a reduction of some personal liberties. It means long, hard economizing. It means children who bring with them financial burdens, service burdens, care and worry burdens; but also it means the deepest and sweetest emotions of all. . . . To be really happy in marriage, one must have a continued faithful observance of the commandments of the Lord. No one, single or married, was ever sublimely happy unless he was righteous.
Spencer W. Kimball
He was tired of gossip. God, was he tired of gossip. By the time he sold it, SpeakEasyMedia had fully morphed into the very thing Leo most loathed. It had become a pathetic parody of itself, not any more admirable or honest or transparent than the many publications and people they ruthlessly ridiculed—twenty-two to thirty-four times a day to be exact, that was the number the accountants had come up with, how many daily posts they needed on each of their fourteen sites to generate enough clickthroughs to keep the advertisers happy. An absurd amount, a number that meant they had to give prominence to the mundane, shine a spotlight of mockery on the unlucky and often undeserving—publishing stories that were immediately forgotten except by the poor sods who’d been fed to the ever-hungry machine that was SpeakEasyMedia. “The cockroaches of the Internet,” one national magazine had dubbed them, illustrating the article with a cartoon drawing of Leo as King Roach. He was tired of being King Roach. The numbers the larger media company dangled seemed huge to Leo who was also, at that particular moment, besotted with his new publicist, Victoria Gross, who had come from money and was accustomed to money and looked around the room of Leo’s tiny apartment the first time she visited as if she’d just stepped into a homeless shelter. (“When you said you lived near Gramercy,” she said, confused, “I thought you’d
Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney (The Nest)
It is often said that the separation of the present reality from transcendence, so commonplace today, is pernicious in that it undermines the universe of fixed values. Because life on Earth is the only thing that exists, because it is only in this life that we can seek fulfillment, the only kind of happiness that can be offered to us is purely carnal. Heavens have not revealed anything to us; there are no signs that would indicate the need to devote ourselves to some higher, nonmaterial goals. We furnish our lives ever more comfortably; we build ever more beautiful buildings; we invent ever more ephemeral trends, dances, one-season stars; we enjoy ourselves. Entertainment derived from a nineteenth-century funfair is today becoming an industry underpinned by an ever more perfect technology. We are celebrating a cult of machines—which are replacing us at work, in the kitchen, in the field—as if we were pursuing the idealized ambience of the royal court (with its bustling yet idle courtiers) and wished to extend it across the whole world. In fifty years, or at most a hundred, four to five billion people will become such courtiers. At the same time, a feeling of emptiness, superficiality, and sham sets in, one that is particularly dominant in civilizations that have left the majority of primitive troubles, such as hunger and poverty, behind them. Surrounded by underwater-lit swimming pools and chrome and plastic surfaces, we are suddenly struck by the thought that the last remaining beggar, having accepted his fate willingly, thus turning it into an ascetic act, was incomparably richer than man is today, with his mind fed TV nonsense and his stomach feasting on delicatessen from exotic lands. The beggar believed in eternal happiness, the arrival of which he awaited during his short-term dwelling in this vale of tears, looking as he did into the vast transcendence ahead of him. Free time is now becoming a space that needs to be filled in, but it is actually a vacuum, because dreams can be divided into those that can be realized immediately—which is when they stop being dreams—and those that cannot be realized by any means. Our own body, with its youth, is the last remaining god on the ever-emptying altars; no one else needs to be obeyed and served. Unless something changes, our numerous Western intellectuals say, man is going to drown in the hedonism of consumption. If only it was accompanied by some deep pleasure! Yet there is none: submerged into this slavish comfort, man is more and more bored and empty. Through inertia, the obsession with the accumulation of money and shiny objects is still with us, yet even those wonders of civilization turn out to be of no use. Nothing shows him what to do, what to aim for, what to dream about, what hope to have. What is man left with then? The fear of old age and illness and the pills that restore mental balance—which he is losing, inbeing irrevocably separated from transcendence.
Stanisław Lem (Summa technologiae)
My Future Self My future self and I become closer and closer as time goes by. I must admit that I neglected and ignored her until she punched me in the gut, grabbed me by the hair and turned my butt around to introduce herself. Well, at least that’s what it felt like every time I left the convalescent hospital after doing skills training for a certification I needed to help me start my residential care business. I was going to be providing specialized, 24/7 residential care and supervising direct care staff for non-verbal, non-ambulatory adult men in diapers! I ran to the Red Cross and took the certified nurse assistant class so I would at least know something about the job I would soon be hiring people to do and to make sure my clients received the best care. The training facility was a Medicaid hospital. I would drive home in tears after seeing what happens when people are not able to afford long-term medical care and the government has to provide that care. But it was seeing all the “young” patients that brought me to tears. And I had thought that only the elderly lived like this in convalescent hospitals…. I am fortunate to have good health but this experience showed me that there is the unexpected. So I drove home each day in tears, promising God out loud, over and over again, that I would take care of my health and take care of my finances. That is how I met my future self. She was like, don’t let this be us girlfriend and stop crying! But, according to studies, we humans have a hard time empathizing with our future selves. Could you even imagine your 30 or 40 year old self when you were in elementary or even high school? It’s like picturing a stranger. This difficulty explains why some people tend to favor short-term or immediate gratification over long-term planning and savings. Take time to picture the life you want to live in 5 years, 10 years, and 40 years, and create an emotional connection to your future self. Visualize the things you enjoy doing now, and think of retirement saving and planning as a way to continue doing those things and even more. However, research shows that people who interacted with their future selves were more willing to improve savings. Just hit me over the head, why don’t you! I do understand that some people can’t even pay attention or aren’t even interested in putting money away for their financial future because they have so much going on and so little to work with that they feel like they can’t even listen to or have a conversation about money. But there are things you’re doing that are not helping your financial position and could be trouble. You could be moving in the wrong direction. The goal is to get out of debt, increase your collateral capacity, use your own money in the most efficient manner and make financial decisions that will move you forward instead of backwards. Also make sure you are getting answers specific to your financial situation instead of blindly guessing! Contact us. We will be happy to help!
Annette Wise
Reading while listening to the sounds of birds and the rush of water. This is the way of life that has come to be idealized. Don't think of unpleasant things right before bed. A five minute "bed zazen" before going to sleep. People who do their best to enjoy what is before them have the greatest chance to discover inner peace. Often, whatever it is they are enjoying - the thing before them - has the potential to turn into an opportunity. Stop dismissing whatever it is that you are doing and start living. Seek not what you lack. Be content with the here and now. When you are uncertain, simplicity is the best way to go. Conscientious living begins with early to bed, early to rise. This is the secret to a life of ease and contentment. Don't be bound by a single perspective. There is more than just "the proper way". Possibility springs from confidence. When someone criticizes us, we immediately feel wounded. When something unpleasant happens, we cannot get it out of our head. What can we do to bounce back? One way to strengthen the mind is though cleaning. When we clean, we use both our head and our body. Recognize the luxury of not having things. Desire feeds upon itself and the mind becomes dominated by boundless greed. This is not happiness. The three poisons are greed, anger and ignorance. Be grateful for every day, even the most ordinary. The happiness to be found in the unremarkable. Your mind has the power to decide whether or not you are happy. There is not just one answer. The meaning behind Zen koans. When there are things we want to do, we must do them as if our lives depend on it. Time spent out of character is empty time.
Shunmyō Masuno (Zen: The Art of Simple Living)
Mindy runs to the DVD player and delicately places the disk in the holder and presses play. “Will you sit in this chair, please, Princess Mindy?” I ask, bowing deeply at the waist. Mindy giggles as she replies, ”I guess so.” After Mindy sits down, I take a wide-tooth comb and start gently combing out her tangles. Mindy starts vibrating with excitement as she blurts, “Mr. Jeff, you’re gonna fix my hair fancy, ain’t you?” “We’ll see if a certain Princess can hold still long enough for me to finish,” I tease. Immediately, Mindy becomes as still as a stone statue. After a couple of minutes, I have to say, “Mindy, sweetheart, it’s okay to breathe. I just can’t have you bouncing, because I’m afraid it will cause me to pull your hair.” Mindy slumps down in her chair just slightly. “Okay Mr. Jeff, I was ascared you was gonna stop,” she whispers, her chin quivering. I adopt a very fake, very over-the-top French accent and say, “Oh no, Monsieur Jeff must complete Princess Mindy’s look to make the Kingdom happy. Mindy erupts with the first belly laugh I’ve heard all day as she responds, “Okay, I’ll try to be still, but it’s hard ‘cause I have the wiggles real bad.” I pat her on the shoulder and chuckle as I say, “Just try your best, sweetheart. That’s all anyone can ask.” Kiera comes screeching around the corner in a blur, plunks her purse on the table, and says breathlessly, “Geez-O-Pete, I can’t believe I’m late for the makeover. I love makeovers.” Kiera digs through her purse and produces two bottles of nail polish and nail kit. “It’s time for your mani/pedi ma’am. Would you prefer Pink Pearl or Frosted Creamsicle? Mindy raises her hand like a schoolchild and Kiera calls on her like a pupil, “I want Frosted Cream toes please,” Mindy answers. “Your wish is my command, my dear,” Kiera responds with a grin. For the next few minutes, Mindy gets the spa treatment of her life as I carefully French braid her hair into pigtails. As a special treat, I purchased some ribbons from the gift shop and I’m weaving them into her hair. I tuck a yellow rose behind her ear. I don my French accent as I declare, “Monsieur Jeffery pronounces Princess Mindy finished and fit to rule the kingdom.” Kiera hands Mindy a new tube of grape ChapStick from her purse, “Hold on, a true princess never reigns with chapped lips,” she says. Mindy giggles as she responds, “You’re silly, Miss Kiera. Nobody in my kingdom is going to care if my lips are shiny.” Kiera’s laugh sounds like wind chimes as she covers her face with her hands as she confesses, “Okay, you busted me. I just like to use it because it tastes yummy.” “Okay, I want some, please,” Mindy decides. Kiera is putting the last minute touches on her as Mindy is scrambling to stand on Kiera’s thighs so she can get a better look in the mirror. When I reach out to steady her, she grabs my hand in a death grip. I glance down at her. Her eyes are wide and her mouth is opening and closing like a fish. I shoot Kiera a worried glance, but she merely shrugs. “Holy Sh — !” Mindy stops short when she sees Kiera’s expression. “Mr. Jeff is an angel for reals because he turned me into one. Look at my hair Miss Kiera, there are magic ribbons in it! I’m perfect. I can be anything I want to be.” Spontaneously, we all join together in a group hug. I kiss the top of her head as I agree, “Yes, Mindy, you are amazing and the sky is the limit for you.
Mary Crawford (Until the Stars Fall from the Sky (Hidden Beauty #1))
Darkness: I had a dream, which was not all a dream. The bright sun was extinguish'd, and the stars Did wander darkling in the eternal space, Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air; Morn came and went—and came, and brought no day, And men forgot their passions in the dread Of this their desolation; and all hearts Were chill'd into a selfish prayer for light: And they did live by watchfires—and the thrones, The palaces of crowned kings—the huts, The habitations of all things which dwell, Were burnt for beacons; cities were consum'd, And men were gather'd round their blazing homes To look once more into each other's face; Happy were those who dwelt within the eye Of the volcanos, and their mountain-torch: A fearful hope was all the world contain'd; Forests were set on fire—but hour by hour They fell and faded—and the crackling trunks Extinguish'd with a crash—and all was black. The brows of men by the despairing light Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits The flashes fell upon them; some lay down And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest Their chins upon their clenched hands, and smil'd; And others hurried to and fro, and fed Their funeral piles with fuel, and look'd up With mad disquietude on the dull sky, The pall of a past world; and then again With curses cast them down upon the dust, And gnash'd their teeth and howl'd: the wild birds shriek'd And, terrified, did flutter on the ground, And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes Came tame and tremulous; and vipers crawl'd And twin'd themselves among the multitude, Hissing, but stingless—they were slain for food. And War, which for a moment was no more, Did glut himself again: a meal was bought With blood, and each sate sullenly apart Gorging himself in gloom: no love was left; All earth was but one thought—and that was death Immediate and inglorious; and the pang Of famine fed upon all entrails—men Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh; The meagre by the meagre were devour'd, Even dogs assail'd their masters, all save one, And he was faithful to a corse, and kept The birds and beasts and famish'd men at bay, Till hunger clung them, or the dropping dead Lur'd their lank jaws; himself sought out no food, But with a piteous and perpetual moan, And a quick desolate cry, licking the hand Which answer'd not with a caress—he died. The crowd was famish'd by degrees; but two Of an enormous city did survive, And they were enemies: they met beside The dying embers of an altar-place Where had been heap'd a mass of holy things For an unholy usage; they rak'd up, And shivering scrap'd with their cold skeleton hands The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath Blew for a little life, and made a flame Which was a mockery; then they lifted up Their eyes as it grew lighter, and beheld Each other's aspects—saw, and shriek'd, and died— Even of their mutual hideousness they died, Unknowing who he was upon whose brow Famine had written Fiend. The world was void, The populous and the powerful was a lump, Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless— A lump of death—a chaos of hard clay. The rivers, lakes and ocean all stood still, And nothing stirr'd within their silent depths; Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea, And their masts fell down piecemeal: as they dropp'd They slept on the abyss without a surge— The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave, The moon, their mistress, had expir'd before; The winds were wither'd in the stagnant air, And the clouds perish'd; Darkness had no need Of aid from them—She was the Universe.
Lord Byron
THE OBEDIENCE GAME DUGGAR KIDS GROW UP playing the Obedience Game. It’s sort of like Mother May I? except it has a few extra twists—and there’s no need to double-check with “Mother” because she (or Dad) is the one giving the orders. It’s one way Mom and Dad help the little kids in the family burn off extra energy some nights before we all put on our pajamas and gather for Bible time (more about that in chapter 8). To play the Obedience Game, the little kids all gather in the living room. After listening carefully to Mom’s or Dad’s instructions, they respond with “Yes, ma’am, I’d be happy to!” then run and quickly accomplish the tasks. For example, Mom might say, “Jennifer, go upstairs to the girls’ room, touch the foot of your bed, then come back downstairs and give Mom a high-five.” Jennifer answers with an energetic “Yes, ma’am, I’d be happy to!” and off she goes. Dad might say, “Johannah, run around the kitchen table three times, then touch the front doorknob and come back.” As Johannah stands up she says, “Yes, sir, I’d be happy to!” “Jackson, go touch the front door, then touch the back door, then touch the side door, and then come back.” Jackson, who loves to play army, stands at attention, then salutes and replies, “Yes, sir, I’d be happy to!” as he goes to complete his assignment at lightning speed. Sometimes spotters are sent along with the game player to make sure the directions are followed exactly. And of course, the faster the orders can be followed, the more applause the contestant gets when he or she slides back into the living room, out of breath and pleased with himself or herself for having complied flawlessly. All the younger Duggar kids love to play this game; it’s a way to make practicing obedience fun! THE FOUR POINTS OF OBEDIENCE THE GAME’S RULES (MADE up by our family) stem from our study of the four points of obedience, which Mom taught us when we were young. As a matter of fact, as we are writing this book she is currently teaching these points to our youngest siblings. Obedience must be: 1. Instant. We answer with an immediate, prompt “Yes ma’am!” or “Yes sir!” as we set out to obey. (This response is important to let the authority know you heard what he or she asked you to do and that you are going to get it done as soon as possible.) Delayed obedience is really disobedience. 2. Cheerful. No grumbling or complaining. Instead, we respond with a cheerful “I’d be happy to!” 3. Thorough. We do our best, complete the task as explained, and leave nothing out. No lazy shortcuts! 4. Unconditional. No excuses. No, “That’s not my job!” or “Can’t someone else do it? or “But . . .” THE HIDDEN GOAL WITH this fun, fast-paced game is that kids won’t need to be told more than once to do something. Mom would explain the deeper reason behind why she and Daddy desired for us to learn obedience. “Mom and Daddy won’t always be with you, but God will,” she says. “As we teach you to hear and obey our voice now, our prayer is that ultimately you will learn to hear and obey what God’s tells you to do through His Word.” In many families it seems that many of the goals of child training have been lost. Parents often expect their children to know what they should say and do, and then they’re shocked and react harshly when their sweet little two-year-old throws a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store. This parental attitude probably stems from the belief that we are all born basically good deep down inside, but the truth is, we are all born with a sin nature. Think about it: You don’t have to teach a child to hit, scream, whine, disobey, or be selfish. It comes naturally. The Bible says that parents are to “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
Jill Duggar (Growing Up Duggar: It's All About Relationships)
So what did you and Landon do this afternoon?” Minka asked, her soft voice dragging him back to the present. Angelo looked up to see that Minka had already polished off two fajitas. Damn, the girl could eat. “Landon gave me a tour of the DCO complex. I did some target shooting and blew up a few things. He even let me play with the expensive surveillance toys. I swear, it felt more like a recruiting pitch to get me to work there than anything.” Minka’s eyes flashed green, her full lips curving slightly. Damn, why the hell had he said it like that? Now she probably thought he was going to come work for the DCO. Even if he wanted to, he couldn’t, not after just reenlisting for another five years. The army wasn’t the kind of job where you could walk into the boss’s office and say, “I quit.” Thinking it would be a good idea to steer the conversation back to safer ground, he reached for another fajita and asked Minka a question instead. “What do you think you’ll work on next with Ivy and Tanner? You going to practice with the claws for a while or move on to something else?” Angelo felt a little crappy about changing the subject, but if Minka noticed, she didn’t seem to mind. And it wasn’t like he had to fake interest in what she was saying. Anything that involved Minka was important to him. Besides, he didn’t know much about shifters or hybrids, so the whole thing was pretty damn fascinating. “What do you visualize when you see the beast in your mind?” he asked. “Before today, I thought of it as a giant, blurry monster. But after learning that the beast is a cat, that’s how I picture it now.” She smiled. “Not a little house cat, of course. They aren’t scary enough. More like a big cat that roams the mountains.” “Makes sense,” he said. Minka set the other half of her fourth fajita on her plate and gave him a curious look. “Would you mind if I ask you a personal question?” His mouth twitched as he prepared another fajita. He wasn’t used to Minka being so reserved. She usually said whatever was on her mind, regardless of whether it was personal or not. “Go ahead,” he said. “The first time we met, I had claws, fangs, glowing red eyes, and I tried to kill you. Since then, I’ve spent most of the time telling you about an imaginary creature that lives inside my head and makes me act like a monster. How are you so calm about that? Most people would have run away already.” Angelo chuckled. Not exactly the personal question he’d expected, but then again Minka rarely did the expected. “Well, my mom was full-blooded Cherokee, and I grew up around all kinds of Indian folktales and legends. My dad was in the army, and whenever he was deployed, Mom would take my sisters and me back to the reservation where she grew up in Oklahoma. I’d stay up half the night listening to the old men tell stories about shape-shifters, animal spirits, skin-walkers, and trickster spirits.” He grinned. “I’m not saying I necessarily believed in all that stuff back then, but after meeting Ivy, Tanner, and the other shifters at the DCO, it just didn’t faze me that much.” Minka looked at him with wide eyes. “You’re a real American Indian? Like in the movies? With horses and everything?” He laughed again. The expression of wonder on her face was adorable. “First, I’m only half-Indian. My dad is Mexican, so there’s that. And second, Native Americans are almost nothing like you see in the movies. We don’t all live in tepees and ride horses. In fact, I don’t even own a horse.” Minka was a little disappointed about the no-horse thing, but she was fascinated with what it was like growing up on an Indian reservation and being surrounded by all those legends. She immediately asked him to tell her some Indian stories. It had been a long time since he’d thought about them, but to make her happy, he dug through his head and tried to remember every tale he’d heard as a kid.
Paige Tyler (Her Fierce Warrior (X-Ops, #4))
A few days after the fireworks, I gave them a lesson on category nouns versus exact nouns. I hadn’t heard of this distinction prior to opening the textbook. It transpired that a category noun was something like “vegetables,” whereas exact nouns were “beetroot,” “carrots,” “broccoli.” It was better to use exact nouns because this made your writing more precise and interesting. The chapter gave a short explanation followed by an exercise: an A4 page divided into columns. On the left were various category nouns. On the right, you had to fill in at least three corresponding exact nouns. I told the kids they could use their Cantonese-to-English dictionaries. Cynthia Mak asked what to say for “people.” Did it mean “sister,” “brother,” “father,” or “teacher,” “doctor,” “artist,” or— “They’re all okay,” I said. “But if I put ‘sister,’ ‘father,’ ‘brother’ in ‘people,’ then what about here?” She pointed to the box marked “family.” “Okay, don’t do those. Do ‘teacher’ or something.” “But what about here?”—signaling the “professions” row. “Okay, something else for ‘people.’” “Happy people, sad people?” “‘Happy people’ isn’t an exact noun—it’s an adjective plus a category noun.” “So what should I write?” We looked at each other. It was indeed a challenge to describe people in a way not immediately related to how they earned money or their position in the family unit. I said: “How about ‘friend,’ ‘boyfriend,’ ‘colleague’?” “I don’t want to write ‘boyfriend.’” I couldn’t blame her for questioning the exercise. “Friend,” “enemy,” and “colleague” didn’t seem like ways of narrowing down “people” in the way “apple” did for “fruit.” An apple would still be a fruit if it didn’t have any others in its vicinity, but you couldn’t be someone’s nemesis without their hanging around to complete the definition. The same issue cropped up with my earlier suggestions. “Family” was relational, and “profession” was created and given meaning by external structures. Admittedly “adult,” “child,” and “teenager” could stand on their own. But I still found it depressing that the way we specified ourselves—the way we made ourselves precise and interesting—was by pinpointing our developmental stage and likely distance from mortality. Fruit didn’t have that problem.
Naoise Dolan (Exciting Times)
They came in to look. I watched them. Most people go through museums like they do Macy's: eyes sweeping the display, stopping only if something really grabs their attention. These two looked at everything. They both clearly liked the bicycle picture. Yup, Dutch, I decided. He was a few steps ahead when he got to my favorite painting there. Diana and the Moon. It was-surprise surprise-of Diana, framed by a big open window, the moon dominating the sky outside. She was perched on the windowsill, dressed in a gauzy wrap that could have been nightclothes or a nod to her goddess namesake. She looked beautiful, of course, and happy, but if you looked for more than a second, you could see that her smile had a teasing curve to it and one of her hands was actually wrapped around the outside frame. I thought she looked like she might swing her legs over the sill and jump, turning into a moth or owl or breath of wind even before she was completely out of the room. I thought she looked, too, like she was daring the viewer to come along. Or at least to try. The Dutch guy didn't say anything. He just reached out a hand. His girlfriend stepped in, folding herself into the circle of his outsretched arm. They stood like that, in front of the painting, for a full minute. Then he sneezed. She reached into her pocket and pulled out a tissue.He took in and, without letting go of her, did a surprisingly graceful one-handed blow. Then he crumpled the tissue and looked around for a trash can. There wasn't one in sight. She held out her free hand; he passed over the tissue, and she stuck it right back into her pocket. I wanted to be grossed out. Instead, I had the surprising thought that I really really wanted someone who would do that: put my used Kleenex in his pocket. It seemed like a declaration of something pretty big. Finally,they finished their examination of Diana and moved on.There wasn't much else, just the arrogant Willings and the overblown sunrise. They came over to examine the bronzes. She saw my book. "Excuse me. You know this artist?" Intimately just didn't seem as true anymore. "Pretty well," I answered. "He is famous here?" "Not very." "I like him." she said thoughtfully. "He has...oh, the word...personism?" "Personality?" I offered. "Yes!" she said, delighted. "Personality." She reached behind her without looking. Her boyfriend immediately twined his fingers with hers. They left, unfolding the map again as they went, she chattering cheerfully. I think she was telling him he had personality. They might as well have had exhibit information plaques on their backs: "COUPLE." CONTEMPORARY DUTCH. COURTESY OF THE ESTATE OF LOVE, FOR THE VIEWING PLEASURE (OR NOT) OF ANYONE AND EVERYONE.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)