Less Expectation Quotes

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Why have I spent so long settling for less when I know damn well the world expects more?
Taylor Jenkins Reid (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo)
Death is like an old friend who pays a visit, sometimes when it’s least expected and other times when you’re waiting for her. It’s neither the first nor the last time she’ll pay a visit, but that doesn’t make any death less harsh or unforgiving.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash, #1))
Sometimes you want to say, “I love you, but…” Yet the “but” takes away the ‘I love you’. In love their are no ‘buts’ or ‘if’s’ or ‘when’. It’s just there, and always. No beginning, no end. It’s the condition-less state of the heart. Not a feeling that comes and goes at the whim of the emotions. It is there in our heart, a part of our heart…eventually grafting itself into each limb and cell of our bodies. Love changes our brain, the way we move and talk. Love lives in our spirit and graces us with its presence each day, until death. To say “I love you, but….” is to say, “I did not love you at all”. I say this to you now: I love you, with no beginning, no end. I love you as you have become an extra necessary organ in my body. I love you as only a girl could love a boy. Without fear. Without expectations. Wanting nothing in return, except that you allow me to keep you here in my heart, that I may always know your strength, your eyes, and your spirit that gave me freedom and let me fly.
Coco J. Ginger
In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all; and, to the young, it comes with bitterest agony, because it takes them unawares. The older have learned to ever expect it. I am anxious to afford some alleviation of your present distress. Perfect relief is not possible, except with time. You can not now realize that you will ever feel better. Is not this so? And yet it is a mistake. You are sure to be happy again. To know this, which is certainly true, will make you some less miserable now. I have had experience enough to know what I say; and you need only to believe it, to feel better at once.
Abraham Lincoln
Do not depend on the hope of results. You may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself. You gradually struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people. In the end, it is the reality of personal relationship that saves everything.
Thomas Merton
Brigan," she said, annoyed that he had not understood. "I’ll always be beautiful. Look at me. I have one hundred and sixty two bug bites, and has it made me any less beautiful? I’m missing two fingers and I have scars all over, but does anyone care? No! It just makes me more interesting! I’ll always be like this, stuck in this beautiful form, and you’ll have to deal with it." He seemed to sense that she expected a grave response, but for the moment, he was incapable. "I suppose it’s a burden I must bear," he said, grinning.
Kristin Cashore (Fire (Graceling Realm, #2))
Maybe we can comprehend a flower or an insect, but we can never comprehend ourselves. Even less can we expect to comprehend the universe.
Jostein Gaarder (Sophie’s World)
You're the sort of person who, on principle, no longer expects anything of anything. There are plenty, younger than you or less young, who live in the expectation of extraordinary experiences: from books, from people, from journeys, from events, from what tomorrow has in store. But not you. You know that the best you can expect is to avoid the worst.
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)
...when your child dies, you feel everything you'd expect to feel, feelings so well-documented by so many others that I won't even bother to list them here, except to say that everything that's written about mourning is all the same, and it's all the same for a reason - because there is no read deviation from the text. Sometimes you feel more of one thing and less of another, and sometimes you feel them out of order, and sometimes you feel them for a longer time or a shorter time. But the sensations are always the same. But here's what no one says - when it's your child, a part of you, a very tiny but nonetheless unignorable part of you, also feels relief. Because finally, the moment you have been expecting, been dreading, been preparing yourself for since the day you became a parent, has come. Ah, you tell yourself, it's arrived. Here it is. And after that, you have nothing to fear again.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess: Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity. Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other peoples' affairs. With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom, it seems a pity not to let everybody partake of it. But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends. Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains -- they increase with the increasing years and my inclination to recount them is also increasing. I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less self-assurance when my own memory doesn't agree with that of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong. Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint -- it is so hard to live with some of them -- but a harsh old person is one of the devil's masterpieces. Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy. Let me discover merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so. Amen
I am an artist, my hair is rarely tamed & sometimes I sleep till noon, My house is messy and I speak to the moon. I care less about the materials that I share with my world and more about the passion inside myself. Im an artist, what more can you expect? i am full of soul, love and all the rest.
Nikki Rowe
I have often noticed that we are inclined to endow our friends with the stability of type that literary characters acquire in the reader's mind. [...] Whatever evolution this or that popular character has gone through between the book covers, his fate is fixed in our minds, and, similarly, we expect our friends to follow this or that logical and conventional pattern we have fixed for them. Thus X will never compose the immortal music that would clash with the second-rate symphonies he has accustomed us to. Y will never commit murder. Under no circumstances can Z ever betray us. We have it all arranged in our minds, and the less often we see a particular person, the more satisfying it is to check how obediently he conforms to our notion of him every time we hear of him. Any deviation in the fates we have ordained would strike us as not only anomalous but unethical. We could prefer not to have known at all our neighbor, the retired hot-dog stand operator, if it turns out he has just produced the greatest book of poetry his age has seen.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
She sighed as she set her spade down before turning to look at him. She was crying. Linus didn’t hesitate as he scooped her up in his arms. She buried her face in his neck, beard tickling his throat. “I am going to bury you right here,” she sobbed. “I’m digging your grave, just so you know.” “I know,” he said, rubbing a hand over her back. “I would expect nothing less.
T.J. Klune (The House in the Cerulean Sea (The House in the Cerulean Sea, #1))
Alcohol makes other people less tedious, and food less bland, and can help provide what the Greeks called entheos, or the slight buzz of inspiration when reading or writing. The only worthwhile miracle in the New Testament—the transmutation of water into wine during the wedding at Cana—is a tribute to the persistence of Hellenism in an otherwise austere Judaea. The same applies to the seder at Passover, which is obviously modeled on the Platonic symposium: questions are asked (especially of the young) while wine is circulated. No better form of sodality has ever been devised: at Oxford one was positively expected to take wine during tutorials. The tongue must be untied. It's not a coincidence that Omar Khayyam, rebuking and ridiculing the stone-faced Iranian mullahs of his time, pointed to the value of the grape as a mockery of their joyless and sterile regime. Visiting today's Iran, I was delighted to find that citizens made a point of defying the clerical ban on booze, keeping it in their homes for visitors even if they didn't particularly take to it themselves, and bootlegging it with great brio and ingenuity. These small revolutions affirm the human.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Why, until this moment, did I not realize that the issue is my own confidence? That the root of most of my problems is that I need to be secure enough in who I am to tell anyone who doesn’t like it to go fuck themselves? Why have I spent so long settling for less when I know damn well the world expects more?
Taylor Jenkins Reid (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo)
Sometimes the key to happiness is just expecting a little bit less. That way, you'll never be dissapointed.
Samantha van Leer (Between the Lines (Between the Lines, #1))
We no longer live on what we have, but on promises, no longer in the present day, but in the darkness of the future, which, we expect, will at last bring the proper sunrise. We refuse to recognize that everything better is purchased at the price of something worse; that, for example, the hope of grater freedom is canceled out by increased enslavement to the state, not to speak of the terrible perils to which the most brilliant discoveries of science expose us. The less we understand of what our [forebears] sought, the less we understand ourselves, and thus we help with all our might to rob the individual of his roots and his guiding instincts, so that he becomes a particle in the mass, ruled only by what Neitzche called the spirit of gravity. (p.236)
C.G. Jung (Memories, Dreams, Reflections)
...most people in the ancient world, did not make a sharp distinction between myth and reality. The two were intimately tied together in their spiritual experience. That is to say, they were less interested in what actually happened, than in what it meant. It would have been perfectly normal, indeed expected, for a writer in the ancient world, to tell tales of gods and heroes, whose fundamental facts would have been recognized as false, but whose underlying message would have been seen as true.
Reza Aslan (Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth)
It is less distracting in the silence,” she said. “Sustained silence allows one truly to listen to what is deep inside. We call it waiting in expectation.
Tracy Chevalier (The Last Runaway)
It seems almost oxymoronic to believe that this new idealism has led to a new pessimism about marriage, but that is exactly what has happened. In generations past there was far less talk about "compatibility" and finding the ideal soul mate. Today we are looking for someone who accepts us as we are and fulfills our desires, and this creates an unrealistic set of expectations that frustrates both the searchers and the searched for.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
A man lives not only his personal life, as an individual, but also, consciously or unconsciously, the life of his epoch and his contemporaries. He may regard the general, impersonal foundations of his existence as definitely settled and taken for granted, and be as far from assuming a critical attitude towards them as our good Hans Castorp really was; yet it is quite conceivable that he may none the less be vaguely conscious of the deficiencies of his epoch and find them prejudicial to his own moral well-being. All sorts of personal aims, hopes, ends, prospects, hover before the eyes of the individual, and out of these he derives the impulse to ambition and achievement. Now, if the life about him, if his own time seems, however outwardly stimulating, to be at bottom empty of such food for his aspirations; if he privately recognises it to be hopeless, viewless, helpless, opposing only a hollow silence to all the questions man puts, consciously or unconsciously, yet somehow puts, as to the final, absolute, and abstract meaning in all his efforts and activities; then, in such a case, a certain laming of the personality is bound to occur, the more inevitably the more upright the character in question; a sort of palsy, as it were, which may extend from his spiritual and moral over into his physical and organic part. In an age that affords no satisfying answer to the eternal question of 'Why?' 'To what end?' a man who is capable of achievement over and above the expected modicum must be equipped either with a moral remoteness and single-mindedness which is rare indeed and of heroic mould, or else with an exceptionally robust vitality. Hans Castorp had neither one nor the other of these; and thus he must be considered mediocre, though in an entirely honourable sense.
Thomas Mann (The Magic Mountain)
You cannot expect an app dreamed up in a dorm room, or among the Ping-Pong tables of a Silicon Valley incubator, to successfully replace the types of rich interactions to which we’ve painstakingly adapted over millennia. Our sociality is simply too complex to be outsourced to a social network or reduced to instant messages and emojis.
Cal Newport (Digital Minimalism: On Living Better with Less Technology)
I don’t know. I try not to think about it too much. I’m perfectly satisfied with my life. I think unhappiness comes from unfulfilled expectations.” “So the less you expect from life . . .” “No. It’s not like that. I just try to be happy and not wish I could do more.
Kasie West (The Distance Between Us (Old Town Shops, #1))
I just couldn't go there yet. Settle for less. I didn't want to process through anything. I didn't want to pick up any pieces. Lower my expectations. Get on with my less-than life. I didn't want to feel better about being still alive. Start compensating.
Chuck Palahniuk (Invisible Monsters)
I feel trapped by who I am supposed to be, who I want to be, and who people expect me to be. I want to be able to be who I am without people throwing their expectations on me to be either more or less.
KayLynn Flanders (Shielded (Shielded, #1))
As long as we desire, we can do without happiness: we expect to achieve it. If happiness fails to come, hope persists, and the charm of illusion lasts as long as the passion that causes it. So this condition is sufficient in itself, and the anxiety it inflicts is a sort of enjoyment that compensates for reality… Woe to him who has nothing left to desire… We enjoy less what we obtain than what we hope for, and we are happy only before being happy.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Julie, or the New Heloise)
You know,” he says, swallowing with some difficulty. “I always thought I was Achilles in this story—the over controlling mother, the famed heritage, the great expectations,” he smiles wryly. “But here I am James, wearing your armour, rushing off into battles I have no business fighting. Playing the hero, and failing, like the secondary character I am,” he laughs. “But that’s—“ he has to clear his throat. “That’s where the metaphor ends okay? Fuck fate, fuck prophecies, let someone else handle it. Let someone else save the day. You just…go away somewhere okay? Go live your beautiful life. Fade into obscurity, leave the heroics to people who have less to offer the world. Don’t go to Troy.
MesserMoon (Choices)
No fear can stand up to hunger, no patience can wear it out, disgust simply does not exist where hunger is; and as to superstition, beliefs, and what you may call principles, they are less than chaff in a breeze. Don't you know the devilry of lingering starvation, its exasperating torment, its black thoughts, its sombre and brooding ferocity? Well, I do. It takes a man all is inborn strength to fight hunger properly. It's really easier to face bereavement, dishonour, and the perdition of one's soul - than this kind of prolonged hunger. Sad, but true. And these chaps, too, had no earthly reason for any kind of scruple. Restraint! I would just as soon have expected restraint from a hyena prowling amongst the corpses of a battlefield.
Joseph Conrad (Heart of Darkness)
Naive people tend to generalize people as—-good, bad, kind, or evil based on their actions. However, even the smartest person in the world is not the wisest or the most spiritual, in all matters. We are all flawed. Maybe, you didn’t know a few of these things about Einstein, but it puts the notion of perfection to rest. Perfection doesn’t exist in anyone. Nor, does a person’s mistakes make them less valuable to the world. 1. He divorced the mother of his children, which caused Mileva, his wife, to have a break down and be hospitalized. 2.He was a ladies man and was known to have had several affairs; infidelity was listed as a reason for his divorce. 3.He married his cousin. 4.He had an estranged relationship with his son. 5. He had his first child out of wedlock. 6. He urged the FDR to build the Atom bomb, which killed thousands of people. 7. He was Jewish, yet he made many arguments for the possibility of God. Yet, hypocritically he did not believe in the Jewish God or Christianity. He stated, “I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the harmony of all that exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.
Shannon L. Alder
The weather had freshened almost to coldness, for the wind was coming more easterly, from the chilly currents between Tristan and the Cape; the sloth was amazed by the change; it shunned the deck and spent its time below. Jack was in his cabin, pricking the chart with less satisfaction than he could have wished: progress, slow, serious trouble with the mainmast-- unaccountable headwinds by night-- and sipping a glass of grog; Stephen was in the mizentop, teaching Bonden to write and scanning the sea for his first albatross. The sloth sneezed, and looking up, Jack caught its gaze fixed upon him; its inverted face had an expression of anxiety and concern. 'Try a piece of this, old cock,' he said, dipping his cake in the grog and proffering the sop. 'It might put a little heart into you.' The sloth sighed, closed its eyes, but gently absorbed the piece, and sighed again. Some minutes later he felt a touch upon his knee: the sloth had silently climbed down and it was standing there, its beady eyes looking up into his face, bright with expectation. More cake, more grog: growing confidence and esteem. After this, as soon as the drum had beat the retreat, the sloth would meet him, hurrying toward the door on its uneven legs: it was given its own bowl, and it would grip it with its claws, lowering its round face into it and pursing its lips to drink (its tongue was too short to lap). Sometimes it went to sleep in this position, bowed over the emptiness. 'In this bucket,' said Stephen, walking into the cabin, 'in this small half-bucket, now, I have the population of Dublin, London, and Paris combined: these animalculae-- what is the matter with the sloth?' It was curled on Jack's knee, breathing heavily: its bowl and Jack's glass stood empty on the table. Stephen picked it up, peered into its affable bleary face, shook it, and hung it upon its rope. It seized hold with one fore and one hind foot, letting the others dangle limp, and went to sleep. Stephen looked sharply round, saw the decanter, smelt to the sloth, and cried, 'Jack, you have debauched my sloth.
Patrick O'Brian (H.M.S. Surprise (Aubrey & Maturin #3))
It is precisely because I valued myself that I was unwilling to remain miserable in a school and whole social environment that did not fit my needs. It is because the housewife had regard for herself that she refused to tolerate any longer a marriage that so totally limited her freedom and repressed her personality. It is because the businessman cared for himself that he was no longer willing to nearly kill himself in order to meet the expectations of his mother.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
The more I think about it, the more amazed I am that anyone realistically expects young women to easily say no to anything, least of all the sexual desires of men. If I struggle to say no to a lunch invitation, a work request, any number of less fraught entreaties, when I have some pressing personal reason, how can a teenager be expected to stop a man’s hand as it reaches under her clothes? Some do, of course, which seems miraculous.
Melissa Febos (Girlhood)
A knock on the door when you were not expecting one felt to Emily like literal violence. People who just…showed up at your house? Completely unnerving. It was an older-generation thing, she knew, to simply “pop by” unannounced. But her generation didn’t even like to take or make phone calls, thank you, much less answer the door for a total fucking stranger.
Chuck Wendig (Black River Orchard)
Many masked Autistics are sent to gifted education as children, instead of being referred to disability services.[18] Our apparent high intelligence puts us in a double bind: we are expected to accomplish great things to justify our oddness, and because we possess an enviable, socially prized quality, it’s assumed we need less help than other people, not more.
Devon Price (Unmasking Autism: Discovering the New Faces of Neurodiversity)
I was responding to earlier loving messages from my parents, hundreds of them, which said, “You are a beautiful and beloved individual. It is good to be you. We will love you no matter what you do, as long as you are you.” Without that security of my parents’ love reflected in my own self-love, I would have chosen the known instead of the unknown and continued to follow my parents’ preferred pattern at the extreme cost of my self’s basic uniqueness. Finally, it is only when one has taken the leap into the unknown of total selfhood, psychological independence and unique individuality that one is free to proceed along still higher paths of spiritual growth and free to manifest love in its greatest dimensions. As long as one marries, enters a career or has children to satisfy one’s parents or the expectations of anyone else, including society as a whole, the commitment by its very nature will be a shallow one. As long as one loves one’s children primarily because one is expected to behave in a loving manner toward them, then the parent will be insensitive to the more subtle needs of the children and unable to express love in the more subtle, yet often most important ways. The highest forms of love are inevitably totally free choices and not acts of conformity.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
I like her being honourable, and she is it; a perfect lady, with all the dash and courage of the aristocracy, and less of its childishness than I expected. She is like an over ripe grape in features, moustached, pouting, will be a little heavy; meanwhile, she strides on fine legs, in a well cut skirt, and though embarrassing at breakfast, has a manly good sense and simplicity about her which both L. and I find satisfactory. Oh yes, I like her; could tack her on to my equipage for all time; and suppose if life allowed, this might be a friendship of a sort.
Virginia Woolf
He had to learn that not giving at the right time was more compassionate than giving at the wrong time, and that fostering independence was more loving than taking care of people who could otherwise take care of themselves. He even had to learn that expressing his own needs, anger, resentments and expectations was every bit as necessary to the mental health of his family as his self-sacrifice, and therefore that love must be manifested in confrontation as much as in beatific acceptance. Gradually coming to realize how he infantilized his family, he began to make
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
Research shows that takers harbor doubts about others’ intentions, so they monitor vigilantly for information that others might harm them, treating others with suspicion and distrust. These low expectations trigger a vicious cycle, constraining the development and motivation of others. Even when takers are impressed by another person’s capabilities or motivation, they’re more likely to see this person as a threat, which means they’re less willing to support and develop him or her.
Adam M. Grant (Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success)
Many treatment approaches for traumatic stress focus on desensitizing patients to their past, with the expectation that reexposure to their traumas will reduce emotional outbursts and flashbacks. I believe that this is based on a misunderstanding of what happens in traumatic stress. We must most of all help our patients to live fully and securely in the present. In order to do that, we need to help bring those brain structures that deserted them when they were overwhelmed by trauma back. Desensitization may make you less reactive, but if you cannot feel satisfaction in ordinary everyday things like taking a walk, cooking a meal, or playing with your kids, life will pass you by.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
we never expect that any evil will befall ourselves before it comes, we will not be taught by seeing the misfortunes of others that they are the common inheritance of all men, but imagine that the path which we have begun to tread is free from them and less beset by dangers than that of other people. How many funerals pass our houses? Yet we do not think of death.
Seneca (Stoic Six Pack 2 (Illustrated): Consolations From A Stoic, On The Shortness of Life and More)
There is, in fact, rather less evidence for this kind of borderline destitution than we might expect. But the reasons for that are clear. First, those with nothing leave very few traces in the historical or archaeological record. Ephemeral shanty towns do not leave a permanent imprint in the soil; those buried with nothing in unmarked graves tell us much less about themselves than those accompanied by an eloquent epitaph. But second, and even more to the point, extreme poverty in the Roman world was a condition that usually solved itself: its victims died.
Mary Beard (SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome)
Our own brand of democracy has reached a point in its evolution where we expect ruthless, self-protective pragmatism from our politicians, rather than idealism; where noble sentiments are likely to be dismissed as the 'vision thing'; where winning is everything, civility is in short supply, and the lack of respect between political opponents - sometimes amounting almost to loathing - only serves to reinforce voters' cynicism about all of them (a cynicism deepened when voters occasionally learn that some of these combatants are actually quite friendly with each other offstage).
Hugh Mackay (Australia Reimagined: Towards a More Compassionate, Less Anxious Society)
The present, we assume, is eternally before us, one of the few things in life from which we cannot be parted. It overwhelms us in the painful first moments of entry into the world, when it is still too new to be managed or negotiated, remains by our side during childhood and adolescence, in those years before the weight of memory and expectation, and so it is sad and a little unsettling to see that we become, as we grow older, much less capable of touching, grazing, or even glimpsing it, that the closest we seem to get to the present are those brief moments we stop to consider the spaces our bodies are occupying, the intimate warmth of the sheets in which we wake, the scratched surface of the window on a train taking us somewhere else, as if the only way we can hold time still is by trying physically to prevent the objects around us from moving.
Anuk Arudpragasam (A Passage North)
Cannabis sativa and its derivatives are strictly prohibited in Turkey, and the natural correlative of this proscription is that alcohol, far from being frowned upon as it is in other Moslem lands, is freely drunk; being a government monopoly it can be bought at any cigarette counter. This fact is no mere detail; it is of primary social importance, since the psychological effects of the two substances are diametrically opposed to each other. Alcohol blurs the personality by loosening inhibitions. The drinker feels, temporarily at least, a sense of participation. Kif abolishes no inhibitions; on the contrary it reinforces them, pushes the individual further back into the recesses of his own isolated personality, pledging him to contemplation and inaction. It is to be expected that there should be a close relationsip between the culture of a given society and the means used by its members to achieve release and euphoria. For Judaism and Christianity the means has always been alcohol; for Islam it has been hashish. The first is dynamic in its effects, the other static. If a nation wishes, however mistakenly, to Westernize itself, first let it give up hashish. The rest will follow, more or less as a manner of course. Conversely, in a Western country, if a whole segment of the population desires, for reasons of protest (as has happened in the United States), to isolate itself in a radical fashion from the society around it, the quickest and surest way is for it to replace alcohol by cannabis.
Paul Bowles (Their Heads are Green and Their Hands are Blue: Scenes from the Non-Christian World)
Oh God, my chin. I have a cluster of five hairs on the left side of my chin. They’re coarse and wiry, like boar hair, and for the past couple of years, they’ve been my hideous secret and my sworn enemies. They sprout up every couple of days, and so I have to be vigilant. I keep my weapons—Revlon tweezers and a 10X magnifying mirror—at home, in my Sherpa bag, and in my desk drawer at work, so in theory, I can be anywhere, and if one of those evil little weeds pokes through the surface, I can yank it. I’ve been in meetings with CEOs, some of the most powerful men in the world, and could barely stay focused on what they were saying because I’d inadvertently touched my chin and become obsessed with the idea of destroying five microscopic hairs. I hate them, and I’m terrified of someone else noticing them before I do, but I have to admit, there is almost nothing more satisfying than pulling them out.I stroke my chin, expecting to feel my Little Pig beard, but touch only smooth skin. My leg feels like a farm animal, which suggests I haven’t shaved in at least a week, but my chin is bare, which would put me in this bed for less than two days. My body hair isn’t making any sense.
Lisa Genova (Left Neglected)
Of the myriad lies that people often tell themselves, two of the most common, potent and destructive are “We really love our children” and “Our parents really loved us.” It may be that our parents did love us and we do love our children, but when it is not the case, people often go to extraordinary lengths to avoid the realization. I frequently refer to psychotherapy as the “truth game” or the “honesty game” because its business is among other things to help patients confront such lies. One of the roots of mental illness is invariably an interlocking system of lies we have been told and lies we have told ourselves. These roots can be uncovered and excised only in an atmosphere of utter honesty. To create this atmosphere it is essential for therapists to bring to their relationships with patients a total capacity for openness and truthfulness. How can a patient be expected to endure the pain of confronting reality unless we bear the same pain? We can lead only insofar as we go before.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
I didn’t come from a bad family. They were judgmental and had high expectations, but they weren’t physically abusive. They’d paid for my college education in full, and I grew up in a nice house with nice clothes and nice vacations. Compared to a majority of people, I lived an incredibly privileged life. But our lives were our own. There would always be people who were better and worse off than us. That didn’t make our feelings any less valid. We could acknowledge how good we had it in some respects while criticizing other parts.
Ana Huang (Twisted Lies (Twisted, #4))
I am thankful for small mercies. I compared notes with one of my friends who expects everything of the universe, and is disappointed when anything is less than the best, and I found that I begin at the other extreme, expecting nothing, and am always full of thanks for moderate goods.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
But why bother? Why exert all this effort to focus totally on the boring prattlings of a six-year-old? First, your willingness to do so is the best possible concrete evidence of your esteem you can give your child. If you give your child the same esteem you would give a great lecturer, then the child will know him- or herself to be valued and therefore will feel valuable. There is no better and ultimately no other way to teach your children that they are valuable people than by valuing them. Second, the more children feel valuable, the more they will begin to say things of value. They will rise to your expectation of them. Third, the more you listen to your child, the more you will realize that in amongst the pauses, the stutterings, the seemingly innocent chatter, your child does indeed have valuable things to say. The dictum that great wisdom comes from "the mouths of babes" is recognized as an absolute fact by anyone who truly listens to children. Listen to your child enough and you will come to realize that he or she is quite an extraordinary individual. And the more extraordinary you realize your child to be, the more you will be willing to listen. And the more you will learn. Fourth, the more you know about your child, the more you will be able to teach. Know little about your children, and usually you will be teaching things that either they are not ready to learn or they already know and perhaps understand better than you. Finally, the more children know that you value them, that you consider them extraordinary people, the more willing they will be to listen to you and afford you the same esteem. And the more appropriate your teaching, based on your knowledge of them, the more eager your children will be to learn from you. And the more they learn, the more extraordinary they will become. If the reader senses the cyclical character of this process, he or she is quite correct and is appreciating the truth of the reciprocity of love. Instead of a vicious downward cycle, it is a creative upward cycle of evolution and growth. Value creates value. Love begets love. Parents and child together spin forward faster and faster in the pas de deux of love.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
The morning, which is the most memorable season of the day, is the awakening hour. Then there is least somnolence in us; and for an hour, at least, some part of us awakes which slumbers all the rest of the day and night. Little is to be expected of that day, if it can be called a day, to which we are not awakened by our Genius, but by the mechanical nudgings of some servitor, are not awakened by our own newly acquired force and aspirations from within, accompanied by the undulations of celestial music, instead of factory bells, and a fragrance filling the air—to a higher life than we fell asleep from; and thus the darkness bear its fruit, and prove itself to be good, no less than the light.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
I must address the topic of whether the effort required for excellence worth it. I believe it is—the chief gain is in the effort to change yourself, in the struggle with yourself, and it is less in the winning than you might expect. Yes, it is nice to end up where you wanted to be, but the person you are when you get there is far more important. I believe a life in which you do not try to extend yourself regularly is not worth living—but it is up to you to pick the goals you believe are worth striving for.
Richard Hamming (You and Your Research)
But it is precisely the loss of connection with the past, our uprootedness, which has given rise to the “discontents” of civilization and to such a flurry and haste that we live more in the future and its chimerical promises of a golden age than in the present, with which our whole evolutionary background has not yet caught up. We rush impetuously into novelty, driven by a mounting sense of insufficiency, dissatisfaction, and restlessness. We no longer live on what we have, but on promises, no longer in the light of the present day, but in the darkness of the future, which, we expect, will at last bring the proper sunrise. We refuse to recognize that everything better is purchased at the price of something worse; that, for example, the hope of greater freedom is canceled out by increased enslavement to the state, not to speak of the terrible perils to which the most brilliant discoveries of science expose us. The less we understand of what our fathers and forefathers sought, the less we understand ourselves, and thus we help with all our might to rob the individual of his roots and his guiding instincts, so that he becomes a particle in the mass, ruled only by what Nietzsche called the spirit of gravity.
C.G. Jung (Memories, Dreams, Reflections)
To be satiated with the “necessities” [of external success] is no doubt an inestimable source of happiness, yet the inner man continues to raise his claim, and this can be satisfied by no outward possessions. And the less this voice is heard in the chase after the brilliant things of this world, the more the inner man becomes a source of inexplicable misfortune and uncomprehended unhappiness in the midst of living conditions whose outcome was expected to be entirely different. The externalization of life turns to incurable suffering, because no one can understand why he should suffer from himself. . . That is the sickness of Western man. . .
C.G. Jung
The general aspect of unconscious manifestations is in the main chaotic and irrational, despite certain symptoms of intelligence and purposiveness. The unconscious produces dreams, visions, fantasies, emotions, grotesque ideas, and so forth. This is exactly what we would expect a dreaming personality to do. It seems to be a personality that was never awake and was never conscious of the life it had lived and of its own continuity. The only question is whether the hypothesis of a dormant and hidden personality is possible or not. It may be that all of the personality to be found in the unconscious is contained in the fragmentary personifications mentioned before. Since this is very possible, all my conjectures would be in vain—unless there were evidence of much less fragmentary and more complete personalities, even though they are hidden.
C.G. Jung (The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious (Collected Works, Vol 9i))
The morning, which is the most memorable season of the day, is the awakening hour. Then there is least somnolence in us; and for an hour, at least, some part of us awakes which slumbers all the rest of the day and night. Little is to be expected of that day, if it can be called a day, to which we are not awakened by our Genius, but by the mechanical nudgings of some servitor, are not awakened by our own newly acquired force and aspirations from within, accompanied by the undulations of celestial music, instead of factory bells, and a fragrance filling the air—to a higher life than we fell asleep from; and thus the darkness bear its fruit, and prove itself to be good, no less than the light. That man who does not believe that each day contains an earlier, more sacred, and auroral hour than he has yet profaned, has despaired of life, and is pursuing a descending and darkening way.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden, or Life in the Woods)
Einstein did not just wake up one morning thinking that nothing was faster than light, nor did Copernicus simply think up the idea that the Earth orbits the sun, Darwin that species evolve. New ideas do not just fall from the sky. They are born from a deep immersion in contemporary knowledge. From making that knowledge intensely your own, to the point where you are living immersed in it, from endlessly turning over the unanswered questions, trying all roads to a solution, then again trying all roads to a solution, and then trying all those roads again. Until there, where we least expected it we discover a gap, a fissure, a way through, something that no body had noticed before, but that is not in contradiction with what we know, something miniscule on which to exert leverage, to scratch the smooth, and unreliable edge of our unfathomable ignorance, to open a breach onto new territory.
Carlo Rovelli (There Are Places in the World Where Rules Are Less Important Than Kindness)
Tranquillity is a certain equality of mind which no condition of fortune can either exalt or depress. Nothing can make it less, for it is the state of human perfection: it raises us as high as we can go, and makes every man his own supporter, whereas he that is borne up by anything else may fall. … The joy of a wise man stands firm without interruption; in all places, at all times, and in all conditions, his thoughts are cheerful and quiet. Into what dangerous and miserable servitude he falls who suffers pleasures and sorrows (two unfaithful and cruel commanders) to possess him successively! I do not speak this either as a bar to the fair enjoyment of lawful pleasures, or to the gentle flatteries of reasonable expectations. On the contrary, I would have men to be always in good humour, provided that it arises from their own souls, and is cherished in their own breasts. Other delights are trivial; they may smooth the brow, but they do not fill and affect the heart. True joy is a serene and sober motion, and they are miserably out that take laughing for rejoicing. The seat of it is within, and there is no cheerfulness like the resolution of a brave mind, that has fortune under its feet. He that can look death in the face, and bid it welcome; open his door to poverty, and bridle his appetites; this is the man whom Providence has established in the possession of inviolable delights. The pleasures of the vulgar are ungrounded, thin, and superficial; but the others are solid and eternal.
According to this view the present state of our warring capacities would not be a state of culture, but only a stage on the way. Opinions will, of course, be divided about this, for by culture one man will understand a state of collective culture, while another will regard this state merely as civilization8 and will expect of culture the sterner demands of individual development. Schiller is, however, mistaken when he allies himself exclusively with the second standpoint and contrasts our collective culture unfavourably with that of the individual Greek, since he overlooks the defectiveness of the civilization of that time, which makes the unlimited validity of that culture very questionable. Hence no culture is ever really complete, for it always swings towards one side or the other. Sometimes the cultural ideal is extraverted, and the chief value then lies with the object and man’s relation to it: sometimes it is introverted, and the chief value lies with subject and his relation to the idea. In the former case, culture takes on a collective character, in the latter an individual one. It is therefore easy to understand how under the influence of Christianity, whose principle is Christian love (and by counter-association, also its counterpart, the violation of individuality), a collective culture came about in which the individual is liable to be swallowed up because individual values are depreciated on principle. Hence there arose in the age of the German classicists that extraordinary yearning for the ancient world which for them was a symbol of individual culture, and on that account was for the most part very much overvalued and often grossly idealized. Not a few attempts were even made to imitate or recapture the spirit of Greece, attempts which nowadays appear to us somewhat silly, but must none the less be appreciated as forerunners of an individual culture.
C.G. Jung (Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Volume 6: Psychological Types (The Collected Works of C. G. Jung Book 16))
I don’t know why I’ve always liked brutes. They drink too much for lack of the right language to express themselves. Sometimes they’re too scared to express anything at all, but it’s never obvious. They appear coarse, aloof, absolutely taciturn. They have always been my weakness. I really yearn for it. The mind reels with all the possibilities of what they might feel or think about you. Usually it is nothing like what you expect and much less complex than the thoughts you generously assign to them.
Marlowe Granados (Happy Hour)
Sweep aside those hatred-eaten mystics, who pose as friends of humanity and preach that the highest virtue man can practice is to hold his own life as of no value. Do they tell you that the purpose of morality is to curb man’s instinct of self-preservation? It is for the purpose of self-preservation that man needs a code of morality. The only man who desires to be moral is the man who desires to live. “No, you do not have to live; it is your basic act of choice; but if you choose to live, you must live as a man—by the work and the judgment of your mind. “No, you do not have to live as a man; it is an act of moral choice. But you cannot live as anything else—and the alternative is that state of living death which you now see within you and around you, the state of a thing unfit for existence, no longer human and less than animal, a thing that knows nothing but pain and drags itself through its span of years in the agony of unthinking self-destruction. “No, you do not have to think; it is an act of moral choice. But someone had to think to keep you alive; if you choose to default, you default on existence and you pass the deficit to some moral man, expecting him to sacrifice his good for the sake of letting you survive by your evil.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
As there can be no causeless wealth, so there can be no causeless love or any sort of causeless emotion. An emotion is a response to a fact of reality, an estimate dictated by your standards. To love is to value. The man who tells you that it is possible to value without values, to love those whom you appraise as worthless, is the man who tells you that it is possible to grow rich by consuming without producing and that paper money is as valuable as gold. “Observe that he does not expect you to feel a causeless fear. When his kind get into power, they are expert at contriving means of terror, at giving you ample cause to feel the fear by which they desire to rule you. But when it comes to love, the highest of emotions, you permit them to shriek at you accusingly that you are a moral delinquent if you’re incapable of feeling causeless love. When a man feels fear without reason, you call him to the attention of a psychiatrist; you are not so careful to protect the meaning, the nature and the dignity of love. “Love is the expression of one’s values, the greatest reward you can earn for the moral qualities you have achieved in your character and person, the emotional price paid by one man for the joy he receives from the virtues of another. Your morality demands that you divorce your love from values and hand it down to any vagrant; not as response to his worth, but as response to his need, not as reward, but as alms, not as a payment for virtues, but as a blank check on vices. Your morality tells you that the purpose of love is to set you free of the bonds of morality, that love is superior to moral judgment; that true love transcends, forgives and survives every manner of evil in its object, and the greater the love the greater the depravity it permits to the loved. To love a man for his virtues is paltry and human, it tells you; to love him for his flaws is divine. To love those who are worthy of it is self-interest; to love the unworthy is sacrifice. You owe your love to those who don’t deserve it, and the less they deserve it, the more love you owe them—the more loathsome the object, the nobler your love—the more unfastidious your love, the greater the virtue—and if you can bring your soul to the state of a dump heap that welcomes anything on equal terms, if you can cease to value moral values, you have achieved the state of moral perfection.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
Then, one night at a factory meeting, I heard myself sentenced to death by reason of my achievement. I heard three parasites assert that my brain and my life were their property, that my right to exist was conditional and depended on the satisfaction of their desires. The purpose of my ability, they said, was to serve the needs of those who were less able. I had no right to live, they said, by reason of my competence for living; their right to live was unconditional, by reason of their incompetence. “Then I saw what was wrong with the world, I saw what destroyed men and nations, and where the battle for life had to be fought. I saw that the enemy was an inverted morality—and that my sanction was its only power. I saw that evil was impotent—that evil was the irrational, the blind, the anti-real—and that the only weapon of its triumph was the willingness of the good to serve it. Just as the parasites around me were proclaiming their helpless dependence on my mind and were expecting me voluntarily to accept a slavery they had no power to enforce, just as they were counting on my self-immolation to provide them with the means of their plan—so throughout the world and throughout men’s history, in every version and form, from the extortions of loafing relatives to the atrocities of collective countries, it is the good, the able, the men of reason, who act as their own destroyers, who transfuse to evil the blood of their virtue and let evil transmit to them the poison of destruction, thus gaining for evil the power of survival, and for their own values—the impotence of death. I saw that there comes a point, in the defeat of any man of virtue, when his own consent is needed for evil to win—and that no manner of injury done to him by others can succeed if he chooses to withhold his consent. I saw that I could put an end to your outrages by pronouncing a single word in my mind. I pronounced it. The word was ‘No.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
Fromm-Reichmann described loneliness as “one of the least satisfactorily conceptualized psychological phenomena, not even mentioned in most psychiatric textbooks”—a state in which the “fact that there were people in one’s past life is more or less forgotten, and the possibility that there may be interpersonal relationships in one’s future life is out of the realm of expectation.” Loneliness was such a deep threat, she wrote, that psychiatrists avoided talking about it, because they feared they’d be contaminated by it, too. The experience was nearly impossible to communicate; it was a kind of “naked existence.
Rachel Aviv (Strangers to Ourselves: Unsettled Minds and the Stories That Make Us)
It results in stressed people trying to cram yet more activities into their already overscheduled lives. It creates corporate environments that talk about work/life balance but still expect their employees to be on their smart phones 24/7/365.
Greg McKeown (Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less)
I have a regrettably sharp tongue,” said the Beast, “and you likely already despise me for kidnapping you, but as there are only the two of us, I will endeavor to be a considerate—er—captor.” Since this ran perilously closely to her own thoughts, Bryony felt one corner of her mouth crook up. “And I suppose I will endeavor to be a considerate—er—victim. At least until I find a way to kill you and escape and so forth.” “Well, naturally,” said the Beast, smiling a little. His tusks gleamed in the candlelight. “I would expect no less. If there is any way in which I may assist you with the killing and escaping and so forth, please let me know.
T. Kingfisher (Bryony and Roses)
I was terrified. I was devastated. And I was fucking angry. Today there was no choice. “This is it,” I thought. “The betrayal of hope.” I had been expecting it all along, but it felt different this time. The landing was a little softer, somehow. Less unexpected, perhaps.
Stephanie Catudal (Everything All at Once: A Memoir)
Why, until this moment, did I not realize that the issue is my own confidence? That the root of most of my problems is that I need to be secure enough in who I am to tell anyone who doesn't like it to go fuck themselves? Why have I spent so long settling for less when I know damn well the world expects more.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo)
We have to consciously study how to be tender with each other until it becomes a habit... we can practice being gentle with ourselves by being gentle with each other. We can practice being gentle with each other by being gentle with that piece of ourselves that is hardest to hold, by giving more to the brave bruised girl child within each of us, by expecting a little less from her gargantuan efforts to excel. We can love her in the light as well as in the darkness, quiet her frenzy toward perfection and encourage her attentions toward fulfilment. Maybe then we will come to appreciate more how much she has taught us, and how much she is doing to keep this world revolving toward some liveable future.
Audre Lorde
that later). For each food, you can also see the food safety issue: Pregnancy Off-limits Food List Raw eggs (salmonella) Raw fish (salmonella, campylobacter) Raw shellfish (salmonella, campylobacter, toxoplasmosis) Unwashed vegetables and fruits (toxoplasmosis, E. coli) Raw/rare meat and poultry (salmonella, toxoplasmosis, campylobacter, E. coli) Smoked fish (Listeria) Pâté (Listeria) Unpasteurized (raw) milk (Listeria, campylobacter) Raw milk soft cheese (Listeria) Deli meats (Listeria) Let’s start with an obvious point: some of these foods are not that hard to avoid. Raw poultry, for example, would rarely be served except by accident. Raw eggs may be an occasional salad dressing ingredient, but avoiding them feels like a minor change. Similarly, unwashed vegetables can be easily avoided by washing them, which hopefully you are doing anyway. But other risky foods are more common and more delicious: a rare steak, a turkey sandwich, a nice raw-milk brie. There are five types of infection that are possible from these foods: salmonella, E. coli, campylobacter, Listeria, and toxoplasmosis (actually caused by a parasite, not a bacteria). In fact, three of the five are really no worse during pregnancy than at any other time! Salmonella, E. Coli, and Campylobacter: Proceed with normal caution. Salmonella and E. coli are by far the most common causes of food-borne illnesses. Campylobacter is similar in its effects, although less common. All three bacteria cause basic stomach-flu symptoms: diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Unless you are very lucky or have a stomach made of iron, you have probably been sickened by one of these before. It’s unpleasant, sure. But illnesses from these causes are not especially more likely during pregnancy,
Emily Oster (Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong-and What You Really Need to Know)
The night before the expected battle, Rensselaer had a dream the likes of which surprised him. Floating in darkness in the air over the sea, without the oppressions of either gravity or pain, he looked up at the stars. But what he saw was not cold, distant, silver-white light, ethereal and detached. Every single star had vaulted over light-years of distance to show its true self, a roiling, orange, red, and white giant of ceaseless nuclear detonations, roaring like the fire in a forge. A trillion trillion stars, pulsing and hot, that even after the dissolution of humankind, much less Rensselaer’s unnoticed part in it, meant that if not life then motion, purpose, and a kind of passion would outlast human vanities, in quantities unfathomable and for time illimitable. No matter what the outcome when they met Sahand, and no matter should he and the others perish, the fires of the world beyond would burn and the heart of everything would beat. Morning
Mark Helprin (The Oceans and the Stars: A Sea Story, A War Story, A Love Story (A Novel))
I don’t expect anything less from the two best friends who have been attached at the hip since kindergarten.
Lauren Asher (Love Redesigned (Lakefront Billionaires, #1))
Each person would like to be certain of the approval of the other, but to be certain of the other is already to lose that sense of the other as an independent judge. I want you to say 'I love you', but the last thing I would want to do is to ask you, much less force you, to say it. I want you to say it freely, and not because I want you to or expect you to. But then, you know that I do want you to say it, and I know that you know that I want you to say it. So you say it; I don't really believe you. Did you say it because you mean it? Or in order not to hurt my feelings? And so I get testy, more demanding, to which your response is, quite reasonably, to become angry or defensive, until finally I provoke precisely what I feared all along, - an outburst of abuse. But then, I fell righteously hurt; you get apologetic. You seek forgiveness; I hesitate. You aren't sure whether I will say it or not: I'm not sure whether you mean it or not, but I say, 'I forgive you'. You wonder whether I'm really forgiving you or just trying to keep from hurting your feelings, and so you become anxious, testy, and so on.
Robert C. Solomon (In the Spirit of Hegel)
When you take action of your own accord, it sets the tone for the organization. It tells others that initiative is expected in the company and hopefully rewarded. It gives the employees a sense of empowerment. It gives them a sense of ownership. They will make mistakes and their mistakes will have repercussions, but…I guarantee you the mistakes of action are far less consequential than the mistakes of inaction.
William H. McRaven (The Wisdom of the Bullfrog: Leadership Made Simple (But Not Easy))
I know that a man of my reading might be expected to dream of dragons. But while in the nightmare I could not have fitted in my waking experience. The waking world is judged more real because it can thus contain the dreaming world: the dreaming world is judged less real because it cannot contain the waking one. For the same reason I am certain that in passing from the scientific point of view to the theological, I have passed from dream to waking. Christian theology can fit in science, art, morality, and the sub-Christian religions. The scientific point of view cannot fit in any of these things, not even science itself. I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it but because by it I see everything else.
Christopher Watkin (Biblical Critical Theory: How the Bible's Unfolding Story Makes Sense of Modern Life and Culture)
In 1850, life expectancy in the United States was less than forty years,8332 but it has steadily increased over the last two centuries,8333 gaining about two years per decade—until recently, that is. Longevity gains have faltered and then, in 2015, started to reverse.8334 Thanks in large part to the obesity epidemic, we may now be raising the first American generation to live shorter lives than their parents.8335 And that was before COVID-19 knocked two years off the U.S. life expectancy, a decline not experienced since 1943, the deadliest year of World War II.8336
Michael Greger (How Not to Age: The Scientific Approach to Getting Healthier as You Get Older)