Set Your Goals Quotes

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The moment you put a deadline on your dream, it becomes a goal.
Harsha Bhogle (The Winning Way: Learnings from sport for managers)
When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.
Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich)
Don't set your goals by what other people deem important.
Jaachynma N.E. Agu (The Prince and the Pauper)
Set your mind on a definite goal and observe how quickly the world stands aside to let you pass.
Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich)
Don’t let mental blocks control you. Set yourself free. Confront your fear and turn the mental blocks into building blocks.
Roopleen (Words to inspire the winner in YOU)
Your days are numbered. Use them to throw open the windows of your soul to the sun. If you do not, the sun will soon set, and you with it.
Marcus Aurelius (The Emperor's Handbook)
You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream.
Les Brown (Live Your Dreams)
Quit worrying about how everything is going to turn out. Live one day at a time; better yet, make the most of this moment. It’s good to have a big – picture outlook, to set goals, to establish budgets and make plans, but if you’re always living in the future, you’re never really enjoying the present in the way God wants you to.
Joel Osteen (Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential)
There is strange comfort in knowing that no matter what happens today, the Sun will rise again tomorrow.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
When your back is to the wall and you are facing fear head on, the only way is forward and through it.
Stephen Richards (Releasing You from Fear (CD))
The struggles we endure today will be the ‘good old days’ we laugh about tomorrow.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Goals are the road maps that guide you to your destination. Cultivate the habit of setting clearly-defined written goals; they are the road maps that guide you to your destination.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Success will be within your reach only when you start reaching out for it.
Stephen Richards (Think Your way to Success: Let Your Dreams Run Free)
Before you can successfully make friends with others, first you have to become your own friend.
Stephen Richards
if you set your goals ridiculously high and its a failure, you will fail above everyone elses success
James Cameron
Stay wild, moon child." I will shine my full silver light on your path, Moon child. Trust your intuition and follow your dreams. When I go dark, go within and tend to yourself, set your goals and release what no longer serves. When I come out of the shadow Moon child, go, be brave, and to yourself stay wild and true.
Riitta Klint
Don't exist. Live. Get out, explore. Thrive. Challenge authority. Challenge yourself. Evolve. Change forever. Become who you say you always will. Keep moving. Don't stop. Start the revolution. Become a freedom fighter. Become a superhero. Just because everyone doesn't know your name doesn't mean you dont matter. Are you happy? Have you ever been happy? What have you done today to matter? Did you exist or did you live? How did you thrive? Become a chameleon-fit in anywhere. Be a rockstar-stand out everywhere. Do nothing, do everything. Forget everything, remember everyone. Care, don't just pretend to. Listen to everyone. Love everyone and nothing at the same time. Its impossible to be everything,but you can't stop trying to do it all. All I know is that I have no idea where I am right now. I feel like I am in training for something, making progress with every step I take. I fear standing still. It is my greatest weakness. I talk big, but often don't follow through. That's my biggest problem. I don't even know what to think right now. It's about time I start to take a jump. Fuck starting to take. Just jump-over everything. Leap. It's time to be aggressive. You've started to speak your mind, now keep going with it, but not with the intention of sparking controversy or picking a germane fight. Get your gloves on, it's time for rebirth. There IS no room for the nice guys in the history books. THIS IS THE START OF A REVOLUTION. THE REVOLUTION IS YOUR LIFE. THE GOAL IS IMMORTALITY. LET'S LIVE, BABY. LET'S FEEL ALIVE AT ALL TIMES. TAKE NO PRISONERS. HOLD NO SOUL UNACCOUNTABLE, ESPECIALLY NOT YOUR OWN. IF SOMETHING DOESN'T HAPPEN, IT'S YOUR FAULT. Make this moment your reckoning. Your head has been held under water for too long and now it is time to rise up and take your first true breath. Do everything with exact calculation, nothing without meaning. Do not make careful your words, but make no excuses for what you say. Fuck em' all. Set a goal for everyday and never be tired.
Brian Krans (A Constant Suicide)
If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.
Andrew Carnegie
You’re the only one for me. My sun rises and sets on your smile. My heart beats because yours does.
Elle Kennedy (The Goal (Off-Campus, #4))
Today is a new day and it brings with it a new set of opportunities for me to act on. I am attentive to the opportunities and I seize them as they arise. I have full confidence in myself and my abilities. I can do all things that I commit myself to. No obstacle is too big or too difficult for me to handle because what lies inside me is greater than what lies ahead of me. I am committed to improving myself and I am getting better daily. I am not held back by regret or mistakes from the past. I am moving forward daily. Absolutely nothing is impossible for me.
Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability)
It's in those quiet little towns, at the edge of the world, that you will find the salt of the earth people who make you feel right at home.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Life's trials will test you, and shape you, but don’t let them change who you are.” ~ Aaron Lauritsen, ‘100 Days Drive
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Set your goal free into the universe. Visualize it.
Elena Armas (The Spanish Love Deception (Spanish Love Deception, #1))
We are God’s art. We are God’s poem, created to display His beauty and goodness.
Gregory Dickow (Soul Cure: How to Heal Your Pain and Discover Your Purpose)
No matter how many times you failed or have fallen, no matter how many times you’ve denied God, He will not deny you.
Gregory Dickow (Soul Cure: How to Heal Your Pain and Discover Your Purpose)
Soul health turns into whole health. Soul sickness turns into whole sickness.
Gregory Dickow (Soul Cure: How to Heal Your Pain and Discover Your Purpose)
If you want better results, then forget about setting goals. Focus on your system instead.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
I feel to invite women everywhere to rise to the great potential within you. I do not ask that you reach beyond your capacity. I hope you will not nag yourselves with thoughts of failure. I hope you will not try to set goals far beyond your capacity to achieve. I hope you will simply do what you can do in the best way you know. If you do so, you will witness miracles come to pass.
Gordon B. Hinckley
True friends don't come with conditions.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Without struggle, success has no value.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Dare to dream! If you did not have the capability to make your wildest wishes come true, your mind would not have the capacity to conjure such ideas in the first place. There is no limitation on what you can potentially achieve, except for the limitation you choose to impose on your own imagination. What you believe to be possible will always come to pass - to the extent that you deem it possible. It really is as simple as that.
Anthon St. Maarten
From this point forward, you don’t even know how to quit in life.” ~ Aaron Lauritsen, ‘100 Days Drive
Aaron Lauritsen
If you're trying to be miserable, it's important you don't have any goals. No school goals, personal goals, family goals. Your only objective each day should be to inhale and exhale for sixteen hours before you go to bed again. Don't read anything informative, don't listen to anything useful, don't do anything productive. If you start achieving goals, you might start to feel a sense of excitement, then you might want to set another goal, and then your miserable mornings are through. To maintain your misery, the idea of crossing off your goals should never cross your mind.
John Bytheway (How to Be Totally Miserable: A Self-Hinder Book)
The purpose of setting goals is to win the game. The purpose of building systems is to continue playing the game. True long-term thinking is goal-less thinking. It’s not about any single accomplishment. It is about the cycle of endless refinement and continuous improvement. Ultimately, it is your commitment to the process that will determine your progress.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
Don't live the same day over and over again and call that a life. Life is about evolving mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
Germany Kent
That’s why it is important to enjoy the journey not just the destination. In this world, we will never arrive at a place where everything is perfect and we have no more challenges. As admirable as setting goals and reaching them maybe, you can’t get so focused on accomplishing your goals that you make the mistake of not enjoying where you are right now.
Joel Osteen (Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential)
Success in life is not for those who run fast, but for those who keep running and always on the move.
Bangambiki Habyarimana (Pearls Of Eternity)
Make New Year's goals. Dig within, and discover what you would like to have happen in your life this year. This helps you do your part. It is an affirmation that you're interested in fully living life in the year to come. Goals give us direction. They put a powerful force into play on a universal, conscious, and subconscious level. Goals give our life direction. What would you like to have happen in your life this year? What would you like to do, to accomplish? What good would you like to attract into your life? What particular areas of growth would you like to have happen to you? What blocks, or character defects, would you like to have removed? What would you like to attain? Little things and big things? Where would you like to go? What would you like to have happen in friendship and love? What would you like to have happen in your family life? What problems would you like to see solved? What decisions would you like to make? What would you like to happen in your career? Write it down. Take a piece of paper, a few hours of your time, and write it all down - as an affirmation of you, your life, and your ability to choose. Then let it go. The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.
Melody Beattie (The Language of Letting Go: Daily Meditations on Codependency (Hazelden Meditation Series))
Those who achieve the extraordinary are usually the most ordinary because they have nothing to prove to anybody. Be Humble.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
At some point, you just gotta forgive the past, your happiness hinges on it.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Always do your best in whatever you do; set goals and seek challenges; become a role model for those coming behind you; and always have God in your heart.
Charles F. Bolden Jr.
you must get the right talent and set the proper expectations. If you don’t, you will pay for the job twice—through your employees’ time and your own.
Curtis L. Jenkins (Vision to Reality: Stop Working, Start Living)
I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Letter from the Birmingham Jail)
Disappointment will come when your effort does not give you the expected return. If things don’t go as planned or if you face failure. Failure is extremely difficult to handle, but those that do come out stronger. What did this failure teach me? is the question you will need to ask. You will feel miserable. You will want to quit, like I wanted to when nine publishers rejected my first book. Some IITians kill themselves over low grades – how silly is that? But that is how much failure can hurt you. But it’s life. If challenges could always be overcome, they would cease to be a challenge. And remember – if you are failing at something, that means you are at your limit or potential. And that’s where you want to be. Disappointment’ s cousin is Frustration, the second storm. Have you ever been frustrated? It happens when things are stuck. This is especially relevant in India. From traffic jams to getting that job you deserve, sometimes things take so long that you don’t know if you chose the right goal. After books, I set the goal of writing for Bollywood, as I thought they needed writers. I am called extremely lucky, but it took me five years to get close to a release. Frustration saps excitement, and turns your initial energy into something negative, making you a bitter person. How did I deal with it? A realistic assessment of the time involved – movies take a long time to make even though they are watched quickly, seeking a certain enjoyment in the process rather than the end result – at least I was learning how to write scripts, having a side plan – I had my third book to write and even something as simple as pleasurable distractions in your life – friends, food, travel can help you overcome it. Remember, nothing is to be taken seriously. Frustration is a sign somewhere, you took it too seriously.
Chetan Bhagat
Living a life somewhere else in your mind is nothing more than being a prisoner where you are.
Shannon L. Alder
Explore, Experience, Then Push Beyond.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
If you do not get the chills when you set your goal you're not setting big enough goals.
Bob Proctor
Always set your goals higher than you could ever possibly reach. That way, when you barely fall short, you're still better than everybody else.
Carson V. Heady (Birth of a Salesman)
Self-discipline is often disguised as short-term pain, which often leads to long-term gains. The mistake many of us make is the need and want for short-term gains (immediate gratification), which often leads to long-term pain.
Charles F. Glassman (Brain Drain - The Breakthrough That Will Change Your Life)
Try for once to justify the meaning of your existence as it were a posteriori by setting yourself an aim, a goal... an exalted and noble 'to this end.' Perish in pursuit of this and only this
Friedrich Nietzsche (Untimely Meditations)
The freedom of the open road is seductive, serendipitous and absolutely liberating.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
There's more to a person than flesh. Judge others by the sum of their soul and you'll see that beauty is a force of light that radiates from the inside out.
Aaron Lauritsen
If you didn't earn something, it's not worth flaunting.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
It’s the ‘everyday’ experiences we encounter along the journey to who we wanna be that will define who we are when we get there.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Starting a new way is never easy so...keep starting until the start sticks.
Tim Fargo
The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting goals and achieving them. Even the most tedious chore will become endurable as you parade through each day convinced that every task, no matter how menial or boring, brings you closer to achieving your dreams.
Og Mandino
Knowing your “why” is much more important than setting a random goal.
Curtis L. Jenkins (Vision to Reality: Stop Working, Start Living)
You control your future, your destiny. What you think about comes about. By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands - your own.
Mark Victor Hansen
Building bridges is the best defence against ignorance.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Your Monday morning thoughts set the tone for your whole week. See yourself getting stronger, and living a fulfilling, happier & healthier life.
Germany Kent
Take the challenge of your life. Reach out to your goals. There is no limit to what you can achieve.
Lailah Gifty Akita
The person who has to boast or brag all the time is probably the last person you want as your spiritual mentor.
David A. Fiensy (The Journey: Spiritual Growth in Galatians and Philippians)
What's the first sign of a lurking, hidden expectation you didn't know you had? Pain! People don't do what we want, things don't happen quickly enough, the weather doesn't cooperate, our bodies don't cooperate. Why are these moments so painful? Because our minds are focused on a static, unchanging, me-centric picture while the dynamic unfolding of a broader life continues around us. There is nothing wrong with expectations per se, as it's appropriate to set goals and work, properly, towards their fruition. But the instant we feel pain over life not going "my way," our expectations have clearly taken an improper turn. Any moment you feel resistance or pain, look for -- and then let go of -- the hidden expectation. Practice giving yourself over to what "you" don't want. Let the line at the store be long. Let the other person interrupt you. Let the nervousness make you shake. Be where your body is, not where your mind is trying to take you.
Guy Finley
Positive energy is your priceless life force. Protect it. Don't allow people to draw from your reserves; select friends who recharge your energies . . . I'm not asking you to cut people out of your life, but I am asking you to invest your time with people who will push you to be your best. Winners love to see other people win.
Chalene Johnson (PUSH: 30 Days to Turbocharged Habits, a Bangin' Body, and the Life You Deserve!)
They say that the first step to success is setting clear goals. Well, I've got plenty of goals - like finally getting that corner office with a view, and firing my most annoying colleague.
Shubham Shukla (Career's Quest: Proven Strategies for Mastering Success in Your Profession: Networking and Building Professional Relationships)
Make yourself your role model, because people who do not have qualities depend on the qualities of others to shape their own qualities.
Michael Bassey Johnson
The high road of grace will get you somewhere a whole lot faster then the freeway of spite.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
To control your life, control your mind. To control your mind, control your breath.
Stephen Richards
Know what you want and try to go beyond your own expectations....set a very high goal, one that will be difficult to achieve. Because that is an artist's mission: to go beyond one's limits. An artist who desires very little and achieves it has failed in life.
Paulo Coelho (The Spy)
When you have a plan in your mind of what the best life is for you, but it doesn't match your life, you have pain.
Shannon L. Alder
The trouble with setting goals is that you’re constantly working toward what you used to want.
Sarah Manguso (300 Arguments)
If you’re achieving all your goals, you’re not setting them aggressively enough.
Laszlo Bock (Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead)
We love our partners for who they are, not for who they are not.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Self-belief, also called self-efficacy, is the kind of feeling you have when you have, like a Jedi, mastered a particular kind of skill and with its help have been able to achieve your set goals.
Stephen Richards (Develop Jedi Self-Confidence: Unleash the Force within You)
I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season.
Martin Luther King Jr.
It’s not about getting out of your comfort zone to reach your goal. It's about widening your comfort zone so far that your goal fits comfortably inside. Once you do that, hitting your goals will be like hitting 3s for Steph Curry.
Richie Norton
But I should caution that if you seek to plot out all your moves before you make them—if you put your faith in slow, deliberative planning in the hopes it will spare you failure down the line—well, you’re deluding yourself. For one thing, it’s easier to plan derivative work—things that copy or repeat something already out there. So if your primary goal is to have a fully worked out, set-in-stone plan, you are only upping your chances of being unoriginal.
Ed Catmull (Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration)
May I invite you to rise to the great potential within you. But don’t reach beyond your capacity. Don’t set goals beyond your capacity to achieve. Don’t feel guilty or dwell on thoughts of failure. Don’t compare yourself with others. Do the best you can, and the Lord will provide the rest. Have faith and confidence in Him, and you will see miracles happen in your life and the lives of your loved ones. The virtue of your own life will be a light to those who sit in darkness, because you are a living witness of the fulness of the gospel (see D&C 45:28). Wherever you have been planted on this beautiful but often troubled earth of ours, you can be the one to “succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees” (D&C 81:5).
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Why have you let your mind get so entwined," my master said, "that you have slowed your walk? Why should you care about what's whispered here? Come, follow me, and let these people talk: stand like a sturdy tower that does not shake its summit though the winds may blast; always the man in whom thought thrusts ahead of thought allows the goal he's set to move far off- the force of one thought saps the other's force.
Dante Alighieri (The Divine Comedy)
The life of grace is not an effort on our part to achieve a goal we set ourselves. It is a continually renewed attempt simply to believe that someone else has done all the achieving that is needed and to live in relationship with that person, whether we achieve or not. If that doesn't seem like much to you, you're right: it isn't. And, as a matter of fact, the life of grace is even less than that. It's not even our life at all, but the life of that Someone Else rising like a tide in the ruins of our death.
Robert Farrar Capon (Between Noon & Three: Romance, Law & the Outrage of Grace)
A goal is a specific objective that you either achieve or don't sometime in the future. A system is something you do on a regular basis that increases your odds of happiness in the long run. If you do something every day, its a system. If you're waiting to achieve it someday in the future, it's a goal. If you achieve your goal, you celebrate and feel terrific, but only until you realize you just lost the thing that gave you purpose and direction. Your options are to feel empty and useless, perhaps enjoying the spoils of your success until they bore you, or set new goals and reenter the cycle of permanent presuccess failure. All I'm suggesting is that thinking of goals and systems as very different concepts has power. Goal-oriented people exist in a state of continuous presuccess failure at best, and permanent failure at worst if things never work out. Systems people succeed every time they apply their systems, in the sense that they did what they intended to do. The goals people are fighting the feeling of discouragement at each turn. The systems people are feeling good everytime they apply their system. That's a big difference in terms of maintaining your personal energy in the right direction.
Scott Adams (How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life)
I don't believe in the hero that sets out to climb a mountain and achieves it with no setbacks. I he does, he obviously didn't set his goals high enough and shouldn't even have anything to be proud of. He didn't challenge himself enough. He might have learned a thing or two, but the real lessons are taught when you're balancing on the very edge, with one foot over the cliff, everyone expecting you to fall. That's when you realise your potential. Or rather, how far away from your own potential you actually are.
Charlotte Eriksson (Empty Roads & Broken Bottles: in search for The Great Perhaps)
Nature designed with a random set of genes and circumstances in which we were born. To be happy, we have to accept it and make the most of nature’s design. Are you? Goals will help you do that. I must add, don’t just have career or academic goals. Set goals to give you a balanced, successful life. I use the word balanced before successful. Balanced means ensuring your health, relationships, mental peace are all in good order.
Chetan Bhagat
If you want to be happy you have to study people who are happy. You have to hang out with people that are happy. Life won't go in the direction you want, by simply trying to stay positive in a life you're not happy with. You have to know what you want and why you truly want it so badly. When you figure that out then you need to change your current identity, in order to fit the type of person you envision would make those dreams come true. Happiness is not reliant on the actions or inactions of other people. It is your “courage in motion” toward your dreams.
Shannon L. Alder
Another key commitment for succeeding with this strategy is to support your commitment to shutting down with a strict shutdown ritual that you use at the end of the workday to maximize the probability that you succeed. In more detail, this ritual should ensure that every incomplete task, goal, or project has been reviewed and that for each you have confirmed that either (1) you have a plan you trust for its completion, or (2) it’s captured in a place where it will be revisited when the time is right. The process should be an algorithm: a series of steps you always conduct, one after another. When you’re done, have a set phrase you say that indicates completion (to end my own ritual, I say, “Shutdown complete”). This final step sounds cheesy, but it provides a simple cue to your mind that it’s safe to release work-related thoughts for the rest of the day.
Cal Newport (Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World)
Whatever your identity, background, or political ideology, you will be happier, healthier, stronger, and more likely to succeed in pursuing your own goals if you do the opposite of what Misoponos advised. That means seeking out challenges (rather than eliminating or avoiding everything that “feels unsafe”), freeing yourself from cognitive distortions (rather than always trusting your initial feelings), and taking a generous view of other people, and looking for nuance (rather than assuming the worst about people within a simplistic us-versus-them morality).
Jonathan Haidt (The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure)
Change You can draw a path for your life and have all of your goals set. You can change yourself as much as possible and change things around you just to reach those goals. Here’s the catch. Never underestimate the power of fate. It can knock down the highest of goals that seem guaranteed in your life. Plan, yes, and decide, yes, but be prepared for plans not to work. If they don’t work despite your hardest efforts, there must be a reason. You may not be able to see the reason at the time, but you will one day, maybe even years later. Did your efforts go to waste? If you don’t learn from them, then yes, they did go to waste. Even after changing yourself and your surroundings for the sake of reaching that one goal, you may realize that it was waiting for you at the place where you started, when you were the true you who did not need to change or be changed. Change for yourself, not just for a goal.
Najwa Zebian (Mind Platter)
Footsteps approach the kitchen. Garrett wanders in, wiping sweat off his brow. When he notices Sabrina, he brightens. “Oh good. You’re here. Hold on—gotta grab something.” She turns to me as if to say, Is he talking to me? He’s already gone, though, his footsteps thumping up the stairs. At the table, Hannah runs a hand through her hair and gives me a pleading look. “Just remember he’s your best friend, okay?” That doesn’t sound ominous. When Garrett returns, he’s holding a notepad and a ballpoint pen, which he sets on the table as he sits across from Sabrina. “Tuck,” he says. “Sit. This is important.” I’m so baffled right now. Hannah’s resigned expression doesn’t help in lessening the confusion. Once I’m seated next to Sabrina, Garrett flips open the notepad, all business. “Okay. So let’s go over the names.” Sabrina raises an eyebrow at me. I shrug, because I legitimately don’t know what the fuck he’s talking about. “I’ve put together a solid list. I really think you’re going to like these.” But when he glances down at the page, his face falls. “Ah crap. We can’t use any of the boy names.” “Wait.” Sabrina holds up a hand, her brow furrowed. “You’re picking names for our baby?” He nods, busy flipping the page. My baby mama gapes at me. I shrug again. “Just out of curiosity, what were the boy names?” Grace hedges, clearly fighting a smile. He cheers up again. “Well, the top contender was Garrett.” I snicker loud enough to rattle Sabrina’s water glass. “Uh-huh,” I say, playing along. “And what was the runner-up?” “Graham.” Hannah sighs. “But it’s okay. I have some kickass girl names too.” He taps his pen on the pad, meets our eyes, and utters two syllables. “Gigi.” My jaw drops. “Are you kidding me? I’m not naming my daughter Gigi.” Sabrina is mystified. “Why Gigi?” she asks slowly. Hannah sighs again. The name suddenly clicks in my head. Oh for fuck’s sake. “G.G.,” I mutter to Sabrina. “As in Garrett Graham.” She’s silent for a beat. Then she bursts out laughing, triggering giggles from Grace and eventually Hannah, who keeps shaking her head at her boyfriend. “What?” Garrett says defensively. “The godfather should have a say in the name. It’s in the rule book.” “What rule book?” Hannah bursts out. “You make up the rules as you go along!” “So?
Elle Kennedy (The Goal (Off-Campus, #4))
In theory, the risk of business failure can be reduced to a number, the probability of failure multiplied by the cost of failure. Sure, this turns out to be a subjective analysis, but in the process your own attitudes toward financial risk and reward are revealed. By contrast, personal risk usually defies quantification. It's a matter of values and priorities, an expression of who you are. "Playing it safe" may simply mean you do not weigh heavily the compromises inherent in the status quo. The financial rewards of the moment may fully compensate you for the loss of time and fulfillment. Or maybe you just don't think about it. On the other hand, if time and satisfaction are precious, truly priceless, you will find the cost of business failure, so long as it does not put in peril the well-being of you or your family, pales in comparison with the personal risks of no trying to live the life you want today. Considering personal risk forces us to define personal success. We may well discover that the business failure we avoid and the business success we strive for do not lead us to personal success at all. Most of us have inherited notions of "success" from someone else or have arrived at these notions by facing a seemingly endless line of hurdles extending from grade school through college and into our careers. We constantly judge ourselves against criteria that others have set and rank ourselves against others in their game. Personal goals, on the other hand, leave us on our own, without this habit of useless measurement and comparison. Only the Whole Life Plan leads to personal success. It has the greatest chance of providing satisfaction and contentment that one can take to the grave, tomorrow. In the Deferred Life Plan there will always be another prize to covet, another distraction, a new hunger to sate. You will forever come up short.
Randy Komisar (The Monk and the Riddle: The Education of a Silicon Valley Entrepreneur)
life can be organized like a business plan. First you take an inventory of your gifts and passions. Then you set goals and come up with some metrics to organize your progress toward those goals. Then you map out a strategy to achieve your purpose, which will help you distinguish those things that move you toward your goals from those things that seem urgent but are really just distractions. If you define a realistic purpose early on and execute your strategy flexibly, you will wind up leading a purposeful life. You will have achieved self-determination, of the sort captured in the oft-quoted lines from William Ernest Henley’s poem “Invictus”: “I am the master of my fate / I am the captain of my soul.
David Brooks (The Road to Character)
I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Letter from the Birmingham Jail)
Tell me something. Do you believe in God?' Snow darted an apprehensive glance in my direction. 'What? Who still believes nowadays?' 'It isn't that simple. I don't mean the traditional God of Earth religion. I'm no expert in the history of religions, and perhaps this is nothing new--do you happen to know if there was ever a belief in an...imperfect God?' 'What do you mean by imperfect?' Snow frowned. 'In a way all the gods of the old religions were imperfect, considered that their attributes were amplified human ones. The God of the Old Testament, for instance, required humble submission and sacrifices, and and was jealous of other gods. The Greek gods had fits of sulks and family quarrels, and they were just as imperfect as mortals...' 'No,' I interrupted. 'I'm not thinking of a god whose imperfection arises out of the candor of his human creators, but one whose imperfection represents his essential characteristic: a god limited in his omniscience and power, fallible, incapable of foreseeing the consequences of his acts, and creating things that lead to horror. He is a...sick god, whose ambitions exceed his powers and who does not realize it at first. A god who has created clocks, but not the time they measure. He has created systems or mechanisms that serves specific ends but have now overstepped and betrayed them. And he has created eternity, which was to have measured his power, and which measures his unending defeat.' Snow hesitated, but his attitude no longer showed any of the wary reserve of recent weeks: 'There was Manicheanism...' 'Nothing at all to do with the principles of Good and Evil,' I broke in immediately. 'This god has no existence outside of matter. He would like to free himself from matter, but he cannot...' Snow pondered for a while: 'I don't know of any religion that answers your description. That kind of religion has never been...necessary. If i understand you, and I'm afraid I do, what you have in mind is an evolving god, who develops in the course of time, grows, and keeps increasing in power while remaining aware of his powerlessness. For your god, the divine condition is a situation without a goal. And understanding that, he despairs. But isn't this despairing god of yours mankind, Kelvin? Is it man you are talking about, and that is a fallacy, not just philosophically but also mystically speaking.' I kept on: 'No, it's nothing to do with man. man may correspond to my provisional definition from some point of view, but that is because the definition has a lot of gaps. Man does not create gods, in spite of appearances. The times, the age, impose them on him. Man can serve is age or rebel against it, but the target of his cooperation or rebellion comes to him from outside. If there was only a since human being in existence, he would apparently be able to attempt the experiment of creating his own goals in complete freedom--apparently, because a man not brought up among other human beings cannot become a man. And the being--the being I have in mind--cannot exist in the plural, you see? ...Perhaps he has already been born somewhere, in some corner of the galaxy, and soon he will have some childish enthusiasm that will set him putting out one star and lighting another. We will notice him after a while...' 'We already have,' Snow said sarcastically. 'Novas and supernovas. According to you they are candles on his altar.' 'If you're going to take what I say literally...' ...Snow asked abruptly: 'What gave you this idea of an imperfect god?' 'I don't know. It seems quite feasible to me. That is the only god I could imagine believing in, a god whose passion is not a redemption, who saves nothing, fulfills no purpose--a god who simply is.
Stanisław Lem (Solaris)
To what end the ‘world’ exists, to what end ‘man­kind’ exists, ought not to concern us at all for the moment except as objects of humour: for the presumptuousness of the little human worm is the funniest thing at present on the world’s stage; on the other hand, do ask yourself why you, the individual, exist, and if you can get no other answer try for once to justify the meaning of your existence as it were a posteriori by setting before yourself an aim, a goal, a ‘to this end’, an exalted and noble ‘to this end’ . Perish in pursuit of this and only this - I know of no better aim of life than that of perishing, animae magnae prodigus, in pursuit of the great and the impossible. If, on the other hand, the doctrines of sovereign becoming, of the fluidity of all concepts, types and species, of the lack of any cardinal distinction between man and animal - doctrines which I consider true but deadly - are thrust upon the people for another generation with the rage for instruction that has by now become normal, no one should be surprised if the people perishes of petty egoism, ossification and greed, falls apart and ceases to be a people; in its place sys­tems of individualist egoism, brotherhoods for the rapacious exploitation of the non-brothers, and similar creations of utilitarian vulgarity may perhaps appear in the arena of the future. To prepare the way for these creations all one has to do is to go on writing history from the standpoint of the masses and seeking to derive the laws which govern it from the needs of these masses, that is to say from the laws which move the lowest mud- and clay-strata of society. The masses seem to me to deserve notice in three respects only: first as faded copies of great men produced on poor paper with worn-out plates, then as a force of resistance to great men, finally as instruments in the hands of great men; for the rest, let the Devil and statistics take them!
Friedrich Nietzsche (Untimely Meditations)
Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less. If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God. Prayers are prophecies. They are the best predictors of your spiritual future. Who you become is determined by how you pray. Ultimately, the transcript of your prayers becomes the script of your life. The greatest tragedy in life is the prayers that go unanswered because they go unasked. God does not answer vague prayers. The more specific your prayers are, the more glory God receives. Most of us don’t get what we want because we quit praying. We give up too easily. We give up too soon. We quit praying right before the miracle happens. If you don’t take the risk, you forfeit the miracle. Take a step of faith when God gives you a vision because you trust that the One who gave you the vision is going to make provision. And for the record, if the vision is from God, it will most definitely be beyond your means. We shouldn’t seek answers as much as we should seek God. If you seek answers you won’t find them, but if you seek God, the answers will find you. If your plans aren’t birthed in prayer and bathed in prayer, they won’t succeed. Are your problems bigger than God, or is God bigger than your problems? Our biggest problem is our small view of God. That is the cause of all lesser evils. And it’s a high view of God that is the solution to all other problems. Because you know He can, you can pray with holy confidence. Persistence is the magic bullet. The only way you can fail is if you stop praying. 100 percent of the prayers I don’t pray won’t get answered. Where are you most proficient, most sufficient? Maybe that is precisely where God wants you to trust Him to do something beyond your ability. What we perceive as unanswered prayers are often the greatest answers. Our heavenly Father is far too wise and loves us far too much to give us everything we ask for. Someday we’ll thank God for the prayers He didn’t answer as much or more than the ones He did. You can’t pray for open doors if you aren’t willing accept closed doors, because one leads to the other. Just as our greatest successes often come on the heels of our greatest failures, our greatest answers often come on the heels of our longest and most boring prayers. The biggest difference between success and failure, both spiritually and occupationally, is your waking-up time on your alarm clock. We won’t remember the things that came easy; we’ll remember the things that came hard. It’s not just where you end up that’s important; it’s how you get there. Goal setting begins and ends with prayer. The more you have to circle something in prayer, the more satisfying it is spiritually. And, often, the more glory God gets. I don’t want easy answers or quick answers because I have a tendency to mishandle the blessings that come too easily or too quickly. I take the credit or take them for granted. So now I pray that it will take long enough and be hard enough for God to receive all of the glory. Change your prayer approach from as soon as possible to as long as it takes. Go home. Lock yourself in your room. Kneel down in the middle of the floor, and with a piece of chalk draw a circle around yourself. There, on your knees, pray fervently and brokenly that God would start a revival within that chalk circle.
Mark Batterson (The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears)
What can it matter to you? You just drift along. You don't give a good godamm about the universal consequences that can flow from our most trifling acts, our most unforeseen thoughts . . . It's no skin off your ass . . . You're caulked . . . hermetically sealed . . . Nothing means anything to you . . . Am I right? Nothing. Eat! Drink! Sleep! Up there as cozy as you please . . . All warm and comfy on my couch . . . You've got everything you want . . . You wallow in well-being . . . the earth rolls on . . . How? Why? A staggering miracle . . . how it moves . . . the profound mystery of it . . . toward an infinite unforeseeable goal . . . in the sky all scintillating with comets . . . all unknown . . . from one rotation to the next . . . Each second is the culmination and also the prelude of an eternity of other miracles . . . of impenetrable wonders, thousands of them, Ferdinand! Millions! billions of trillions of years! . . . And you? What are you doing in the midst of this cosmologonic whirl? this vast sidereal wonder? Just tell me that! You eat! You fill your belly! You sleep! You don't give a damn . . . That's right! Salad! Swiss cheese! Sapience! Turnips! Everything! You wallow in your own muck! You'll loll around, befouled! Glutted! Satisfied! You don't ask for anything more! You pass through the stars . . . as if they were raindrops in May! . . . God, you amaze me, Ferdinand! Do you really think this can go on forever? . . ." I didn't say a word . . . I had no set opinion about the stars or the moon, but I had one about him, the bastard. And the stinker knew it.
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (Death on the Installment Plan)
Reader: Will you not admit that you are arguing against yourself? You know that what the English obtained in their own country they obtained by using brute force. I know you have argued that what they have obtained is useless, but that does not affect my argument. They wanted useless things and they got them. My point is that their desire was fulfilled. What does it matter what means they adopted? Why should we not obtain our goal, which is good, by any means whatsoever, even by using violence? Shall I think of the means when I have to deal with a thief in the house? My duty is to drive him out anyhow. You seem to admit that we have received nothing, and that we shall receive nothing by petitioning. Why, then, may we do not so by using brute force? And, to retain what we may receive we shall keep up the fear by using the same force to the extent that it may be necessary. You will not find fault with a continuance of force to prevent a child from thrusting its foot into fire. Somehow or other we have to gain our end. Editor: Your reasoning is plausible. It has deluded many. I have used similar arguments before now. But I think I know better now, and I shall endeavour to undeceive you. Let us first take the argument that we are justified in gaining our end by using brute force because the English gained theirs by using similar means. It is perfectly true that they used brute force and that it is possible for us to do likewise, but by using similar means we can get only the same thing that they got. You will admit that we do not want that. Your belief that there is no connection between the means and the end is a great mistake. Through that mistake even men who have been considered religious have committed grievous crimes. Your reasoning is the same as saying that we can get a rose through planting a noxious weed. If I want to cross the ocean, I can do so only by means of a vessel; if I were to use a cart for that purpose, both the cart and I would soon find the bottom. "As is the God, so is the votary", is a maxim worth considering. Its meaning has been distorted and men have gone astray. The means may be likened to a seed, the end to a tree; and there is just the same inviolable connection between the means and the end as there is between the seed and the tree. I am not likely to obtain the result flowing from the worship of God by laying myself prostrate before Satan. If, therefore, anyone were to say : "I want to worship God; it does not matter that I do so by means of Satan," it would be set down as ignorant folly. We reap exactly as we sow. The English in 1833 obtained greater voting power by violence. Did they by using brute force better appreciate their duty? They wanted the right of voting, which they obtained by using physical force. But real rights are a result of performance of duty; these rights they have not obtained. We, therefore, have before us in English the force of everybody wanting and insisting on his rights, nobody thinking of his duty. And, where everybody wants rights, who shall give them to whom? I do not wish to imply that they do no duties. They don't perform the duties corresponding to those rights; and as they do not perform that particular duty, namely, acquire fitness, their rights have proved a burden to them. In other words, what they have obtained is an exact result of the means they adapted. They used the means corresponding to the end. If I want to deprive you of your watch, I shall certainly have to fight for it; if I want to buy your watch, I shall have to pay you for it; and if I want a gift, I shall have to plead for it; and, according to the means I employ, the watch is stolen property, my own property, or a donation. Thus we see three different results from three different means. Will you still say that means do not matter?
Mahatma Gandhi
EPILOGUE This course is a beginning, not an end. Your Friend goes with you. You are not alone. No one who calls on Him can call in vain. Whatever troubles you, be certain that He has the answer, and will gladly give it to you, if you simply turn to Him and ask it of Him. He will not withhold all answers that you need for anything that seems to trouble you. He knows the way to solve all problems, and resolve all doubts. His certainty is yours. You need but ask it of Him, and it will be given you. You are as certain of arriving home as is the pathway of the sun laid down before it rises, after it has set, and in the half-lit hours in between. Indeed, your pathway is more certain still. For it can not be possible to change the course of those whom God has called to Him. Therefore obey your will, and follow Him Whom you accepted as your voice, to speak of what you really want and really need. His is the Voice for God and also yours. And thus He speaks of freedom and of truth. No more specific lessons are assigned, for there is no more need of them. Henceforth, hear but the Voice for God and for your Self when you retire from the world, to seek reality instead. He will direct your efforts, telling you exactly what to do, how to direct your mind, and when to come to Him in silence, asking for His sure direction and His certain Word. His is the Word that God has given you. His is the Word you chose to be your own. And now I place you in His hands, to be His faithful follower, with Him as Guide through every difficulty and all pain that you may think is real. Nor will He give you pleasures that will pass away, for He gives only the eternal and the good. Let Him prepare you further. He has earned your trust by speaking daily to you of your Father and your brother and your Self. He will continue. Now you walk with Him, as certain as is He of where you go; as sure as He of how you should proceed; as confident as He is of the goal, and of your safe arrival in the end. The end is certain, and the means as well. To this we say “Amen.” You will be told exactly what God wills for you each time there is a choice to make. And He will speak for God and for your Self, thus making sure that hell will claim you not, and that each choice you make brings Heaven nearer to your reach. And so we walk with Him from this time on, and turn to Him for guidance and for peace and sure direction. Joy attends our way. For we go homeward to an open door which God has held unclosed to welcome us. We trust our ways to Him and say “Amen.” In peace we will continue in His way, and trust all things to Him. In confidence we wait His answers, as we ask His Will in everything we do. He loves God’s Son as we would love him. And He teaches us how to behold him through His eyes, and love him as He does. You do not walk alone. God’s angels hover near and all about. His Love surrounds you, and of this be sure; that I will never leave you comfortless.
Foundation for Inner Peace (A Course in Miracles)
I can do anything I believe I can do! I’ve got it, and every day I get more of it. I have talent, skills, and ability. I set goals and I reach them. I know what I want out of life. I go after it and I get it. People like me, and I feel good about myself. I have a sense of pride in who I am, and I believe in myself. Nothing seems to stop me. I have a lot of determination. I turn problems into advantages. I find possibilities in things that other people never give a chance. I have a lot of energy—I am very alive! I enjoy life and I can tell it and so can others. I keep myself up, looking ahead, and liking it. I know that I can accomplish anything I choose, and I refuse to let anything negative hold me back or stand in my way. I am not afraid of anything or anyone. I have strength, power, conviction, and confidence! I like challenges and I meet them head on, face to face—today especially! I am on top of the world and I’m going for it. I have a clear picture in my mind of what I want. I can see it in front of me. I know what I want and I know how to get it. I know that it’s all up to me and I know I can do it. Roadblocks don’t bother me. They just mean that I am alive and running, and I’m not going to stand still for anything. I trust myself I’ve got what it takes—plenty of it—and I know how to use it. Today, more than ever. Today I am unstoppable! I’ve got myself together and I’m getting more together every day. And today—look out world, here I come! Limitations? I don’t even recognize them as limitations. There is no challenge I can’t conquer; there is no wall I can’t climb over. There is no problem I can’t defeat, or turn around and make it work for me. I stand tall! I am honest and sincere. I like to deal with people and they like me. I think well; I think clearly. I am organized; I am in control of myself, and everything about me. I call my shots, and no one has to call them for me. I never blame anyone else for the circumstances of my life. I accept my failings and move past them as easily as I accept the rewards for my victories. I never demand perfection of myself, but I expect the very best of what I have to give—and that’s what I get! I never give myself excuses. I get things done on time and in the right way. Today I have the inner strength to do more than ever. I am an exceptional human being. My goals and my incredible belief in myself turn my goals into reality. I have the power to live my dreams. I believe in them like I believe in myself. And that belief is so strong that there is nothing that diminishes my undefeatable spirit.
Shad Helmstetter (What To Say When You Talk To Your Self)
The Idiot. I have read it once, and find that I don't remember the events of the book very well--or even all the principal characters. But mostly the 'portrait of a truly beautiful person' that dostoevsky supposedly set out to write in that book. And I remember how Myshkin seemed so simple when I began the book, but by the end, I realized how I didn't understand him at all. the things he did. Maybe when I read it again it will be different. But the plot of these dostoevsky books can hold such twists and turns for the first-time reader-- I guess that's b/c he was writing most of these books as serials that had to have cliffhangers and such. But I make marks in my books, mostly at parts where I see the author's philosophical points standing in the most stark relief. My copy of Moby Dick is positively full of these marks. The Idiot, I find has a few... Part 3, Section 5. The sickly Ippolit is reading from his 'Explanation' or whatever its called. He says his convictions are not tied to him being condemned to death. It's important for him to describe, of happiness: "you may be sure that Columbus was happy not when he had discovered America, but when he was discovering it." That it's the process of life--not the end or accomplished goals in it--that matter. Well. Easier said than lived! Part 3, Section 6. more of Ippolit talking--about a christian mindset. He references Jesus's parable of The Word as seeds that grow in men, couched in a description of how people are interrelated over time; its a picture of a multiplicity. Later in this section, he relates looking at a painting of Christ being taken down from the cross, at Rogozhin's house. The painting produced in him an intricate metaphor of despair over death "in the form of a huge machine of the most modern construction which, dull and insensible, has aimlessly clutched, crushed, and swallowed up a great priceless Being, a Being worth all nature and its laws, worth the whole earth, which was created perhaps solely for the sake of the advent of this Being." The way Ippolit's ideas are configured, here, reminds me of the writings of Gilles Deleuze. And the phrasing just sort of remidns me of the way everyone feels--many people feel crushed by the incomprehensible machine, in life. Many people feel martyred in their very minor ways. And it makes me think of the concept that a narrative religion like Christianity uniquely allows for a kind of socialized or externalized, shared experience of subjectivity. Like, we all know the story of this man--and it feels like our own stories at the same time. Part 4, Section 7. Myshkin's excitement (leading to a seizure) among the Epanchin's dignitary guests when he talks about what the nobility needs to become ("servants in order to be leaders"). I'm drawn to things like this because it's affirming, I guess, for me: "it really is true that we're absurd, that we're shallow, have bad habits, that we're bored, that we don't know how to look at things, that we can't understand; we're all like that." And of course he finds a way to make that into a good thing. which, it's pointed out by scholars, is very important to Dostoevsky philosophy--don't deny the earthly passions and problems in yourself, but accept them and incorporate them into your whole person. Me, I'm still working on that one.
Fyodor Dostoevsky
I don’t remember when I stopped noticing—stopped noticing every mirror, every window, every scale, every fast-food restaurant, every diet ad, every horrifying model. And I don’t remember when I stopped counting, or when I stopped caring what size my pants were, or when I started ordering what I wanted to eat and not what seemed “safe,” or when I could sit comfortably reading a book in my kitchen without noticing I was in my kitchen until I got hungry—or when I started just eating when I got hungry, instead of questioning it, obsessing about it, dithering and freaking out, as I’d done for nearly my whole life. I don’t remember exactly when recovery took hold, and went from being something I both fought and wanted, to being simply a way of life. A way of life that is, let me tell you, infinitely more peaceful, infinitely happier, and infinitely more free than life with an eating disorder. And I wouldn’t give up this life of freedom for the world. What I know is this: I chose recovery. It was a conscious decision, and not an easy one. That’s the common denominator among people I know who have recovered: they chose recovery, and they worked like hell for it, and they didn’t give up. Recovery isn’t easy, at first. It takes time. It takes more work, sometimes, than you think you’re willing to do. But it is worth every hard day, every tear, every terrified moment. It’s worth it, because the trade-off is this: you let go of your eating disorder, and you get back your life. There are a couple of things I had to keep in mind in early recovery. One was that I was going to recover, even though I didn’t feel “ready.” I realized I was never going to feel ready—I was just going to jump in and do it, ready or not, and I am deeply glad that I did. Another was that symptoms were not an option. Symptoms, as critically necessary and automatic as they feel, are ultimately a choice. You can choose to let the fallacy that you must use symptoms kill you, or you can choose not to use symptoms. Easier said than done? Of course. But it can be done. I had to keep at the forefront of my mind the reasons I wanted to recover so badly, and the biggest one was this: I couldn’t believe in what I was doing anymore. I couldn’t justify committing my life to self-destruction, to appearance, to size, to weight, to food, to obsession, to self-harm. And that was what I had been doing for so long—dedicating all my strength, passion, energy, and intelligence to the pursuit of a warped and vanishing ideal. I just couldn’t believe in it anymore. As scared as I was to recover, to recover fully, to let go of every last symptom, to rid myself of the familiar and comforting compulsions, I wanted to know who I was without the demon of my eating disorder inhabiting my body and mind. And it turned out that I was all right. It turned out it was all right with me to be human, to have hungers, to have needs, to take space. It turned out that I had a self, a voice, a whole range of values and beliefs and passions and goals beyond what I had allowed myself to see when I was sick. There was a person in there, under the thick ice of the illness, a person I found I could respect. Recovery takes time, patience, enormous effort, and strength. We all have those things. It’s a matter of choosing to use them to save our own lives—to survive—but beyond that, to thrive. If you are still teetering on the brink of illness, I invite you to step firmly onto the solid ground of health. Walk back toward the world. Gather strength as you go. Listen to your own inner voice, not the voice of the eating disorder—as you recover, your voice will get clearer and louder, and eventually the voice of the eating disorder will recede. Give it time. Don’t give up. Love yourself absolutely. Take back your life. The value of freedom cannot be overestimated. It’s there for the taking. Find your way toward it, and set yourself free.
Marya Hornbacher