Uninspirational Quotes

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Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the 'creative bug' is just a wee voice telling you, 'I'd like my crayons back, please.
Hugh MacLeod (Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity)
We are the girls with anxiety disorders, filled appointment books, five-year plans. We take ourselves very, very seriously. We are the peacemakers, the do-gooders, the givers, the savers. We are on time, overly prepared, well read, and witty, intellectually curious, always moving… We pride ourselves on getting as little sleep as possible and thrive on self-deprivation. We drink coffee, a lot of it. We are on birth control, Prozac, and multivitamins… We are relentless, judgmental with ourselves, and forgiving to others. We never want to be as passive-aggressive as our mothers, never want to marry men as uninspired as our fathers… We are the daughters of the feminists who said, “You can be anything,” and we heard, “You have to be everything.
Courtney Martin
Hollywood is bigger down right now by sequels, by the uninspired. Well, my M.O. is a two-hour feast for your senses. That means starting the concept of filmmaking from scratch, making it your own.
Lee Matthew Goldberg (Slow Down)
The truth of Zen, just a little bit of it, is what turns one's humdrum life, a life of monotonous, uninspiring commonplaceness, into one of art, full of genuine inner creativity.
D.T. Suzuki
It is an uneasy lot at best, to be what we call highly taught and yet not to enjoy: to be present at this great spectacle of life and never to be liberated from a small hungry shivering self—never to be fully possessed by the glory we behold, never to have our consciousness rapturously transformed into the vividness of a thought, the ardor of a passion, the energy of an action, but always to be scholarly and uninspired, ambitious and timid, scrupulous and dim-sighted.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
You never know who you're inspiring or uninspiring. People notice more than you think.
Amaka Imani Nkosazana
Blaming his students for being uninspired was so much easier than doing the work required to inspire them.
Nathan Hill (The Nix)
Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kidergarten. Then wen you hit puberty they take te crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on agebra, history, ect. Being suddenly hit years later with the 'creative bug' is just a wee voice telling you, 'I'd like my crayons back, please.
Hugh MacLeod
startling! such determination in the dull and uninspired and the copyists. they never lose the fierce gratitude for their uneventfulness, nor do they forget to laugh at the wit of slugs; as a study in diluted senses they'd make any pharaoh cough up his beans; in music they prefer the monotony of dripping faucets; in love and sex they prefer each other and therefore compound the problem; the energy with which they propel their uselessness (without any self-doubt) toward worthless goals is as magnificent as cow shit. they produce novels, children, death, freeways, cities, wars, wealth, poverty, politicians and total areas of grandiose waste; it's as if the whole world is wrapped in dirty bandages. it's best to take walks late at night. it's best to do your business only on Mondays and Tuesdays. it's best to sit in a small room with the shades down and wait. the strongest men are the fewest and the strongest women die alone too.
Charles Bukowski (The People Look Like Flowers at Last)
The wondrous moment of our meeting... Still I remember you appear Before me like a vision fleeting, A beauty's angel pure and clear. In hopeless ennui surrounding The worldly bustle, to my ear For long your tender voice kept sounding, For long in dreams came features dear. Time passed. Unruly storms confounded Old dreams, and I from year to year Forgot how tender you had sounded, Your heavenly features once so dear. My backwoods days dragged slow and quiet -- Dull fence around, dark vault above -- Devoid of God and uninspired, Devoid of tears, of fire, of love. Sleep from my soul began retreating, And here you once again appear Before me like a vision fleeting, A beauty's angel pure and clear. In ecstasy my heart is beating, Old joys for it anew revive; Inspired and God-filled, it is greeting The fire, and tears, and love alive.
Alexander Pushkin
There are jokes about breast surgeons. You know-- something like-- I've seen more breasts in this city than-- I don't know the punch line. There must be a punch line. I'm not a man who falls in love easily. I've been faithful to my wife. We fell in love when we were twenty-two. We had plans. There was justice in the world. There was justice in love. If a person was good enough, an equally good person would fall in love with that person. And then I met-- Ana. Justice had nothing to do with it. There once was a very great American surgeon named Halsted. He was married to a nurse. He loved her-- immeasurably. One day Halsted noticed that his wife's hands were chapped and red when she came back from surgery. And so he invented rubber gloves. For her. It is one of the great love stories in medicine. The difference between inspired medicine and uninspired medicine is love. When I met Ana, I knew: I loved her to the point of invention.
Sarah Ruhl (The Clean House and Other Plays)
Forgetting that beauty and happiness are only ever incarnated in an individual person, we replace them in our minds by a conventional pattern, a sort of average of all the different faces we have ever admired, all the different pleasures we have ever enjoyed, and thus carry about with us abstract images, which are lifeless and uninspiring because they lack the very quality that something new, something different from what is familiar, always possesses, and which is the quality inseparable from real beauty and happiness. So we make our pessimistic pronouncements on life, which we think are valid, in the belief that we have taken account of beauty and happiness, whereas we have actually omitted them from consideration, substituting for them synthetic compounds that contain nothing of them.
Marcel Proust
Don't live so that your children go unled because of habits that leave you uninspired.
Boyd K. Packer
If Brian Harvey from East 17 has lived there, it can’t be that fucking bad
Matthew Bracey (Steel Dogs)
When I am tired, it is easy to believe that my exhaustion is the reason I am depressed and lonely and uninspired. But when I am well-rested, I can realize that these negative feelings are not a result of too little sleep. They are a result of my being a miserable, hopeless, misanthropic wretch.
John S. Hall (Daily Negations)
Monogamy, in brief, kills passion -- and passion is the most dangerous of all the surviving enemies to what we call civilization, which is based upon order, decorum, restraint, formality, industry, regimentation. The civilized man -- the ideal civilized man -- is simply one who never sacrifices the common security to his private passions. He reaches perfection when he even ceases to love passionately -- when he reduces the most profound of all his instinctive experiences from the level of an ecstasy to the level of a mere device for replenishing the armies and workshops of the world, keeping clothes in repair, reducing the infant death-rate, providing enough tenants for every landlord, and making it possible for the Polizei to know where every citizen is at any hour of the day or night. Monogamy accomplishes this, not by producing satiety, but by destroying appetite. It makes passion formal and uninspiring, and so gradually kills it.
H.L. Mencken
Jonathan had become increasingly disillusioned with living in New York. Something along the lines of: the city, New York fucking City, tedious and boring, its charms as illusory as its facade of authenticity. Its lines were too long. Everything was a status symbol and everything cost too much. There were so many on-trend consumers, standing in lines for blocks to experience a fad dessert, gimmicky art exhibits, a new retail concept store. We were all making such uninspired lifestyle choices. We, including me.
Ling Ma (Severance)
Picture this scene. A critic arrives at the gates of heaven. 'And what did you do?' asks Saint Peter. 'Well', says the dead soul. 'I criticised things'. 'I beg your pardon?' 'You know, other people wrote things, performed things, painted things and I said stuff like, "thin and unconvincing", "turgid and uninspired", "competent and serviceable,"...you know'.
Stephen Fry
Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kidergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take te crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on agebra, history, ect. Being suddenly hit years later with the 'creative bug' is just a wee voice telling you, 'I'd like my crayons back, please.
Hugh MacLeod
We are the girls with anxiety disorders, filled appointment books, five-year plans. We take ourselves very, very seriously. We are the peacemakers, the do-gooders, the givers, the savers. We are on time, overly prepared, well read, and witty, intellectually curious, always moving … We pride ourselves on getting as little sleep as possible and thrive on self-deprivation. We drink coffee, a lot of it. We are on birth control, Prozac, and multivitamins … We are relentless, judgmental with ourselves, and forgiving to others. We never want to be as passive-aggressive are our mothers, never want to marry men as uninspired as our fathers … We are the daughters of the feminists who said, “You can be anything,” and we heard, “You have to be everything.
Courtney Martin
Which I realize is pretty uninspiring, but so is high school dating.
Karen M. McManus (One of Us Is Lying (One of Us is Lying, #1))
If you can help it, do not die bored or uninspired
Malebo Sephodi
When you don't pay attention to your intuition, or go against it, you may find that you feel a certain heaviness, lack of energy, a kind of deadness. This is because the life force is trying to come through and move you in a certain way, and it is being blocked.
Shakti Gawain (Developing Intuition: Practical Guidance for Daily Life)
An inspired and infallible passage whose meaning you cannot be sure of is not much more useful than an uninspired, fallible passage.
Robert M. Price
In fact, some people who rate very high marks on the ego-based indexes of success are the ones I find most difficult to be around—and totally uninspiring
Wayne W. Dyer (Inspiration)
Who votes for these uninspiring gorgons?
Rupert Dreyfus (The Rebel's Sketchbook)
This dog is quite similar to me. He doesn't care that much and sleeps all the time.
Choi Youngjae
Fat" is a small word which belies its size in the girth of its connotations. Fat implies a certain ungainliness, an inefficiency, a sense of immobility, a lack of industry, an unpleasant, unaesthetic quality; unmotivated, unloved, unnatural, unusual, uninspired, unhappy, unlikely to go places or to fit, under the ground with a heart attack at fifty-five. In short, fat somewhat paradoxically involves the lack of many attributes which, you must concede, are generally held to be good.
Mohsin Hamid (Moth Smoke)
Hence the sterile, uninspiring futility of a great many theoretical discussions of ethics, and the resentment which many people feel towards such discussions: moral principles remain in their minds as floating abstractions, offering them a goal they cannot grasp and demanding that they reshape their souls in its image, thus leaving them with a burden of undefinable moral guilt.
Ayn Rand (The Romantic Manifesto)
If every form of nature looked the same we wouldn’t marvel in its beauty. If every mountain overlooked a parallel scene, if every flower bloomed in uninspired ways, the Earth would not steal us of our breath. Use this as a lesson. Your eyes, your hands, your marvelous smile – those are all your unique contribution to the matchless beauty of nature. You are a stunning rarity; you don’t need to be fixed.
Bianca Sparacino (Seeds Planted in Concrete)
The work that business offers just isn’t fulfilling, so instead of being motivated to innovate, reinvent, reimagine, and outperform, most of us are dully uninspired, dispirited, frustrated, suffocated, and downright stymied.
Umair Haque (Betterness: Economics for Humans)
I was born in a village in the northeast, and it wasn’t until I was quite big that I saw my first train. I climbed up and down the station bridge, quite unaware that its function was to permit people to cross from one track to another. I was convinced that the bridge had been provided to lend an exotic touch and to make the station premises a place of pleasant diversity, like some foreign playground. I remained under this delusion for quite a long time, and it was for me a very refined amusement indeed to climb up and down the bridge. I thought that it was one of the most elegant services provided by the railways. When later I discovered that the bridge was nothing more than a utilitarian device, I lost all interest in it. Again, when as a child I saw photographs of subway trains in picture books, it never occurred to me that they had been invented out of practical necessity; I could only suppose that riding underground instead of on the surface must be a novel and delightful pastime. I have been sickly ever since I was a child and have frequently been confined to bed. How often as I lay there I used to think what uninspired decorations sheets and pillow cases make. It wasn’t until I was about twenty that I realized that they actually served a practical purpose, and this revelation of human dullness stirred dark depression in me.
Osamu Dazai (No Longer Human)
The shock was akin to that of buying, out of duty, a novel written by a dull and uninspired acquaintance and finding there passages of heartrending beauty and rapture that one could never imagine coming from such a tedious person.
Andrew Sean Greer (The Confessions of Max Tivoli)
I believe that life is all about perception and timing. That good things come to those who act and that life’s about more than collecting a paycheck. I believe that the only person you’re destined to become is the one that you decide to be. That if you try hard enough you can convince yourself of anything. That having patience doesn’t make you a hero nor does it make you a doormat. I believe that not showing love proves you’re weak and belittling others doesn’t make you strong. That you are never as far away from people as the miles may suggest. That life’s too short to read awful books, listen to terrible music, or be around uninspiring people. I believe that where you start has little impact on where you finish. That sometimes the best thing you can do is walk away. That you can never be overdressed or overeducated. I believe that the cure for anything is salt water; sweat, tears, or the sea. That you should never let your memories be greater than your dreams. And that you should always choose adventure.
Todd Smidt
What was he doing? Reading a little, maybe. We can't even be sure of this. In fact, his biographers have to admit they don't know much at all, and that, judging from appearances - at least between the ages of eighteen and twenty-three - he did absolutely nothing.
Michel Houellebecq (H.P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life)
There once was a very great American surgeon named Halsted. He was married to a nurse. He loved her—immeasurably. One day Halsted noticed that his wife’s hands were chapped and red when she came back from surgery. And so he invented rubber gloves. For her. It is one of the great love stories in medicine. The difference between inspired medicine and uninspired medicine is love. When I met Ana, I knew: I loved her to the point of invention.
Sarah Ruhl (The Clean House)
Be careful how you live your life, millions are watching you. You may be inspiring or uninspiring many.
Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha
If you agree to work with uninspiring fossils, its only a matter of time that you will become one.
Faisal Khosa
Having a gun held to your head helped sort out the big things in life from the little. So, some stranger’s opinion of me given in the form of an uninspired insult? Not a big deal.
Kylie Scott (Trust)
I have an uninspired frock.
Annette Christie (The Rehearsals)
Vin was coming to realize that her old goal in life - simply staying alive - was uninspired. There was so much more she could be doing.
Brandon Sanderson (The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1))
Violence is the first impulse of the wounded and the uninspired, and we... Dracul... are neither.
Marjorie M. Liu (Monstress, Vol. 4: The Chosen)
When you are consumed with thoughts, write. When you are uninspired, read.
Stephen King
From now on, we will greet each other with ‘Heil Hitler’.” No more ‘Good morning, or ‘Good day’, and also no more ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ (Good Bye). These are greetings of the past and for the uninspired, and will not be tolerated. If you want to be a German, then your greeting is ‘Heil Hitler’.
Horst Christian (Children to a Degree: Growing Up Under the Third Reich: Book 1)
Is it possible that the Pentateuch could not have been written by uninspired men? that the assistance of God was necessary to produce these books? Is it possible that Galilei ascertained the mechanical principles of 'Virtual Velocity,' the laws of falling bodies and of all motion; that Copernicus ascertained the true position of the earth and accounted for all celestial phenomena; that Kepler discovered his three laws—discoveries of such importance that the 8th of May, 1618, may be called the birth-day of modern science; that Newton gave to the world the Method of Fluxions, the Theory of Universal Gravitation, and the Decomposition of Light; that Euclid, Cavalieri, Descartes, and Leibniz, almost completed the science of mathematics; that all the discoveries in optics, hydrostatics, pneumatics and chemistry, the experiments, discoveries, and inventions of Galvani, Volta, Franklin and Morse, of Trevithick, Watt and Fulton and of all the pioneers of progress—that all this was accomplished by uninspired men, while the writer of the Pentateuch was directed and inspired by an infinite God? Is it possible that the codes of China, India, Egypt, Greece and Rome were made by man, and that the laws recorded in the Pentateuch were alone given by God? Is it possible that Æschylus and Shakespeare, Burns, and Beranger, Goethe and Schiller, and all the poets of the world, and all their wondrous tragedies and songs are but the work of men, while no intelligence except the infinite God could be the author of the Pentateuch? Is it possible that of all the books that crowd the libraries of the world, the books of science, fiction, history and song, that all save only one, have been produced by man? Is it possible that of all these, the bible only is the work of God?
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
The beautiful unruliness of literature is what makes it so much fun to wander through: you read Jane Austen and you say, oh, that is IT. And then you turn around and read Sterne, and you say, Man, that is IT. And then you wander across a century or so, and you run into Kafka, or Calvino, or Cortazar, and you say, well that is IT. And then you stroll through what Updike called the grottos of Ulysses, and after that you consort with Baldwin or Welty or Spencer, or Morrison, or Bellow or Fitzgerald and then back to W. Shakespeare, Esq; the champ, and all the time you feel the excitement of being in the presence of IT. And when you yourself spend the good time writing, you are not different in kind than any of these people, you are part of that miracle of human invention. So get to work. Get on with IT, no matter how difficult IT is. Every single gesture, every single stumble, every single uninspired-feeling hour, is worth IT." Richard Bausch
Kathy Fish
History deals with situations and figures not imaginary but real. It demands therefore a combination of qualities unnecessary to the poet or writer of romance - glacial judgment coupled with fervent sympathy. The poet may be an uninspired illiterate, the romance-writer an uninspired hack. Under no circumstances can either of them be accused of wrongdoing or deceiving the public, however incongruous their efforts. They write well or badly, and there the matter ends. The historian, who fails in his duty, deceives the reader and wrongs the dead.
Norman Douglas (South Wind)
Well, why not? I guess the reasons against having more children always seem uninspiring and superficial. What exactly am I missing out on? Money? A few more hours of sleep? A more peaceful meal? More hair? These are nothing compared to what I get from these five monsters who rule my life. I believe each of my five children has made me a better man. So I figure I only need another thirty-four kids to be a pretty decent guy. Each one of them has been a pump of light into my shriveled black heart. I would trade money, sleep, or hair for a smile from one of my children in a heartbeat. Well, it depends on how much hair.
Jim Gaffigan (Dad Is Fat)
Anyone could say that a miracle is something impossible, but they say it thoughtlessly, mindlessly, because most people have such weak imaginations they couldn’t possibly understand what they’re saying when they say that a miracle is something impossible. Ask anyone what that means, what it means to see a miracle, and they will say that it’s something impossible, but they mean that a miracle is something formerly believed to be impossible that turns out not to be, not to be impossible, in other words, but possible after all. If this were really true, then miracles would be the most ordinary things in the world, the most uninspiring things in the world, and what can one expect from people who have never been anything but ordinary and uninspired.
Michael Cisco (The Traitor)
Staring at a blank piece of paper, I can't think of anything original. I feel utterly uninspired and unreceptive. It's the familiar malaise of 'artist's block' and in such circumstances there is only one thing to do: just start drawing. The artist Paul Klee refers to this simple act as 'taking a line for a walk', an apt description of my own basic practice: allowing the tip of a pencil to wander through the landscape of a sketchbook, motivated by a vague impulse but hoping to find something much more interesting along the way. Strokes, hooks, squiggles and loops can resolve into hills, faces, animals, machines -even abstract feelings- the meanings of which are often secondary to the simple act of making (something young children know intuitively). Images are not preconceived and then drawn, they are conceived as they are drawn. Indeed, drawing is its own form of thinking, in the same way birdsong is 'thought about' within a bird's throat.
Shaun Tan
A lot of people recoil from the word "drugs" - which is understandable given today's noxious street drugs and their uninspiring medical counterparts. Yet even academics and intellectuals in our society typically take the prototypical dumb drug, ethyl alcohol. If it's socially acceptable to take a drug that makes you temporarily happy and stupid, then why not rationally design drugs to make people perpetually happier and smarter? Presumably, in order to limit abuse-potential, one would want any ideal pleasure drug to be akin - in one limited but important sense - to nicotine, where the smoker's brain finely calibrates its optimal level: there is no uncontrolled dose-escalation.
David Pearce
He realized with a start that something was about to begin. It might be something dull and uninspiring, something he had experienced countless times before, something that wouldn't make a lick of difference when he died. But it was always good to have something about to begin.
Nobuko Takagi
Perhaps Dexter’s dutiful but uninspired brain pictured him as Sherlock Holmes, able to examine the wheel ruts and deduce that a left-handed hunchback with red hair and a limp had gone down the road carrying a Cuban cigar and a ukulele. I would find no clues, not that it mattered.
Jeff Lindsay (Dearly Devoted Dexter (Dexter, #2))
About the same time I came in contact with another Christian family. At their suggestion I attended the Wesleyan church every Sunday. For these days I also had their standing invitation to dinner. The church did not make a favourable impression on me. The sermons seemed to be uninspiring. The congregation did not strike me as being particularly religious. They were not an assembly of devout souls; they appeared rather to be wordly-minded people, going to church for recreation and in conformity to custom. Here, at times, I would involuntarily doze. I was ashamed, but some of my neighbours, who were in no better case, lightened the shame. I could not go on long like this, and soon gave up attending the service.
Mahatma Gandhi (Gandhi: An Autobiography)
Uninspired colonizer trash, one reads. Another iteration of the white woman exploitation sob story formula: copy, paste, change the names, and voila, bestseller, reads another. And a third, which seems way too personal to be objective: What a stuck-up, obnoxious bitch. Brags too much about being a Yalie. I got this during a Kindle sale, and you can bet I made sure to get every one of the two hundred and ninety-nine cents I spent back.
R.F. Kuang (Yellowface)
Asked some years later how he (Abel) had managed to forge ahead so rapidly to the front rank he replied, “By studying the masters, not their pupils”- a prescription some popular writers of textbooks might do well to mention in their prefaces as an antidote to the poisonous mediocrity of their uninspired pedagogics.
Eric Temple Bell (Men of Mathematics)
My Father, the Age I Am Now Time, which diminishes all things, increases understanding for the aging. —PLUTARCH My mother was the star: Smart and funny and warm, A patient listener and an easy laugher. My father was . . . an accountant: Not one to look up to, Ask advice from, Confide in. A man of few words. We faulted him—my mother, my sister, and I, For being this dutiful, uninspiring guy Who never missed a day of work, Or wondered what our dreams were. Just . . . an accountant. Decades later, My mother dead, my sister dead, My father, the age I am now, Planning ahead in his so-accountant way, Sent me, for my records, Copies of his will, his insurance policies, And assorted other documents, including The paid receipt for his cemetery plot, The paid receipt for his tombstone, And the words that he had chosen for his stone. And for the first time, shame on me, I saw my father: Our family’s prime provider, only provider. A barely-out-of-boyhood married man Working without a safety net through the Depression years That marked him forever, Terrified that maybe he wouldn’t make it, Terrified he would fall and drag us down with him, His only goal, his life-consuming goal, To put bread on our table, a roof over our head. With no time for anyone’s secrets, With no time for anyone’s dreams, He quietly earned the words that made me weep, The words that were carved, the following year, On his tombstone: HE TOOK CARE OF HIS FAMILY.
Judith Viorst (Nearing Ninety: And Other Comedies of Late Life (Judith Viorst's Decades))
Love the unloved.⁣ Support the unsupported.⁣ Connect the unconnected.⁣ Reach the unreached.⁣ House the unhoused.⁣ Inspire the uninspired.⁣ Network the unnetworked.⁣ Feed the unfed.⁣ Free the unfree.⁣ Possible the unpossible.⁣ ⁣ Sadly, most of these goals won’t come true until we unteach the taught...starting with ourselves. ⁣
Richie Norton
As to the other means of grace, I would say, I fell into the snare into which so many young believers fall, the reading of religious books in preference to the Scriptures. I read tracts, missionary papers, sermons, and biographies of godly persons. I never had been at any time of my life in the habit of reading the Holy Scriptures. When under fifteen years of age, I occasionally read a little of them at school; afterwards God's precious book was entirely laid aside, so that I never read one single chapter of it till it pleased God to begin a work of grace in my heart. Now the scriptural way of reasoning would have been: God himself has consented to be an author, and I am ignorant about that precious book, which his Holy Spirit has caused to be written through the instrumentality of his servants, and it contains that which I ought to know, the knowledge of which will lead me to true happiness; therefore I ought to read again and again this most precious book of books, most earnestly, most prayerfully, and with much meditation; and in this practice I ought to continue all the days of my life. But instead of acting thus, my difficulty in understanding it, and the little enjoyment I had in it, made me careless of reading it; and thus, like many believers, I practically preferred, for the first four years of my divine life, the works of uninspired men to the oracles of the living God. The consequence was, that I remained a babe, both in knowledge and grace.
George Müller (The Autobiography Of George Muller)
For me the major turning point in my working life was when I figured out that the work I produced when I felt inspired wasn't any different from the work I produced when I felt uninspired -- at least a few months later. I think that "inspiration" has to do with your own confidence in your ideas, your blood sugar, the external pressures in your life, and a million other factors only tangentially related to the actual quality of the work. If creative work makes you sane and happy (and if it supports you financially), it's terrible to harness it to something you can't control, like "inspiration" -- it sucks to only be happy when something you can't control occurs.
Cory Doctorow
To be jealous of money is uninspired ... You can only be jealous of someone who has something that you can never have. More style, for example, or wit. Money is easily earned.
Cristina Alger (The Darlings)
Life is sometimes to be watched as a retarded bird, uninspired by it. It may indeed be threaded, not as a precision course but as an affirmation of its own undoing.
Dew Platt (The Communal Estate)
An uninspired ruler works to develop those relationships which will be most to his advantage. A great ruler determines the most desirable relationships and assumes them into being.
C.S. Friedman (In Conquest Born (In Conquest Born, #1))
An uninspired mind creates a lack of energy for the body, resulting in a lack of performance filled with excuses.
Farshad Asl (The "No Excuses" Mindset: A Life of Purpose, Passion, and Clarity)
Nearly everyone has his box of secret pain, shared with no one. Will had concealed his well, laughed loud, exploited perverse virtues, and never let his jealousy go wandering. He thought of himself as slow, doltish, conservative, uninspired. No great dream lifted him high and no despair forced self destruction. He was always on the edge, trying to hold on to the rim of the family with what gifts he had—care, and reason, application. He kept the books, hired the attorneys, called the undertaker, and eventually paid the bills. The others didn’t even know they needed him. He had the ability to get money and to keep it. He thought the Hamiltons despised him for his one ability. He had loved them doggedly, had always been at hand with his money to pull them out of their errors. He thought they were ashamed of him, and he fought bitterly for their recognition. All of this was in the frozen wind that blew through him.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
Excerpt from "The Trees in Winter"         I’m old now and tired. Dried up and brittle. My hands are like clumsy crooked twigs hanging from my stick figure wrists. My body doesn’t work like it used to, and what goes on in my mind feels about as useful as a cheap trick performed day after day by a third rate magician, an act so worn out that not even I can pretend to be entertained by it anymore. There’s nothing much left to say and even less to do. The repetition is uninspiring, like playing the same set of the same songs day after day. The jazz has gone out of my life, and the dull plodding rhythm I’m left with will never bring it back. There’s a persistent chill in the house that follows me around. Maybe it’s not in the house but in me. Am I becoming morbid? Am I becoming anything?
D.E. Sievers
But what all of them were writing about were merely certainties. Impersonal things, things lacking depth. They were far removed from anything like real hopes or ambitions. Basically, uninspired things. They were criticisms, yes, but not actually things that had any positive bearing on my life. There was no introspection. No real self-awareness, self-regard, or self-respect. It may require courage to say what they said, but were they really able to take responsibility for the consequences? They may adapt their lifestyle to their environment, and may be capable of processing this but there's no true attachment to the self or to that particular lifestyle. There's no real sense of humility. A scarcity of creativity. Only mimicry. Any sense of innate "love" was simply lacking. They may put on airs but they had no dignity. Instead, all they did was write. It was really quite startling as I read. There was no denying it.
Osamu Dazai (Schoolgirl)
In order to cope with the unprecedented technological and economic disruptions of the twenty-first century, we need to develop new social and economic models as soon as possible. These models should be guided by the principle of protecting humans rather than jobs. Many jobs are uninspiring drudgery and are not worth saving. Nobody’s life’s dream is to be a cashier. We should focus instead on providing for people’s basic needs and protecting their social status and self-worth.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
It is an uneasy lot at best, to be what we call highly taught and yet not to enjoy: to be present at this great spectacle of life and never to be liberated from a small hungry shivering self — never to be fully possessed by the glory we behold, never to have our consciousness rapturously transformed into the vividness of a thought, the ardor of a passion, the energy of an action, but always to be scholarly and uninspired, ambitious and timid, scrupulous and dim-sighted. Becoming
George Eliot (Complete Works of George Eliot)
Ask anyone what that means, what it means to see a miracle, and they will say that it's something impossible, but they mean that a miracle is something formerly believed to be impossible that turns out not to be, not to be impossible, in other words, but possible after all. If this were really true, then miracles would be the most ordinary things in the world, the most uninspiring things in the world, and what can one expect from people who have never been anything but ordinary and uninspired.
Michael Cisco (The Traitor)
All the land surface of Trantor, 75,000,000 square miles in extent, was a single city. The population, at its height, was well in excess of forty billions. This enormous population was devoted almost entirely to the administrative necessities of Empire, and found themselves all too few for the complications of the task. (It is to be remembered that the impossibility of proper administration of the Galactic Empire under the uninspired leadership of the later Emperors was a considerable factor in the Fall.)
Isaac Asimov (Foundation (Foundation, #1))
It is easy, and therefore uninspiring, to love within the norms of acceptance and society. Other than ones own heart, there is no great risk involved; it's all very status quo. The same is tired, but what's outside-the-norm is captivating and gets under people’s skin, pushing their buttons, making them think and revealing their depth as a person, or their lack thereof. It's love against obstacles that inspires the most – a love that faces and ultimately endures through challenges, hardship and ridicule that is courageous and triumphant.
Donna Lynn Hope
I compared what was really known about the stars with the account of creation as told in Genesis. I found that the writer of the inspired book had no knowledge of astronomy -- that he was as ignorant as a Choctaw chief -- as an Eskimo driver of dogs. Does any one imagine that the author of Genesis knew anything about the sun -- its size? that he was acquainted with Sirius, the North Star, with Capella, or that he knew anything of the clusters of stars so far away that their light, now visiting our eyes, has been traveling for two million years? If he had known these facts would he have said that Jehovah worked nearly six days to make this world, and only a part of the afternoon of the fourth day to make the sun and moon and all the stars? Yet millions of people insist that the writer of Genesis was inspired by the Creator of all worlds. Now, intelligent men, who are not frightened, whose brains have not been paralyzed by fear, know that the sacred story of creation was written by an ignorant savage. The story is inconsistent with all known facts, and every star shining in the heavens testifies that its author was an uninspired barbarian. I admit that this unknown writer was sincere, that he wrote what he believed to be true -- that he did the best he could. He did not claim to be inspired -- did not pretend that the story had been told to him by Jehovah. He simply stated the "facts" as he understood them. After I had learned a little about the stars I concluded that this writer, this "inspired" scribe, had been misled by myth and legend, and that he knew no more about creation than the average theologian of my day. In other words, that he knew absolutely nothing. And here, allow me to say that the ministers who are answering me are turning their guns in the wrong direction. These reverend gentlemen should attack the astronomers. They should malign and vilify Kepler, Copernicus, Newton, Herschel and Laplace. These men were the real destroyers of the sacred story. Then, after having disposed of them, they can wage a war against the stars, and against Jehovah himself for having furnished evidence against the truthfulness of his book.
Robert G. Ingersoll
No follower of Christ knew the shape of the earth. For many centuries this great Peasant of Palestine has been worshiped as God. Millions and millions have given their lives to his service. The wealth of the world was lavished on his shrines. His name carried consolation to the diseased and dying. His name dispelled the darkness of death, and filled the dungeon with light. His name gave courage to the martyr, and in the midst of fire, with shriveling lips the sufferer uttered it again and again. The outcasts, the deserted, the fallen, felt that Christ was their friend, felt that he knew their sorrows and pitied their sufferings. All this is true, and if it were all, how beautiful, how touching, how glorious it would be. But it is not all. There is another side. In his name millions and millions of men and women have been imprisoned, tortured and killed. In his name millions and millions have been enslaved. In his name the thinkers, the investigators, have been branded as criminals, and his followers have shed the blood of the wisest and best. In his name the progress of many nations was stayed for a thousand years. In his gospel was found the dogma of eternal pain, and his words added an infinite horror to death. His gospel filled the world with hatred and revenge; made intellectual honesty a crime; made happiness here the road to hell, denounced love as base and bestial, canonized credulity, crowned bigotry and destroyed the liberty of man. It would have been far better had the New Testament never been written – far better had the theological Christ never lived. Had the writers of the Testament been regarded as uninspired, had Christ been thought of only as a man, had the good been accepted and the absurd, the impossible, and the revengeful thrown away, mankind would have escaped the wars, the tortures, the scaffolds, the dungeons, the agony and tears, the crimes and sorrows of a thousand years.
Robert G. Ingersoll
Anhuset quickly learned that the conversation between human males worked better than any dream elixir brewed by the most skilled Kai apothecary. It was vapid, shallow, and so utterly uninspired she was in danger of sliding from a light sleep atop her horse into a stupor of boredom.
Grace Draven (The Ippos King (Wraith Kings, #3))
It's almost vital to a continuing creative practice to find, invent or identify a personal passion, project, obsession or collection, because not only can it motivate and challenge you, it also means that even when you're feeling uninspired you will always have a go-to subject to connect with.
Philippa Stanton (Conscious Creativity: Look, Connect, Create)
The time has come At first sight we may feel that a genealogy is an uninspiring way to start the New Testament, but, if we remember God's promises, we will be on the edge of our seats as soon as we read the words: 'A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Vaughan Roberts
In school we learn that one of the best survival strategies is being part of a clique . With our friends, we create a little, tiny world with codes for conduct, morality, dress, communication, ethnicity and sexuality. We then learn to judge everyone else who is not part of our little world by the standards that are acceptable to us. This is called "divide and conquer," and happens to be exactly how male, white patriarchal society operates. When you choose not to see how you, yourself, perpetuate this social model, your world assuredly becomes-or remains-small, "safe," persnickety, judgmental and uninspiring.
Inga Muscio (Cunt: A Declaration of Independence)
There are few left who truly worship anything. Faith is an unfortunate casualty of immortality. Our world has become both uninspired, and untortured.  A place where miracles and magic have no mystery. With the smoke blown away, and mirrors aligned, it is all revealed as manifestations of nature and technology.
Neal Shusterman (Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe, #2))
He liked too the specific and unexpected companionability of the place. There were times on the weekends when everyone was there at the same time, and at moments, he would emerge from the fog of his painting and sense that all of them were breathing in rhythm, panting almost, from the effort of concentrating. He could feel, then, the collective energy they were expending filling the air like gas, flammable and sweet, and would wish he could bottle it so that he might be able to draw from it when he was feeling uninspired, for the days in which he would sit in front of the canvas for literally hours, as though if he stared long enough, it might explode into something brilliant and charged.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
9. Your Photo Album Many people have a photo album. In it they keep memories of the happiest of times. There may be a photo of them playing by the beach when they were very young. There may be the picture with their proud parents at their graduation ceremony. There will be many shots of their wedding that captures their love at one of its highest points. And there will be holiday snapshots too. But you will never find in your album any photographs of miserable moments of your life. Absent is the photo of you outside the principal’s office at school. Missing is any photo of you studying hard late into the night for your exams. No one that I know has a picture of their divorce in their album, nor one of them in a hospital bed terribly sick, nor stuck in busy traffic on the way to work on a Monday morning! Such depressing shots never find their way into anyone’s photo album. Yet there is another photo album that we keep in our heads called our memory. In that album, we include so many negative photographs. There you find so many snapshots of insulting arguments, many pictures of the times when you were so badly let down, and several montages of the occasions where you were treated cruelly. There are surprisingly few photos in that album of happy moments. This is crazy! So let’s do a purge of the photo album in our head. Delete the uninspiring memories. Trash them. They do not belong in this album. In their place, put the same sort of memories that you have in a real photo album. Paste in the happiness of when you made up with your partner, when there was that unexpected moment of real kindness, or whenever the clouds parted and the sun shone with extraordinary beauty. Keep those photos in your memory. Then when you have a few spare moments, you will find yourself turning its pages with a smile, or even with laughter.
Ajahn Brahm (Don't Worry, Be Grumpy: Inspiring Stories for Making the Most of Each Moment)
I dreamed Kim Kardashian was sobbing but her makeup was still flawless. She stood on stage in a tight little cleavage squishing dress holding her award in her arms. Her out of focus, uninspired photograph of sunflowers and bluebonnets won Photograph of the Year in her church’s photography contest. I was kind of bitter about it but I didn’t attend her church and I didn’t enter the contest.
Misti Rainwater-Lites
Battles are the principal milestones in secular history. Modern opinion resents this uninspiring truth, and historians often treat the decisions of the field as incidents in the dramas of politics and diplomacy. But great battles, won or lost, change the entire course of events, create new standards of values, new moods, new atmospheres, in armies and in nations, to which all must conform.
Winston S. Churchill (Marlborough: His Life and Times, 1936 (Marlborough: His Life and Times Series))
Tonight, I'd like to fuck like every other bloody Englishman, with you on your back and me on top groaning and pumping away for a minute or so, then a nice sleep." A sneer touched the edge of her mouth, then Isabeau laughed. "You English, you are so uninspired, a pity for your women. My soul cries for them." "Yes, unimaginative lot that we are, we have somehow managed to colonize much of the world.
Chris Karlsen (Silk (The Bloodstone, #1))
It wasn’t until I got to the law firm that things started hitting me. First, the people around me seemed pretty unhappy. You can go to any corporate law firm and see dozens of people whose satisfaction with their jobs is below average. The work was entirely uninspiring. We were for the most part grease on a wheel, helping shepherd transactions along; it was detail-intensive and often quite dull. Only years later did I realize what our economic purpose was: if a transaction was large enough, you had to pay a team of people to pore over documents into the wee hours to make sure nothing went wrong. I had zero attachment to my clients—not unusual, given that I was the last rung down on the ladder, and most of the time I only had a faint idea of who my clients were. Someone above me at the firm would give me a task, and I’d do it. I also kind of thought that being a corporate lawyer would help me with the ladies. Not so much, just so you know. It was true that I was getting paid a lot for a twenty-four-year-old with almost no experience. I made more than my father, who has a PhD in physics and had generated dozens of patents for IBM over the years. It seemed kind of ridiculous to me; what the heck had I done to deserve that kind of money? As you can tell, not a whole lot. That didn’t keep my colleagues from pitching a fit if the lawyers across the street were making one dollar more than we were. Most worrisome of all, my brain started to rewire itself after only the first few months. I was adapting. I started spotting issues in offering memoranda. My ten-thousand-yard unblinking document review stare got better and better. Holy cow, I thought—if I don’t leave soon, I’m going to become good at this and wind up doing it for a long time. My experience is a tiny data point in a much bigger problem.
Andrew Yang (Smart People Should Build Things: How to Restore Our Culture of Achievement, Build a Path for Entrepreneurs, and Create New Jobs in America)
It is an uneasy lot at best, to be what we call highly taught and yet not to enjoy: to be present at this great spectacle of life and never to be liberated from a small hungry shivering self-- never to be fully possessed by the glory we behold, never to have our consciousness rapturously transformed into the vividness of a thought, the ardor of a passion, the energy of an action, but always to be scholarly and uninspired, ambitious and timid, scrupulous and dim-sighted.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
After a few more weeks of equally uninspired gatherings, I called David. “You’re focusing on the wrong thing,” he said. “The purpose of the meeting is not to talk about each of you as individuals. It’s to focus on how you’re functioning as a family.” He was right. When else did we discuss this most basic thing: how we were a family. We redesigned our questions: 1. What worked well in our family this week? 2. What went wrong in our family this week? 3. What will we work on this coming week?
Bruce Feiler (The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More)
I’ve sat at the piano for hours already, looking for lyrics and melodies, but everything sounds the same and I feel as uninspired as ever. Does it mean I’m finished? A more sobering thought: if I’m finished, would I miss it? But the truth is, I’ve been here before. Many times. We all have. So how do we find the faith to press on? Remember. Remember, Hebrew children, who you once were in Egypt. Remember the altars set up along the way to remind yourselves that you made the journey and God rescued you from sword and famine, from chariots and pestilence, that once you were there, but now you are here. It happened. Our memories are fallible, residing in that most complex and mysterious organ in the human body (and therefore the known universe), capable of being suppressed, manipulated, altered, but also profoundly powerful and able to transport a person to a place fifty years ago all because of a whiff of your grandfather’s cologne or an old book or the salty air. As often as you do this, do it in remembrance of me. Remember with every sip of wine that we shared this meal, you and I. Remember. So I look at the last album, the last book, and am forced to admit that I didn’t know anymore then than I do now. Every song is an Ebenezer stone, evidence of God’s faithfulness. I just need to remember. Trust is crucial. So is self-forgetfulness and risk and a measure of audacity. And now that I think about it, there’s also wonder, insight, familiarity with Scripture, passion, a good night’s sleep, breakfast (preferably an egg sandwich), an encouraging voice, diligence, patience. I need silence. Privacy. Time—that’s what I need: more time. But first I need a vacation, because I’ve been really grinding away at this other stuff and my mental cache is full. A deadline would be great. I work best with deadlines, and maybe some bills piling up. Some new guitar strings would help, and a nice candle. And that’s all I need, in the words of Steve Martin’s The Jerk. This is the truth: all I really need is a guitar, some paper, and discipline. If only I would apply myself.
Andrew Peterson (Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making)
Fear comes in many forms, and we usually don’t call it by its four-letter name. Fear itself is quite fear-inducing. Most intelligent people in the world dress it up as something else: optimistic denial. Most who avoid quitting their jobs entertain the thought that their course will improve with time or increases in income. This seems valid and is a tempting hallucination when a job is boring or uninspiring instead of pure hell. Pure hell forces action, but anything less can be endured with enough clever rationalization.
5. The reading of the Scriptures with godly fear, the sound preaching, and conscionable hearing of the Word, in obedience unto God, with understanding, faith, and reverence; singing of psalms with grace in heart; as also the due administration and worthy receiving of the sacraments instituted by Christ, are all parts of the ordinary religious worship of God: besides religious oaths, vows solemn fastings, and thanksgivings upon special occasions, which are, in their several times and seasons, to be used in a holy and religious manner. Another element of true worship is the "signing of psalms with grace in the heart." It will be observed that the Confession does not acknowledge the legitimacy of the use of modern hymns in the worship of God, but rather only the psalms of the Old Testament. It is not generally realized today that Presbyterian (and many other Reformed) churches originally used only the inspired psalms, hymns and songs of the biblical Psalter in divine worship, but such is the case. The Westminster Assembly not only expressed the conviction that the psalms should be sung in divine worship, but implemented it by preparing a metrical version of the Psalter for use in the churches. This is not the place to attempt a consideration of this question. But we must record our conviction that the Confession is correct at this point. It is correct, we believe, because it has never been proved that God has commanded his Church to sing the uninspired compositions of men rather than or along with the inspired songs, hymns, and psalms of the Psalter in divine worship.
G.I. Williamson
On the bright side,” he went on, gesturing to the massive quantities of alcohol they had laid out on the table for their lackeys, “You get to drink loads of expensive whiskey, instead.” “I don’t like whiskey,” Tyson told him.  “I like steak knives.” “Poddite,” Slade sighed. Tyson squinted at him.  “What?” “Poddite,” Slade said, carefully arranging his plastic cutlery.  “It means that your uninspired tastes mark you as one of the mindless ranks of pod-people that mechanically wander this earth, doing whatever their television or personal devices tell them to, like drinking piss because it’s been marketed as ‘refreshing.’” 
Sara King (Zero's Return (The Legend of ZERO, #3))
It is not quite true that the Swiss do not have a government. What they do not have is a large central government, or what the common discourse describes as “the” government— what governs them is entirely bottom-up, municipal of sorts, regional entities called cantons, near-sovereign mini-states united in a confederation. There is plenty of volatility, with enmities between residents that stay at the level of fights over water fountains or other such uninspiring debates. This is not necessarily pleasant, since neighbors are transformed into busybodies— this is a dictatorship from the bottom, not from the top, but a dictatorship nevertheless. But this bottom-up form of dictatorship provides protection against the romanticism of utopias, since no big ideas can be generated in such an unintellectual atmosphere— it suffices to spend some time in cafés in the old section of Geneva, particularly on a Sunday afternoon, to understand that the process is highly unintellectual, devoid of any sense of the grandiose, even downright puny (there is a famous quip about how the greatest accomplishment of the Swiss was inventing the cuckoo clock while other nations produced great works— nice story except that the Swiss did not invent the cuckoo clock). But the system produces stability— boring stability— at every possible level.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder)
An Act for establishing religious Freedom. Section 1 Whereas, Almighty God hath created the mind free; That all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and therefore are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being Lord, both of body and mind yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do, That the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavouring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time; That to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions, which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical; That even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor, whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness, and is withdrawing from the Ministry those temporary rewards, which, proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labours for the instruction of mankind; That our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions any more than our opinions in physics or geometry, That therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence, by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages, to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right, That it tends only to corrupt the principles of that very Religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments those who will externally profess and conform to it; That though indeed, these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way; That to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy which at once destroys all religious liberty because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own; That it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order; And finally, that Truth is great, and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.
Thomas Jefferson
The sages of antiquity, who put themselves to death as proof of their maturity, had created a discipline of suicide which the moderns have unlearned. Doomed to an uninspired agony, we are neither authors of our extremities nor arbiters of our adieux; the end is no longer our end: we lack the excellence of a unique initiative – by which we might ransom an insipid and talentless life, as we like the sublime cynicism, the ancient splendour of an art of dying. Habitués of despair, complacent corpses, we all outlive ourselves and die only to fulfil a futile formality. It is as if our life were attached to itself only to postpone the moment when we could get rid of it.
Emil M. Cioran (A Short History of Decay)
I have talked with many pastors whose real struggle isn’t first with the hardship of ministry, the lack of appreciation and involvement of people, or difficulties with fellow leaders. No, the real struggle they are having, one that is very hard for a pastor to admit, is with God. What is caused to ministry become hard and burdensome is disappointment and anger at God. We have forgotten that pastoral ministry is war and that you will never live successfully in the pastorate if you live with the peacetime mentality. Permit me to explain. The fundamental battle of pastoral ministry is not with the shifting values of the surrounding culture. It is not the struggle with resistant people who don't seem to esteem the Gospel. It is not the fight for the success of ministries of the church. And is not the constant struggle of resources and personnel to accomplish the mission. No, the war of the pastor is a deeply personal war. It is far on the ground of the pastor’s heart. It is a war values, allegiances, and motivations. It's about the subtle desires and foundational dreams. This war is the greatest threat to every pastor. Yet it is a war that we often naïvely ignore or quickly forget in the busyness of local church ministry. When you forget the Gospel, you begin to seek from the situations, locations and relationships of ministry what you already have been given in Christ. You begin to look to ministry for identity, security, hope, well-being, meeting, and purpose. These things are already yours in Christ. In ways of which you are not always aware, your ministry is always shaped by what is in functional control of your heart. The fact of the matter is that many pastors become awe numb or awe confused, or they get awe kidnapped. Many pastors look at glory and don't seek glory anymore. Many pastors are just cranking out because they don't know what else to do. Many pastors preach a boring, uninspiring gospel that makes you wonder why people aren't sleeping their way through it. Many pastors are better at arguing fine points of doctrine than stimulating divine wonder. Many pastors see more stimulated by the next ministry, vision of the next step in strategic planning than by the stunning glory of the grand intervention of grace into sin broken hearts. The glories of being right, successful, in control, esteemed, and secure often become more influential in the way that ministry is done than the awesome realities of the presence, sovereignty, power, and love of God. Mediocrity is not a time, personnel, resource, or location problem. Mediocrity is a heart problem. We have lost our commitment to the highest levels of excellence because we have lost our awe.
Paul David Tripp (Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry)
There is in this a cruel contradiction implicit in the art form itself. For true jazz is an art of individual assertion within and against the group. Each true jazz moment (as distinct from the uninspired commercial performance) springs from a contest in which each artist challenges all the rest; each solo flight, or improvisation, represents (like the successive canvases of a painter) a definition of his identity: as individual, as member of the collectivity and as a link in the chain of tradition. Thus, because jazz finds its very life in an endless improvisation upon traditional materials, the jazzman must lose his identity even as he finds it — how often do we see even the most famous of jazz artists being devoured alive by their imitators, and, shamelessly, in the public spotlight?
Ralph Ellison (Shadow and Act)
She began to take exercise far too late, embarking on tiny cycling tours to music festivals, or flower shows, or doing the rounds of churches – there were so many spires in her uninspiring adopted home. Three kids, one episiotomy, two continents, many phobias, lots of depressions. Old fat lady's underwear. It was all a curse upon cycling, which she'd taken up for what reason? Believe it or not, not even the bulbous seventies there were still bulbous, middle-aged women such as she, who thought that the principle of cycling meant something. They cycled and they ate in health-food restaurants like Cranks or Ceres, their cussedness aimed at appeasing the Earth Goddess herself. They almost fucking overdosed on grated carrot; while sipping fucking prune juice. They invented being environmentally-conscious, with their vegetable-buying co-operatives which gave them an excuse to put gumboots on in town.
Will Self (How the Dead Live)
Ever since I had ceased to see actors solely as the depositories, in their diction and acting ability, of an artistic truth, they had begun to interest me in their own right; with the feeling that I was watching the characters from some old comic novel, I was amused to see the naïve heroine of a play, her attention drawn to the new face of some young duke who had just taken his seat in the theatre, listen abstractedly to the declaration of love the juvenile lead was addressing to her, while he, through the rolling passion of this declaration, was in turn directing an enamoured eye at an old lady seated in a stage box, whose magnificent pearls had caught his interest; and in this way, largely owing to what Saint-Loup had told me about the private lives of actors, I saw another drama, silent but telling, being played out beneath the words of the play that was being performed, yet the play itself, however uninspired, was still something that interested me too; for within it I could feel germinating and blossoming for an hour in the glare of the footlights, created out of the agglutination on the face of an actor of another face of grease-paint and pasteboard, and on his individual soul the words of a part, the ephemeral and spirited personalities, captivating too, who form the cast of a play, whom one loves, admires, pities, whom one would like to meet again after the play is over, but who by that time have already disintegrated into the actors who are no longer what they were in their roles, into a script which no longer shows the actors’ faces, into a coloured powder that can be wiped off by a handkerchief, who have reverted, in a word, to elements that contain nothing of them, because their dissolution is complete as soon as the play has ended, and this, like the dissolution of a loved one, causes one to doubt the reality of the self and to meditate on the mystery of death.
Marcel Proust (The Guermantes Way)
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. -- Buddhist Proverb. As an enlightened dieter, the next part to mastering weight loss is the art of choosing what you eat. While it is true that you can lose weight eating whatever you want as long as you stick to your calorie budget, you’ll come to find that how you choose to spend those calories will make all the difference. In the last chapter, we discussed how budgeting your calories is similar to budgeting your finances. This same kind of concept also applies when it comes to getting more bang for your buck or for your calorie. In fact, there is an entire art to choosing what you eat that can make weight loss significantly easier. While most dieters are complaining about being hungry, following uninspiring meal plans, or having to rely on willpower -- you can have more food than you’ll know what to do with. The bottom line is that you do need to consume fewer calories to lose weight, but you don’t need to suffer while doing so.
Rachel L. Pires (Diet Enlightenment)
One evening in 1930, as he was struggling to recapture the feverish spirit that had fueled his first book, Look Homeward, Angel, Wolfe decided to give up on an uninspired hour of work and get undressed for bed. But, standing naked at his hotel-room window, Wolfe found that his weariness had suddenly evaporated and that he was eager to write again. Returning to the table, he wrote until dawn with, he recalled, “amazing speed, ease, and sureness.” Looking back, Wolfe tried to figure out what had prompted the sudden change—and realized that, at the window, he had been unconsciously fondling his genitals, a habit from childhood that, while not exactly sexual (his “penis remained limp and unaroused,” he noted in a letter to his editor), fostered such a “good male feeling” that it had stoked his creative energies. From then on, Wolfe regularly used this method to inspire his writing sessions, dreamily exploring his “male configurations” until “the sensuous elements in every domain of life became more immediate, real, and beautiful.
Mason Currey (Daily Rituals: How Artists Work)