What An Attitude Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to What An Attitude. Here they are! All 200 of them:

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Mother Night)
Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Accept yourself, love yourself, and keep moving forward. If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
It isn't what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)
Pursue what catches your heart, not what catches your eyes.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Be grateful for what you already have while you pursue your goals. If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Don't waste your time with explanations: people only hear what they want to hear.
Paulo Coelho
Do not let the memories of your past limit the potential of your future. There are no limits to what you can achieve on your journey through life, except in your mind.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
The unhappiest people in this world, are those who care the most about what other people think.
C. JoyBell C.
Do Not Lie to Yourself We have to be honest about what we want and take risks rather than lie to ourselves and make excuses to stay in our comfort zone.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Do what you love, love what you do, and with all your heart give yourself to it.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Life is too short to waste any amount of time on wondering what other people think about you. In the first place, if they had better things going on in their lives, they wouldn't have the time to sit around and talk about you. What's important to me is not others' opinions of me, but what's important to me is my opinion of myself.
C. JoyBell C.
Our life is what our thoughts make it.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
... "You may not see the ocean, but right now we are in the middle of the ocean, and we have to keep swimming.
Tracy Kidder (Strength in What Remains: A Journey of Remembrance and Forgiveness)
True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.
Seneca
I never kid about my warrior demigod status." "Oh. My. God." I lower my voice, having forgotten to whisper. "You are nothing but a bird with an attitude. Okay, so you have a few muscles, I’ll grant you that. But you know, a bird is nothing but a barely evolved lizard. That’s what you are.
Susan Ee (Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1))
You Are the Master of Your Attitude You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control the way you think about all the events. You always have a choice. You can choose to face them with a positive mental attitude.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Patience Is Not the Ability to Wait: Patience is not the ability to wait. Patience is to be calm no matter what happens, constantly take action to turn it to positive growth opportunities, and have faith to believe that it will all work out in the end while you are waiting.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Don’t let others tell you what you can’t do. Don't let the limitations of others limit your vision. If you can remove your self-doubt and believe in yourself, you can achieve what you never thought possible.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
You are unique. You have different talents and abilities. You don’t have to always follow in the footsteps of others. And most important, you should always remind yourself that you don't have to do what everyone else is doing and have a responsibility to develop the talents you have been given.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Never let hard lessons harden your heart; the hard lessons of life are meant to make you better, not bitter.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.
Viktor E. Frankl
I'm unpredictable, I never know where I'm going until I get there, I'm so random, I'm always growing, learning, changing, I'm never the same person twice. But one thing you can be sure of about me; is I will always do exactly what I want to do.
C. JoyBell C.
You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.
Brian Tracy
The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.
Julia Child
Life is short. Focus on what really matters most. You have to change your priorities over time.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
In case you never get a second chance: don't be afraid!" "And what if you do get a second chance?" "You take it!
C. JoyBell C.
To care about your outward appearance is important, but what’s more important is to have a beautiful soul.
Roy T. Bennett
There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I'm going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts.
Elizabeth Gilbert
Stop doing what is easy or popular. Start doing what is right.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.
Raymond Chandler
Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.
Lou Holtz
Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.
Kahlil Gibran
What other people think and say about you is none of your business. The most destructive thing you would ever do is to believe someone else's opinion of you. You have to stop letting other people's opinions control you.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Life is 10 percent what you make it and 90 percent how you take it.
Irving Berlin
Hey, pretty thing," he said. "What's in the bag?" "Holy water," said Jace, reappearing beside her as if he'd been conjured up like a genie. A sarcastic blond genie with a bad attitude. "Oooh, a Shadowhunter," said the vampire. "Scary." With a wink he melted back into the crowd. "Vampires are such prima donnas," Magnus sighed from the doorway. "Honestly, I don't know why I have these parties." "Because of your cat," Clary reminded him. Magnus perked up. "That's true. Chairman Meow deserves my every effort.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
What we call our destiny is truly our character and that character can be altered. The knowledge that we are responsible for our actions and attitudes does not need to be discouraging, because it also means that we are free to change this destiny. One is not in bondage to the past, which has shaped our feelings, to race, inheritance, background. All this can be altered if we have the courage to examine how it formed us. We can alter the chemistry provided we have the courage to dissect the elements.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934)
It's a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.
Germany Kent
Be where you are, stop over-thinking, and focus on what you are doing.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Failure is constructive feedback that tells you to try a different approach to accomplish what you want.
Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability)
Beauty—real everlasting beauty—lives not on our faces, but in our attitude and our actions. It lives in what we do for ourselves and for others.
Justina Chen (North of Beautiful)
What helps you persevere is your resilience and commitment.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Instead of worrying about what could go wrong, change your thoughts to what could go right. When you change the negative thought into a positive one, it eliminates the negative one.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife - chopping off what's incomplete and saying: 'Now, it's complete because it's ended here.' - from "Collected Sayings of Maud'Dib'' by the Princess Irulan
Frank Herbert (Dune (Dune #1))
The person in life that you will always be with the most, is yourself. Because even when you are with others, you are still with yourself, too! When you wake up in the morning, you are with yourself, laying in bed at night you are with yourself, walking down the street in the sunlight you are with yourself.What kind of person do you want to walk down the street with? What kind of person do you want to wake up in the morning with? What kind of person do you want to see at the end of the day before you fall asleep? Because that person is yourself, and it's your responsibility to be that person you want to be with. I know I want to spend my life with a person who knows how to let things go, who's not full of hate, who's able to smile and be carefree. So that's who I have to be.
C. JoyBell C.
Make the most of what you have and keep your standards high. Never settle for anything less than you deserve or are capable of achieving.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Great goals make great people. People cannot hit what they do not aim for.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Your talent determines what you can do. Your motivation determines how much you are willing to do. Your attitude determines how well you do it.
Lou Holtz
Integrity is doing what is right and truthful, and doing as you say you would do.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Life is like a sandwich! Birth as one slice, and death as the other. What you put in-between the slices is up to you. Is your sandwich tasty or sour? Allan Rufus.org
Allan Rufus
If you can quit, quit. If you can't quit, stop complaining - this is what you chose.
J.A. Konrath
When you stop living your life based on what others think of you real life begins. At that moment, you will finally see the door of self acceptance opened.
Shannon L. Alder
Until you change how you get things done, you'll never know what works best.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.
Charles R. Swindoll
I began to draw an invisible boundary between myself and other people. No matter who I was dealing with. I maintained a set distance, carefully monitoring the person’s attitude so that they wouldn’t get any closer. I didn’t easily swallow what other people told me. My only passions were books and music
Haruki Murakami (Sputnik Sweetheart)
Don't pretend to be what you're not, instead, pretend to what you want to be, it is not pretence, it is a journey to self realization.
Michael Bassey Johnson
You're going to meet many people with domineering personalities: the loud, the obnoxious, those that noisily stake their claims in your territory and everywhere else they set foot on. This is the blueprint of a predator. Predators prey on gentleness, peace, calmness, sweetness and any positivity that they sniff out as weakness. Anything that is happy and at peace they mistake for weakness. It's not your job to change these people, but it's your job to show them that your peace and gentleness do not equate to weakness. I have always appeared to be fragile and delicate but the thing is, I am not fragile and I am not delicate. I am very gentle but I can show you that the gentle also possess a poison. I compare myself to silk. People mistake silk to be weak but a silk handkerchief can protect the wearer from a gunshot. There are many people who will want to befriend you if you fit the description of what they think is weak; predators want to have friends that they can dominate over because that makes them feel strong and important. The truth is that predators have no strength and no courage. It is you who are strong, and it is you who has courage. I have lost many a friend over the fact that when they attempt to rip me, they can't. They accuse me of being deceiving; I am not deceiving, I am just made of silk. It is they who are stupid and wrongly take gentleness and fairness for weakness. There are many more predators in this world, so I want you to be made of silk. You are silk.
C. JoyBell C.
Dedicate yourself to what gives your life true meaning and purpose; make a positive difference in someone's life.
Roy T. Bennett
I find it odd- the greed of mankind. People only like you for as long as they perceive they can get what they want from you. Or for as long as they perceive you are who they want you to be. But I like people for all of their changing surprises, the thoughts in their heads, the warmth that changes to cold and the cold that changes to warmth... for being human. The rawness of being human delights me.
C. JoyBell C.
He had this old southern idea of what a lady should be. A lady should not carry a gun and spend most of her time covered in blood and corpses. I had two words for that attitude. Yeah, those are the words.
Laurell K. Hamilton
-You think I’ve got a big ego and an attitude problem? -I don’t think you do, Carlos. I know it. Unfortunately, it’s a Fuentes flaw. -I’d call it an asset. It’s what makes us Fuentes brothers irresistible. Carlos and Brittany
Simone Elkeles (Rules of Attraction (Perfect Chemistry, #2))
What is a Wanderess? Bound by no boundaries, contained by no countries, tamed by no time, she is the force of nature’s course.
Roman Payne (The Wanderess)
Great people do things before they're ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you're afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that- that's what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that's really special and if you're not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself
Amy Poehler
Grace is what picks me up and lifts my wings high above and I fly! Grace always conquers! Be graceful in everything; in anger, in sadness, in joy, in kindness, in unkindness, retain grace with you!
C. JoyBell C.
What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? Our attitude toward it. Every opportunity has a difficulty, and every difficulty has an opportunity.
J. Sidlow Baxter
How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us. So you must not be frightened if a sadness rises up before you larger than any you have ever seen; if a restiveness, like light and cloudshadows, passes over your hands and over all you do. You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; it will not let you fall. Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any miseries, or any depressions? For after all, you do not know what work these conditions are doing inside you.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
But what are loyalty and caring really worth?" "To me? Everything.
Richelle Mead (The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2))
Another way to be prepared is to think negatively. Yes, I'm a great optimist. but, when trying to make a decision, I often think of the worst case scenario. I call it 'the eaten by wolves factor.' If I do something, what's the most terrible thing that could happen? Would I be eaten by wolves? One thing that makes it possible to be an optimist, is if you have a contingency plan for when all hell breaks loose. There are a lot of things I don't worry about, because I have a plan in place if they do.
Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)
The acceptance of oneself is the essence of the whole moral problem and the epitome of a whole outlook on life. That I feed the hungry, that I forgive an insult, that I love my enemy in the name of Christ -- all these are undoubtedly great virtues. What I do unto the least of my brethren, that I do unto Christ. But what if I should discover that the least among them all, the poorest of all the beggars, the most impudent of all the offenders, the very enemy himself -- that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness -- that I myself am the enemy who must be loved -- what then? As a rule, the Christian's attitude is then reversed; there is no longer any question of love or long-suffering; we say to the brother within us "Raca," and condemn and rage against ourselves. We hide it from the world; we refuse to admit ever having met this least among the lowly in ourselves.
C.G. Jung (Memories, Dreams, Reflections)
Go all the way with it. Do not back off. For once, go all the goddamn way with what matters.
Ernest Hemingway (The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway)
We’re never gonna understand women. They’re way too complex. You’ve got too many variables to consider. PMS, bad hair days, miscellaneous mood swings . . . there’s no way to tell what’s causing their attitude. - Mike
Susane Colasanti (When It Happens)
Cultivate an optimistic mind, use your imagination, always consider alternatives, and dare to believe that you can make possible what others think is impossible.
Rodolfo Costa (Advice My Parents Gave Me: and Other Lessons I Learned from My Mistakes)
All subjects are the same. I memorize notes for a test, spew it, ace it, then forget it. What makes this scary for the future of our country is that I'm in the tip-top percentile on every standardized test. I'm a model student with a very crappy attitude about learning.
Megan McCafferty (Sloppy Firsts (Jessica Darling, #1))
Everything is within your power, and your power is within you.
Janice Trachtman (Catching What Life Throws at You: Inspiring True Stories of Healing)
You've always had a good grasp on what's right and wrong. You just have a hard time admitting that sometimes you choose the wrong.
Jessica Sorensen (The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret, #1))
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company...a church....a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude...I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you...we are in charge of our attitudes.
Charles R. Swindoll
Who we are and how we engage with the world are much stronger predictors of how our children will do than what we know about parenting.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you.
Jean-Paul Sartre
If we don't fight for what we 'stand for' with our passionate words and honest actions, do we really 'stand' for anything?
Tiffany Madison (Black and White)
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)
I never approve, or disapprove, of anything now. It is an absurd attitude to take towards life. We are not sent into the world to air our moral prejudices. I never take any notice of what common people say, and I never interfere with what charming people do. If a personality fascinates me, whatever mode of expression that personality selects is absolutely delightful to me.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
The only thing that stands between a person and what they want in life is the will to try it and the faith to believe it is possible.
Rich DeVos
I have a dream.” “Is your dream very big?” “No.” “Well is it very grand?” “Not either.” “Neither?” “Neither.” “What is it then?” “It is very shiny.
C. JoyBell C.
I am a strong and powerful woman. I am proud to be a woman and I celebrate the qualities that I have as a woman. I am not defined by other people’s opinion of who I should be or what I should do as a woman. I determine that, not anyone else. I am not passed up for a position, title, or promotion because I am a woman. I fully deserve all the good things that comes my way. Irrespective of what anyone might think, being a woman places no boundaries or limits on my abilities. I can do anything I set my mind to. I celebrate my womanhood and I am beautiful both inside and out.
Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability)
Everyone's time is limited. What matters most is to focus on what matters most.
Roy T. Bennett
When you go through difficult times, make sure you pass the test. Don’t be stubborn and hardheaded. Recognize that God is refining you, knocking off some of your rough edges. Stand strong and fight the good fight of faith. God has called each of us to be champions; you are destined to win. If you will work with God and keep a good attitude, then no matter what comes against you, the bible says that all things – not just the good things in life, but all things – work together for your good.
Joel Osteen (Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential)
What would you not have accomplished if you had been free?" "Possibly nothing at all; the overflow of my brain would probably, in a state of freedom, have evaporated in a thousand follies; misfortune is needed to bring to light the treasures of the human intellect. Compression is needed to explode gunpowder. Captivity has brought my mental faculties to a focus; and you are well aware that from the collision of clouds electricity is produced — from electricity, lightning, from lightning, illumination.
Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)
Our beliefs about what we are and what we can be precisely determine what we can be
Anthony Robbins
As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”. As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”. As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”. As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”. As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”. As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”. As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”. As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”. As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”. We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know “THAT IS LIFE”!
Charlie Chaplin
It is not so much what happens to you as how you think about what happens.
Epictetus
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.
Charles R. Swindoll
The comfort zone is a psychological state in which one feels familiar, safe, at ease, and secure. If you always do what is easy and choose the path of least resistance, you never step outside your comfort zone. Great things don’t come from comfort zones.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Does character develop over time? In novels, of course it does: otherwise there wouldn't be much of a story. But in life? I sometimes wonder. Our attitudes and opinions change, we develop new habits and eccentricities; but that's something different, more like decoration. Perhaps character resembles intelligence, except that character peaks a little later: between twenty and thirty, say. And after that, we're just stuck with what we've got. We're on our own. If so, that would explain a lot of lives, wouldn't it? And also—if this isn't too grand a word—our tragedy.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
None of us can avoid being contaminated by the world's evils; it's all a matter of what attitude you take towards them.
Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books)
Don't be a pawn in somebody's game. Find the attitude which gives you the maximum strength and the maximum dignity, no matter what else is going on
Anne Rice
If you are on social media, and you are not learning, not laughing, not being inspired or not networking, then you are using it wrong.
Germany Kent
His forehead dropped to touch mine. “I’m gonna piss you off ‘cause I can be a dick. That’s who I am. And you’re gonna piss me off ‘cause, babe, you got attitude. That’s who you are. And that’s who we’re comin’ out to be together. And I’m all right with that because, with what I had before, even when you’re a bitch, I like it. But when you’re not, it’s a sweetness the like I’ve never tasted.
Kristen Ashley (Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain, #2))
I was hugely impressed... was the ultimate example of a man who knew what he didn't know, was perfectly willing to admit it, and didn't want to leave until he understood. That's heroic to me. I wish every grad student had that attitude.
Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)
People generally fall into one of three groups: the few who make things happen, the many who watch things happen, and the overwhelming majority who have no notion of what happens. Every person is either a creator of fact or a creature of circumstance. He either puts color into his environment, or, like a chameleon, takes color from his environment.
Myles Munroe (Understanding Your Potential - Discovering the Hidden You)
We have to do what is right, not what is easy nor what is popular.
Roy T. Bennett
God is always more interested in why we do something than in what we do. Attitudes count more than achievements.
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?)
I like what I like and not what I'm supposed to like because of mass rating. And I very much dislike the things I don't like.
Erle Stanley Gardner (The Case Of The Careless Cupid (Perry Mason, #79))
There is nothing either ' good or bad ' but ' thinking ' makes it so. It is the "perception" that makes things what they are. Good and bad is in our mind. It is our mindset, our mental attitude that determines how we will interpret and respond to situations. Erik pevernagie - ("Is that all there is ?")
Erik Pevernagie
...success is not a comparison of what we have done with what others have done.
Myles Munroe (Understanding Your Potential - Discovering the Hidden You)
I think it's really tragic when people get serious about stuff. It's such an absurdity to take anything really seriously ... I make an honest attempt not to take anything seriously: I worked that attitude out about the time I was eighteen, I mean, what does it all mean when you get right down to it, what's the story here? Being alive is so weird.
Frank Zappa
When you experience a negative circumstance or event, do not dwell on it. Be proactive — put your attention on what you need to do to bring the situation to a positive result.
Rodolfo Costa (Advice My Parents Gave Me: and Other Lessons I Learned from My Mistakes)
Fine. You don’t want to be good enough for me, then you will never be. I deserve someone who wants to be what I need.
Abbi Glines (Just for Now (Sea Breeze, #4))
Cats can do whatever they want, whenever they want, without regard to what anyone says or does. Rather like Princesses.
Terry Brooks (A Princess of Landover (Magic Kingdom of Landover, #6))
We're all blessed and we're all blighted, Chief Inspector," said Finney. "Everyday each of us does our sums. The question is, what do we count?
Louise Penny (A Rule Against Murder (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #4))
The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people. As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don't help you climb will want you to crawl. Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don't increase you will eventually decrease you. Consider this: Never receive counsel from unproductive people. Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves are always first to tell you how. Not everyone has a right to speak into your life. You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas with the wrong person. Don't follow anyone who's not going anywhere. With some people you spend an evening: with others you invest it. Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life. Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships. If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl. But, if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights. "A mirror reflects a man's face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses." The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate - for the good and the bad. Note: Be not mistaken. This is applicable to family as well as friends. Yes...do love, appreciate and be thankful for your family, for they will always be your family no matter what. Just know that they are human first and though they are family to you, they may be a friend to someone else and will fit somewhere in the criteria above. "In Prosperity Our Friends Know Us. In Adversity We Know Our friends." "Never make someone a priority when you are only an option for them." "If you are going to achieve excellence in big things,you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.."..
Colin Powell
The decisive question for man is: Is he related to something infinite or not? That is the telling question of his life. Only if we know that the thing which truly matters is the infinite can we avoid fixing our interests upon futilities, and upon all kinds of goals which are not of real importance. Thus we demand that the world grant us recognition for qualities which we regard as personal possessions: our talent or our beauty. The more a man lays stress on false possessions, and the less sensitivity he has for what is essential, the less satisfying is his life. He feels limited because he has limited aims, and the result is envy and jealousy. If we understand and feel that here in this life we already have a link with the infinite, desires and attitudes change.
C.G. Jung (Memories, Dreams, Reflections)
I think of the postmodern attitude as that of a man who loves a very cultivated woman and knows that he cannot say to her "I love you madly", because he knows that she knows (and that she knows he knows) that these words have already been written by Barbara Cartland. Still there is a solution. He can say "As Barbara Cartland would put it, I love you madly". At this point, having avoided false innocence, having said clearly it is no longer possible to talk innocently, he will nevertheless say what he wanted to say to the woman: that he loves her in an age of lost innocence.
Umberto Eco
Even the smallest changes in our daily routine can create incredible ripple effects that expand our vision of what is possible.
Charles F. Glassman (Brain Drain The Breakthrough That Will Change Your Life)
You become what you think about
Napoleon Hill (Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude)
Learn to adapt. Things change, circumstances change. Adjust yourself and your efforts to what it is presented to you so you can respond accordingly. Never see change as a threat, because it can be an opportunity to learn, to grow, evolve and become a better person.
Rodolfo Costa (Advice My Parents Gave Me: and Other Lessons I Learned from My Mistakes)
God did not direct His call to Isaiah— Isaiah overheard God saying, ". . . who will go for Us?" The call of God is not just for a select few but for everyone. Whether I hear God’s call or not depends on the condition of my ears, and exactly what I hear depends upon my spiritual attitude.
Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest)
If you don't set a baseline standard for what you'll accept in life, you'll find it's easy to slip into behaviours and attitudes or a quality of life that's far below what you deserve.
Anthony Robbins
I want to question my belief, so that what is left after I have questioned it, will be even stronger.
Thomas Hardy (Tess of the D’Urbervilles)
It is possible to be honest every day. It is possible to live so that others can trust us-can trust our words, our motives, and our actions. Our examples are vital to those who sit at our feet as well as those who watch from a distance. Our own constant self-improvement will become as a polar star to those within our individual spheres of influence. They will remember longer what they saw in us than what they heard from us. Our attitude, our point of view, can make a tremendous difference.
Gordon B. Hinckley (Standing for Something: Ten Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes)
I have never yet figured out what to do about good advice that you get, and that you know right away would help you, but that you cannot follow.
Holly Lisle (The Silver Door (Moon & Sun, #2))
I’ve been doing this a long time, and I’ve come to learn that predictions don’t mean much. Too much lies outside the realm of medical knowledge. A lot of what happens next comes down to you and your specific genetics, your attitude. No, there’s nothing we can do to stop the inevitable, but that’s not the point. The point is that you should try to make the most of the time you have left.
Nicholas Sparks (The Last Song)
Advice to my younger self: 1 Start where you are with what you have 2 Try not to hurt other people 3 Take more chances 4 If you fail, keep trying
Germany Kent
Tybalt’s what we call ‘Cait Sidhe’— the fairy cats. Which explains the attitude. And the eyes.” “Meow,” said Tybalt, deadpan.
Seanan McGuire (Ashes of Honor (October Daye, #6))
What's the point? was my attitude. We're all just going to die and then NOT be let on the boat.
Meg Cabot (Abandon (Abandon, #1))
In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.
Mahatma Gandhi
Genius is seldom recognized for what it is: a great capacity for hard work.
Henry Ford
Small wins are a steady application of a small advantage.
Charles Duhigg (The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business)
A sincere attitude of gratitude is a beatitude for secured altitudes. Appreciate what you have been given and you will be promoted higher.
Israelmore Ayivor
Whatever your passion is, keep doing it. Don't waste time chasing after success or comparing yourself to others. Every flower blooms at a different pace. Excel at doing what your passion is and only focus on perfecting it. Eventually people will see what you are great at doing, and if you are truly great, success will come chasing after you.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Is your cucumber bitter? Throw it away. Are there briars in your path? Turn aside. That is enough. Do not go on and say, "Why were things of this sort ever brought into this world?" neither intolerable nor everlasting - if thou bearest in mind that it has its limits, and if thou addest nothing to it in imagination. Pain is either an evil to the body (then let the body say what it thinks of it!)-or to the soul. But it is in the power of the soul to maintain its own serenity and tranquility. . . .
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
And, finally, I noticed that a hot flush was spreading over me, and that the look in his eyes was doing more to me than Jesse's kisses had. Dimitri was quiet and distant sometimes, but he also had a dedication and an intensity that I'd never seen in any other person. I wondered how that kind of power and strength translated into…well, sex. I wondered what it'd be like for him to touch me and—shit! What was I thinking? Was I out of my mind? Embarrassed, I covered my feelings with attitude. "You see something you like?" I asked. "Get dressed.
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
Other people spoke, and I tried to keep up with the translations. All the stories were about Dimitri's kindness and strength of character. Even when not out battling the undead, Dimitri had always been there to help those who needed it. Almost everyone could recall sometime that Dimitri had stepped up to help others, going out of his way to do what was right, even in situations that could put him at risk. That was no surprise to me. Dimitri always did the right thing. And it was that attitude that had made me love him so much. I had a similar nature. I too rushed in when others needed me, sometimes when I shouldn't have. Others called me crazy for it, but Dimitri had understood. He'd always understood me, and part of what we'd worked on was how to temper that impulsive need to run into danger with reason and calculation. I had a feeling no one else in this world would ever understand me like he did.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
A Woman's Question Do you know you have asked for the costliest thing Ever made by the Hand above? A woman's heart, and a woman's life--- And a woman's wonderful love. Do you know you have asked for this priceless thing As a child might ask for a toy? Demanding what others have died to win, With a reckless dash of boy. You have written my lesson of duty out, Manlike, you have questioned me. Now stand at the bars of my woman's soul Until I shall question thee. You require your mutton shall always be hot, Your socks and your shirt be whole; I require your heart be true as God's stars And as pure as His heaven your soul. You require a cook for your mutton and beef, I require a far greater thing; A seamstress you're wanting for socks and shirts--- I look for a man and a king. A king for the beautiful realm called Home, And a man that his Maker, God, Shall look upon as He did on the first And say: "It is very good." I am fair and young, but the rose may fade From this soft young cheek one day; Will you love me then 'mid the falling leaves, As you did 'mong the blossoms of May? Is your heart an ocean so strong and true, I may launch my all on its tide? A loving woman finds heaven or hell On the day she is made a bride. I require all things that are grand and true, All things that a man should be; If you give this all, I would stake my life To be all you demand of me. If you cannot be this, a laundress and cook You can hire and little to pay; But a woman's heart and a woman's life Are not to be won that way.
Joshua Harris (I Kissed Dating Goodbye: A New Attitude Toward Relationships and Romance)
But...surely you know where your nephew is going?' she asked, looking bewildered. 'Certainly we know,' said Vernon Dursley. 'He's off with some of your lot, isn't he? Right, Dudley, let's get in the car, you heard the man, we're in a hurry.' Again, Vernon Dursley marched as far as the front door, but Dudley did not follow. 'Off with some of our lot?' Hestia looked outraged. Harry had met the attitude before: witches and wizards seemed stunned that his closest living family took so little interest in the famous Harry Potter. 'It's fine,' Harry assured her. 'It doesn't matter, honestly.' 'Doesn't matter?' repeated Hestia, her voice rising ominously. 'Don't these people realise what you've been through? What danger you are in? The unique position you hold in the hearts of the anti-Voldemort movement? 'Er - no, they don't,' said Harry. 'They think I'm a waste of space, actually, but I'm used to -' 'I don't think you're a waste of space.' If Harry had not seen Dudley's lips move, he might not have believed it.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
REMEMBER YOUR GREATNESS Before you were born, And were still too tiny for The human eye to see, You won the race for life From among 250 million competitors. And yet, How fast you have forgotten Your strength, When your very existence Is proof of your greatness. You were born a winner, A warrior, One who defied the odds By surviving the most gruesome Battle of them all. And now that you are a giant, Why do you even doubt victory Against smaller numbers, And wider margins? The only walls that exist, Are those you have placed in your mind. And whatever obstacles you conceive, Exist only because you have forgotten What you have already Achieved. Poetry by Suzy Kassem
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
The most incredible architecture Is the architecture of Self, which is ever changing, evolving, revolving and has unlimited beauty and light inside which radiates outwards for everyone to see and feel. With every in breathe you are adding to your life and every out breathe you are releasing what is not contributing to your life. Every breathe is a re-birth.
Allan Rufus (The Master's Sacred Knowledge)
But what I wanted back had never really been there. He was a temporary illusion, a mirage of water after walking in the desert. I had made him up. And he could have killed me. You've got to stop the ride sometimes. Stop it and get off.
Deb Caletti (The Secret Life of Prince Charming)
Do not disturb yourself by picturing your life as a whole; do not assemble in your mind the many and varied troubles which have come to you in the past and will come again in the future, but ask yourself with regard to every present difficulty: 'What is there in this that is unbearable and beyond endurance?' You would be ashamed to confess it! And then remind yourself that it is not the future or what has passed that afflicts you, but always the present, and the power of this is much diminished if you take it in isolation and call your mind to task if it thinks that it cannot stand up to it when taken on its own.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
I believe that there are people who think as I do, who have thought as I do, who will think as I do. There are those who will live, unconscious of me, but continuing my attitude, so to speak, as I continue, unknowingly, the similar attitude of those before me. I could write and write. All it takes is a motion of the hand in response to a brain impulse, trained from childhood to record in our own American brand of hieroglyphics the translations of external stimuli. How much of my brain is wilfully my own? How much is not a rubber stamp of what I have read and heard and lived? Sure, I make a sort of synthesis of what I come across, but that is all that differentiates me from another person? - - - That I have banged into and assimilated various things? That my environment and a chance combination of genes got me where I am?
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.
Mahatma Gandhi
If you really want to communicate something, even if it’s just an emotion or an attitude, let alone an idea, the least effective and least enjoyable way is directly. It only goes in about an inch. But if you can get people to the point where they have to think a moment what it is you’re getting at, and then discover it, the thrill of discovery goes right through the heart.
Stanley Kubrick
The American Negro has the great advantage of having never believed the collection of myths to which white Americans cling: that their ancestors were all freedom-loving heroes, that they were born in the greatest country the world has ever seen, or that Americans are invincible in battle and wise in peace, that Americans have always dealt honorably with Mexicans and Indians and all other neighbors or inferiors, that American men are the world's most direct and virile, that American women are pure. Negroes know far more about white Americans than that; it can almost be said, in fact, that they know about white Americans what parents—or, anyway, mothers—know about their children, and that they very often regard white Americans that way. And perhaps this attitude, held in spite of what they know and have endured, helps to explain why Negroes, on the whole, and until lately, have allowed themselves to feel so little hatred. The tendency has really been, insofar as this was possible, to dismiss white people as the slightly mad victims of their own brainwashing.
James Baldwin (The Fire Next Time)
The difference between patriotism and nationalism is that the patriot is proud of his country for what it does, and the nationalist is proud of his country no matter what it does; the first attitude creates a feeling of responsibility, but the second a feeling of blind arrogance that leads to war.
Sydney J. Harris
You know what? Who cares what you’re wearing?” Kenji says. “It’s all in the attitude, anyway. It’s about how you carry yourself.” I look up at him, feeling the height difference between us more acutely than ever. “But I’m so short.” “Napoleon was short, too.” “Napoleon was horrible,” I point out. “Napoleon got shit done, didn’t he?” I frown.
Tahereh Mafi (Restore Me (Shatter Me, #4))
A study at the University of Utah found that if you ask someone why he is friendly with someone else, he’ll say it is because he and his friend share similar attitudes. But if you actually quiz the two of them on their attitudes, you’ll find out that what they actually share is similar activities. We’re friends with the people we do things with, as much as we are with the people we resemble. We don’t seek out friends, in other words. We associate with the people who occupy the same small, physical spaces that we do.
Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference)
To make 2013 (or any other)your year, keep it simple: 1) Count your blessings first 2) Whatever you did last year, Do it better 3) Go step by step, One day at a time. 4) Create/make your own opportunities. 5) Believe in your abilities at all times, 6) Qutting is not an option. Keep Going. 7) Finish what you started
Pablo
The symptoms of abuse are there, and the woman usually sees them: the escalating frequency of put-downs. Early generosity turning more and more to selfishness. Verbal explosions when he is irritated or when he doesn’t get his way. Her grievances constantly turned around on her, so that everything is her own fault. His growing attitude that he knows what is good for her better than she does. And, in many relationships, a mounting sense of fear or intimidation. But the woman also sees that her partner is a human being who can be caring and affectionate at times, and she loves him. She wants to figure out why he gets so upset, so that she can help him break his pattern of ups and downs. She gets drawn into the complexities of his inner world, trying to uncover clues, moving pieces around in an attempt to solve an elaborate puzzle.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
I don't know how to say it, but after last night I feel different. I seem to see ahead, in a kind of way. I know we are going to take a very long road, into darkness; but I know I can't turn back. It isn't right to see Elves now, nor dragons, nor mountains, that I want - I don't rightly know what I want: but I have something to do before the end, and it lies ahead, not in the Shire. I must see it through, sir, if you understand me.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
I like Texas and Texans. In Texas, everything is bigger. When Texans win, they win big. And when they lose, it's spectacular. If you really want to learn the attitude of how to handle risk, losing and failure, go to San Antonio and visit the Alamo. The Alamo is a great story of brave people who chose to fight, knowing there was no hope of success against overwhelming odds. They chose to die instead of surrendering. It's an inspiring story worthy of study; nonetheless, it's still a tragic military defeat. They got their butts kicked. A failure if you will. They lost. So how do Texans handle failure? They still shout, "Remember the Alamo!" That's why I like Texans so much. They took a great failure and turned it into a tourist destination that makes them millions. Texans don't bury their failures. They get inspired by them. They take their failures and turn them into rallying cries. Failure inspires Texans to become winners. But that formula is not just the formula for Texans. It is formula for all winners.
Robert T. Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Children About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Don't)
Closing The Cycle One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through. Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters - whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished. Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents' house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden? You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened. You can tell yourself you won't take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that. But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister, everyone will be finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill. None of us can be in the present and the past at the same time, not even when we try to understand the things that happen to us. What has passed will not return: we cannot for ever be children, late adolescents, sons that feel guilt or rancor towards our parents, lovers who day and night relive an affair with someone who has gone away and has not the least intention of coming back. Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away. That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home. Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts - and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place. Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them. Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood. Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else. Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the "ideal moment." Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back. Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person - nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need. This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important. Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life. Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust. Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.
Paulo Coelho
For, like almost everyone else in our country, I started out with my share of optimism. I believed in hard work and progress and action, but now, after first being 'for' society and then 'against' it, I assign myself no rank or any limit, and such an attitude is very much against the trend of the times. But my world has become one of infinite possibilities. What a phrase - still it's a good phrase and a good view of life, and a man shouldn't accept any other; that much I've learned underground. Until some gang succeeds in putting the world in a strait jacket, its definition is possibility.
Ralph Ellison (Invisible Man)
Attitude is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, money, circumstances, than failures and success, than what other people think, say, or do. It is more important than appearance, ability, or skill. It will make or break a business, a home, a friendship, an organization. The remarkable thing is I have a choice every day of what my attitude will be. I cannot change my past. I cannot change the actions of others. I cannot change the inevitable. The only thing I can change is attitude. Life is ten percent what happens to me and ninety percent how I react to it.
Charles R. Swindoll
More often than not, people who are obsessed with their desires and feelings are generally unhappier in life vs. people that refocus their attention on service to others or a righteous cause. Have you ever heard someone say their life sucked because they fed the homeless? Made their children laugh? Or, bought a toy for a needy child at Christmas time?
Shannon L. Alder
The central attitudes driving Mr. Right are: You should be in awe of my intelligence and should look up to me intellectually. I know better than you do, even about what’s good for you. Your opinions aren’t worth listening to carefully or taking seriously. The fact that you sometimes disagree with me shows how sloppy your thinking is. If you would just accept that I know what’s right, our relationship would go much better. Your own life would go better, too. When you disagree with me about something, no matter how respectfully or meekly, that’s mistreatment of me. If I put you down for long enough, some day you’ll see.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
Any task in life is easier if we approach it with the one at a time attitude. ... To cite a whimsical saying; 'If you chase two rabbits, both of them will escape.' No one is adequate to do everything all at once. We have to select what is important, what is possible, and begin where we are, with what we have. And if we beginand if we keep going the weight, the worry, the doubt, the depression will begin to lift .... We can't do everything always, but we can do something now, and doing something will help to lift the weight and lessen the worry, 'The beginning,' said Plato, 'is the most important part.
Richard L. Evans
Hope has a cost. Hope is not comfortable or easy. Hope requires personal risk. It is not about the right attitude. Hope is not about peace of mind. Hope is action. Hope is doing something. The more futile, the more useless, the more irrelevant and incomprehensible an act of rebellion is, the vaster and more potent hope becomes. Hope never makes sense. Hope is weak, unorganized and absurd. Hope, which is always nonviolent, exposes in its powerlessness, the lies, fraud and coercion employed by the state. Hope knows that an injustice visited on our neighbor is an injustice visited on all of us. Hope posits that people are drawn to the good by the good. This is the secret of hope's power. Hope demands for others what we demand for ourselves. Hope does not separate us from them. Hope sees in our enemy our own face.
Chris Hedges
When we give freely, we feel full and complete; when we withhold, we feel small, petty, impotent, and lacking. We are meant to learn this great truth, that giving fulfills us, while withholding and trying to get causes us to feel empty and even more needy. This truth runs counter to our programming, which drives us to try to get something from others to fulfill our neediness, only to end up even more needy, grasping, lacking, and unfulfilled.
Gina Lake (What About Now?: Reminders for Being in the Moment)
Attitude Is Everything We live in a culture that is blind to betrayal and intolerant of emotional pain. In New Age crowds here on the West Coast, where your attitude is considered the sole determinant of the impact an event has on you, it gets even worse.In these New Thought circles, no matter what happens to you, it is assumed that you have created your own reality. Not only have you chosen the event, no matter how horrible, for your personal growth. You also chose how you interpret what happened—as if there are no interpersonal facts, only interpretations. The upshot of this perspective is that your suffering would vanish if only you adopted a more evolved perspective and stopped feeling aggrieved. I was often kindly reminded (and believed it myself), “there are no victims.” How can you be a victim when you are responsible for your circumstances? When you most need validation and support to get through the worst pain of your life, to be confronted with the well-meaning, but quasi-religious fervor of these insidious half-truths can be deeply demoralizing. This kind of advice feeds guilt and shame, inhibits grieving, encourages grandiosity and can drive you to be alone to shield your vulnerability.
Sandra Lee Dennis
In life, a person can take one of two attitudes: to build or to plant. The builders might take years over their tasks, but one day, they finish what they're doing. Then they find that they're hemmed in by their own walls. Life loses its meaning when the building stops. Then there are those who plant. They endure storms and all the vicissitudes of the seasons, and they rarely rest. But unlike a building, a garden never stops growing. And while it requires the gardener's constant attention, it also allows life for the gardener to be a great adventure. Gardeners always recognize each other, because they know that in the history of each plant lies the growth of the whole World.
Paulo Coelho
There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it. Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. By WHY I mean your purpose, cause or belief - WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care? People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it. We are drawn to leaders and organizations that are good at communicating what they believe. Their ability to make us feel like we belong, to make us feel special, safe and not alone is part of what gives them the ability to inspire us. For values or guiding principles to be truly effective they have to be verbs. It’s not “integrity,” it’s “always do the right thing.” It’s not “innovation,” it’s “look at the problem from a different angle.” Articulating our values as verbs gives us a clear idea - we have a clear idea of how to act in any situation. Happy employees ensure happy customers. And happy customers ensure happy shareholders—in that order. Leading is not the same as being the leader. Being the leader means you hold the highest rank, either by earning it, good fortune or navigating internal politics. Leading, however, means that others willingly follow you—not because they have to, not because they are paid to, but because they want to. You don’t hire for skills, you hire for attitude. You can always teach skills. Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them. People are either motivated or they are not. Unless you give motivated people something to believe in, something bigger than their job to work toward, they will motivate themselves to find a new job and you’ll be stuck with whoever’s left. Trust is maintained when values and beliefs are actively managed. If companies do not actively work to keep clarity, discipline and consistency in balance, then trust starts to break down. All organizations start with WHY, but only the great ones keep their WHY clear year after year.
Simon Sinek (Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action)
We walk for about an hour before Raffe whispers, “Does moping actually help humans feel better?” “I’m not moping,” I whisper back. “Of course you’re not. A girl like you, spending time with a warrior demigod like me. What’s to mope about? Leaving a wheelchair behind couldn’t possibly show up on the radar compared to that.” I nearly stumble over a fallen branch. “You have got to be kidding me.” “I never kid about my warrior demigod status.” “Oh. My. God.” I lower my voice, having forgotten to whisper. “You are nothing but a bird with an attitude. Okay, so you have a few muscles, I’ll grant you that. But you know, a bird is nothing but a barely evolved lizard. That’s what you are.” He chuckles. “Evolution.” He leans over as if telling me a secret. “I’ll have you know that I’ve been this perfect since the beginning of time.” He is so close that his breath caresses my ear. “Oh, please. Your giant head is getting too big for this forest. Pretty soon, you’re going to get stuck trying to walk between two trees. And then, I’ll have to rescue you.” I give him a weary look. “Again.” I pick up my pace, trying to discourage the smart comeback that I’m sure will come. But it doesn’t. Could he be letting me have the last say? When I look back, Raffe has a smug grin on his face. That’s when I realize I’ve been manipulated into feeling better. I stubbornly try to resist but it’s already too late.
Susan Ee (Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1))
Yeah, you lose this attitude, I can help you work that hurt out.” Who was this man? He held onto his tragedy for seventeen fucking years, how could he stand there and tell me he could help me work through mine? “Really, Joe? Like you helped me work out my grief at losing Tim?” I asked sarcastically. “That’s not what I was offerin’, buddy, but you want it like that I’ll give it to you.” “You’re unbelievable,” I snapped. “I’m yours.” That socked me in the gut too, so hard it winded me and all I could do was stare up at him. Taking advantage, his face dipped close and his hands curled around both sides of my head. “First fuckin’ time you smiled at me in my bed, that’s when it happened,” he murmured.
Kristen Ashley (At Peace (The 'Burg, #2))
People that hold onto hate for so long do so because they want to avoid dealing with their pain. They falsely believe if they forgive they are letting their enemy believe they are a doormat. What they don’t understand is hatred can’t be isolated or turned off. It manifests in their health, choices and belief systems. Their values and religious beliefs make adjustments to justify their negative emotions. Not unlike malware infesting a hard drive, their spirit slowly becomes corrupted and they make choices that don’t make logical sense to others. Hatred left unaddressed will crash a person’s spirit. The only thing he or she can do is to reboot, by fixing him or herself, not others. This might require installing a firewall of boundaries or parental controls on their emotions. Regardless of the approach, we are all connected on this "network of life" and each of us is responsible for cleaning up our spiritual registry.
Shannon L. Alder
You can't stop a soldier from being frightened but you can give him motivation to help him overcome that fear. I have no such motivation. I can't have. I'm a witcher: an artificially created mutant. I kill monsters for money. I defend children when their parents pay me to. If Nilfgaardian parents pay me, I'll defend Nilfgaardian children. And even if the world lies in ruin - which does not seem likely to me - I'll carry on killing monsters in the ruins of this world until some monster kills me. That is my fate, my reason, my life and my attitude to the world. And it is not what I chose. It was chosen for me.
Andrzej Sapkowski (Krew elfów (Saga o Wiedźminie, #1))
Out of evil, much good has come to me. By keeping quiet, repressing nothing, remaining attentive, and by accepting reality - taking things as they are, and not as I wanted them to be - by doing all this, unusual knowledge has come to me, and unusual powers as well, such as I could never have imagined before. I always thought that when we accepted things they overpowered us in some way or other. This turns out not to be true at all, and it is only by accepting them that one can assume and attitude towards them. So now I intend to play the game of life, being receptive to whatever comes to me, good and bad, sun and shadow forever alternating, and, in this way, also accepting my own nature with its positive and negative sides. Thus everything becomes more alive to me. What a fool I was! How I tried to force everything to go according to way I thought it ought to. an ex patient of C. G. Jung (Alchemical Studies, pg 47)
C.G. Jung
It doesn’t matter what other people think. The only opinion that really matters is yours. We are all the writers of our lives. We can make our stories comedies or tragedies. Tales of horror, or of inspiration. Your attitude and your fortitude and courage are what determine your destiny, Nick.… Life is hard and it sucks for all. Every person you meet is waging his or her own war against a callous universe that is plotting against them. And we are all battle-weary. But in the midst of our hell, there is always something we can hold on to, whether it’s a dream of the future or a memory of the past, or a warm hand that soothes us. We just have to take a moment during the fight to remember that we’re not alone, and that we’re not just fighting for ourselves. We’re fighting for the people we love.” -- Acheron
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Inferno (Chronicles of Nick, #4))
December 27, 11:00 p.m. My Dear America, I’ve never written a love letter, so forgive me if I fail now. . . . The simple thing would be to say that I love you. But, in truth, it’s so much more than that. I want you, America. I need you. I’ve held back so much from you out of fear. I’m afraid that if I show you everything at once, it will overwhelm you, and you’ll run away. I’m afraid that somewhere in the back of your heart is a love for someone else that will never die. I’m afraid that I will make a mistake again, something so huge that you retreat into that silent world of yours. No scolding from a tutor, no lashing from my father, no isolation in my youth has ever hurt me so much as you separating yourself from me. I keep thinking that it’s there, waiting to come back and strike me. So I’ve held on to all my options, fearing that the moment I wipe them away, you will be standing there with your arms closed, happy to be my friend but unable to be my equal, my queen, my wife. And for you to be my wife is all I want in the world. I love you. I was afraid to admit it for a long time, but I know it now. I would never rejoice in the loss of your father, the sadness you’ve felt since he passed, or the emptiness I’ve experienced since you left. But I’m so grateful that you had to go. I’m not sure how long it would have taken for me to figure this out if I hadn’t had to start trying to imagine a life without you. I know now, with absolute certainty, that is nothing I want. I wish I was as true an artist as you so that I could find a way to tell you what you’ve become to me. America, my love, you are sunlight falling through trees. You are laughter that breaks through sadness. You are the breeze on a too-warm day. You are clarity in the midst of confusion. You are not the world, but you are everything that makes the world good. Without you, my life would still exist, but that’s all it would manage to do. You said that to get things right one of us would have to take a leap of faith. I think I’ve discovered the canyon that must be leaped, and I hope to find you waiting for me on the other side. I love you, America. Yours forever, Maxon
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
Did you know that when a guy comes, he comes 200 million sperm? And you're trying to tell me that your child is special because one out of 200 million -- that load! we're talking one load! -- connected. Gee, what are the fucking odds? 200 million; you know what that means? I have wiped civilizations off my chest with a gray gym sock. That is special. Entire nations have flaked and crusted in the hair around my navel! That is special. And I want you to remember that, you two egg-carrying beings out there, with that holier-than-thou "we have the gift of life" attitude. I've tossed universes...in my underpants...while napping! Boom! A milky way shoots into my jockey shorts, "Aaaah, what's for fucking breakfast?
Bill Hicks
The more I got to know people, the more I realized we were all just a bunch of frightened idiots walking around in the dark, bumping into each other and panicking for no reason at all. So I started turning on a light. I stopped thinking of people as mobs. Hordes. Faceless masses. I tried, really hard, to stop assuming I had people figured out, especially before I’d ever even spoken to them. I wasn’t great at this—and I’d probably have to work at it for the rest of my life—but I tried. I really did. It scared me to realize that I’d done to others exactly what I hadn’t wanted them to do to me: I made sweeping statements about who I thought they were and how they lived their lives; and I made broad generalizations about what I thought they were thinking, all the time.
Tahereh Mafi (A Very Large Expanse of Sea)
It's just the way things are. Take a moment to consider this statement. Really think about it. We send one species to the butcher and give our love and kindness to another apparently for no reason other than because it's the way things are. When our attitudes and behaviors towards animals are so inconsistent, and this inconsistency is so unexamined, we can safely say we have been fed absurdities. It is absurd that we eat pigs and love dogs and don't even know why. Many of us spend long minutes in the aisle of the drugstore mulling over what toothpaste to buy. Yet most of don't spend any time at all thinking about what species of animal we eat and why. Our choices as consumers drive an industry that kills ten billion animals per year in the United States alone. If we choose to support this industry and the best reason we can come up with is because it's the way things are, clearly something is amiss. What could cause an entire society of people to check their thinking caps at the door--and to not even realize they're doing so? Though this question is quite complex, the answer is quite simple: carnism.
Melanie Joy (Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism)
When I was in Piazza di Spagna, in Rome, I watched (along with others) how many locals came to drink water from the fountain there. The people beside me said to each other "Oh my goodness, how disgusting, people just drink water from anywhere," while the whole time, I was thinking "Oh my goodness, how wonderful, people can drink water from anywhere." We can be in the exact same place, looking at the exact same thing, but see that thing in a completely different way. You can go around the world, and go to all the beautiful places, but never be happy, because happiness is something that you bring inside of you, it is not where you are or what you are looking at, but it is how you are and how you look at.
C. JoyBell C.
There is a kind of listening with half an ear that presumes already to know what the other person has to say. It is an impatient, inattentive listening, that despises the brother and is only waiting for a chance to speak and thus get rid of the other person. This is no fulfillment of our obligation, and it is certain that here too our attitude toward our brother only reflects our relationship to God. It is little wonder that we are no longer capable of the greatest service of listening that God has committed to us, that of hearing our brother's confession, if we refuse to give ear to our brother on lesser subjects. Secular education today is aware that often a person can be helped merely by having someone who will listen to him seriously, and upon this insight it has constructed its own soul therapy, which has attracted great numbers of people, including Christians. But Christians have forgotten that the ministry of listening has been committed to them by Him who is Himself the great listener and whose work they should share. We should listen with the ears of God that we may speak the Word of God.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community)
Three weeks, after fuckin' you, knowin' what you taste like, what you feel like, the sounds you make when you come, three weeks I'm on the road and all I got is a couple minutes of your voice on the phone every night. Fuckin' you, that's all I can think about, like a teenager, at night in the dark, it's the only thing in my goddamned head. So I jack off, hopin' to cut through it, but nothin' compares to you. Then I know you can't sleep so I can't fuckin' sleep wonderin' if you're sleepin'. That shit's whacked and I come home, fuckin' beside myself it's over." "So we find out about each other and who we are together. I'm gonna piss you off 'cause I can be a dick. That's who I am. And you're gonna piss me off 'cause, babe, you got attitude. That's who you are. And that's who we're comin' out to be together. And I'm all right with that because, with what I had before, even when you're a bitch, I like it. But when you're not, it's a sweetness the like I've never tasted." "You said you were waitin' for something special and he took away your chance to figure out that you were carryin' it with you all this time. You are special, Laurie.
Kristen Ashley (Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain, #2))
I think that the real religion is about the understanding that if we can only still our egos for a few seconds, we might have a chance of experiencing something that is divine in nature. But in order to do that, we have to slice away at our egos and try to get them down to a manageable size, and then still work some practiced light meditation. So real religion is about reducing our egos, whereas all the churches are interested in is egotistical activities, like getting as many members and raising as much money and becoming as important and high-profile and influential as possible. All of which are egotistical attitudes. So how can you have an egotistical organization trying to teach a non-egotistical ideal? It makes no sense, unless you regard religion as crowd control. What I think most organized religion—simply crowd control.
John Cleese
But I realized something. About art. And psychiatry. They're both self-perpetuating systems. Like religion. All three of them promise you a sense of inner worth and meaning, and spend a lot of time telling you about the suffering you have to go through to achieve it. As soon as you get a problem in any one of them, the solution it gives is always to go deeper into the same system. They're all in rather uneasy truce with one another in what's actually a mortal battle. Like all self-reinforcing systems. At best, each is trying to encompass the other two and define them as sub-groups. You know: religion and art are both forms of madness and madness is the realm of psychiatry. Or, art is the study and praise of man and man's ideals, so therefore a religious experience just becomes a brutalized aesthetic response and psychiatry is just another tool for the artist to observe man and render his portraits more accurately. And the religious attitude I guess is that the other two are only useful as long as they promote the good life. At worst, they all try to destroy one another. Which is what my psychiatrist, whether he knew it or not, was trying, quite effectively, to do to my painting. I gave up psychiatry too, pretty soon. I just didn't want to get all wound up in any systems at all.
Samuel R. Delany (Dhalgren)
A positive attitude is most easily arrived at through a deliberate and rational analysis of what’s required to manifest unwavering positive thought patterns. First, reflect on the actual, present condition of your mind. In other words, is the mind positive or not? We’ve all met individuals who perceive themselves as positive people but don’t appear as such. Since the mind is both invisible and intangible, it’s therefore easier to see the accurate characteristics of the mind through a person’s words, deeds, and posture. For example, if we say, “It’s absolutely freezing today! I’ll probably catch a cold before the end of the day!” then our words expose a negative attitude. But if we say, “The temperature is very cold” (a simple statement of fact), then our expressions, and therefore attitude, are not negative. Sustaining an alert state in which self-awareness becomes possible gives us a chance to discover the origins of negativity. In doing so, we also have an opportunity to arrive at a state of positiveness, so that our words and deeds are also positive, making others feel comfortable, cheerful, and inspired.
H.E. Davey
No one could endure lasting adversity if it continued to have the same force as when it first hit us. We are all tied to Fortune, some by a loose and golden chain, and others by a tight one of baser metal: but what does it matter? We are all held in the same captivity, and those who have bound others are themselves in bonds - unless you think perhaps that the left-hand chain is lighter. One man is bound by high office, another by wealth; good birth weighs down some, and a humble origin others; some bow under the rule of other men and some under their own; some are restricted to one place by exile, others by priesthoods: all life is a servitude. So you have to get used to your circumstances, complain about them as little as possible, and grasp whatever advantage they have to offer: no condition is so bitter that a stable mind cannot find some consolation in it.
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life)
they're good fighters, i think proudly as i watch them duke it out. But as the oldest male in the house, it's my duty to break it up. I grab the collar of Carlos's shirt but on Louis's leg and land on the floor with them. Before I can regain my balance, icy cold water is pored on my back. Turning quickly, I catch mi'ama dousing us all, a bucket poised in her fist abouve us while she is wearing her work uniform. She works as a checker for the local grocery store a couple blocks from our house. It doesn't pay a whole heck of a lot, but we don't need much. "Get up" she orders, her fiery attitude out in full force. "Shit, Ma" Carlos says, standing Mi'ama takes what's left in her bucket, sticks her fingers in the icy water, and flicks the liquid in Carlos's face. Luis laughs and before he knows it, he gets flicked with water as well. Will they ever learn? "Any More attitude, Lous?" She asks. "No, ma'am" Louis says, standing as straight as a soilder. "You have any more filthy words to come out of that boca of yours, Carlos?" She dips her hand in the water as a warning. "No, ma'am" echos soldier number two. "And what abot you, Alejandro?" her eyes narrow into slits as she focuses on me "What? I was try'in to break it up" I say innocently, giving her my you-can't-resist-me smile. She flicks water in my face. "That's for not breaking it up sooner. Now get dressed, all of you, and come eat breakfast before school." So much for my you-can't-resist-me smile
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
In space flight, “attitude” refers to orientation: which direction your vehicle is pointing relative to the Sun, Earth and other spacecraft. If you lose control of your attitude, two things happen: the vehicle starts to tumble and spin, disorienting everyone on board, and it also strays from its course, which, if you’re short on time or fuel, could mean the difference between life and death. In the Soyuz, for example, we use every cue from every available source—periscope, multiple sensors, the horizon—to monitor our attitude constantly and adjust if necessary. We never want to lose attitude, since maintaining attitude is fundamental to success. In my experience, something similar is true on Earth. Ultimately, I don’t determine whether I arrive at the desired professional destination. Too many variables are out of my control. There’s really just one thing I can control: my attitude during the journey, which is what keeps me feeling steady and stable, and what keeps me headed in the right direction. So I consciously monitor and correct, if necessary, because losing attitude would be far worse than not achieving my goal.
Chris Hadfield (An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth)
The very quality of your life, whether you love it or hate it, is based upon how thankful you are toward God. It is one's attitude that determines whether life unfolds into a place of blessedness or wretchedness. Indeed, looking at the same rose bush, some people complain that the roses have thorns while others rejoice that some thorns come with roses. It all depends on your perspective. This is the only life you will have before you enter eternity. If you want to find joy, you must first find thankfulness. Indeed, the one who is thankful for even a little enjoys much. But the unappreciative soul is always miserable, always complaining. He lives outside the shelter of the Most High God. Perhaps the worst enemy we have is not the devil but our own tongue. James tells us, "The tongue is set among our members as that which . . . sets on fire the course of our life" (James 3:6). He goes on to say this fire is ignited by hell. Consider: with our own words we can enter the spirit of heaven or the agonies of hell! It is hell with its punishments, torments and misery that controls the life of the grumbler and complainer! Paul expands this thought in 1 Corinthians 10:10, where he reminds us of the Jews who "grumble[d] . . . and were destroyed by the destroyer." The fact is, every time we open up to grumbling and complaining, the quality of our life is reduced proportionally -- a destroyer is bringing our life to ruin! People often ask me, "What is the ruling demon over our church or city?" They expect me to answer with the ancient Aramaic or Phoenician name of a fallen angel. What I usually tell them is a lot more practical: one of the most pervasive evil influences over our nation is ingratitude! Do not minimize the strength and cunning of this enemy! Paul said that the Jews who grumbled and complained during their difficult circumstances were "destroyed by the destroyer." Who was this destroyer? If you insist on discerning an ancient world ruler, one of the most powerful spirits mentioned in the Bible is Abaddon, whose Greek name is Apollyon. It means "destroyer" (Rev. 9:11). Paul said the Jews were destroyed by this spirit. In other words, when we are complaining or unthankful, we open the door to the destroyer, Abaddon, the demon king over the abyss of hell! In the Presence of God Multitudes in our nation have become specialists in the "science of misery." They are experts -- moral accountants who can, in a moment, tally all the wrongs society has ever done to them or their group. I have never talked with one of these people who was happy, blessed or content about anything. They expect an imperfect world to treat them perfectly. Truly, there are people in this wounded country of ours who need special attention. However, most of us simply need to repent of ingratitude, for it is ingratitude itself that is keeping wounds alive! We simply need to forgive the wrongs of the past and become thankful for what we have in the present. The moment we become grateful, we actually begin to ascend spiritually into the presence of God. The psalmist wrote, "Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing. . . . Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations" (Psalm 100:2, 4-5). It does not matter what your circumstances are; the instant you begin to thank God, even though your situation has not changed, you begin to change. The key that unlocks the gates of heaven is a thankful heart. Entrance into the courts of God comes as you simply begin to praise the Lord.
Francis Frangipane
Curiosity evokes ‘concern’; it evokes the care one takes for what exists and could exist; a readiness to find strange and singular what surrounds us; a certain relentlessness to break up our familiarities and to regard otherwise the same things; a fervor to grasp what is happening and what passes; a casualness in regard to the traditional hierarchies of the important and the essential. I dream of a new age of curiosity. We have the technical means for it; the desire is there; the things to be known are infinite; the people who can employ themselves at this task exist. Why do we suffer? From too little: from the channels that are too narrow, skimpy, quasi-monopolistic, insufficient. There is no point in adopting a protectionist attitude, to prevent ‘bad’ information from invading and suffocating the ‘good.’ Rather, we must multiply the paths and the possibility of comings and goings.
Michel Foucault
Julie marched over to Matt. She stood in front of him and crossed her arms. “Lift up your sweatshirt.” Matt rolled his eyes. “God, you really know how to turn a guy on.” Julie didn’t budge. “If I was trying to turn you on, I could do better than that. Now, lift up your sweatshirt.” Matt looked up at her and tried to look serious. “Julie, I’m completely offended that you have so little faith in my honesty. I thought at this point in our friendship that you would at least—” “Get up.” Julie leaned over and shut his laptop. “Get up!” she said again. “You’re being ridiculous,” Matt said laughing, but he stood up. “I trust you implicitly, and it wouldn’t kill you to show me the same respect.” “Show me!” Matt sidestepped the chair and took a few steps backward. “You have quite the attitude today. Suspicious and mean.” Julie took a step forward, causing Matt to continue backing away. “Lift up your shirt.” “Look, I appreciate an aggressive woman, but this is really getting weird.” Julie grabbed his sweatshirt by the waist cuff and lifted it up with one hand, as she pulled down his T-shirt with the other. Matt put his hands over hers, lightly protesting, but she refused to let go. “Aha!” She squinted at his shirt. “OK, I don’t even know what this is, but it’s definitely geeky.
Jessica Park (Flat-Out Love (Flat-Out Love, #1))
Much of the prejudice against women is stored at an unconscious level. Many of those with the most punishing attitudes towards passionate women -and free women are passionate women – consider themselves social liberals, even feminists. Women’s rights seem to them to be of obvious importance, but what is not obvious to them is how much they conspire to keep the lid on female power. Female power transcends what are thought of as “woman’s issues”. Female power involves women taking part in the conversation either in the public arena or the dinner table, and having the same emotional space in which to do so as men. It means women not having to fear punishment of any kind. It means women not having to worry that they will be considered “unfeminine” if they speak up. It means women really coming out to play and getting support for their playing from men as well as women. Until this is accomplished, political, economic and reproductive freedom will still not be enough. We will not be free until we can speak our minds and our hearts without having to worry that men will crucify us, women will crucify us, the press will crucify us, or our children will be ashamed… Women are still in emotional bondage as long as we feel we have to make a choice between being heard and being loved.
Marianne Williamson
A man lives not only his personal life, as an individual, but also, consciously or unconsciously, the life of his epoch and his contemporaries. He may regard the general, impersonal foundations of his existence as definitely settled and taken for granted, and be as far from assuming a critical attitude towards them as our good Hans Castorp really was; yet it is quite conceivable that he may none the less be vaguely conscious of the deficiencies of his epoch and find them prejudicial to his own moral well-being. All sorts of personal aims, hopes, ends, prospects, hover before the eyes of the individual, and out of these he derives the impulse to ambition and achievement. Now, if the life about him, if his own time seems, however outwardly stimulating, to be at bottom empty of such food for his aspirations; if he privately recognises it to be hopeless, viewless, helpless, opposing only a hollow silence to all the questions man puts, consciously or unconsciously, yet somehow puts, as to the final, absolute, and abstract meaning in all his efforts and activities; then, in such a case, a certain laming of the personality is bound to occur, the more inevitably the more upright the character in question; a sort of palsy, as it were, which may extend from his spiritual and moral over into his physical and organic part. In an age that affords no satisfying answer to the eternal question of 'Why?' 'To what end?' a man who is capable of achievement over and above the expected modicum must be equipped either with a moral remoteness and single-mindedness which is rare indeed and of heroic mould, or else with an exceptionally robust vitality. Hans Castorp had neither one nor the other of these; and thus he must be considered mediocre, though in an entirely honourable sense.
Thomas Mann (The Magic Mountain)
They were all fitting into place, the jig-saw pieces. The odd strained shapes that I had tried to piece together with my fumbling fingers and they had never fitted. Frank's odd manner when I spoke about Rebecca. Beatrice and her rather diffident negative attitude. The silence that I had always taken for sympathy and regret was a silence born of shame and embarrassment. It seemed incredible to me now that I had never understood. I wondered how many people there were in the world who suffered, and continued to suffer, because they could not break out from their own web of shyness and reserve, and in their blindness and folly built up a great wall in front of them that hid the truth. This was what I had done. I had built up false pictures in my mind and sat before them. I had never had the courage to demand the truth. Had I made one step forward out of my own shyness Maxim would have told these things four months, five months ago.
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
Whenever you go out-of-doors, draw the chin in, carry the crown of the head high, and fill the lungs to the utmost; drink in the sunshine; greet your friends with a smile, and put soul into every handclasp. Do not fear being misunderstood and do not waste a minute thinking about your enemies. Try to fix firmly in your mind what you would like to do; and then, without veering off direction, you will move straight to the goal. Keep your mind on the great and splendid things you would like to do, and then, as the days go gliding away, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing upon the opportunities that are requiered for the fulfillment of your desire, just as the coral insect takes from the running tide the element it needs. Picture in your mind the able, earnest, useful person you desire to be, and the thought you hold is hourly transforming you into that particular individual... Thought is supreme. Preserve a right mental attitude - the attitude of courage, frankness, and good cheer. To think rightly is to create. All things come through desire and every sincere prayer is answered. We become like that on which our hearts are fixed. Carry your chin in and the crown of your head high. We are good in the chrysalis.
Elbert Hubbard
HOW CAN I TELL IF A MAN I’M SEEING WILL BECOME ABUSIVE? • He speaks disrespectfully about his former partners. • He is disrespectful toward you. • He does favors for you that you don’t want or puts on such a show of generosity that it makes you uncomfortable. • He is controlling. • He is possessive. • Nothing is ever his fault. • He is self-centered. • He abuses drugs or alcohol. • He pressures you for sex. • He gets serious too quickly about the relationship. • He intimidates you when he’s angry. • He has double standards. • He has negative attitudes toward women. • He treats you differently around other people. • He appears to be attracted to vulnerability. No single one of the warning signs above is a sure sign of an abusive man, with the exception of physical intimidation. Many nonabusive men may exhibit a umber of these behaviors to a limited degree. What, then, should a woman do to protect herself from having a relationship turn abusive? Although there is no foolproof solution, the best plan is: 1. Make it clear to him as soon as possible which behaviors or attitudes are unacceptable to you and that you cannot be in a relationship with him if they continue. 2. If it happens again, stop seeing him for a substantial period of time. Don’t keep seeing him with the warning that this time you “really mean it,” because he will probably interpret that to mean that you don’t. 3. If it happens a third time, or if he switches to other behaviors that are warning flags, chances are great that he has an abuse problem. If you give him too many chances, you are likely to regret it later. Finally, be aware that as an abuser begins his slide into abuse, he believes that you are the one who is changing. His perceptions work this way because he feels so justified in his actions that he can’t imagine the problem might be with him. All he notices is that you don’t seem to be living up to his image of the perfect, all-giving, deferential woman.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
What was really needed was a fundamental change in our attitude toward life. We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life--daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual. These tasks, and therefore the meaning of life, differ from man to man, and from moment to moment. Thus it is impossible to define the meaning of life in a general way. Questions about the meaning of life can never be answered by sweeping statements. “Life” does not mean something vague, but something very real and concrete, just as life’s tasks are also very real and concrete. They form man’s destiny, which is different and unique for each individual. No man and no destiny can be compared with any other man or any other destiny. No situation repeats itself, and each situation calls for a different response. Sometimes the situation in which a man finds himself may require him to shape his own fate by action. At other times it is more advantageous for him to make use of an opportunity for contemplation and to realize assets in this way. Sometimes man may be required simple to accept fate, to bear his cross. Every situation is distinguished by its uniqueness, and there is always only one right answer to the problem posed by the situation at hand. When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task; his single and unique task. He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place. His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden.
Viktor E. Frankl
FORBIDDEN Pain without learning is forbidden, waking up one day not knowing what to do, being afraid of your memories. It is forbidden not to smile at problems, not to fight for what you want, to abandon all because of fears, not to realize your dreams. It is forbidden not to show your love, to be ashamed of your tears, to not laugh with children, to make someone else pay your debts, bad humor. It is forbidden to forget your friends, to not try to understand why they live far away, to treat people as disposable, to call them only when you need them. It is forbidden to not be yourself in front of others, pretending around people you don’t care about, trying to be funny just so you'll be remembered, to forget about all the people who love you. It is forbidden not to do things for yourself, to be afraid of life and its commitments, to not to live each day as if it were your last. It forbidden to take someone out without having fun, to forget their eyes, their laugh, to not respect love even if it is past, just because your paths have stopped crossing, to forget your past and only live in the moment. It is forbidden not to try to understand people, to think that other’s lives are worth more than yours, to not know that each one of us has our own way and our own happiness. It is forbidden not create your own story, to have no time for people who need you, to not understand what life gives to you, and that it can also be taken away. It is forbidden not find your happiness, to not live your life with a positive attitude, to not think we can do better and be better, to feel that without you, this world would still be the same...
José N. Harris (Mi Vida)
I want to talk about creating your life. There’s a quote I love, from the poet Mary Oliver, that goes: Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? I so clearly remember what it was like, being young and always in the grip of some big fat daydream. I wanted to be a writer always, but more than that, I wanted to have an extraordinary life. I’m sure I dreamed it a million different ways, and that plenty of them were ridiculous, but I think the daydreams were training for writing, and I also think they spurred me to pursue my dreams for real. Daydreaming, however awesome it is, is passive. It happens in your head. Learning to make dreams real is another matter, and I think it should be the work of your life. Everyone’s life, whatever their dream (unless their dream is to be an axe murderer or something.) It took me a while to finish a book. Too long. And you know, it doesn’t matter how good a writer you are unless you finish what you start! I think this is the hardest part for most people who want to write. I was in my mid-30s before I figured it out. The brain plays tricks. You can be convinced you’re following your dream, or that you’re going to start tomorrow, and years can pass like that. Years. The thing is, there will be pressure to adjust your expectations, always shrinking them, shrinking, shrinking, until they fit in your pocket like a folded slip of paper, and you know what happens to folded slips of paper in your pocket. They go through the wash and get ruined. Don’t ever put your dream in your pocket. If you have to put it somewhere, get one of those holsters for your belt, like my dad has for his phone, so you can whip it out at any moment. Hello there, dream. Also, don’t be realistic. The word “realistic” is poison. Who decides? And “backup plan” is code for, “Give up on your dreams,” and everyone I know who put any energy into a backup plan is now living that backup plan instead of their dream. Put all your energy into your dream. That’s the only way it will ever become real. The world at large has this attitude, “What makes you so special that you think you deserve an extraordinary life?” Personally, I think the passion for an extraordinary life, and the courage to pursue it, is what makes us special. And I don’t even think of it as an “extraordinary life” anymore so much as simple happiness. It’s rarer than it should be, and I believe it comes from creating a life that fits you perfectly, not taking what’s already there, but making your own from scratch. You can let life happen to you, or you can happen to life. It’s harder, but so much better.
Laini Taylor
It is worth saying something about the social position of beggars, for when one has consorted with them, and found that they are ordinary human beings, one cannot help being struck by the curious attitude that society takes towards them. People seem to feel that there is some essential difference between beggars and ordinary 'working' men. They are a race apart--outcasts, like criminals and prostitutes. Working men 'work', beggars do not 'work'; they are parasites, worthless in their very nature. It is taken for granted that a beggar does not 'earn' his living, as a bricklayer or a literary critic 'earns' his. He is a mere social excrescence, tolerated because we live in a humane age, but essentially despicable. Yet if one looks closely one sees that there is no ESSENTIAL difference between a beggar's livelihood and that of numberless respectable people. Beggars do not work, it is said; but, then, what is WORK? A navvy works by swinging a pick. An accountant works by adding up figures. A beggar works by standing out of doors in all weathers and getting varicose veins, chronic bronchitis, etc. It is a trade like any other; quite useless, of course--but, then, many reputable trades are quite useless. And as a social type a beggar compares well with scores of others. He is honest compared with the sellers of most patent medicines, high-minded compared with a Sunday newspaper proprietor, amiable compared with a hire-purchase tout--in short, a parasite, but a fairly harmless parasite. He seldom extracts more than a bare living from the community, and, what should justify him according to our ethical ideas, he pays for it over and over in suffering. I do not think there is anything about a beggar that sets him in a different class from other people, or gives most modern men the right to despise him. Then the question arises, Why are beggars despised?--for they are despised, universally. I believe it is for the simple reason that they fail to earn a decent living. In practice nobody cares whether work is useful or useless, productive or parasitic; the sole thing demanded is that it shall be profitable. In all the modem talk about energy, efficiency, social service and the rest of it, what meaning is there except 'Get money, get it legally, and get a lot of it'? Money has become the grand test of virtue. By this test beggars fail, and for this they are despised. If one could earn even ten pounds a week at begging, it would become a respectable profession immediately. A beggar, looked at realistically, is simply a businessman, getting his living, like other businessmen, in the way that comes to hand. He has not, more than most modem people, sold his honour; he has merely made the mistake of choosing a trade at which it is impossible to grow rich.
George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London)
Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Leaves of Grass. 1900. To You WHOEVER you are, I fear you are walking the walks of dreams, I fear these supposed realities are to melt from under your feet and hands; Even now, your features, joys, speech, house, trade, manners, troubles, follies, costume, crimes, dissipate away from you, Your true Soul and Body appear before me, They stand forth out of affairs—out of commerce, shops, law, science, work, forms, clothes, the house, medicine, print, buying, selling, eating, drinking, suffering, dying. Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem; I whisper with my lips close to your ear, I have loved many women and men, but I love none better than you. O I have been dilatory and dumb; I should have made my way straight to you long ago; I should have blabb’d nothing but you, I should have chanted nothing but you. I will leave all, and come and make the hymns of you; None have understood you, but I understand you; None have done justice to you—you have not done justice to yourself; None but have found you imperfect—I only find no imperfection in you; None but would subordinate you—I only am he who will never consent to subordinate you; I only am he who places over you no master, owner, better, God, beyond what waits intrinsically in yourself. Painters have painted their swarming groups, and the centre figure of all; From the head of the centre figure spreading a nimbus of gold-color’d light; But I paint myriads of heads, but paint no head without its nimbus of gold-color’d light; From my hand, from the brain of every man and woman it streams, effulgently flowing forever. O I could sing such grandeurs and glories about you! You have not known what you are—you have slumber’d upon yourself all your life; Your eye-lids have been the same as closed most of the time; What you have done returns already in mockeries; (Your thrift, knowledge, prayers, if they do not return in mockeries, what is their return?) The mockeries are not you; Underneath them, and within them, I see you lurk; I pursue you where none else has pursued you; Silence, the desk, the flippant expression, the night, the accustom’d routine, if these conceal you from others, or from yourself, they do not conceal you from me; The shaved face, the unsteady eye, the impure complexion, if these balk others, they do not balk me, The pert apparel, the deform’d attitude, drunkenness, greed, premature death, all these I part aside. There is no endowment in man or woman that is not tallied in you; There is no virtue, no beauty, in man or woman, but as good is in you; No pluck, no endurance in others, but as good is in you; No pleasure waiting for others, but an equal pleasure waits for you. As for me, I give nothing to any one, except I give the like carefully to you; I sing the songs of the glory of none, not God, sooner than I sing the songs of the glory of you. Whoever you are! claim your own at any hazard! These shows of the east and west are tame, compared to you; These immense meadows—these interminable rivers—you are immense and interminable as they; These furies, elements, storms, motions of Nature, throes of apparent dissolution—you are he or she who is master or mistress over them, Master or mistress in your own right over Nature, elements, pain, passion, dissolution. The hopples fall from your ankles—you find an unfailing sufficiency; Old or young, male or female, rude, low, rejected by the rest, whatever you are promulges itself; Through birth, life, death, burial, the means are provided, nothing is scanted; Through angers, losses, ambition, ignorance, ennui, what you are picks its way.
Walt Whitman
What is politics, after all, but the compulsion to preside over property and make other peoples' decisions for them? Liberty, the very opposite of ownership and control, cannot, then, result from political action, either at the polls or the barricades, but rather evolves out of attitude. If it results from anything, it may be levity. If civilization is ever going to be anything but a grandiose pratfall, anything more than a can of deodorizer in the sh*thouse of existence, the people are going to have to concern themselves with magic and poetry. Reality is subjective, and there's an unenlightened tendency in this culture to regard something as 'important' only if it's sober and severe. Your Cheerful Dumb are not so much happy as lobotomized. But your Gloomy Smart are just as ridiculous. When you're unhappy, you get to pay a lot of attention to yourself. And you get to take yourself oh so very seriously. Your truly happy people, which is to say, your people who truly LIKE themselves, they don't think about themselves very much. Your unhappy person resents it when you try to cheer him up, because that means he has to stop dwelling on himself and start paying attention to the universe. Unhappiness is the ultimate form of self-indulgence. Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature.
Tom Robbins (Jitterbug Perfume)
It's a poem about moths. But it's also a poem about psychopaths. I get it copied. And stick it in a frame. And now it glowers redoubtably above my desk:an entomological keepsake of the horizons of existence. And the brutal, star-crossed wisdom of those who seek them out. i was talking to a moth the other evening he was trying to break into an electric bulb and fry himself on the wires why do you fellows pull this stunt i asked him because it is the conventional thing for moths or why if that had been an uncovered candle instead of an electric light bulb you would now be a small unsightly cinder have you no sense plenty of it he answered but at times we get tired of using it we get bored with routine and crave beauty and excitement fire is beautiful and we know that if we get too close it will kill us but what does that matter it is better to be happy for a moment and be burned up with beauty than to live a long time and be bored all the while so we wad all our life up into one little roll and then we shoot the roll that is what life is for it is better to be part of beauty our attitude toward life is come easy go easy we are like human beings used to be before they became too civilized to enjoy themselves and before i could argue him out of his philosophy he went and immolated himself on a patent cigar lighter i do not agree with him myself i would rather have half the happiness and twice the longevity but at the same time i wish there was something i wanted as badly as he wanted to fry himself
Kevin Dutton (The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success)
Who are we to say getting incested or abused or violated or any of those things can’t have their positive aspects in the long run? … You have to be careful of taking a knee-jerk attitude. Having a knee-jerk attitude to anything is a mistake, especially in the case of women, where it adds up to this very limited and condescending thing of saying they’re fragile, breakable things that can be destroyed easily. Everybody gets hurt and violated and broken sometimes. Why are women so special? Not that anybody ought to be raped or abused, nobody’s saying that, but that’s what is going on. What about afterwards? All I’m saying is there are certain cases where it can enlarge you or make you more of a complete human being, like Viktor Frankl. Think about the Holocaust. Was the Holocaust a good thing? No way. Does anybody think it was good that it happened? No, of course not. But did you read Viktor Frankl? Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning? It’s a great, great book, but it comes out of his experience. It’s about his experience in the human dark side. Now think about it, if there was no Holocaust, there’d be no Man’s Search for Meaning… . Think about it. Think about being degraded and brought within an inch of your life, for example. No one’s gonna say the sick bastards who did it shouldn’t be put in jail, but let’s put two things into perspective here. One is, afterwards she knows something about herself that she never knew before. What she knows is that the most totally terrible terrifying thing that she could ever have imagined happening to her has now happened, and she survived. She’s still here, and now she knows something. I mean she really, really knows. Look, totally terrible things happen… . Existence in life breaks people in all kinds of awful fucking ways all the time, trust me I know. I’ve been there. And this is the big difference, you and me here, cause this isn’t about politics or feminism or whatever, for you this is just ideas, you’ve never been there. I’m not saying nothing bad has ever happened to you, you’re not bad looking, I’m sure there’s been some sort of degradation or whatever come your way in life, but I’m talking Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning type violation and terror and suffering here. The real dark side. I can tell from just looking at you, you never. You wouldn’t even wear what you’re wearing, trust me. What if I told you it was my own sister that was raped? What if I told you a little story about a sixteen-year-old girl who went to the wrong party with the wrong guy and four of his buddies that ended up doing to her just about everything four guys could do to you in terms of violation? But if you could ask her if she could go into her head and forget it or like erase the tape of it happening in her memory, what do you think she’d say? Are you so sure what she’d say? What if she said that even after that totally negative as what happened was, at least now she understood it was possible. People can. Can see you as a thing. That people can see you as a thing, do you know what that means? Because if you really can see someone as a thing you can do anything to him. What would it be like to be able to be like that? You see, you think you can imagine it but you can’t. But she can. And now she knows something. I mean she really, really knows. This is what you wanted to hear, you wanted to hear about four drunk guys who knee-jerk you in the balls and make you bend over that you didn’t even know, that you never saw before, that you never did anything to, that don’t even know your name, they don’t even know your name to find out you have to choose to have a fucking name, you have no fucking idea, and what if I said that happened to ME? Would that make a difference?
David Foster Wallace (Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)
We cannot, of course, expect every leader to possess the wisdom of Lincoln or Mandela’s largeness of soul. But when we think about what questions might be most useful to ask, perhaps we should begin by discerning what our prospective leaders believe it worthwhile for us to hear. Do they cater to our prejudices by suggesting that we treat people outside our ethnicity, race, creed or party as unworthy of dignity and respect? Do they want us to nurture our anger toward those who we believe have done us wrong, rub raw our grievances and set our sights on revenge? Do they encourage us to have contempt for our governing institutions and the electoral process? Do they seek to destroy our faith in essential contributors to democracy, such as an independent press, and a professional judiciary? Do they exploit the symbols of patriotism, the flag, the pledge in a conscious effort to turn us against one another? If defeated at the polls, will they accept the verdict, or insist without evidence they have won? Do they go beyond asking about our votes to brag about their ability to solve all problems put to rest all anxieties and satisfy every desire? Do they solicit our cheers by speaking casually and with pumped up machismo about using violence to blow enemies away? Do they echo the attitude of Musolini: “The crowd doesn’t have to know, all they have to do is believe and submit to being shaped.”? Or do they invite us to join with them in building and maintaining a healthy center for our society, a place where rights and duties are apportioned fairly, the social contract is honored, and all have room to dream and grow. The answers to these questions will not tell us whether a prospective leader is left or right-wing, conservative or liberal, or, in the American context, a Democrat or a Republican. However, they will us much that we need to know about those wanting to lead us, and much also about ourselves. For those who cherish freedom, the answers will provide grounds for reassurance, or, a warning we dare not ignore.
Madeleine K. Albright (Fascism: A Warning)
My mother's suffering grew into a symbol in my mind, gathering to itself all the poverty, the ignorance, the helplessness; the painful, baffling, hunger-ridden days and hours; the restless moving, the futile seeking, the uncertainty, the fear, the dread; the meaningless pain and the endless suffering. Her life set the emotional tone of my life, colored the men and women I was to meet in the future, conditioned my relation to events that had not yet happened, determined my attitude to situations and circumstances I had yet to face. A somberness of spirit that I was never to lose settled over me during the slow years of my mother's unrelieved suffering, a somberness that was to make me stand apart and look upon excessive joy with suspicion, that was to make me keep forever on the move, as though to escape a nameless fate seeking to overtake me. At the age of twelve, before I had one year of formal schooling, I had a conception of life that no experience would ever erase, a predilection for what was real that no argument could ever gainsay, a sense of the world that was mine and mine alone, a notion as to what life meant that no education could ever alter, a conviction that the meaning of living came only when one was struggling to wring a meaning out of meaningless suffering. At the age of twelve I had an attitude toward life that was to endure, that was to make me seek those areas of living that would keep it alive, that was to make me skeptical of everything while seeking everything, tolerant of all and yet critical. The spirit I had caught gave me insight into the sufferings of others, made me gravitate toward those whose feelings were like my own, made me sit for hours while others told me of their lives, made me strangely tender and cruel, violent and peaceful. It made me want to drive coldly to the heart of every question and it open to the core of suffering I knew I would find there. It made me love burrowing into psychology, into realistic and naturalistic fiction and art, into those whirlpools of politics that had the power to claim the whole of men's souls. It directed my loyalties to the side of men in rebellion; it made me love talk that sought answers to questions that could help nobody, that could only keep alive in me that enthralling sense of wonder and awe in the face of the drama of human feeling which is hidden by the external drama of life.
Richard Wright (Black Boy (American Hunger))
Even a moment's reflection will help you see that the problem of using your time well is not a problem of the mind but of the heart. It will only yield to a change in the very way we feel about time. The value of time must change for us. And then the way we think about it will change, naturally and wisely. That change in feeling and in thinking is combined in the words of a prophet of God in this dispensation. It was Brigham Young, and the year was 1877, and he was speaking at April general conference. He wasn't talking about time or schedules or frustrations with too many demands upon us. Rather, he was trying to teach the members of the Church how to unite themselves in what was called the united order. The Saints were grappling with the question of how property should be distributed if they were to live the celestial law. In his usual direct style, he taught the people that they were having trouble finding solutions because they misunderstood the problem. Particularly, he told them they didn't understand either property or the distribution of wealth. Here is what he said: With regard to our property, as I have told you many times, the property which we inherit from our Heavenly Father is our time, and the power to choose in the disposition of the same. This is the real capital that is bequeathed unto us by our Heavenly Father; all the rest is what he may be pleased to add unto us. To direct, to counsel and to advise in the disposition of our time, pertains to our calling as God's servants, according to the wisdom which he has given and will continue to give unto us as we seek it. [JD 18:354] Time is the property we inherit from God, along with the power to choose what we will do with it. President Young calls the gift of life, which is time and the power to dispose of it, so great an inheritance that we should feel it is our capital. The early Yankee families in America taught their children and grandchildren some rules about an inheritance. They were always to invest the capital they inherited and live only on part of the earnings. One rule was "Never spend your capital." And those families had confidence the rule would be followed because of an attitude of responsibility toward those who would follow in later generations. It didn't always work, but the hope was that inherited wealth would be felt a trust so important that no descendent would put pleasure ahead of obligation to those who would follow. Now, I can see and hear Brigham Young, who was as flinty a New Englander as the Adams or the Cabots ever hoped to be, as if he were leaning over this pulpit tonight. He would say something like this, with a directness and power I wish I could approach: "Your inheritance is time. It is capital far more precious than any lands or stocks or houses you will ever get. Spend it foolishly, and you will bankrupt yourself and cheapen the inheritance of those that follow you. Invest it wisely, and you will bless generations to come. “A Child of Promise”, BYU Speeches, 4 May 1986
Henry B. Eyring
On the first day of November last year, sacred to many religious calendars but especially the Celtic, I went for a walk among bare oaks and birch. Nothing much was going on. Scarlet sumac had passed and the bees were dead. The pond had slicked overnight into that shiny and deceptive glaze of delusion, first ice. It made me remember sakes and conjure a vision of myself skimming backward on one foot, the other extended; the arms become wings. Minnesota girls know that this is not a difficult maneuver if one's limber and practices even a little after school before the boys claim the rink for hockey. I think I can still do it - one thinks many foolish things when November's bright sun skips over the entrancing first freeze. A flock of sparrows reels through the air looking more like a flying net than seventy conscious birds, a black veil thrown on the wind. When one sparrow dodges, the whole net swerves, dips: one mind. Am I part of anything like that? Maybe not. The last few years of my life have been characterized by stripping away, one by one, loves and communities that sustain the soul. A young colleague, new to my English department, recently asked me who I hang around with at school. "Nobody," I had to say, feeling briefly ashamed. This solitude is one of the surprises of middle age, especially if one's youth has been rich in love and friendship and children. If you do your job right, children leave home; few communities can stand an individual's most pitiful, amateur truth telling. So the soul must stand in her own meager feathers and learn to fly - or simply take hopeful jumps into the wind. In the Christian calendar, November 1 is the Feast of All Saints, a day honoring not only those who are known and recognized as enlightened souls, but more especially the unknowns, saints who walk beside us unrecognized down the millennia. In Buddhism, we honor the bodhisattvas - saints - who refuse enlightenment and return willingly to the wheel of karma to help other beings. Similarly, in Judaism, anonymous holy men pray the world from its well-merited destruction. We never know who is walking beside us, who is our spiritual teacher. That one - who annoys you so - pretends for a day that he's the one, your personal Obi Wan Kenobi. The first of November is a splendid, subversive holiday. Imagine a hectic procession of revelers - the half-mad bag lady; a mumbling, scarred janitor whose ravaged face made the children turn away; the austere, unsmiling mother superior who seemed with great focus and clarity to do harm; a haunted music teacher, survivor of Auschwitz. I bring them before my mind's eye, these old firends of my soul, awakening to dance their day. Crazy saints; but who knows what was home in the heart? This is the feast of those who tried to take the path, so clumsily that no one knew or notice, the feast, indeed, of most of us. It's an ugly woods, I was saying to myself, padding along a trail where other walkers had broken ground before me. And then I found an extraordinary bouquet. Someone had bound an offering of dry seed pods, yew, lyme grass, red berries, and brown fern and laid it on the path: "nothing special," as Buddhists say, meaning "everything." Gathered to formality, each dry stalk proclaimed a slant, an attitude, infinite shades of neutral. All contemplative acts, silences, poems, honor the world this way. Brought together by the eye of love, a milkweed pod, a twig, allow us to see how things have been all along. A feast of being.
Mary Rose O'Reilley (The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd)
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)