Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.
A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it.
A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: 1. What am I trying to say? 2. What words will express it? 3. What image or idiom will make it clearer? 4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
There are two kinds of truth, small truth and great truth. You can recognize a small truth because its opposite is a falsehood. The opposite of a great truth is another profound truth.
A historian in the fourteenth century wrote a book about what he knew of the world. One observation he made is that all the tribes that have difficulty feeding themselves are lean and healthy, and those that have plenty of food are fat, lazy, and unhealthy.
Kites rise highest against the wind — not with it.
There are two kinds of taste, the taste for emotions of surprise and the taste for emotions of recognition.
Until you have learned to be tolerant with those who do not always agree with you; until you have cultivated the habit of saying some kind word of those whom you do not admire; until you have formed the habit of looking for the good instead of the bad there is in others, you will…
This we know. The earth does not belong to us; we belong to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected.
Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.
It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.
There are always two choices. Two paths to take. One is easy. And its only reward is that it’s easy.
To fly, we have to have resistance.
We don’t stop with asking what a tool does. We ask about what kind of people we become when we use it.
There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.
Leadership is not defined by the exercise of power, but by the capacity to increase the sense of power among those who are led. The most essential work the leader is to create more leaders.
It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
Knowledge is gained by learning; trust by doubt; skill by practice; love by love.
True myth may serve for thousands of years as an inexhaustible source of intellectual speculation, religious joy, ethical inquiry, and artistic renewal. The real mystery is not destroyed by reason. The fake one is. You look at it and it vanishes. You look at the Blonde Hero, really look, and he turns into a gerbil….
It is the stretched soul that makes music, and souls are stretched by the pull of opposites, opposite bents, tastes, yearnings, loyalties. Where there is no polarity, where energies flow smoothly in one direction, there will be much doing but no music.
Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.
The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things.
They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea.
There are two great rules of life. The first is, never tell everything at once.
To exist, you have to both breathe in and breathe out. Some people just want to breathe in.
There’s a way to do it better. Find it.
The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.
Truth emerges more readily from error than from confusion.
Learn your techniques well, but prepare to give them up when you touch a human soul.
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