QUOTATIONS TO HELP YOU LIVE A GOOD LIFE

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Barbara Kingsolver

Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.

Writing

R. Buckminster Fuller

When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.

Action
Alignment
Outcomes

Edward Albee

Sometimes it’s necessary to go a long distance out of the way in order to come back a short distance correctly.

Action

Ernest Hemingway

My aim is to put down what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way I can tell it.

Writing

Eric Hoffer

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.

Action
Authenticity
Values

Albert Einstein

Perfection of means and confusion of goals seem — in my opinion — to characterize our age.

Outcomes
Values

William Faulkner

If a story is in you, it has to come out.

Identity
Writing

Jean Jacques Rousseau

What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?

Authenticity
Emotions
Presence
Time

Eric Hoffer

The feeling of being hurried is not usually the result of living a full life and having no time. It is on the contrary born of a vague fear that we are wasting our life. When we do not do the one thing we ought to do, we have no time for anything else, we…

Mindfulness
Presence
Time

Theodore Hesburgh

You don’t make decisions because they are easy; you don’t make them because they are cheap; you don’t make them because they are popular; you make them because they’re right.

Action
Responsibility
Values

Miles Davis, guidance for his musicians

When you play music, don’t play the idea that’s there, play the next idea. Wait. Wait another beat, or maybe two, and maybe you’ll have something that’s more fresh. Don’t just play from the top of your head, but listen and try to play a little deeper. Don’t play what’s there. Play what’s not there.

Energy
Mindfulness
Presence

George Martin

The greatest attribute a producer can have is the ability to see the whole picture. Most artists, when they record something, don’t listen to the whole thing. They listen to what they’re doing. It’s a bit like when you’re a kid and you look at a school photograph of a hundred kids. The first thing…

Leadership
Perspective

Mary Oliver

It is the nature of stone / to be satisfied / It is the nature of water / to want to be somewhere else.

Alignment

Juan Ramón Jiménez

“If they give you lined paper, write the other way.” 

Identity
Writing

Vladimir Nabokov

The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.

Frederick Douglass

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.

Presence
Spirituality

Chinese Proverb

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

Outcomes
Time

Queen Victoria

When I’m with Gladstone, I’m convinced that he’s the most interesting person in the kingdom; but when I’m with Disraeli, I’m convinced that I’m the most interesting person in the kingdom.

Authenticity
Presence

Robert Evans

Sumner Redstone came all the time to visit me [after my stroke]. He held my hand and said, “You’re gonna make it! I was burnt to death and now I can walk. And you’re gonna make it, too!” The doctors told him to not keep coming back because I wasn’t going to make it, but…

Authenticity
Values

Sir Winston Churchill

Kites rise highest against the wind — not with it.

Alignment
Energy

Lou Gerstner

The Noah Principle:  No more prizes for predicting rain. Prizes only for building arks.

Outcomes

J. William Fulbright

We must dare to think unthinkable thoughts. We must learn to explore all the options and possibilities that confront us in a complex and rapidly changing world. We must learn to welcome and not to fear the voices of dissent. We must dare to think about unthinkable things because when things become unthinkable, thinking stops…

Phil Daniels

Reward excellent failures. Punish mediocre successes.

Success

Jack London

You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

Action
Writing

J. K. Rowling

It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

Francis Bacon

Truth emerges more readily from error than from confusion.

Business
Leadership
Outcomes

David Hockney

Surface is illusion, but so is depth.

Mindfulness
Spirituality

Charles Austin Beard

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.

Emotions
Gratitude
Spirituality

Louis L'Amour

There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.

Perspective
Success
Time

Franz Kafka

You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait. Do not even wait, be still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.

Mindfulness
Spirituality

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