1) Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.
2) When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.
3) Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.
4) Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.
5) Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.
6) Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.
7) When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.
— Elon Musk
8) The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.
9) The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.
10) Imagine your life is perfect in every respect; What would it look like?
11) Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
12) We generate fears while we sit. We overcome them by action.
— Henry Link
13) Energy and persistence conquer all things.
14) For every reason it’s not possible, there are hundreds of people who have faced the same circumstances and succeeded.
15) Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.
16) Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.
— Robert Louis Stevenson
17) A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.
“Ha. Ha. Ha.”
There are so many ways to pronounce the sounds: “ha ha ha.”
Do you say it with emphasis?
If so, where is your emphasis?
If not, well, that’s funny too.
Try it 5-10 times in different ways & tell me you aren’t feeling a little bit better.
It’s actually Science.
More research is being done in this area but here are a few relative studies and part of their conclusions discussing how even simulated laughter increases positive feelings/endorphins.
So science shows that simulating laughter and even smiles can induce endorphins & positive feelings.
Guess who else thinks laughing is one of the most beneficial things anyone can do?
Like everyone. Literally. Well not literally, but check it out:
And after the quotes you can find a list of ways to simulate laughter into your life.
Don’t forget to laugh today! 🙂
“Nonsense wakes up the brain cells. And it helps develop a sense of humor, which is awfully important in this day and age. Humor has a tremendous place in this sordid world. It’s more than just a matter of laughing. If you can see things out of whack, then you can see how things can be in whack.”
“As you proceed through life, following your own path, birds will shit on you. Don’t bother to brush it off. Getting a comedic view of your situation gives you spiritual distance. Having a sense of humor saves you.”
“With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die.”
“Trouble knocked at the door, but, hearing laughter, hurried away.”
“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”
“I never would have made it if I could not have laughed. It lifted me momentarily out of this horrible situation, just enough to make it livable.”
“Frame your mind to mirth and merriment
which bars a thousand harms
and lengthens life.”
“Humor is the great thing, the saving thing after all. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations, and resentments flit away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.”
“When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.”
“Mix a little foolishness with your serious plans. It is lovely to be silly at the right moment.”
“I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.”
“There is little success where there is little laughter.”
“I’ve always thought that a big laugh is a really loud noise from the soul saying, ‘Ain’t that the truth.’”
“Laughter is America’s most important export.”
“Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.”
“It is more fitting for a man to laugh at life than to lament over it.”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
“The size of a man’s understanding can be justly measured by his mirth.”
“If we couldn’t laugh, we would all going to go insane.”
“The child in you, like all children, loves to laugh, to be around people who can laugh at themselves and life. Children instinctively know that the more laughter we have in our lives, the better.”
“A man isn’t poor if he can still laugh.”
“You have as much laughter as you have faith.”
“Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.”
George Bernard Shaw
“And the little prince broke into a lovely peal of laughter, which irritated me very much. I like my misfortunes to be taken seriously.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
“A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder
“My focus is to forget the pain of life. Forget the pain, mock the pain, reduce it. And laugh.”
“If you would not be laughed at, be the first to laugh at yourself.”
“Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.”
“It is cheerful to God when you rejoice or laugh from the bottom of your heart.”
Martin Luther King Jr.
“If you’re funny, if there’s something that makes you laugh, then every day’s going to be okay.”
“We cannot really love anybody with whom we never laugh.”
“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”
E. E. Cummings
“A person who knows how to laugh at himself will never cease to be amused.” Shirley MacClain
“Anyone who takes himself too seriously always runs the risk of looking ridiculous; anyone who can consistently laugh at himself does not.”
“God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.”
“He deserves Paradise who makes his companions laugh.”
“As soon as you have made a thought, laugh at it.”
“From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.”
“One can know a man from his laugh, and if you like a man’s laugh before you know anything of him, you may confidently say that he is a good man.”
“Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.”
“To make mistakes is human; to stumble is commonplace; to be able to laugh at yourself is maturity.”
William Arthur Ward
“What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.”
“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.”
“You must learn to take life less seriously and to laugh.”
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
“The greatest prayer you could ever pray is to laugh every day.”
“The person who can bring the spirit of laughter into a room is indeed blessed.” Bennett Cerf
“Don’t take yourself too seriously. Know when to laugh at yourself, and find a way to laugh at obstacles that inevitably present themselves.”
“There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do.”
“If you can’t laugh, you won’t make it.”
Jennifer Love Hewitt
“Fame comes and fame goes, but you have to be able to laugh about yourself and to take it with a grain of salt.”
“If you can’t laugh at yourself, you don’t deserve to laugh at anybody else.”
“Nothing feels as good to me as laughing incredibly hard.”
“Life is tough; and if you have the ability to laugh at it, you have the ability to enjoy it.”
“Sometimes you almost have to laugh to keep from crying to deal with the pain associated with the hood.”
“I surround myself with people who make me laugh.”
“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”
“Wit is the key, I think, to anybody’s heart, because who doesn’t like to laugh?”
“It’s important to remember that life is a joke, and that outlook grants a lot of perspective, but I don’t think comedy should change and become political due to other things. It should just laugh at that cosmic joke that life is all the time.” John Mulaney
“Laughter is a bodily exercise, precious to health.”
“The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.”
“He that is of a merry heart has a continual feast.”
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
“Anything with the power to make you laugh over thirty years later isn’t a waste of time. I think something like that is very close to immortality.”
“If you become silent after your laughter, one day you will hear God also laughing, you will hear the whole existence laughing — trees and stones and stars with you.”
“The point is seeing that THIS — the immediate, everyday and present experience — is IT, the entire and ultimate point for the existence of a universe. I believe that if this state of consciousness could become more universal, the pretentious nonsense which passes for the serious business of the world would dissolve in laughter… “
“Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.”
Ways to create and simulate laughter
“When you are totally depressed, you should try giggling. Just make yourself laugh. Force yourself to laugh.”
**Smile for 5 minutes
**Surround yourself with positive and fun people
**Count your blessings
**Watch funny videos/Read funny stories & jokes
(Rodney Dangerfield jokes below)
**Schedule time for fun activities
**Bring humor into conversations
(Ask someone “what’s the funniest thing that has ever happened to you?”)
**Go to a laughter yoga class
(I went to a few of these in college and it was awesome!)
*Remember funny things that have happened recently
**Remember fun times from your childhood
**Laugh at yourself.
**Remind self to laugh
**Laugh every day! 🙂
“Whenever I want to laugh, I read a wonderful book, ‘Children’s Letters to God.’ You can open it anywhere. One I read recently said, ‘Dear God, thank you for the baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy.’”
Some quite funny Rodney Dangerfield’s jokes:
“I asked my old man if I could go ice-skating on the lake. He told me, ‘Wait til it gets warmer.’”
“I could tell that my parents hated me. My bath toys were a toaster and a radio.”
“Last Halloween a kid tried to rip my face off. He thought it was a mask. Now it’s different when I open the door the kids hand me candy.”
“My father carries around the picture of the kid who came with his wallet.”
“My uncle’s dying wish was to have me sitting on his lap. He was in the electric chair.”
“One night I came home. I figured, let my wife come on. I’ll play it cool. Let her make the first move. She went to Florida.”
“My wife isn’t very bright. The other day she was at the store, and just as she was heading for our car, someone stole it! I said, ‘Did you see the guy that did it?’ She said, ‘No, but I got the license plate.’”
“I tell you, with my doctor, I don’t get no respect. I told him, ‘I’ve swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills.’ He told me to have a few drinks and get some rest.”
“I had a lot of pimples too. One day I fell asleep in a library. I woke up and a blind man was reading my face.”
“A travel agent told I could spend 7 nights in HAWAII no days just nights.”
What is something that makes you laugh? 🙂
“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”
How often have you been told what to do with your life?
Most people who give you unsolicited advice have good intentions but it doesn’t mean that what has worked for them will work for you.
“Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”
It’s easy to get lost in all the things you “should do,” as people will tell you, while forgetting about what you actually want to do.
It can be extremely difficult when it seems like everyone else is doing what people say you “should do”, like going to college, but it’s not for everyone.
Here are some people who didn’t go or dropped out of college:
Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Ted Turner, Tony Robbins, Richard Branson, Ellen DeGeneres, Rachael Ray, Michael Dell, Jack Dorsey, Russell Simmons, John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, and many others. Find a list of 100 here.
Remember this quote from Mark Twain whenever you are thinking that you should be doing what others are doing:
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
If you’re struggling in an area where you see others succeeding in, it doesn’t make you dumb, it just tells you that that area is not for you, unless you’re passionate about it. You can learn & master any skill you want through relentless practice.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
A variety of life experiences & hobbies can help you figure out your passion.
Maybe it’s writing, acting, speaking, athletics, designer, teacher, attendant, horse trainer.
But people say, “you can’t do that, no one makes money doing that.”
Except they do…
If there is anyone doing what you would love to do, you can do it too.
You may have to take some side jobs as you focus on getting paid to do what you love, but if you are passionate enough about it, you will find a way.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
You are unique.
People find the most happiness when they embrace their uniqueness instead of trying to please people & fit in.
Maybe you learn best visually while someone else learns best verbally.
Or aurally, physically, logically, socially, or solitary.
Which way is best?
There is no “best.” There is only what is best for you.
Find out how you learn best & don’t judge yourself.
I think I learn best visually—I like demonstrations especially when I am able to get involved.
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
There are many crossroads in life, leaving you with multiple choices. The easy path is to follow what others are doing.
A nurse who spent years working in palliative care, taking care of people in the last 12 weeks of their lives, researched and wrote the top five regrets people have on their deathbeds.
The most common regret was “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” Find the article here.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Use what works for you, not what works for someone else.
Quotes to help find and follow your bliss
“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”
“If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, go out and sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures. Sweep streets like Handel and Beethoven composed music. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
“The people who make it to the top – whether they’re musicians, or great chefs, or corporate honchos – are addicted to their calling … [they] are the ones who’d be doing whatever it is they love, even if they weren’t being paid.”
“There comes a time when you ought to start doing what you want. Take a job that you love. You will jump out of bed in the morning. I think you are out of your mind if you keep taking jobs that you don’t like because you think it will look good on your resume. Isn’t that a little like saving up sex for your old age?”
“I think the foremost quality – there’s no success without it – is really loving what you do. If you love it, you do it well, and there’s no success if you don’t do well what you’re working at.”
“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bounds. Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”
“The law of work seems unfair, but nothing can change it; the more enjoyment you get out of your work, the more money you will make.”
“Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.”
“Yes, I’ve made a great deal of dough from my fiction, but I never set a single word down on paper with the thought of being paid for it … I have written because it fulfilled me. Maybe it paid off the mortgage on the house and got the kids through college, but those things were on the side—I did it for the buzz. I did it for the pure joy of the thing. And if you can do it for the joy, you can do it forever.”
“I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
“Where is the master who could have taught Shakespeare? Where is the master who could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton? Every great man is a unique.”
And yes. They wrote a little different in the 1800’s. Many of these quotes I had to read multiple times to truly comprehend.
“Self-Reliance” is a soul touching essay. I continually felt profound connections as I engulfed myself in this essay.
After being so touched by this work I felt the need to share its most essential messages with you.
A few of the many words I would describe this text are: Insightful. Life-Changing. Thought-Provoking. Soul Touching. Truly. Incredible.
Before diving into all 30 Essential Messages, here is a brief overview of some of the things you will be hearing:
9 Overviewing Ideas
(1)-Seeking & Becoming more of your True Self
“I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you…If you can love me for what I am, we shall be the happier. If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should. I will not hide my tastes or aversions…”
“Live no longer to the expectation of these deceived and deceiving people with whom we converse.”
(2)-Following paths that brings you joy in life, trusting it & continuing regardless of numerous failures
“…A sturdy lad from New Hampshire or Vermont, who in turn tries all the professions, who teams it, farms it, peddles, keeps a school, preaches, edits a newspaper, goes to Congress, buys a township, and so forth, in successive years, and always, like a cat, falls on his feet, is worth a hundred of these city dolls…
…He walks abreast with his days, and feels no shame in not `studying a profession,’ for he does not postpone his life, but lives already. He has not one chance, but a hundred chances…”
(3)-Experiencing Genuine Peace, which does not come from anything outside of you, but begins within
“A political victory, a rise of rents, the recovery of your sick, or the return of your absent friend, or some other favorable event, raises your spirits, and you think good days are preparing for you. Do not believe it…
…Nothing can bring you peace but yourself…”
(4)-Recognizing the facade of societal ways
“…It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it…”
“…This conformity makes them not false in a few particulars, authors of a few lies, but false in all particulars.Their every truth is not quite true…”
(5)-The people in power hate nonconformity & encourage the general population to oppose those people
“For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure.”
“Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”
(6)-Understanding the connectedness & importance of everything; that all things are of equal importance
“…Is the acorn better than the oak which is its fulness and completion? Is the parent better than the child into whom he has cast his ripened being?”
(7)-Wherever you go there you are
“The soul is no traveller; the wise man stays at home, and when his necessities, his duties, on any occasion call him from his house, or into foreign lands, he is at home still.”
“Henceforward I am the truth’s. Be it known unto you that henceforward I obey no law less than the eternal law…
…if we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last.– But so you may give these friends pain. Yes, but I cannot sell my liberty and my power, to save their sensibility…”
(9)-Life(Your Ego) is Fleeting
“This one fact the world hates, that the soul becomes; for that for ever degrades the past, turns all riches to poverty, all reputation to a shame, confounds the saint with the rogue, shoves Jesus and Judas equally aside.”
30 Essential Messages
The following 30 messages are all significant but I highlighted the elemental concepts in Blue and Bolded succeeding elements. Each message holds high value but I also ordered them beginning with what I believe to be the most moving.
“What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think…
…This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness…
…It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it…
It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”
“Phocion, Socrates, Anaxagoras, Diogenes, are great men, but they leave no class. He who is really of their class will not be called by their name, but will be his own man, and, in his turn, the founder of a sect.”
“A political victory, a rise of rents, the recovery of your sick, or the return of your absent friend, or some other favorable event, raises your spirits, and you think good days are preparing for you. Do not believe it…
…Nothing can bring you peace but yourself….
…Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.
“Well, most men have bound their eyes with one or another handkerchief, and attached themselves to some one of these communities of opinion…
…This conformity makes them not false in a few particulars, authors of a few lies, but false in all particulars.Their every truth is not quite true…
…Their two is not the real two, their four not the real four; so that every word they say chagrins us, and we know not where to begin to set them right.”
“But do your work, and I shall know you. Do you work, and you shall reinforce yourself. A man must consider what a blindman’s-buff is this game of conformity”
“At times the whole world seems to be in conspiracy to importune you with emphatic trifles. Friend, client, child, sickness, fear, want, charity, all knock at once at thy closet door, and say,–‘Come out unto us.’ But keep thy state; come not into their confusion…
…The power men possess to annoy me, I give them by a weak curiosity. No man can come near me but through my act. What we love that we have, but by desire we bereave ourselves of the love.”
“And truly it demands something godlike in him who has cast off the common motives of humanity, and has ventured to trust himself for a taskmaster. High be his heart, faithful his will, clear his sight, that he may in good earnest be doctrine, society, law, to himself, that a simple purpose may be to him as strong as iron necessity is to others!”
“Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright; he dares not say ‘I think,’ ‘I am,’ but quotes some saint or sage…
…He is ashamed before the blade of grass or the blowing rose. These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are; they exist with God to-day. There is no time to them.There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence. Before a leaf-bud has burst, its whole life acts; in the full-blown flower there is no more; in the leafless root there is no less. Its nature is satisfied, and it satisfies nature, in all moments alike…
…But man postpones or remembers; he does not live in the present, but with reverted eye laments the past, or, heedless of the riches that surround him, stands on tiptoe to foresee the future…
…He cannot be happy and strong until he too lives with nature in the present, above time.”
“The soul raised over passion beholds identity and eternal causation, perceives the self-existence of Truth and Right, and calms itself with knowing that all things go well.”
“If we live truly, we shall see truly. It is as easy for the strong man to be strong, as it is for the weak to be weak…
…When we have new perception, we shall gladly disburden the memory of its hoarded treasures as old rubbish…
…When a man lives with God, his voice shall be as sweet as the murmur of the brook and the rustle of the corn.”
“For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure. And therefore a man must know how to estimate a sour face.”
This youtube talk, titled Don’t Take Life Too Seriously, by Alan Watts reminded me of the quote above.
“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day…
…—‘Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.’—Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”
“I hope in these days we have heard the last of conformity and consistency…
…That a true man belongs to no other time or place, but is the centre of things. Where he is, there is nature. He measures you, and all men, and all events…
…The man must be so much, that he must make all circumstances indifferent. Every true man is a cause, a country, and an age; requires infinite spaces and numbers and time fully to accomplish his design;–and posterity seem to follow his steps as a train of clients.”
“We pass for what we are. Character teaches above our wills…
…Men imagine that they communicate their virtue or vice only by overt actions, and do not see that virtue or vice emit a breath every moment.”
“Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing. Act singly, and what you have already done singly will justify you now.”
“Insist on yourself; never imitate…
…Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous, half possession…
…That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him…
…No man yet knows what it is, nor can, till that person has exhibited it…
*Where is the master who could have taught Shakespeare? Where is the master who could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton? Every great man is a unique.*
The Scipionism of Scipio is precisely that part he could not borrow…
…Shakespeare will never be made by the study of Shakespeare…
…Do that which is assigned you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much. There is at this moment for you an utterance brave and grand as that of the colossal chisel of Phidias, or trowel of the Egyptians, or the pen of Moses, or Dante, but different from all these. Not possibly will the soul all rich, all eloquent, with thousand-cloven tongue, deign to repeat itself; but if you can hear what these patriarchs say, surely you can reply to them in the same pitch of voice; for the ear and the tongue are two organs of one nature. Abide in the simple and noble regions of thy life, obey thy heart, and thou shalt reproduce the Foreworld again.”
“Live no longer to the expectation of these deceived and deceiving people with whom we converse.”
“And so the reliance on Property, including the reliance on governments which protect it, is the want of self-reliance.
Men have looked away from themselves and at things so long, that they have come to esteem the religious, learned, and civil institutions as guards of property, and they deprecate assaults on these, because they feel them to be assaults on property.
…They measure their esteem of each other by what each has, and not by what each is…
…But a cultivated man becomes ashamed of his property, out of new respect for his nature Especially he hates what he has, if he see that it is accidental, — came to him by inheritance, or gift, or crime; then he feels that it is not having; it does not belong to him, has no root in him, and merely lies there, because no revolution or no robber takes it away.”
“If our young men miscarry in their first enterprises, they lose all heart. If the young merchant fails, men say he is ruined. If the finest genius studies at one of our colleges, and is not installed in an office within one year afterwards in the cities or suburbs of Boston or New York, it seems to his friends and to himself that he is right in being disheartened, and in complaining the rest of his life…
…A sturdy lad from New Hampshire or Vermont, who in turn tries all the professions, who teams it, farms it, peddles, keeps a school, preaches, edits a newspaper, goes to Congress, buys a township, and so forth, in successive years, and always, like a cat, falls on his feet, is worth a hundred of these city dolls…
…He walks abreast with his days, and feels no shame in not `studying a profession,’ for he does not postpone his life, but lives already. He has not one chance, but a hundred chances…
…Let a Stoic open the resources of man, and tell men they are not leaning willows, but can and must detach themselves; that with the exercise of self-trust, new powers shall appear; that a man is the word made flesh, born to shed healing to the nations, that he should be ashamed of our compassion, and that the moment he acts from himself, tossing the laws, the books, idolatries, and customs out of the window, we pity him no more, but thank and revere him,–and that teacher shall restore the life of man to splendor, and make his name dear to all history.”
“Another sort of false prayers are our regrets. Discontent is the want of self-reliance: it is infirmity of will. Regret calamities, if you can thereby help the sufferer; if not, attend your own work, and already the evil begins to be repaired. Our sympathy is just as base. We come to them who weep foolishly, and sit down and cry for company, instead of imparting to them truth and health in rough electric shocks, putting them once more in communication with their own reason…
…The secret of fortune is joy in our hands. Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self-helping man. For him all doors are flung wide: him all tongues greet, all honors crown, all eyes follow with desire. Our love goes out to him and embraces him, because he did not need it. We solicitously and apologetically caress and celebrate him, because he held on his way and scorned our disapprobation. The gods love him because men hated him. “To the persevering mortal,” said Zoroaster, “the blessed Immortals are swift.”
“Henceforward I am the truth’s. Be it known unto you that henceforward I obey no law less than the eternal law. I will have no covenants but proximities. I shall endeavour to nourish my parents, to support my family, to be the chaste husband of one wife,–but these relations I must fill after a new and unprecedented way. I appeal from your customs…
…I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. If you can love me for what I am, we shall be the happier. If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should. I will not hide my tastes or aversions…
…I will so trust that what is deep is holy, that I will do strongly before the sun and moon whatever inly rejoices me, and the heart appoints. If you are noble, I will love you; if you are not, I will not hurt you and myself by hypocritical attentions. If you are true, but not in the same truth with me, cleave to your companions; I will seek my own. I do this not selfishly, but humbly and truly…
…It is alike your interest, and mine, and all men’s, however long we have dwelt in lies, to live in truth. Does this sound harsh to-day? You will soon love what is dictated by your nature as well as mine, and, if we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last.– But so you may give these friends pain. Yes, but I cannot sell my liberty and my power, to save their sensibility…
…Besides, all persons have their moments of reason, when they look out into the region of absolute truth; then will they justify me, and do the same thing.”
“The magnetism which all original action exerts is explained when we inquire the reason of self-trust. Who is the Trustee?
…What is the aboriginal Self on which a universal reliance may be grounded? What is the nature and power of that science-baffling star, without parallax, without calculable elements, which shoots a ray of beauty even into trivial and impure actions, if the least mark of independence appear?
…The inquiry leads us to that source, at once the essence of genius, of virtue, and of life, which we call Spontaneity or Instinct.We denote this primary wisdom as Intuition, whilst all later teachings are tuitions. In that deep force, the last fact behind which analysis cannot go, all things find their common origin…
…For, the sense of being which in calm hours rises, we know not how, in the soul, is not diverse from things, from space, from light, from time, from man, but one with them, and proceeds obviously from the same source whence their life and being also proceed…
…We first share the life by which things exist, and afterwards see them as appearances in nature, and forget that we have shared their cause. Here is the fountain of action and of thought. Here are the lungs of that inspiration which giveth man wisdom, and which cannot be denied without impiety and atheism…
…We lie in the lap of immense intelligence, which makes us receivers of its truth and organs of its activity. When we discern justice, when we discern truth, we do nothing of ourselves, but allow a passage to its beams. If we ask whence this comes, if we seek to pry into the soul that causes, all philosophy is at fault. Its presence or its absence is all we can affirm. Every man discriminates between the voluntary acts of his mind, and his involuntary perceptions, and knows that to his involuntary perceptions a perfect faith is due. He may err in the expression of them, but he knows that these things are so, like day and night, not to be disputed. My wilful actions and acquisitions are but roving;–the idlest reverie, the faintest native emotion, command my curiosity and respect…
…Thoughtless people contradict as readily the statement of perceptions as of opinions, or rather much more readily; for, they do not distinguish between perception and notion…
…They fancy that I choose to see this or that thing. But perception is not whimsical, but fatal. If I see a trait, my children will see it after me, and in course of time, all mankind,–although it may chance that no one has seen it before me. For my perception of it is as much a fact as the sun.”
“But the rage of travelling is a symptom of a deeper unsoundness affecting the whole intellectual action. The intellect is vagabond, and our system of education fosters restlessness. Our minds travel when our bodies are forced to stay at home…
…We imitate; and what is imitation but the travelling of the mind?
Our houses are built with foreign taste; our shelves are garnished with foreign ornaments; our opinions, our tastes, our faculties, lean, and follow the Past and the Distant. The soul created the arts wherever they have flourished…
…It was in his own mind that the artist sought his model. It was an application of his own thought to the thing to be done and the conditions to be observed. And why need we copy the Doric or the Gothic model? Beauty, convenience, grandeur of thought, and quaint expression are as near to us as to any, and if the American artist will study with hope and love the precise thing to be done by him, considering the climate, the soil, the length of the day, the wants of the people, the habit and form of the government, he will create a house in which all these will find themselves fitted, and taste and sentiment will be satisfied also.”
“In manly hours, we feel that duty is our place. The soul is no traveller; the wise man stays at home, and when his necessities, his duties, on any occasion call him from his house, or into foreign lands, he is at home still, and shall make men sensible by the expression of his countenance, that he goes the missionary of wisdom and virtue, and visits cities and men like a sovereign, and not like an interloper or a valet.”
(Although I still love traveling, I think there’s wisdom in this quote below & reminds me of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book Wherever You Go, There You Are)
“Travelling is a fool’s paradise. Our first journeys discover to us the indifference of places. At home I dream that at Naples, at Rome, I can be intoxicated with beauty, and lose my sadness. I pack my trunk, embrace my friends, embark on the sea, and at last wake up in Naples, and there beside me is the stern fact, the sad self, unrelenting, identical, that I fled from. I seek the Vatican, and the palaces. I affect to be intoxicated with sights and suggestions, but I am not intoxicated. My giant goes with me wherever I go.”
“The relations of the soul to the divine spirit are so pure, that it is profane to seek to interpose helps. It must be that when God speaketh he should communicate, not one thing, but all things; should fill the world with his voice; should scatter forth light, nature, time, souls, from the centre of the present thought; and new date and new create the whole…
…Whenever a mind is simple, and receives a divine wisdom, old things pass away,—means, teachers, texts, temples fall; it lives now, and absorbs past and future into the present hour. All things are made sacred by relation to it,–one as much as another…
…All things are dissolved to their centre by their cause, and, in the universal miracle, petty and particular miracles disappear. If, therefore, a man claims to know and speak of God, and carries you backward to the phraseology of some old mouldered nation in another country, in another world, believe him not…
…Is the acorn better than the oak which is its fulness and completion? Is the parent better than the child into whom he has cast his ripened being? Whence, then, this worship of the past? The centuries are conspirators against the sanity and authority of the soul. Time and space are but physiological colors which the eye makes, but the soul is light; where it is, is day; where it was, is night; and history is an impertinence and an injury, if it be any thing more than a cheerful apologue or parable of my being and becoming.”
“In what prayers do men allow themselves! That which they call a holy office is not so much as brave and manly. Prayer looks abroad and asks for some foreign addition to come through some foreign virtue, and loses itself in endless mazes of natural and supernatural, and mediatorial and miraculous…
…Prayer that craves a particular commodity,–any thing less than all good,–is vicious. Prayer is the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of view. It is the soliloquy of a beholding and jubilant soul. It is the spirit of God pronouncing his works good. But prayer as a means to effect a private end is meanness and theft. It supposes dualism and not unity in nature and consciousness. As soon as the man is at one with God, he will not beg…
…He will then see prayer in all action.The prayer of the farmer kneeling in his field to weed it, the prayer of the rower kneeling with the stroke of his oar, are true prayers heard throughout nature, though for cheap ends. Caratach, in Fletcher’s Bonduca, when admonished to inquire the mind of the god Audate, replies, — “His hidden meaning lies in our endeavours; Our valors are our best gods.”
“The other terror that scares us from self-trust is our consistency; a reverence for our past act or word, because the eyes of others have no other data for computing our orbit than our past acts, and we are loathe to disappoint them.”
“As great a stake depends on your private act to-day, as followed their public and renowned steps. When private men shall act with original views, the lustre will be transferred from the actions of kings to those of gentlemen.
“Life only avails, not the having lived. Power ceases in the instant of repose; it resides in the moment of transition from a past to a new state, in the shooting of the gulf, in the darting to an aim. This one fact the world hates, that the soul becomes; for that for ever degrades the past, turns all riches to poverty, all reputation to a shame, confounds the saint with the rogue, shoves Jesus and Judas equally aside.”
Here are some considerable(still super incredible) quotes:
“His note-books impair his memory; his libraries overload his wit; the insurance-office increases the number of accidents.”
“Society is a wave. The wave moves onward, but the water of which it is composed does not. The same particle does not rise from the valley to the ridge. Its unity is only phenomenal. The persons who make up a nation to-day, next year die, and their experience with them.”
“These are the voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world. Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs.”
“It is only as a man puts off all foreign support, and stands alone, that I see him to be strong and to prevail. He who knows that power is inborn, that he is weak because he has looked for good out of him and elsewhere, and so perceiving, throws himself unhesitatingly on his thought, instantly rights himself, stands in the erect position, commands his limbs, works miracles; just as a man who stands on his feet is stronger than a man who stands on his head.”
For more relative quotes, here are some quotes from Thoreau to ponder.