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#934712 06/20/21 07:51 AM
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Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.

Marie Curie

Marie Curie is best known for her scientific breakthroughs in radiation and radioactivity, which won her two Nobel Prizes. Even after her husband and research partner Pierre Curie died, Marie carried on their work, introducing the first X-ray machines to the frontlines of World War I. She spoke these brave words upon discovering that her long-term exposure to radiation during her research had given her leukemia. Her rational outlook applies not just to science and mortality, but also to life: If we approach the unknown without fear, we’re more likely to gain understanding we didn’t have before.

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Angie #934715 06/21/21 09:49 AM
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The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.

Confucius

Confucius was a Chinese philosopher who lived more than 2,500 years ago. Yet despite the wide gap of time between his life and ours, he is still famous today for his wise teachings and philosophy. While Confucius’ political and cultural influence is hard to overstate, his beginnings were meager. This only further proves the point of the above quote, which reminds us that great movements often start with small steps.

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Angie #934723 06/22/21 08:20 AM
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There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

Edith Wharton

This beautiful line comes from Edith Wharton’s long poem “Vesalius in Zante (1564).” The speaker of the poem is Inquisition-era anatomist Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564), who left Spain to travel to the East in his fifties, when he could no longer bear to live and work in a society that forbade his scientific research. On his way home from Jerusalem, Vesalius was shipwrecked on the Greek island of Zante, where he fell ill and died, never to return home. In the poet’s imagining, the censored scientist finds consolation at the end of his life in the faith that others will carry on the work he was prevented from: “What one man failed to speak, another finds / Another word for,” Wharton writes. In other words, carrying on the “light” of another — be it ideas, joy, love, or inspiration — can be just as valuable as creating it yourself.

Angie #934736 06/25/21 12:00 PM
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There’s a wall between you and what you want and you got to leap it.

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan is generally regarded as one of the greatest songwriters in history — and he has a Nobel Prize in literature to prove it. The folk singer earned the award for his poetic and often moving lyrics. Take this one from Dylan’s 1981 song “The Groom’s Still Waiting at the Altar” off the album “Shot of Love.” It encourages us to seize the moment, to bust through our fears and overcome obstacles. We won’t reach our dreams, Dylan warns, without the courage to leap.

Angie #934741 06/27/21 08:47 AM
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You will either step forward into growth, or you will step backward into safety.

Abraham Maslow

American psychologist Abraham Maslow is best known for his theory of the “Hierarchy of Needs,” which outlined the basic human needs that must be met before one can seek social or spiritual fulfillment. Feeling that psychology didn’t take into account human creativity or potential, Maslow defined the concept of “self-actualization” as a process in which humans continually strive to reach our best selves. Choice played a prominent part in his theories: Here, he reminds us that our progress in life is up to us — as long as we have the courage to move forward into the unknown.

Angie #934745 06/28/21 12:08 PM
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Deserve your dream.

Octavio Paz

Octavio Paz, one of the most influential poets in the world, came from humble beginnings. He began publishing his work as a teenager and released his first poetry collection before the age of 20. His hard work earned him an esteemed career; he traveled the world as a diplomat and writer, becoming known internationally for his poems and essays and winning the Nobel Prize in literature in 1990. Here, his charge to “deserve your dream” reminds us that success is measured not just in what we achieve, but who we are. When we know we’ve lived with integrity, reaching our goals is that much sweeter.

Angie #934747 06/29/21 09:06 AM
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A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for.

John A. Shedd

In 1901, a Minnesota newspaper reported that President Theodore Roosevelt wanted his warships on the move, and that they would rust and rot if left in the harbor. Twenty-seven years later, a professor by the name of John A. Shedd solidified Roosevelt’s sentiment into a pithy, memorable quote to share with the world, reminding us that great experiences are sometimes found over the horizon. Just as ships are meant to sail the seas, so too are we meant to explore new ideas and experiences. It can take courage to leave life’s safe harbors, but the reward for such bravery is a life well-lived.

Angie #934767 07/02/21 09:03 AM
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Discovering the truth about ourselves is a lifetime’s work, but it’s worth the effort.

Fred Rogers

Fred Rogers is best known for his work as the creator and host of the beloved television series “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” which ran from 1968 to 2001. A major theme of his show was helping kids to understand their emotions, to know that “feelings are mentionable and manageable.” But Mister Rogers also acknowledged that it can take a lifetime to understand and love ourselves for the complicated, wonderful human beings that we are. This quote reminds us that no matter what stage of life we find ourselves in, self-reflection and kindness are always noble endeavors.

Angie #934768 07/02/21 09:11 AM
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Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. first delivered this famous line in a sermon at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1957. It was later included in his 1963 book “Strength to Love,” in which King expounded on his philosophy of nonviolence and his belief that a powerful, loving presence binds all humans. Although he was regularly targeted by hate speech and discrimination, King adamantly insisted that only love could rid the world of its prejudice. To this day, as people protest peacefully for equality, they embody King’s ideals, promoting love in the belief that it will someday drive out hate.

Angie #934788 07/03/21 09:54 AM
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It is a happy talent to know how to play.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) was an American essayist, preacher, poet, and philosopher. This quote, which was included rather unceremoniously in one of Emerson’s journal entries from April 1835, offers insight into his values. He cautioned against taking societal rules so seriously that you sacrifice silliness and fun. In this he was ahead of his time. Science has shown that, in fact, playfulness is a learned trait, one that benefits us physically, socially, and emotionally at any age. It is, as Emerson said, an excellent ability to cultivate for a happy life.

Angie #934793 07/04/21 03:16 PM
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I guess I would say, "haste makes waste."

Wisely, and slow. They stumble that run fast.

William Shakespeare

In William Shakespeare’s immortal play “Romeo and Juliet,” Friar Laurence gives this advice to the young Romeo, who has decided to marry Juliet despite their families' deep blood feud. The words stand as a warning against Romeo’s recklessness, which ultimately proves fatal for the star-crossed lovers. And it remains good advice for us all: Moving too quickly, without thinking our choices through, can result in careless mistakes at best and avoidable catastrophes at worst. Often, slow and steady really is the best way forward.

Angie #934798 07/05/21 12:11 PM
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Success is a collection of problems solved.

I. M. Pei

As an internationally renowned architect, I. M. Pei was well-versed in the power of problem-solving. Two of his most famous building designs, the John F. Kennedy Library and the Hancock Tower in Boston, faced numerous issues along the way, but Pei felt that such challenging projects helped toughen him as an architect, and would stand the test of time. Pei’s words serve as a beacon to us in moments of doubt and difficulty. They remind us that our satisfaction at the finish line actually springs from the hardships we overcame along the way.

Angie #934803 07/06/21 12:21 PM
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One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak.

G.K. Chesterton

The starring character of English writer and philosopher G.K. Chesterton’s first book of short stories, 1911's “The Innocence of Father Brown,” is a priest-turned-detective who combines scientific observation with spirituality. At this moment, Father Brown is explaining to another priest how things can change based on perspective. This quote speaks to the value of humility: Looking down on the world from a lofty height makes things appear small, but when we are down in the valley looking up, we have a much better grasp of what we’re seeing.

Angie #934806 07/07/21 08:35 AM
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You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take.

Wayne Gretzky

Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky shared this classic bit of wisdom during a 1983 interview with commentator Bob McKenzie, and would later go on to explain that the words were passed down to him by his father, beloved Canadian philanthropist Walter Gretzky. Wayne said of his dad: “He inspired me to be the best I could be not just in the game of hockey, but in life." Gretzky Sr.’s words remind us that we cannot succeed unless we try — and we must take the shot if we want any hope of succeeding.
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Angie #934814 07/08/21 08:57 AM
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To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.

Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau spent two years living in a remote cabin on Walden Pond in Massachusetts, an experience that birthed his celebrated memoir, “Walden.” In that time, he gave up luxuries and aesthetics, believing it was a more honorable challenge to redefine the meaning of a good life. He wrote in "Walden" about the importance of being "awake" through life — to live deliberately and enjoy the essential and divine elements of being alive. “I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life,” he wrote, adding, "I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor … to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look." To him, shaping your outlook on life was the highest art of all.

Angie #934815 07/09/21 09:13 AM
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Stay close to any sounds that make you glad you are alive.

Hafez

Not much is known about the life of Hafez, a 14th-century poet from Persia. But it’s thought that he was first drawn to the power of words upon hearing his father recite passages from the Quran. A celebrated court poet and lifelong teacher, Hafez specialized in ghazals, a form of love poem that expresses pain or loss, as well as the tender love entwined with it. His poems now serve as proverbs, offering wisdom and life lessons. His advice here acts as a lighthouse to each of us: We are most fulfilled when we follow the things that make us feel fully alive.

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Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.

Carl Jung

Swiss psychologist Carl Jung is best known for his theories concerning the unconscious — our personalities, dreams, and intuitions. He believed that to develop a “true self,” each person has to distinguish the ego (individual identity) from the collective unconscious (shared symbols and patterns over human history). In that vein, Jung helped establish psychotherapy for people who felt their lives had lost meaning, guiding them to examine their individuality. His studies are a testament to the power of looking inward: When we understand ourselves and our place in the world, it gives us the clarity and insight we need to live with purpose.

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Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it.

Madeleine L'Engle

Writer Madeleine L’Engle produced more than 60 works in her lifetime, including bestselling novels such as “A Wrinkle in Time” and several poetry collections. Of course, such a vast and impressive body of work didn’t come easily. L’Engle spoke often of the diligence and perseverance necessary to create. Waiting for a bolt of creative lightning to strike, she explained, is a surefire way to never get started. Her words here remind us that when we commit time and effort to our work, inspiration will follow.

Angie #934827 07/12/21 08:07 AM
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He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much.

Bessie Anderson Stanley

In 1904, “Brown Book Magazine” held a contest in which they asked readers to define success. When Kansas woman Bessie Anderson Stanley submitted her answer, she likely never dreamed her words would someday be misattributed to famed authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Robert Louis Stevenson. In the poem Stanley submitted, she highlighted appreciation of nature, kindness toward others, and having “left the world better than [one] found it” as tenets of a successful life. Stanley’s words ground us in what is truly important, and they remain resonant more than a century later.

Angie #934832 07/13/21 07:52 AM
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Chance favors only the prepared mind.

Louis Pasteur

Chemist Louis Pasteur pioneered several scientific breakthroughs, including the eponymous pasteurization process, as well as vaccines for anthrax and rabies. These breakthroughs came after Pasteur had studied and experimented for years — sometimes simply for the sake of science, rather than with a specific objective. These words, from his first address as dean of the Faculté des Sciences in Lille, France, call to mind that balance of hard work and exploration. Pasteur reminds us that we can’t simply hope to get lucky: It’s by investing time and effort into our pursuits that we often make our most exciting discoveries.

Angie #934834 07/14/21 08:04 AM
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Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh, a renowned Vietnamese Buddhist monk, teacher, and writer, has traveled widely to spread his teachings on mindfulness and nonviolence. His persistent peaceful campaigns calling for an end to the Vietnam War in the 1960s brought him worldwide recognition, as well as nearly 40 years of exile from his home country. Here, he advises us to let go of our attachments in order to find happiness. He writes that to cling to anything — “anger, anxiety, or possessions” — can encumber our experience of freedom. Thich Nhat Hanh has said “letting go is a practice,” and an art that can be cultivated daily. By recognizing and releasing our desires, fears, hurt, and resentment, we can live our lives more freely and joyfully.

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I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship.

Louisa May Alcott

In Louisa May Alcott’s 1868 book “Little Women,” we follow the lives of four sisters — Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy — as they grow up together and face all of life's trials and joys. Alcott based the book on her own childhood in Concord, Massachusetts. In this line, the character of Amy, the youngest sister, is expressing that every obstacle helps us grow and learn, making us stronger and braver the older we get.

Angie #934843 07/16/21 09:50 AM
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I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.

Nelson Mandela

South African leader Nelson Mandela spent half a century fighting against the oppressive system of apartheid that segregated Black and white South Africans — a fight that led to his arrest in 1962 and a 27-year imprisonment. After his release from prison in 1990, Mandela spent the next four years participating in peace talks and negotiations to bring apartheid to an end, and in 1994 was elected as the first Black president of a revolutionized nation. Mandela never faltered in his belief in a more equal and just future, and that belief propelled him to act despite the risk. With this quote, from his 1994 memoir “Long Walk to Freedom,” he points out that courage and fear aren’t opposites; rather, true courage is taking action even when you’re scared. “The brave man,” he wrote, “is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Angie #934844 07/17/21 08:28 AM
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Whatever you are, try to be a good one.

William Makepeace Thackeray

When essayist Laurence Hutton was a boy, he met British novelist William Makepeace Thackery (author of "Vanity Fair" and other books) and had an encounter that profoundly impacted his life. Thackeray asked Hutton what he wanted to be when he grew up, and Hutton replied, "A farmer." Thackeray’s apparent response was this piece of wisdom. Hutton tried his best to fulfill that advice, and we should, too. It doesn’t matter what you do in life; what matters is striving for excellence in any task, big or small, because the effort itself can be the greatest reward.

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Every gift from a friend is a wish for your happiness.

Richard Bach

Author Richard Bach wrote several bestselling books in the 1970s, many of which were semi-autobiographical and pulled from his own career as an aviator and Navy pilot. While most of his stories center on the experience of flying, with this quote Bach speaks to us about friendship and love, and the power of giving. He notes that a gift from a friend is more than the object being gifted: The thought behind it is an expression of love, because it’s a genuine wish for you to be happy.

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Nothing succeeds like success. Get a little success, and then just get a little more.

Maya Angelou

In 2008, a journalist with “The Atlantic” interviewed renowned poet Maya Angelou about race, feminism, and how to break down the barriers many people face in life. Prejudices “have been built over centuries,” Angelou said, and we can’t break through them immediately. Angelou encouraged readers not to be discouraged or disheartened if the hard work doesn’t pay off right away, because with persistence, eventually we’ll see some success — and a little bit of success can be the best motivator to keep trying. “We mustn't run out of steam," she said, "but keep plugging away."

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Seek first the virtues of the mind; and other things either will come, or will not be wanted.

Francis Bacon

The English philosopher Francis Bacon wrote this line in his 1605 book, “The Proficience and Advancement of Learning.” With it, he suggests that in order to be happy, it’s important to do first what we believe is honorable and right. Bacon warned that, paradoxically, chasing success can sometimes be the least effective way to reach joy. "Fortune,” he wrote, “hath somewhat of the nature of a woman, that if she be too much wooed, she is the farther off." But if we live with virtue, he suggests, then good fortune will come our way — or, we’ll discover that a virtuous life can itself be the root of happiness.

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Genius, like humanity, rusts for want of use.

William Hazlitt

English essayist William Hazlitt is best known for his humanist writings, which stress free will and self-actualization. In 1826, he published “On Application to Study,” an essay discussing how staying engaged keeps us moving forward. With this line, Hazlitt suggests that the drive for knowledge keeps our minds sharp — that genius is a muscle that can be exercised. He wrote that “by continuing our efforts, as by moving forwards in a road, we extend our views, and discover continually new tracts of country.” In other words, we will always learn something new when we’re out looking for it with an open mind.
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It is only after the deepest darkness that the greatest joy can come.

Malcolm X

Minister and activist Malcolm X spent his life advocating for civil rights, helping to pave the way toward racial equality. In the final chapter of his 1964 autobiography, Malcolm X reflects on his past and his accomplishments. He recalls how greatly he suffered in life, but offers a message of hope, writing, "It is only after slavery and prison that the sweetest appreciation of freedom can come." His words remind us that pleasure can't be experienced without pain to compare it to, and the challenges we face bring a greater appreciation of the joy in life.

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The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality.

Conan O'Brien

In his 2011 commencement speech at Dartmouth College, comedian Conan O’Brien drew from his own experiences with disappointment to deliver this poignant quote. After O’Brien lost his job as host of “The Tonight Show,” he was able to turn that setback into success, becoming the host of his own long-running talk show. This quote reminds us that the very moments that look like failure can be opportunities in disguise — opportunities to learn, to grow, and to gain wisdom and clarity that can lead us to achieve even greater things.

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Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

Marthe Troly-Curtin

This quote, from Marthe Troly-Curtin’s 1911 novel “Phrynette Married,” suggests that the things we love doing are rarely a waste of time — even if they might seem unimportant to others. In the book, the character of Phrynette is told she wasted her father’s time by having him concentrate on raising her rather than working. But Phrynette points out that raising a child brought her father pleasure, so how could that be a waste? It’s a reminder to listen to and trust our own hearts, being careful not to let other people define happiness and success for us.

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Fall in love with the masterpiece, and also the paint on the floor.

Morgan Harper Nichols

Artist and writer Morgan Harper Nichols’ work often pairs poetry with abstract paintings in soft colors and shapes. Her work frequently tackles the in-between moments of life — like learning to sit with uncertainty, or offering ourselves kindness. Her artistic process, like this quote, also speaks to the acceptance of our messy parts: Nichols’ paintings often start from the landscape of a previous work, which she then paints over to create an entirely new piece. Here, Nichols asks us to value not just our best qualities, but also the imperfections that make each of us unique.

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It's the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary.

Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho’s novel “The Alchemist” follows a young Andalusian shepherd on a journey to the Egyptian pyramids, where he believes he will find hidden treasure. These words are spoken by an old wise woman who warns him to not get carried away. Indeed, the shepherd sees and experiences many things on his journey, but the ones that affect him most are the simplest: falling in love, meeting a mentor, and discovering what home means to him. Coelho’s story serves as a lesson to us not to discount the smaller or less elaborate wonders of life: The fulfillment we get from them may surprise us.

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I don't know about this quote's suggestion. A person sure can get sidetracked and accomplish nothing.



When you run into something interesting, drop everything else and study it.

B. F. Skinner

In a 1956 issue of the medical journal “The American Psychologist,” Harvard professor and psychologist B. F. Skinner published an article in which he takes an alternate look at the scientific method. Instead of focusing on one subject in a formal setting, Skinner suggests taking things moment by moment and following whims to reach the best results. This approach can work wonders in everyday life as well. Following where our passion and curiosity may lead can open up a world of creativity and inspiration. We may even discover something completely new and fascinating just by breaking free of routine.

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Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Patience may be a virtue, but it's a difficult one to cultivate — especially in a world that is moving ever-faster. Yet with this quote, Enlightenment-era philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau reminds us that patience also comes with great rewards. Such rewards are never instant, but can increase over time, like an investment that must be allowed to mature. Research suggests that people who cultivate patience experience better mental and even physical health, and have happier relationships with others over the course of their lives.

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an inspirational story -
Every Single Thing
"I just don’t know what my purpose, what my mission in this life is!," a friend wrote me in an e-mail recently. For some reason her letter awakened an old memory in me so I wrote her back and shared this with her.

When I was a young Dad my family was struggling just to get by. I was getting a few days work here and there as a substitute teacher. I was teaching every subject and every grade from kindergarten to seniors in high school. Then near the end of the school year I got called in at the last second to teach at a local grade school. I got there late worrying about the Summer to come and the lack of work it would bring. The class I got had a bad case of Summer break fever too. To say they were rambunctious would be understating it.

They were bouncing off their seats, talking in class, and not playing attention to anything I said. Finally, it was time for recess and I was as happy as they were to get outside the hot classroom. I watched them run and play and hoped it would wear them out so the afternoon wouldn’t be as tough as the morning had been on me. It was then, however, that a little girl ran up to me. She had a handful of freshly picked wild flowers. She reached a Daisy out to me and said, “This is for you, Mr. Mazzella.” In that second I felt a joy I hadn’t felt all day. I smiled and thanked her for her gift as she skipped happily away.

You see, in that instant that little girl had completed a part of her purpose here on Earth. In that second she had completed a moment of her mission. The truth is every single thing we do is a part of our purpose here. Every single thing we do is a part of our mission. God put us here to learn to love each other as He loves us. It is a life long process too, so stop worrying about your mission and your purpose. You are living them each and every day.

The same is true for all of us. May all your days then be full of life, learning, and love.

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Remember Steel Magnolias?

I would rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.


Robert Harling

Robert Harling’s play and subsequent 1989 film “Steel Magnolias” focuses on a group of women living in a small town in the American South. One of them is Shelby (played by Julia Roberts in the movie), a type 1 diabetic whose condition makes childbearing dangerous. Determined to be a mother, she gets pregnant anyway. When her own mother (Sally Field) protests, she responds with these words above, choosing passing joy over what she worries will be an empty life. Not all our decisions may be as high-stakes as Shelby’s, but her intention serves as a worthy guide: We should always reach for what brings us fulfillment and wonder, regardless of the risk.

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There is so much to be grateful for, words are poor things.

Marilynne Robinson

The irony of this quote is that celebrated novelist Marilynne Robinson is known precisely for her ability to capture the human experience in graceful prose. Still, if words are poor things, perhaps it is because Robinson has so much to be grateful for. Since the 1980 publication of her debut novel “Housekeeping” (which won the PEN Award for Best First Novel), Robinson has gone on to write a dozen books and collect numerous awards including the Pulitzer Prize (for 2004's "Gilead"), the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, and the National Humanities Medal for her “grace and intelligence in writing.” This quote is a beautiful reminder for the rest of us, too: Taking time to appreciate all we have can be a powerful feeling.

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Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light.

Frida Kahlo

It is the fate of many famous women to be known primarily for the tragedies in their lives, rather than for their lightness. Artist Frida Kahlo is often thought of in the context of her lifelong health travails and her torrid, sometimes violent romance with another larger-than-life Mexican painter, Diego Rivera. But, fiercely optimistic, Kahlo surrounded herself with beauty and brilliance — not only in the art for which she is so well known, but also in life. She had numerous friends and lovers. She painted her home a bright cobalt blue and called it Casa Azul. (Poet Carlos Pellicer said “the house … seems to lodge a bit of heaven.”) And she was deeply committed to social justice. “I must fight with all my strength so that the little positive things that my health allows me to do might be pointed toward helping the revolution,” she said. That was, for her, “the only real reason for living.”

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Hi, “Don't let the expectations and opinions of other people affect your decisions. It's your life, not theirs. Do what matters most to you; do what makes you feel alive and happy. Don't let the expectations and ideas of others limit who you are. If you let others tell you who you are, you are living their reality — not yours. There is more to life than pleasing people. There is much more to life than following others' prescribed path. There is so much more to life than what you experience right now. You need to decide who you are for yourself. Become a whole being. Adventure.”

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I'm reading a bio on Leonardo Da Vinci. Your note above sounds like his life.

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You don't always have to be doing something. You can just be, and that's plenty.

Alice Walker

Since writing her first poetry book in 1968, Alice Walker has gone on to publish more than 30 literary works, including her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "The Color Purple," and has spent decades advocating for women’s rights and civil rights. But through all this activity she maintains a sense of stillness, of just being. This quote is a welcome invitation to slow down and take in the simple joys of living — or, as Walker put it, to feel connected to and loved by the universe.

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Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.

Albert Einstein

Born in Germany in 1879, physicist Albert Einstein was a curious, independent thinker from an early age. He worked as a clerk in a Swiss patent office as a young man while developing his groundbreaking theories regarding energy, space, time, and gravity. He excelled in visualizing his ideas and creating new explanations for stubborn scientific mysteries, often going against popular opinion and academic tradition. Instead, he applied his imaginative and analytical powers to many complex topics, including time travel, black holes, and atomic energy. Einstein’s studies earned him a Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921, and his work continues to demonstrate the enormous potential of an inquisitive and flexible mind.

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A small act is worth a million thoughts.

Ai Weiwei

The Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei is often called a provocateur for the way his work — and outspoken support of freedom and human rights — has challenged the government, resulting in arrests and detainment by authorities. He is also considered one of the greatest living conceptual artists. This quote refers to his 2009 call for an internet strike in reaction to a proposed censorship law in China. “It’s an act, rather than just talk,” Ai Weiwei said in an interview about the protest. His words remind us that's it's not always enough to just talk about ideas or plans. In activism as in life, taking action, no matter how small, is crucial in achieving our dreams.

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Interesting. I would also love to check that out when I get the chance.

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The first wealth is health.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

American philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson founded the Transcendentalist movement, which valued a strong connection to nature above all. He believed that good physical health strengthens our instinct to choose experiences that make life rich and full. Emerson lived out these beliefs, balancing a quiet life in the woods of Concord, Massachusetts with his travels across the United States and Europe giving lectures. When he developed memory problems later in life, he slowed his pace so he could preserve his health and still publish his writing. He reminds us that taking care of ourselves, both physically and mentally, is a crucial part of living out our goals and dreams.

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Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.

Amelia Earhart

This encouraging sentiment is the opening line of the poem “Courage” by Amelia Earhart, who was not only a pioneering aviator but also an accomplished writer and poet. And she certainly knew something about courage. The poem, written in 1927 shortly before Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, is an intimate peek into the trailblazer’s mind and motivation. She reflects that courage brings joy, and the willingness to push boundaries is the cost of admission to a fulfilling and vibrant life. It is no small price to pay, because bravery can only exist where there is also fear. But without courage, we can't experience true freedom or inner peace.

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He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.

Friedrich Nietzsche

One of the most influential modern intellectuals, German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche first penned this sentiment in 1889. It has since undergone numerous and varied translations into English, but the core idea remains in every iteration. Having a strong purpose in life gives us a reason to continue on through adversity, and inspires us to find a way past any obstacles that may present themselves.

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The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been.

Madeleine L'Engle

Writer Madeleine L’Engle wasn’t limited by getting older: In fact, she didn’t publish her Newbery Medal-winning book “A Wrinkle in Time” until age 44. She always maintained that her diverse life experiences helped inform not just her writing career but also her personal life and philosophy. L’Engle’s quote above reminds us that we don’t have to dread aging. Though society often glorifies youth, getting older is actually an advantage, because every day adds to our collected experience, growing our confidence, intelligence, and wisdom.

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Trust your gut. Forgive yourself. Be grateful.

Cheryl Strayed

In her breakout memoir, “Wild,” author Cheryl Strayed recounts her solo thousand-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. For a woman traveling alone and a backpacking novice, reeling from her mother’s death and a recent divorce, it was a risky journey to undertake. But Strayed’s mental and physical journey gave her an anchor in arguably the hardest time of her young life. Strayed’s commitment to self-compassion in the face of adversity is a testament to how much we can survive by trusting our own internal compass. By forgiving ourselves our missteps and recognizing what we do have, we can move forward in new, exciting ways.

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When I grow up, I’m gonna look up from my phone and see my life.

Phoebe Bridgers

Singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers is known for her insightful lyrics, which often put existential questions in conversational context. She frequently waxes on themes of nostalgia, reaching for memories rather than the present moment. But these lyrics, from the track “Garden Song” off the 2020 album “Punisher,” offer a rare exception. Bridgers calls out her own distraction by technology, something many of us can likely relate to. Her words warn us not to get so lost in our screens that we miss what’s actually happening, and invite us to choose being present in order to live more fully.

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It's one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive.

Maya Angelou

The poet Maya Angelou was eight years old when she suffered a trauma that left her ashamed of her own voice, and caused her to go mute for nearly five years. “I thought I would never speak again,” she recalled years later. For her, the process of self-forgiveness was a process of recognizing the power of her own voice. Finding her voice saved her — and continued to save her. “All these 60-odd years later,” she said in 2010, “if I am really shaken, I stop speaking — and I, then, bring myself out. I start. I sing. I speak. I speak loudly and firmly. Recite Poe and Shakespeare and James Weldon Johnson, and all, and all, and do it.”

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Be happy, take care of your teeth, always let your conscience be your guide.

Patti Smith

Pratt Institute’s class of 2010 had a kindred spirit in their commencement speaker. Punk troubadour Patti Smith was about the Brooklyn art school graduates’ age in 1967 when, like them, she moved to New York City to be an artist. Smith succeeded by refusing to confine herself to a single medium, and by interlacing her work with activism. Today, she’s a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, an award-winning author, and a visual artist whose drawings, silkscreens, and photographs have exhibited on three continents. Yet her humble (and humorous) parting advice underscores the importance of pure motives. “Pac[e] the floor because your muse is burning inside of you,” she said. “You don’t want to be pacing because you need a damn root canal.”

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The willingness to show up changes us. It makes us a little braver each time.

Brené Brown

In her 2012 book “Daring Greatly,” researcher and best-selling author Brené Brown explores the topics of courage and vulnerability, encouraging readers to acknowledge their fears and turn toward them. With this quote she reminds us that we get better at the things we practice, even when what we’re practicing is courage itself. Every time we take a risk we exercise that muscle, getting a little stronger and a little braver, until the things that once seemed impossible become routine.

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Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

Søren Kierkegaard

The theologian and philosopher Soren Kierkegaard is widely considered to be the creator of existentialism. His studies led him to the idea that reflecting on our past and learning from previous experiences helps us understand our place in the world. Still, life must not be lived in the past. This quote warns us not to dwell on past regret or resentment. We have to let go in order to move forward — which is the only direction life can go.

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UMMMMMM,



To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.

Oscar Wilde

Legendary Irish writer Oscar Wilde was a vibrant figure of late-19th-century society. He was a member of the Aesthetic movement, which upheld “art for art’s sake.” He was known as a finely dressed, decadent, and outspoken man who never tried to blend in with the crowd. Along with famous one-liners like this one, he’s well known for his books such as "The Portrait of Dorian Gray" and satirical plays such as “The Importance of Being Earnest.” Through these comedies, Wilde mocked the hypocrisies of high society, and let his sharp wit run wild, as it were. Wilde married a woman and became a father, but also had relationships with men, and was famously imprisoned for homosexuality for two years. He lived as his fullest self and openly shared his loves, tastes, and opinions, regardless of what others thought. When we validate and love ourselves, we find we have a true companion for life.

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In three words, I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.

Robert Frost

On his 80th birthday, Robert Frost was asked, “In all your years and all your travels, what do you think is the most important thing you’ve learned about life?” You would think someone like Frost, who won the Pulitzer Prize four times, would give a colorful and poetic response, but his abridged reply was just as moving in its simplicity: “It goes on.” While Frost’s work is widely celebrated, his personal life was marked with tragedy. He lost both his parents at a young age, and outlived four of his six children before losing his wife. Yet still, life went on, and Frost found more opportunities for love and laughter. Regardless of the pain we may face, it is always possible that the best is yet to come.

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Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.

Seneca

The Roman philosopher Seneca grew up during the first century CE in a high-born patrician family in ancient Rome. This granted him an education in philosophy and rhetoric. His oratory skills earned him a seat in the Senate and a role as Emperor Nero's advisor. Seneca's intellectual prowess formed from great practice and effort, which led him to elegantly point out that just as physical muscles grow under strain and stress, our “mental muscle” strengthens with challenges. If you want your mind to grow, give it plenty of opportunities for exercise.

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Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.

Albert Camus

The French philosopher and writer Albert Camus spent his life learning to overcome difficulty. Camus lived too many of his days during wartime, including World War II, unable to escape the German invasion of Paris. Camus joined the resistance and fought with his words as the editor-in-chief of an outlawed newspaper called "Combat." His clear and consistent writing on the human conscience won him the Nobel Prize in literature in 1957. As this quote suggests, it was his ability to adapt to his circumstances that protected his heart despite the tragedies he witnessed. And as he so movingly articulated, it is a fortuitous heart that has never been broken.

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What good is warmth without cold to give it sweetness?

John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California, where he spent the summers of his youth working on nearby ranches — the setting for much of his literary work, including "Of Mice and Men" and "East of Eden." His experiences gave him insights into the lives of the downtrodden, who often served as the protagonists in his novels. These struggles, not to mention living through the Great Depression, gave Steinbeck a greater appreciation for the good times he enjoyed. Steinbeck followed up the quote above with, "You only truly, deeply appreciate and are grateful for something when you compare and contrast it to something worse."

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Forgiveness is just another name for freedom.

Byron Katie

Speaker and author Byron Katie regularly encourages us to look inside and ask ourselves the hard questions in order to grow as people. She refers to it as “The Work,” a process that helps us to confront stressful thoughts and feelings and eliminate them from our lives. With anger, in particular, whether it’s directed at ourselves or someone else, we’re held captive by those negative emotions. Until we forgive whatever caused the hurt, we’ll never be free from that negativity. So forgiveness actually becomes a form of self-care, allowing us to move forward unencumbered, to enjoy the freedom and lightness that comes from letting go.

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In the depths of Winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.

Albert Camus

French Algerian writer Albert Camus grappled with many philosophical questions, including the meaning of life and how to weather its difficulties. In novels, plays, and essays, the Nobel Prize winner explored the depths, heights, and wonders of our existence. This quote was penned in a series of essays published in 1968, in which Camus urged humankind to persevere through adversity. In this volume, he wrote about recovering from World War II: “We must mend what has been torn apart” and “give happiness a meaning once more.” While Camus’ words on resilience were inspired by the specific struggles of his era, his hopefulness and belief that light outlives the dark is timeless.

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If you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.

Frank Lloyd Wright

Arguably the most influential architect of the 20th century, Frank Lloyd Wright believed passionately in the importance of beautiful buildings that complemented the natural environment. Drawing on his love for the landscapes of Wisconsin, where he spent much of his youth, he created a uniquely American style known as organic architecture. Many of his more than 1,000 building designs feature wide-open spaces, large windows, and an emphasis on horizontal rather than vertical construction. He was also an early adopter of green building practices such as solar heating and natural cooling. Wright once said he wanted to create architecture that “belonged where you see it standing” and was a “grace to the landscape.” His passionate belief that our living and work spaces should and could be beautiful made a lasting impression on architecture around the world.

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Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.

Ella Fitzgerald

A quarter century after her death, the timeless legacy of Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song," endures. She triumphed over cultural roadblocks and personal struggles, and paved the way for other Black performers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald was born in racially segregated Virginia in 1917 and had a tumultuous youth. Then, after an amateur audition at Harlem’s Apollo Theatre in 1934, she found a true home on the stage. Fitzgerald said, "I felt the acceptance and love from my audience. I knew I wanted to sing before people the rest of my life." She went on to build a successful solo career, while also teaming up with greats like Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, and Count Basie. Her passion for music, her beautiful and unique jazz singing style, and her ability to connect with the audience led her to win 13 Grammys, including the first awarded to a Black woman. Her wise words and illustrious career remind us of the power of doing what we love.

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I can be someone’s and still be my own.

Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein’s life philosophy imbued his vast body of work. The poet, artist, playwright, best-selling author, and Grammy-winning songwriter slipped this insight into a conversation between anthropomorphized shapes in his picture book “The Missing Piece.” Published in 1976, the book follows a Pac-Man-precursing figure on an epic search for its lost segment. Upon rolling into a complementary chunk’s path, the protagonist tentatively asks, “Maybe you want to be your own piece?” The piece responds by asserting its agency. Silverstein was advocating for audiences of any age — including his then-six-year-old daughter — to build identities beyond their connections with others.

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If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.

Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm, the first Black U.S. congresswoman and first Black candidate to make a bid for a major party presidential nomination, invited herself to many tables of power. A teacher by training, she represented New York state in the House of Representatives from 1968 to 1983. While she did not win the Democratic presidential nomination in 1972, she ran a spirited campaign with the slogan, “Unbought and Unbossed.” She was also a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus and active in the NAACP. Throughout her life, Chisholm fought for the rights of women and people of color. She did not wait for permission to stand up for her community, and encouraged others who were underrepresented to take their own rightful place in government.

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The only difference between success and failure is the ability to take action.

Alexander Graham Bell

A Scottish-born American inventor, Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) is famous for introducing the world to the telephone. In 1876, after placing his first phone call to his assistant in the next room, Bell filed what is widely thought to be the most valuable patent in history. With this quote, the inventor extols the virtue of action, reminding us that no failure remains such, if we keep working to turn it into a success.

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Education must not simply teach work - it must teach Life.

W.E.B. Du Bois

W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963) was the first Black American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University, and he went on to be a founding member of the NAACP. This quote is pulled from an influential essay Du Bois published in 1903 in response to what he, and several other Black thought leaders of the time, saw as an overemphasis on industrial training for people of color. He feared that without multidisciplinary education, Black Americans would be forever relegated to second-class citizenry, barred from higher levels of leadership in both business and politics. “Work alone will not [uplift a people],” he wrote, “unless inspired by the right ideals and guided by intelligence.” The sentiment is as true today as it was in 1903.

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Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

Seneca

The philosopher Seneca contributed largely to an ancient Roman school of thought called Stoicism: the idea that, in life, some things are under our control, and some are not. Seneca’s quote here reminds us that we cannot dictate circumstance, but we can work hard and train in our chosen vocation so that when opportunity presents itself, we’re ready.

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If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.

Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf, a celebrated 20th-century English writer, wrote often about truth, including this quote from a lecture she gave in 1940. In the lecture, she examined the circumstances and characteristics that form great writers. One virtue in her mind that stood above the rest was truth. Woolf believed that honesty breeds creativity, but the writer must tell all truths, including the unpleasant ones. It's difficult to openly paint ourselves as petty, vain, mean, selfish, unfaithful, or unsuccessful. But only after we take an honest look at ourselves are we able to see the truth in others.

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All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.

Walt Disney

In many ways, the creation of Mickey Mouse and Disneyland — ”the happiest place on Earth” — is the embodiment of dreams coming true. Almost everything Walt Disney introduced to the world first began as a dream. A pioneer of feature-length cartoons, he had to develop innovative advancements in cinema sound, technicolor, and cameras to make his ideas a reality. But to bring a vision to life also requires courage, and lots of it. We all have dreams, and like Disney, we may face obstacles on our way to pursuing them — but we should never let fear be one of them.

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When we sow a seed, we plant a narrative of future possibility.

Sue Stuart-Smith

Sue Stuart-Smith is an author and prominent psychotherapist who believes gardening can help us process our thoughts and feelings. In her popular book, “The Well-Gardened Mind,” she describes the garden as a powerful space that mirrors our inner world. As we tend to the plants, we tend to ourselves. Within this mindset, the act of sowing and caring for a seed is also a hopeful investment in our own future. The time and labor we put into a garden comes back to us manyfold, not only through the beautiful and delicious plants we can enjoy, but in the healing benefits of slowing our pace, breathing fresh air, and connecting with nature.

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The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before.

Neil Gaiman

Award-winning English author Neil Gaiman set out to write a short story for his daughter’s 18th birthday. But after two years, he only had three pages to show for his efforts. Then, over the course of three stressful days, he found a healthy distraction from the stress by diving into the story — and he found an ending, around 20 pages later. This hopeful sentiment was weaved into Gaiman’s reflection on the burst of creativity that produced his story “Sunbird.” Besides reminding people that they still have agency during life’s most challenging times, Gaiman explains that making art forges connections if the work is shared. Perhaps that’s why he has also written novels, graphic novels, comics, journalism, screenplays, and poetry.

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We know what we are, but know not what we may be.

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare’s plays often consider themes of change and metamorphosis, and these words from “Hamlet” are no exception. The character Ophelia goes mad after Prince Hamlet kills her father, and her remarks here can refer to both her father’s unexpected death and her own uncertain future. Shakespeare often wrote about personal transformation, in tales of enemies becoming lovers, or poor men becoming rich; he himself rose from a back-alley writer to a royal playwright. His words offer a twofold reminder: to be grateful for what we have in the present, and always hopeful about the possibility ahead.

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What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other?

George Eliot

In 19th-century England, a young writer named Mary Ann Evans assumed the pen name George Eliot and began publishing novels that were acclaimed for their realistic character development and compelling plotlines. This quote (originally published with slightly different wording) is from her fourth major work, “Middlemarch,” which is widely considered to be unsurpassed among novels of the Victorian age. The line was picked up and disseminated with slight variations appearing in subsequent publications, but the sentiment remains consistent: To be of service to the people in our lives is one of the most important things we can do with our time.

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Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.

Les Brown

If you have dreams that feel just out of reach because fear keeps you from chasing after them, you’re not alone. As motivational speaker Les Brown warns with this quote, too many of us allow caution to limit our aspirations and potential. Instead of going after what we truly want, we let the fearful whispers of failure hold us back. But that nagging question — “What happens if I don’t make it?” — isn’t as scary as another question: “What happens if I don’t try?”

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What I am is good enough if I would only be it openly.

Carl Rogers

As one of the founders of the humanistic psychology movement, Carl Rogers had a pioneering approach to studying the mind. His research focused on understanding the individual’s personality and relationships, and he believed that how we see ourselves affects the way others will see us. Instead of focusing on the dark impulses of humanity like many of his peers, Rogers noted that most people have positive intentions. As seen in this quote, he suggested that by letting people be their authentic selves, we become more accepting of both ourselves and each other.

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Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.

Zelda Fitzgerald

Zelda Fitzgerald was a writer, artist, and lively socialite whose beauty captured the attention of author F. Scott Fitzgerald when she was a young debutante in Montgomery, Alabama. Though their marriage was often turbulent, the pair inspired and encouraged each other’s creative work, each serving as a muse for the other. Their love often found its way onto the pages of their writing, such as this line from Zelda Fitzgerald’s 1932 novel “Save Me the Waltz,” which closely parallels her own life and marriage.

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Courage is very important. Like a muscle, it is strengthened by use.

Ruth Gordon

An actress turned writer, Ruth Gordon was familiar with courage as a perpetual exercise. After a Broadway debut and a handful of successful films in the 1940s, she took a 22-year absence from movies, preferring the visceral courage of stage acting. After marrying screenwriter Garson Kanin, Gordon dove into new territory once again by collaborating with him on screenplays, netting several Oscar nominations. When she did return to the screen, her quirky characters — in films like "Rosemary's Baby" and "Harold and Maude" — made her a cult favorite. Gordon’s commitment to new ventures inspires us to embrace unfamiliar experiences: The more we do, the less frightening they’ll be, and the more we can grow.

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Mind is a flexible mirror, adjust it, to see a better world.

Amit Ray

Perspective can make a world of difference. According to Amit Ray, a spiritual master known for his teachings on meditation, yoga, peace, and compassion, changing your point of view can improve how you see the world. If your mind chooses to see the best in people, it will. But the opposite is true too. If you focus only on the things that go wrong in your day, it will seem like the world is out to get you. In other words, what we experience mirrors our own perspective, and we can adjust it to get a better view.

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It is not easy to be a pioneer - but oh, it is fascinating!

Elizabeth Blackwell

Elizabeth Blackwell was the first American woman to receive a degree in medicine. Despite being excluded by professors and classmates alike, Blackwell graduated at the top of her class in 1849. She interned at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, where she met Florence Nightingale, and the two women fought together for better hospital conditions. Blackwell then returned to New York, where she opened a small clinic to serve disadvantaged women and children. During the Civil War, she trained nurses for Union hospitals, and in 1868 she opened a medical college, eventually becoming a professor of gynecology. She published several books in her later years, including an autobiography in 1895, which recounts her difficult but fascinating pioneering work.

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The measure of a man's greatness is not the number of servants he has, but the number of people he serves. - John Hagee

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You'll never find a rainbow if you're looking down.

Charlie Chaplin

Donning a short, thick mustache, dusty top hat, and thin wooden cane, Charlie Chaplin’s comedic character “The Tramp” is inarguably the most memorable figure of the silent film era. This quote is from the song “Swing High Little Girl,” which Chaplin wrote and sang for the opening credits of his 1928 silent film “The Circus” when it was rereleased with a new score in 1969. The lyrics reflect the optimism found in much of Chaplin’s work. They suggest that success often requires expectation and enthusiasm — you have to keep your head up to find what you’re looking for.

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To be careful with people and with words was a rare and beautiful thing.

Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Author Benjamin Alire Saenz wrote this line in his young adult novel “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.” The book’s protagonist is 15-year-old Aristotle “Ari” Mendoza, a quiet and lonely boy whose father comes home from the Vietnam War a changed man. At first, Ari is angry at his father’s uncommunicative and withdrawn manner, but as he matures, he is able to see it from a new perspective. Ari reflects, “And loved my father too, for the careful way he spoke. I came to understand that my father was a careful man.” Ari sees there is beauty in understanding the power our words can have.

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Don't wait. The time will never be just right.

Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hill was a well-known self-help author in the early 20th century, whose books conveyed a sense of urgency to take action. He understood that change can be scary, and because of this, many people hesitate before pursuing the things they truly want. It’s easy to tell ourselves the timing and circumstances aren’t perfect, and use that as an excuse to put things off until later. But Hill reminds us that the timing will never be "just right," and now is as good a time as any to get to work on chasing your dreams.

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No wise man ever wished to be younger.

Jonathan Swift

Throughout his adulthood, Dublin-born satirist and author Jonathan Swift suffered from an inner ear disorder that resulted in vertigo spells and hearing loss. Meniere’s disease, the culprit, did not receive a name during his lifetime. The uncertainty surrounding his ailment likely spurred Swift to ponder aging when the majority of his years lay ahead of him. In 1699, at age 32, he crafted an amusing list called, “When I Come to Be Old.” Yet this particular quote came later in Swift’s life, appearing in the essay “Thoughts on Various Subjects, Moral and Diverting.” In Swift’s time (like ours), people constantly yearned for their youth. To him, that was a foolish, fruitless impulse. Swift contended that discerning individuals savor the understanding that maturity brings.

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All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.

Ernest Hemingway

Author Ernest Hemingway is known for his brusque, straightforward writing style, in both his narration and sentence structure. While Hemingway’s novels are renowned, his memoirs are equally respected, painting vivid and unflinching pictures of the First World War and Paris’ “Lost Generation” of artists. It’s no surprise, then, that Hemingway advised looking inward when setting forth to write. These words, from his Paris memoir “A Moveable Feast,” urge us to look for that spark in ourselves. Everything we need to start can be found within our own lives and experiences.

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Men who are in earnest are not afraid of consequences.

Marcus Garvey

Jamaica-born Marcus Garvey (1887-1940) was a civil rights activist and Black nationalist whose views often incited backlash. A public speaker and advocate, he led the Pan-Africanism movement, connecting people of African descent worldwide. However, his activism made him a target of the Bureau of Investigation (later known as the FBI), resulting in his arrest and controversial 1923 conviction for mail fraud. Garvey continued to write papers even from prison, and after he was released, he went on to speak to the League of Nations about race. Garvey’s lifelong dedication shows us that committing to a cause can offset our fears and empower us beyond our imagination.

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The secret of life is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.

Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho is the author of the acclaimed book “The Alchemist,” which has sold more than 65 million copies in 80 different languages. But it was a long and winding road to that success. Coelho dropped out of law school and pursued failed careers in acting, theater directing, journalism, and songwriting before becoming a celebrated author. What’s more, “The Alchemist,” first published in 1998, originally sold fewer than 1,000 copies, and the publisher decided not to reprint the book. But Coelho didn't give up. He kept trying and found another publisher willing to take a chance on him. His story shows that it’s not how many times you get knocked down that defines a life, but whether you have the strength and persistence to keep getting up and moving forward.

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Not what we have but what we enjoy constitutes our abundance.

Jean Antoine Petit-Senn

Satirist and poet Jean Antoine Petit-Senn lived in Geneva during the 1800s and spent his days writing sharp satirical commentary. As is the case with many poets, Petit-Senn’s work was not fully appreciated until after his death, leaving him with little financial success during his lifetime. But as he states in this quote, “abundance” need not be measured by the amount of money or things we amass in our lifetime, but rather by the amount of passion, love, and joy we feel. Learning to appreciate what we have over longing for what we don’t brings peace and contentment, which is the secret to happiness

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