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Angie #935756 01/18/22 03:33 PM
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You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou (1928-2014) is one of the most acclaimed writers of her time. First gaining the spotlight for her heartrending 1969 memoir “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings,” Angelou went on to write 30-plus bestselling books and was awarded over 50 honorary degrees plus many other honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010. But Angelou’s creativity wasn’t specific to prose and poetry. Before becoming a celebrated writer and poet, she pursued an acting and singing career, gaining both Tony and Emmy award nominations. After publishing several successful books, she also delved into spoken word albums and screenwriting, becoming the first Black woman to have a screenplay produced, in 1972. Over and over, Angelou pulled from her experiences and emotions to create new work that still resonates with people the world over. Her accomplishments remind us that our creativity cannot leave us. It is inherently part of us, a muscle that gets stronger with exercise.

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Angie #935765 01/19/22 09:54 PM
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If one has no sense of humor, one is in trouble.

Betty White

Betty White’s memoir "If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t)" was published when the beloved late comedienne was 89 years old. White, who would have turned 100 on January 17, preserved her positive and jolly attitude over the course of a more than 80-year career. To her, humor and gratitude went hand in hand: As she wrote in her memoir, “Old age isn’t for sissies… but if you are still functioning and not in pain, gratitude should be the name of the game." It’s a comment that brings to mind a favorite line of White’s alter ego, Rose Nylund, the character she played on the long-running sitcom "The Golden Girls": “My mother always used to say, ‘The older you get, the better you get, unless you're a banana.’”

Angie #935770 01/20/22 10:39 AM
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Never stay up on the barren heights of cleverness, but come down into the green valleys of silliness.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Despite chairing the University of Cambridge philosophy department for eight years, Ludwig Wittgenstein was described by his biographer as a “reluctant professor.” He did not believe that philosophy should be approached like a job, and he often attempted to dissuade his students from pursuing academic careers. Indeed, Wittgenstein changed direction in his professional life numerous times. For a while, he lived in a wooden hut that he had built next to a Norwegian fjord; he later contemplated farm work in the Soviet Union. Deriving from a 1948 journal entry that Wittgenstein wrote at age 59, this bit of advice reminds us that the celebrated author was, unfailingly, young at heart. Wittgenstein was wary of anyone who tried to elevate themselves above others by sounding smart. Instead, he preferred the authenticity of those willing to laugh at themselves.

Angie #935777 01/21/22 10:03 AM
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In a dark time, the eye begins to see.

Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke’s poem “In a Dark Time” opens with an assertion: Hardships clarify who we are and what matters to us most. Without challenges to illuminate needs from wants, we risk taking aspects of our lives for granted. The Pulitzer Prize winner, who lost his father at age 14, understood the necessary alliance between darkness and light. As the poem continues, images are invoked of birds and insects, forests and caves, and the wind and the moon. Roethke believed his lifelong pull toward nature came from his father, who had owned and operated a 25-acre greenhouse in Michigan. “In a Dark Time” was included in Roethke’s posthumous 1964 book “The Far Field,” which won him his second National Book Award for Poetry.

Angie #935783 01/22/22 08:58 PM
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There is only one success... to be able to spend your life in your own way.

Christopher Morley

With more than 100 books to his credit, Christopher Morley’s oeuvre includes novels as well as essay and poetry collections. Perhaps his best-known work is 1939’s “Kitty Foyle,” a novel that sold more than a million copies and was adapted into a film starring Ginger Rogers. The source of this quote, however, is a satirical novel that the American writer debuted 17 years earlier. In “Where the Blue Begins,” all the characters are anthropomorphized dogs, starting with Gissing, the protagonist. When three puppies fall under his care, Gissing travels to the city and attempts to earn money in various ways, such as managing a department store. His adventures in the workforce remind him that accomplishments are defined by individuals, not society, and self-awareness can clarify our own unique sense of success.

Angie #935785 01/23/22 10:43 AM
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My piano teacher once said to me, "Aim for the stars, land on the moon; aim for the moon, don't get off the ground."

Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.

Bruce Lee

When Bruce Lee’s TV series “The Green Hornet” was canceled after a single season in 1967, the actor began teaching private martial arts lessons to famous students such as Steve McQueen, James Coburn, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Pressed to name his unique fight style, 26-year-old Lee obliged with Jeet Kune Do, a Cantonese phrase meaning “The way of the intercepting fist.” This quote — uttered before Lee became a film icon with 1973’s “Enter the Dragon,” which was released just six days after his death — appears in Lee's posthumously published “Tao of Jeet Kune Do.” With it, Lee suggests that a meaningful goal equates to a steep climb. Even if you don’t achieve your highest objective, the steps taken will lead you somewhere satisfying.

Angie #935793 01/25/22 03:05 PM
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The meaning of life is to find your gift. To find your gift is happiness.

Terry Pratchett

We are often told that happiness, or at least its pursuit, is the most important goal in life. But many of us struggle to figure out just how to achieve this elusive joy. In his 2010 novel “I Shall Wear Midnight,” from his 41-book “Discworld” fantasy series, author and literary icon Sir Terry Pratchett offers us a hint: If we spend life’s precious days intentionally unearthing our own greatest talents, passions, and abilities, happiness will follow where they lead.
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Angie #935795 01/26/22 11:17 AM
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It is not worthy of a human being to give up.

Alva Myrdal

With this optimistic sentiment, Swedish diplomat Alva Myrdal assures us that even in the face of extreme difficulty, resilience and tenacity are innate qualities of the human spirit. Myrdal was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1982 for her distinguished work with the nuclear disarmament movement, which sought to convince the United States and Soviet Union to abandon their nuclear weapons during the Cold War. Her work and words show that it is always possible for hope, virtue, and peace to triumph.

Angie #935800 01/27/22 03:34 PM
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The beginning of wisdom is to do away with fear.

Yohannes Gebregeorgis

As many of us know, fear is often the greatest roadblock to our happiness and inner peace. What’s more, as Ethiopian philanthropist Yohannes Gebregeorgis points out here, it is also the enemy of wisdom. A champion of literacy in his home country and beyond, Gebregeorgis recognizes that we cannot begin to learn and grow until we conquer the things that scare us, and move forward with courage.

Angie #935801 01/27/22 03:36 PM
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The human mind always makes progress, but it is progress in spirals.

Madame de Staël

The path through life is not a straight line, and neither is the road to change. Political theorist Madame de Staël, who lived through the French Revolution and the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte, explains here that it is human nature to make progress in increments, as our beliefs are challenged, reconstructed, and transformed over time.

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