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Angie #936653 07/23/22 09:48 AM
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Fear has a very concrete power of keeping us from doing and saying the things that are our purpose.

Luvvie Ajayi

In her popular 2017 TED Talk “Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable,” bestselling author, speaker, and podcast host Luvvie Ajayi pointed out the undeniable power of fear. That powerful force can wind up controlling our actions — or inaction, as is often the case. But Ajayi encouraged her audience to use it as a motivator. “I'm not going to let fear dictate what I do,” she said. “Anything that scares me, I'm going to actively pursue it.” Feeling afraid doesn’t have to be a warning sign of what to avoid; instead, it can act as a beacon, lighting a path for us to push outside our comfort zone, which is the only way to grow.

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Angie #936658 07/24/22 05:46 PM
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Set wide the window. Let me drink the day.

Edith Wharton

This opening line of Edith Wharton’s dramatic monologue “Vesalius in Zante (1564)” feels like a breath of fresh air. Its speaker is Andreas Vesalius, a Spanish Inquisition-era anatomist who faced such backlash for his studies — scientific research was then forbidden — that, in despair, he burned his manuscripts and abandoned his calling. Vesalius could not bear a life of restricted inquiry forever, though. In his 50s he fled Spain for Jerusalem, yet on his way home was shipwrecked on a Greek island and died. Wharton’s poem, which imagines Vesalius’ final moments, ends as it begins, with a window: “Turn me in my bed. / The window darkens as the hours swing round; / But yonder, look, the other casement glows! / Let me face westward as my sun goes down.” Though the great man's life is ending, Wharton seems to say, it has been a satisfying one — defined, in the end, by truth and integrity.

Angie #936666 07/25/22 10:42 AM
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Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.

Paulo Coelho

In Paulo Coelho’s beloved novel “The Alchemist,” readers meet a young boy who has fallen in love with “a woman of the desert.” But the boy is afraid to take action on his heart’s desire because he might get hurt in return. That’s normal — many of us fear putting ourselves out there because it might not work out. But it’s important to remember that the fear is usually worse than any hurt you might experience. We can handle suffering, but when we are afraid we tend to underestimate our own strength. And of course, we may not be met with suffering after all — but the only way to know is to push fear to the side and go for what we want.

Angie #936668 07/26/22 07:24 AM
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In the end, some of your greatest pains become your greatest strengths.

Drew Barrymore

A child star turned Hollywood actor, producer, and talk show host, Drew Barrymore has lived most of her life in the public eye: Her struggles with addiction, family issues, relationships, and breakups were all watched by the world — as were her comebacks. With this quote, Barrymore gets at what has helped her cultivate that goofy joie de vivre that makes her so universally likable: being able to learn from adversity, and turn pain into strength.

Angie #936675 07/27/22 12:03 PM
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The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.

Amelia Earhart

It’s unknown exactly when Amelia Earhart, the first woman to complete a solo flight across the Atlantic, said this quote, but it reflected her personality in full. The remainder of the quote says, “The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life and the procedure. The process is its own reward.” Earhart chased her own dreams, and her words inspire us to do the same regardless of the challenges. You can have as much determination as you want, but to reach your goals you also have to take the difficult step of acting on that will.

Angie #936684 07/28/22 02:50 PM
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Always remember: Silence and smile are two very powerful tools.

Paulo Coelho

Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho’s books — in particular, his beloved 1988 bestseller, “The Alchemist” — are infused with a spirituality that has resonated with millions of readers. In 2017 he took to Twitter to offer his followers this piece of advice. “Smile is the way to solve many problems,” he wrote. “Silence is the way to avoid many problems.” Coelho reminds us that the power of words can cut both ways, and the discretion to know when to keep quiet and offer a kind smile is just as valuable.

Angie #936686 07/29/22 09:04 AM
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Love is really... a recognition of another person’s integrity and truth.

Robert Graves

Poet, essayist, and novelist Robert Graves wrote often about love, which he saw as more than a sentiment, feeling, or burst of passion. Love in its true form, he suggested, is an understanding and appreciation of what makes a person wholly unique. To Graves, love was something given freely with no expectations. “Love is giving and giving and giving… not looking for any return,” he said in an interview in 1963. “Until you do that, you can’t love.”

Angie #936690 07/30/22 01:35 PM
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It takes courage and strength to be empathetic.

Jacinda Ardern

In 2017, at the age of 37, Jacinda Ardern became one of the youngest prime ministers in the history of New Zealand. A year later she made international history by bringing her three-month-old daughter to the United Nations General Assembly so she could continue to breastfeed through the trip. An outspoken feminist, Ardern is known for her charisma and optimism. One of her first actions in office was to make the reduction of child poverty a top priority. Though her term in office has been defined by the global pandemic and economic downturn, she continues to stand as a beacon of hope and empathy, fighting for human rights both at home and abroad.

Angie #936693 07/31/22 10:18 AM
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The only tired I was, was tired of giving in.

Rosa Parks

On the evening of December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks boarded a bus in downtown Montgomery, Alabama. She paid her fare and sat in the first row of back seats reserved for Black citizens on the segregated bus. When a white man boarded and found himself with no seat in the “white” section, the bus driver ordered Parks and three other Black passengers in her row to stand. Three of the passengers obeyed. Parks did not. Her defiance led to her arrest, and set in motion the Montgomery bus boycott — turning Parks into a symbol of the civil rights movement. She later wrote that it wasn’t physical tiredness that made her refuse to give up her seat, writing, “No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”

Angie #936694 08/01/22 05:34 PM
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Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.

Terry Pratchett

Discworld, the fictional universe that bestselling author Sir Terry Pratchett created for his 41-book fantasy series of the same name, is nothing if not a chance to see the world differently. His imaginative universe is a flat disc carried on the backs of four elephants who are all standing on the back of a turtle. On Pratchett’s website, Discworld is described as “a parallel time and place which might sound and smell very much like our own, but which looks completely different.” That description gets at the heart of this quote, from Pratchett’s book “A Hat Full of Sky.” When you leave a place you’ve known forever and experience something new, it changes both you and that place. You return to something familiar, but it looks different because your perspective has changed. Leaving and coming home again expands your worldview, much more than staying put ever would.

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