Inspiration

“My mission in life is not to merely survive but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

—Maya Angelou

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do.”

— Amelia Earhart

“To have courage for whatever comes in life — everything lies in that.”

— St. Theresa of Avila

“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”

— Mother Teresa

“It is by spending of oneself that one becomes rich.”

— Sarah Bernhardt

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

— Roald Dahl

“Success is all about being able to extend love to people… not in a big, capital letter sense but in the everyday. Little by little, task by task, gesture by gesture, word by word.”

— Ralph Fiennes

The only dream worth having … is to dream that you will live while you’re alive and die only when you’re dead … To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or to complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.

— Arundhati Roy

“The secret of culture is to learn that a few great points steadily reappear… and that these few are alone to be regarded—the escape from all false ties; courage to be what we are and love of what is simple and beautiful; independence and cheerful relation, these are the essentials—these, and the wish to serve—to add somewhat to the well-being of men.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Everybody has to change, or they expire. Everybody has to leave, everybody has to leave their home and come back so they can love it again for all new reasons.”

— Donald Miller

“Cherish your solitude. Take trains by yourself to places you have never been. Sleep out alone under the stars. Learn how to drive a stick shift. Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back. Say no when you don’t want to do something. Say yes if your instincts are strong, even if everyone around you disagrees. Decide whether you want to be liked or admired. Decide if fitting in is more important than finding out what you’re doing here. Believe in kissing.”

— Eve Ensler

“I’m afraid of not having enough time. Not enough time to understand people, how they really are, or to be understood myself. I’m afraid of quick judgments and mistakes that everybody makes. You can’t fix them without time. I’m afraid of seeing snapshots instead of movies.”

— The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

“Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.”

— Marilyn Monroe

“We are, all of us, molded and remolded by those who have loved us, and though that love may pass, we remain none the less their work—a work that very likely they do not recognize, and which is never exactly what they intended.”

— Francois Mauriac

“I love, therefore I am vulnerable.”

— Madeline L’Engle

“For what perishes blossoms and what blossoms perishes, but that which has being cannot be sung about—it must be believed and it must be lived.”

— Soren Kierkegaard

“Go for broke. Always try and do too much. Dispense with safety nets. Take a deep breath before you begin talking. Aim for the stars. Keep grinning. Be bloody-minded. Argue with the world. And never forget that writing is as close as we get to keeping a hold on the thousand and one things—childhood, certainties, cities, doubts, dreams, instants, phrases, parents, loves—that go on slipping , like sand, through our fingers.”

— Salman Rushdie

“Risk more than others think is safe.

Care more than others think is wise.

Dream more than others think is practical.

Expect more than others think is possible.”

— Claude Bissell

“This is the true joy of life: the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clot of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”

— George Bernard Shaw

“Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing.”

— William Butler Yeats

“I do not think I will ever reach a stage when I say, “This is what I believe. Finished.” What I believe is alive…and open to growth.”

— Madeline L’Engle

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

— Aristotle

“Your ability to stop and think, about what you think, is the most important gift you possess.”

— Iain Thomas

“I would like to beg you to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

— Rainer Maria Rilke

“There lives more faith in honest doubt, believe me, then in half the creeds.”

— Alfred, Lord Tennyson

“There are those who seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge, that is curiosity.

There are those who seek knowledge to be known by others, that is vanity.

There are those who seek knowledge in order to serve, that is love.”

— Bernard of Clairvaux

“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.”

— C.S. Lewis

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.”

— Psalm 139:23-24

“Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!”

— Matthew 6:22-23

“I would rather live my life as if there is a God, and die to find out there isn’t,

Than live my life as if there isn’t, and die to find out there is.”

— Albert Camus

“Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”

— Mohandas Gandhi

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.”

— C. S. Lewis

“I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don’t believe I deserved my friends.”

— Walt Whitman

“Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.”

— Woodrow Wilson

“Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes.”

— Henry David Thoreau

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”

— Henry David Thoreau

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.”

— Marcel Proust

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page.”

— Saint Augustine

“Perhaps he knew, as I did not, that the Earth was made round so that we would not see too far down the road.”

— Karen Blixen/Isak Dinesin

“This was never meant to be about you. It was meant to be about you realizing that it’s all about the people around you.”

— Iain Thomas

“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”

— Albert Pike

“Turns out not where but who you’re with that really matters.”

— Dave Matthews Band

“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”

— Anonymous

“Take the long way home. It’s harder but you’ll be a better person for it. Live interestingly.”

— Iain Thomas

“If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go into business, because we’d be too cynical. Well, that’s nonsense. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.”

— Annie Dillard

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

— Harold Whitman

“The fruit of love is service. The fruit of service is peace. And peace begins with a smile.”

— Mother Theresa

“The more we sweat in peace, the less we bleed in war.”

— Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit

“Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the

fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.”

— Rumi

“May you see God’s light on the path ahead when the road you walk is dark.

May you always hear, even in your hour of sorrow, the gentle singing of the lark.

When times are hard may hardness never turn your heart to stone.

May you always remember when the shadows fall you do not walk alone.”

— Irish Proverb

If nothing else, one day you can look someone straight in the eyes and say, “But I lived through it. And it made me who I am today.”

— Iain Thomas

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