Wednesday, January 9, 2002

My Favorite Quotes

I am going to start compiling my favorite quotes, so you can check back to this page as I will update it every so often.


A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)
~ Dave Barry

It's not about what you're going to receive -- it's what you can give to others from what you've received.
~ Dwayne Wade

It may, after all, be the bad habit of creative talents to invest themselves in pathological extremes that yield remarkable insights but no durable way of life for those who cannot translate their psychic wounds into significant art or thought.
~ Theodore Roszak, In Search of the Miraculous


If you do the things you need to do when you need to do them, then someday you can do the things you want to do when you want to do them.
~ Zig Ziglar


Any person who is educated is one who has learned to get whatever he or she wants in life wihout violating the rights of others. Education consists not so much of knowledge, but of knowledge effectively and persistently APPLIED. People are paid not merely for what they know, but more particularly for WHAT THEY DO WITH THAT WHICH THEY KNOW.
~ Napoleon Hill


Knowledge can be communicated but not wisdom.
~ Hermann Hesse

I found something wonderfully satisfying in the notion that you can attain Reality by knowledge. In later ages the sages of India in recognition of human infirmity admitted that salvation may be won by the way of love and the way of works, but they never denied that the noblest way, though the hardest, is the way of knowledge, for its instrument is the most precious faculty of man, his reason.
~ W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge (Larry)

When you hire people who are smarter than you are, you prove you are smarter than they are.
~ R. H. Grant

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
~ Helen Keller

The world isn't a creation, for out of nothing, nothing comes, but a manifestation of the eternal nature; ...evil is as direct a manifestation of the divine as good.
~ W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge

Everything had changed suddenly - the tone, the moral climate; you didn't know what to think, whom to listen to. As if all your life you had been led by the hand like a small child and suddenly you were on your own, you had to learn to walk by yourself. There was no one around, neither family nor people whose judgment you respected. At such a time you felt the need of committing yourself to something absolute - life or truth or beauty - of being ruled by it in place of the man-made rules that had been discarded. You needed to surrender to some such ultimate purpose more fully, more unreservedly than you had ever done in the old familiar, peaceful days, in the old life that was now abolished and gone for good.
~ Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago

The Mind
Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.
~ Napoleon Hill


Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping. They called it opportunity.
~ on the wall of a Jimmy John's restaurant

In life, do you ever really know if you're missing an opportunity? No, you really don't. And you're never really finished either, unless the finish is dying, and you don't really want to think about that too much.
~ Philip Seymour Hoffman


The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.
~ Mark Twain

Sincerity is more important than elocution.
~ Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Idiot

Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth. I sat at a table where were rich food and wine in abundance, an obsequious attendance, but sincerity and truth were not; and I went away hungry from the inhospitable board. The hospitality was as cold as the ices.
~ Henry David Thoreau

It is true that many creative people fail to make mature personal relationships, and some are extremely isolated. It is also true that, in some instances, trauma, in the shape of early separation or bereavement, has steered the potentially creative person toward developing aspects of his personality which can find fulfillment in comparative isolation. But this does not mean that solitary, creative pursuits are themselves pathological....
Avoidance behavior is a response designed to protect the infant from behavioural disorganization. If we transfer this concept to adult life, we can see that an avoidant infant might very well develop into a person whose principal need was to find some kind of meaning and order in life which was not entirely, or even chiefly, dependent upon interpersonal relationships.
~ Anthony Storr, Solitude: A Return to the Self

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~ St. Augustine

A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike.
~ John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley

A journey is like a marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it. I feel better now, having said this, although only those who have experienced it will understand it.
~ John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley

They spoke quietly of how they wanted to go someday, to move about, free and unanchored, not toward something but away from something. I saw this look and heard this yearning everywhere in every state I visited. Nearly every American hungers to move.
~ John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley

"You going in that?"
"All over."
And then I saw what I was to see so many times on the journey - a looking of longing.
"Lord! I wish I could go."
"Don't you like it here?"
"Sure. It's all right, but I wish I could go."
"You don't even know where I'm going."
"I don't care. I'd like to go anywhere."
~ John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley

Writers and Writing

An original writer is not one who imitates nobody, but one whom nobody can imitate.
~ de Chateaubriand

The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof shit detector. This is the writer's radar and all great writers have had it.
~ Ernest Hemingway

Writing isn't about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it's about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well.
~ Stephen King, On Writing

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There's no way around those two things that I'm aware of, no shortcuts."
~ Stephen King, On Writing

The novel's spirit is the spirit of complexity. Every novel says to the reader: "Things are not as simple as you think."
~ Milan Kundera, The Art of the Novel (The Depreciated Legacy of Cervantes)

The paradoxical nature of action is one of the novel's great discoveries.
~ Milan Kundera, The Art of the Novel (Dialogue on the Art of the Novel)

The quest for the self has always ended, and always will end, in a paradoxical dissatisfaction. I don't say defeat. For the novel cannot breach the limits of its own possibilities, and bringing those limits to light is already an immense discovery, an immense triumph of cognition.
~ Milan Kundera, The Art of the Novel (Dialogue on the Art of the Novel)

A novel examines not reality but existence. And existence is not what has occurred, existence is the realm of human possibilities, everything that man can become, everything he's capable of.
~ Milan Kundera, The Art of the Novel (Dialogue on the Art of the Novel)

The novelist is neither historian nor prophet: he is an explorer of existence.
~ Milan Kundera, The Art of the Novel(Dialogue on the Art of the Novel)

What is action? - the eternal question of the novel, its constitutive questions, so to speak. How is a decision born? How is it transformed into an act, and how do acts connect to make an adventure?
~ Milan Kundera, The Art of the Novel (Notes Inspired by "The Sleepwalkers"

Even if I'm the one speaking, my reflections are connected to a character. I want to think his attitudes, his way of seeing things, in his stead and more deeply than he could do it himself.
~ Milan Kundera, The Art of the Novel (Dialogue on the Art of Composition)

The novel is the imaginery paradise of individuals. It is the territory where no one possesses the truth, neither Anna nor Karenin, but where everyone has the right to be understood, both Anna and Karenin.
~ Milan Kundera, The Art of the Novel (Jerusalem Address: The Novel and Europe)

When I face the desolate impossibility of writing five hundred pages a sick sense of failure falls on me and I know I can never do it. This happens every time. Then gradually I write one page and then another. One day's work is all I can permit myself to contemplate and I eliminate the possibility of ever finishing.
~ John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley

"Happy," I muttered, trying to pin the word down. But it is one of those words, like Love, that I have never quite understood. Most people who deal in words don't have much faith in them and I am no exception - especially the big ones like Happy and Love and Honest and Strong. They are too elusive and far too relative when you compare them to sharp, mean little words like Punk and Cheap and Phony. I feel at home with these, because they're scrawny and easy to pin, but the big ones are tough and it takes either a priest or a fool to use them with any confidence.
~ Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary

How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.
~ Henry David Thoreau


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