How frequently in the course of our lives the evil which in itself we shun, and which when we fall into it is the most dreadful to us, is oftentimes the very means or door of our deliverance.
There is no poetry where there are no mistakes.
How strange to use “You only live once” as an excuse to throw away a life.
Failure is an event, never a person.
Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, “Where have I gone wrong?” Then a voice says to me, “This is going to take more than one night.”
Through error you come to truth. I am a man because I err. You never reach any truth without making fourteen mistakes, likely 114.
If you’re going through hell, keep going.
When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.
We have no right to ask, when sorrow comes, “Why did this happen to me?” unless we ask the same question for every moment of happiness that comes our way.
“Sometimes,” he said, “I believe we’re given the same lessons to learn, over and over, exactly the same experiences, till we get them right. Things keep circling past us.”
Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.
Like a plant that starts up in showers and sunshine and does not know which has best helped it to grow, I find it difficult to say whether the hard things or the pleasant things did me the most good.
Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
When you’re stuck in a spiral, to change all aspects of the spin you need only to change one thing.
My contemplation of life and human nature in that secluded place [prison] had taught me that he who cannot change the very fabric of his thought will never be able to change reality, and will never, therefore, make any progress. . . . I discovered my real self in Cell 54.
Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.
The birds are molting. If only man could molt also — his mind once a year its errors, his heart once a year its useless passions.
Adversity has the same effect on a man that severe training has on the pugilist: it reduces him to his fighting weight.
If we would only give, just once, the same amount of reflection to what we want to get out of life that we give to the question of what to do with a two-week vacation, we would be startled at our false standards and the aimless procession of our busy days.
To change one’s life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions.
Death twitches my ear. “Live,” he says. “I am coming.”