When a great moment knocks on the door of your life, it is often no louder than the beating of your heart, and it is easy to miss it.
You only get one chance. You have one journey through life; you cannot repeat even one moment or retrace one footstep. It seems that we are meant to inhabit and live everything that comes toward us.
To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.
The British during World War II came up with some imaginative ideas. One was to freeze the clouds, move them along the coast of southern England, and use them as platforms for antiaircraft guns.
Dare to be naive.
I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged. . . . I had poems which were rewritten so many times I suspect it was just a way of avoiding sending them out.
The fear of being laughed at makes cowards of us all.
People who don’t take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.
Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform.
Censuring Joseph Stalin at a public meeting, Soviet premier Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev was interrupted by a voice from the audience. “You were one of Stalin’s colleagues,” shouted the heckler. “Why didn’t you stop him?”
“Who said that?” roared Khrushchev. There was an agonizing silence in the room. Nobody dared moved a muscle. Then, in a quiet voice, Khrushchev said, “Now you know why.”
Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.
Someone once asked me why women don’t gamble as much as men do, and I gave the common-sensical reply that we don’t have as much money. That was a true but incomplete answer. In fact, women’s total instinct for gambling is satisfied by marriage.
Just as a cautious businessman avoids investing all his capital in one concern, so wisdom would probably admonish us also not to anticipate all our happiness from one quarter alone.
The healthy being craves an occasional wildness, a jolt from normality, a sharpening of the edge of appetite, . . . a brief excursion from his way of life.
I used to believe . . . that growing and growing up are analogous, that both are inevitable and uncontrollable processes. Now it seems to me that growing up is governed by the will, that one can choose to become an adult, but only at given moments. These moments come along fairly infrequently — during crises in relationships, for example, or when one has been given the chance to start afresh somewhere — and one can ignore them or seize them.
What is more mortifying than to feel you’ve missed the plum for want of courage to shake the tree?
There is a well-worn adage that those who set out upon a great enterprise would do well to count the cost. I am not sure that this is always true. I think that some of the very greatest enterprises in this world have been carried out successfully simply because the people who undertook them did not count the cost; and I am much of the opinion that . . . the most instructive consideration for us is the cost of doing nothing.
Act boldly and unseen forces will come to your aid.
He opens himself to all influences — everything nourishes him. Everything is gravy to him, including what he does not understand — particularly what he does not understand.