Tag: Gretchen Rubin Moment of Happiness

Quotes July 30, 2020

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin Moment of Happiness

“This is your home, my friend, do not be driven from it; great men have done great things here, and will again, and we can make America what America must become.”
“Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.”
James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time (Amazon, Bookshop)
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
Leo Tolstoy, “Three Methods Of Reform,” Pamphlets: Translated from the Russian
[Of her family’s bookshelves] “The majority of what sat there spoke to my father’s sense of the world—or the world as he’d like us to know it: a vast and varied place full of mystery and order, just those two forces working together and upon each other in ceaselessly fascinating ways.”
Tracy K. Smith, Ordinary Light (Amazon, Bookshop)
“If you ever want to keep up a grudge against someone, don’t see that person alongside beautiful flowers.”​
Francis Bacon, “Of Beauty” (Amazon, Bookshop)
“Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control,
These three alone lead life to sovereign power.”
Alfred Tennyson, “Oenone”
“There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you.”
Zora Neale Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road
(Amazon, Bookshop)
“You know that book; you forget the title after you’ve returned it and over the years you try to look it up a few times, but you never find it again.”
Helen Oyeyemi, Boy, Snow, Bird (Amazon, Bookshop)
“I put my hand on Lucy’s back and felt her uneven breaths, the tremor of her shoulder blades. I was stunned by the rawness of her pain. I came to understand that night in the sports bar, safe from the blinding rain, that I could not worry about Lucy anymore. I knew then it was just too enormous for me to manage and that worrying about her would swamp me. If I was swamped by worry, I would be useless to her. It was even possible that I would desert her, and that was the thing that could never happen.”
Ann Patchett, Truth and Beauty: a Friendship (Amazon, Parnassus)

Quotes July 20, 2020

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin Moment of Happiness

“There are no new truths, but only truths that have not been recognized by those who have perceived them without noticing.”
Mary McCarthy, “The Vita Activa”, The New Yorker, October 18, 1958
“What we perceive as limitations have the potential to become strengths greater than what we had when we were ‘normal’ or unbroken…when something breaks, something greater often emerges from the cracks.”
Nnedi Okorafor, Broken Places & Outer Spaces: Finding Creativity in the Unexpected
“When one loves, one does not calculate.”
St. Therese of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul
“I didn’t deserve reconciliation or love in that moment, but that’s how mercy works. The power of just mercy is that it belongs to the undeserving. It’s when mercy is least expected that it’s most potent—strong enough to break the cycle of victimization and victimhood, retribution and suffering.”
Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy​
“We tell people to follow their dreams, but you can only dream of what you can imagine, and, depending on where you come from, your imagination can be quite limited.”
Trevor Noah, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African
“Only that day dawns to which we are awake.”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden
“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose. It is a seeking that he who wishes may know the cosmic secrets of the world and they that dwell therein.”
Zora Neale Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road
“The fact is that very few things have so much effect on the feeling inside a room as the sun shining into it.”
Christopher Alexander, A Pattern Language
“I shall never have the garden I have in my mind, but that for me is the joy of it; certain things can never be realized and so all the more reason to attempt them.”
Jamaica Kincaid, My Garden (Book)
“’It’s not easy to start over in a new place,’ he said. ‘Exile is not for everyone. Someone has to stay behind, to receive the letters and greet family members when they come back.’”
Edwidge Danticat, Brother, I’m Dying
“That is Morning. To cease for a bright hour to be a prisoner of this sickly body and to become as large as the World.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals, March 27, 1838
“There is in the soul a taste for the good, just as there is in the body an appetite for enjoyment.”
Joseph Joubert, Pensées
“The act of writing requires a constant plunging back into the shadow of the past where time hovers ghostlike.”
Ralph Ellison, a quote from Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews (1963) edited by George Plimpton
“In a curious way spirit must sometimes follow body, just as at other times spirit leads.”
Pearl Buck, A Bridge for Passing
“A house has a physical definition; a home has a spiritual one.”
Jamaica Kincaid, My Garden (Book)
“It isn’t necessary that you leave home. Sit at your desk and listen. Don’t even listen, just wait. Don’t wait, be still and alone. The whole world will offer itself to you to be unmasked, it can do no other, it will writhe before you in ecstasy.”
Franz Kafka, Aphorisms (Amazon, Bookshop)
“That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great.”
Willa Cather, My Ántonia (Amazon, Bookshop)
“Our duties and our needs, in all the fundamental thing for which we were created, come down in practice to the same thing.”
Thomas Merton, The Seven Storey Mountain (Amazon, Bookshop)
“Hurry, hurry, open every door! says my heart.”
Mary Oliver, “Habits, Differences, and the Light That Abides,”
“It is easy to be heavy; hard to be light.”
G. K. Chesterton
“Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but, most of all, endurance.”
James Baldwin, Paris Review Interviews, II
“The opposite of a profound truth is also true.”
Gretchen Rubin

Quotes June 23, 2020

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin Moment of Happiness

“People who want to write either do it or they don’t.”
Octavia Butler, Afterword to “Furor Scribendi,” Bloodchild and Other Stories
“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Letter of Lord Acton to Bishop Mandell Creighton, 1887
“Every beginning
is only a sequel, after all,
and the book of events
is always open halfway through.”
“Love at First Sight,” Wislawa Szymborska
“Sometimes what you don’t understand keeps you from seeing certain obstacles and in not seeing them, you unknowingly scale them. If [my parents] had understood, they wouldn’t have pushed me so hard. And if they hadn’t pushed me so hard, I wouldn’t have been able to later dig my heels in and push myself.”
Nnedi Okorafor, Broken Places & Outer Spaces: Finding Creativity in the Unexpected
“I listened to the music and the sounds from the streets and Daddy’s hand rested lightly on my hair. And everything seemed connected—the street sounds, and Ray’s voice and his piano and my Daddy’s hand and my sister’s silhouette and the sounds and the lights coming from the kitchen. It was as though we were a picture, trapped in time: this had been happening for hundreds of years, people sitting in a room, waiting for dinner, and listening to the blues.”
James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk
“I sometimes think how much the shaping of a destiny and the binding of a couple together depend on successful meetings and the avoidance of snares. A door which one thought was closed, a watch that is slow, a false step, a traffic jam, a sleeping car available…and your fate is settled…We walk across a cemetery of happiness missed for lack of a word, a gesture, an airy bubble; and how many people, meant for each other, have passed each other by in the fog?”
Maurice Goudeket, Close to Colette: An Intimate Portrait of a Woman of Genius
“There’s only one very good life and that’s the life you know you want and you make it yourself.”
Diana Vreeland, quoted in The Unexpurgated Beaton by Cecil Beaton, forward by Hugo Vickers
“Chasing petty happiness pushes greater happiness out of reach.”
Gretchen Rubin

Quotes June 13, 2020

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin Moment of Happiness

“Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.”
James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
“We are all born for love. It is the principle of existence, and its only end.”
Benjamin Disraeli
“It does seem that it is often in those years between 8 and 13 that a tiny spark is lit by a teacher telling you or showing you something, and that if you’re lucky, that spark keeps alight and gradually becomes the glowing fire of your lifelong passion and career.”
Ysenda Maxtone Graham, Mr. Tibbits’s Catholic School
“Research is formalized curiosity.”
Zora Neal Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road
“First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.”
Octavia E. Butler, “Furor Scribendi,” Bloodchild: and Other Stories

Quotes June 08, 2020

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin Moment of Happiness

“Be overcome by justice.”
Oracle of Delphi

“People pay for what they do, and still more, for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it very simply: by the lives they lead.”
James Baldwin, No Name in the Street

“Here was peace. She pulled in her horizon like a great fish-net. Pulled it from around the waist of the world and draped it over her shoulder. So much of life in its meshes! She called in her soul to come and see.”
Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God


“I was made for the library, not the classroom.The classroom was a jail of other people’s interests. The library was open, unending, free.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me

“Sunk in the grass of an empty lot on a spring Saturday, I split the stems of milkweed and thought about ants and peach pits and death and where the world went when I closed my eyes.”
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye


“It’s not enough to understand; you’ve got to do something.”
Sandra Day O’Connor

Quotes May 31, 2020

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin Moment of Happiness

“The rack stood as if it had been there forever across the landscape and lit by the sun with its long shadow behind it, and in harmony with every fold of the field and finally turned into a mere form, a primordial form, even if that was not the word I used then, and it gave me huge pleasure just to look at it.”
Per Petterson, Out Stealing Horses
“So coming back from a journey, or after an illness, before habits had spun themselves across the surface, one felt that same unreality, which was so startling; felt something emerge. Life was most vivid then.”
Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse
“Some beautiful things are more dazzling when they are still imperfect than when they have been too perfectly crafted.”
La Rochefoucauld, Collected Maxims and Other Reflections
“Men more frequently require to be reminded than informed.”
Samuel Johnson

Quotes May 26, 2020

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin Moment of Happiness

“Rich colours actually look more luminous on a grey day, because they are seen against a somber background and seem to be burning with a lustre of their own. Against a dark sky all flowers look like fireworks.”
G. K. Chesterton, “The Glory of Grey,” Alarms and Discursions
“The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure, but from hope to hope.”
Samuel Johnson, Selected Writings
“I have reached the stage now where luxury is not in fine possessions but in carefree possessions, and the greatest luxury of all would be the completely expendable.”
Nan Fairbrother, The House in the Country
“Whatever fate befalls you, do not give way to great rejoicings or great lamentation; partly because all things are full of change, and your fortune may turn at any moment; partly because men are so apt to be deceived in their judgment as to what is good or bad for them.”
Arthur Schopenhauer, Counsels and Maxims
“If we pick up a brush, we feel like writing; if we hold a musical instrument in our hands, we wish to play.”
Yoshida Kenkō, Essays in Idleness
“It’s more difficult to be the mind that directs than the hand that executes.”
Gretchen Rubin

Quotes May 19, 2020

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin Moment of Happiness


“The world as it is would always be a reminder of the world that was, and of the world that is to come.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“The hallmark of a decision in line with one’s character is ease and contentment, and an ample, even provision of natural energy.”
Anne Truitt, Turn: The Journal of an Artist
“What you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are.”
C. S. Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew
“Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm.”
Robert Louis Stevenson, An Inland Voyage
“Happiness, knowledge, not in another place but this place, not for another hour, but this hour…”
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
“The true spirit of conversation consists more in bringing out the cleverness of others than in showing a great deal of it yourself; he who goes away pleased with himself and his own wit is also greatly pleased with you.”
Jean de La Bruyère, “Of Society and Conversation,” The Characters of Jean de La Bruyère
“Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.”
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
“Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness; I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it.”
Soren Kierkegaard, letter, 1847
“As soon as I have a deadline, I work much better. Time unbounded is hard to handle.”
May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude

Quotes May 07, 2020

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin Moment of Happiness


“There is no excellent beauty, that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.”
Francis Bacon, “Of Beauty”
“Julie had always believed that even if it’s the big, unexpected events (good and bad) that make life memorable and occasionally exciting, it’s the small, predictable routines that hold life together and make it worth living.”
Stephen McCauley, My Ex-Life
“Speed is not part of the true Way of strategy. Speed implies that things seem fast or slow, according to whether or not they are in rhythm. Whatever the Way, the master of strategy does not appear fast….Of course, slowness is bad. Really skillful people never get out of time, and are always deliberate, and never appear busy.”
Miyamoto Musashi, A Book of Five Rings
“Man loves company, even if it is only that of a smoldering candle.”
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg,
“From the moment I held the box of colors in my hands, I knew this was my life. I threw myself into it like a beast that plunges towards the thing it loves.”
Henry Matisse with Pierre Courthion, Chatting with Matisse: The Lost 1941 Interview
“Pleasures that are in themselves innocent lose their power of pleasing if they become the sole or main object of pursuit.”
William Edward Hartpole Lecky, The Map of Life
“One does not ‘find oneself’ by pursuing one’s self, but on the contrary by pursuing something else and learning through some discipline or routine (even the routine of making beds) who one is and wants to be.”
May Sarton, The House by the Sea

Quotes April 28, 2020

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin Moment of Happiness

“Teach me to go to the country beyond words and beyond names.”
Thomas Merton, A Search for Solitude: Journals vol. 3
“Home, I learned, can be anywhere you make it. Home is also the place to which you come back again and again.”
Margaret Mead, Blackberry Winter: My Earlier Years
“Pleasure is Nature’s test, her sign of approval.”
Oscar Wilde
“No matter how mundane some action might appear, keep at it long enough and it becomes a contemplative, even meditative act.”
Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
“I was entirely happy. Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become a part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge. At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great.”
Willa Cather, My Antonia