Tag: Gretchen Rubin

Quotes November 10, 2018

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin

“There is no fun in doing nothing when you have nothing to do. Wasting time is merely an occupation then, and a most exhausting one.”
Jerome K. Jerome
“Once in those very early days my brother brought into the nursery the lid of a biscuit tin which he had covered with moss and garnished with twigs and flowers so as to make it a toy garden or a toy forest. That was the first beauty I ever knew. What the real garden had failed to do, the toy garden did. It made me aware of nature—not, indeed, as a storehouse of forms and colors but as something cool, dewy, fresh, exuberant….As long as I live my imagination of Paradise will retain something of my brother’s toy garden.”
C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy
“The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.”
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
“There was another life that I might have had, but I am having this one.”
Kazuo Ishiguro, interview

Quotes October 23, 2018

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin

“For surely to be wise is the most desirable thing in all the world.”
“If I had to describe perfect happiness, I might say it is hearing the first bars of the overture to “The Marriage of Figaro” as the orchestra starts to play at the beginning of the evening. Even writing the words brings a smile.”
Claire Tomalin, A Life of My Own
“My mind works in idleness. To do nothing is often my most profitable way.”
Virginia Woolf
“One lives in the naive notion that later there will be more room than in the entire past.”
Elias Canetti, The Human Province
“The least strained and most natural ways of the soul are the most beautiful; the best occupations are the least forced.”
“Endurance is only the beginning. There must be acceptance and the knowledge that sorrow fully accepted brings its own gifts. For there is an alchemy to sorrow. It can be transmuted into wisdom, which, if it does not bring joy, can yet bring happiness.”
Pearl S. Buck, The Child Who Never Grew
“A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.”
Eudora Welty, One Writer’s Beginnings
“That which gives the strongest habitual pleasure, whether it be innate or acquired, will in the great majority of cases ultimately dominate.”
William Edward Hartpole Lecky, The Map of Life Conduct and Character
“Each time of life has its own kind of love.”
Leo Tolstoy, “Family Happiness”
“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.”
Proverbs 19:11
“Ah! There is nothing like staying home for real comfort.”
Jane Austen, Emma
“Anything you’re good at contributes to happiness.”
Bertrand Russell
“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
“Smell is a potent wizard that transports us across a thousand miles and all the years we have lived.”
Helen Keller, The World I Live In
“Any pleasure that does no harm to other people is to be valued.”
Bertrand Russell, Conquest of Happiness
“Where Thou art—that—is Home.”
Emily Dickinson

Quotes September 27, 2018

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin

“Everything is so superb and breathtaking. I am creeping forward on my belly like they do in war movies.”
Diane Arbus
“I am come to a mind at ease, as if by acceptance of my own nature I have come into tune with some intrinsic ordinance. Acceptance that bears no relation to resignation, the bitter lees of a failure to rise to a challenge.”
Anne Truitt, Turn: The Journal of an Artist
“There is a certain pleasure in weeping.”
“Habit is necessary; it is the habit of having habits, of turning a trail into a rut, that must be incessantly fought against if one is to remain alive.”
Edith Wharton, A Backward Glance
“If better were within, better would come out.”
Simon Patrick
“The temperament that produces a talent for little things is the opposite of that required for great ones.”
La Rochefoucauld, Collected Maxims and Other Reflections
“The real pleasure-seeking is the combination of luxury and austerity in such a way that the luxury can really be felt.”
G.K. Chesterton, “On Pleasure-Seeking”
“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
“Our great and glorious masterpiece is to live appropriately.”
Michel de Montaigne
“The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.”
Carl Jung, Psychological Types

Quotes September 10, 2018

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin


“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
“That which is feared lessens by association.”
“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
“What lies in our power to do, lies in our power not to do.”
“As I know more of mankind I expect less of them, and am ready now to call a man a good man, upon easier terms than I was formerly.”
Samuel Johnson in James Boswell’s The Life of Samuel Johnson
“To know anything about oneself one must know all about others.”
Oscar Wilde
“There is just as much beauty visible to us in the landscape as we are prepared to appreciate, — not a grain more.”
Henry David Thoreau, Journal

Quotes August 30, 2018

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin

“One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.”
Leonardo da Vinci
“Reproof should not exhaust its power upon petty failings.”
Samuel Johnson
“Home was quite a place when people stayed there.”
E.B. White
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
Leo Tolstoy
“Brass shines with constant usage, a beautiful dress needs wearing, leave a house empty, it rots.”

“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a beautiful crop.”
“Happiness is a place between too much and too little.”
Finnish proverb
“A little studied negligence is becoming to a garden.”
Eleanor Perenyi, Green Thoughts
“Books have their idiosyncrasies as well as people, and will not show me their full beauties unless the place and time in which they are read suits them.”
Elizabeth von Arnim, The Solitary Summer
“My garden is an honest place. Every tree and every line are incapable of concealment, and tell after two or three months exactly what sort of treatment they have had. The sower may mistake and sow his peas crookedly: the peas make no mistake but come and show his line.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journal
“Excellent encourages one about life generally; it shows the spiritual wealth of the world.”
George Eliot, Daniel Deronda
“I am a great believer in the seasons. Even here in my own world, I have no relish for sweet corn in January or strawberries in November.”
Pearl S. Buck, My Several Worlds
“We seldom learn the true want of what we have till it is discovered that we can have no more.”
Samuel Johnson, Selected Writings
“If you look at a thing, the very fact of your looking changes it…if you think about yourself, that very fact changes you.”
Robert Penn Warren
“If people knew what Matisse, supposedly the painter of happiness, had gone through, the anguish and tragedy he had to overcome to manage to capture that light which has never left him, if people knew all that, they would also realize that this happiness, this light, this dispassionate wisdom which seems to be mine, are sometimes well-deserved, given the severity of my trials.”
Henri Matisse, interview, Matisse on Art
“It is so many years before one can believe enough in what one feels even to know what the feeling is.”
William Butler Yeats
“I like my town but I can’t say exactly what I like about it. I don’t think it’s the smell. I’m too accustomed to the monuments to want to look at them. I like certain lights, a few bridges, café terraces. I love passing through a place I haven’t seen for a long time.”
Georges Perec, Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, “The Town”
“What is one’s personality, detached from that of the friends with whom fate happens to have linked one? I cannot think of myself apart from the influence of the two or three greatest friendships of my life, and any account of my own growth must be that of their stimulating and enlightening influence.”
Edith Wharton, A Backward Glance
“After all, a vacation is not a matter of place or time. We can take a wonderful vacation in spirit, even though we are obliged to stay at home, if we will only drop our burdens from our minds for a while. But no amount of travel will give us rest and recreation if we carry our work and worries with us.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder, essay September 1919

Quotes August 05, 2018

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin

“With growth into adulthood, responsibilities claimed me, so many heavy coats. I didn’t choose them, I don’t fault them, but it took time to reject them.”
Mary Oliver, Upstream: Selected Essays
“How can we learn self-knowledge? Never by taking thought but rather by action. Try to do your duty and you’ll soon discover what you’re like.”
“Many of us know the joy and excitement not so much of creating the new as of redeeming what has been neglected, and this excitement is particularly strong when the original condition is seen as holy or beautiful.”
J. B. Jackson, The Necessity for Ruins: and Other Topics
“I do not advise you to deny anything to nature—for nature is insistent, and cannot be overcome; it demands its due.”
“We must make it our aim to have already lived long enough.”
Seneca, Epistles
“A man who frequently consorts with certain others, whether for conversation, for banquets, or just generally for good fellowship, must either become like them or else change them along his own lines.”
Epictetus, Discourses
“What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.”
Gerard Manley Hopkins, “Inversnaid”
“As a child I could always attend more closely to gardens than to forests, probably because forests contain so little of the human information that I craved then, and gardens so much.”
Michael Pollan, Second Nature
“We are ever striving after what is forbidden, and coveting what is denied us.”
“I never expect anything. I just feel things in my gut and I do them. If something sounds exciting and interesting, I do it—and then I worry about it later. Doing new things takes a lot of energy and strength. It’s very tiring to make things happen, to learn how to master a skill, to push fears aside. Most people would rather just go with the flow, it’s much easier. But it’s not very interesting.”
Iris Apfel, Musings of a Geriatric Starlet
“Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good.”
“These coppers, big and little, these brooms and clouts and brushes, were tools; and with them one made, not shoes or cabinet-work, but life itself. One made a climate within a climate; one made the days,–the complexion, the special flavor, the special happiness of each day as it passed; one made life.”
Willa Cather, Shadows on the Rock
“The test of a vocation is the love of the drudgery it involves.”
Logan Pearsall Smith
“It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.”
Leonardo da Vinci
“Such as are your habitual thoughts, such also will be the character of your mind; for the soul is dyed by the thoughts.”
Marcus Aurelius
“All wisdom is not new wisdom.”
Winston Churchill
“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.”
George Moore

Quotes July 05, 2018

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin

“Hence in solitude, or that deserted state when we are surrounded by human beings and yet they sympathize not with us, we love the flowers, the grass, the waters, and the sky. In the motion of the very leaves of spring, in the blue air, there is then found a secret correspondence with our heart.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley, “On Love”
“Not that she didn’t enjoy the holidays: but she always felt—and it was, perhaps, the measure of her peculiar happiness—a little relieved when they were over. Her normal life pleased her so well that she was half afraid to step out of its frame in case one day she should find herself unable to get back.”

“In the beginning I was so young and such a stranger to myself I hardly existed. I had to go out into the world and see it and hear it and react to it, before I knew at all who I was, what I was, what I wanted to be.”

“One tree is like another tree, but not too much. One tulip is like the next tulip, but not altogether. More or less like people—a general outline, then the stunning individual strokes.”
Mary Oliver, Upstream: Selected Essays
“In our play we reveal what kind of people we are.”

“Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish.”

“Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence.”
“There is something magical about beginnings, about the challenges that come with territory not yet conquered, about being the underdog. I think I’d far rather stand at the beginning of something, looking up, rather than at a summit, looking down.”
Jo Malone, My Story
“The discovery of a new dish confers more happiness on humanity than the discovery of a new star.”
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
“Whenever we give up, leave behind, and forget too much, there is always the danger that the things we have neglected will return with added force.”
Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams Reflections
“The most valuable thing for life never changes by time or place—it is to be honest and cheerful, to find happiness in what you have, and to have courage in hardships.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder
“Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.”
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
“In our hurried world too little value is attached to the part of the connoisseur and dilettante.”
Edith Wharton, A Backward Glance
“What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence.”
Samuel Johnson, “Milton”

Quotes June 17, 2018

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin

“The pleasure of the table belongs to all ages, to all conditions, to all countries, and to all areas; it mingles with all other pleasures, and remains at last to console us for their departure.”
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
“A comfortable home is a great source of happiness. It ranks immediately after health and a good conscience.”
Sydney Smith
“To like many people spontaneously and without effort is perhaps the greatest of all sources of personal happiness.”
Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness
“Man’s life is a progress, not a station.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly—that is what each of us is here for.”
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Quotes June 09, 2018

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin

“We are all born for love. It is the principle of existence, and its only end.”
Benjamin Disraeli
“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
“Be patient and tough; one day this pain will be useful to you.”
“Habit makes all things bearable.”
“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals
“How often things occur by mere chance which we dared not even hope for.”
“To be mature you have to realize what you value most. It is extraordinary to discover that comparatively few people reach this level of maturity. They seem never to have paused to consider what has value for them. They spend great effort and sometimes make great sacrifices for values that, fundamentally, meet no real needs of their own. Perhaps they have imbibed the values of their particular profession or job, of their community or their neighbors, of their parents or family. Not to arrive at a clear understanding of one’s own values is a tragic waste. You have missed the whole point of what life is for.”
Eleanor Roosevelt, You Learn by Living
“How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them!”
Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac
“The pleasure of the table belongs to all ages, to all conditions, to all countries, and to all areas; it mingles with all other pleasures, and remains at last to console us for their departure.”
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
“And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.”
Raymond Carver, “Late Fragment”

Quotes May 29, 2018

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin
“Life is short, and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are travelling the dark journey with us. Oh, be swift to love, make haste to be kind!”
Henri Frederic Amiel, Journal
“And there was, in those Ipswich years, for me at least, a raw educational component; though I used to score well in academic tests, I seemed to know very little of how the world worked and was truly grateful for instruction, whether it was how to stroke a backhand, mix a martini, use a wallpaper steamer, or do the Twist. My wife, too, seemed willing to learn. Old as we must have looked to our children, we were still taking lessons, in how to be grown-up.”
John Updike, Self-Consciousness
“True life is lived when tiny changes occur.”
Leo Tolstoy
“I’m glad to report that even now, at this late day, a blank sheet of paper holds the greatest excitement there is for me—more promising than a silver cloud, prettier than a little red wagon. It holds all the hope there is, all fears. I can remember, really quite distinctly, looking a sheet of paper square in the eyes when I was seven or eight years old and thinking, ‘This is where I belong, this is it.’”
E. B. White, letter to Stanley Hart White January 1947
“Give me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My script of joy, immortal diet,
My bottle of salvation,
My gown of glory, hope’s true gage;
And thus I’ll take my pilgrimage.”
Sir Walter Raleigh, His Pilgrimage
“When things are taking their ordinary course, it is hard to remember what matters.”
Marilynne Robinson, Gilead