Tag: Gretchen Rubin

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

Quotes May 19, 2018

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin
“We needs must love the highest when we see it.”
Alfred Lord Tennyson
“A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.”
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
“Her mother, accompanied by the dog Coach, had ploughed her way through a deep fall of snow to fetch her youngest home from nursery school. The hard going had been a weariness, the cold a misery to the flesh. Ploughing back again, her youngest attached, a small voice sang out beside her, ‘Look, Mummy! Look at Coach and the joy of the snow!’ Coach was leaping and rolling in the snow, his eyes like stars, his tail a banner. The little girl’s eyes were as bright as his, her face pink inside her hood…The mother for a few moments looked at the snow through their eyes and the earth had not smutched it.”
Elizabeth Goudge, The Joy of the Snow
“He was like a man owning a piece of ground in which, unknown to himself, a treasure lay buried. You would not call such a man rich, neither would I call happy the man who is so without realizing it.”
Eugène Delacroix, Journal

Quotes May 12, 2018

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin

“Iron rusts from disuse; stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.”
Leonardo da Vinci
“Mix a little foolishness with your prudence: it’s good to be silly at the right moment.”
Horace, Odes
“Yes, I’ve always been a dreamer, and yes, I have always tried. And dreams are special things. But dreams are of no value if they’re not equipped with wings and feet and hands and all that. If you’re going to make a dream come true, you’ve got to work with it. You can’t just sit around. That’s a wish. That’s not a dream.”
Dolly Parton, interview, Bust June/July 2014
“If I am doing nothing, I like to be doing nothing to some purpose. That is what leisure means.”
Alan Bennett, A Question of Attribution
“I said to myself…never pretend that the things you haven’t got are not worth having.”
Virginia Woolf, Diary, January 2, 1923
“And then something happened. Suddenly the room seemed suffused with the dream, and I could not think why. Three men appeared out of nowhere, playing guitars. Pilar Wayne leaned slightly forward, and John Wayne lifted his glass almost imperceptibly toward her. “We’ll need some Pouilly-Fuisé for the rest of the table,” he said, “and some red Bordeaux for the Duke.”
We all smiled, and drank the Pouilly-Fuisé for the rest of the table and the red Bordeaux for the Duke, and all the while the men with the guitars kept playing, until finally I realized what they were playing, what they had been playing all along: “The Red River Valley” and the theme from The High and the Mighty. They did not quite get the beat right, but even now I can hear them, in another country and a long time later, even as I tell you this.”
Joan Didion, “John Wayne: A Love Song”
“Happiness, knowledge, not in another place but this place,
not for another hour but this hour”
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
“Everything has been said before. But since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.”
Andre Gide, Le Traite du Narcisse
“There are two ways of getting home; and one of them is to stay there. The other is to walk round the whole world till we come back to the same place.”
G. K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man
“It is folly for him to rule over others who cannot govern himself.”
Publius Syrus
“One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.”
Iris Murdoch, The Sea, the Sea
“It is not sufficiently considered that men more frequently require to be reminded than informed.”
Johnson, Rambler
“There is almost one time that is important – Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power.”
Leo Tolstoy, What Men Live By and Other Tales
“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
“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.”
Guillaume Appollinaire

Quotes April 22, 2018

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin

“To know what you prefer, instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive.”
Robert Louis Stevenson, An Inland Voyage
“The leading rule for the lawyer, as for the man of every other calling, is diligence. Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.”
Abraham Lincoln
“Maybe the reason my memory is so bad is that I always do at least two things at once. It’s easier to forget something you only half-did or quarter did.”
Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”
Franz Kafka
“I should say that happiness is being where one is and not wanting to be anywhere else.”
Michael Frayn, A Landing on the Sun
“Repose is a good thing, but boredom is its brother.”
Voltaire, attributed
“I love such mirth as does not make friends ashamed to look upon one another next morning.”
Izaak Walton, The Compleat Angler
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
Carl Jung
“Everyone is dragged on by their favorite pleasure.”
Virgil, Eclogues
“Our bodies are our gardens, to which our wills are gardeners.”
William Shakespeare, Othello
“One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.”
Jane Austen, Emma
“Men more frequently require to be reminded than informed.”
Samuel Johnson, Selected Writings

Quotes April 07, 2018

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin

“He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.”
“To be interested in the changing seasons is…a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.”
George Santayana, “Justification of Art”
“Silence is a strange thing to us who live: we desire it, we fear it, we worship it, we hate it. There is a divinity about cats, as long as they are silent: the silence of swans gives them an air of legend.”
Keith Douglas, Alamein to Zem Zem
“But I don’t think of the future, or the past, I feast on the moment. This is the secret of happiness, but only reached now in middle age.”
Virginia Woolf
“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden
“These testimonies of a good conscience are pleasant; and such a natural pleasure is very beneficial to us; it is the only payment that can never fail.”

Quotes March 26, 2018

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin
“For the love of God and my sisters (so charitable toward me) I take care to appear happy and especially to be so.”
St. Therese of Lisieux, Story of a Soul
“Overmuch prosperity if all else fails will hit on the instruments of its own destruction.”
Seneca, Notes from a Stoic
“In your first few hours in a new place, while you’re still dazed, before you can even really believe you’ve arrived, you see it more vividly and clearly than you ever will again.”
Michael Frayn, Sweet Dreams
“They change their sky, not their soul, who rush across the sea.”
“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
“All severity that does not tend to increase good, or prevent evil, is idle.”
Samuel Johnson, as quoted in James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson
“It is well to fly towards the light, even where there may be some fluttering and bruising of wings against the windowpanes, is it not?”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, letter
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“To create a little flower is the labour of ages.”
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
“It makes me happy to encounter goodness, love of work, humane intelligence, and people no matter at what kind of job, be it ever so humble, or ever so exalted, who do it well and con amore.”
Bernard Berenson
“Perhaps this sounds very simple, but simple things are always the most difficult. In actual life it requires the greatest discipline to be simple, and the acceptance of oneself is the essence of the moral problem and the epitome of a whole outlook upon life.”
C.G. Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul

Quotes March 12, 2018

All quotes courtesy of Gretchen Rubin

Although you sit in a room that is gray,
Except for the silver
Of the straw-paper,
And pick
At your pale white gown;
Or lift one of the green beads
Of your necklace,
To let it fall;
Or gaze at your green fan
Printed with the red branches of a red willow;
Or, with one finger,
Move the leaf in the bowl—
The leaf that has fallen from the branches of the forsythia
Beside you…
What is all this?
I know how furiously your heart is beating.
Wallace Stevens, “Gray Room”
“Choose always the way that seems best, however rough it may be, and custom will soon render it easy and agreeable.”

“All the daily routine of life, our dressing and undressing, the coming and going from our work or carrying through of its various operations, is utterly without mental reference to pleasure and pain, except under rarely realized conditions.”
William James, The Principles of Psychology
“A man is not only happy but wise also, if he is trying, during his lifetime, to be the sort of man he wants to be found at his death.”
Thomas à Kempis

“It is difficult to bring people to goodness with lessons, but it is easy to do so by example.”
“When I think about what sort of person I would most like to have on a retainer, I think it would be a boss. A boss who could tell me what to do, because that makes everything easy when you’re working.”
Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: (From A to Be and Back Again)

“In New Mexico he always awoke a young man; not until he rose and began to shave did he realize that he was growing older. His first consciousness was a sense of the light dry wind blowing in through the windows, with the fragrance of hot sun and sage-brush and sweet clover; a wind that made one’s body feel light and one’s heart cry ‘To-day, to-day,’ like a child’s.”
Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop
“It needs good management to enjoy life. I enjoy it twice as much as others, for the measure of enjoyment depends on the greater or less attention that we give to it…The shorter my possession of life the deeper and fuller I must make it.”
Michel de Montaigne