Tag: Gretchen Rubin

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

Quotes February 21, 2018

All quotes courtesy of Gretchen Rubin

“The secret of contentment is knowing how to enjoy what you have, and to be able to lose all desire for things beyond your reach.”
Lin Yutang
“If we pick up a brush, we feel like writing; if we hold a musical instrument in our hands, we wish to play.”
Essays in Idleness, The Tsurezuregusa of Kenko
“I think that it is useless to fight directly against natural weaknesses. One has to force oneself to act as though one did not have them in circumstances where a duty makes it imperative; and in the ordinary course of life one has to know these weaknesses, prudently take them into account, and strive to turn them to good purpose; for they are all capable of being put to some good purpose.”
Simone Weil, Waiting For God

“To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”
Robert Louis Stevenson, Familiar Studies of Men and Books (1882)
“The one serious conviction that a man should have is that nothing is to be taken too seriously.”
Samuel Butler
“The satisfaction to be derived from success in a great constructive enterprise is one of the most massive that life has to offer.”
Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness

“Reject your sense of injury, and the injury itself disappears.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Quotes January 31, 2018

Quotes courtesy of Gretchen Rubin

“Nature is a Haunted House – but Art – a House that tries to be haunted.”
Emily Dickinson, letter to Thomas Wentworth Higginson
“In everything…leaving something incomplete makes it interesting and gives one the feeling that there is room for growth. Someone once told me, ‘Even when building the imperial palace, they always leave one place unfinished.’”
Essays in Idleness, The Tsurezuregusa of Kenko
“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
“When they had eventually calmed down a bit, and had gotten home, Mr. Duncan put the magic pebble in an iron safe. Some day they might want to use it, but really, for now, what more could they wish for? They all had all that they wanted.”
William Steig, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
“With my mother’s death all settled happiness, all that was tranquil and reliable, disappeared from my life. There was to be much fun, many pleasures, many stabs of Joy; but no more of the old security. It was sea and islands now; the great continent had sunk like Atlantis.”
C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy
“Slumbering in every human being lies an infinity of possibilities, which one must not arouse in vain. For it is terrible when the whole man resonates with echoes and echoes, none becoming a real voice.”
Elias Canetti, Notes from Hampstead
“I meant, I have said, to climb the Matterhorn. Why? Let’s say because I was there. No: I’m being flip. I meant to climb the Matterhorn because to climb it was for me so improbable. For too many years now I had failed to surprise myself, to reach beyond my grasp.”
Geoffrey Wolff, A Day at the Beach, “Matterhorn”
“It is easy to be heavy; hard to be light.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Quotes January 25, 2018

Quotes Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin

“We lived the whole of our early lives under the rule of postponement: life was not in the present, it was always ahead of us. Somewhere in the future we would be the people we intended to be.”
Diana Trilling, The Beginning of the Journey
“It takes wit, and interest and energy to be happy. The pursuit of happiness is a great activity. One must be open and alive. It is the greatest feat man has to accomplish, and spirits must flow. There must be courage. There are no easy ruts to get into which lead to happiness.”
Robert Henri, The Art Spirit
“Before I was shot, I always thought that I was more half-there than all-there–I always suspected that I was watching TV instead of living life. People sometimes say that the way things happen in movies is unreal, but actually it’s the way things happen to you in life that’s unreal. The movies make emotions look so strong and real, whereas when things really do happen to you, it’s like watching television–you don’t feel anything.

Right when I was being shot and ever since, I knew that I was watching television. The channels switch, but it’s all television. When you’re really really involved with something, you’re usually thinking about something else. When something’s happening, you fantasize about other things.”
Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol
“We would rather see those to whom we do good, than those who do good to us.”
La Rochefoucauld, Collected Maxims and Other Reflections
It is in virtue of his own desires and curiosities that any man continues to exist with even patience, that he is charmed by the look of things and people, and that he wakens every morning with a renewed appetite for work and pleasure. Desire and curiosity are the two eyes through which he sees the world in the most enchanted colours…and the man may squander his estate and come to beggary, but if he keeps these two amulets he is still rich in the possibilities of pleasure.”
Robert Louis Stevenson
“It is often to the wary that the events in life are unexpected. Looser types – people who are not busy weighing and measuring every little thing – are used to accidents, coincidences, chance, things getting out of hand, things sneaking up on them. They are the happy children of life, to whom life happens for better or worse.”
Laurie Colwin, “A Mythological Subject,” in The Lone Pilgrim
“Every now and then a man’s mind is stretched by a new idea or sensation, and never shrinks back to its former dimensions.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table

“If we will have the kindness of others, we must endure their follies.”
Samuel Johnson, Selected Writings
“It is not easy to know what you like.
Most people fool themselves their entire lives through about this.”
Robert Henri, The Art Spirit
“The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.”
Arnold Toynbee
“As long as man is growing, and the sap rises in him, how spacious and pleasant seems to him the World! He stretches out his branches and fancies his head will reach the Heavens.”
Johann Gottfried von Herder

“O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!
Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
Thy mists, that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour! That gaunt crag
To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!

Long have I known a glory in it all,
But never knew I this;
Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart,—Lord, I do fear
Thou’st made the world too beautiful this year;
My soul is all but out of me,—let fall
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.”

— Edna St. Vincent Millay, “God’s World”

Quotes January 04, 2018

Courtesy of Gretchin Rubin
A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.
Nelson Mandela,
activist and political leader
Home is the nicest word there is.
Laura Ingalls Wilder
If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.
Nhat Hanh
The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life is the source from which self-respect springs.
Joan Didion
Self-love has very little to do with how you feel about your outer self. It’s about accepting all of yourself.
Tyra Banks
com·plic·it [kÉ™mˈplisit/] – adjective – Involved with others in an illegal activity or wrongdoing.
We relish news of our heroes, forgetting that we are extraordinary to somebody too.
Helen Hayes
Wonder Woman, she’s amazing. I love everything that she represents and everything that she stands for. She’s all about love and compassion and truth and justice and equality, and she’s a whole lot of woman.
Gal Gadot
I don’t think you should feel guilty about pleasure. Defeats the purpose.
Lena Heady
Feminism isn’t about making women strong. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.
G.D. Anderson
“’Safe! safe! safe!’ the pulse of the house beats wildly. Waking, I cry ‘Oh, is this your buried treasure? The light in the heart.’”
Virginia Woolf
“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
“When one comes away from an art gallery with a sense of being irradiated, often it is as much from the colors one has absorbed as from the visions of the artists. Much of the thrill of spring, I think, is because of the return of color.”
Ross Parmenter, The Awakened Eye
“Live as long as you may, the first twenty years are the longest half of your life. They appear so while they are passing; they seem to have been so when we look back on them; and they take up more room in our memory than all the years that succeed them.”
Robert Southey
“When we are happy we are always good, but when we are good we are not always happy.”
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
“The feeling of being hurried is not usually the result of living a full life and having no time. It is on the contrary born of a vague fear that we are wasting our life. When we do not do the one thing we ought to do, we have no time for anything else.”
Eric Hoffer
“Yes, as everyone knows, meditation and water are wedded forever.”
Herman Melville, Moby Dick

Quotes December 09, 2017

“I know that the writer does call up the general and maybe the essential through the particular, but this general and essential is still deeply embedded in mystery. It is not answerable to any of our formulas.”
The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor
“Whatever creates or increases happiness or some part of happiness, we ought to do; whatever destroys or hampers happiness, or gives rise to its opposite, we ought not to do.”
Aristotle, Rhetoric
“The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.”
Carl Jung, Schiller’s Ideas on the Type Problem, in Collected Work of C. G Jung
“Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower, “Remarks at the National Defense Executive Reserve Conference, November 14, 1957”
“Habit simplifies our movements, makes them accurate, and diminishes fatigue.”
William James, The Principles of Psychology
“Sight is often reinforced by the other senses. A rose looks different when you can smell it. A ballroom looks different when you can hear music. Whenever I saw the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, I would be apt to play the ‘Marseillaise’ in my mind, and the monument somehow seemed grander and more real.”
Henry Grunwald, Twilight: Losing Sight, Gaining Insight

“I have not been inordinately materialistic, but I am attached to my house, to my inherited belongings, and to the things that I have chosen for myself. All these objects add complexity to my emotional ties to the people with whom I have shared, and share, my life, and to my aspirations for myself.”
Ann Truitt, Turn: The Journal of an Artist

“Probably one can say that all beautiful, noble, or brilliant works are of use, or that everything that proves to be useful or beneficial has its own beauty.”
Isak Dineson, July 29, 1929
“There is another side of Kanchenjunga and of every mountain—the side that has never been photographed and turned into postcards. That is the only side worth seeing.”
Thomas Merton, The Other Side of the Mountain: Journal volume 7
Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin and The Moment of Happiness Project

Quotes November 15, 2017

Gretchen Rubin Moment of Happiness

“Now and then someone would accuse me of being evil — of letting people destroy themselves while I watched, just so I could film them and tape record them. But I don’t think of myself as evil — just realistic. I learned when I was little that whenever I got aggressive I tried to tell someone what to do, nothing happened — I just couldn’t carry it off. I learned that you actually have more power when you shut up, because at least that way people still start to maybe doubt themselves. When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it.”
Andy Warhol, POPism
“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
“I would like to become tolerant without overlooking anything, persecute no one even when all people persecute me; become better without noticing it; become sadder, but enjoy living; become more serene, be happy in others; belong to no one, grow in everyone; love the best, comfort the worst; not even hate myself anymore.”
Elias Canetti, The Human Province
“Out of date, perhaps, but who wasn’t these days? Out of date, but loyal to his own time. At a certain moment, after all, every man chooses: will he go forward, will he go back? There was nothing dishonorable in not being blown about by every little modern wind. Better to have worth, to entrench, to be an oak of one’s own generation.”
John Le Carre, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
“On the whole, tho’ I never arrived at the Perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet as I was, by the Endeavor, a better and a happier Man than I otherwise should have been if I had not attempted it.”
Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
“I was surprised to find myself so much fuller of Faults than I had imagined, but I had the Satisfaction of seeing them diminish.”
Benjamin Franklin
“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

“But if a man has commonly a very clear and happy daily life then I think we are justified in asking that he shall not make mountains out of molehills. I do not deny that molehills can sometimes be important. Small annoyances have this evil about them, that they can be more abrupt because they are more invisible; they cast no shadow before, they have no atmosphere….But when all this is allowed for, I repeat that we may ask a happy man…to put up with pure inconveniences, and even make them part of his happiness. Of positive pain or positive poverty I do not here speak. I speak of those innumerable accidental limitations that are always falling across our path – bad weather, confinement to this or that house or room, failure of appointments or arrangements…”
G.K. Chesterton, “The Advantages of Having One Leg.”
“Pessimism like calumny is easy to do, and attracts immediate attention. The gossiper and the writer may find this out soon enough, and a little encouragement from the current mood will procure them successes that bring endless imitators in their trail. On the other hand saying good things about life in general and individuals in particular and making it interesting is a serious task which few can achieve with credit.”
Bernard Berenson, Sunset and Twilight
“It reminds us that our only but wholly adequate significance is as parts of the unimaginable whole. It suggests that even while we think that we are egotists we are living to ends outside ourselves.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
“The Natural History Museum is open to the public on Tuesdays and Fridays. Elephant, rhinoceros, hippopotamus; extraordinary animals! Rubens rendered them marvelously. I had a feeling of happiness as soon as I entered the place and the further I went the stronger it grew. I felt my whole being rise above commonplaces and trivialities and the petty worries of my daily life. What an immense variety of animals and species of different shapes and functions!”
Eugene Delacroix, Journal
“Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating.”
Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace
“The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure, but from hope to hope.”
Samuel Johnson, Selected Writings
“We can only know others by ourselves.”
Robert Louis Stevenson, The Lantern-Bearers and Other Essays
“We are never so much disposed to quarrel with others as when we are dissatisfied with ourselves.”
William Hazlitt, Characteristics
“Energy creates energy. It is by spending myself that I become rich.”
Sarah Bernhardt
“How to gain, how to keep, how to recover happiness, is in fact for most men at all times the secret motive of all they do, and of all they are willing to endure.”
William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience

“One is happy as a result of one’s own efforts, once one knows of the necessary ingredients of happiness—simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self-denial to a point, love of work, and, above all, a clear conscience. Happiness is no vague dream, of that I now feel certain.”
George Sand
“Wisdom has its excesses, and has no less need of moderation than folly.”
Michel de Montaigne, “Upon Some Verses of Virgil,” The Essays of Montaigne

“When one loves, one does not calculate.”
St. Therese of Lisieux