This is a compilation of thoughts and quotes that I have found or written recently, as well as many that I've collected throughout the years. Most thoughts are posted randomly, as I feel inspired. A listing of quotes can be found alphabetically (check the 2008 and 2009 archives listing), or by source.

Feel free to suggest additions!

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” – Proverbs 23:7

Friday, September 25, 2009

Quotes from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

1. It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.

2. To realize one's destiny is a person's only obligation.

3. We have to take advantage when luck is on our side, and do as much to help it as its doing to help us. Its called the principle of favorability. Or beginners luck.

4. A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such speed. It feels an impulsion ... this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reasons and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond the horizons.

5. What's the world's greatest lie? It's this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate.

6. When you want something with all your heart, that's when you are closest to the Soul of the World. It's always a positive force.

7. I don't live in either my past or my future. I'm interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you'll be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we're living now.

8. In his pursuit of the dream, he was being constantly subjected to tests of his persistence and courage. So he could not be hasty, nor impatient. If he pushed forward impulsively, he would fail to see the signs and omens left by God along his path.

9. There is only one way to learn. It's through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.

10. The wise men understood that this natural world is only an image and a copy of paradise. The existence of this world is simply a guarantee that there exists a world that is perfect. God created the world so that, through its visible objects, men could understand his spiritual teachings and the marvels of this wisdom.

11. People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don't deserve them, or that they'll be unable to achieve them.

12. Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity.

13. When you are loved, you can do anything in creation. When you are loved, there's no need at all to understand what's happening, because everything happens within you.

14. It was my fear of failure that first kept me from attempting the master work. Now, I'm beginning what I could have started ten years ago. But I'm happy at least that I didn't wait twenty years.

15. When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.

One Ship Sails East

One ship sails East,
And another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
'Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way we go.

Like the winds of the sea
Are the waves of time,
As we journey along through life,
'Tis the set of the soul,
That determines the goal,
And not the calm or the strife.

- Ella Wheeler Wilcox

(photo by Ken R. Young)

Swedish translation:

Ett skepp seglar österut,
Och ett annat västerut,
I samma vind som blåsar,
Det är seglens uppsättning,
Inte vindens riktning,
Som bestämmer hur det seglar.

Liksom havets vindar,
Är tidens vågor,
När igenom livet vi går,
Det är själens uppsättning,
Inte lungn eller strid,
Som bestämmer vart vi når.

- översatt av Ken R. Young

See also One Ship Sails East: A Journal For Positive Thinking

For more inspiration on sailing, see also:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

1. All endeavor calls for the ability to tramp the last mile, shape the last plan, endure the last hours toil. The fight to the finish spirit is the one... characteristic we must posses if we are to face the future as finishers.

2. An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.

3. As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.

4. As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.

5. Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?

6. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.

7. Dreams are the touchstones of our character.

8. Friends... they cherish one another's hopes. They are kind to one another's dreams.

9. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

10. Goodness is the only investment that never fails.

11. Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.

12. If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.

13. If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.

14. Ignorance and bungling with love are better than wisdom and skill without.

15. In the long run, men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, they had better aim at something high.

16. It is better to have your head in the clouds, and know where you are... than to breathe the clearer atmosphere below them, and think that you are in paradise.

17. It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?

18. It is what a man thinks of himself that really determines his fate.

19. It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.

20. Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.

21. Money is not required to buy one necessity of the soul.

22. Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.

23. None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.

24. Not only must we be good, but we must also be good for something.

25. Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify.

26. Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.

27. Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.

28. Thaw with her gentle persuasion is more powerful than Thor with his hammer. The one melts, the other breaks into pieces.

29. The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time.

30. The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.

31. There is no remedy for love but to love more.

32. There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself.

33. Truths and roses have thorns about them.

34. We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.

35. What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us. What you get by achieving your goals is to as important as what you become by achieving your goals.

36. You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.

37. He is the best sailor who can steer within the fewest points of the wind, and exact a motive power out of the greatest obstacles.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Oliver Wendell Holmes Quotes

1. A man may fulfill the object of his existence by asking a question he cannot answer, and attempting a task he cannot achieve.

2. But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold.

3. Every calling is great when greatly pursued.

4. Happiness consists in activity. It is running steam, not a stagnant pool.

5. Have the courage to act instead of react.

6. He has half the deed done who has made a beginning.

7. If I were dying my last words would be: Have faith and pursue the unknown end.

8. It's faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes a life worth living.

9. Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness.

10. One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.

11. The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.

12. The mode by which the inevitable comes to pass is effort.

13. The sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a cannon, but its echo lasts a great deal longer.

14. Through our great good fortune, in our youth our hearts were touched with fire. It was given to us to learn at the outset that life is a profound and passionate thing.

15. To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old.

16. To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor.

17. Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble, at a touch; nay, you may kick it about all day like a football, and it will be round and full at evening.

18. We do not quit playing because we grow old, we grow old because we quit playing.

19. A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience.

Maya Angelou Quotes

1. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.

2. Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

3. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

4. If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.

5. I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.

6. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way s/he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

7. You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.

8. We are here to love each other. That is why you are alive. That is what life is for.

9. Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue.

10. Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.

11. We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.

12. I have no modesty.  Modesty is a learned behavior.  But I do pray for humility, because humility comes from the inside out.

13. Love recognizes no barriers.  It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.

14. If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.

15. Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.

16. When the great American poet, the late Maya Angelou, reflected on her life and learnings she said, "I've learned that...

  1. no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
  2. you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.
  3. regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.
  4. making a 'living' is not the same thing as 'making a life.'
  5. life sometimes gives you a second chance.
  6. you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back.
  7. whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.
  8. even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.
  9. every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
  10. I still have a lot to learn.
  11. people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Booker T. Washington Quotes

1. Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.

2. Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.

3. Character is power. Character, not circumstances, makes the man.

4. There is no power on earth that can neutralize the influence of a high, simple and useful life.

5. Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work.

6. The world cares very little about what a man or woman knows; it is what a man or woman is able to do that counts.

7. If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.

8. I believe that any man's life will be filled with constant and unexpected encouragement, if he makes up his mind to do his level best each day, and as nearly as possible reaching the high water mark of pure and useful living.