(Aphorism:   A concise statement of principle.   A terse formulation of a truth or sentiment.)



Identity, Self-Esteem, Self-Trust, Independence

Sensitivity and Sincerity

Dignity and "Dominance"


Goals and Dreams/ Courage and Persistence

Life and Death

Biting the Bullet

Dignity, Seriousness and Quietude


Social Interaction

Making Life Special



Your Work

Inspiration of Self and Others

Relaxing, Having a Good Time, Playing


Inner Peace, Serenity, Tranquility, Fulfillment

Fear and Courage/ Unstoppable willpower/ Discipline


Working for Money

Adventure/ Taking Risks

Happiness and Fulfillment



Savoring/ Appreciating Life/ Living a full, rich life




Fantasy vs. Reality



Sensuality/ Love


Rationality/ Judgment/ Morality



Identity, Self-Esteem, Self-Trust, Independence

Don't settle for less than the important in yourself.

You were born an original.  Don't die a copy.  (John Mason)

"We are all still pioneers, required to colonize the piece of ground which chance assigns us, to make it our own by shaping it into a small, autonomous, intelligible world."  (Peter Conrad)

To hell with authorities telling you how you ought to live.  Your standard should only be to do that which you would be glad and proud to look back on at the time of your death.

Do what you can to not be overwhelmed by their world and to hold onto your own.

A key question to keep in your mind: Is this pursuit what you wanted to do with your life? Is this the sum you wanted to aim toward?  Is it a proud and accurate summation of your worth, you soul and your life?

"They recognized right away that I was a real person, and they've probably never met one before."  (Eustace Conway)

Before worrying if you match the standards of someone else, first consider whether they meet yours.

When you envy someone else or their path, ask yourself what it would be like for you to choose right now to do what they are doing or act as they are acting.  Often you will find you wouldn't actually want to do what they are doing, but instead would prefer (and respect) doing what you already do.

If you put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise the price.

"When one is a stranger to oneself then one is estranged from others too.  If one is out of touch with oneself, then one cannot touch others.  Only when one is connected to one's own core is one connected to others, I am beginning to discover.  And, for me, the core, the inner spring, can best be refound through solitude....  Every person...should be alone sometime during the year, some part of each week, and each day."  (Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From The Sea)

"This is the essence of 'coming of age'--to learn to stand alone."  (Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From The Sea)

"I find there is a quality to being alone that is incredibly precious.  Life rushes back into the void, richer, more vivid, fuller than before."  (Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From The Sea)

"I must try to be alone for part of each year, even a week or a few days; and for part of each day, even for an hour or a few minutes in order to keep my core, my center, my island-quality....  Unless I keep the island quality intact somewhere within me, I will have little to give my husband, my children, my friends or the world at large."  (Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From The Sea)

Don't let your idea of your "best self" habitually trump your "honest self."  A great deal should be learned from your "honest self."


Sensitivity and Sincerity

Try showing your inner self to the people you're with.  If they mock you, don't share that gift with them again.  Share it only with those who value sincerity.

It's okay to feel bad, even to express it honestly. There's an emotional side of life you miss in a vain attempt to protect yourself against (rather than train yourself for) harm.

 It's not just being willing to fail, but being willing to still care about failing, and yet still do it. Being honest with your emotions. It's embracing the roller coaster rather than pretending it's a merry-go-round.

 "As a child, I never wanted to be made to feel stupid or let someone get the best of me. Now if someone decides to do that, I no longer feel played. I would rather really live an experience and be brave and be scared out of my mind than protect myself and not allow myself to feel those emotions. I don't mind being pissed off or being scared or being hurt.  I don't mind the lights coming up and the volume rocking for awhile. I like the adrenaline."  (Vince Vaughn)

The great man is he who does not lose his child's heart.   (Mencius)

I have a love of the sunset, with no apologies.

There are lights and shadows that make your life deep and strong.

"The most exhausting thing in life, I have discovered, is being insincere.  That is why so much of social life is exhausting; one is wearing a mask.  I have shed my mask."  (Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From The Sea)


Dignity and "Dominance"

Note.  This category is offered primarily for those who often feel submissive and victimized in their relations with others.  Dominance is not a virtue in itself, but it is important for people who usually feel like victims to experience what it feels like to not feel like victims when relating with others, so they can feel a sense of dignity and self-respect in all areas of their life, whether alone or in the company of others.  "Dominance" in this context doesn't mean going around being superior, mean or abusive.  Here we use the term "dominant" to describe a state of not being mastered by anyone or anything.  Dominance is a state of mind--you either decide it's yours or it isn't.  Dominance is an impenetrable defense around one's values.  Dominance is the caretaker of one's inner garden.  Dominance is a state in which your mind depends not on others, but on the pursuit of your own values.  It is a feeling of impenetrability--but it is not defensive, it is a proactive protection of your worth.  Note, however, that a sense of dominance is not required with people that already understand and love you for who you truly are--people who have your best interest at heart, and with whom you feel entirely comfortable.

Be dominant, until it's clear to yourself and them that you're not one to be budged by pressure. You have to earn your status.  Like with life: do the work first, then you can relax.  And remember--they're on trial, too.  Perhaps only fully relax with your kind of person.  The more perfect the fit, the more relaxed you can feel, and the higher esteem you can grant to them.

Respect yourself, or no one else will.

Don't sanction the dominance of another by playing into his or her game.

Confidence is approaching life with the belief that no one is your master, with a feeling of absolute strength and will, and with a lust for challenges that test your strength.

To those who are shy or fear people: don't stop thinking when around others.  Do the opposite--think and be on your mental toes. Obey your mind and you won't be ashamed.  That's how you become "dominant" and a player in life instead of a submissive victim trying to fit in or at least not be noticed.

Afraid?  Don't worry.  Fake your confidence.  They can't tell.  They'll just think you're a happy, naturally confident person without doubts or fears. And with practice, your expectations for the quality of your living experience will rise and the reality of your confidence will rise to meet those expectations.

Never sacrifice your sanity, self-esteem, or character to get what you want.  Use them to get what you want. If you do sacrifice them, it truly is a sacrifice, leaving you with (maybe) the thing you wanted to obtain, but with no soul or serenity with which to enjoy that thing.

Don't be a victim.  Turn it around until you're the aggressor, pursuing what you want.  Instead of feeling like the hunted, become the hunter.

Don't let your insecurity show around those who don't understand or care about you and who seek to dominate you.  Showing your insecurities doesn't do anyone any good.  You're not being dishonest; you're just making your insecurity irrelevant in that situation.  You are protecting your vulnerable self from the grubby hands of the insensitive and presumptuous.

Rely on confidence by will.  Regardless of actions or consequences.  When you feel confidence through simply willing yourself to feel confidence, nothing can weaken you--not even your own actions or consequences.  You become a self-propelled, unstoppable power.



Sometimes the best way to get something done is to take a break from it.

The fun or break isn't the only payoff:  it also shapes who you are as a person.  It makes you a person who's happy and truly energized about your life as a whole, and about yourself as a person.  You treat yourself well--like a person who's worthy of happiness.  (Cristina Mikulasek)

When you are organized, it’s easy to feel relaxed.

Make the progress you can, but then stop worrying.  Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles; it empties today of its strength.

Anxiety subsides only when we direct our mental energy at something specific and restore order to our consciousness, achieving a sense of internal serenity and resolution.

Who's there to pat you on the back?  Just you.  So be there to do it.  Respect your efforts and take care of yourself.

The best medicine for stress is to feel in control.  Do whatever you have to in order to re-establish a sense of control in your life.

Don't sweat the small stuff. A lot of it is small stuff, especially when evaluated in the context of mortality--the mortality of your self and of those you love.

Anxiety is something to be proud of--it means you're still facing reality in pursuit of a goal.  It is also something worth taking a break from occasionally, to recuperate and obtain perspective.  It's like building a muscle: you need to stress it, but you also need to let it rest for long periods of time.

Deal with items on your to-do list in a detached way.  Don't take them personally--just do them.  Then pat yourself on the back for having done them.


Goals and Dreams/Courage and Persistence

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”  (Henry David Thoreau)

"Hercules was half man, half god.  All of us are half man, half god.  If we use that which is half god in us we can perform the twelve labors every day of our lives."  (The Agony and the Ecstasy)

"Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance."  (Samuel Johnson)

"Apathy can only be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can only be aroused by two things: first, an ideal which takes the imagination by storm, and second, a definite intelligible plan for carrying that ideal into practice."  (Arnold Toynbee [1889-1975])

"When nothing seems worth the effort, it's because of a dream that has tremendous worth, but which you aren't pursuing."  (Ayn Rand)

"Nothing great is ever accomplished without enthusiasm."  (Emerson)

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”  (Eleanor Roosevelt)

"If you want a thing bad enough to go out and fight for it, to work day and night for it, to give up your time, your peace, and your sleep for it…if all that you dream and scheme is about it, and life seems useless and worthless without it…if  you gladly sweat for it and fret for it and plan for it and lose all your terror of the opposition for it…if you simply go after that thing you want with all of your capacity, strength and sagacity, faith, hope and confidence and stern pertinacity…if neither cold, poverty, famine, nor gout, sickness nor pain, of body and brain, can keep you away from the thing that you want…if dogged and grim you beseech and beset it, you WILL get it."  (Les Brown, Live Your Dreams, Avon Books)

"Figure out what you want out of life, then set your goals and maintain them as long as is biologically possible.  I figure work is healthy, so I just keep doing it."  (Clint Eastwood)

"Never let your work or your purpose be bigger than your self.  Don't be a slave to your plans or to anything.  It ruins you and the experience. Let nothing be bigger than yourself."  (Vince Vaughn)


Life and Death

"Give me liberty or give me death."  (Nathan Hale)

If ever tempted to kill yourself, you should consider putting it off.  You can kill yourself anytime, so you might as well abandon the stress of your ambitions, sit back, and, as an experiment, see if anything happens to come of your dreams.  Or do something totally outrageous for your dreams that you wouldn't have done before.  What do you have to lose? You were going to kill yourself anyway.

Live boldly--unafraid to state your mind.  Don't fear.  You can always slip into the woods to try to survive--and if you die, you'll die free, struggling to live while being a truly free man.

"Live your dream or die."  (Jewel) 

"At the final summing up, I want to be sure it wasn't all for nothing."   (Francon, Atlas Shrugged)

Don't sleepwalk through life.  Take risks; live dangerously even--make any part of life that you envy a part of your own life.

You want passion in your life. Someone may get hurt by this passion (including yourself), but you shouldn't sleepwalk through life just to ensure that you never hurt anyone.

So many people are afraid of doing the wrong thing.  Don't be one of those people.  Try, experience and thereby learn the art and balance of your own nature in your own life.

It's so fun to have a chance to live and make something splendid of your life.

Life is a journey of finding your best strengths and your most loved values and finding where the two meet. 

"We Americans, with our terrific emphasis on youth, action, and material success, certainly tend to belittle the afternoon of life and even to pretend it never comes."  (Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From The Sea)


Biting the Bullet

Remember: It's okay to not like what you have to do--it's even okay to collapse, as long as you still do it.  Don't make yourself try to like a task at the same time as you're also making yourself do it.  Hate it, do it, respect yourself, and move on.

The strength and peace and purity of a man's face is earned through countless acts of personal mental courage.

Sometimes you have to adopt a "Bring it on!" attitude, focusing to bring yourself into alertness and competence.

It's okay to feel bad.  Go ahead and feel it.  It doesn't make you a failure--only letting it permanently stop you from moving forward will make you a failure.

Strength makes you feel alive.  It's not about acting macho, it's about having an attitude of "Bring it on!"  It's about vitality.  It's about truly being alive.  It's about approaching life with the belief that no one and nothing is your master.  It's a feeling of absolute will, along with a lust for accepting the most worthwhile challenge reality can offer you.

For humans, will equals vitality.

"You cannot run away from a weakness; you must sometimes fight it out or perish.  And if that be so, why not now, and where you stand?"  (Robert Louis Stevenson)

"I'm going to keep right on building. You do the best you can to stop it."  (Robert Moses)

The best reaction you can have to getting hit is to laugh. It says you either don't care or you like it.  (John Madden)

The most noble words a man can say
are "I'm not giving up--
Not ever,
and not today."


Dignity, Seriousness and Quietude

Leave room in your day for silence.

Travel at your own speed--in your own way.

"Many times those who are quiet have the most to say."  (said of Bob Dylan)

Save part of yourself for your own self and your own life, not just for work or others, but to have a little time for yourself.  (Liv Tyler)

Do what you can to not be overwhelmed by their world and to hold onto your own.

Others will value you no higher than you value yourself.

Being independent means never acting a role for anyone's benefit.  Don't sacrifice your personal dignity to get approval from others.  Never sell your soul to get what you want: Without your soul, the thing you want will be meaningless.

Artists often hold a lot in reserve--that's where they draw from.

"She found that she liked the solitude.  She awakened in the morning with confident benevolence.  The only danger to her was from simple physical accident: it seemed innocent and easy by comparison."  (Atlas Shrugged)

Before envying a talker or a "life of the party," ask yourself if you would actually want to say what they are saying.

If you're a basically serious person, don't be ashamed of it--protect it.  Let your "boring," quiet seriousness exist.  It's often you at your best and most focused.  I like it in others, and my type of person likes it in me.  Don't feel you have to be talkative or chatty to be a good person.



You learn from your own doing.

"Our first rule, Ms. Taggart, is that one must always see for oneself."  (Atlas Shrugged)

When you're outside your comfort zone, that's when you can be sure you're going to grow.

Achieve your convictions through experience.

Give me long enough, and I'll understand.  (Ed Jones)

We do not grow without variety.

Experience is the best teacher and leads to the greatest sense of certainty and serenity.

When learning a subject, think as though you had to teach that subject to a class the next day.  Think as a teacher, not a student, and you will retain more information than you previously thought possible.

Frustration is inherent in the development process.

Experience leaves healthy scars that make you more real and confident.  It helps you to shed Peter Pan advice and shallowly accepted convictions. 


Social Interaction

"Only when all those around you seem different will you truly belong."  (Little Man Tate)

A place of one’s own provides a place to nurture oneself when the world offers only conflict.


Making Life Special

What do you want to do with your life?

"At the final summing up, I want to be sure it wasn't all for nothing."  (Francon, Atlas Shrugged)

Make your life an exclamation, not an explanation.

"Stay golden."  (The Outsiders)

"The only man never to be redeemed is the man without passion."  (Francisco, Atlas Shrugged)

"Live your dream or die." (Jewel)

"Get busy living or get busy dying."  (The Shawshank Redemption)

Contentment in life consists not in great wealth, but in simple wants.



Take time to work, it is the price of success.  Take time to meditate, it is the source of power.  Take time to play, it is the secret of perpetual youth.  Take time to read, it is the way to knowledge.  Take time to be friendly, it is the road to happiness.  Take time to laugh, it is the music of the soul.  And take time to love and be loved.  (unrecorded source)

Slow down and focus. Take your time to see it, to live it, and to get it right.  Well begun is half done.

Let success be easier for you--go with reality, not against it.  Identify what successful people typically do in your situation, and try that first.

Engage the power of positive rational thinking, believing you can overcome whatever you face.  It's not about smiling, it's about feeling no fear and believing a success option is in your range of possibilities.  When life is more function than form, purpose than pose, every moment is more intriguing and juiced, because you're in the flow of doing and accomplishing and accumulating progress rather than simply going through the motions.

Moments of "spacing off" or "getting lost in the mood" are essential to creativity.  Then you see the truth of yourself.  That's when your subconscious rises to the surface, because it's no longer afraid.

Don't worry about doing things perfectly; just put your nose down and do the work and soon you find you've done something.  It's always easier to go back and make corrections, than to sit still and have nothing started.

Approach activities as though you were the first to ever do it.  Like the first caveman.  It makes the activity yours, gets rid of thoughts of the standards of others, and makes the activity an adventure worthy of applying your concentration, reason and creativity.

Whatever the situation, always ask yourself: "What can be gained from this situation to promote my life, success, and happiness?"

Sometimes you must take a step back to make a leap forward.

Progress, not perfection. Often, if you seek perfection, you tend to become frightened and timid and tense. You don't let yourself explore and learn thereby. Ironically, when you don't seek perfection, you want to do the activity more, and with such volume of exploratory practice, you become better faster than by aiming at perfection, failing, then not returning to it because it's stressful.


Your Work

"How to make it:  Be so good they can’t ignore you."   (Steve Martin)

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left but could say, "I used everything you gave me."  (Erma Bombeck)

"I love the feeling of accumulating things that have been created by me and can, therefore, never be taken away from me."  (unrecorded source)

Find the activity you love to do--that you could be intent on for 20 hours, go to sleep, then wake up and do for another 20 hours, losing track of time and not caring what is happening outside of that work.

Inspiration comes from working every day.

The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.

The most important thing is to have work to do that accurately reflects your highest values.

"Dagny, there's nothing of any importance in life--except how well you do your work.  Nothing.  Only that.  Whatever else you are, will come from that."  (Atlas Shrugged)

Practice until your creation no longer falls short of your shining vision.

If money blocks you, take a job until you can continue pursuing, uncompromisingly, exactly what you want to pursue.  Don't mix necessity and the ideal, unless the ideal happens to make the necessary possible.  Keep the ideal clear in your head; never let it be sacrificed or watered down.


Inspiration of Self and Others

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of the Universe.  Your playing small doesn’t serve yourself or the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.  We are born to make manifest the best that is within us.  It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone, and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give permission to other people to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.  (Nelson Mandela, paraphrased)

A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.  (Father James Keller)

Be your own role model.

Nurture what you love.

Art gives man, at least for a moment, a sense of living in a perfect world.

The task of Romantic art is to set a soul on fire and never let it go out.  (Ayn Rand)

Never decide anything important when you feel bad or lack perspective.  Especially never give up then.  Wait to give up until you feel good.

"It is true that a large part of life consists in learning a technique of tying the shoe-string, whether one is in grace or not.  But there are techniques of living, too;  there are even techniques in the search for grace.  And techniques can be cultivated."  (Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From The Sea)

"This is what one thirsts for, I realize, after the smallness of the day, of work, of details, of intimacy, even of communication--one thirsts for the magnitude and universality of a night full of stars, pouring into one like a fresh tide."  (Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From The Sea)

"Island living has been a lens through which to examine my own life....  I must keep my lens when I go back.  Little by little one's holiday vision tends to fade.  I must remember to see with island eyes.  The shells will remind me; they must be my island eyes."  (Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From The Sea)


Relaxing, Having a Good Time, Playing

“The key is to have a good time.  This is our time on earth to sing this song and play this dance and have a good time—because your time is going to run out.”  (Winton Marsalis)

"If you dig it, do it.  If you really dig it, do it twice."  (Jim Croce)

The pessimist may be right in the long run, and the optimist may have a brighter view, but the relaxed person has a better time during the trip.

The harder you're focusing and working, the more requisite it becomes to lighten things up with fun.

Some of the best, most productive artists in the world knew how to have fun--to drink, to talk, to make merry.

Always remember to let yourself have a little fun. Not only do you enjoy yourself and add energy and lightness to your life, but being a little fun or wild or crazy can lead to some of your greatest moments in life and some of your greatest inspirations and creations in work. Thus, enjoying yourself makes both work and life both more fulfilling.

Have a drink!  Take a smoke!  Play a game! Sing Karaoke, smile and talk easily. Surf! Joke around.....It can downplay and lighten frustrations--something you need more when you're devoted to doggedly pursuing a huge purpose.  It makes you feel more like a living organism, with a need to express and experience life and emotions, and less like a robot for whom following the program is everything.

Take breaks from your task until you're no longer frustrated or impatient to stop. Frustration and impatience to stop lead one to ruin quality.  Take breaks until you have a reenergized perspective and are impatient to return and make progress.

Work may be the most important thing in life, but life is more than work.

"The fun or break isn't the only payoff--it also shapes who you are as a person. It makes you a person who's happy and truly energized about his life as a whole, and about himself as a person. He treats himself well--like a person who's worthy of happiness." (Christine Mikulasek)



In "the zone" or "flow," you get so engrossed in doing something that everyday reality fades.  You aren't even aware of yourself, because you're a million miles away. You concentrate more on the process than the end result.

If the challenge is greater than your skills, you're likely to get frustrated and anxious.  If your skills exceed the challenge, you're likely to get bored.  "Flow" is the process of discovering something new at a pace that is both comfortable and challenging.  The result is a strengthened sense of your abilities and your self.

We all have the energy of youth if we let go and redirect our adult responsibilities into happy, positive directions.

Integrating the physical expression with the mental--in the moment, in "real time"--requires courage sometimes.  But it's worth it.  It feels good when you have this kind of integrity between mind and physical expression.  This type of integrity is also a characteristic of "flow," as described by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book Flow.

Life is more fun when you're a player.  It becomes engrossing and thrillingly challenging, like a good, fast-paced videogame.  And you don't have to smile or laugh or be friendly when playing a video game--most of the time it's tight lip-biting, but it's still fun.  That type of "engrossment with the challenge" is what you should aim for.

Flow is getting lost in an activity you love.

Purpose + Flow = Joy

"What I like in surfing is the same as what I like in life:  moving forward while feeling a sense of peace, balance and serenity.  I'm told that this is also what "flow" feels like."  (unrecorded source)

You are unselfconscious if you are intent on what you're doing.  This is flow.  The intent can't be out of fear or to get approval; the intent must be on the thing itself.

Let go of pretentions and posturings.  Be the little boy absorbed in what he's doing.


Inner Peace, Serenity, Balance, Tranquility, Fulfillment

Drop everything to retain your sanity.  It is from your sanity and self-esteem that everything (including productivity, love and happiness) comes.  Take care of yourself--primarily for your own sake, but also for the sake of your loved ones and your work.  It is from yourself that all else comes.

Feel the breeze; close your eyes; smile; and let yourself drift away....

Inner peace requires inner strength, perspective and acceptance.

Chronic fear makes you tense, which makes you not breathe.  Breathe again.

Travel at your own speed--in your own way.

"She found that she liked the solitude. She awakened in the morning with confident benevolence. The only danger to her was from simple physical accident: it seemed innocent and easy by comparison."  (Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand)

Yes, be driven to your goal, but don't become a worshipper of pain.  Remember that you have already won--by being alive.  You have already received the greatest gift there is and you are still enjoying it!  Anything and everything beyond that is gravy.  So don't tighten up in pursuit of your goal.  Lighten up!  You've already won!  Release your brakes; let yourself be happy, and allow yourself to get lost in the challenge of your activity.

Sometimes your spirit runs dry and needs refueling.  Take the time you need to recharge and feel at peace.

Sitting, staring and thinking of nothing in particular is a moment of tranquility for the soul. 

Inner peace is an emotion related to happiness.  Seek inner peace as your top psychological goal.  Inner peace is an absence of internal conflict, an absence of confusion.  It comes from a clarity of values and a deep sense of valuing your self.

"Nothing feeds the center so much as creative work, even humble kinds like cooking and sewing....  Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day--like writing a poem, or saying a prayer.  What matters is that one be for a time inwardly attentive."  (Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From The Sea)

"Island-precepts.  Simplicity of living.  Balance of physical, intellectual, and spiritual life.  Work without pressure.  Space for significance and beauty.  Time for solitude and sharing.  Closeness to nature....  Closeness to nature to strengthen understanding and faith in the intermittency of life:  life of the spirit, creative life, and the life of human relationships."  (Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From The Sea)

"I want first of be at peace with myself.  I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life that will enable me to carry out...obligations and activities as well as I can.  I want, in fact--to borrow from the language of the saints--to live 'in grace' as much of the time as possible.  By grace I mean an inner harmony, essentially spiritual, which can be translated into outward harmony." (Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From The Sea)

"One learns first of all in beach living the art of shedding; how little one can get along with, not how much....  One finds one is shedding not only clothes--but vanity."  (Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From The Sea)


Fear and Courage/Unstoppable willpower/Discipline

“Here’s the way it works.  You do the thing you’re scared of and you get the courage to do it after you’ve done it.”  (Three Kings)

"It’s not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcomings, who knows the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the high achievement of triumph and who at worst, if he fails while daring greatly, knows his place shall never be with those timid and cold souls who know neither victory nor defeat."   (Theodore Roosevelt)

Fear is like fire inside you.  If you control it, you can get great power.  If you let it control you, it spreads and destroys.

"If you move away from what you fear, it will dominate your whole life.  If you move towards your fear--it gets smaller and smaller."  (Bill Phillips)

Choose fight over flight.
and fray over fear.
Treasure and hold tightly
To what you hold dear.

Quell fear by climbing into the driver's seat.  Action is the antidote to despair.

"A life lived in fear is a life half lived."  (Strictly Ballroom)

"The measure of a man is what happens when nothing works and you got the guts to go on."   (Tex Cobb, Cobb)

Plan like a General 10% of the time, but put your head down and act like a trench soldier 90% of the time.  When you're a soldier in the trenches, you just put down your head and do what needs to be done without question.  Liking it or not is irrelevant. You just do it.  Keep your mission straight in your head and accomplish it.

Of the things you've decided are most right to do, first do the thing you least want to do.  It establishes a pattern of using your will that makes everything thereafter more certain and easier.



Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss, ends with a tear.  When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.  Live your life so that when you die, you’re the one smiling and everyone around you is crying.  (unrecorded source)

Nurture what you love.

Your soul has one function: the act of valuing.

Love is the total passion for the total height.

"He loved Gail, but it was the kind of love that required no more than two sentences a week."  (The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand)

To love someone is to want to see them independent and free to grow.


Working for Money

Note:  By "working for money" I mean the work you do that is not your passion but that simply provides earnings for life expenses.

Having to feel stress that you're not doing well enough every second isn't part of any job requirement. You're just there to do some work and make some money. 

Treat money-making like a soldier. It's heroic to support yourself.  That's all.

You don't have to do the work super fast or in some special way to earn your money--you just have to help them by doing the work so they don't have to.

Never forget--the work you only do for money is a means, not an end.

Think in terms of wanting something specific from every situation.

Regarding money work: Remember that this is not your chosen career, it's not your passion.  It's not your real life--not the life that counts. Do a good job, but don't invest yourself emotionally.

In money work, never expect or even care about praise. The most you should hope for as your goal is that you are part of things running like they should--like a well-oiled machine. You work for money.  You should expect your only praise to be a paycheck and the purr of things running smoothly thanks to your efforts.  Don't go looking to be picked out as special.


Adventure/Taking Risks

"Those same stars shine over different fields....."  (Walden, Thoreau)

The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.  (Eleanor Roosevelt)

People postpone living.  The excuses are "not enough time, not enough talent, not enough money."  That's a cop-out on life.  People say, "I wish I had my life to live again."  Not me.  (John Goddard, Adventurer)

Get busy living or get busy dying.  (Shawshank Redemption)

The essential thing in life is not to have conquered, but to have fought and fought well.  Not to have won, but to have taken part in life.

The adventurer has the impulse to try and the confidence to do.

A ship in a harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are built for.

"We do not take these risks to escape life, but to prevent life from escaping us."

Life, well lived, is a splendid adventure. (Christine Mikulasek)

Make your life an exclamation, not an explanation.

"We tend not to choose the unknown which might be a shock or a disappointment or simply a little difficult to cope with.  And yet it is the unknown with all its disappointments and surprises that is the most enriching."  (Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From The Sea)


Happiness and Fulfillment

The grass isn’t greener on the other side of the fence.  It’s greener where you water it more.  If you put in time and effort, you make your own side greener.

The secret to happiness:  Do what you wish you could.

A joyful heart is a healthy heart.

Draw the line and let yourself feel "Life is good."  Don't keep postponing your right to say it.  If not now, it'll never happen.

As day well-lived brings fulfilled evening, so life well-lived brings a satisfied end.

Happiness comes not from pursuing happiness, but from doing other things.

Happiness is not just the absence of conflict, but the ability to deal with it.

Find an excuse to laugh.  Humor can help you see life in a brighter, less-oppressive way.  Humor and laughing can prime the pump of happiness.

Contentment in life consists not in great wealth, but in simple wants.

Seen on a television show entitled "Happiness":
   Optimists tend to be happier and more successful.
   Commitment to a purpose is necessary for happiness.
   Control is important to happiness.
   Flow in activities, joy, total involvement is important to happiness.
   Happiness comes not from pursuing happiness, but from doing other things.
   Close relationships help happiness.
   Amish were found to be the happiest.  They have: a sense of purpose, a simpler life, few distractions, and few luxuries such that even a walk is a joy.



Nature is unequivocal.

Nature is bracing.  Nature is clarifying, elemental, uncomplicated and unequivocal.

What I like about beauty in nature is that it concretizes how I see the universe and life.  The way art does.  It feel:  "This is as great as I am and as great as my power and style of imagining how things should be."



“Innocence is the fresh response to each moment.”  (Oscar Ichazo)

“I want to live life, and never be cruel….”  (Coldplay)

I'm awash in gold.

Stay golden


Savoring/Appreciating Life/Living a full, rich life

Did you have a fully satisfying life?  That is the only question that will matter on your deathbed.  Did you take full advantage of the time you had alive to have all of the adventures and have all the experiences and create all of the things you wanted to?  Or did you limit yourself and play by the rules, frittering away this one, golden, never-to-come-again opportunity?

Ask yourself if, on your deathbed, you would be happy that you spent your time and your emotions in the way that you are spending them now.  This is called Mortal Perspective.  Try to understand the preciousness of your seconds alive.

The key to immortality is to first live a life that is worth remembering.  (St. Augustine)

The way to know life is to love many things.  (Van Gogh)

All life is an experiment.  The more experiments you make, the better.  (Emerson)

The life given us by nature is short, but the memory of a well-spent life is eternal.  (Cicero)

The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.  (Eleanor Roosevelt)

"People postpone living.  The excuses are 'not enough time, not enough talent, not enough money.'  That's a cop-out on life.  People say, 'I wish I had my life to live again.'  Not me."  (John Goddard, Adventurer)

Do not come to the end of life and discover that you had not lived.

"At the final summing up, I want to be sure it wasn't all for nothing."  (Francon, The Fountainhead)

Your soul has one function: the act of valuing.

Every moment above ground is gravy compared to the option.

"Do you know how much I've always loved it? Being alive?"  (Midas Mulligan, Atlas Shrugged)

Always Wonder  (National Geographic Channel)

As day well-lived brings fulfilled evening, so life well-lived brings a satisfied end.

“The important thing is to be alive.  The rest is politics.”  (Esteban Vicente, Abstract expressionist artist who died at 97 and attributed his longevity to his belief in the above.)

You only go around once.  Make your life full.  Do what you wish you could do.

If you're feeling down, angry, overwhelmed, exhausted, frazzled, despondent--try to get back to a "mortal perspective."  Force yourself to think that you really will be dead someday, and that today you still have a day of life, you still have that most precious gift of all.  When you make your mind stay on that thought, magic happens.  Inevitably the "problems" become at least less weighty.  And at most, they become enervating challenges or taunting obstacles to be smashed on your way to living the way you wish in your limited time alive.

When you see a vast open space before you, it makes you want to laugh and run.  That's how I feel about life.

 “Live Richly.”  (Citibank)

“I want my tombstone to read: ‘Lived life to the fullest.’  I want to go knowing that I really did everything I wanted to do on this playground.”  (Angelina Jolie)

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower;
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.    (William Blake)

Life is for tasting.

“The future is no place to place your better days.”  (Dave Matthews Band)

Life is a banquet table and most people are starving.  (Patrick Dennis, Auntie Mame)

You make life meaningful by believing it is so.

When someone dies, my honest thought is "I hope they were happy with the life they lived."  What I want to aim for on my epitaph is: "He was happy with the life he lived."

You make life meaningful by having the integrity to have dreams, stand by them, and never stop until they are made real.  It is in that pursuit and in its success that your life attains splendor and meaning.

Malcolm Forbes:  While He Was Alive, He Lived.  (The epitaph Malcolm Forbes wanted)

I regret few things I've done.  My greatest regrets are those things I wanted to do but didn't because of the risk, difficulty or embarrassment they might have involved.

Ponder your mortality for clarity, guidance, and motivation.

Ultimate perspective: No matter your struggle, every moment out of the box and above ground is gravy.  Every day out of the box is another chance to try to get what you want.  What a gift.  What an opportunity. And if nothing else, another chance to eat a meal and watch a beautiful sunset with a friend before you die.

We are that luckiest of entities--we are living organisms.  And we are luckiest of all living organisms--we are human beings.  For this brief span of chance and time, fully spend and pay homage to this gift, your life.



Treat seriously those things that are serious, and disdain those who do not.

"You are what you love; not what loves you."  (Donald, Adaptation)

Your soul has one function: the act of valuing.

Art is the temple where we worship our highest values and most heartfelt vision of life and the universe.

A value unpursued is not a value--it's a fantasy.

Don't settle for less than the important in yourself.

It's the men who live deepest who will settle for nothing less than full life.  It's the men who live deepest who are most willing to die for a value, for only they know how empty life would be without it.  The men who care about nothing have nothing worth dying for because they have nothing worth living for.

Don't choose to climb a ladder that is not your ideal.

The most important thing is to have work to do that accurately reflects your highest values.

"The only man never to be redeemed is the man without passion."  (Francisco, Atlas Shrugged)



A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.  (Emerson)

Without friends, no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods.  (Aristotle)



Achieve convictions through experience.

Stop the impulse to counter reality.  Instead learn from and use reality.

Life is short, Art long, Opportunity fleeting, Experience treacherous, Judgment difficult.  (Hippocrates)

Experience leaves healthy scars that make you more real and confident: It helps you to shed Peter Pan advice and shallowly accepted convictions. 

"I have always been curious.  I always want to look inside the black box and see how and why it works.  This compulsion, if anything, has been the fuel in my search for wisdom."  (unrecorded source)

We all learn different things at different times.

There are lights and shadows that make your life deep and strong.

Slowly learn; then you will know.  (Chinese proverb)

Progress slows as you near perfection.  Sometimes you need to shock the system with something new, to accelerate the learning process again.

There can be no substitute teacher for experience.


Fantasy vs. Reality

Stop trying to live in a story or a movie, and start living LIFE.  Your life.  When you do that, life is much more vital and full of genuine contentment than when you pretend and wish to be in a fake, idealized reality.

Sinking into a mood can make your life stylized and richly, personally satisfying, almost like sinking into and appreciating a work of art.

Allow yourself to live a life less ordinary.

Don't counter reality--work with it.

Don't let yourself come up with rationalizations.  Instead, analyze things objectively to come to the correct conclusion.  Don't try playing favorites with reality.

Making and acting on a judgment proves to your soul that you're awake.

The realer you treat existence, the realer your life.

Experience leaves healthy scars that make you more real and confident.  It helps you to shed Peter Pan advice and shallowly accepted convictions.

"The race on the beach...renews one's youth like a dip in the sea.  But we are no longer children; life is not a beach.  There is no pattern here for permanent return, only for refreshment."  (Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From The Sea)



In my opinion, art should be life-enhancing in some way, even if it's by way of showing tragedy.

Your soul has one function: the act of valuing.

He had known hours of blank exhaustion when his will deserted him. A few hours in his art gallery always restored him.  (The Fountainhead)

Art gives man, at least for a moment, a sense of living in a perfect world.

Do dark paintings, too. Do what's in your deepest soul: the bad and the good.  Honesty is the only way to create work that is true in content and quality, and it's the only way for you to grow as artist and person.

Artists often hold a lot in reserve--that's where they draw from.

In my opinion, art should celebrate the human spirit.

Advice from Robert Henri ("American Master")
      1. Retain a commitment to life.
      2. Keep an open-mindedness
      3. Artists are human before they're artists.
      4. Seek the intensity of the experience.

The artist is the man who takes pleasure in the quality and meaningfulness of what he does.



I like to explore and experience beauty.

In my opinion, destruction of beauty for the sake of destroying beauty is the greatest evil.

Beauty is the goddess I worship. Value is the god.

Art is my temple, my altar.

"He knew he'd be a poorer man if he'd never seen an eagle fly."  (John Denver)

I have a love of the sunset, with no apologies.



"It wasn't her body I wanted, but her person."

Love is not a static gift which once given need no longer be earned.  Love is earned by retaining the qualities for which one is first loved.

If you dig it, do it.  If you really dig it, do it twice.  (Jim Croce)

Eroticism for the sake of eroticism is good once in awhile.

Variety is the spice of life.

Lust and to-do lists don't mix.  Relaxation is a prerequisite for sensuality.

It's always safer to be a prude.

I prefer sensuality to sophistication.



Don't big.

Before you put someone in their place, you should put yourself in theirs.  (David Denotaris, motivational speaker)

You can never do a kindness too soon, because you never know how soon it will be too late.

Before victory comes humility.

It is easy to feign superiority when one's virtue lies untested by responsibility.



Vices don't hurt you because you'll get caught.  They hurt you because of what the acts themselves do to your own mind.

Adhere to reason and you will never be ashamed.

"The brain likes to be focused and active.  Mental 'idleness' increases psychiatric problems such as depression and anxiety."  (unrecorded source)

Don't let yourself be seduced by rationalizations.  Instead, analyze things objectively to arrive at correct conclusions.  Don't try playing favorites with reality.

Place nothing above the verdict of your own mind.

A liar subjugates their reality, their world, to a faked reality for the approval of another person.  They kill their own world--the real world that could have proudly been theirs.

The answer to all problems lies in an intransigent devotion to facts.

Making and acting on a judgment proves you're awake.

The realer you treat existence, the realer your life.

Work with reality, not against it.  You will never win a battle against reality.  If you are battling reality, you are not focused on achieving a value, but rather on asserting your will.