The longest, squishiest chapter in the book offers hundreds of thoughts on living from moment to moment and from cradle to grave, with clusters of quotes on failure and trying, acceptance, experience, carpe diem, happiness, work, aging, death, and more. Some of the quotes:
When I look back on my past and think how much time I wasted on nothing, how much time has been lost in futilities, errors, laziness, incapacity to live; how little I appreciated it, how many times I sinned against my heart and soul—then my heart bleeds. Life is a gift, life is happiness, every minute can be an eternity of happiness!
—Fyodor Dostoevsky, who wrote this hours after nearly being executed by a firing squad
The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.
—Henry David Thoreau
Life is made up of a series of judgments on insufficient data, and if we waited to run down all our doubts, it would flow past us.
Every day of our lives we are on the verge of making those changes that would make all the difference.
Everything in life is just for a while.
―Philip K. Dick
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.
All is pattern, all life, but we can’t always see the pattern when we’re part of it.
Many people today believe that cynicism requires courage. Actually, cynicism is the height of cowardice. It is innocence and open-heartedness that requires the true courage—however often we are hurt as a result of it.
The great art of life is sensation; to feel that we exist, even in pain.
wanderer, there is no path,
the path is made by walking.
If you don’t become the ocean you’ll be seasick every day.
I should be suspicious of what I want.
It is never too late to be what you might have been.
The best way out is always through.
Study nothing except in the knowledge that you already knew it. Worship nothing except in adoration of your true self. And fear nothing except in the certainty that you are your enemy’s begetter and its only hope of healing.
It is human nature to think wisely and to act in an absurd fashion.
All our final decisions are made in a state of mind that is not going to last.
I think I don’t regret a single excess of my responsive youth—I only regret, in my chilled age, certain occasions and possibilities I didn’t embrace.
You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.
Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.
My great religion is a belief in the blood, the flesh, as being wiser than the intellect. We can go wrong in our minds. But what our blood feels and believes and says, is always true. The intellect is only a bit and a bridle. What do I care about knowledge? All I want is to answer to my blood, direct, without fribbling intervention of mind, or moral, or what-not.
About morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.
Between two evils, I generally like to pick the one I never tried before.
Each small task of everyday life is part of the total harmony of the universe.
—Saint Thérèse de Lisieux
You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.
Don't fear failure. Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.
I love my rejection slips. They show me I try.
I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free.
Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.
You live out the confusions until they become clear.
Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.
Let life happen to you. Believe me: life is in the right, always.
—Rainer Maria Rilke
I’m no longer quite sure what the question is, but I do know that the answer is “Yes.”
I don’t like work—no man does—but I like what is in the work—the chance to find yourself.
Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.
Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.
Don’t be afraid of death so much as an inadequate life.
It is sad to grow old but nice to ripen.
We are born in simplicity but die of complications.
Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it.
You can do anything in this world if you are prepared to take the consequences.
—W. Somerset Maugham
A multitude of small delights constitutes happiness.
If only we’d stop trying to be happy we’d have a pretty good time.
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before.
Waste no more time arguing about what a good person should be. Be one.
Evil is boring. Cynicism is pointless. Fear is a bad habit. Despair is lazy. Hopelessness is self-indulgent. On the other hand: Joy is fascinating. Love is an act of heroic genius. Pleasure is our birthright. Chronic ecstasy is a learnable skill.
What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.