It is not a dreamlike state, but the somehow insulated state, that a great musician achieves in a great performance. He’s aware of where he is and what he’s doing, but his mind is on the playing of his instrument with an internal sense of rightness — it is not merely mechanical, it is not only spiritual; it is something of both, on a different plane and a more remote one.
—Arnold Palmer (b.1929) American Sportsperson
We succeed in enterprises which demand the positive qualities we possess, but we excel in those which can also make use of our defects.
—Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–59) French Historian, Political Scientist
We will discover the nature of our particular genius when we stop trying to conform to our own or to other people’s models, learn to be ourselves, and allow our natural channel to open.
—Shakti Gawain (b.1948) American Author, Environmentalist
Are you doing the kind of work you were built for, so that you can expect to be able to do very large amounts of that kind and thrive under it? Or are you doing a kind of which you can do comparatively little?
—B. C. Forbes (1880–1954) Scottish-born American Journalist, Publisher
Nature arms each man with some faculty which enables him to do easily some feat impossible to any other, and thus makes him necessary to society.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
I write lustily and humorously. It isn’t calculated; it’s the way I think. I’ve invented a writing style that expresses who I am.
—Erica Jong (b.1942) American Novelist, Feminist
Men, whose trade is rat-catching, love to catch rats; the bug destroyer seizes on his bug with delight; and the suppressor is gratified by finding his vice.
—Sydney Smith (1771–1845) English Clergyman, Essayist, Wit
To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness.
—John Dewey (1859–1952) American Philosopher, Psychologist, Educator
You see me in my most virile moment when you see me doing what I do. When I am directing, a special energy comes upon me … It is only when I am doing my work that I feel truly alive. It is like having sex.
—Federico Fellini (1920–93) Italian Filmmaker
It requires a certain kind of mind to see beauty in a hamburger bun. Yet, is it any more unusual to find grace in the texture and softly curved silhouette of a bun than to reflect lovingly on … the arrangement of textures and colors in a butterfly’s wing?
—Ray Kroc (1902–84) American Entrepreneur, Businessperson
The road to happiness lies in two simple principles: find what it is that interests you and that you can do well, and when you find it, put your whole soul into it — every bit of energy and ambition and natural ability you have.
—John D. Rockefeller III (1906–78) American Philanthropist
Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting. And you don’t do that by sitting around wondering about yourself.
—Katharine Hepburn (1907–2003) American Actor, TV Personality