A first rate soup is better than a second rate painting.
—Abraham Maslow (1908–70) American Psychologist, Academic, Humanist
A man should not strive to eliminate his complexes but to get into accord with them, for they are legitimately what directs his conduct in the world.
—Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) Austrian Psychiatrist, Psychoanalytic
Abasement, degradation is simply the manner of life of the man who has refused to be what it is his duty to be.
—Jose Ortega y. Gasset (1883–1955) Spanish Critic, Journalist, Philosopher
Take away the cause, and the effect ceases.
—Miguel de Cervantes (1547–1616) Spanish Novelist
People are ridiculous only when they fly or seem to be that which they are not.
—Giacomo Leopardi (1798–1837) Italian Poet, Essayist, Philosopher
Every man has his own destiny; the only imperative is to follow it, to accept it, no matter where it leads him.
—Henry Miller (1891–1980) American Novelist
Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find his right road.
—Dag Hammarskjold (1905–61) Swedish Statesman, UN Diplomat
Every man must get to Heaven his own way.
—Frederick II of Prussia (1712–86) Prussian Monarch
Do you know that disease and death must needs overtake us, no matter what we are doing? … What do you wish to be doing when it overtakes you? If you have anything better to be doing when you are so overtaken, get to work on that.
—Epictetus (55–135) Ancient Greek Philosopher
To feel that one has a place in life solves half the problem of contentment.
—George Edward Woodberry (1855–1930) American Literary Critic, Poet
Rose is a rose is a rose.
—Gertrude Stein (1874–1946) American Writer
Personality, too, is destiny.
—Erik Erikson (1902–94) German-born American Developmental Psychologist
A man can do only what he can do. But if he does that each day he can sleep at night and do it again the next day.
—Albert Schweitzer (1875–1965) French Theologian, Musician, Philosopher, Physician
Everyone has a right to his own course of action.
—Moliere (1622–73) French Playwright
What makes life dreary is the want of a motive.
—George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) (1819–80) English Novelist
The only success worth one’s powder was success in the line of one’s idiosyncrasy … what was talent but the art of being completely whatever one happened to be?
—Henry James (1843–1916) American-born British Novelist, Writer
What one man does, another fails to do; what’s fit for me may not be fit for you.
This is the chief thing: Be not perturbed: for all things are according to the nature of the universal.
—Marcus Aurelius (121–180) Emperor of Rome, Stoic Philosopher
Freedom and constraint are two aspects of the same necessity, the necessity of being the man you are and not another. You are free to be that man, but not free to be another.
—Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900–44) French Novelist, Aviator
Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
—Sylvester Stallone (b.1946) American Actor, Screenwriter, Director
Ask yourself the secret of your success. Listen to your answer, and practice it.
—Richard Bach (b.1936) American Novelist, Aviator
There is just one life for each of us: our own.
—Euripides (480–406 BCE) Ancient Greek Dramatist
For me, writing is the only thing that passes the three tests of metier: (1) when I’m doing it, I don’t feel that I should be doing something else instead; (2) it produces a sense of accomplishment and, once in a while, pride; and (3) it’s frightening.
—Gloria Steinem (b.1934) American Feminist, Journalist, Social Activist, Political Activist
To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.
—Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–94) Scottish Novelist
The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns, as it were, instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting our ink.
—George Orwell (1903–50) English Novelist, Journalist
If you go to heaven without being naturally qualified for it, you will not enjoy it there.
—George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) Irish Playwright
Bloom where you are planted.
—Mary Engelbreit (b.1952) American Graphic Artist
Every true man, sir, who is a little above the level of the beasts and plants does not live for the sake of living, without knowing how to live; but he lives so as to give a meaning and a value of his own to life.
—Luigi Pirandello (1867–1936) Italian Dramatist, Novelist, Short Story Writer, Author
Nothing is good for everyone, but only relatively to some people.
—Andre Gide (1869–1951) French Novelist
If a man has a talent and cannot use it, he has failed. If he has a talent and uses only half of it, he has partly failed. If he has a talent and learns somehow to use the whole of it, he has gloriously succeeded, and won a satisfaction and a triumph few men ever know.
—Thomas Wolfe (1900–38) American Novelist