Shorter inspirational items

this is a collection of shorter inspirational items and quotes that i like. i will put any new ones on the top of the list.

the world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.  tom paine

there are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.  buddha

make no little plans: they have no magic to stir men’s blood  by daniel burnham, the Chicago architect whose vision recreated the city after the great fire of 1871.

everything will be alright in the end and if it is not yet alright then it is not yet the endsonny from the best exotic marigold hotel film

always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them – anon

if we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin – ivan turgenev

we find time for the things that are important to us. period.

maybe happiness is this: not feeling like you should be elsewhere, doing something else, being someone else – eric weiner

it’s never too late, you’re never too old, you are never too sick to start again from scratch – bishnu ghosh

happiness belongs to those who are easily contented. aristotle

it is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. charles darwin 

myths & legends die hard in america. we love them for the extra dimension they provide, the illusion of near-infinite possibility to erase the narrow confines of most people’s reality. weird heroes & mould-breaking champions exist as living proof to those who need it that the tyranny of the rat race is not yet final. hunter s. thompson 

in a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act george orwell

holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned buddha

if you don’t feel that you are possibly on the edge of humiliating yourself, of losing control of the whole thing, then probably what you are doing isn’t very vital john irving 

but to risk, we must, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. the man, the woman, who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.ralph waldo emerson

the longer i live, the more i realize the impact of attitude on life. attitude, to me, is more important than facts. it is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think of, say or do. it is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. it will make or break a company, a church, a home. the remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. we cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. we cannot change the inevitable. the only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, & that is our attitude… i am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me & 90% how I react to it. & so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes charles swindoll

when you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. give thanks for your food & for the joy of living. if you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself tecumseh

you live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, & you believe you are living. then you read a book, or you take a trip, & you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. the symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. the second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous & might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. that is all. it appears like an innocuous illness. monotony, boredom, death. millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. they work in offices. they drive a car. they picnic with their families. they raise children. & then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, & it awakens them & saves them from death.  anais nin

if at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it  albert einstein

go easy .. step lightly .. stay free – stay free, the clash

there is no such thing as bad weather, just soft people – bill bowerman

what we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. the only consequence is what we do – john ruskin

life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming, wow ! what a ride! anon

.. stop apologising for the things you’ve never done because time is short and life is cruel, its up to us to change.. the jam

.. all it took was one decision, a lot of guts and a little vision.. placebo

.. make it up, make it happen.. david allen

.. there are defining moments in every person’s life when he or she must decide either to be sensible and do the reasonable thing or to embark on a perilous journey through a fog of uncertainties and attractive unknowns that cannot possibly be estimated for their risk potential. faced with such a choice, we make our best guess and then either turn back or press forward. those who go forward and make it through the fog-shrouded unknown to the far shore often partake of great adventures–and possibly even become famous in the doing. those who don’t make it through in one piece often end up devastated or dead–and possibly famous, also .. gordy ainsleigh (first man to run western states 100 mile course)

.. at the core of Like A Rolling Stone (the Bob Dylan song) is the argument that truly to know yourself and find fullfilment, you must face the world alone, mould your future and your philosophy from your own experience without the comforts of favour or patronage. Instead one has to push off from the shore, head out into uncharted waters with no direction home ..

.. if you really want to judge the character of a man, look not at his great performances. every fool may become a hero at one time or another. watch a man do his most common actions; those are indeed the things which will tell you the real character of a great man. great occasions rouse even the lowest of human beings to some kind of greatness, but he alone is the really great man whose character is great always, the same wherever he be .. swami vivekananda (taken from “the complete works of swami vivekananda) (i.116)

.. you must be the change you wish to see in the world .. gandhi

.. my life is my message .. gandhi

.. we don’t go to the summits to escape but so that when we come down we can have a live better life in civilisation .. anon but via tim cope

stay hungry stay foolish stewart brand – the whole earth catalog

.. the more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war .. david allen

.. punk changed things. it spawned protest movements, single-issue politics, diy recordings in your bedroom. you threw out the rule book and used your brain instead. it saved me from being a bog cleaner.. captain sensible

.. die first, quit later – just don’t give up, ever. And once you come to embrace that as a life philosophy – and its not about being relentless in an unpleasant way, it’s about being passionate and always believing in yourself – and once you do that suddenly everything is not only possible but probable .. bradley trevor grieve

.. the cowards never started, the weak died along the way, that just leaves us, doesn’t it.. bill bowerman

pain is weakness leaving the body

… merit can be bought, passion can’t. the only people who can change the world are people who want to. and not everybody does. … hugh mcleod at gaping void

… you have to have the guts to try something, she says, because you won’t chnage a damn thing by sitting in front of the tv with the clicker in your hand. it was perhaps her most courageous act of all : 36 years ago, eleanor josaitis turned off her television and got up off the couch and decided to do something. and she has never looked back. … eleanor josaitis (the housewife who got off the couch)

… ultimately what separates a winner from a loser at the grand-master level is the willingness to do the unthinkable. A brilliant strategy is, certainly, a matter of intelligence, but intelligence without audaciousness is not enough. given the opportunity. i must have the guts to explode the game, to upend my opponent’s thinking, and in doing so, unnerve him … garry kasparov (a chess player)

… the pain of making the necessary sacrifices always hurts more than you think it’s going to. i know. it sucks. that being said, doing something seriously creative is one of the most amazing experiences one can have, in this or any other lifetime. if you can pull it off, it’s worth it. even if you don’t end up pulling it off, you’ll learn many incredible, magical, valuable things. it’s not doing it when you know you full well you had the opportunity- that hurts far more than any failure … hugh mcleod at gaping void

go find your soul, go smell the wind, go-far jack kerouac

i began to assume my responsibilities – sometimes beyond my capabilities and i began to understand. i decided that my being should be dedicated to something useful for others. one of my favourite prayers says “so long as space remains, so long as sentient beings suffer and remain, i will remain in order to serve” this gives me a lot of comfort. this is the meaning of my life the dalai lama

try six great things. if you fail at five, you’ve still done something great

in each generation, someone has to make it and it seems that those who do succeed come from a pool of people who got in early and refused to quit

only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go t. s. eliot

how wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world anne frank

the miracle isn’t that i finished, it’s that i had the courage to start the penguin chonicles

what doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger nietschze

small can beat big, but you have to have a plan bryce courtenay

it’s better to burn out than to fade away neil young

if you’re not living life on the edge, then you’re taking up too much space

a journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step lao-tsu

fulfillment in life comes from dreaming the impossible dream sri chinmoy

if you can’t fly, then run. if you can’t run, then walk. if you can’t walk, then crawl. but whatever you do, keep moving martin luther king

any race you can walk away from, is a bad race coach pete waters

ultra runners do it until you beg them to stop

those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it

nothing is more certain than the defeat of a man who gives up george sheehan

i am the best athlete i know how to be. i am the runner i know how to be. everyday is an opportunity to improve

the best and most beautiful things in world cannot be seen or even touched. they must be felt with the heart helen keller

even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there will rogers

great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds albert einstein

it does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop confucius

there is a very fine line between hobby and mental illness somewhere on slashdot

”a few years ago a vietnam veteran who had had both of his legs blown off finished one of americas major marathons in a time of about 3 and a half days,he did so by hopping along with his hands under a police escort. i can’t even remember his name but i will never forget his quote to the press as he crossed the finish line : “we all have our handicaps in life, but the biggest handicap of all is not trying”

the greatest pleasure in life is in doing what people say you cannot do walther bageholt

there was a time when i knew it all. then i became an ultrarunner george beinhorn

the young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible, and achieve it, generation after generation

you cannot discover new oceans until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore

any idiot can run a marathon. it takes a special kind of idiot to run an ultramarathon alan cabelly

courage is the capacity to move from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm in between

not everyone can be a hero, because someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by

suffering is inevitable, misery optional

the way i see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain dolly parton

a man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame and money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well g. k. chesterton

the ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do

all the disruptive arguments among my neighbours as to whether or not i was sane when i took up marathon running have been entirely resolved since i ran my first 50-miler

randy victory (yep, his real name) issued the following instructions to his crew prior to his first leadville trail 100 mile moutainbike race, in 1998: i’ll want to die. i’ll want to quit. let me die, just don’t let me quit

”well established hierarchies are not easily uprooted; closely held beliefs are not easily released; so ritual enthralls generation after generation” tao te ching; 38 ritual

i think everything you do leads you to a point that you’ve graduated to sheryl crow

in three words i can sum up everything i’ve learned about life. it goes on robert frost

”as one marathoner put it: “i have tested myself. i have seen what i can do. i have come up against my own unseen demons, doubts, mental limitations and negative feelings. i have seen my fantasies, my expectations, my dreams while realizing that i had to be grounded in the only thing i knew for certain: the present-my next step. being in the present, acknowledging the moment, acknowledging my feelings, my fears, my excitement and my connection with the other marathoners gave an entirely new perspective to time, space and movement. i was one with humanity; but remained alone in my thoughts”

perhaps the genius of ultrarunning is its supreme lack of utility. it makes no sense in a world of space ships and supercomputers to run vast distances on foot. there is no money in it and no fame, frequently not even the approval of peers. but as poets, apostles and philosophers have insisted from the dawn of time, there is more to life than logic and common sense. the ultra runners know this instinctively. and they know something else that is lost on the sedentary. they understand, perhaps better than anyone, that the doors to the spirit will swing open with physical effort. in running such long and taxing distances they answer a call from the deepest realms of their being — a call that asks who they are david blaikie

it is 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 shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory or defeat theodore roosevelt (1910)

when the late nadine stair of louisville, kentucky, was 85 years old, she was asked what she would do if she had her life to live over again: ”i’d make more mistakes next time,” she said. “i’d relax. i would limber up. i would be sillier than i have been on this trip. i would take fewer things seriously. i would take more chances. i would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. i would eat more ice cream and less beans. i would perhaps have more actual troubles, but i’d have fewer imaginary ones. you see, i’m one of those people who live sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. oh, i’ve had my moments, and if i had to do it over again, i’d have more of them. in fact, i’d try to have nothing else. just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. if i had my life to live over, i would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. i would go to more dances. i would ride more merry-go-rounds and i would pick more daisies”

never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. indeed it is the only thing that ever has margaret mead, anthropologist

it’s about the struggle between individuals with jagged passion in their work and today’s faceless corporate committees which claim to understand the needs of the mass audience. i offer a modest solution: find the cracks in the wall. there are a very few lunatic entrepreneurs who will understand that culture and design are not about fatter wallets but about creating a future. they will understand that wealth is a means, not an end. under other circumstances, they may have turned out to be like you, creative lunatics. believe me, they’re there and when you find them (or they find you) treat them well and use their money to change the world tibor kalman, new york, june 1998

the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved – the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars jack kerouac

be steady and well-ordered in your life so that you can be fierce and original in your work gustav flaubert

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