A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it. ~Jean de La Fontaine

“What is meant for you, will reach you even if it is beneath two mountains.
What isn’t meant for you, won’t reach you even if it is between your two lips.”

“As a general rule, no matter how much physical strength and beauty people possess, they follow in the train of the rich. And yet if human beings would guide their lives by true principles, great wealth consists in living on a little with a contented mind; for of a little there is never a lack.” Lucretius

“If you are ever tempted to look for outside approval, realize that you have compromised your integrity. If you need a witness, be your own.” Epictetus

 

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Humble quotes

“Real poetry, is to lead a beautiful life. To live poetry is better than to write it.”

—Matsuo Basho

“For just as wood is the material of the carpenter, and bronze that of the sculptor, the art of living has each individual’s own life as its material.”

—Epictetus

“Rushing into action, you fail. Trying to grasp things, you lose them. Forcing a project to completion, you ruin what was almost ripe. Therefore the Master takes action
by letting things take their course.
He remains as calm at the end as at the beginning. He has nothing, thus has nothing to lose. What he desires is non-desire; what he learns is to unlearn.“

—Tao Te Ching

“If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live.”

—Lin Yutang

“Having no destination, I am never lost.”

—Ikkyu

“No lure is greater than to possess what others want. No disaster greater than not to be content with what one has. No presage of evil greater than that men should be wanting to get more. Truly: “He who has once known the contentment that comes simply through being content, will never again be otherwise than contented.”

—Lao Tzu

“The wise man, then, when he must act, knows how to do nothing. Letting things alone, he rests in his original nature…Let him sit like a corpse, with the dragon power alive all around him. In complete silence, his voice will be like thunder. His movements will be invisible, like those of a spirit, but the powers of heaven will go with them. Unconcerned, doing nothing, he will see all things grow ripe around him.”

—Chuang Tzu

A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.

– Lao Tzu

Emerald and Ignorance

“Everything in any way beautiful has its beauty of itself, inherent and self-sufficient: praise is no part of it. At any rate, praise does not make anything better or worse. This applies even to the popular conception of beauty, as in material things or works of art. So does the truly beautiful need anything beyond itself? No more than law, no more than truth, no more than kindness or integrity. Which of these things derives its beauty from praise, or withers under criticism? Does an emerald lose its quality if it is not praised? And what of gold, ivory, purple, a lyre, a dagger, a flower, a bush?”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

It is within a man’s power to love even those who sin against him. This becomes possible when you realize that they are your brothers, that they wrong you unintentionally or out of ignorance, that in a little while you and they will be dead, and above all, that they have not really hurt you so long as you have not sullied your conscience or damaged your inner self by responding in kind. ― Marcus Aurelius

“how much more harmful are the consequences of anger…than the circumstances that aroused them in us.” -Marcus Aurelius

“If anyone tells you that a certain person speaks ill of you, do not make excuses about what is said of you but answer, “He was ignorant of my other faults, else he would not have mentioned these alone.”― Epictetus

“When any person harms you, or speaks badly of you, remember that he acts or speaks from a supposition of its being his duty. Now, it is not possible that he should follow what appears right to you, but what appears so to himself. Therefore, if he judges from a wrong appearance, he is the person hurt, since he too is the person deceived. For if anyone should suppose a true proposition to be false, the proposition is not hurt, but he who is deceived about it. Setting out, then, from these principles, you will meekly bear a person who reviles you, for you will say upon every occasion, ‘It seemed so to him.’” -Epictetus

When people injure you, ask yourself what good or harm they thought would come of it. If you understand that, you’ll feel sympathy rather than outrage or anger. Your sense of good and evil may be the same as theirs, or near it, in which case you have to excuse them. Or your sense of good and evil may differ from theirs. In which case they’re misguided and deserve your compassion. Is that so hard? -Marcus Aurelius

“You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.” – Buddha

“…men are not intentional evildoers.” -Marcus Aurelius

“Man is born gentle and supple. At death, his body is brittle and hard. Living plants are tender, and filled with life-giving sap, but at their death they are withered and dry. The stiff, the hard, and brittle are harbingers of death, and gentleness and yielding are the signs of that which lives. The warrior who is inflexible condemns himself to death, and the tree is easily broken, which ever refuses to yield. Thus the hard and brittle will surely fall, and the soft and supple will overcome.“

—Lao Tzu

L’Albatros (The Albatross) by Charles Baudelaire

Souvent, pour s’amuser, les hommes d’équipage
Prennent des albatros, vastes oiseaux des mers,
Qui suivent, indolents compagnons de voyage,
Le navire glissant sur les gouffres amers.

À peine les ont-ils déposés sur les planches,
Que ces rois de l’azur, maladroits et honteux,
Laissent piteusement leurs grandes ailes blanches
Comme des avirons traîner à côté d’eux.

Ce voyageur ailé, comme il est gauche et veule!
Lui, naguère si beau, qu’il est comique et laid!
L’un agace son bec avec un brûle-gueule,
L’autre mime, en boitant, l’infirme qui volait!

Le Poète est semblable au prince des nuées
Qui hante la tempête et se rit de l’archer;
Exilé sur le sol au milieu des huées,
Ses ailes de géant l’empêchent de marcher.

Inspirational quote

“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” -Thomas Jefferson

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, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. -Theodore Roosevelt

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. -Theodore Roosevelt

If you’re not humble, life will visit humbleness upon you. -Mike Tyson

Yoda: Heeded my words not, did you? Pass on what you have learned. Strength. Mastery. But weakness, folly, failure also. Yes, failure most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is. Luke, we are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters.

Quotes I’ve come across

As Euripides put it: “Foolish is the man who delights in his good fortune, supposing it will never leave him.”

“Rehearse them in your mind: exile, torture, war, shipwreck. All the terms of our human lot should be be before our eyes.” – Seneca

Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal. Therapists and friends can help you along the way, but the healing — the genuine healing, the actual real-deal, down-on-your-knees-in-the-mud change — is entirely and absolutely up to you.  – Cheryl Strayed