Words can be a powerful inspiration. Every year I save good quotes that I stumble upon into my journal. The quotes can be from anywhere, even Reddit. Here are some of the quotes that inspired me in 2015:
Lao Tzu on knowledge:
To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, subtract things every day.
Tim Kreider on the end of life:
I suspect that the way I feel now, at summer’s end, is about how I’ll feel at the end of my life, assuming I have time and mind enough to reflect: bewildered by how unexpectedly everything turned out, regretful about all the things I didn’t get around to, clutching the handful of friends and funny stories I’ve amassed, and wondering where it all went. And I’ll probably still be evading the same truth I’m evading now: that the life I ended up with, much as I complain about it, was pretty much the one I chose. And my dissatisfactions with it are really with my own character, with my hesitation and timidity.
Rks1157 on Reddit on how to get a better outlook on life:
The easiest and fastest way I know to change one’s outlook is to get busy doing something for someone else. What can you do? A million things. Get involved in charity work. Become a mentor or, do what I do. I make it a goal to do something helpful for someone else every day with a catch. The catch is that I cannot be caught doing it. The reward is in the doing not the recognition. You can take out your neighbors trash. You can walk into a mini mart, give the clerk five bucks to pay for the next five cups of coffee, hot dogs or whatever. You can walk around the neighborhood picking up litter. You can go to an old folks home and read to those who can’t see. You can become a big brother to a fatherless child (mentoring program). You can make sandwiches for the hungry. You can give rides to those who can’t drive or do not own a car. There’s no limit to what you can do. It doesn’t matter whether the act is big or small. It’s the dana (giving) that counts. Try to do a little something every day for the next month. If you still feel the same you can tell me I was wrong. I’m fairly sure that you won’t. I’ve seen this turn others lives around by giving them purpose. It gave me purpose too when I needed it most.
Shawn Blanc on choosing:
If you choose something long enough, eventually it will choose you back.
Unknown on saving:
There are basically three approaches to saving: You can work more. You can save more. Or you can want less.
Gary L. Francione on moral baseline:
Of course the world is not going to go vegan overnight. But those of us who believe in animal rights have an obligation to make crystal clear that veganism is a moral imperative and that animal exploitation is not a matter of “journeys.” Those who hear and who care may choose to do less (i.e. they may choose to eat “cage-free” eggs or “crate-free” pork, or reduce their intake of meat, etc.). That should be their choice and not what we promote as an advocacy matter.
Mary Engelbreit on empathy:
If you are arguing against empathy, no matter the context, you are on the wrong side.
KilluaKanmuru on Reddit:
Reality is peered through the eyes of the ego’s perception.
Jon Stewart on censorship:
I’m not going to censor myself to comfort your ignorance.
Buddha in the Dhammapada, 129–130:
All beings tremble before danger, all fear death. When a man considers this, he does not kill or cause to kill.
All beings fear before danger, life is dear to all. When a man considers this, he does not kill or cause to kill.
Unknown on resentment:
Letting go of a resentment is not a gift to the person you resent. It is, rather, a gift to yourself.
Socrates on who need love the most:
Those who are hardest to love need it the most.
Matthew Scully on moral cowardice:
Let’s just call things what they are. When a man’s love of finery clouds his moral judgment, that is vanity. When he lets a demanding palate make his moral choices, that is gluttony. When he ascribes the divine will to his own whims, that is pride. And when he gets angry at being reminded of animal suffering that his own daily choices might help avoid, that is moral cowardice.
Ellen Goodman on what is normal:
Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for — in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.
John Maeda on prioritising:
People who can focus, get things done. People who can prioritize, get the right things done.
Sam de Brito on the defining virtues of humans:
The enlargement of moral sympathy to include both genders, all races, most religions, the disabled, the poor — even animals and the environment might one day be judged the defining virtue of humans who lived in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Leo Babauta on the moment:
Stay in the moment. We make situations worse when we replay the past in our heads (“How can they have done that?”) or think of all the things that might go wrong in the future. In the present moment, things are OK. We can meet the present moment with calmness and compassion, if we can stay in the present. That means being mindful of when our mind is stuck in the past or speculating about the future, and returning to the present as much as we can.
Tim Shieff on growth:
Adopting a vegan lifestyle is an evolution, it’s a growth. It’s based on deeper understanding and awareness of what goes on in the world.
Jon Krakauer on the beauty of radical changes:
Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.
Seng-ts’an on opinions:
Do not seek the truth, only cease to cherish your opinions.
Tom Wilson on complaining:
You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.
Chris Brogan on how we spend our days:
Tell me you are struggling with your goals and then show me how you spent your day.
Buddha on clinging:
You can only lose what you cling to.
Once again, Lao Tzu:
If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.
Unknown Reddit user on fitness:
Listen, fitness is simple, so stop complicating it (or letting others complicate it for you). This is all you need:
Lift heavy things three times a week
Walk a lot
Play: sport, climb, get outdoors, hike, etc
Train some metabolic conditioning 2–3 times a week (most high-intensity and at least once a week of endurance-based training)
Stretch and work mobility and maintenance
Laugh, have fun, reduce stress, take a chill-pill
That’s it. As long as you go hard when you are training and mix it up among various activities, you will improve your fitness.
Dalai Lama on a simple religion:
This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
Zencast: (Not sure who said this)
Dissatisfaction is an activity of the mind.
What if we were to expand our definition of wealth to include those things that grow only in time — time to walk in the park, time to take a nap, time to play with children, to read a good book, to dance, to put our hands in the garden, to cook playful meals with friends, to paint, to sing, to meditate, to keep a journal. What if we were to live, for even a few hours, without spending money, cultivating time instead as our most precious resource?
Atisha di Pankara on greatness:
The greatest achievement is selflessness. The greatest worth is self-mastery. The greatest quality is seeking to serve others. The greatest precept is continual awareness. The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything. The greatest action is not conforming with the worlds ways. The greatest magic is transmuting the passions. The greatest generosity is non-attachment. The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind. The greatest patience is humility. The greatest effort is not concerned with results. The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go. The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances.
Neil Fiore on identifying with our work:
When we identify our worth with our work (“I am what I do”) we naturally are reluctant to face challenges and take risks without self-protective defenses. If you believe that a judgment of your work is a judgment of yourself, then perfectionism, self-criticism, and procrastination are necessary forms of protection.
Jane Goodall on those without voices:
The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.
No mud. No lotus.