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Our lives improve only when we take chances -- and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.

Man is harder than iron, stronger than stone and more fragile than a rose.
Defeat may test you; it need not stop you. If at first you don't succeed, try another way. For every obstacle there is a solution. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. The greatest mistake is giving up.
If a man fools me once, shame on him. If he fools me twice, shame on me.
It is all right letting yourself go, as long as you can get yourself back.
God hears no more than the heart speaks; and if the heart be dumb, God will certainly be deaf.
The condition of an enlightened mind is a surrendered heart.
Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more.
You don't write because you want to say something; you write because you've got something to say.
We are each of us angels with only one wing, to fly we need only embrace each other.
A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.
Extremists think communication means agreeing with them.
The one thing that matters is the effort.
Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.
Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.
The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.
How could drops of water know themselves to be a river? Yet the river flows on.
People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. In the end, it is between you and HIM not you and them.
There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
Beauty is in the heart of the beholder.
When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so regretfully upon the closed door that we don't see the one that has opened for us.
Perhaps some of us have to go through dark and devious ways before we can find the river of peace or highroad to the soul's destination.
It's better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.
Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.
One-half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it.
Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.
I believe life is constantly testing us for our level of commitment, and life's greatest rewards are reserved for those who demonstrate a never-ending commitment to act until they achieve. This level of resolve can move mountains, but it must be constant and consistent. As simplistic as this may sound, it is still the common denominator separating those who live their dreams from those who live in regret.
Do not assume that she who seeks to comfort you now, lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words that sometimes do you good. Her life may also have much sadness and difficulty, that remains far beyond yours. Were it otherwise, she would never have been able to find these words.
The only journey is the one within.
I've come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy.
Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.
Your friends will know you better in the first minute they meet you than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years.
Don't be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.
There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.
Yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow is only a vision, but today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Happy are those who dream dreams and are willing to pay the price to make them come true.
You don't develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.
Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.
You cannot be lonely if you like the person you're alone with.
Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.
Live this day as if it will be your last. Remember that you will only find tomorrow on the calendars of fools. Forget yesterday's defeats and ignore the problems of tomorrow. This is it. Doomsday. All you have. Make it the best day of your year. The saddest words you can ever utter are, If I had my life to live over again. Take the baton, now. Run with it! This is your day! Beginning today, treat everyone you meet, friend or foe, loved one or stranger, as if they were going to be dead at midnight. Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.
Each day is a special gift from God, and while life may not always be fair, you must never allow the pains, hurdles, and handicaps of the moment to poison your attitude and plans for yourself and your future. You can never win when you wear the ugly cloak of self-pity, and the sour sound of whining will certainly frighten away any opportunity for success. Never again. There is a better way.
Great music is that which penetrates the ear with facility and leaves the memory with difficulty. Magical music never leaves the memory.
Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
Music is the shorthand of emotion.
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes. By the deep sea, and music in its roars; I love not man the less, but nature more.
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.
Sticks and stones are hard on bones aimed with angry art. Words can sting like anything but silence breaks the heart.
The difference between a smart man and a wise man is that a smart man knows what to say, a wise man knows whether or not to say it.
Let me be a little kinder, Let me be a little blinder To the faults about me; Let me praise a little more, Let me be, when I am weary; Just a little bit more cheery, Let me serve a little better Those that I am striving for. Let me be a little braver When temptation bids me waver, Let me strive a little harder To be all that I should be; Let me be a little meeker to the brother that is weaker; Let me think more of my neighbor and a little less of me.
In helping others, we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us.
I have somewhere met with the epitaph on a charitable man which has pleased me very much. I cannot recollect the words, but here is the sense of it: What I spent I lost; what I possessed is left to others; what I gave away remains with me.
You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
The most satisfying thing in life is to have been able to give a large part of oneself to others.
Freedom and love go together. Love is not a reaction. If I love you because you love me, that is mere trade, a thing to be bought in the market; it is not love. To love is not to ask anything in return, not even to feel that you are giving something- and it is only such love that can know freedom.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
If only one could tell true love from false love as one can tell mushrooms from toadstools.
Money may be the husk of many things, but not the kernel. It brings you food, but not appetite; medicine, but not health; acquaintances, but not friends; servants, but not faithfulness; days of joy, but not peace and happiness.
When we can begin to take our failures seriously, it means we are ceasing to be afraid of them. It is of immense importance to learn to laugh at ourselves.
Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can't build on it; it's only good for wallowing in.
Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done.
We live in the present, we dream of the future and we learn eternal truths from the past.
It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is, not according to what he has.
Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.
Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.
All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstacy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was.
There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
Every man's life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.
Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.
All Moanday, Tearday, Wailsday, Thumpsday, Frightday, Shatterday.
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life... I wanted to live so sturdily and so Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life... to drive life into a corner to know it by experience and be able to give an account of it in my next excursion.
The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready, and it may be a long time before they get off.
Am I willing to give up what I have in order to be what I am not yet? Am I able to follow the spirit of love into the desert? It is a frightening and sacred moment. There is no return. One's life is charged forever. It is the fire that gives us our shape.
A mother takes twenty years to make a man of her boy, and another woman makes a fool of him in twenty minutes.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.
Two such as you with such a master speed cannot be parted nor be swept away from one another once you are agreed that life is only life forevermore together wing to wing and oar to oar.
Two roads diverge in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.
I am not a teacher, but an awakener.
If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.
When I stand before thee at the day's end, thou shalt see my scars and know that I had my wounds and also my healing.
The pain we feel When someone leaves our life is in direct proportion to the joy they bring while a part of our life for a few moments. In my life you made me feel as if I truly meant something to someone
There is a French saying: Love is the dawn of marriage, and marriage is the sunset of love.
Lost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered for they are gone forever.
I didn't ask for it to be over. But then again I didn't ask for it to begin. For that's the way it is with life, as some of the most beautiful days come completely by chance. But even the most beautiful days eventually have their sunset
Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach.
What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but, scattered along life's pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.
Love is as much of an object as an obsession, everybody wants it, everybody seeks it, but few ever achieve it, those who do will cherish it, be lost in it, and among all, never... never forget it.
You are under the unfortunate delusion that simply because you run away from danger, you have no courage. You're confusing courage with wisdom.
Rest not. Life is sweeping by; go and dare before you die. Something mighty and sublime, leave behind to conquer time.
Love is a force more formidable than any other. It is invisible -- it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could.
Real love stories never have endings.
An inflated consciousness is always egocentric and conscious of nothing but its own existence. It is incapable of learning from the past, incapable of understanding contemporary events, and incapable of drawing right conclusions about the future. It is hypnotized by itself and therefore cannot be argued with. It inevitably dooms itself to calamities that must strike it dead.
The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.
Maternity is a matter of fact, paternity is a matter of opinion.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.
However much we guard ourselves against it, we tend to shape ourselves in the image others have of us. It is not so much the example of others we imitate, as the reflection of ourselves in their eyes and the echo of ourselves in their words.
The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.
The five senses are horse sense, innocence, common sense, concupiscence, and nonsense.
God give me the serenity to accept things which cannot be changed;Give me courage to change things which must be changed;And the wisdom to distinguish one from the other.
The witty woman is a tragic figure in American life. Wit destroys eroticism and eroticism destroys wit, so women must choose between taking lovers and taking no prisoners.
We'd like to fight but we fear defeat, we'd like to work but we're feeling too weak, we'd like to be sick but we'd get the sack, we'd like to behave, we'd like to believe, we'd like to love, but we've lost the knack.
Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up.
People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.
I used to think I was poor. Then they told me I wasn't poor, I was needy. Then they told me it was self-defeating to think of myself as needy. I was deprived. (Oh not deprived but rather underprivileged.) Then they told me that underprivileged was overused. I was disadvantaged. I still don't have a dime. But I have a great vocabulary.

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