If I had my life to live over again,
I’d dare to make more mistakes next time.
I’d limber up.
I’d be sillier than I’ve been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances,
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would, perhaps, have more actual troubles but fewer imaginary ones.
you see, I’m one of those people who was sensible and sane,
hour after hour,
day after day.
Oh, I’ve had my moments.
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.
I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot-water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute.
If I could do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.
If I had to live my life 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,
I would pick more daisies.
– Nadine Stair, Louisville at 85 years of age
Boathouse and kayak at Nona’s house at Selden Cove.
Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.
– Rumi, mystic Persian poet (1207-1273)
Even after all this time,
The sun never says to the earth, ‘you owe me’.
Look what happens with a love like that,
It lights the whole sky.
– Hafez, mystic Persian poet (ca 1325-1390)
“We need to treat other people the way they want to be treated. Which means we have to ask.”
– Kim Katrin Milan
So much wisdom in this TED talk by Tiq Milan and Kim Katrin Milan. So much to learn from.
“I would argue that nothing gives life more purpose than the realization that every moment of consciousness is a precious and fragile gift.”
– Steven Pinker, cognitive psychologist and linguist
“You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results.”
– James Clear, author of Atomic Habits: An easy and proven way to build good habits and break bad ones
The Ancient Greeks resolutely did not believe that the purpose of life was to be happy; they proposed that it was to achieve Eudaimonia, a word which has been best translated as ‘fulfilment’.
What distinguishes happiness from fulfilment is pain. It is eminently possible to be fulfilled and – at the same time – under pressure, suffering physically or mentally, overburdened and, quite frequently, in a tetchy mood. This is a psychological nuance that the word happiness makes it hard to capture; for it is tricky to speak of being happy yet unhappy or happy yet suffering. However, such a combination is readily accommodated within the dignified and noble-sounding letters of Eudaimonia.
The word encourages us to trust that many of life’s most worthwhile projects will at points be quite at odds with contentment and yet worth pursuing nevertheless. Properly exploring our professional talents, managing a household, keeping a relationship going, creating a new business venture or engaging in politics… none of these goals are likely to leave us cheerful and grinning on a quotidian basis. They will, in fact, involve us in all manner of challenges that will deeply exhaust and ennervate us, provoke and wound us. And yet we will perhaps, at the end of our lives, still feel that the tasks were worth undertaking. Through them, we’ll have accessed something grander and more interesting than happiness: we’ll have made a difference.
The School of Life, full article and video here.
The bamboo that bends is stonger than the oak that resists.
– Japanese proverbe
Brush painting by Rosetsu, Rietberg Museum.
Inscribed in the forecourt of the temple of Apollo at Delphi.
– Buddhha, Socrates, Harari