I found an old notebook today. I have been collecting notebooks for years. Being a bit of a Word Nerd, my compulsion to write things down is second only to my compulsion to eat cheese, and there are volumes and volumes filled with my messy handwriting, with lists, and quotes, and musings, and some really very bad poetry.
Like that scene in the movie Amelie when she opens the anonymous box of treasures, finding the long lost book and words I’d utterly forgotten filled me with a sense of wonder and joy that I am almost embarrassed to admit to. I can’t explain it. I blame the English Lit degree, and my parents for teaching to me to read far too early.
Here are 10 of the quotes that my younger self had seen fit to write down.
“I know only this. I exist, I am, I am here, I am becoming, I make my life and no one makes it for me. I must face my own shortcomings, mistakes, transgressions. No one can suffer my non-being as I do, but tomorrow is another day and I must decide to leave my bed and live again. And if I fail, I don’t have the comfort of blaming you, or life, or God.”
-from Love By Leo Buscaglia
“It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of someone else’s life with perfection.”
-from the Bhagavad Gita
“Your own mind is a sacred enclosure, into which nothing harmful can enter, except by your permission.”
– Arnold Bennett
“There is no passion to be found in playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of achieving.”
“To be nobody but yoursef in a world which is doing its best to make you everyone else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human can fight; and never stop fighting.”
-e. e. cummings
“Do not ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than the things that you did. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Dream. Explore. Discover.”
And finally, from the late, great Steve Jobs:
“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by Dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice.”
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is really important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”