Tag Archives: quotations

Agree, Disagree? “The Sweetest Things Become the Most Bitter by Excess.”

“The sweetest things become the most bitter by excess.”

— Democritus

Do you agree?

Some examples that spring to my mind: sugar, caffeine, the internet, TV, one-click shopping, ambition…and of course, habit.

I love and embrace habits, which is why I wrote my book Better Than Before, but I recognize the danger of habits. Their sweetness can become bitter by excess. And I say that even as an Upholder.

In Honor of Shakespeare’s Birthday: My Favorite Shakespeare Passage.

It’s Shakespeare’s birthday! (At least, according to tradition.)

So, in honor of the day, here’s my favorite Shakespeare passage, from Antony and Cleopatra, when Cleopatra is mourning the dead Antony:

For his bounty,
There was no winter in’t; an autumn ’twas
That grew the more by reaping: his delights
Were dolphin-like; they show’d his back above
The element they lived in: in his livery
Walk’d crowns and crownets; realms and islands were
As plates dropp’d from his pocket. (V.2.79)


In this three-minute podcast, A Little Happier, I talk about why I love this passage: Enthusiasm is the best teacher. Listen here.

What’s your favorite line or passage from Shakespeare? There are so many.

Can You Be Both “Home-Loving” and “Adventurous?”

Of the French writer Colette, her husband wrote: “She was both home-loving and adventurous…passionately attached to what she possessed and ready to risk or give it away at any moment.”

–Maurice Goudeket, Close to Colette: An Intimate Portrait of a Woman of Genius

How about you — are you more home-loving, more adventurous, or, like Colette, both? I’m more home-loving.

What Jordan Peele (of Key & Peele) Learned from Doing Stand-Up Comedy.

“One of the breakthrough moments [of doing stand-up comedy] for me was realizing that…you can take all the classes you want and learn and practice and get all the advice from other people, but it’s really like learning an instrument that has never existed until you were born. No one can tell you how to play that instrument.”

— Jordan Peele, “Key and Peele,” in Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy by Judd Apatow

I think this is true of life, generally — about habits, and happiness, and many other things. We have to learn ourselves.

Agree? “The Best Kind of Laughter Is Laughter Born of a Shared Memory.”

“Playful arguments would become fits of uncontrollable laughter, and, like magic, that experience would be crystallized into a private joke, and the private joke would get boiled down to a simple phrase, which became a souvenir of the entire experience. For years to come, the phrase alone could uncork hours of renewed laughter. And as everyone knows, the best kind of laughter is laughter born of a shared memory.”

–Mindy Kalin, “Some Thoughts on Weddings,” Why Not Me?

How I love the work of Mindy Kaling! Everything she does.

Agree, disagree? There is something special about an inside joke.