Tag Archives: quote

A Mysterious Observation about Happiness from Oscar Wilde.

“There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.”  — Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

This has always struck me as an eerie and mysterious observation; I’ve been surprised by its truth.

Taking a job, dating a person, accepting a position, a great bargain…how often do we pursue a certain course because we know that if we don’t take advantage of something, someone else will?

What’s Your Most Fruitful Time for Thinking?

“Some of the most fruitful thinking times are when I wake after sleeping a few hours, and in the seamless time when nothing needs to be done, not even getting up, I meditate.”

–May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude

When is your most fruitful time for thinking — in the middle of the night, before you get out of bed, in the shower, during a run, walking the dog, in the car?

I have a friend who never misses his weekly massage, because that’s when he gets his best ideas for building his business.

 

A Happiness Reminder from Charles Darwin: “I Have Worked as Well as I Could.”

“Whenever I have found out that I have blundered, or that my work has been imperfect, and when I have been contemptuously criticized, and even when I have been overpraised, so that I have felt mortified, it has been my greatest comfort to say hundreds of times to myself that ‘I have worked as hard and as well as I could, and no man can do more than this.’”

–Charles Darwin, The Autobiography

I often comfort myself with the same thought — and often, in advance. When I’m preparing for some challenge — say, one of my books getting published — I think, “I should do everything I possibly can, because that way, if things don’t go as well as I hope, I can comfort myself with the thought that there just wasn’t anything else I might have done.”

Does this reminder strike a chord with you?

How Do We Learn Most About Another Person?

“You learn more about a person by living in his house for a week than by years of running into him at social gatherings.”

–Philip Lopate, “Reflections on Subletting” in Against Joie de Vivre: Personal Essays

Agree, disagree? I agree.

What are other good ways to get to know someone? Travel together, work on a project together, meet his or her family, look at the photos on his or her phone…

Without You, There is No Copper-Red of the Beech to Set Against the Blue of the Cedar.

“I became unique and I felt I was needed: my own eyes were needed in order that the copper-red of the beech could be set against the blue of the cedar and the silver of the poplars. When I went away, the landscape fell to pieces, and no longer existed for anyone; it no longer existed at all.”

–Simone de Beauvoir, Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter

Does color exist when no one is there to see it? No. A beautiful realization.