Let’s talk quotes. Usually…. I don’t like them. I don’t like them because the quotes you often hear are the ones you hear over… and over… and over again. Introducing: the cliché. I don’t care if you’re supposed to live as if you’ll die tomorrow, or shoot for the moon with the realization that you’ll at least land among the stars, or know that absence makes the heart grow fonder. I just…oy. Don’t care.
With that in mind, there is a small collection of quotes I do enjoy, and I’ve been keeping track of them. They’re the ones that don’t make me cringe, but rather make me think..or smile..or laugh. They inspire me to hopefully one day have my very own quote (!!!), where people will read it and go “ah, that Laura Schwecherl is a genius.”
And yes, they’ll say Schwecherl flawlessly. It will simply roll off le tongue.
“Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.” -Henry David Thoreau
Well said, HDT. I have never been a fan of people doing good for the sake of themselves; so many people strive to go out of their way to simply show others that they are in fact being charitable. Don’t be “good” just because you think it’s right. Be good about something specific that is meaningful to your life and that positively impacts another’s.
“By letting go it all gets done.” -Lao-Tzu
My good friend Lao has never been so right. If you hold on to anger, frustration, sadness, or any other negative emotion, then you’ll never be able to make that final step: moving forward. Once you can let go and empty your mind can you really refill it with positive energy, emotion, and progress. (This is yoga-Buddha Laura talking to you right now).
“You can do anything, but not everything.”-David Allen
Did you know that David Allen is famous for creating a time-management method? I never knew the guy, but had heard the quote before. And while rather simple, it’s also straight forward and honest. Too often do we tell ourselves that the sky’s the limit and stretch ourselves too thin. Don’t we all answer the interview question “what is your biggest weakness” with the ol’ “I’m so motivated and enthused that I try to do everything but it’s because I’m so hardworking and hire me please”? Just remember…have your goals, dreams, and what have you… but be realistic. Be choosy. Focus.
“But that’s the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don’t want to know what people are talking about. I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything.”- Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson is one of my favorite writers; we share the same humor and travel itch, although he is far funnier, intelligent, and well-traveled than me. No matter-his quote here is something I truly thrive off of. I live for the unknown, the challenge of being in a new place, getting lost, and learning, learning, learning! Don’t take me to the Bahamas, Take me to India. Tanzania. Heck, I’ll go to South Dakota. Never been.
“I have to exercise in the morning before my brain figures out what I’m doing.” -Marsha Doble
Now, I like this a lot. I often trick myself into running first thing in the morning by jumping out of bed, putting on my sneakers, and hitting the road before I have time to yawn. It takes me a couple of miles for my body to realize something’s up, and by that point, I’m almost halfway done with my run! More importantly though, Doble’s quote really highlights the whole “mind of matter” thing, for I truly believe that running is mostly mental.
“Perhaps that you seek too much, that as a result of your seeking you cannot find.” – Herman Hesse
From my favorite book. Perhaps my favorite author, too. Too often are we blinded by these mapped out plans we create for ourselves that we don’t let life just …happen. We become too narrow minded and miss out one other opportunities that can also be in plain sight.
“People believe themselves to be dependent on what happens for their happiness. They don’t realize that what happens is the most unstable thing in the universe.” -Eckhart Tolle
I love this. Absolutely love this. It’s better than the simple “you are in control of your own happiness” saying; it takes away the focus on the self and has us think about actions and events that we think define our happiness. And Tolle is right-these dependent happenings in our life are chaotic and random. Can something so unstable really create our stability? Or do we do it ourselves? Hmmm.
“I will not wait to love as best as I can. We thought we were young and that there would be time to love well sometime in the future. This is a terrible way to think. It is no way to live, to wait to love. “- Dave Eggers
Oy. This quote came from What is the What, a book I highly recommend you pick up…today. It’s not an easy read, but it’s important. Very important. That being said, this quote is obviously different out of context, but it’s message is more or less the same. It’s message rings true for my generation especially…I think. We’re living in an age where women are working beside men, we’re marrying later, we’re all being independent, and a result-love has become preeetty complicated. Are we all being selfish? No, absolutely not. But I think the idea of love and marriage is shifting, and it’s become something along the lines of sacrifice as all of us motivated individuals grab life by the reigns, not letting stupid boys/girls distract us! This thought inadvertently reminds me of another Hesse line, where he states: “Oh, love isn’t there to make us happy. I believe it exists to show us how much we can endure.” Oof. Make of that what you will.
And lastly, this one just makes me laugh. Another Bryson here:
“And I find chopsticks frankly distressing. Am I alone in thinking it odd that a people ingenious enough to invent paper, gunpowder, kites and any number of other useful objects, and who have a noble history extending back 3,000 years haven’t yet worked out that a pair of knitting needles is no way to capture food?”- Bill Bryson
He’s just…really right.