The Quote Garden ™
I dig old books. ™
Quotations about Attitude
If you had a choice, and you do, would you rather go through life feeling entitled or blessed? ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
I may not overcome the inevitable, but O, it is mine to see that the inevitable does not overcome me. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Prayer, 1904
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright, as quoted in The Reader's Digest, 1995
Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day. ~Author unknown
Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
With dawn will come the sun and a new day — how often we forget the wonder of that simply because we are accustomed to it! ~Cid Ricketts Sumner, "Come out, come out, whoever you are!," A View from the Hill, 1957
If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until it gets so ugly you can hardly bear to look at it. A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely. ~Roald Dahl, The Twits, 1980
To be interested in the changing seasons is... a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring. ~George Santayana, The Life of Reason, 1905
Occasionally it's good to pause, take a moment and remind yourself of the things in your life that are just fine. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Heredity is much, environment is much, but I am much more. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912
I've decided that the stuff falling through the cracks is confetti and I'm having a party! ~Betsy Cañas Garmon, @wildthyme, tweet, 2009, betsygarmon.com
Pain can make you give up completely, or pain can make you start over again. It's totally up to you. ~James Jones, My 600-lb Life [S2, E7, 2014]
Out from the rut, and on to the foothills, up toward the mountain; out from defeat, out from disaster; out, out, out!... Rise, rise from the ashes, rise from the ruins, rise from chaos, rise from the wreck... Are your eyes upon the mountain, and have you a purpose? Well, then, prepare for a struggle, for the heights do not give up their secrets easily. ~Charles F. Raymond, "Excelsior!," Just Be Glad, 1907
Above all, don't go gunning for gloom. It was a pious thought that got loose when that guy wrote "Laugh and Grow Fat," to which might be added — Grin and grow gracious. ~James P. Haverson (1880–1954), "The Hunch — A Preface," Sour Sonnets of a Sorehead & Other Songs of the Street, 1908
The most real thing is one's own soul. That may be set down as an axiom; and being true, the real business of life is to keep one's soul in the state of harmony, of love, of joy, in which along is the condition of creative activity. As the most real thing is the soul, so the most unreal thing is any quality opposed to spiritual states, — as envy, hatred, or despair. The circumstances or events that throw us into any of these conditions render us negative to true advancement. And so, measuring life by the ideal, one has no moral right to let himself be so disappointed or depressed or disturbed as to be in any wise turned aside from his real business, — the right living. ~Lilian Whiting (1847–1942), "To Clasp Eternal Beauty: The True Realities," The World Beautiful: Second Series, 1896
When you want to do something, your energy kicks in. ~Hoda Kotb, on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, to Ellen, airdate 2020 January 29th
I do not bemoan misfortune. To me there is no misfortune. I welcome whatever comes; I go out gladly to meet it. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Wind-Wafted Wild Flowers," in The Open Court, August 1903
Scorn not thy narrow task. For He who made
The brilliant stars and moon to gild the night,
Placed the small glow-worm in earth's woodland shade,
And bade her too shed forth her tiny light.
~Fanny Charlotte Wyndham Montgomery (1820–1893), "When with a tired soul," 1846
Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. ~Bahá’u’lláh
The only disability in life is a bad attitude. ~Scott Hamilton
Talk happiness. The world is sad enough
Without your woe. No path is wholly rough.
Look for the places that are smooth and clear,
And speak of them to rest the weary ear
Of earth; so hurt by one continuous strain
Of mortal discontent and grief and pain...
Talk health. The dreary, never-ending tale
Of mortal maladies is worn and stale;
You cannot charm or interest or please
By harping on that minor chord, disease.
Say you are well, or all is well with you,
And God shall hear your words and make them true.
~Ella Wheeler Wilcox, "Speech," Poems of Power, 1901
It is much more exciting to do hard things; anybody can do easy things. ~Freda Pepper, c. 1940 [a little altered —tg]
To everyone is given the key to heaven; the same key opens the gates of hell. ~Proverb
Make your optimism come true. ~Author unknown
I'd sooner smile
I'd rather laugh
~James P. Haverson (1880–1954), Sour Sonnets of a Sorehead & Other Songs of the Street, 1908
I am a mortal being living in a vast, timeless universe. If today I am happy — or, indeed, if today I am sad — then of course I am blowing something out of proportion. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com, 2019
Think you to‑morrow when the fulness of life's treasure is mine, that it will hold aught that is new or strange to me? I tell you that I long have known each masterpiece that hangs upon the walls of my To Be, and each royal robe that I shall wear was spun from starshine in my dreams; and not a jewel shall rest upon my brow but whose strange light has long enchanted me, and not a strain shall rise to charm my ear but whose far melody has long been playing in my soul. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Prayer, 1904
Whatever is — is best. ~Ella Wheeler Wilcox
If we try to see something positive in everything we do, life won't necessarily become easier but it becomes more valuable. ~Author unknown
Try to look on the bright side of things; if the bright side is not immediately evident, keep looking. It is better to be busy than depressed. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer, lumpenbangenpiano.com
The day returns and brings us the petty round of irritating concerns and duties. Help us to play the man, help us to perform them with laughter and kind faces, let cheerfulness abound with industry. Give us to go blithely on our business all this day, bring us to our resting beds weary and content and undishonoured, and grant us in the end the gift of sleep. ~Robert Louis Stevenson, "At Morning," Prayers Written at Vailima, 1890
You come to realize that life's daily irritations are just things that happen. They only become irritations if you supply the irritability. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Better than tiaras — the diadem of freedom.
Better than broad acres — a garden of heartsease.
Better than mines of gold — a mint of dreams.
Better than bars of molten silver — the silver of a laugh.
Better than strings of pearls — the crystal of a tear.
Better than bands of choristers — a lute in the soul.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Wind-Wafted Wild Flowers," in The Open Court, August 1903
If you have nothing to be grateful for, check your pulse. ~Author unknown
Ridicule is only a shower; hoist your umbrella and let it rain. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor
Umbrellas that are up when Days are duller,
Instead of being Dark should glow with Color.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Cheeriness," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924
Oft expectation fails and most oft there
Where most it promises, and oft it hits
Where hope is coldest and despair most fits.
~William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well, c.1602 [II, 1, Helena]
No power in society, no hardship in your condition can depress you, keep you down, in knowledge, power, virtue, influence, but by your own consent. ~William Ellery Channing, 1838
Grit is It. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor
Staying positive is one of the hardest fights, though I'm happy I'm in it. ~Daniel, @blindedpoet, tweet, 2010
When you feel dog tired at night, it may be because you've growled all day long. ~Author unknown
What is possible? What you will. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827
Positive thinking does not mean trying to create something that is not there. Real positive thinking acknowledges that good already exists — indeed it is all that exists. ~Alan Cohen, 1987
To-day the wind blows bleak and chill,
The sun is hid behind the mist,
But, with the morn, each dale and hill
Shall with his glad'ning beams be kissed—
And so, my dear, cheer up—you'll find
Each sombre cloud is silver lined...
~Kimball Chase Tapley, "To-day and To-morrow," 1800s
Sometimes life's Hell. But hey! Whatever gets the marshmallows toasty. ~J. Andrew Helt
A happy tear, sweet, sad,
a moment when your heart is bursting
with sunrays to drown out all that's bad.
~Gunda Fijnje-Nolan, @godutch, September 25th 2009 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter, @quotegarden
You're not going to make me have a bad day. If there's oxygen on earth and I'm breathing, it's going to be a good day. ~Cotton Fitzsimmons
[W]hat counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight — it's the size of the fight in the dog. ~Dwight Eisenhower, address to Republican National Committee, 1958 January 31st
Resolve is what makes a man manliest; — not puny resolve, not crude determination, not errant purpose, — but that strong, and indefatigable will, which treads down difficulties and danger, as a boy treads down the heaving frost-lands of winter; — which kindles his eye and brain, with a proud pulse-beat toward the unattainable. Will makes men giants. ~Ik Marvel (Donald Grant Mitchell, 1822–1908), Dream Life: A Fable of the Seasons
I knew it, too, but my resolve was taken, the world was wide, and I would not waste my life in friction when it could be turned into momentum. ~Frances E. Willard, Glimpses of Fifty Years: The Autobiography of an American Woman, 1889
Two people can have a middling day, but one rounds up and the other rounds down. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Am I the victim of misplaced zeal, or misdirected force and energy? I dig and sweat in the furrows, when there are sky-furrows awaiting the kiss of my plow's bright steel.... I have minded spigots, when it was mine to tend the seas. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring" (XV & XVII), A Soul's Faring, 1921 [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
I've got dreams in hidden places and extra smiles for when I'm blue. ~Author unknown
I will have a care lest my burden rest all too long where my wings might have grown. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912
When you decide to graduate from your regrets and disappointments, there is a brilliant career waiting for you called LIFE. ~Dodinsky
Pilgrim, look up!... Look up in the early morning when the sun comes peeping, greeting you with a smile... Look up when you see the even star, when the heavens are brilliant with nature's good-night kiss. ~Charles F. Raymond, "Look Up," Just Be Glad, 1907
Like that Rare Stone of Alchemists of old,
Good Humor turns the Dross of Life to Gold.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Hardihood," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924
We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails. ~Author unknown
Look for something positive in every day, even if some days you have to look a little harder. ~Author unknown
Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Dwell not upon thy weariness, thy strength shall be according to the measure of thy desire. ~Arab proverb
A car can't operate without the mechanical systems working, but it can operate with a few dents and scratches..., you are the same. ~Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife, tweet, 2009
They may destroy your rose gardens, but no harm has been done, so that they have not destroyed your urge for roses. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Much in a Basket: VIII," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923
The light is always shining, to see it we must stop focusing on the shadows it casts. ~Kim Clarkin, @Kimberleyhaa, December 2009 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter, @quotegarden
Be the light in the dark, be the calm in the storm and be at peace while at war. ~Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife, tweet, 2009
If you allow momentary defeats to find shelter in your heart, you are allowing your most beautiful dreams to become homeless. ~Dodinsky
Two kinds of things that should not vex a Man,
Are Those he cannot help — and Those he can.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Health," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924
Belief in defeat has defeated many men. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor
It rests with me whether I sit sifting through the night, or rise up and ride away in the chariot drawn by the white steeds of my yearning. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of Longing: XIV," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923
Win or lose, every time you do something in life be positive about it, be proud of the progress you're making. ~Troy Mullins, 2018
I will not endeavor to forget my sorrow by belittling it. Let my sorrow remain what it is, but O lift me up to mightier proportions. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Prayer, 1904
What if, for a change, you let the same old things make you happy and insisted that the things that make you sad be new and different? ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
A nasty day! A nasty day!
'Twas thus I heard a critic say
Because the skies were bleak and gray—
And yet it somehow seemed to me
The day was all that it should be.
I looked it very closely o'er;
Its hours still were twenty-four,
With sixty minutes each—no less—
For deeds of good and helpfulness;
And every second full of chance
To give the day significance;
And every hour full of growth
For everybody but the sloth—
I couldn't see it quite that way,
For though the skies were bleak and gray
The day itself, it seemed to me,
Was all a day could rightly be.
~John Kendrick Bangs (1862-1922), "A Protest" (February Fourteenth), The Cheery Way: A Bit of Verse For Every Day, 1920
One needs a light spirit to bear a heavy fate. ~Danish proverb
Fast or slow, I'll reach the top!
Birds that cannot Fly can Hop.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Self-Reliance," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924
Pluck... That means having the courage to do hard things and the things that are right. ~J. F. Cowan, "What Ailed Bob's Luck?," in Christian Work, 1899
In a day and age when all manner of things are believed against contrary evidence — hey, why not believe there's a little good in everyone. ~Robert Brault, 2017, rbrault.blogspot.com
To‑day I am a serf, but to‑morrow is the day of manumission. To‑day I will make a survey, but to‑morrow I will reset the stakes. To‑day I slash in the shallows, but to‑morrow I will pass the danger line and swim the infinite sea. To‑day I walk the confines, but to‑morrow I will swing out into the illimitable. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Prayer, 1904
Things turn out for the best for those who make the best out of the way things turn out. ~Author unknown, c.1961 [quoteinvestigator.com]
On and on you will hike.
And I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are...
~Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!, 1990
Nothing so absurd as to sit down and wring your hands because all the good which may happen to you in twenty years has not taken place at this precise moment. ~Sydney Smith, "A Little Moral Advice: A Fragment on the Cultivation and Improvement of the Animal Spirits"
I like the man who takes the stones
Upon his rocky road
With smiling lips instead of groans,
Whate'er his heavy load
Who seizes each as on he goes,
And neatly crumbles it,
And turns his share of pebbly woes
To stores of inner grit.
~John Kendrick Bangs (1862-1922), "Transformation" (February Fifteenth), The Cheery Way: A Bit of Verse For Every Day, 1920
[B]eing flexible ensures that you meet with no limitations. It is often in the things you cannot change that you discover life's power to guide you. In a concrete world of mechanical sounds, you may forget that you are a natural creature in the great river of life. When a floating leaf encounters an obstacle, it begins to move in a circle. The potential power captured in the latent energy of the leaf as it turns in circles, reveals how you can access enormous energy by simply letting go. Let go and simply fall back into the great river; sometimes a necessary deluge is required to release you. Before philosophy and organized religion, nature was our only teacher. The greatest inspiration that nature can offer is how it transcends limitations. "Unattached, nothing can ever block your way." ~Kari Hohne (Taoist wisdom)
A river never beats its head against obstacles. It always goes around, and it always gets to the sea. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
This is the best day the world has ever seen; tomorrow will be better. ~R.A. Campbell, quoted in Journal of Education, vol. 81, Boston University, 1915
That some good can be derived from every event is a better proposition than that everything happens for the best, which it assuredly does not. ~James K. Feibleman, The Way of a Man: An Autobiography, 1969
I heard a fellow say, this morn, "I've had hard luck since I was born." Yet he was fixed with hands and feet, and health so good 'twas hard to beat. While he bemoaned his gloomy fate, and tried to keep his grouch on straight, and while some maudlin tears he shed, an ailing cripple forged ahead, ambition glowing in his eyes, and gathered in a handsome prize. A blind man, groping in the dark, in human annals made his mark. A sick man, toiling with his pen, produced a book that drew from men so loud a burst of honest praise, as cheered the balance of his days. A thousand brave, undaunted chaps, borne down by grievous handicaps, were struggling up life's rugged steep, too full of hopeful plans to weep. How pitiful the man who stands, with active lungs and idle hands, complaining of the luck he's had, since he was but a knee-high lad! ~Walt Mason (1862–1939), "The Luckless Man"
Always remember lost, so that you don't take for granted found. ~Terri Guillemets
Care not what they say about the color of your skin let the brilliant light of your soul blind them. ~Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife, tweet, 2009
Only cheerful people know how to build Castles in the Air: gloomy folks rather build Caverns in the Earth... ~Thomas Clark Henley, A Handful of Paper Shavings, 1861
...it is going to be hard, terribly hard, to do these things quietly, steadily and patiently day after day and week after week, and if need be, as perhaps it will, year after year. That is the thing that is going to be hard, but we can do hard things, and let us do our part. ~Convention of the Colorado Bankers' Association, 1917
Don't mind the... daily road though it is rather dusty, but remember the brooks and the hills... ~Emily Dickinson, letter to brother, 1854
Life is life, until it is what we make of it. Hemp is hemp, — until it is a life-line or a hangman's rope. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912
When you think things are bad,
when you feel sour and blue,
when you start to get mad…
you should do what I do!
Just tell yourself, Duckie,
you're really quite lucky!
Some people are much more…
oh, ever so much more…
oh, muchly much-much more
unlucky than you!
~Dr. Seuss, Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?, 1973
When it rains, it pours. You decide what comes down. ~Justin Uyehara
The harder you kick the other fellow the more you will hurt your foot. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor
Once in a while we find those people who can be overwhelmed by nothing. They are really luminaries, and the dictionary defines a luminary as a body that gives off light. Some people are pitched head forward into a sea of trouble and come up smiling and strike out for the shore. ~Earl L. Douglas, "Don't eat your heart out," November 1963
We always think we'd be happier in some faraway place, as if you could catch a plane to a state of mind. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
So many problems, so many snags
To untangle every day;
So many perplexing things in life
That keep us from being gay!
So many days that are drab and dull
That we're filled with deepest woe,
And we give way to discouragement,
Our dangerous, mortal foe.—
A foe to our joy and happiness,
A foe to our peace of mind,—
It's something we all have to conquer
If contentment we would find!
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "Our Mortal Foe," 1940s
A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition. ~William Arthur Ward, For This One Hour, 1969
The real "it is well" is something I say from the ground, having fallen. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
The world hasn't time for the gelatine-spined,
For the timid, the weak, or the negative kind;
It looks to the man with the positive force,
With the courage that comes from a positive source.
So think then and act in a positive way,
And you'll learn that the things that had brought you dismay
Will leave, as all negative bugaboos do,
When they meet with the strength that is latent in you.
~W. Dayton Wegefarth (1885–1973), "Positive–Negative," Rainbow Verse: A Book of Helpful Sunny Philosophy, 1919
There are exactly as many special occasions in life as we choose to celebrate. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Conditions may make some men, but some men can make conditions. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912
Since the house is on fire let us warm ourselves. ~Italian proverb
Since my house burned down,
I now own a better view
of the rising moon.
~Masahide, translated by Harry Behn, 1964
You can raise a fine crop of trouble from the seeds of discontent. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor
Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly. ~Thomas Jefferson, 1825
Long ago I decided that if I get a second life, I will be beautiful and clever and rich, and that has allowed me to focus on this life. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Alas! man was made, 'tis a truth we well know,
To feel the inflictions engendered below —
The keen pang of Anguish, the chill hand of Want,
The sting which Remorse in the bosom can plant,
And all the sad ills which, in Misery's train,
Come to sicken the heart, and to madden the brain.
But is there no sunshine to burst through the gloom?
Yes! yes! there are times when the spirits are gay,
And heart-gnawing sorrows relinquish their sway;
When a glance of the eye and a smile on the cheek
Are the telltales of raptures no mortal can speak;
When life's heavy cares have deserted the brain,
And moments of bliss cancel ages of pain.
For man, the sun shines on his gold-burnished throne,
And the Seasons strew gifts as they visit each zone;
While every thing lovely on earth and in sky,
Seems formed by enchantment to ravish his eye—
Look, look on the sky—look, look on the earth,
Spring-flower blooms and forest-oak green bursts forth,
There is joy—there is joy—there is exquisite bliss,
When we tranquilly muse on scenes such as this.
To the bright side of life let us ever then turn,
Man was made to rejoice as well as to mourn!
~Henry Heavisides (1791–1870), "Man Was Made to Mourn" [A little altered. Mr Heavisides credits and quotes Mr Burns at the start of the poem, for the inspiration and title. —tg]
You can awaken each day to obligations you never chose, or you can decide today to choose them. ~Robert Brault, 2017, rbrault.blogspot.com
It's not as though I've had great disappointments, or hopes that didn't work out: I didn't expect anything much and because of that I'm the least bitter woman I know. ~Audrey Hepburn (1929–1993)
Reach for the stars, even if you have to stand on a cactus. ~Susan Longacre
...he who can look at the loveliness of the world and share its sorrow, and realise something of the wonder of both, is in immediate contact with divine things, and has got as near to God's secret as any one can get. ~Oscar Wilde, De Profundis, 1905
We find things where we look for them, which is why I never look for a golf ball out of bounds. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
One man takes his work as a stone around his neck and sinks to apathy. Another takes it as a stepping-stone and mounts to success. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, George Horace Lorimer, editor, as reprinted in Poor Richard Jr's Almanack, 1906
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. ~M. Kathleen Casey, as quoted in Karen Casey and Martha Vanceburg, The Promise of a New Day, 1983
When you have the strength to survive starvation, you never again send back a steak simply because it's underdone. ~Audrey Hepburn (1929–1993)
Yes, sometimes we fall short, but you don't normally climb a ten-step staircase without falling short nine times. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com, 2018
The Cynic is one who never sees a good quality in man, and never fails to see a bad one... A man will be what his most cherished feelings are. If he encourage a noble generosity, every feeling will be enriched by it; if he nurse bitter and envenomed thoughts, his own spirit will absorb the poison; and he will crawl among men as a burnished adder, whose life is mischief, and whose errand is death... He who hunts for flowers, will find flowers; and he who loves weeds, may find weeds. ~Henry Ward Beecher, Lectures to Young Men, on Various Important Subjects, 1844
The Skillful Bowman and the Man of Action
Aim high, allowing for the Earth's Attraction.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Order," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924
Wag more. Bark less. ~Author unknown
Scratch less, purr more. ~Author unknown
Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude. ~Ralph Marston, unverified
While the black slough mud can send forth lilies to blossom on its breast, I shall not despair. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912
You can bear your troubles or shrug them off. They're your shoulders. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
As to the idea of considering myself a "breast cancer survivor," I have a hard time with that concept. I feel that the term survivor is being overused to the point of losing impact.... I feel that we are all survivors of something every day that we wake up. If it isn't breast cancer, it's accidents, old age, poverty, joblessness, or any other condition of the human race. I don't want to be singled out or made an example of or commended because of my behavior during a crisis or a lifetime. The behaviors that make breast cancer survivors are the same behaviors that make survivors in any situation. ~Jean Maynard, 1993, in Straight from the Heart: Letters of Hope and Inspiration from Survivors of Breast Cancer, edited by Ina Yalof, 1996
Each day, awakening, are we asked to paint the sky blue? Need we coax the sun to rise or flowers to bloom? Need we teach birds to sing, or children to laugh, or lovers to kiss? No, though we think the world imperfect, it surrounds us each day with its perfections. We are asked only to appreciate them, and to show appreciation by living in peaceful harmony amidst them. The Creator does not ask that we create a perfect world; He asks that we celebrate it. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Nor lone nor sad is he who walks all day
With Pleasant Thoughts for Comrades on the Way.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Trails and Roads," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924
You can't count the bad things that happen. They don't count against life. They are life. Only count the good things. Let every blessing strengthen you. ~Terri Guillemets
In this great age, people who say it can't be done are interrupted by people who are doing it. ~Arnold H. Glasow (1905–1999)
Where the loser saw barriers, the winner saw hurdles. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
"This has been a dull, prosy day," yawned Phil, stretching herself idly on the sofa, having previously dispossessed two exceedingly indignant cats... "It has been a prosy day for us," Anne said thoughtfully, "but to some people it has been a wonderful day. Some one has been rapturously happy in it. Perhaps a great deed has been done somewhere to-day — or a great poem written — or a great man born..." ~L. M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island, 1915
There's many a trouble
Would break like a bubble,
And into the waters of Lethe depart,
Did not we rehearse it,
And tenderly nurse it,
And give it a permanent place in the heart.
~Georgiana C. Clark, "Don't Take It to Heart," 1876
There's many a sorrow
Would vanish to-morrow,
Were we not unwilling to furnish the wings;
So sadly intruding
And quietly brooding,
It hatches out all sorts of horrible things.
~Georgiana C. Clark, "Don't Take It to Heart," 1876
Let us dwell on thoughts that lift and live. ~Charles F. Raymond, "A Petition," Just Be Glad, 1907
If you have been dwelling solely on the evil that is in man, or on the special evil which you think is in your church, your nation, or your age, see whether that habit has not blinded your intelligence and weakened your strength. It has cast you down upon your face. Stand up... stand up upon your feet! Believe in man! Soberly and with clear eyes believe in your own time and place. There is not, and there has never been, a better time or a better place to live in. Only with this belief can you believe in hope and believe in work. ~Phillips Brooks (1835–1893), "The Need of Self-Respect"
Essential to happiness, I believe, is the ability to discard your regrets once they have served their purpose. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
That which is around me does not affect my mood; my mood affects that which is around me. ~Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain, 2008
Success comes in cans, not can'ts. ~Author unknown, c. 1910
Am I sorry for me; are you sorry for you;
And do we grieve for ourselves all the long day through?
Do we feel that there's no one whom we've ever known
Who has had so much sorrow, who's been so alone?...
...I will try not to be too sorry for me;
For, when the shadows fall, God will help me to see.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "Am I Sorry for Me?," 1940s
My environment may be making me what I am, but I am permitting the environment. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912
Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down. And this is all life really means. ~Author unknown
Physical strength is measured by what we can carry, spiritual by what we can bear. ~Author unknown
If you can wear the hard times of your life as furrows on your brow, you can wear the good times as a twinkle in your eye. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
The will to live! — Dare one crave so much?
To live yearning — and to die yearning still.
Never to have abandoned the thing...
To carry into age the zest and faith of youth...
To die buoyantly — to the end on winged feet!
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of Longing: III," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923
We come before Thee, O Lord, in the end of thy day with thanksgiving... the service of the day is over, and the hour come to rest. We resign into thy hands our sleeping bodies, our cold hearths, and open doors. Give us to awake with smiles, give us to labour smiling. As the sun returns in the east, so let our patience be renewed with dawn; as the sun lightens the world, so let our loving-kindness make bright this house of our habitation. ~Robert Louis Stevenson, "Evening," Prayers Written at Vailima, 1890
Having worked with at risk youth... I noticed that when I was intentionally positive by looking beyond their "fog" and to their light they responded with their genius. ~Joe Tassinari
How can something bother you if you won't let it? ~Terri Guillemets
Let us have done with vain regrets and longings for the days that never will be ours again. Our work lies in front, not behind us; and "Forward!" is our motto. Let us not sit with folded hands, gazing upon the past as if it were the building: it is but the foundation. Let us not waste heart and life, thinking of what might have been, and forgetting the may-be that lies before us. Opportunities flit by while we sit regretting the chances we have lost, and the happiness that comes to us we heed not because of the happiness that is gone. ~Jerome K. Jerome, "On Memory," The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow: A Book for an Idle Holiday, 1890
No road is paved with gold unless you make it your own treasure. ~Alvaro Velasco
Not one holy day, but seven.
Worshipping, not at the call of a bell, but at the call of my soul.
Singing, not at the baton's sway, but to the rhythm in my heart.
Loving because I must.
Giving because I cannot keep.
Doing for the joy of it.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "My Creed," 1904
Perhaps your sun may rise in the evening when the work is done. Perhaps it will be in a cozy corner at home. It may be in the call of a friend, the smile of a wife, the prattle of a child, but we may all find the sunshine somewhere. ~Charles F. Raymond, Just Be Glad, 1907
The world is filled with great beauty
For all God's children to see;
But many things pass unheeded
If man holds to jealousy!
All jealousy and all hatred,
And great bitterness of mind
Will keep mortal man from searching,
Nature's loveliness, to find!
His vision becomes distorted;
He sees only what he thinks:
If he thinks in terms of darkness,
Shadows to himself he links!...
He surrounds himself with armor
That keeps away rainbow lights
And all harmony of color
That could make his world so bright!
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "Vibration of Music and Color," 1940s
Optimist: someone who isn't sure whether life is a tragedy or a comedy but is tickled silly just to be in the play. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
He rarely Hits the Mark or Wins the Game,
Who says, "I Know I'll Miss!" while taking Aim.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Slackness," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924
Don't major in minor things. ~Author unknown
Our bodies let go when it's time to let go — it's called death. We ought to let go of the little burdensome things each day — that's called living. ~Terri Guillemets, "Anew," 2006
I ask of life the innocence of yesteryears, the happiness of the present time and the peace of mind of future. ~Papiha Ghosh, January 2012 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter
When the dawn comes forth I wonder
Will our sad, sad hearts awaken,
And the grief we labored under
From the new-in-joy be shaken?
~Æ (George William Russell), "Waiting," Homeward Songs by the Way, 1894
What the light of the sun is to the life of plants and flowers, mental sunshine is to the life and health of the body; therefore, sift your thoughts — call in the bright ones — drive out the dark ones. Set apart one cozy corner of your brain as a mental sunshine room, upon the walls of which hang the beautiful pictures of the pleasant recollections of the past. Make that your living room. Bid your soul sing sweet melodies of joy and peace, of gratitude and praise... "Count your blessings," past and present... Send to the burial ground of forgetfulness all your old troubles, whether they be real or imaginary. If you keep these old carcasses about you, they will poison and destroy your life. "Go bury your sorrows," and do not dig them up again. ~J. W. Blosser, M.D., Health Secrets, 1907
A chronic kicker always ends by landing on himself. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1908, George Horace Lorimer, editor
I am breast to breast with the great import;
Stepping the stride of the infinite intent;
Measuring myself against the utmost possibility.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of the Strong: XXVIII," A Soul's Faring, 1921
It is possible, if you never look up, to live a dull gray life under a blue sky. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Cheer up! These may be the old days you'll be sighing for 20 years hence. ~Arnold H. Glasow (1905–1999)
They can betray me, but I choose not to betray my peace of mind. ~Dodinsky
It's not that the people
with nice shiny attitudes
have not been banged up—
but they buff out their
dings and scratches with
gratitude and positivity
perspective and grace
resilience and courage
with purpose and faith.
~Terri Guillemets, "How to shine," 2019
Dear Life: When you give me dilemmas, I make dilemmanade. ~Author unknown
For every day that there is sunshine, there will be days of rain,
it's how we dance within them both that shows our love and pain.
In Work or Sport, at grips with Grief or Sin,
Pray not for Victory, but Strength to Win.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Prayer," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924
The best way to dispel negative thoughts is to require that they have a purpose. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
I will have the feel of abundance in my life, if it is only an abundance of sunshine and leaves and grasses.
The look of poverty and woe is not an outer condition that I put on like a garment, but an inner condition that I exude with my breath.
I will come like roses in their prolific season, like cherry blossoms in May, like fields where countless daisies grow...
I will scatter myself over the earth, life's caster of seed. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: XLII," A Soul's Faring, 1921
Sometimes I'll find myself getting a little bit wound up about something, and I'll just have to talk myself down. Try to surround yourself with strong, upbeat, positive friends and people, and realize that every day in life is a choice between creating your own happiness or creating your own unhappiness. And I don't want to be unhappy. ~Hannah Aitchison, LA Ink, "Kat's in Love" (season 1, episode 10, original airdate 2007 October 9th)
If you are not enjoying the journey, you probably won't enjoy the destination. ~Author unknown
The myriad things that are mine, had I but the capacity to contain them. The paucity of life is not in the things, but in me. Where in all my life have I room for the stature of an hour? For the pulsings of night and day? The meagerness is in my own being, in my own incapacity to open and receive. Life is rich and abundant — I am the sparsity. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: XLV," A Soul's Faring, 1921 [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
If all the World looks drear, perhaps the meaning
Is that your Windows need a little Cleaning.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Cheeriness," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924
An old gentleman got up once in a meeting and said he had lived nearly all his life on Grumble Street, but not long ago he had moved over on Thanksgiving street. ~D.L. Moody, "Power in Prayer," address delivered in the Northfield Auditorium July 23 and 24, 1895
Today's what-if: "What if you opened a line of communication between the thinking part of your brain and the believing part of your brain?" ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
I am the unsheltered life...
I am the fearlessness of him who has encountered many foes...
I am the strength of him who has had much to combat.
I am the ruggedness of him who has grown up through rocks.
I am the unsheltered life.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world. ~Jack Layton
is the world's motivation,
the student's constant companion.
On the college campus
it soars with the pass
and plunges with the tackle...
Enthusiasm is at the same time
a reason in itself for being...
It is born,
activates in purpose.
It is a fire of inspiration,
Enthusiasm is there
Leading the way to satisfaction and achievement.
its own reward.
~Arizona State University 1967 Sahuaro yearbook, edited by Pamela Sisk, et al.
Give goodness to the day and before you know it, the day will be giving goodness to you. ~Terri Guillemets
Enthusiasm gives wings to our words, thrust to our thoughts, and momentum to our message. ~William Arthur Ward (1921–1994)
No fear. No distractions. The ability to let that which does not matter truly slide. ~Fight Club, 1999, screenplay by Jim Uhls, based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk
As important as keeping a grasp on reality is keeping a grasp on possibility. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com, 2018
Don't waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you keep a sunny attitude, you will glow like a rainbow when life gets stormy. ~Terri Guillemets, "Inner light," 2006
I do not come with charted countries, — I bring you plains that are trackless, seas that have never known sail...
I am the doer of things that cannot be done.
I chant impossibilities.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of the Strong: IV," A Soul's Faring, 1921
Whatever my day may have lacked, yet I have tonight's pearl moon. ~Dr. SunWolf, tweet, 2011, professorsunwolf.com
Your attitude is your life, more so than even your body. ~Terri Guillemets
Life does not have a stop sign, only a speed limiter. ~Harshit Bhattaram
Do not allow the noise of negativity to smother the whisper of your heart. ~Dodinsky
What do I want to be when I grow up? Happy. I want to be happy. And useful, loved, loving, healthy, wise, free, strong. ~Terri Guillemets
I have made oath to put my arms around the universe, to embrace all that is. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of Longing: X," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923
What's the use of kickin'
In an aimless sort of way?
What's the use of knockin'?
If you've nothin' good to say,
What's the use complainin'
That the game ain't on the square?
There's mighty few will listen,
An' fewer still will care —
What's the use of talkin'
Of the "good old days gone by"?
There's lots to do preparin'
Fer them that's drawin' nigh.
Get out an' study laughin'
Go on an' learn to smile;
You might even tackle singin'
If you practised fer a while —
~James P. Haverson (1880–1954), "Shut Up!", Sour Sonnets of a Sorehead & Other Songs of the Street, 1908
If life throws stones at you, crush them and throw back glitter. ~Terri Guillemets
I don't think then of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains. ~Anne Frank, March 1944
Grow antennas, not horns. ~Anthony J. D'Angelo, The College Blue Book, 1995, collegiate-empowerment.org
You can't get overwhelmed by the thought of all the weeds if there are flowers in your soul. ~Terri Guillemets
Never mind the odds against you. If you doubled your effort, what would the odds against you do — send for reinforcements? ~Robert Brault, "Sparsely Sage, Mostly Rosemary and Thyme," rbrault.blogspot.com
Don't be mean when you've had a bad day. Be nice, and your day will get better. ~Terri Guillemets
Life is bare because we never plant it with seed. We never till its long rows... ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: XLVIII," A Soul's Faring, 1921
Our wingspan is measured not in inches but in spirit. ~Terri Guillemets, "Infinite reach," 1992
Practical philosophy is not to want anything enough to be disappointed when you don't get it. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor
A bad attitude is a fog over your whole body. ~Terri Guillemets
My joy may be diminished now, but I am still alive to be more joyful ahead. ~Ankam Nithin Kumar, @nithinankam, April 2012 winner of The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter, @quotegarden
Reach up (to accept blessings).
Bend down (to respect humbly).
Reach out (to give freely).
God, set me free with dragon-flies, and wasps, and dusty-millers — unclaimed, unespoused, but free!...
Denied, protested, but living their wings.
Let me but grasp half so much of life as despised things, as purslane, and mullen, and wort
Growing there in their God-corner, unmindful of the world's disdain,
Eating the clean earth with their roots, drinking the light with their leaves —
God-things of opprobrium — but God's!
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Much in a Basket: XIV," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923 [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
Focus on the simple, good things in life and breathe your way through the minor struggles. ~Terri Guillemets, "Re-learning life," 2002
If you fail to look at the Brightside of life,
You will fail to succeed at leaving the Darkside of life.
Tear up your frustrations into confetti dreams. ~Terri Guillemets
It isn't our position but our disposition which makes us happy. ~Author unknown
Even when the future's not certain, our hearts can still be certain — of love and happiness and all that's good. ~Terri Guillemets
What you often notice about people you meet on the street is that they seem to be having the same sort of day you are. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Keep your spirits up. Good things will come to you and you will come to good things. ~Terri Guillemets
When Life holds keener Woe than Death can give,
The Great Soul deems it Manlier to Live.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Character," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924
I'll use my broom as a paintbrush and as I try to clean up my life, beautify it too. ~Terri Guillemets, "Sweeping changes," 2016
If you are rich you can afford to be good-natured, and if you are poor you can't afford not to be. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1908, George Horace Lorimer, editor
If your storm has lightning and rainbows —
Be glad, be glad.
I said I was living life, but I was misliving it. What I called life was death. I was putting the grave-clothes on everything worth while.
Knowing that the thing I live is not life, but death; not truth, but falsity; not nature, but distortion; will I rise up and do the thing, or am I but one more coward of being? ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: LXXV," A Soul's Faring, 1921
Even if you lose a ray or two of your star, keep shining! ~Terri Guillemets
Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you. ~Maori proverb
Be the dot on the exclamation point of life! ~Terri Guillemets
Each morn, as I get out of bed,
These thoughts keep running through my head:
"Another day to do my work,
To do it well and not to shirk;
"Another day to laugh and sing
That joy to others I may bring;
Another day of hopes and fears,
Of happy hours—perhaps, some tears!"
And when, at night, I go to bed,
I'm always hoping I have shed
Some sunshine, as I lived the day,
To help another on his way.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "Another Day," 1940s
If you absolutely can't stay positive, don't go negative — just cruise neutral for a while until you can get back up. ~Terri Guillemets, "Drift," 2009
Those who wish to sing, always find a song. ~Swedish proverb
Either way, things are a lot better — either a lot better than they were or a lot better than they're going to be. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Every day is a new opportunity to be grateful, and enjoy the world, and improve it — in our own little ways. ~Terri Guillemets
Thou hast a jewel prison'd in thy breast
That God hath breathed on with the breath of love,
The brightest gift,—the most endear'd bequest,
The purest relic from our Home above.
It is thy Talisman of good below...
It will not live but in a loving heart...
It will not stay where scorn and doubt have part...
~Fanny Charlotte Wyndham Montgomery (1820–1893), "When with a tired soul," 1846
Clouds or no clouds, life is grand — be grateful for all the varieties of weather in your life. ~Terri Guillemets
Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come. ~Chinese proverb
A bird ran up the onyx steps of night,
Seeking the moon upon her silver throne;
But stars confused him with their insolent light
And left him in the friendless skies, alone.
He watched the winds, disheveled and awry,
Hurling the clouds, like pillows from their beds;
He saw the mountain-peaks that nudged the sky,
Take off the wreaths of sunset from their heads.
He heard the storms, a troupe of headstrong boys,
Locked up as punishment for petulant tears,
Beat on the ebony doors with such a noise,
That all the angels had to hold their ears.
Frightened, he left the halls of thundering sound
For a less dazzling height, a lowlier dream;
And, perching on a watery bough, he found
The moon, her white laugh rippling from the stream.
~Louis Untermeyer, "Fantasy," The New Adam, 1920
Don't say it's all going to be good again someday. It's still good now — if you really look. ~Terri Guillemets
There is no law that says the things that brighten your day can't be every bit as trivial as the things that ruin it. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
The trouble with letting trivial things ruin your life is that they keep getting more trivial. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
for want of wings
we have been earthbound —
but hearts and dreams soar
~Terri Guillemets, "For want of wings," 2019, scrambled blackout poetry created from Rafe Martin, Birdwing, 2005, pages 94–95
One day I shall come through Fields of Peace, up past the Hills of Joy. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912
Spirit can walk, spirit can swim, spirit can climb, spirit can crawl. There is no terrain you cannot overcome. ~Terri Guillemets
So what? So plenty! ~From the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1961, screenplay by George Axelrod, based on the novella by Truman Capote, spoken by the character Paul Varjak
If it's worth getting upset over, then go ahead, but is it really? ~Terri Guillemets
Mr. Dumby: I don't think we are bad. I think we are all good except Tuppy.
Lord Darlington: No, we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
~Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan: A Play About a Good Woman, 1892
Linda: How's that saying go? We're all in the gutter, but some of us are looking up at the stars?
Lucifer: The stars are just gas bags. And I never would've fed Oscar that line had I known how much I'd have to hear people quote it back to me.
~Lucifer, "Chloe Does Lucifer," 2017, written by Julia Fontana [S3, E8]
published 1998 Mar 18
revised 2020 Dec 31
last saved 2022 Feb 22