I love inspirational quotes. I collect them, I refer back to them when I need inspiration. I seek out a new one to put on FLYODI each day. While short quotes are certainly no substitute for reading an entire great work, they often manage to encapsulate an important part of the author’s central messages. Clearly, learning from accomplished people beats reinventing the wheel every time.
As the Internet has grown, it has become easier to find lots of quotes. In fact, there are so many, that it’s sometimes difficult to find the meaningful among the trite. So, what are the best of the best?
After a good deal of reflection, I’ve selected the following thoughts, divided into categories, that I believe offer the most essential advice for pursuing a, fulfilled, out-of-the-ordinary life — in other words, a FLYODI life. I’ve also stated why I selected the quote. These quotes are some of my favorites. If your favorite didn’t make the list, let us know what it is. I’ve listed my favs in reverse order. So, here we go.
25) “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
― Mark Twain
This quote tells us that an extraordinary life comes from inside of us. It has little to do with how tall or short we are, how talented we feel we are, where we were born, or what our past has been like. It’s about making a decision to live life on a different plane, and then following that decision up with actions that become habits.
24) “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
― Dalai Lama XIV
23) “People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
― Abraham Lincoln
22) “For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
These quotes offer us invaluable insight from some people who should know what they’re talking about. They tell us that our true self isn’t a finished product out there waiting to be found. Each of us determines who we will be, and there are infinite possibilities. We determine who we are and how happy we will be through our own decisions, and through the actions that flow from those decisions. Bottom line: GO AFTER LIFE! All indications are that we only get one shot at it!
21) “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”
― C.S. Lewis
20) “Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being.”
― Albert Schweitzer
We all must make a choice whether or not to seek the truly extraordinary aspects of life – and friendship and love are two of the most fundamental of those aspects. Here C.S. Lewis echoes the idea that life isn’t just about survival, it isn’t just about paying the bills. Clearly, there are aspects, without which, life loses a great deal of its meaning. And the famous musician, philosopher and physician, Albert Schweitzer, reminds us that another person may well be the thing that saves you from a life quiet desperation (to steal a phrase from Thoreau).
19) “If you smile when you are alone, then you really mean it.”
― Andy Rooney
This seems to me to have two important implications. First, while smiling at others is a positive thing to do, if your’re only smiling for others, it’s not the real thing. Life has an immense capacity to make you smile, even to yourself, if you’ll just let it. Secondly, smiling has the capacity to alter our mood and attitude — so if your, feeling a little blue, tell yourself to smile. The effect can be dramatic.
LEARNING, PREPARATION AND OPPORTUNITY
18) “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
17) “Unfortunately, there seems to be far more opportunity out there than ability…. We should remember that good fortune often happens when opportunity meets with preparation.”
― Thomas A. Edison
16) “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”
― Albert Einstein
15) “Opportunity is a haughty goddess who wastes no time with those who are unprepared.”
― George S. Clason
These quotes may seem to be a bit different from the others on the list, but they point out two fundamental and essential truths; 1) learning is key to life, and 2) pursuing an extraordinary life shouldn’t be a haphazard pursuit — it requires preparation. Take for example, financial preparations. If you don’t make sound financial preparations to meet your own needs, you’ll be unable to help others lighten their burden –a key component of a meaningful life. In addition, making sure you carry your own weight and avoid becoming a burden to others is a prerequisite of an advanced life. Similarly, opportunities will present themselves in life and if you’re uninformed, or unprepared, you’re likely to miss them. So, seek the extraordinary — and read, study, contemplate, and make sound financial to help you find it.
14) “Without music, life would be a mistake.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
13) “Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”
― Leonardo da Vinci
These quotes remind us compellingly that art, in all it’s forms: music, sculpture, painting, dance, theater, poetry, is one of the things that has the capacity to lift us out of the mundane. So, seek beauty and joy in art — experience it, support it, create it, keep it near you.
12) “We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
This one is clear and simple — seek joy!
11) “I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
― Henry David Thoreau,
10) Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
― Attributed to Wolfgang von Goethe, more likely William Hutchinson Murray.
9) “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
― George Bernard Shaw
8) “Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish […] The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.”
― Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
All these quotes urge us NOT to sit on the sidelines but to go after the life you want. Ayn Rand urges us to go after an extraordinary life NOW! Don’t allow the opportunity to be lost in the “not-yet” or the “not-quite”, because those become the “not-at-all”. And secondly, there is a hero inside each one of us.
7) “Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
― Leonardo Da Vinci
6) “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style”
― Maya Angelou
5) “I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
― Henry David Thoreau,
To me these quotes speak to the essence of pursuing the uncommon life. As Leonardo says, once you have experienced it, you will pursue it even more fervently. And Thoreau eloquently tells us that it requires only that we move confidently toward our dreams.
4) “Happiness is nothing more than health and a short memory!”
― Albert Schweitzer
3) “It’s up to you today to start making healthy choices. Not choices that are just healthy for your body, but healthy for your mind.”
― Steve Maraboli
As we neared the top of the list — the most important thoughts — I felt it was important to include some thoughts about our health. There is simply no way to overemphasize this one. Your health affects everything! It affects everything you think, everything you say, and everything you do. So do everything you can to get and stay fit and healthy. You’ll enjoy life more, and your chances of living and extraordinary life will skyrocket!
2) “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
― Paulo Coelho, Alchemist
Paulo Coelho was on to something. In fact, as one of the most widely read authors in the world, he is obviously on to lots of things. And while I agree with this quote, I would even go a step further. I’d say that having a dream on the horizon is what makes life worth living. It’s amazing the difference that potential for the future makes!
And finally, the very best thought about living a fulfilled, happy FLYODI life is:
1) To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
— Oscar Wilde
This quote seems to sum it all up. There is an enormous difference between living and existing. It’s the difference between pursuing a truly fulfilling life and simply going through the motions. It’s the difference between helping and being indifferent. It’s the difference between creating (or at least appreciating) beauty, and merely paying the bills. Of course, here at FLYODI, our goal is to help make living much less rare!
So, there you have it. Which quote or quotes did you find most useful or inspiring? If none of the quotes I chose gets your vote, check out the video below and chose a different favorite. Or perhaps you have another favorite.
As is ever the case, we here at FLYODI await your ever trenchant observations and comments…and, of course, your favorite inspirational quotes.© Copyright 2014 FLYODI, All rights Reserved. Written For: FLYODI: Life -- Better!