Alright, I’m feeling particularly positive today, so I thought it might be good to think about some cool quotes from some pretty smart people and how they can put you in your feelings. The world can be a dark and scary place sometimes (especially at night), but you always have to remember all the beauty and majesty that comes with it. We live in a world that seems to be constantly on fire and the people we’ve hired to put out that fire are gasoline enthusiasts. Here are 6 quotes to turn to when you want to feel good about all that fire.
1. “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self.” – Ernest Hemingway
Okay, Hemingway gets the first one because it’s Hemingway and he was such a significant writer that one of his cooking recipes is in the JFK Presidential Library. Like it’s just a recipe for cooking a hamburger, but obviously, it’s also an amazing read because Hemingway wrote it. A recipe. In a museum. This quote makes me think of progress and growing/glo-ing up — two positive things. The only person you should be competing with is the person you were yesterday.
2. “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
This one speaks to me every time I feel a tiny jolt of dread when the word “nuclear” appears in the news. It’s spooky stuff, but life shouldn’t be about just getting by, but about going out every day with the drive to succeed and do something positive in the world. Maya Angelou was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama and apparently loved wearing Uggs. She knew what she was talking about.
3. “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”. – Mark Twain
Did you know that Mark Twain lived in Connecticut for more than 15 years? And that he wrote Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn while living there? What was he even doing there? I feel it’s just really far from the Mississippi. Seems like it wouldn’t be his scene. I guess I should know the answers to these questions because I did actually visit his museum/house in Hartford, but I honestly don’t remember much of it. There was a cool 8 foot tall Lego statue of Twain that was captivating though, I would definitely recommend the trip. Also, I feel this quote is pretty self-explanatory. Find your purpose.
4. “I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’” – Kurt Vonnegut
This quote makes me think of sunny days and eating picnics in parks with long rivers that lazily run by. Maybe I just saw a postcard once. Regardless, feeling positivity and hope from a quote attributed to an author whose first claim to fame was a novel about the horrors of war is surprising, but not unwelcome. With the world seeming more confused and just screwed up every day, it’s always important to recognize and appreciate the small moments when you feel good. If a life is a collection of small, happy moments, then it will not be a bad life.
5. “All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection. So, I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible.” – William Faulkner
Perfectionism is a dangerous phenomenon, one that can lead to unnecessary stress or worse, foolishly continuing to try and learn to play guitar talentedly when you’ll really never be able to make it past “Wonderwall”. It’s happened to all of us. Eventually, you’ve got to realize that you can’t be 100% perfect, and that’s alright. That’s good. Failing at perfection is part of the human experience, something that makes our lives interesting and real. Faulkner understood this – probably why no one in the McCaslin clan was perfect. That’s a Go Down, Moses reference. Go read it, I promise it’s good.
6. “Do you realize that you have the most beautiful face?” – The Flaming Lips
Alright, this one honestly might be here because I’ve been listening to “Do You Realize?” this whole time. Damn it’s a good song. There’s definitely the potential of existential feelings resulting from this song, but it’s worth it. Appreciate and take in all the beautiful things in life – that includes people and yourself. Watch a sunset, play with a dog, listen to some really good music, and think about how awesome the world is and will continue to be. As long as the Lips are on Spotify, every little thing is going to be alright.