At what price, excellence? What cost, harmony?
Men of action: tear down your gods.
|“You can be struggling and still be loved. You can be difficult and still cared for. You can be less than perfect, and still be deserving of compassion and kindness.”
— Daniell Koepke
“Of course I’ll hurt you. Of course you’ll hurt me. Of course we will hurt each other. But this is the very condition of existence. To become spring, means accepting the risk of winter. To become presence, means accepting the risk of absence.”
“You don’t really understand an antagonist until you understand why he’s a protagonist in his own version of the world.”
“I want to know what you ache for.”
“Your arrogance intoxicates me because it is violent, bold, brutal, and honest – so honest because it believes, without shame or hesitation, what it believes. I wish we all had more arrogance and less self-effacement; that we all were willing to speak without apology, and act without the artificial restraint that the modern polity places upon our shoulders. I want your arrogance more than I want you, but, I suppose, it’s a package deal. I’ll take it.”
“There are two people you’ll meet in your life. One will run a finger down the index of who you are and jump straight to the parts of you that peak their interest. The other will take his or her time reading through every one of your chapters and maybe fold corners of you that inspired them most. You will meet these two people; it is a given. It is the third that you’ll never see coming. That one person who not only finishes your sentences, but keeps the book.”
“You know, one of the tragedies of real life is that there is no background music.”
|“To describe a building as beautiful therefore suggests more than a mere aesthetic fondness; it implies an attraction to the particular way of life this structure is promoting through its roof, door handles, window frames, staircase and furnishings. A feeling of beauty is a sign that we have come upon a material articulation of certain of our ideas of a good life.”
— Alain de Botton, The Architecture of Happiness
“We are all orphans set loose in this world seeking home.”
“You don’t know anyone at the party, so you don’t want to go. You don’t like cottage cheese, so you haven’t eaten it in years. This is your choice, of course, but don’t kid yourself: it’s also the flinch. Your personality is not set in stone. You may think a morning coffee is the most enjoyable thing in the world, but it’s really just a habit. Thirty days without it, and you would be fine. You think you have a soul mate, but in fact you could have had any number of spouses. You would have evolved differently, but been just as happy.
You can change what you want about yourself at any time. You see yourself as someone who can’t write or play an instrument, who gives in to temptation or makes bad decisions, but that’s really not you. It’s not ingrained. It’s not your personality. Your personality is something else, something deeper than just preferences, and these details on the surface, you can change anytime you like.
If it is useful to do so, you must abandon your identity and start again. Sometimes, it’s the only way.
Set fire to your old self. It’s not needed here. It’s too busy shopping, gossiping about others, and watching days go by and asking why you haven’t gotten as far as you’d like. This old self will die and be forgotten by all but family, and replaced by someone who makes a difference.
Your new self is not like that. Your new self is the Great Chicago Fire – overwhelming, overpowering, and destroying everything that isn’t necessary.”