Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.
Every ceiling, when reached, becomes a floor, upon which one walks as a matter of course and prescriptive right.
I have discovered the most exciting, the most arduous literary form of all, the most difficult to master, the most pregnant in curious possibilities. I mean the advertisement. It is far easier to write ten passably effective Sonnets, good enough to take in the not too inquiring critic, than one effective advertisement that will take in a few thousand of the uncritical buying public.
Science and art are only too often a superior kind of dope, possessing this advantage over booze and morphia: that they can be indulged in with a good conscience and with the conviction that, in the process of indulging, one is leading the “higher life.”
Topics: Adversity, Intelligence
There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self. So you have to begin there, not outside, not on other people. That comes afterward, when you’ve worked on your own corner.
Topics: Self-reliance, Self-Control, Progress, Self-improvement, Confidence, Helping, Discipline
You never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion. Dogs do not ritually urinate in the hope of persuading heaven to do the same and send down rain. Asses do not bray a liturgy to cloudless skies. Nor do cats attempt, by abstinence from cat’s meat, to wheedle the feline spirits into benevolence. Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly. It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent but not, as yet, quite intelligent enough.
Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are the dead.
Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.
Morality is always the product of terror; its chains and strait-waistcoats are fashioned by those who dare not trust others, because they dare not trust themselves, to walk in liberty.
Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the byproduct of other activities.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- E. M. Forster English Novelist
- Desiderius Erasmus Dutch Humanist, Scholar
- Corrie Ten Boom Dutch Jewish Humanist
- G. K. Chesterton English Journalist
- Thomas Love Peacock English Satirist
- J. G. Ballard English Novelist
- Percy Bysshe Shelley English Poet
- George Harrison English Singer
- Evelyn Waugh British Novelist, Satirist
- Daniel Defoe English Writer