Failure is impossible.
—Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906) American Civil Rights Leader
Of course all life is a process of breaking down, but the blows that do the dramatic side of the work – the big sudden blows that come, or seem to come, from outside – the ones you remember and blame things on and, in moments of weakness, tell your friends about, don’t show their effect all at once. There is another sort of blow that comes from within – that you don’t feel until it’s too late to do anything about it, until you realize with finality that in some regard you will never be as good a man again. The first sort of breakage seems to happen quick – the second kind happens almost without your knowing it but is realized suddenly indeed. Before I go on with this short history, let me make a general observation – the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.
—F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940) American Novelist
There is room enough in human life to crowd almost every art and science in it. If we pass “no day without a line”—visit no place without the company of a book—we may with ease fill libraries, or empty them of their contents. The more we do, the more busy we are, the more leisure we have.
—William Hazlitt (1778–1830) English Essayist
Isn’t it the mind that translates the outer condition into happiness and suffering?
—Matthieu Ricard (b.1946) French Buddhist Monk
How things look on the outside of us depends on how things are on the inside of us. Stay close to the heart of nature and forget this troubled world. Remember, there is nothing wrong with nature; the trouble is in ourselves.
No man can think clearly when his fists are clenched.
—George Jean Nathan (1882–1958) American Drama Critic, Editor
The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.
It is never too late to be what you might have been.
—George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) (1819–80) English Novelist