Well-said words that remind me to shut up and pay attention.

If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.
—Gospel of Thomas


My life is one long obstacle course with me as the chief obstacle.
― Jack Parr

Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.
― Neil Gaiman, Coraline, paraphrasing G.K. Chesterton

I wish I could ask the future whether I should give up or keep trying. Then again, what if trying, even in the face of certain failure, feels as good as accomplishing? What if it’s even better?
― Sarah Manguso, 300 Arguments

The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions.
—Susan Sontag

Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life.
—Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

If you’re going through hell, keep going.
—Winston S. Churchill


It always seems impossible until it’s done.
― Nelson Mandela

He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.
― Friedrich Nietzsche


You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.
― James Baldwin

The best thing you can possibly do with your life is to tackle the motherfucking shit out of it.
—Cheryl Stayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar


You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.
— Greg McKeown

In both the art and the business worlds, the difference between the amateurs and the professionals is simple: the professionals know they’re winging it. The amateurs pretend they’re not.
― Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking


Art is fire plus algebra.
—Jorge Luis Borges

Time punishes us by taking everything, but it also saves us — by taking everything.
― Sarah Manguso, Ongoingness, the End of a Diary

To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.
―Pema Chödrön

The truth is always something that is told, not something that is known. If there were no speaking or writing, there would be no truth about anything.
—Susan Sontag

When you’re an artist, nobody ever tells you or hits you with the magic wand of legitimacy. You have to hit your own head with your own handmade wand. And you feel stupid doing it.
― Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking

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

If you think something’s happened quickly, you’re looking at only a part of it.
― Sarah Manguso, The Two Kinds of Decay


Life is trouble. Only death is not. To be alive is to undo your belt and look for trouble.
– Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek

I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.
—Susan Sontag