Sometimes I turn to turn books when I need a good recharge. You know, you feel low on energy or you need a much needed break from studying. I just finished reading the book A Philosopher’s Notes and what I loved most about it was the overall sense of optimism it gave me. Though there are a few chapters I didn’t wholeheartedly agree with (mostly on depression and taking medication), I still enjoyed the book from cover to cover. The author, Brian Johnson, intersperses meaningful quotes which I feel compelled to share with you.
Mostly, I loved the ones that pertained to persistence or not giving up. After that episode I had with Sam over being discouraged about my current skill level in photography, these quotes gave me a new perspective.
“A person can make himself happy, or miserable, regardless of what is actually happening ‘outside,’ just by changing the contents of consciousness. We all know individuals who can transform hopeless situations into challenges to be overcome, just through the force of their personalities. This ability to persevere despite obstacles and setbacks is the quality people most admire in others, and justly so; it is probably the most important trait not only for succeeding in life, but for enjoying it as well. To develop this trait, one must find ways to order consciousness so as to be in control of feelings and thoughts. It is best not to expect shortcuts will do the trick.
– Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
“We fail to realize that mastery is not about perfection. It’s about a process, a journey. The master is the one who stays on the path day after day, year after year. The master is the one who is willing to try, and fail, and try again, for as long as he or she lives.”
– George Leonard Quotes
“Do not be impatient with your seemingly slow progress. Do not try to run faster than you presently can. If you are studying, reflecting and trying, you are making progress whether you are aware of it or not. A traveler walking the road in the darkness of night is still going forward. Someday, some way, everything will break open, like the natural unfolding of a rosebud.”
– Vernon Howard
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
– Howard Thurman
“Then the time came when the risk it took to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
– Anais Nin
At the end of the book, Jonson gives us his list of top 50 books. Get ready to dive in.
Photo via Beautiful Flowers