When you read a quotation from some enlightened author, you're getting right down into their best material. There's no need to sift through hours of pages in order to find the best stuff; the best stuff is in the quote!
This is why I've spent years reading books of quotations. Can you imagine the wisdom buzz a person can get from that? Sure, you often have to read boring quotes, but every little while you'll run into a real good one! And when this happens, your mind is stretched, your eyes are opened, and it can become an amazing intellectual or spiritual experience. And then you start over, because it becomes addictive.
Here are ten motivational quotes based on the topics of aspiration and life that I have always loved. Take the time to dig through them and glean the great lessons that they hold.
1. When a young man sets out to learn something of his own free will, he marks himself out as an exceptional man. And he begins to rise in the world. -Herbert N. Casson
2. Life is a petty thing unless it is moved by the indomitable urge to extend its boundaries. Only in proportion as we are desirous of living do we really live. – Jose Ortega y Gasset
3. It is asked, how can the laboring man find time for self-culture? I answer that an earnest purpose finds time or makes it. It seizes on spare moments and turns fragments to golden account. A man who follows his calling with industry and spirit, and uses his earnings economically, will always have some portion of the day at command. And it is astonishing how fruitful of improvement a short season becomes when eagerly seized and faithfully used. It has often been observed, that those who have the most time at their disposal profit by it the least. A single hour a day, steadily given to the study of some interesting subject, brings unexpected accumulations of knowledge. -Channing
4. Restlessness is discontent and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure. -Thomas Edison
5. I am suffocated and lost when I have not the bright feeling of progression. -Margaret Fuller
6. I know of no more encouraging fact than the ability of a man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor. It is something to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so make a few objects beautiful. It is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look. This morally we can do. -Thoreau
7. What would be the use of immortality to a person who can not use well a half hour? -Emerson
8. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain
9. If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. -Thoreau
10. 1) Sit quietly for a moment, and you realize how you have been foolishly running about.
2) Learn to keep your mouth shut, and you realize you have been talking too much.
3) Avoid getting involved in too many things, and you realize that you have been wasting your time in unnecessary things.
4) Close the door, and you realize that you have been mixed up with too many kinds of people.
5) Have few desires, and you realize why you have had so many ills.
6) Be human, and you realize that you have been too critical of others. -Chen Chiju (1588-1639)