New Year’s Wisdom

Posted on 2017 January 2


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Sometimes [the typical citizen] drinks heavily while listening to the flute; at other times, he drinks only water and is on a diet; sometimes he goes in for physical training; at other times, he’s idle and neglects everything. — Plato

It’s easy to make New Year’s resolutions — lose weight, make more money, be nicer to your spouse, stop worrying so much about Trump — but that’s basically a parlor game, quickly forgotten. Instead, perhaps we might ponder deep words from great thinkers of past and present, ideas that inspire us to walk away from our bad habits and toward a better life. Herewith, then, please enjoy sayings from wise voices — each maxim a step on a path from doubt to inspiration — with my wishes for a happy new year.

Often we get absorbed in the things we want in the future. As if we are unhappy now but there’s some complicated journey that can take us to happiness. The currency of unhappiness will never buy us happiness. — James Altucher

Wretched . . . must be the life of those who work hard to gain what they must work harder to keep. — Seneca

A meaningful life can be extremely satisfying even in the midst of hardship, whereas a meaningless life is a terrible ordeal no matter how comfortable it is. — Yuval Harari

I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence. ― Frederick Douglass

To attain perfection, one must first of all be able not to understand many things. — Fyodor Dostoyevsky

There are two different kinds of doubt — self-doubt and idea-doubt. Self-doubt is paralyzing: it leads you to freeze. But idea-doubt is energizing: it motivates you to test, to experiment, to refine. — Adam Grant

Originals have lots and lots of bad ideas. Tons of them, in fact. — Adam Grant

When you reason correctly . . . you find that you always think you’re right, but you don’t think you’re always right. — Jordan Ellenberg

When given a choice, take both. — Peter Diamandis

The best way to predict the future is to invent it. — Alan Kay

Instead of trying to change the world, we should create opportunities for it. — Quippy

If you don’t turn your life into a story, you just become a part of someone else’s story. — Terry Pratchett

Do it by the book, but be the author. — Peter Diamandis

Set your sights on an impossible ideal and work hard to reach it. You won’t. That’s not just okay, that’s the point. — The Last Psychiatrist

I believe in living life the way that you want to live it every day, and if you do that, you don’t really need to have New Year’s resolutions. — Tom Ford


The problem with self-improvement is knowing when to quit. — David Lee Roth