When I was in my 2nd year of high school, my Italian teacher gave me a book. Looking back at it I think it was really ironic, because the book was Gibran’s The Prophet. She somehow thought the book had something to do with me, and I guess in some ways it does. Still, I was updating my DailyOM profile (I’m taking one of Sadie Nardini‘s yoga courses there) and one of the questions in the form is a favourite quote.
In the past, on this blog, there was one:
The only difference between a caprice and a lifelong passion is that the caprice lasts a little longer.
It is not any new age kinda thing à la John Friend. That’s the way I shine my truth, in the end. In the context of the book, it is about the idea of love forever. To me, it is inspiring because it is about how people take themselves too seriously most of the time (The Doctor once said something about never taking himself seriously on purpose) and many times you will be diminished by their opinion that your idea, especially a good creative business idea that would make people jealous, is just a caprice. If I had a penny for all the ideas I have had since I was born, I would be rich by now. For some people having too many ideas is a fault, they are not serious enough. Those people take seriously the dream you had as a child. Truth is, as a child I was exactly like this, over-active and a factory for ideas, including philosophical ones, but I wanted to be a palaeontologist. Unfortunately, it was not me who invented the Philosoraptor.
It is not that I don’t like proper inspirational quotes. One of my favourites is Eleanor Roosevelt’s:
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams
That is inspirational in a kind of traditional wisdom way. Someone seeking encouragement and empowerment opens Beliefnet and looks for stuff like
Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you greater than any obstacle.
-Christian D. Larson
And they are totally right! It’s strange people like me that put deep meaning in things that are not meant to be inspirational and get inspired.
For instance, there’s another quote at the beginning of The Picture of Dorian Gray that in my own copy is underlined so much it almost broke the page. I find it very inspiring.
With your personality there is nothing you could not do.
The world belongs to you for a season. . . . The moment I met you I saw that you were quite unconscious of what you really are, of what you really might be. There was so much in you that charmed me that I felt I must tell you something about yourself. I thought how tragic it would be if you were wasted. For there is such a little time that your youth will last–such a little time.
What do I like about it? It warns you that things are going to change faster than you expect, it’s not only you becoming old but the train of opportunities that stopped at your station and will start again its journey at one point. And it may be without you. It’s for a season, not 10 years. A limited time.
Another quote I particularly appreciate (the kind of “I will get this tattoed on my arm” appreciate) is from Tolkien:
Not all those who wander are lost.
Do you know how many experiences and teachings you could get if for once in a while you stop looking towards your goal and rushing to make it another mark on your iDoneThis page? If you just enjoy the moment and what serendipity will bring. Maybe it won’t be John Cusack (too bad!), but many important things like penicillin come from fortunate accidents. If you are open and proactive to change you are surely not wandering because you are lost. You are waiting for your apple falling down from the tree.