life - life 2 - life 4 - life 5 - life 6

As I grow to understand
life less and less,
I learn to live it
more and more.

Jules Renard


Every day is a little life. . . live every day as if it would be the last.  Those that dare lose a day are dangerously prodigal; those that dare misspend it are desperate.

Joseph Hall

I have never been bored an hour in my life.  I get up every morning wondering what new strange glamorous thing is going to happen and it happens at fairly regular intervals.  Lady Luck has been good to me and I fancy she has been good to everyone.  Only some people are dour, and when she gives them the come hither with her eyes, they look down or turn away and lift an eyebrow.  But me, I give her the wink and away we go.

William Allen White
Life holds no promises as to what will come your way.  You must search for your own ideals and work toward reaching them.  Life makes no guarantees as to what youíll have.  It just gives you time to make choices and to take chances and to discover whatever secrets that might come your way.  If you are willing to take the opportunities you are given and utilize the abilities you have, you will constantly fill your life with special moments and unforgettable times.

Dena Dilaconi
The aim, if reached or not, makes great the life:  try to be Shakespeare, leave the rest to fate.

Robert Browning

Life only demands from you the strength that you possess.  Only one feat is possible--not to have run away.

Dag Hammarskjold


Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence,
and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.

Helen Keller


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Life is not always what one wants it to be, but to make
the best of it, as it is, is the only way of being happy.

Jennie Jerome Churchill


Pythagoras used to say that life resembles the Olympic Games: 
a few people strain their muscles to carry off a prize; others
bring trinkets to sell to the crowd for gain; and some there are,
and not the worst, who seek no other profit than to look at the
show and see how and why everything is done; spectators of the
life of other people in order to judge and regulate their own.

Michel de Montaigne


The need to make wise choices encompasses every area of our lives.
Since we have time for only a limited amount of stuff,
we need to choose wisely what stuff we're going to allow to take up that time.
Since we have only a limited amount of time to spend with friends or to engage
in leisure activities, we need to choose our friends and our activities wisely.

Elaine St. James

If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes
next time.  I'd relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier
than I have been this trip.  I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances.  I would climb more mountains and
swim more rivers.  I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I'm one of those people who lived sensibly and sanely,
hour after hour, day after day.  Oh, I've had my moments, and if
I had to do it over again, I'd have more of them.  In fact, I'd
try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another,
instead of living so many years ahead of each day.  I've been
one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer,
a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute.  If I had to do
it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier
in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.  I would go
to more dances.  I would ride more merry-go-rounds.  I would pick more daisies.

This passage is attributed to Nadine Stair,
who was 85, 87, or 89 when she wrote it, depending
on the source.  However, it's worth noting that the
following article appeared in October of 1953.
You be the judge about the source:

Of course, you can't unfry an egg, but there is no law against thinking about it.

If I had my life to live over, I would try to make more mistakes.  I would relax.  I would be sillier than I have been this trip.  I know of very few things that I would take seriously.  I would be less hygienic.  I would go more places.  I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.  I would eat more ice cream and less bran.

I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary troubles.  You see, I have been one of those fellows who live prudently and sanely, hour after hour, day after day.  Oh, I have had my moments.  But if I had it to do over again, I would have more of them--a lot more.  I never go anywhere without a thermometer, a gargle, a raincoat and a parachute.  If I had it to do over, I would travel lighter.

It may be too late to unteach an old dog old tricks, but perhaps a word from the unwise may be of benefit to a coming generation.  It may help them to fall into some of the pitfalls I have avoided.

If I had my life to live over, I would pay less attention to people who teach tension.  In a world of specialization we naturally have a superabundance of individuals who cry at us to be serious about their individual specialty.  They tell us we must learn Latin or History; otherwise we will be disgraced and ruined and flunked and failed.  After a dozen or so of these protagonists have worked on a young mind, they are apt to leave it in hard knots for life.  I wish they had sold me Latin and History as a lark.

I would seek out more teachers who inspire relaxation and fun.  I had a few of them, fortunately, and I figure it was they who kept me from going entirely to the dogs.  From them I learned how to gather what few scraggly daisies I have gathered along life's cindery pathway.

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefooted a little earlier in the spring and stay that way a little later in the fall.  I would play hooky more. I would shoot more paper wads at my teachers.  I would have more dogs.  I would keep later hours.  I'd have more sweethearts.  I would fish more.  I would go to more circuses.  I would go to more dances.  I would ride on more merry-go-rounds.  I would be carefree as long as I could, or at least until I got some care--instead of having my cares in advance.

More errors are made solemnly than in fun.  The rubs of family life come in moments of intense seriousness rather that in moments of light-heartedness.  If nations--to magnify my point--declared international carnivals instead of international war, how much better that would be!

G.K. Chesterton once said, "A characteristic of the great saints is their power of levity.  Angels can fly because they can take themselves lightly.  One 'settles down' into a sort of selfish seriousness; but one has to rise to a gay self-forgetfulness.  A person falls into a 'brown study,' and reaches up at a blue sky."

In a world in which practically everybody else seems to be consecrated to the gravity of the situation, I would rise to glorify the levity of the situation.  For I agree with Will Durant that "gaiety is wiser than wisdom."

I doubt, however, that I'll do much damage with my creed.  The opposition is too strong.  There are too many serious people trying to get everybody else to be too darned serious.

Don Herold


Learn as if you were going to live forever. 
Live as if you were going to die tomorrow.



To learn new habits is everything, for it is to reach
the substance of life.  Life is but a tissue of habits.

Henri Frederic Amiel

The only thing I regret about my past is the length of it.  If I had
to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner.

Tallulah Bankhead


Suppose we want to realize how a marathon runner feels:  if we
run two blocks, or two miles or five miles, we will know something
about running those distances, but we wonít yet know anything
about running a marathon.  We can recite theories about marathons;
we can describe tables about the physiology of marathon runners;
we can pile up endless information about marathon-running; but that
doesnít mean we know what it is.  We can only know when we are
the one doing it.  We only know our lives when we experience them
directly, instead of dreaming about how they might
be if we did this, or had that.

Charlotte J. Beck
Everyday Zen


life - life 2 - life 4 - life 5 - life 6

This is another day!  Are its eyes blurred with maudlin grief
for any wasted past?  A thousand thousand failures
shall not daunt!  Let dust clasp dust, death, death; I am alive!

Don Marquis


Life is made up not necessarily of great sacrifices or high-level duties
but of little things.  The smiles, the kindnesses, the commitments and
obligations and responsibilities that are given habitually and lovingly
are the blessings that win and preserve the heart and bring comfort
to one's self as we as to others.  This is the ministry
of service performed by every useful life.

John Marks Templeton
Worldwide Laws of Life


We get to think of life as an inexhaustible well.  Yet everything happens
only a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. . . . How
many more times will you watch the full moon rise?
Perhaps twenty.  And yet it all seems limitless.

Jacqueline Bisset



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Our life is what our thoughts make it.

Do every act of your life as if it were your last.

In a word, your life is short.  You must make the most of the present with the aid of reason and justice.

Since it is possible that you may be quitting life this very moment, govern every act and thought accordingly.

Marcus Aurelius



In the true reality of life. . . all things are equal, transcending distinctions
and differences between subject and object, self and others, mind and
body, the spiritual and the material.  In its true aspect, life is infinitely
expansive and eternal, without beginning or end.  Life is dynamic; it is
wisdom and compassion; it embodies the principle of the indivisibility of
life and death; it is a universal law.  The cosmos is not so big that life
cannot embrace it, nor a particle of matter so small that life
cannot be contained within it.

Daisaku Ikeda
Buddhism Day by Day


The three hardest tasks in the world are neither physical feats
nor intellectual achievements, but moral acts:  to return love
for hate, to include the excluded, and to say ďI was wrong.Ē

Sydney J. Harris


All animals, except man, know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it.

Samuel Butler



The most instructive experiences are those of everyday life.


Those who have a why to live for can bear almost any how.


The necessary premise is that a person is somehow more than
his or her "characteristics," all the emotions, strivings, tastes,
and constructions which it pleases us to call "My Life."  We have
grounds to hope that a Life is something more than a cloud of
particles, mere facticity.  Go through what is comprehensible
and you conclude that only the incomprehensible gives any light.

Saul Bellow


Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a
luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from
the beginning of consciousness to the end.

Virginia Woolf


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The truth of life is that every year we get farther away from the essence that is born
within us. We get shouldered with burdens, some of them good, some of them not
so good. Things happen to us. Loved ones die. People get in wrecks and get crippled.
People lose their way, for one reason or another. Itís not hard to do, in this world of
crazy mazes. Life itself does its best to take that memory of magic away from us.  You
donít know itís happening until one day you feel youíve lost something but youíre not
sure what it is. Itís like smiling at a pretty girl and she calls you ďsir.Ē It just happens.

Robert R.McCammon


The art of life lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings.

Okakura Kakuzo


I have given up the ambition to be a great scholar.  I want to be more--
simply a human. . . . We are not true humans, but beings who live by a
civilization inherited from the past, that keeps us hostage, that confines us.
No freedom of movement.  Nothing.  Everything in us is killed by our
calculations for our future, by our social position and cast.  You see, I am
not happy--yet I am happy.  I suffer, but that is part of life.  I live, I don't
care about my existence, and that is the beginning of wisdom.

Albert Schweitzer

life - life 2 - life 4 - life 5 - life 6

No one can live my life for me.  If I am wise, I shall begin today
to build my own truer and better world from within.

Horatio W. Dresser

It is futile to wish for a long life, and then to give so little care to living well.

Thomas a Kempis


The beauty is forever there before us, forever piping to us, and we are
forever failing to dance.  We could not help but dance if we could see
things as they really are.  Then we should kiss both hands to Fate and
fling our bodies, hearts, minds, and souls into life with a glorious
abandonment, an extravagant, delighted loyalty, knowing that our
wildest enthusiasm cannot more than brush the hem of the real
beauty and joy and wonder that are always there.

Margaret Prescott Montague


What is life but the flower or the fruit which falls, when
ripe, but yet which ever fears the untimely frost?


Our critical day is not the very day of our death; but
the whole course of our life.

John Donne


To be what we are, and to become what we are
capable of becoming, is the only end of life.

Robert Louis Stevenson
Familiar Studies of Men and Books

How often we hear people give expression to the thought that
they don't get much out of life anyway!  Now this very spirit of
trying to see how much they can get out of life is what causes
them to get so little.  It is the people who put the most into life
that get the most out of it.  A farmer might as well sit still and
see how much he can get out of his farm without sowing and
planting.  It is the people who give the most to life who get the
most out of it.  With many people life seems something to
plunder instead of to cultivate to the utmost.
   Just like the farmer who would till a particular piece of land
from which he is trying to win a prize, you must put as much
as you can into life, make it just as rich as possible.  Put love
and contentment into it, cheerfulness and unselfish service, then
you will not go around complaining that you get so little out of
life, that the world has no reward to offer you.

Orison Swett Marden
The Joys of Living (1913)

I think that life is difficult.  People have challenges.  Family members
get sick, people get older, you donít always get the job or the
promotion that you want.  You have conflicts in your life.  And really,
life is about your resilience and your ability to go through your life and
all of the ups and downs with a positive attitude.

Jennifer Hyman


However confused the scene of our life appears, however torn we may be
who now do face that scene, it can be faced, and we can go on to be whole.

Muriel Rukeyser



Found online:

(Found online images come from a variety of unattributed
sources from various social media pages.  They're too nice
not to share!)


Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.



Articles and book excerpts on life:

Born with Love      Marianne Williamson
Embracing Life      Rachel Naomi Remen

Good and Bad      Benjamin Hoff

Gratitude:  Why and for What?     Bernie Siegel

His Kind of Odds      Robert Fulghum

from Prescriptions for Living      Bernie Siegel

Pruning a Tree      Bernie Siegel

from Walden       Henry David Thoreau

A Complete and Balanced Life      Helaine Iris

Creating Your Own Life      Author Unknown

Developing a Reflective Life in the Midst of Turmoil      Asoka Selverajah

Edmund Pollard      Edgar Lee Masters

Emotional Response Primer      Louise Morganti Kaelin

Finding a Balance      Brian Dyson

Give Your Life Direction      T.W. Winslow

Living with the Heart of a Child      Joe Mazzella

How to Get More out of Life      Unknown Author

I Believe      John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

I'd Pick More Daisies      Don Herold

In This Day      Bob Perks

It's Your Life to Live      tom walsh

A Life of Choices:  The Choice That Is Life      Jane Mullikin

Living Fully      Laura Russell

Living Life Fully      tom walsh
Proverbs for Abundant Living      Brian Cavanaugh
A Psalm of Life      Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Start Living in Prime Time      Denis Waitley

Start Today      Joe Mazzella

Top Ten Principles to Live by--Plus One!      Louise Morganti Kaelin

What I Hope      Paul Harvey

What's Your View?      Ray Whiting
Rules for Being Human      unattributed
Life Is All Too Short:  Ways to Make It the Best It Can Be     Dennis Tesdale
Take a Deep Breath, Decide to Enjoy Life, and Feed the Birds     Brian Dickinson