life - life 2 - life 3 - life 5 - life 6

Life is a moment-to-moment happening;
any attempt to possess it, save it,
or store it, is to lose the present moment.

A Spiritual Warrior


Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness.  It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.  It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.

Brené Brown
Daring Greatly


Life is learning which rules to obey, which rules not to obey, and the wisdom to tell the difference between the two.


Life is.  I am.  Anything might happen.
   And I believe I may invest my life with meaning.
   The uncertainty is a blessing in disguise.
   If I were absolutely certain about all things, I would spend my life in anxious misery, fearful of losing my way.  But since everything and anything are always possible, the miraculous is always nearby and wonders shall never, ever cease.

Robert Fulghum

Life is not something to be lived through:  it is something to be lived up to.  It is a privilege, not a penal servitude of so many decades on earth.

William G. Jordan


We must cultivate and defend particularity, individuality, and irregularity—life.
Human beings do not have a future in the collectivism of bureaucratic states
or in the mass society created by capitalism.  Every system, by virtue as much
of its abstract nature as of its pretension to totality, is the enemy of life.
As a forgotten Spanish poet, José Moreno Villa, put it with melancholy
wit:  “I have discovered in symmetry the root of much iniquity.”

Octavio Paz


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To recognize your capacity to affect life is to know yourself
most intimately and deeply, to recognize your real value and
power, independent of any role that you may have been given
to play or expertise you may have acquired.  It is possible
to strengthen or diminish the life around you in almost any role.
One of the ways in which we become dangerous to others is
to assume that our role or our expertise has in it such an inherent
capacity for good that we, occupying that role, can do no harm.
There is no role that absolves us of the responsibility to listen,
to be mindful that life is all around us, touching us.

Rachel Naomi Remen

Life just is.  You have to flow with it.  Give yourself
to the moment.  Let it happen.

Jerry Brown

Life is good and is always trying to do us a good turn if we will
only allow it to do so.

Henry T. Hamblin


Life is the ability to start over again.

Joan Chittister

Life is really simple,
but people insist on making it complicated.


The real trick is to stay alive as long as you live.

Ann Landers

Life was never meant to be a struggle;
just a gentle progression from one point
to another, much like walking through
a valley on a sunny day.

Stuart Wilde

You're only here for a short visit.
Don't hurry, don't worry, and stop
to smell the flowers along the way.

Walter Hagen


Life, like any other exciting
story, is bound to have
painful and scary parts,
boring and depressing
parts, but it's a brilliant
story, and it's up to us
how it will turn out
in the end.

Bo Lozoff


life - life 2 - life 3 - life 5 - life 6

It is a pity that the words "spiritual life" were ever invented,
for they have caused so much confusion.  For, in truth, there is
only life--everyday life--which is simply what is at every moment.

Robert Powell

Are we all living like this?  Two lives, the ideal outer life and
the inner imaginative life where we keep our secrets?

Jeanette Winterson


The difference is great between one's outside "life," the things which
happen to one, incidents, pains and pleasures, and one's "living."

Charlotte Perkins Gilman


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Life begins when a person first realizes how soon it ends.

Marcelene Cox

I don’t want to be a passenger in my own life.

Diane Ackerman


I have never given very deep thought to a philosophy of life, though I have
a few ideas that I think are useful to me.  One is that you do whatever comes
your way as well as you can, and another is that you think as little as possible
about yourself and as much as possible about other people and about things
that are interesting.  The third is that you get more joy out of giving joy to others
and should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.

Eleanor Roosevelt

It is fair to say that the world around you is a mirror.  Therefore
you have a lot more control over the future than you might think,
because you can shape your world just by being true
to what you really care about.

Bradley Trevor Greive

The great affair, the love affair with life, is to live as variously as possible,
to groom one's curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred, climb aboard,
and gallop over the thick, sunstruck hills every day. . . . It began as mystery,
and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.

Diane Ackerman



There is never a frozen moment.
Life flows and so must we.

Stephen C. Paul


To be alive is the biggest fear humans have.  Death is not
the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk
to be alive--the risk to be alive and express what we really are.

Don Miguel Ruiz


I wanted a perfect ending.  Now I've learned, the hard way,
that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have
a clear beginning, middle, and end.  Life is about not knowing,
having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it,
without knowing what's going to happen next.

Gilda Radner


We have some inspiring and motivational books that may interest you.  Our main way of supporting this site is through the sale of books, either physical copies or digital copies for your Amazon Kindle (including the online reader).  All of the money that we earn through them comes back to the site in one way or another.  Just click on the picture to the left to visit our page of books, both fiction and non-fiction!


There is no power on earth that can neutralize the influence
of a high, pure, simple, and useful life.

Booker T. Washington


I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible,
to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance;
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
goes on as fruit.

Dawna Markova


"Life, we think, measures us by how well we've succeeded, or how miserably we have failed," Old Hawk continued.  "On the other hand, perhaps life doesn't measure us at all, at least not in the same ways we measure ourselves.  Perhaps it doesn't expect us to succeed or fail.  Life may simply want us to make the journey in order to add to or detract from the whole.  To put it another way, when we reach the end of the journey that is each of our lives, we will be examples to those who come behind us.  Some of us, unfortunately, but perhaps necessarily, will be examples of how not to live life.  Others of us will be examples of how to live life."

Joseph M. Marshall III



Give the best you have received from the past to the best that
you may come to know in the future.  Accept life daily not as a cup
to be drained but as a chalice to be filled with whatsoever things are
honest, pure, lovely, and of good report.  Making a living is best
undertaken as part of the more important business of making a life.
Every now and again take a good look at something not made with
hands—a mountain, a star, the turn of a stream.  There will come
to you wisdom and patience and solace, and above all the assurance
that you are not alone in the world.

Sidney Lovett

life - life 2 - life 3 - life 5 - life 6

Out of the cacophony of random suffering and chaos that can mark
human life, the life artist sees or creates a symphony of meaning
and order.  A life of wholeness does not depend on what we
experience.  Wholeness depends on how we experience our lives.

Desmond Tutu

I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I
don't want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my
life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and
dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car
with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night
laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I
want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat
ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and
down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh,
glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift.

Shauna Niequist
Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the
Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life

Rules for Being Human
Cherie Carter-Scott

1.  You will receive a body.  You may like it or hate it, but it’s yours to keep for the entire period.

2.  You will learn lessons.  You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called “life.”

3.  There are no mistakes, only lessons.  Growth is a process of trial, error, and experimentation.  The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiments that ultimately “work.”

4.  Lessons are repeated until they are learned.  A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it.  When you have learned it, you can go on to the next lesson.

5.  Learning lessons does not end.  There’s no part of life that doesn’t contain its lessons.  If you’re alive, that means there are still lessons to be learned.

6.  “There” is no better a place than “here.”  When your “there” has become a “here,” you will simply obtain another “there” that will again look better than “here.”

7.  Other people are merely mirrors of you.  You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.

8.  What you make of your life is up to you.  You have all the tools and resources you need.  What you do with them is up to you.  The choice is yours.

9.  Your answers lie within you.  The answers to life’s questions lie within you.  All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.

10.  You will forget all this.  You can remember it if you want by unraveling the double helix of inner-knowing.

from If Life Is a Game, These Are the Rules

If I were called upon to state in a few words the essence of everything 
I was trying to say both as a novelist and a preacher, it would be
something like this:  Listen to your life.  See it for the fathomless
mystery that it is.  In the boredom and the pain of it no less than in the
excitement and the gladness:  touch, taste, smell your way to the holy
and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments
are key moments and life itself is grace.

Frederick Buechner
Now and Then

It is the simple things of life that make living worthwhile,
the sweet fundamental things such as love and duty,
work and rest, and living close to nature.

Laura Ingalls Wilder

We can dare to live, fully, just for today.  We can appreciate the extraordinariness of every breath we take, every challenge we encounter.  Within each experience is the invitation for us to grow,to reach out to others in caring ways, to discover more fully the people we are capable of being.  We must not let a single moment go by unnoticed.

When we withdraw from life, we stunt our growth.  We need involvement with others, involvement that perturbs us, humors us, even stresses us.  We tap our internal resources only when we have been pushed to our limits, and our participation in life gifts us, daily, with that push.  How necessary the push!

None of us will pass this way again.  What we see and feel and say today are gone forever.  We have so much to regret when we let things slip away unnoticed or unappreciated.

Karen Casey
Each Day a New Beginning
The trouble with many of us is that we just slide along in life.  If we
would only give, just once, the same amount of reflection to what
we want out of life that we give to the question of what to do with
a two weeks' vacation, we would be startled at our false standards
and the aimless procession of our busy days.

Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Just when summer gets perfect--fresh nights, soft sun, casual breezes,
crushingly full and quietly cooling trees, empty beaches, and free weekends-
it ends.  Life is like that too.  Just when we get it right, it starts to change.
The job gets easy and we know just how to do it, and they tell us we're
retired.  The children grow up and get reasonable and they leave home, just
when it's nice to have them around. . . . That's life on the edge of autumn.
And that's beautiful--if we have the humility for it.

Joan Chittister


It is never quite safe to think we have done with life.  When we
imagine we have finished our story fate has a trick of turning
the page and showing us yet another chapter.

Lucy Maud Montgomery


To some degree we all find life difficult, perplexing, and oppressive.  Even
when it goes well, as it may for a time, we worry that it probably won’t
keep on that way.  Depending on our personal history, we arrive at
adulthood with very mixed feelings about this life.  If I were to tell you that
your life is already perfect, whole, and complete just as it is, you would
think I was crazy.  Nobody believes his or her life is perfect.  And yet there
is something within each of us that basically knows we are boundless,
limitless.  We are caught in the contradiction of finding life a rather perplexing
puzzle which causes us a lot of misery, and at the same time being dimly
aware of the boundless, limitless nature of life.
So we begin looking for an answer to the puzzle.

Charlotte Joko Beck
Everyday Zen: Love and Work

Life is short.  Each year passes more quickly than the previous one.
It’s easy to deny yourself many of life’s simple pleasures because
you want to be practical.  Forget about practical and decide instead
to become a joy collector.  Always be on the lookout for gifts without
ribbons.  God is strewing them across your path right now.  His gifts
come tagged with a note:  “Life can be wonderful.  Do your best not
to miss it!”  Enjoy what it is before it isn’t anymore. . . . Dare to slip
on a pair of bunny slippers once in a while!  Surprise yourself!  Enjoy
the little things because one day you’ll look back
and realize they were the big things!

Barbara Johnson


The purpose of to live it, to taste experience to the utmost,
to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.

Eleanor Roosevelt



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