life - life 2 - life 3 - life 4 - life 5

It is astonishing how much
more people are interested in
lengthening life than improving it.

Charles C. Colton


Life is a magic vase filled to the brim, so made that you cannot dip from it nor draw from it; but it overflows into the hand that drops treasures into it.  Drop in malice and it overflows hate; drop in charity and it overflows love.

John Ruskin

One of the things we must develop is a capacity for exploration, a searching for meanings and connections.  The search itself is crucial.  If you are not asking the hard questions of life, if you are not carefully testing what others tell you, then you are not engaged with all the potential aspects of your own unique and wonderful life.

Sallirae Henderson
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, sun-struck hills every day. Where there is no risk, the emotional terrain is flat and unyielding, and, despite all its dimensions, valleys, pinnacles, and detours, life will seem to have none of its magnificent geography, only a length.  It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.

Diane Ackerman

Life is tension.  Without tension, there could be no life.  Too little tension or too much tension interferes with the process of life in the same way a string of a guitar interferes with the melody when it is either too loose or too tight.

Bruno Geba

It's not that I'm afraid to die, but I'm terribly, terribly afraid not to live.

Francis Noyes Hart


If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a
perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live.

Lin Yutang


quotations - contents - welcome page - obstacles
the people behind the words - our current e-zine - articles and excerpts
Daily Meditations, Year One - Year Two - Year Three - Year Four

Sign up for your free daily spiritual or general quotation
~ ~ Sign up for your free daily meditation


Life was meant to be lived and curiosity must be kept alive.  One must never, for whatever reason, turn one's back on life.

Eleanor Roosevelt

You are younger today than you
ever will be again.  Make use of it
for the sake of tomorrow.


We want to live in the present, and the
only history that is worth a tinker's damn
is the history we make today.

Henry Ford
Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try
to love the questions themselves. . . .  Don’t search for the answers, which
could not be given to you now, because you would not be able
to live them.  And the point is, to live everything.  Live the questions
now.  Perhaps, then, someday far in the future, you will gradually,
without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

Rainer Maria Rilke

I have always found that each step we take in life is to
be regretted--if we once begin to wonder how many
other steps might have been possible.

John Oliver Hobbes


Life is a building.  It rises slowly, day by day throughout the years.
Every new lesson we learn lays a block on the edifice, which is rising
silently within us.  Every experience, every touch of another life on ours,
every influence that impresses us, every book we read, every conversation we
hear, every act of our commonest days, adds something to the invisible building.

James R. Miller


Most of life is routine--dull and grubby, but routine is the mountain
that keeps a person going.  If you wait for inspiration you'll be standing
on the corner after the parade is a mile down the street.

Ben Nicholas

What are we going to get out of life?  This can understandably be
a question of fundamental importance to us.  We begin with certain
basic needs and desires.  It is important to have a comfortable
home, plenty of food, a meaningful and well-paying job, comfort,
companionship, and joy.  However, many of us have not fully
realized a simple, basic principle:  for our receiving to take place,
we must first give.  Giving and receiving are two
aspects of the same law of life.

John Marks Templeton
Worldwide Laws of Life


Edmund Pollard

I would I had thrust my hands of flesh
Into the disk-flowers bee-infested,
Into the mirror-like core of fire
Of the light of life, the sun of delight.
For what are anthers worth or petals
Or halo-rays? Mockeries, shadows
Of the heart of the flower, the central flame!
All is yours, young passer-by;
Enter the banquet room with the thought;
Don't sidle in as if you were doubtful
Whether you're welcome--the feast is yours!
Nor take but a little, refusing more
With a bashful "Thank you," when you're hungry.
Is your soul alive? Then let it feed!
Leave no balconies where you can climb;
Nor milk-white bosoms where you can rest;
Nor golden heads with pillows to share;
Nor wine cups while the wine is sweet;
Nor ecstasies of body or soul,
You will die, no doubt, but die while living
In depths of azure, rapt and mated,
Kissing the queen-bee, Life!

Edgar Lee Masters
from Spoon River Anthology

life - life 2 - life 3 - life 4 - life 5


HOME - contents - Daily Meditations - abundance - acceptance - achievement - action - adversity - advertising - aging - ambition
anger - anticipation - anxiety - apathy - appreciation - arrogance - art - attitude - authenticity - awakening - awareness - awe
balance - beauty - being yourself - beliefs - body - brooding - busyness - caring - celebration - challenges -
change - character
charity - children - choices - Christianity - coincidence - commitment - common sense - community - comparison - compassion
competition - complaining - compliments - compromise - confidence - conformity - conscience - contentment - control - cooperation
courage - covetousness - creativity - crisis - criticism - cruelty -  death - decisions - desire - determination - disappointment
discipline - discouragement - diversity - doubt - dreams - earth - education - ego - emotions - encouragement - enlightenment
enthusiasm - envy - eternity - ethics - example - exercise - experience - failure - faith - fame - family - fate - fathers - fault-finding
fear - feelings - finances - flowers - forgiveness - freedom - friendship - frustration - fun - the future - garden of life - gardening
generosity - gentleness - giving - goals - God - goodness - grace - gratitude - greatness - greed - grief - growing up - guilt - habit
happiness - hatred - healing - health - heart - helpfulness - home - honesty - hope - hospitality - humility - hurry - ideals - identity
idleness  - idolatry - ignorance - illusion - imagination - impatience - individuality - the inner child - inspiration - integrity - intimacy
introspection - intuition - jealousy - journey of life - joy - judgment - karma - kindness - knowledge - language - laughter - laziness
leadership - learning - letting go - life - listening - loneliness - love - lying - magic - marriage - materialism - meanness - meditation
mindfulness - miracles - mistakes - mistrust - moderation - money - mothers - motivation - music - mystery - nature - negative attitude
now - oneness - open-mindedness - opportunity - optimism - pain - parenting - passion - the past - patience - peace - perfectionism
perseverance - perspective - pessimism - play - poetry - positive thoughts - possessions - potential - poverty - power - praise
- prejudice - pride - principle - problems - progress - prosperity - purpose - reading -recreation - reflection - relationships
religion - reputation - resentment - respect - responsibility - rest - revenge - risk - role models - running - ruts - sadness - safety
seasons of life - self - self-love - self-pity - self-reliance - self-respect selfishness - serving others - shame - silence - simplicity
slowing down - smiles -solitude - sorrow - spirit - stories - strength - stress - stupidity - success - suffering - talent
the tapestry of life - teachers - thoughts - time - today - tolerance - traditions - trees - trust - truth - unfulfilled dreams - values
vanity - virtue - vulnerability - walking - war - wealth - weight issues - wisdom - women - wonder - work - worry - worship
youth - spring - summer - fall - winter - Christmas - Thanksgiving - New Year - America - Zen sayings - articles & excerpts
Native American wisdom - The Law of Attraction - obstacles to living life fully - e-zine archives - quotations contents
our most recent e-zine - Great Thinkers - the people behind the words




I think these difficult times have helped me to understand better
than before how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way,
and that so many things that one goes around worrying about
are of no importance whatsoever.

Isak Dinesen


Life is brimming with things to be discovered and known, skills to
be mastered, challenges to be overcome.  And when you are
discouraged, dig a hole in the earth and think of the possibilities.
So many things can be planted in your lifetime, skills that once
mastered will bear fruit forever. . . . Pluck up some enthusiasm
for the business of life, for the loamy matter that supports us
all.  Become a handyman and spread your skills wide, digging
deeper into the earth’s crust to uncover its secrets.

Christopher Kimball


Live all you can; it's a mistake not to.  It doesn't so much matter
what you do in particular, so long as you have your life.
If you haven't had that, what have you had?

Henry James


There are no classes in life for beginners;
right away you are always asked to deal with what is most difficult.

Rainer Maria Rilke


Life is a song--sing it.
Life is a game--play it.
Life is a challenge--meet it.
Life is a dream--realize it.
Life is a sacrifice--offer it.
Life is love--enjoy it.

Sai Baba

Life is always walking up to us and saying, 
"Come on in, the living's fine," and what do we do?
Back off and take its picture.

Russell Baker

I believe the art of living consists not so much in complicating
simple things as in simplifying things that are not.

François Hertel



Life is beautiful to whomsoever will think beautiful thoughts. 
There are no common people but they who think
commonly and without imagination or beauty.
Such are dull enough.

Stanton Davis Kirkham


When one's young, everything's a rehearsal.  To be repeated ad lib, to be
put right when the curtain goes up in earnest.  One day you know that
the curtain was up all the time.  That was the performance.

Sybille Bedford


How vain it is to sit down and write if you have not stood up to live.

Henry David Thoreau


The end is nothing; the road is all.

Willa Cather


Live your life while you have it.
Life is a splendid gift--there is nothing small about it.

Florence Nightingale


Life seems somehow less shocking, painful, and lonely--and more hopeful, agreeable, and beautiful--when our experiences are confirmed by those of others.  Although each of us is unique, there are familiar responses and doubts and joys that let us know we have kin.  We are not, after all, too strange to live.
   Warped with satisfaction and terrors, woofed with too many ambiguities and too few certainties, life can be lived best not when we have the answers--because we will never have those--but when we know enough to live it right out to the edges, edges sometimes marked by other people, sometimes showing only our own footprints.

Rosalie Maggio
Important rules to watch in living:  Keep life simple.  Avoid watching for a
knock in your motor.  Learn to like work.  Have a good hobby.  Learn to be
satisfied.  Like people, say cheerful pleasant things.  Turn the defeat of adversity
into victory.  Meet your problems with decision.  Make the present moment a
success.  Always be planning something.  Say "nuts" to irritations.

John A. Schindler
The things of every day are all so sweet;
  The morning meadows set with dew,
The dances of daisies in the moon, the blue
  Of far-off hills where twilight shadows lie,
The night with all its tender mystery of sound
  And silence, and the starry sky.
Oh! life--the whole of life--is far too fleet,
  The things of every day are all so sweet.

The common things of life are all so dear;
  The waking in the warm half-gloom
To find again the old familiar room,
  The scents and sights and sounds that never tire,
The homely work, the plans, the lilt of baby's laugh,
  The crackle of the open fire;
The waiting, then the footsteps coming near,
  The opening door, the hand-clasp and the kiss--
Is Heaven not, after all, the Now and Here,
  The common things of life are all so dear.

Alice Allen


If your primary focus is to get over your health problems or get past a
relationship crisis so that you can return to your former life and old patterns--
that is, get back to business as usual--you are not really living.  The distinction
is paradoxical and sometimes subtle.  It's the difference between walking through
your life on your way to somewhere, and walking as your life.  Even if you believe
that where you want to get is extremely important, that destination is secondary.
Your immediate experience is what really matters.  It is your life.

Richard Moss


All the arts we practice are apprenticeship.  The big art is our life.

M.C. Richards


The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable
uncertainty; not knowing what comes next.

Ursula K. LeGuin


It had done me good to be somewhat parched
by the heat and drenched by the rain of life.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Life does not need to mutilate itself in order to be pure.

Simone Weil


Many of us have had the attitude that life is something that happens
to us and that all we can do is make the best of it.  It is basically a
victim's position, giving power to people and things outside of
ourselves.  We are beginning to realize that the power rests in us,
that we can choose to create our life the way we want it to be.

Shakti Gawain



We are involved in a life that passes understanding
and our highest business is our daily life.

John Cage


Life isn’t a battle; it’s a series of choices. Life is not about fighting
death; it is about the relationships, humor, joy, and vitality.  The best
way to ensure that your death is not a failure is to participate fully in
life now.  Believe me—you aren’t dead as long as you are alive.  If
you haven’t done so yet, sign on as an organ donor.  Take care
of your body so it will last for two lifetimes.

Bernie Siegel
No Endings, Only Beginnings


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!

The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon,
but that we take so long to begin it.


Life does not have meaning through mere existence or acquisition or fun.
The meaning of life is inherent in the connections we make to
others through honor and obligation.

Laura Schlessinger


Do you know what's one mistake we always make?  Believing that
life's immutable, that once you get on a particular track you have to
follow it to the end of the line.  But  it appears that fate has more
imagination than we do.  Just when you think you're in a situation
you can't escape from, when you've reached the lowest depths of
total desperation, everything changes as fast as a gust of wind,
everything's overturned; from one second to the next
you find you're living a new life.

Susanna Tamaro


life - life 2 - life 3 - life 4 - life 5

Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you
as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens
to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.

John H. Miller

Artur Rubinstein, the famous pianist, was once asked the secret
of his success--was it dedication, ability, discipline, hard work?

Mr. Rubinstein smiled as he remarked, "It's hard to say, but one
thing I do know:  if you love life, life will love you back!"

What a wonderful insight!  That philosophy explains how a man
in his eighties can continue to be so creative.  For life is simply
filled with exciting blessings for everybody.  They're ours if we
give enough of ourselves to life!

Norman Vincent Peale

From the spiritual side:

Life is not mean, it is grand; if it is mean to any, he or she makes it so.
God made it glorious.  It is paved with diamonds; its banks he fringed
with flowers.  He overarched it with stars.  Around it He spread the
glory of the physical universe—suns, moon, worlds, constellations,
systems—all that is magnificent in motion, sublime in magnitude, and
grand in order and obedience.  God would not have attended life
with this broad march of grandeur if it did not mean something.

Orison Swett Marden

We can make these three dynamic words -- "reverence for life" -- a part
of our lives by becoming aware that God is the source of all life and
that we are one with life.  "The good person," said
Schweitzer, "is the friend of all living things."

Wilferd A. Peterson

The Wish
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    Should some great angel say to me to-morrow,
  "Thou must re-tread thy pathway from the start,
But God will grant, in pity, for thy sorrow,
  Some one dear wish, the nearest to thy heart."
    This were my wish! - from my life's dim beginning
  Let be what has been! wisdom planned the whole
My want, my woe, my errors, and my sinning,
  All, all were needed lessons for my soul.


God asks no person whether he or she will accept life.
That is not the choice.  You must take it.
The only choice is how.

Henry Ward Beecher



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