Some of my Favorite Sayings
Peggy Vaughan

I have collected quite a few "sayings" through the years that have meant a lot to me.
I usually keep them on a nearby bulletin board as a reminder of what's really important.)
So I've decided to share them for whatever inspiration they might also provide for others.
Note: I know who to "credit" for some of these, but not all. So I'll do the best I can.

    On Security:
    Security depends not so much upon how much you have
    As upon how much you can do without.
                   Joseph Wood Krutch

    On Identity:
    A role is only a Task.
    We've been using it as an identity.

    On Explaining Yourself:
    The assumption that anyone of worth can explain himself
    fully and lucidly in the time allotted him
    by those who want to learn what he knows—
    is either a joke or a stupidity.

    On Friendship:
    Never explain—your friends do not need it,
    And your enemies will not believe it anyway.

    On being Helpful
    Don't explain. Don't apologize. Don't ever volunteer.
    And for gosh sakes, don't be helpful!

    On Conflicted Desires:
    Man's unique agony as a species
    consists in his perpetual conflict
    between the desire to stand out
    and the need to blend in.
                   Sydney J. Harris

    On Values:
    Remember your inherent values,
    and stop trying to control things
    by accommodating everyone at your own expense.
    Set healthy limits.

    On Speaking:
    If you want me to speak for five minutes,
    give me a week to prepare.
    But if you want me to speak for an hour,
    I can start right now.
                   Mark Twain

    On Books:
    The only books that influence us are those for which we are ready,
    and which have gone a little farther down our particular path
    than we have yet got ourselves.
                   E. M. Forster

    On School:
    Very little of what is taught in school is learned.
    Very little of what is learned is remembered.
    Very little of what is remembered is used.

    On Work:
    Devote six years to your work,
    but in the seventh go into solitude or among strangers.
    So that your friends, by remembering what you were,
    do not prevent you from being what you have become.
                   Leo Szilard (1898-1964)

    On Luck:
    I'm a great believer in luck,
    and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.

    On Knowing Who You Are:
    Somewhere along the line we discover what we really are,
    and then we make our decisions, for which we are responsible.
    Make those decisions primarily for yourself
    because you can never really live anyone else's life,
    not even your own child's.
                   Eleanor Roosevelt (upon learning of her husband's affair with her friend)

    On Monogamy:
    If you have a monogamous relationship, keep it.
    If you don't have one, get it.
                   Surgeon General C. Edward Koop, April 27, 1985, on AIDS prevention

    On Being Assertive:
    While up at the bar getting another round for my table,
    a man placed his hand on my behind.
    I grabbed it, raised it in the air,
    and asked why is this hand on my butt.
    Loud enough for my table to hear.
    Since then I have received the reputation that I won't put up with stuff.

    On Dancing:
    I don't want people who WANT to dance.
    I want people who HAVE to dance.
                   George Balanchine, 1904-1983, choreographer in the world of ballet

    On Judging my Body:
    When I stop judging my body as a flawed troll,
    I see only an innocent, naked ape
    that has been pressed into the service of my soul.
    I treat it more kindly, and it becomes healthier, more energetic,
    less attracted to the junk food it eats for comfort when I make war on it.

    Simple Tips to Feeling Good:
    Drink water—lots of it.
    Work out 5 days a week; schedule this time in writing.
    Breathe deeply—and stand up straight and tall.

    On Successful Living:
    The way to appear sincere is to actually be sincere.
    The way to gain the trust of others is to live with uncompromising integrity.
    The way to be believed, and to be believable, is to always speak the truth.
    The way to show how much you care, is to really, truly care.
    The way to speak to the heart of another is to speak from your own heart.
    The most effective strategy for successful living is really no strategy at all.
    It is, rather, to be real, to be honest, to be authentic, to be you.
                   Ralph Marston

    On Solitude:
    For a long time now, every meeting with another human being has been a collision. I feel too much, sense too much, am exhausted by the reverberations after even the simplest conversation. I find that when I have an appointment, even an afternoon one, it changes the whole quality of time. I feel overcharged. There is no space for what wells up from the subconscious; those dreams and images live in deep still water and simply submerge when the day gets scattered. There are times lately when I dream only of disappearing, taking another name, settling in to some place where no one would recognize me or care.
                   May Sarton's "Journal of a Solitude"

    On What Matters:
    Everything is on the table now.
    Where do we live? How do we live?
    What matters? Who are we?
    How are we going to conduct our lives in our children's interests
    and less in our own?
                   Bob Woodward, appearing on Charlie Rose Show shortly after 9/11, 2001

    On the Four Agreements:
    1. Be impeccable with your word.
    (Don't say it unless you mean it.)
    2. Don't take anything personally.
    (What other people say or do isn't because of you.)
    3. Don't make assumptions.
    (Preconceived ideas lead to disappointment.)
    4. Always do your best, but no more.
    (Post facto browbeating is pointless.)
                   Miguel Ruiz's "The Four Agreements"

For some related pages, see the list of Articles Reflecting on your Life.
Especially note:   Life is Today  and   Some Principles to Live By

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