My destiny is solitude, and my life is work.
—Richard Wagner (German Composer)
A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.
—Albert Szent-Gyorgyi (Hungarian-American Biochemist)
It is better to discuss things, to argue and engage in polemics than make perfidious plans of mutual destruction.
—Mikhail Gorbachev (Soviet Head of State)
The old prose writers wrote as if they were speaking to an audience; among us, prose is invariably written for the eye alone.
—Barthold G. Niebuhr (German Historian)
In modern times, it is only by the power of association that men of any calling exercise their due influence in the community.
—Elihu Root (American Statesman)
Ambition leads me not only farther than any other man has been before me, but as far as I think it possible for man to go.
—James Cook (English Explorer, Cartographer)
Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people—your family, friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way.
—Barbara Bush (American First Lady)
As long as there is suffering in the world, as long as there is the great curiosity to unravel truth, as long as men and women have some intense desire to be fulfilled, as long as there is wisdom in this world, the future of religion is assured.
—Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari (Indian Statesman, Author)
Most people are good at a handful of things and utterly miserable at most.
—Tim Ferriss (American Self-help Author)
Glory is not a conceit. It is not a decoration for valor. Glory belongs to the act of being constant to something greater than yourself, to a cause, to your principles, to the people on whom you rely and who rely on you in rerun.
—John McCain (American Politician)
History does not repeat itself in the same way each time, but certain trends and consequences are constants. If you do not know history, you think short term. If you know history, you think medium and long term.
—Lee Kuan Yew (Singaporean Statesman)
Doing no injury to any one, dwell in the world full of love and kindness.
—Nagasena (Buddhist Intellectual)
I am writing biography, not history, and the truth is that the most brilliant exploits often tell us nothing of the virtues or vices of the men who performed them, while on the other hand a chance remark or a joke may reveal far more of a man’s character than the mere feat of winning battles in which thousands fall, or of marshalling great armies, or laying siege to cities.
—Plutarch (Greek Biographer)
Purity of mind and purity of conduct—these two depend upon the purity of a man’s companions.
—The Thirukkural (Indian Tamil Literary Classic)
If you can’t change your fate, change your attitude.
—Amy Tan (Chinese-American Novelist)