The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work – Shawn Achor

From amazon.com:

Shawn Achor is the winner of over a dozen distinguished teaching awards at Harvard University, where he delivered lectures on positive psychology in the most popular class at Harvard. Today Shawn travels around the world giving talks on positive psychology to Fortune 500 companies, schools, and non-profit organizations. He has worked with doctors in California, executives in Hong Kong, teachers in South Africa, and bankers in Switzerland. Shawn graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and earned a Masters degree from Harvard Divinity School in Christian and Buddhist ethics. In 2006, he served as Head Teaching Fellow with Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar of “Positive Psychology,” a class that enrolled 1 out of every 7 Harvard undergraduates. For seven years, Shawn also served as an Officer of Harvard, living in Harvard Yard and counseling students through the stresses of their first year. Though he now travels extensively for his work with Aspirant, Shawn continues to conduct original psychology research on happiness and organizational achievement.

TOC

Part One: Positive Psychology at Work

  • Introduction
  • Discovering the Happiness Advantage
  • The Happiness Advantage at Work
  • Change is Possible

Part Two: Seven Priciples

  • Principle #1: The Happiness Advantage
  • Principle #2: The Fulcrum and The Lever
  • Principle #3: The Tetris Effect
  • Principle #4: Falling Up
  • Principle #5: The Zorro Circle
  • Principle #6: The 20-second Rule
  • Principle #7: Social Investment

Part Three: The Ripple Effect

  • Spreading The Happiness Advantage at Work, at Home, and Beyond

Short Summary

Part1 – Positive Psychology at Work

  •  we now know that happiness is the precursor to success, not merely the result. And that happiness and optimism actually fuel performance and achievement
  • in 200 studies on 275,000 people worldwide:  happiness leads to success in nearly every domain, including work, health, friendship, sociability, creativity, and energy.

Part 2: Seven Priciples

Principle #1: The Happiness Advantage
  • When we are happy—when our mindset and mood are positive—we are smarter, more motivated, and thus more successful. Happiness is the center, and success revolves around it.
  • Happiness boosters: meditation, looking forward to something, commit conscious acts of kindness, exercise, Spend money (but NOT on Stuff), exercise a Signature Strength, ..
Principle #2: The Fulcrum & The Lever
Changing your Peformance by changing your Mindset
  • Happiness is not about lying to ourselves, or turning a blind eye to the negative, but about adjusting our brain so that we see the ways to rise above our circumstances.
  • The mental construction of our daily activities, more than the activity itself, defines our reality.
  • The heart of the challenge is to stop thinking of the world as fixed when reality is, in truth, relative.
Principle #3 – The Tetris Effect
Training Your Brain to Capitalize on Possibility
  • Train your brain to scan the world for the opportunities and ideas that allow our success rate to grow.
  • The best way to kick-start this is to start making a daily list of the good things in your job, your career, and your life.
Principle #4 – Falling Up
Capitalizing on the downs to build Upward Momentum
  • Study after study shows that if we are able to conceive of a failure as an opportunity for growth, we are all the more likely to experience that growth
  • It’s about using that downward momentum to propel ourselves in the opposite direction. It’s about capitalizing on setbacks and adversity to become even happier, even more motivated, and even more successful. It’s not falling down, it’s falling up.
Principle #5 – The Zorro Circle
How Limiting Your Focus to Small, Manageable Goals Can Expand Your Sphere of Power
  • Feeling that we are in control, that we are masters of our own fate at work and at home, is one of the strongest drivers of both well-being and performance.
  • Happiness, and health have less to do with how much control we actually have and more with how much control we think we have.
  • No matter what you may have heard from motivational speakers, coaches, and the like, reaching for the stars is a recipe for failure.
  • As Harvard Business School professor Peter Bregman advises, “Don’t write a book, write a page.
Principle #6 – The 20-Second Rule
How to Turn Bad Habits into Good Ones by minimizing Barriers to Change
  • Common sense is not common action….
    That’s why even though doctors know better than anyone the importance of exercise and diet, 44 percent of them are overweight.
  • Our willpower weakens the more we use it.
  • The key to creating these habits is ritual, repeated practice, until the actions become ingrained in your brain’s neural chemistry. And the key to daily practice is to put your desired actions as close to the path of least resistance as humanly possible.
Priciple #7 – Social Investment
Why Social support is your single Greatest asset
  • social relationships are the single greatest investment you can make in the Happiness Advantage.

3. The Ripple effect

  • Each one of us is like that butterfly (re: the butterfly effect). And each tiny move towards a more positive mindset can send ripples of positivity through our organizations, our families, and our communities.
  • Emotions are highly contagious… both negative emotions & positive emotions

 

Continue reading “The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work – Shawn Achor”

Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849)

Edgar_Allan_Poe

“I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

Wikipedia:

Edgar Allan Poe (born Edgar Poe; January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American author, poet, editor, and literary critic, widely regarded as a central figure of Romanticism in the United States and American literature as a whole. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story, and is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.

Born in Boston, Poe was the second child of two actors. His father abandoned the family in 1810, and his mother died the following year. Thus orphaned, the child was taken in by John and Frances Allan, of Richmond, Virginia. Although they never formally adopted him, Poe was with them well into young adulthood. Tension developed later as John Allan and Edgar repeatedly clashed over debts, including those incurred by gambling, and the cost of secondary education for the young man. Poe attended the University of Virginia for one semester but left due to lack of money. Poe quarreled with Allan over the funds for his education and enlisted in the Army in 1827 under an assumed name. It was at this time his publishing career began, albeit humbly, with an anonymous collection of poems, Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827), credited only to “a Bostonian”. With the death of Frances Allan in 1829, Poe and Allan reached a temporary rapprochement. Later failing as an officer’s cadet at West Point and declaring a firm wish to be a poet and writer, Poe parted ways with John Allan.

Poe switched his focus to prose and spent the next several years working for literary journals and periodicals, becoming known for his own style of literary criticism. His work forced him to move among several cities, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. In Baltimore in 1835, he married Virginia Clemm, his 13-year-old cousin. In January 1845 Poe published his poem, “The Raven“, to instant success. His wife died of tuberculosis two years after its publication. For years, he had been planning to produce his own journal, The Penn (later renamed The Stylus), though he died before it could be produced. On October 7, 1849, at age 40, Poe died in Baltimore; the cause of his death is unknown and has been variously attributed to alcohol, brain congestion, cholera, drugs, heart disease, rabies, suicide, tuberculosis, and other agents.

Poe and his works influenced literature in the United States and around the world, as well as in specialized fields, such as cosmology and cryptography. Poe and his work appear throughout popular culture in literature, music, films, and television. A number of his homes are dedicated museums today. The Mystery Writers of America present an annual award known as the Edgar Award for distinguished work in the mystery genre.

Quotes

Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.
Edgar Allan Poe

“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“We loved with a love that was more than love.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”
― Edgar Allan Poe, Eleonora

“I have great faith in fools – self-confidence my friends will call it.”
― Edgar Allan Poe, Marginalia

“I was never really insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“Believe only half of what you see and nothing that you hear.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“From childhood’s hour I have not been. As others were, I have not seen. As others saw, I could not awaken. My heart to joy at the same tone. And all I loved, I loved alone.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“Years of love have been forgot, In the hatred of a minute.”
― Edgar Allan Poe, The Complete Stories and Poems

“All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“If you wish to forget anything on the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“The best things in life make you sweaty.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“I felt that I breathed an atmosphere of sorrow.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active – not more happy – nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“Science has not yet taught us if madness is or is not the sublimity of the intelligence.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

The Raven

The Raven” is a narrative poem by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. First published in January 1845, the poem is often noted for its musicality, stylized language, and supernatural atmosphere. It tells of a talking raven’s mysterious visit to a distraught lover, tracing the man’s slow fall into madness. The lover, often identified as being a student, is lamenting the loss of his love, Lenore. Sitting on a bust of Pallas, the raven seems to further instigate his distress with its constant repetition of the word “Nevermore”. The poem makes use of a number of folk, mythological, religious, and classical references.

Its publication made Poe widely popular in his lifetime, although it did not bring him much financial success. The poem was soon reprinted, parodied, and illustrated. Critical opinion is divided as to the poem’s literary status, but it nevertheless remains one of the most famous poems ever written.

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door —
Only this, and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; — vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow — sorrow for the lost Lenore —
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore —
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me — filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door —
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; —
This it is, and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”— here I opened wide the door; —
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!” —
Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore —
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; —
‘Tis the wind and nothing more.”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door —
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door —
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore —
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning— little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door —
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore.”
― Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven

 

Videos

Edgar Allan Poe Documentary

Edgar Allan Poe’s THE RAVEN

SIX CREEPY TALES by Edgar Allan Poe – FULL AudioBook | Greatest Audio Books

Chapter listing and length:

1 – The Telltale Heart — 00:16:47
2 – The Masque of the Red Death — 00:18:27
3 – The Black Cat — 00:29:54
4 – The Raven — 00:09:28
5 – The Casque of Amontillado — 00:18:28
6 – Berenice — 00:26:52

Total running time: 1:59:56
Read by Phil Chenevert

eap

October 6: Alfred, Lord Tennyson died in 1892

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

“Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.”
― Alfred Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam

Wikipedia:

Born 6 August 1809
Somersby, Lincolnshire, England
Died 6 October 1892 (aged 83)
Lurgashall, Sussex, England
Occupation Poet Laureate
Alma mater Cambridge University
Spouse Emily Sellwood (m. 1850)
Children
  • Hallam Tennyson, 2nd Baron Tennyson
  • Hon. Lionel Tennyson

Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, FRS (6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892) was Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland during much of Queen Victoria’s reign and remains one of the most popular British poets.

Tennyson excelled at penning short lyrics, such as “Break, Break, Break“, “The Charge of the Light Brigade“, “Tears, Idle Tears” and “Crossing the Bar“. Much of his verse was based on classical mythological themes, such as Ulysses, although In Memoriam A.H.H. was written to commemorate his friend Arthur Hallam, a fellow poet and student at Trinity College, Cambridge, after he died of a stroke aged just 22. Tennyson also wrote some notable blank verse including Idylls of the King, “Ulysses“, and “Tithonus“. During his career, Tennyson attempted drama, but his plays enjoyed little success.

A number of phrases from Tennyson’s work have become commonplaces of the English language, including

  • “Nature, red in tooth and claw” (In Memoriam A.H.H.)
  • “‘Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all”
  • “Theirs not to reason why, / Theirs but to do and die”
  • “My strength is as the strength of ten, / Because my heart is pure”
  • “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield”
  • “Knowledge comes, but Wisdom lingers”
  • “The old order changeth, yielding place to new”

He is the ninth most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.

Videos/Audio

Alfred Lord Tennyson – The Circle of the Hills – Documentary

The Charge of the Light Brigade audiobook Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Quotes

“Be near me when my light is low,
When the blood creeps, and the nerves prick
And tingle; and the heart is sick,
And all the wheels of Being slow.

Be near me when the sensuous frame
Is rack’d with pangs that conquer trust;
And Time, a maniac scattering dust,
And Life, a fury slinging flame.

Be near me when my faith is dry,
And men the flies of latter spring,
That lay their eggs, and sting and sing
And weave their petty cells and die.

Be near me when I fade away,
To point the term of human strife,
And on the low dark verge of life
The twilight of eternal day.”
― Alfred Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam

The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions.
~Alfred Lord Tennyson

Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control; these three alone lead one to sovereign power.
~Alfred Lord Tennyson

I must lose myself in action, lest I wither in despair.
~Alfred Lord Tennyson

Shape your heart to front the hour, but dream not that the hours will last.
~Alfred Lord Tennyson

My strength is as the strength of ten, because my heart is pure.
~Alfred Lord Tennyson

By blood a king, in heart a clown.
~Alfred Lord Tennyson

We cannot be kind to each other here for even an hour. We whisper, and hint, and chuckle and grin at our brother’s shame; however you take it we men are a little breed.
~Alfred Lord Tennyson

“Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.”
― Alfred Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam

“I sometimes find it half a sin,
To put to words the grief i feel,
For words like nature,half reveal,
and half conceal the soul within,”
― Alfred Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam

“I hold it truth, with him who sings
To one clear harp in divers tones,
That men may rise on stepping-stones
Of their dead selves to higher things.”
― Alfred Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam

lord tennyson

 

September 18: Samuel Johnson was born in 1709

dr_johnson

“Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last.”
― Samuel Johnson, Works of Samuel Johnson

Wikipedia:

Born 18 September 1709
(O.S. 7 September)
Lichfield, Staffordshire, England
Died 13 December 1784 (aged 75)
London
Occupation Essayist, lexicographer, biographer, poet
Language English
Nationality British
Ethnicity English
Spouse Elizabeth Porter (née Jervis)

Samuel Johnson (18 September 1709 [O.S. 7 September] – 13 December 1784), often referred to as Dr Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. Johnson was a devout Anglican and committed Tory, and has been described as “arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history”. He is also the subject of “the most famous single work of biographical art in the whole of literature”: James Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson.

Born in Lichfield, Staffordshire, Johnson attended Pembroke College, Oxford for just over a year, before his lack of funds forced him to leave. After working as a teacher he moved to London, where he began to write for The Gentleman’s Magazine. His early works include the biography Life of Mr Richard Savage, the poems London and The Vanity of Human Wishes, and the play Irene.

After nine years of work, Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language was published in 1755. It had a far-reaching effect on Modern English and has been described as “one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship”. This work brought Johnson popularity and success. Until the completion of the Oxford English Dictionary 150 years later, Johnson’s was viewed as the pre-eminent British dictionary. His later works included essays, an influential annotated edition ofThe Plays of William Shakespeare, and the widely read tale The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia. In 1763, he befriended James Boswell, with whom he later travelled to Scotland; Johnson described their travels in A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland. Towards the end of his life, he produced the massive and influential Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets, a collection of biographies and evaluations of 17th- and 18th-century poets.

Johnson was a tall and robust man. His odd gestures and tics were disconcerting to some on first meeting him. Boswell’s Life, along with other biographies, documented Johnson’s behaviour and mannerisms in such detail that they have informed the posthumous diagnosis of Tourette syndrome, a condition not defined or diagnosed in the 18th century. After a series of illnesses, he died on the evening of 13 December 1784, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. In the years following his death, Johnson began to be recognised as having had a lasting effect on literary criticism, and he was claimed by some to be the only truly great critic of English literature.

[BBC 4] Samuel Johnson: The Dictionary Man (59min)

Will Durant—The Life of Samuel Johnson (90min audio)

Quotes

“Men know that women are an overmatch for them, and therefore they choose the weakest or the most ignorant. If they did not think so, they never could be afraid of women knowing as much as themselves.”
― Samuel Johnson, A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides

“I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am.”

“He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.”

“A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.”

“What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.”

“My congratulations to you, sir. Your manuscript is both good and original; but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good. ”

“Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”

“Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.”

“I never desire to converse with a man who has written more than he has read.”

“There can be no friendship without confidence, and no confidence without integrity.”

“Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance.”

“I would rather be attacked than unnoticed. For the worst thing you can do to an author is to be silent as to his works.”

“The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”

“Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.”

“It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust.”

“You raise your voice when you should reinforce your argument.”

“Hell is paved with good intentions.”

“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write: a man will turn over half a library to make one book.”

“Allow children to be happy in their own way, for what better way will they find?”

“It is necessary to hope… for hope itself is happiness.”

“What we hope ever to do with ease, we must first learn to do with diligence.”

“Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it.”

“To keep your secret is wisdom, but to expect others to keep it is folly.”

“Nothing […] will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome.”

September 13: Michel de Montaigne died in 1592

Montaigne

“The most certain sign of wisdom is cheerfulness. ”
― Michel de Montaigne

Wikipedia:

Born Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
28 February 1533
Château de Montaigne, Guyenne, France
Died 13 September 1592 (aged 59)
Château de Montaigne, Guyenne, France
Religion Roman Catholic
Era Renaissance philosophy
Region Western Philosophy
School Renaissance humanism
Renaissance skepticism
Notable ideas
The essay,
Montaigne’s wheel argument
Signature
Unterschrift des Michel de Montaigne.png

Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (28 February 1533 – 13 September 1592) was one of the most significant philosophers of the French Renaissance, known for popularizing the essay as a literary genre. His work is noted for its merging of casual anecdotes and autobiography with serious intellectual insight; his massive volume Essais (translated literally as “Attempts” or “Trials”) contains some of the most influential essays ever written. Montaigne had a direct influence on writers all over the world, including Francis Bacon, René Descartes, Blaise Pascal, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Albert Hirschman, William Hazlitt, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Friedrich Nietzsche, Stefan Zweig, Eric Hoffer, Isaac Asimov, and possibly on the later works of William Shakespeare.

In his own lifetime, Montaigne was admired more as a statesman than as an author. The tendency in his essays to digress into anecdotes and personal ruminations was seen as detrimental to proper style rather than as an innovation, and his declaration that, ‘I am myself the matter of my book’, was viewed by his contemporaries as self-indulgent. In time, however, Montaigne would come to be recognized as embodying, perhaps better than any other author of his time, the spirit of freely entertaining doubt which began to emerge at that time. He is most famously known for his skeptical remark, “Que sçay-je?” (“What do I know?”, in Middle French; directly rendered Que sais-je? in modern French). Remarkably modern even to readers today, Montaigne’s attempt to examine the world through the lens of the only thing he can depend on implicitly—his own judgment—makes him more accessible to modern readers than any other author of the Renaissance. Much of modern literary non-fiction has found inspiration in Montaigne and writers of all kinds continue to read him for his masterful balance of intellectual knowledge and personal storytelling.

PHILOSOPHY – Montaigne

Montaigne on Self-Esteem – Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness:

Quotes

“On the highest throne in the world, we still sit only on our own bottom.”
― Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.”
― Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

“I do not care so much what I am to others as I care what I am to myself.”
― Michel de Montaigne

“I quote others only in order the better to express myself.”
― Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

“When I am attacked by gloomy thoughts, nothing helps me so much as running to my books. They quickly absorb me and banish the clouds from my mind.”
― Michel de Montaigne, Les Essais

“He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears.”
― Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

“Learned we may be with another man’s learning: we can only be wise with wisdom of our own.”
― Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

“Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it.”
― Michel de Montaigne

“There is nothing more notable in Socrates than that he found time, when he was an old man, to learn music and dancing, and thought it time well spent.”
― Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

“I am afraid that our eyes are bigger than our stomachs, and that we have more curiosity than understanding. We grasp at everything, but catch nothing except wind.”
― Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

“Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.”
― Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

“I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly.”
― Michel de Montaigne

Obsession is the wellspring of genius and madness.”
― Michel de Montaigne

“To compose our character is our duty, not to compose books, and to win, not battles and provinces, but order and tranquility in our conduct. Our great and glorious masterpiece is to live appropriately. All other things, ruling, hoarding, building, are only little appendages and props, at most.”
― Michel de Montaigne

“Let us give Nature a chance; she knows her business better than we do.”
― Michel de Montaigne, Montaigne: Essays

“My art and profession is to live.”
― Michel de Montaigne

“I speak the truth, not so much as I would, but as much as I dare; and I dare a little more as I grow older.”
― Michel de Montaigne

“The greater part of the world’s troubles are due to questions of grammar.”
― Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

“To begin depriving death of its greatest advantage over us, let us adopt a way clean contrary to that common one; let us deprive death of its strangeness, let us frequent it, let us get used to it; let us have nothing more often in mind than death… We do not know where death awaits us: so let us wait for it everywhere.”

“To practice death is to practice freedom. A man who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave.”
― Michel de Montaigne

Montaigne 2