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The Right Words

Gibbous is a funny word
Creative Commons License photo credit: makelessnoise

A really good quote makes us see, if just for a moment, something we couldn’t see before. When we need to change direction or summon our strength, the right words tend to find us.

Here are 12 of my favorite quotes, that found me when I needed them:

  • “There is a time for departure, even when there’s no certain place to go.” – Tennessee Williams
  • “Security is mostly superstition. It does not exist in nature…Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.” – Helen Keller
  • “Here is a rule to remember when anything tempts you to feel bitter: not, ‘This is a misfortune,’ but ‘To bear this worthily is good fortune’.” – Marcus Aurelius
  • “If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.” – Katharine Hepburn
  • “Sorrow is a fruit. God does not allow it to grow on a branch that is too weak to bear it.” – Victor Hugo
  • “Sometimes I dread the truth of the lines I say. But the dread must never show.” – Vivien Leigh
  • “You can be absolutely certain that when you feel you are being most unfairly tested, you are being prepared for great achievement.”  – Napoleon Hill
  • “Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart…. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” – Carl Jung
  • “Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.”  –  Henry Miller
  • “I never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun.” – Katharine Hepburn
  • “Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.” –  Albert Camus
  • “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”  –  Kahlil Gibran

Have there been times when the right words have found you at the right moment?  Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments.

Published inQuotes


  1. Hi there – I just discovered your blog; it’s lovely and inspiring. These quotes are powerful, and in fact right now I’m in the process of creating a quote board for my office, filled with words that have inspired my clients over the years. Because yes, words do seem to find us at just the right time if we’re open to them. I also love that you’ve got a few from Katharine Hepburn. I blogged about her recently, and here’s another from her that I think hits the mark: “The notion that work is a burden is a terrible mistake.” Personally, the words that have come back to me again and again in the past few years are from Rilke: “And then the knowledge comes to me that I have space within for a second, timeless, larger life.” Thanks!
    .-= Patty – Why Not Start Now?´s last blog ..Ten Qualities of Self-Renewing Adults =-.

  2. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Patty – Thanks for your comment! Yes, the Katharine Hepburn quotes I added here are great, and I really like the one you added! Also, I think it’s a great idea to have a quote board out in the open where you can be reminded of the right words often. 🙂

  3. “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.

    Best quote i have heard in a long time! The darkest times of our lives truly bring out the best of us.
    .-= Positive Gangsta´s last blog ..Zig Ziglar’s Instant Goal Setting =-.

  4. Hi Amanda — thanks for this. I particularly liked the Katharine Hepburn quote — life is a lot easier when I remember that I can enjoy just existing, and I don’t need some specific result in the world in order to like living.

  5. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Jonathan – I like that one a lot too. 🙂

    Hi Chris – Yes, that is a good one. It has a very light quality to it that I like.

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