Julian Baggini on Living

“If we pretend or imagine that life’s purpose lies outside living itself, we will be searching the stars for what is underneath our feet all the time.”

~ Julian Baggini / Atheism: A Very Short Introduction

Catherine Wilson on Life

A life can be good in Epicurean terms, even if it does not involve achievements validated and rewarded by mainstream society, or great sacrifices and struggles against worldly temptations.

Wilson, Catherine.

The Pleasure Principle: Epicureanism: A Philosophy for Modern Living (p. 250). HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Catherine Wilson on Life

Both excessive ambition and excessive self-sacrifice, [The Epicurean] believes, distort human life. We should neither strive for pre-eminence nor be driven into or choose slavish self-abnegation.

Wilson, Catherine.

The Pleasure Principle: Epicureanism: A Philosophy for Modern Living (pp. 248-249). HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Richard Ford on Sweating

“… but then I think well, you know, my wish as a writer… is to write masterpieces. Why shouldn’t I work that hard? Why should it be simple? … Why shouldn’t it take four years?… Art is heavy lifting… I don’t mind sweating.”

~ Richard Ford / Louisiana Channel

Seneca on Possessions

“At last, then, away with all these treacherous goods! They look better to those who hope for them than to those who have attained them.”

~ Seneca / Epistulae Morales AD Lucilium

Professor Green on Success

I thought success would bring me happiness – fuck me, was I wrong. Attaching your happiness to your goals is like a game of pin the tail on the donkey. You’re happy for a second, then you pin your happiness on something or, worse, someone else.

~ Professor Green / Guardian, 27th July 2019

Michael Lewis on Achievement

What is the greatest achievement of your life so far?

Finding a path through life that doesn’t violate my inner sense of self…

~ Michael Lewis / Financial Times, December 15, 2017

Richard Feynman on Other People’s Expectations

“You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing.”

~ Richard Feynman

Agnes Martin on Ambition

“To live truly and effectively, the idea of achievement must be given up.”

~ Agnes Martin

Seneca on Achievement

“Non est ad astra mollis e terris via” – “There is no easy way from the earth to the stars”

~ Seneca

Seneca on Accomplishment

“Nothing is more disgraceful than that an old man should have nothing to show to prove that he has lived long, except his years.”

~ Seneca