Eric S. Kim

Research Fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

FAVORITE QUOTES

Below you can find an assortment of my favorite quotes. They span a spectrum of disciplines and sources. 

 

"When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.

 

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. (Antoine de Saint-exupery)

 

Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance towards the summit keeps the goal in mind, but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point.

 

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people. (Victor Borge)

 

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know (Albert Einstein)

 

And if not now, when? (The Talmud)

 

No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care. (Cavett Robert)

 

I am a great believer in luck, and I find that the harder I work, the luckier I get. (Thomas Jefferson)

 

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. (Theodore Roosevelt)

 

Human systems grow in the direction of what they persistently ask questions about. (Cooperrider and Whitney)

 

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. (Buddha)

 

Whether you think you can or can’t—you are right. (Henry Ford)

 

Lucky people create, notice, and act upon the chance opportunities in their lives. (Richard Wiseman)

 

Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning. (Mahatma Gandhi)

 

Everything that is done in this world is done by hope. (Martin Luther)

 

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. (Martin Luther King Jr.)

 

Accustom yourself continually to make many acts of love, for they enkindle and melt the soul. (Saint Teresa of Avila)

 

Every artist was first an amateur. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

 

Treat a man as a he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he shall become as he can and should be. (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

 

Have great hopes and dare to go all out for them. Have great dreams and dare to live them. Have tremendous expectations and believe in them. (Norman Vincent Peale)

 

To the different minds, the same world is a hell, and a heaven. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

 

We see what we look for and we miss much of what we are not looking for even though it is there… Our experience of the world is heavily influenced by where we place our attention. (Stavros and Torres)

 

The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

 

Now however fixed these elements of reality may be, we still have a certain freedom in our dealings with them. Take our sensations. That they are is undoubtedly beyond our control; but which we attend to, note, and make emphatic in our conclusions depends on our own interests; and, according as we lay the emphasis here or there, quite different formulations of truth result. We read the same facts differently. ‘Waterloo,’ with the same fixed details, spells a ‘victory’ for an englishman; for a frenchman it spells a ‘defeat.’ So, for an optimist philosopher the universe spells victory, for a pessimist, defeat. What we say about reality thus depends on the perspective into which we throw it. (William James)

 

Gratitude produced the most purely joyful moments that have been known to man. (G. K. Chesterton)

 

I wondered how it was possible to walk for an hour through the woods and see nothing of note. I who cannot see find hundreds of things: the delicate symmetry of a leaf, the smooth skin of a silver birch, the rough, shaggy bark of a pine. I who am blind can give one hint to those who see: use your eyes as if tomorrow you will have been stricken blind. Hear the music of voices, the songs of a bird, the mighty strains of an orchestra as if you would be stricken deaf tomorrow. Touch each object as if tomorrow your tactile sense would fail. Smell the perfume of flowers, taste with relish each morsel, as if tomorrow you could never taste or smell again. Make the most of every sense. Glory in all the facets and pleasures and beauty which the world reveals to you. (Hellen Keller)

 

Concerning all acts of creation there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: That the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would not have otherwise occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man would have dreamed would come his way.

 

I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it. (W.H. Murray)

 

Contemporary researchers emphasize that it is the process of striving after goals—rather than goal attainment per se—that is crucial for happiness and positive affectivity. (David Watson)

 

Live not for battles won.
Live not for the-end-of-the-song.
Live for the along.
(Gwendolyn Brooks)

 

The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi)

 

If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate. (Thomas Watson Sr. (IBM)

 

To see things in the seed, that is genius. (Lao Tzu)

 

Other people Matter (Christopher Peterson)

 

The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to him his own. (Benjamin Disraeli)

 

The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would not otherwise have occurred. (W.H. Murray)

 

Courage is not about not having fear; it is about having fear and going ahead anyway.

 

Learn to fail or fail to learn.

 

The quiet approach to leadership is easy to misunderstand and mock. It doesn’t inspire or thrill. It focuses on small things, careful moves, controlled and measured efforts. It doesn’t provide story lines for uplifting TV shows. In contrast to heroic leadership, quiet leadership doesn’t show us the heights that the human spirit can reach. What, then, do the imperfect, unglamorous, everyday efforts of quiet leaders amount to? Almost everything. The vast majority of difficult human problems are not solved by the dramatic efforts of people at the top but by the consistent striving of people working far from the limelight. (Joseph L. Badaracco, Jr.)

 

Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want. (Anna Lappe)

 

When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends. (Japanese Proverb)

 

To be always intending to make a new and better life but never to find time to set about it is as to put off eating and drinking and sleeping from one day to the next until you’re dead. (Og Mandino)

 

I would not waste my life in friction when it could be turned into momentum. (Frances Willard)

 

If the wind will not serve, take to the oars. (Latin Proverb)

 

I happen to feel that the degree of a person’s intelligence is directly reflected by the number of conflicting attitudes she can bring to bear on the same topic. (Lisa Alther, Kinflicks)

 

To love what you do and feel that it matters – how could anything be more fun? (Katharine Graham)

 

We do not believe if we do not live and work according to our belief. (Heidi Wills)

 

Great ability develops and reveals itself increasingly with every new assignment. (Baltasar Gracian)

 

Concentration comes out of a combination of confidence and hunger. (Arnold Palmer)

 

Be bold and mighty powers will come to your aid. (Basil King)

 

Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such. (Henry Miller)

 

Experience teaches slowly and at the cost of mistakes. (James A. Froude)

 

Who begins too much accomplishes little. (German Proverb)

 

The freedom of all is essential to my freedom. (Mikhail Bakunin)

 

Waste not fresh tears over old griefs. (Euripides)

 

I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice. (Abraham Lincoln)

 

If my hands are fully occupied in holding on to something, I can neither give nor receive. (Dorothee Solle)

 

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do. (Confucious)

 

When you make a mistake, don’t look back at it long. Take the reason of the thing into your mind and then look forward. Mistakes are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power. (Hugh White)

 

To reach something good it is very useful to have gone astray, and thus acquire experience. (Saint Teresa Of Avila)

 

Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. Therefore, live your own life, be your own voice. (Oscar Wilde)

 

Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances which we know to be desperate. (G.K. Chesterton)

 

Be gentle to all and stern with yourself. (Saint Teresa of Avila)

 

Generosity with strings is not generosity; It is a deal. (Marya Mannes)

 

Own only what you can carry with you; know language, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag. (Alexander Solzhenitsyn)

 

To accomplish great things, we must dream as well as act. (Anatole France)

 

Let thy speech be short, comprehending much in a few words. (Aprocrypha)

 

If you do not hope, you will not find what is beyond your hopes. (St. Clement of Alexandra)

 

We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities. ( Ralph Waldo Emerson)

 

Seek the lofty by reading, hearing and seeing great work at some moment every day. (Thornton Wilder)

 

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit. (Aristotle)

 

Constant dripping hollows out a stone. (Lucretius)

 

Human ambitions are like Japanese carp; they grow proportionally to the size of their environment. Our achievements grow according to the size of our dreams and the degree to which we are in touch with our missions. (Keith Ferrazi)

 

It takes a special kind of person to master the challenges of opportunity (Lock & Kilpatrick)

 

…if we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin. (Ivan Turgenev)

 

It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters in the end. (Ursula K. Leguin)

 

Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time,’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to. (Lao-Tzu)

 

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. (Eleanor Roosevelt)

 

Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone. (Gladys Bronwyn Stern)