Each man has his own fortune in his hands; as the artist has a piece of rude matter, which he is to fashion to a certain shape. But the art of living rightly is like all arts: the capacity alone is born with us; it must be learned, and practiced with incessant care.
May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.
It is worthwhile to live and fight courageously for sacred ideals. O blow ye evil winds into my body’s fire my soul you’ll never unravel. Even though disappointed a thousand times or fallen in the fight and everything would worthless seem, I have lived amidst eternity — Be grateful, my soul — My life was worth living. He who was pressed from all sides but remained victorious in spirit is welcomed into the choir of heroes. He who overcame the fetters giving wings to his mind is entering into the golden age of the victorious.
Give yourself up to this moment. Dare to see it. Now look down at your feet; slip out of those invisible tethers. Then ask: Where would you take yourself right this moment if you walked toward your most heartfelt dream? What would your life look like? What would your body look and feel like? What level of energy would you have? What might be your favorite activity? What would your daily life include? Imagine happiness — the sweet glow of inner contentment, the way it tastes and smells and feels.
I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on. Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.
Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring.
Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and almost never leave. Our lives are measured by those.