Today’s Quote: Thucydides

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“For no one ever carries out a plan with the same confidence with which he conceives it; on the contrary we form our fond schemes with a feeling of security, but when it comes to their execution, we are possessed by fear and fall short of success.”

— Thucydides, I.cxx.5, “quoting” the Spartan Council before the commencement of the Peloponnesian War

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Today’s Quote: Xenophon

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“And being free is worth, in my opinion, as much as all manner of possessions.”

— Spartan King Agesilaus, from Xenophon’s Hellenica, IV.i.35

Today’s Quote: Konmari

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“The energy of book titles and the words inside them are very powerful. In Japan, we say that ‘words make our reality.’ [言葉が現実をつくる] The words we see and with which we come into contact tend to bring about events of the same nature. In that sense, you will become the person that matches the books you have kept. What kind of books would you want in your bookcase to reflect the kind of person you aspire to be? If you choose which books to keep on that basis, you may find that the course of events in your life changes dramatically.”

— Marie Kondo (konmari), Spark Joy, page 130


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Today’s Quote: Seneca

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“I would have my mind of such a quality as this; it should be equipped with many arts, many precepts, and patterns of conduct taken from many epochs of history; but all should blend harmoniously into one. ‘How,’ you ask, ‘can this be accomplished?’ By constant effort, and by doing nothing without the approval of reason.”

— Seneca, Epistle LXXXIV

Today’s Quote: Seneca

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“This is what our mind should do: it should hide away all the materials by which it has been aided, and bring to light only what it has made of them. Even if there shall appear in you a likeness to him who, by reason of your admiration, has left a deep impress upon you, I would have you resemble him as a child resembles his father, and not as a picture resembles its original; for a picture is a lifeless thing.”

— Seneca, Epistle LXXXIV

Today’s Quote: Seneca

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“We also, I say, ought to copy [the] bees, and sift whatever we have gathered from a varied course of reading, for such things are better preserved if they are kept separate; then, by applying the supervising care with which our nature has endowed us—in other words, our natural gifts—we should so blend those several flavors into one delicious compound that, even though it betrays its origin, yet it nevertheless is clearly a different thing from that whence it came.”

— Seneca, Epistle LXXXIV

Today’s Quote: Seneca

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(Note: this is the first of several Seneca quotes from the same source—Epistle LXXXIV, On Gathering Ideas)

“And reading, I hold, is indespensible—primarily, to keep me from being satisfied with myself alone, and besides, after I have learned what others have found out by their studies, to enable me to pass judgment on their discoveries and reflect upon discoveries that remain to be made. Reading nourishes the mind and refreshes it when it is wearied with study; nevertheless, this refreshment is not obtained without study. We ought not to confine ourselves either to writing or reading; the one, continuous writing, will cast a gloom over our strength, and exhaust it; the other will make our strength flabby and watery. It is better to have recourse to them alternately, and to blend one with the other, so that the fruits of one’s reading may be reduced to concrete form by the pen.”

— Seneca, Epistle LXXXIV