The Thought for the Day/Goethe

Only when we begin to trust ourselves do we begin to live.
Goethe


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a German writer, scientist, lawyer and statesman. He was a prolific writer who enjoyed critical acclaim from his mid-20’s on. Goethe wrote novels, poems, plays and scientific treatises, his play Faust remains one of the most famous in human letters and Germans still quote him extensively. His influence on both science and literature remain enormous.

Life is not lived on the sidelines. Us humans are meant to do things. We get up in the morning, look ourselves in the mirror, determine what we should be doing with our lives that day. Those that get on in this world go out and do those things and when they go to bed they are looking back at 24 hours – the only commodity each of us is issued in equal measure – well spent. This succession of good days provide the foundation for good years and enough good years and the next thing you know you are looking back at, and forward to, a well-lived life.

Those that ignore the plan for their life that nature is offering sometimes end up looking back at a day spent marking time instead of being put to advantage. Enough days like this and the next thing someone knows is they have passed from youth to middle age looking back at time wasted and talents squandered.

Only when we begin to trust ourselves…

Trusting ourselves is not easy because the task of following the path laid out for us by nature – by definition a path no one else can possibly take – is difficult. It means deviating from the status quo and the expectations others, and perhaps ourselves, have for us. It means leaving the comfort of the familiar for the uncertainties of the unknown.

It’s a journey we must take, though. When we do, when we are following our hearts and trusting our instincts instead of ignoring them, we are living the life we were meant to live – life’s great prize.

Quotes are from Gaylon’s personal quote book, begun in 1988 in a hotel room in Berkeley, California.

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