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Why Read Words of Inspiration?

Maybe you've heard or read this line before:

What does it profit a man to have gained the whole world, and to have lost his soul? - Jesus Christ

Words of inspiration, whether sayings from the present day or centuries past, can inspire and instruct us. It is true regardless of the religious, spiritual, or even non-spiritual tradition they come from. In fact, quotes that strike at the truth of the matter can come from scoundrels, saints, and ordinary people. They help us "program" our brains for a better life.

Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old. Seek what they sought. - Basho

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. - Aristotle

Logical arguments and philosophies often attempt to "capture" truth in a net of words to build systems of knowledge, or to satisfy egos. Logic is important, but when mis-used it leads to confusion. Inspirational sayings cut through the fog and point at the truth, so you can see it for yourself.

Suppose you are trying to decide whether to do what you love now, and possibly fail, or wait a few more years. Since, outside of mathematics, virtually all reasoning is tainted with rationalization, and you have sufficient brainpower, you can support whatever you decide with "logical arguments," right?It's no wonder we're often confused and demotivated! How can we trust our own reasoning, if it just finds a logical construct for whichever fear or other feeling is strongest!

Now suppose you read the following words of inspiration:

You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take. - Wayne Gretzky

You can see how this hockey metaphor might touch you precisely because it isn't just a logical argument. It simply points at a truth you can see for yourself - the fact that you can't get what you want without "taking that shot." Simply seeing the truth is far more motivating than arguing about it. That's the value of reading words of inspiration. Here are a few more...

In your mind you can see what is possible; through your actions you can create what you've seen. - Tuesday Hirron

To see clearly, act wisely and appreciate what we have is all that's required for a good life. Hope, money, and endless desires are all optional. - Mike Hunter

Let go of who you think you are and let the teachings of the moment reveal what you can be. - Vinod Harghat


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