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To be passive is to let others decide for you. To be aggressive is to decide for others. To be assertive is to decide for yourself.
Try not to become a man of success, but a man of value. Look around at how people want to get more out of life than they put in. A man of value will give more than he receives.
I started my professional activity as a neurologist trying to bring relief to my neurotic patients. Under the influence of an older friend and by my own efforts, I discovered some important new facts about the unconscious in psychic life, the role of instinctual urges, and so on. Out of these findings grew a new science, psychoanalysis, a part of psychology, and a new method of treatment of the neuroses. I had to pay heavily for this bit of good luck. People did not believe in my facts and thought my theories unsavory. Resistance was strong and unrelenting. In the end I succeeded in acquiring pupils and building up an International Psychoanalytic Association. But the struggle is not yet over.
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character.
To be proud of virtue, is to poison yourself with the Antidote.
Everyone is right from their point of view, and the points of view can be very different.
The law an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
The future depends on what you do today.
The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists. That is why they invented Hell.
No one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.
People run in packs because they don't feel safe alone. I run alone because I don't feel safe in packs.
Wrongs are often forgiven, but contempt never is.
Learning is acquired by reading books; but the much more necessary learning, the knowledge of the world, is only to be acquired by reading men, and studying all the various editions of them.
Climate change could produce a lot of misery and waste without necessarily leading to large-scale armed conflict, which depends more on ideology and bad governance than on resource scarcity.
Belief in a cruel god makes a cruel man.
There's no doubt that inequality destabilizes societies. I think the social science evidence on that front is crystal clear.
If you're not going to be rewarded for your virtues, and instead you're going to be punished for them, then what's your motivation to continue?
If you learn a martial art, you learn to be dangerous, but simultaneously, you learn to control it.
Become aware of your own insufficiency.
Free speech is not just another value. It's the foundation of Western civilization.
Adopt responsibility for your own well-being, try to put your family together, try to serve your community, try to seek for eternal truth... That's the sort of thing that can ground you in your life, enough so that you can withstand the difficulty of life.
I don't tell people, 'You're okay the way that you are.' That's not the right story. The right story is, 'You're way less than you could be.'
It is more difficult to rule yourself than to rule a city.
The truth is something that burns. It burns off dead wood. And people don't like having the dead wood burnt off, often because they're 95 percent dead wood.
Accept the terrible responsibility of life with eyes wide open.
Don't compare yourself with other people; compare yourself with who you were yesterday.
The function of the nervous system is to bring each part into harmonious co-operation with every other.
Too little liberty brings stagnation, and too much brings chaos.
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
A living system, due to its circular organization, is an inductive system and functions always in a predictive manner: what happened once will occur again. Its organization, (genetic and otherwise) is conservative and repeats only that which works. For this same reason living systems are historical systems; the relevance of a given conduct or mode of behavior is always determined in the past.
Living systems are units of interactions; they exist in an ambience. From a purely biological point of view they cannot be understood independently of that part of the ambience with which they interact: the niche; nor can the niche be defined independently of the living system that specifies it.
If you look around at your family and friends, you will see that the happiest people are the ones who don't pretend to know what's right for others and don't try to control anyone but themselves.
Since the obvious purpose of pain, misery, and suffering is to tell you something is wrong, fix it, change it, reform, improve, get help; if you don’t have the strength to do it, you are stuck with the pain. This is not to say that people with strength don’t suffer—they do. They have no immunity to life, but when they feel pain, they get moving or at least they try to do something, and the more strength they have the more successful their efforts are.
True compassion is helping people help themselves.
If everyone could learn that what is right for me does not make it right for anyone else, the world would be a much happier place.
Good or bad, everything we do is our best choice at that moment.
You are going to pay a price for every thing you do and every thing you don't do. You don't ge to choose to not pay a price. You get to choose which poison you're going to take.
To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.
Freedom is obedience to self-formulated rules.
The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
I don't like that man. I must get to know him better.
Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education.
New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, wityout any other reason but because they are not common.
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
Someone who knows too much finds it hard not to lie.
He who dares not offend cannot be honest.
There are more copies than originals among people.
Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.
The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.
Immagina di essere morto, di aver vissuto la tua vita. Poi vivi in modo appropriato quanto ti resta da vivere.
Il miglior combattente non è mai arrabbiato.
It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view.
A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.
When we are talking about the consequences of an action, we have to include things like one's memory of having performed it and the effect this memory will have on one's future experiences, relationships, and beliefs.
You're only as free as your attention is.
It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.
Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.
Those who control their passions do so because their passions are weak enough to be controlled.
The bad sort of vulnerability comes in pretending to be someone you're not.
He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.
Most of us are genuinely unaware that it is possible to change our minds.
Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings.
È meglio fallire nell'originalità che avere successo nell'imitazione.
It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.
I am free and that is why I am lost.
We have names for people who have many beliefs for which there is no rational justification. When their beliefs are extremely common we call them ‘religious’; otherwise, they are likely to be called ‘mad’, ‘psychotic’ or ‘delusional’...
I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.
A falling tree makes more noise than a growing forest.
My worst boss was a departmental chair who never learned to appreciate new developments in the field. He had contempt for students and younger researchers, and he saw the job of running the department as a nuisance.
I'm very interested in language because it reflects our obsessions and ways of conceptualising the world.
Roads, better harnesses for horses, time-keeping devices, financial instruments like a currency that was recognized everywhere in the kingdom, enforceable contracts - all of this made commerce more appealing than plunder.
There is a correlation between economic inequality and personal violence. The explanation for the correlation isn't completely clear; there are a number of possibilities.
People today sometimes get uncomfortable with empirical claims that seem to clash with their political assumptions, often because they haven't given much thought to the connections.
As women are empowered, violence can come down, for a number of reasons. By all measures, men are the more violent gender.
I've never argued that humans are massively hot-wired. What I was trying to point out was that you can't understand how we learn unless you identify the learning mechanisms. And these have some genetic basis.
You can't hear a word and just hear it as raw sound; it always evokes an associated meaning and emotion in the brain.
Violence and religion have often gone together, but it's not a perfect correlation, and it doesn't have to be a permanent connection, because religions themselves change.
Anything that makes it easier to imagine trading places with someone else increases your moral consideration for that other person.
There is no society ever discovered in the remotest corner of the world that has not had something that we would consider the arts. Visual arts - decoration of surfaces and bodies - appears to be a human universal.
I think a lot of moral debates are not over what is the basis of justice, but who gets a ticket to play in the game.
If the myth of pure evil is that evil is committed with the intention of causing harm and an absence of moral considerations, then it applies to very few acts of so-called 'pure evil' because most evildoers believe what they are doing is forgivable or justifiable.
We are visual creatures. Visual things stay put, whereas sounds fade.
Everyone's pedigree merges into everyone else's pedigree. So if you go back far enough, everyone is related.
We really are creatures of a violent world, biologically speaking - watching violence and learning about it is one of our cognitive drives.
In societies no less than individuals, acknowledging our limitations may ultimately be more humane than denying them.
Today we take it for granted that war happens in smaller, poorer and more backward countries.
The European wars of religion were more deadly than the First World War, proportionally speaking, and in the range of the Second World War in Europe. The Inquisition, the persecution of heretics and infidels and witches, they racked up pretty high death tolls.
All of the violence that doesn't occur doesn't get reported on the news.
Plants can't very well defend themselves by their behavior, so they resort to chemical warfare, and plants are saturated with toxins and irritants to deter creatures like us who want to eat them.
Reading is a technology for perspective-taking. When someone else's thoughts are in your head, you are observing the world from that person's vantage point.
Why is it surprising that scientists might have long hair and wear cowboy boots? In fields like neuroscience, where the events you are recording are so minute, I suspect scientists cultivate a boring, reliable image. A scientist with a reputation for flamboyance might be suspect.
Time spent with friends makes a life happier; time spent with loved ones makes it more meaningful.
There's the common veneration (not just by the religious) of faith, namely believing something without a good reason.
There is a growing movement called Humanism, which promotes a non-supernatural basis for meaning and ethics: good without God.
The thinkers of the Enlightenment sought a new understanding of the human condition. The era was a cornucopia of ideas, some of them contradictory, but four themes tie them together: reason, science, humanism, and progress.
The first step toward wisdom is the realization that the laws of the universe don't care about you.
The beauty of reason is that it can always be applied to understand failures of reason.
2402 quotes