Inspiring Thoughts for the Artistic Mind

A change in perspective just might keep you motivated


By Jesse Mathison

A new year often marks the beginning of a goal, and for many people it is a time of reflection and commitment: lose weight, learn a new skill, improve yourself.

Essentially, it comes down to motivation. Do you care enough to look at yourself honestly, and to commit to improving yourself in whatever way is desired?

Oftentimes we find our lives unfulfilled or stale, and we allow a society which places emphasis on the wrong things to affect how we feel about ourselves, which is nonsensical.

This is not to say that we should necessarily ignore the advice of those closest to us, or immediately view another’s perspective as callow or naive, but that everyone must stand on their own feet.

I am a writer, and so much of who I am has been formed by the thoughts of others and the writings I have read. It is important to push yourself and explore who your are.

It is important to challenge your perspectives. But it is also important to understand that what works for another, even a Nobel Prize winner, need not work or you.

With this in mind, allow me to share a few relevant thoughts that have greatly affected who I am and how I see the world.

Don’t give way to conformity. Don’t give up. Never give up–always demand more. But above all, in order to be, never try to seem. – Albert Camus (Notebooks: 1935-1942)

“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and incur my own abhorrence.” – Frederick Douglass (Narrative of the Life…)

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” – Henry David Thoreau (Walden)

“Ivan Ilych’s life had been most simple and most ordinary, and therefore most terrible.” – Tolstoy (The Death of Ivan Ilych)

“If you want to overcome the whole world, overcome yourself.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky (Demons)

When you remove an inhibiting consciousness and let men dream they all dream like painters or poets.” – Anaïs Nin (Collages)

“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Siddhattha Gautama

“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.” – Emerson

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