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The Positive Way of Life

Posted December 29, 2012 by Alexandra D. Williams

A positive attitude is the foundation for a fulfilling life.  No matter how difficult, or even uneventful, a day ends up being, one should always try their best to maintain a positive attitude. It's said that forcing yourself to smile eventually leads to feeling happy.  A great many people believed this, so below we'll look at some of the best positive quotes of all time, and see why they're meaningful to us.

"You can't hold a man down without staying down with him."
- Booker T. Washington

Booker T. Washington was born into slavery in an area of Virginia. Upon the emancipation of slaves, he worked several manual labor jobs before finally seeking an education.  He later became a Sunday school teacher and the voice for thousands of southern blacks that were being opposed still through voting laws. Taking into consideration all that Washington had undergone, one might assume that he would have pent up resentment or anger. Through this quote we see that he was able to remain positive, and better himself by letting go of the resentment towards those who oppressed him.

"A long life may not be good enough, but a good life is long enough."
- Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin managed to live a long and successful life. Franklin's quote can teach us that no matter how much time we have, the only thing that matters is the quality we give it.

"If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live."
- Lyn Yutang

Lyn Yutang was a Chinese and English author, and also an inventor.  It's easy to see how Lyn Yutang might have been in a given day. Of course, we've all had times that we are remarkably and unexpectedly busy and stressed, but as the quote shows us, we must always make time to relax and enjoy life. 

"There's always room for improvement, it's the biggest room in the house."
Louise Heath Leber

Awarded the New York Post's Mother of the Year in 1961, Leber can be assumed to have been very busy. As a mom, it's sometimes difficult to realize when you need improvement, especially when you've been using your methods for as long as you can remember.  To first accept and understand, and then to amend behavior or attitudes accordingly, can really show the true mark of a positive individual.

"There is no distance on this earth as far away as yesterday."
- Robert Nathan

For Nathan, life didn't follow the easiest path. He chose to get married in his junior year of college, and his education often took a backseat to providing for his new family.  As a poet and a novelist, not all of Robert Nathan's publications were successful. In fact, his first attempt failed miserably.  For one to continue moving forward in their career, even after failing after trying, shows that letting go of the past and looking forward is vital to success.

"Nothing is worth more than this day."
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

As a writer, artist, and politician, Goethe found his success early on at the tender age of 24.  Having been recognized for his abilities while still so young, Goethe's success only continued to grow with time.  Time is a necessary function of improvement, and Goethe seems to have understood that as he lived each day bettering himself.

"To create more positive results in your life, replace 'if only' with 'next time'."
-Author Unknown

Although we all face shortcomings and failings in our lives, they are not what measure us as people. The vital thing that comes from a shortcoming is our reaction to it. It is important to understand that if we persevere, and continue to get back up after falling, we are one step closer to having a positive life through obtaining a positive outlook.

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go."
- T. S. Eliot

Sometimes referred to as "the most important English-language poet of the 20th century," Eliot reached amazing levels of success throughout his lifetime.  Although he was born to an average middle-class family, Eliot took risks to become the success that he died as. He teaches us that only when we prove ourselves capable of risk-taking, are we able to reach our full potential.

"Anything I've ever done that was ultimately worthwhile... initially scared me to death."
- Betty Bender

Bender proved her abilities as President of the Library Administration and Management Association. She teaches us through this quote that even though some things we intend to do can provoke fear in ourselves, it's important to push through it to reach the success you're after.  This has been proven by many great people in history, but here we see the fear that comes before the "worthwhile" successes.

"Life consists not in holding good cards, but in playing those you hold well."
- Josh Billings

Coming from a family of political importance, Josh Billings (legal name of Henry Wheeler Shaw), ended up proving himself without nepotism. He became a well known humorist, but not before an array of blue-collar jobs and college expulsions.  Billings proves that it isn't the tools you're given in life, but how you utilize them.

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