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Passion

  • We welcome passion, for the mind is briefly let off duty.

  • Anything you do from the heart enriches you, but sometimes not till years later.

  • What you can't get out of, get into wholeheartedly.

  • There's no blameless life / Save for the passionless ...

  • As a man's real power grows and his knowledge widens, ever the way he can follow grows narrower: until at last he chooses nothing, but does only and wholly what he must do.

  • ... vitality ... that dangerous divine gift she had in such abundance, the one gift that no art could counterfeit, and the one the gods give least often and with least wish to be kind.

  • We must have a passion in life.

    • George Sand,
    • 1831, in Raphaël Ledos de Beaufort, ed., Letters of George Sand, vol. 1 ()
  • The capacity for passion is both cruel and divine.

    • George Sand,
    • 1834, in Marie Jenney Howe, ed., The Intimate Journal of George Sand ()
  • It's a shame to be caught up in something that doesn't absolutely make you tremble with joy.

  • It is better to be passionate than to be tolerant at the expense of one's soul.

  • ... passion of any sort is seldom governed by the rules of etiquette.

  • To be first-rate at anything you have to stake your all. Nobody's an artist 'on the side.'

  • ... the things that one most wants to do are the things that are probably most worth doing.

    • Winifred Holtby,
    • 1927, in Alice Holtby and Jean McWilliam, eds., Letters to a Friend ()
  • ... the worst sin — perhaps the only sin — passion can commit, is to be joyless.

  • More than any other beauty (though it is true of all beauty except in art) passion seems to me to have the seeds of its own destruction in it.

    • May Sarton,
    • 1948, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days ()
  • ... I think that passion if really intense is always destructive if not to the two involved, always to other people ...

    • May Sarton,
    • 1954, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Selected Letters 1916-1954 ()
  • My candle burns at both ends; / It will not last the night; / But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends — / It gives a lovely light!

  • I am not a tentative person. Whatever I do, I give up my whole self to it ...

  • The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

  • Life was meant to be lived and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn one's back on life.

  • Our visions begin with our desires.

    • Audre Lorde,
    • in Claudia Tate, ed., Black Women Writers at Work ()
  • Life loses its zest when there is nothing left to work for.

  • You will have energy to burn once you pursue your enthusiasms with passion.

  • We gain energy from being free to do those things we chose to do. We never tire when we are working on our projects. Energy is emotional to a large degree.

  • Knowledge of what you love somehow comes to you; you don't have to read nor analyze nor study. If you love a thing enough, knowledge of it seeps into you, with particulars more real than any chart can furnish.

  • Living had little use for me other than how it could be funneled into dance.

  • Her secret? It is every artist's secret ... passion. That is all. It is an open secret, and perfectly safe. Like heroism, it is inimitable in cheap materials.

  • Passion is what the sun feels for the earth / When harvests ripen into golden birth.

  • That which we most desire, / With understanding, we at last obtain, / In part or whole. I hold there is no rain, / No deluge, that can quench a heavenly fire.

  • Never strive, O artist, to create what you are not irresistibly impelled to create!

  • Those who believe in the freedom of the will have never loved, and never hated.

  • Passion alone could destroy passion. All the thinking in the world could not make so much as a dent in its surface.

  • The lovers of life, they are children at heart always in their wonder and delight, but they do not grab.

  • It is the soul's duty to be loyal to its own desires. It must abandon itself to its master-passion.

  • The fiery moments of passionate experience are the moments of wholeness and totality of the personality.

  • I will not be just a tourist in the world of images, just watching images passing by which I cannot live in, make love to, possess as permanent sources of joy and ecstasy.

  • I don't believe other people are ever as foolishly excited as I am while I'm working. How could they be? Writers would have to live in trees.

    • Katherine Mansfield,
    • 1920, in J. Middleton Murry, ed., The Letters of Katherine Mansfield, vol. 2 ()
  • We can do whatever we wish to do provided our wish is strong enough ... What do you most want to do? That's what I have to keep asking myself, in the face of difficulties.

  • We are minor in everything but our passions.

  • The days have never been long enough to do the things I would like to do. Every year has held more of interest than the year before.

  • ... I had learnt to seek intensity rather than happiness, not joys and prosperity but more of life, a concentrated sense of life, a strengthened feeling of existence, fullness and concentration of pulse, energy, growth, flowering, beyond the image of happiness or unhappiness.

  • I've never sought success in order to get fame and money: it's the talent and the passion that count in success.

  • Life engenders life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.

  • Life loves the liver of it.

    • Maya Angelou,
    • 1977, in Jeffrey M. Elliot, ed., Conversations With Maya Angelou ()
  • Passion is our ground, our island — do others exist?

  • ... if I love something I do it, and if I don't, I don't. I think that this is the most important choice that any of us can make in life, in art, in history: to do the thing you love. If you love it, it is important. If you love it then while you are doing it, you are a true expression of yourself and your time and your story. You are authentic. If you don't love it you betray not only yourself but also your history, your culture, your position in your society.

  • The secret of success is concentration; wherever there has been a great life, or a great work, that has gone before. Taste everything a little, look at everything a little; but live for one thing.

  • ... I love color. It must submit to me. And I love art. I kneel before it, and it must become mine. Everything around me glows with passion. Every day reveals a new red flower, glowing, scarlet red. Everyone around me carries them. Some wear them quietly hidden in their hearts. And they are like poppies just opening, of which one can see only here and there a hint of red petal peeking out from the green bud.

    • Paula Modersohn-Becker,
    • in Günter Busch and Liselotte von Reinken, eds., Paula Modersohn: The Letters and Journals ()
  • ... the beauty is forever there before us, forever piping to us, and we are forever failing to dance. We could not help but dance if we could see things as they really are. Then we should kiss both hands to Fate and fling our bodies, hearts, minds, and souls into life with a glorious abandonment, an extravagant, delighted loyalty, knowing that our wildest enthusiasm cannot more than brush the hem of the real beauty and joy and wonder that are always there.

  • I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.

  • Ecstasy is what everyone craves — not love or sex, but a hot-blooded, soaring intensity, in which being alive is a joy and a thrill. That enravishment doesn't give meaning to life, and yet without it life seems meaningless.

  • ... before I embark on any new venture, I ask myself: will the joy of doing this make me lose track of any concern for time? If the answer is yes, I proceed!

  • Finding your passion is like finding your career soul mate. You 'date around' a bit, trying various jobs, but one day you find something you love so much you wanna marry it and see it every morning before your first cup of coffee.

    • Emme,
    • in Emme and Natasha Stoynoff, Life's Little Emergencies ()
  • Nature formed me fierce ...

  • Anything we fully do is an alone journey.

  • Interested people are happy people.

  • A mind which really lays hold of a subject is not easily detached from it.

  • Passionate concern may lead to errors of judgment, but the lack of passion in the face of human wrong leads to spiritual bankruptcy.

  • Money is a jealous mistress If you want money you must want only money. ... I must tell you the one secret of life, there is only one: everything is a jealous mistress, everything is terribly possessive, and, by God, we want to be terribly possessed if we want to get somewhere — and we want to be terribly possessed — anyhow; or what is life?

  • If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much room.

  • Spend all you have for loveliness, / Buy it and never count the cost; / For one white singing hour of peace / Count many a year of strife well lost, / And for a breath of ecstasy / Give all you have been, or could be.

  • ... the compulsion to work long years in pursuit of some inner vision must be fueled by stubborn fires.

  • ... he was declaring the ardour of his passion in such terms as but too often make vehemence pass for sincerity ...

  • If I had to nominate a driving force in my life, I'd plump for passion every time.

  • If I had to choose my driving force, it would be passion.

  • Exhaust the little moment / Soon it dies.

  • This is the urgency: Live! / and have your blooming in the noise of the whirlwind.

  • Just being in a room with myself is almost more stimulation than I can bear.

    • Kate Braverman,
    • in Mickey Pearlman and Katherine Usher Henderson, A Voice of One's Own: Conversations With America's Writing Women ()
  • The full life depends, not on the range of experience but on the intensity of the interest, the emotion involved, and on its being a personal interest.

  • Definite gifts render their possessors capable of overcoming any obstacle this side of death; they create an impetus of far more genuine value than external advantages in some other career where the impulse to make use of them remains weak or non-existent. The work that one enjoys is the greatest source of happiness and vitality in life.

  • What is love without passion? — A garden without flowers, a hat without feathers, tobogganing without snow.

  • I believe we come to earth with sealed orders. I believe that only those who lack passion look down on purpose.

  • ... I believe a burning purpose attracts others who are drawn along with it and help fulfill it.

  • One hour of right-down love / Is worth an age of dully living on.

  • How often have I actually discovered in myself that enthusiasm raises the artist above himself, how in an ordinary mood one would not have been able to accomplish many of the things for which enthusiasm lends one everything, energy, fire.

    • Clara Schumann,
    • 1841, in Gerd Nauhaus, ed., The Marriage Diaries of Robert and Clara Schumann ()
  • You need only claim the events of your life to make yourself yours. When you truly possess all you have been and done, which may take some time, you are fierce with reality.

  • The secret in the search for meaning is to find your passion and pursue it.

  • Follow your heart, and you perish.

  • A fire was then lighted in my heart where it still burns.

  • Passion is more important than justice.

  • To have something which one particularly wants to do is more important than anything else. It is even more important than succeeding in that thing you want to do. In fact it does not matter if you fail, but it does matter that you do or do not want to do something.

  • Bee to the blossom, moth to the flame; / Each to his passion; what's in a name?

  • ... I believe that there is a future in anything that one is vitally interested in.

    • Lou Henry Hoover,
    • letter (1942), in William O. Foss, ed., First Ladies Quotations Book ()
  • Even if a thing is not beautiful, it is living art if it is someone's experience. To do a thing as nobody else could have done it — if you can wrench that out of yourself — is style. Beauty is well enough, but I think I have found out that truth is greater than that, and any room or shop window or business letter that is honestly drawn from the burning center of someone's belief and not from the general vat of what everybody else does and thinks, has magic in it. There is nothing so magical as life.

  • Is that what they call a vocation, what you do with joy as if you had fire in your heart, the devil in your body?

    • Josephine Baker,
    • in Jean-Claude Baker and Chris Chase, Josephine Baker: The Hungry Heart ()
  • This fire in me, it's not just the hunger of a woman for a man — it's the hunger of all my people back of me, from all ages, for light, for the life higher!

  • Want of passion is, I think, a very striking characteristic of Americans, not unrelated to their predilection for violence. For very few people truly have a passionate desire to achieve, and violence serves as a kind of substitute.

  • I know that anybody who does all this and doesn't have to, everything thinks she's very driven. The truth is, I enjoy it all so! Can't it be that simple? I think it is! I don't feel overworked. I get a constant kick out of being heavily committed. Is that sick or something? God, what would I do sitting still?

  • Do what you love, the money will follow.

  • When passion and habit long lie in company it is only slowly and with incredulity that habit awakens to finds its companion fled, itself alone.

  • The vocation exists, and so does the gift; but vocation and gift are seldom of equal proportions, and I suppose that the struggle to equate them is the true and secret tension.

  • The mind gives us thousands of ways to say no, but there's only one way to say yes, and that's from the heart.

  • ... by taking notice of those feelings and images that seemed to be in my blood and bones rather than in my head, I had found myself able to behave, not less reasonably, but more so. Apparently it was as much a false extreme to try and live by reason alone, leaving the passions out of count, as to ignore reason and put passion in its place as the guiding force of life.

  • No longer will we [women] agree to protect the hearth at the price of extinguishing the fire within ourselves.

    • Celia Gilbert,
    • in Sara Ruddick and Pamela Daniels, eds., Working It Out ()
  • It's his first exposure to Third world passion. He thought only Americans had informed political opinion — other people staged coups out of spite and misery. It's an unwelcome revelation to him that a reasonably educated and rational man like Ro would die for things that he, Brent, has never heard of and would rather laugh about.

  • When I was really deliverin babies in all my times, lateness of the hour and the earlies of the mornin didn't bother me. I just went when I was called. There has been a many dreary nights but I didn't look at em as dreary nights. I had my mind on where I was going and what I was goin for.

    • Onnie Lee Logan,
    • with Katherine Clark, Motherwit: An Alabama Midwife's Story ()
  • ... passion is always a search for the ideal.

  • ... you can have anything you want if you want it desperately enough. You must want it with an inner exuberance that erupts through the skin and joins the energy that created the world.

  • A person who neglects his destiny, whose life ticks on without enthusiasm and a staunch appetite for living, who has never been enchanted by his own passions and desires, is cut from defective cloth.

  • You must learn day by day, year by year, to broaden your horizon. The more things you love, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you are indignant about — the more you have left when anything happens.

    • Ethel Barrymore,
    • in Adela Rogers St. Johns, "Ethel Barrymore, Queen Once More," Reader's Digest ()
  • ... become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid.

    • Lady Bird Johnson,
    • in Jean Flynn, Lady: A Biography of Claudia Alta (Lady Bird) Johnson ()
  • ... somewhere in your life there has to be a passion. There has to be some desire to go forward. If not, why live?

    • Alexa Canady,
    • in Daniel Goleman, Paul Kaufman, and Michael Ray, The Creative Spirit ()
  • But how little do they know human nature, who think they can say to passion, so far shalt thou go, and no farther!

  • ... the great sins and fires break out of me like the terrible leaves from the bough in the violent spring. I am a walking fire, I am all leaves ...

    • Edith Sitwell,
    • in Elizabeth Salter and Allanah Harper, eds., Edith Sitwell: Fire of the Mind ()
  • It is the passionate people who make the world progress. Use your brains ... but never stop thinking with your hearts.

  • If you don't burn the candle at both ends, what's the candle got two ends for?

  • I'm not just involved in tennis but committed. Do you know the difference between involvement and commitment? Think of ham and eggs. The chicken is involved. The pig is committed.

  • Passion, that thing of beauty, that flowering without roots, has to be born, live and die without reason.

    • Georgette Leblanc,
    • 1898, in Janet Flanner, trans., Souvenirs: My Life With Maeterlinck ()
  • Friends often come from your commitments, your passions. If you are all alone, it is usually a sign that you need to commit yourself to your beliefs or at least to a good activity. You need to give yourself away.

    • Doris Haddock,
    • with Dennis Burke, Granny D: Walking Across America in My 90th Year ()
  • ... the art of your passion, embraced fully, redeems you from all the sins and shortcomings of a life.

    • Doris Haddock,
    • with Dennis Burke, Granny D: Walking Across America in My 90th Year ()
  • Passion is the relentless pursuit of those life-enhancing activities or experiences that give our souls meaning.

  • Passion is the engagement of our soul with something beyond us, something that helps us put up with or fight against insurmountable odds, even at high risks, because it is all worth it.

  • Once we have found our passion, we feel a strange contradiction: On one hand, we could die today and life would have been worth it, and at the same time, we want to live forever to continue our connection to our passion.

  • People with passion are incredibly inventive and tenacious individuals. They go way beyond the call of duty and frequently either work on their passion without pay or give more of themselves than their pay warrants. And I do not equate passion with workaholism, in which people say they love their work so much they do it all the time. Workaholics are working to fill a vacuum, or to escape, not to connect with their souls.

  • If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.

  • For yesterday and for all tomorrows, we dance the best we know.

  • When you put yourself wholeheartedly into something, energy grows. It seems inexhaustible. If, on the other hand, you are divided and conflicted about what you are doing, you create anxiety. And the amount of physical and emotional energy consumed by anxiety is exorbitant.

  • The real trick is to stay alive as long as you live.

  • ... go in over your head, not just up to your neck.

  • So I, with eager voice and news-flushed face, / cry to those caught in comas, stupors, sleeping: / come, everything is running, / flying, / leaping, / hurtling through time! / And we are in this race.

    • Jessica Powers,
    • "Everything Rushes," in Marcianne Kappes, Track of the Mystic: The Spirituality of Jessica Powers ()
  • I am greedy. Puritans scold me / for running breathlessly / over life's table of contents / and for wishing and longing for everything.