I used to Want to Change the World, Now I’m Open to Letting it Change Me!

My passion for reading books began when I joined to my MBA program in the year 1998. That was the time when I was plagued with so many questions about life. Because I am the eldest among three siblings, I felt responsible for them and was forced to find the answers to these questions — so I turned to books to quench my thirst for wisdom. ( Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.)

I vividly remember the first ever book on sale I bought from a book store. This eye opener had nothing to do with life answers and was titled “One Two Three . . . Infinity: Facts and Speculations of Science” by the great George Gamow, which a few years down the road, I gave to my friend who was a universe freak like me.

I have always believed that George Gamow possessed the unique ability of making the world of science accessible to the general reader. He brings that ability to bear in this delightful expedition through the problems, pleasures, and puzzles of modern science. Among the topics scrutinized with the celebrated good humor and pedagogical prowess are the macrocosm and the microcosm, theory of numbers, relativity of space and time, entropy, genes, atomic structure, nuclear fission, and the origin of the solar system.

This book started my insatiable passion for reading. Since then there was no looking back. Today I will share some of my favorite quotes from various books that I have been reading (All kinds)!

1. Fight Club: A Novel by Chuck Palahniuk

“You are not your job, you’re not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis. You are all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”

“Ok. You fuck me, then snub me. You love me, you hate me. You show me a sensitive side, then you turn into a total asshole. Is this a pretty accurate description of our relationship.”

“Warning: If you are reading this then this warning is for you. Every word you read of this useless fine print is another second off your life. Don’t you have other things to do? Is your life so empty that you honestly can’t think of a better way to spend these moments? Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all that claim it? Do you read everything you’re supposed to read? Do you think every thing you’re supposed to think? Buy what you’re told to want? Get out of your apartment. Meet a member of the opposite sex. Stop the excessive shopping and masturbation. Quit your job. Start a fight. Prove you’re alive. If you don’t claim your humanity you will become a statistic. You have been warned.”

2. Factotum by Charles Bukowski

“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery — isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.”

3. The Story of My Experiments With Truth by Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi

“But you can wake a man only if he is really asleep. No effort that you make will produce any effect upon him if he is merely pretending sleep.”

“The seeker after truth should be humbler than the dust. The world crushes the dust under its feet, but the seeker after truth should so humble himself that even the dust could crush him. Only then, and not till then, will he have a glimpse of truth.”

“Men often become what they believe themselves to be.If I believe I cannot do something,it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can , then I acquire the ability to do it even If I didn’t have it in the beginning”.”

“Our duty is very simple and plain. We want to serve the community, and in our own humble way to serve the Empire. We believe in the righteousness of the cause, which it is our privilege to espouse. We have an abiding faith in the mercy of the Almighty God, and we have firm faith in the British Constitution. That being so, we should fail in our duty if we wrote anything with a view to hurt.”

“Hate the sin and not the sinner is a precept which, though easy enough to understand, is rarely practiced, and that is why the poison of hatred spreads in the world… It is quite proper to resist and attack a system, but to resist and attack its author is tantamount to resisting and attacking oneself. for we are all tarred with the same brush, and are children of one and the same Creator, and as such the divine powers within us are infinite. To slight a single human being is to slight those divine powers, and thus to harm not only that being but with him the whole world.”

“No matter how explicit the pledge, people will turn and twist the text to suit their own purpose”

4. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”

“We are travelers on a cosmic journey,stardust,swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share.This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.”

“I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living now.”

and my favorite quote

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

5. The Palace of Illusions: A Novel by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

“Love comes like lightning, and disappears the same way. If you are lucky, it strikes you right. If not, you’ll spend your life yearning for a man you can’t have.”

“Aren’t we all pawns in the hands of time, the greatest player of them all?”

“I tried to hold on to this compassion, sensing its preciousness, but even as I reached to grasp it, it dissipated into wisps. No revelation can endure unless it is bolstered by a calm pure mind- and I’m afraid I didn’t possess that.”

“The power of a man is like a bull’s charge, while the power of a woman moves aslant, like a serpent seeking its prey. Know the particular properties of your power. Unless you use it correctly, it won’t get you what you want.” His words perplexed me. Wasn’t power singular and simple? In the world that I knew, men just happened to have more of it. (I hoped to change this.)”

6. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

“They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions… but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”

“Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another)… There are just some kind of men who — who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.”

“With him, life was routine; without him, life was unbearable.”

“I was born good but had grown progressively worse every year.”

7. The Timekeeper by Mitch Albom

“Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. an alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.”

“It is never too late or too soon. It is when it is supposed to be.”

“He cried that night for all that he had lost, but he would say it taught him a valuable lesson: that holding on to things “will only break your heart.”

“But you grab a moment, or you let it pass.”

8. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

“I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough..”

“I love you. I am who I am because of you. You are every reason, every hope, and every dream I’ve ever had, and no matter what happens to us in the future, everyday we are together is the greatest day of my life. I will always be yours. ”

“We fell in love, despite our differences, and once we did, something rare and beautiful was created. For me, love like that has only happened once, and that’s why every minute we spent together has been seared in my memory. I’ll never forget a single moment of it.”

“The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected. Maybe they always have been and will be. Maybe we’ve lived a thousand lives before this one and in each of them we’ve found each other. And maybe each time, we’ve been forced apart for the same reasons. That means that this goodbye is both a goodbye for the past ten thousand years and a prelude to what will come.”

“My Dearest Allie. I couldn’t sleep last night because I know that it’s over between us. I’m not bitter anymore, because I know that what we had was real. And if in some distant place in the future we see each other in our new lives, I’ll smile at you with joy and remember how we spent the summer beneath the trees, learning from each other and growing in love. The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds, and that’s what you’ve given me. That’s what I hope to give to you forever. I love you. I’ll be seeing you. Noah”

9. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

“If you want to live your life in a creative way, as an artist, you have to not look back too much. You have to be willing to take whatever you’ve done and whoever you were and throw them away. The more the outside world tries to reinforce an image of you, the harder it is to continue to be an artist, which is why a lot of times, artists have to say, “Bye. I have to go. I’m going crazy and I’m getting out of here.” And they go and hibernate somewhere. Maybe later they re-emerge a little differently.”

“If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things — that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before. It’s a discipline; you have to practice it.”

“Throughout his life, Albert Einstein would retain the intuition and the awe of a child. He never lost his sense of wonder at the magic of nature’s phenomena-magnetic fields, gravity, inertia, acceleration, light beams-which grown-ups find so commonplace. He retained the ability to hold two thoughts in his mind simultaneously, to be puzzled when they conflicted, and to marvel when he could smell an underlying unity. “People like you and me never grow old,” he wrote a friend later in life. “We never cease to stand like curious children before the great mystery into which we were born.”

“You should never start a company with the goal of getting rich. Your goal should be making something you believe in and making a company that will last.”

10. What Should I Do with My Life?: The True Story of People Who Answered the Ultimate Question by Po Bronson

“I learned that it was in hard times that people usually changed the course of their life; in good times, they frequently only talked about change. Hard times forced them to overcome the doubts that normally gave them pause.It surprised me how often we hold ourselves back until we have no choice.”

“‎It’s not easy. It’s not supposed to be easy. Most people make mistakes. Most people have to learn the hardest lessons more than once.”

“The moral is to not set yourself goals which don’t leave you any freedom to maneuver.”

“I used to want to change the world. Now I’m open to letting it change me.”

If the late Winston Churchill said, “Never, never, never quit!” I say, “Never, never, never stop learning, read something,!” Remember that there are books written to provide wisdom, inspiration, knowledge, and laughter. There is a wealth of life hidden inside of them… all we need to do is take the time to pick them up and read.

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Nomad | Early Stage Investor | Wannabe Anthropologist | Technology Evangelist | Curious, Inquisitive & Experimental Entrepreneur

Nomad | Early Stage Investor | Wannabe Anthropologist | Technology Evangelist | Curious, Inquisitive & Experimental Entrepreneur