Inspirational quotes to keep you going in research

There will be times when you need a little boost and this is my set of inspirational quotes that we can turn to in our times of need! I went through my Twitter and compiled the top quotes that I’ve shared over the past two years.

“The task must be made difficult, for only the difficult inspires the noble-hearted.”
― Søren Kierkegaard
Favourite Logan Pearsall Smith quotes:
  • People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.
  • The test of a vocation is the love of the drudgery it involves
  • There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second.
  • What I like in a good author is not what he says but what he whispers.
  • What is more mortifying than to feel that you have missed the plum for want of courage to shake the tree?

The importance of incubating ideas in your subconscious. Quote by Betrand Russell

“Very gradually I have discovered ways of writing with a minimum of worry and anxiety.  When I was young each fresh piece of serious work used to seem to me for a time—perhaps a long time—to be beyond my powers.  I would fret myself into a nervous state from fear that it was never going to come right.  I would make one unsatisfying attempt after another, and in the end have to discard them all.  At last I found that such fumbling attempts were a waste of time.  It appeared that after first contemplating a book on some subject, and after giving serious preliminary attention to it, I needed a period of subconscious incubation which could not be hurried and was if anything impeded by deliberate thinking.  Sometimes I would find, after a time, that I had made a mistake, and that I could not write the book I had had in mind.  But often I was more fortunate.  Having, by a time of very intense concentration, planted the problem in my subconsciousness, it would germinate underground until, suddenly, the solution emerged with blinding clarity, so that it only remained to write down what had appeared as if in a revelation.”

The importance of keeping it simple and succinct. Quote by Betrand Russell

“There are some simple maxims—not perhaps quite so simple as those which my brother-in-law Logan Pearsall Smith offered me—which I think might be commended to writers of expository prose.  First: never use a long word if a short word will do.  Second: if you want to make a statement with a great many qualifications, put some of the qualifications in separate sentences.  Third: do not let the beginning of your sentence lead the reader to an expectation which is contradicted by the end.  Take, say, such a sentence as the following, which might occur in a work on sociology:  “Human beings are completely exempt from undesirable behavior patterns only when certain prerequisites, not satisfied except in a small percentage of actual cases, have, through some fortuitous concourse of favorable circumstances, whether congenital or environmental, chanced to combine in producing an individual in whom many factors deviate from the norm in a socially advantageous manner.”  Let us see if we can translate this sentence into English.  I suggest the following:  “All men are scoundrels, or at any rate almost all.  The men who are not must have had unusual luck, both in their birth and in their upbringing.”  This is shorter and more intelligible, and says just the same thing.  But I am afraid any professor who used the second sentence instead of the first would get the sack.”

To do two things at once is to do neither – Publilius Syrus
“‘What is the secret of your serenity?’
Said the Master, ‘Wholehearted cooperation with the inevitable.’”

— Anthony de Mello
“Where the needs of the world and your talents cross, there lies your vocation” – Aristotle

As the poet Rumi wrote, centuries ago, “This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all. Even if they are a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight.”

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.” – Albert Einstein

“Instruction does much, but encouragement, everything.”
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Brevity is the soul of wit – Hamlet, Shakespeare

“When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle

“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” – Van Gogh

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” – Norman Vincent Peale

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain

“One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.”
― Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness

As Helen Frankenthaler once said, “Let the picture lead you where it must go.” In science, it’s let the data lead you where it must go.

“If you can’t read and write, you can’t think. Your thoughts are dispersed if you don’t know how to read and write. You’ve got to be able to look at your thoughts on paper and discover what a fool you were.”
— Ray Bradbury

“Do you see it now? In a word, happiness is the feeling of contribution. That is the definition of happiness.” – from The Courage to be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi & Fumitake Koga.

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson 

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