Peace of Heart and Mind

That ultimate state of happiness! 


 Pythagoras, who lived a little more than five hundred years before Christ, and whose genius ushered in the Golden Age of Greece, taught his disciples to live for the day only. He urged them never to worry about anything, especially what was over and done with and could never be undone. One of his most famous sayings was, “leave not the mark of the pot upon the ashes!” In other words: wipe out the past, forget it, start the day fresh, It was the only way to achieve the peace of a contented mind.

Long before Pythagoras, and in all the centuries since, men have sought what Buddha called “equanimity” …what Epicures called “tranquility” …what the poet Whittier called “the harvest song of inward peace.” And the verdict of the ages is that “nothing can bring you peace but yourself.” No one can give you the gift of a serene mind, a calm and tranquil way of life. It is something you must develop for yourself, within yourself.

Lillian Eichler Watson

  • Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.

Ralph Waldo Emerson 

  • Live for the day only, and the day’s work. …The chief worries of life arise from the foolish habit of looking before and after.

Sir William Osler 

  • The greatest gift …is the realization that life does not consist either of wallowing in the past or of peering anxiously at the future; and it is appalling to contemplate the great number of often painful steps by which one arrives at a truth so bold, so obvious, and is so frequently expressed. It is good for one to appreciate that life is now. Whatever it offers, little or much, life is now, this day, this hour.

Charles Macomb Flandrau 

  • Let us be good cheer, remembering that the misfortunes hardest to bear are those, which never happen.

James Russell Lowell 

  • You want to gain emotional poise? Remember the hourglass. The grains of sand dropping one by one. …The crowded hours come to you always one moment at a time.

James Gordon Gilkey 

  • Nothing in human affairs is worth any great anxiety.


  • Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall. Anyone do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down. And this is all that life really means.

Robert Louis Stevenson 

  • The best medicine is to stop thinking about yourself, and start thinking about other people.

Frederic Loomis 

  • Ah my Beloved, fill the cup that clears

    Today of past Regrets and future Fears:

                Tomorrow!- Why, tomorrow I may be

    Myself with Yesterday’s Sev’n thousand Years.

    The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,

    Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit

                Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,

    Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.

Omar Khayyam 

  • Doing good to others is not a duty. It is a joy, for it increases your own health and happiness.


  • Build a little fence of trust

                Around today;

    Fill the space with loving works,

                And therein stay;

    Look not through the sheltering bars

                Upon tomorrow,

    God will help thee bear what comes

                Of joy or sorrow.

Mary Frances Butts 

  • I rave no more ‘gainst time or fate, for Lo! My own shall come to me.

John Burroughs 

  • If, when you look into your own heart, you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about, what is there to fear?


  • Contentment is not satisfaction. It is the grateful, faithful, fruitful use of what we have, little or much. It is to take the cup of Providence, and call upon the name of the Lord. What the cup contains is its contents. To get all there is in the cup is the act and art of contentment. Not to drink because one has but half a cup, or because one does not like it’s flavor, or because someone else has silver to one’s own glass, is to lose the contents; and that is the penalty, of not the meaning of discontent. No one is discontented who employs and enjoys to the utmost what he has. It is high philosophy to say, we can have just what we like if we like what we have; but this much at least can be done, and this is contentment: to have the most and best in life by making the most and best of what we have.

Maltbie Babcock 

  • A contended mind is the greatest blessing a man can enjoy in this world.

Joseph Addison 

  • Riches are not from the abundance of worldly goods, but from a contented mind.


  • Half the confusion in the world comes from not knowing how little we need. … I live more simply now, and with more peace.

Admiral Richard E. Byrd 

  • What is this life if, full of care,

    We have no time to stand and stare?-


    No time to stand beneath the boughs

    And stare as long as sheep or cows:


    No time to see, when woods we pass,

    Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:


    No time to see, in broad daylight,

    Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

     A poor life this if, full of care,

    We have no time to stand and stare.

William Henry Davies 

  • Enjoy your life without comparing it with that of others.

Marquis de Condorcet 

  • A man may have a home, possessions, a charming family, and yet find all these things ashy to his taste because he has been outstripped in the marathon race by some other runners to the golden tape line. It is not that he does not possess enough for his wants but that others possess more. It is the more that haunts him, makes him deprecate himself, and minimize his real achievements. This is the cancer eating away his serenity.

    The time has come when a man must say to himself: “I am no longer going to be interested in how much power or wealth another man possesses so long as I can attain enough for the dignity and security of my family and myself. I am going to break through this vicious circle, which always asks the question of life in a comparative degree: “Who is bigger?” “ Who is richer?” “Who has more?” I am going to set my goals for myself rather than borrow them from others. I will strive to achieve a mature attitude toward success, which is ambition for growth and accomplishment, real accomplishments rather than spurious, decorative, and vanity-filled acquisition. I refuse any longer to destroy my peace of mind by striving after wind, and I will judge myself in the scale of goodness and culture as well as in the balance of silver and gold. Such a man is on the road to avoiding the neurotic materialism of our age. His like the poet who does not tear himself to pieces because the sunset is not equal to that of Shakespeare. He is like the musician who does not always despise his little fugue because it lacks the magic of Bach. He is like poet or musician who learns to accept himself and to be happy with his own growth from year to year rather than paralyze his gifted pen or his talented ear by contrast with the giants and the immortals.

    Psychology will help religion to diminish the worship of the golden calf among men as it aids men to become free of their over excessive demands upon themselves. When, instead of the pathological race for more houses and jewels, cars and refrigerators, bonds and stocks … when, instead of seeking these fictitious goals, men learn a certain modesty about things and become genuinely contented with their real contributions and achievements-only then is serenity achieved. Only when we harness our own creative energies to goals, which are of our own adult choice, not imposed upon us by the compulsions of unresolved childhood competition, can we call ourselves mature and happy.

Joshua Loth Liebman