Free will and responsibility

Albert Einstein - Theoretical physicist

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. - American Christian minister and activist

The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: 'If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?' But... the good Samaritan reversed the question: 'If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?

Pope Francis - First Jesuit pope

If we see someone who needs help, do we stop? There is so much suffering and poverty, and a great need for good Samaritans.

Abraham Lincoln - American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States

People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. 

Ken Wilber - American philosopher and writer on transpersonal psychology and his own integral theory, a systematic philosophy which suggests the synthesis of all human knowledge and experience.

Between life’s stimuli and our habitual responses exists choice.

Ernest Holmes - American New Thought writer, teacher, and leader

God gives some more than others because some accept more than others.

Darren Hardy - American author, keynote speaker, advisor, and former publisher of SUCCESS magazine

In essence, you make your choices, and then your choices make you.

Marie Forleo - American entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author

If it’s important enough, I’ll make the time. If not, I’ll make an excuse.

Mark Divine - Creator and founder of SEALFIT and The Unbeatable Mind Academy

Always meet your commitments. Do more than is expected of you. Do things faster than expected. Achieve better results than expected. Do all of the above with integrity and with little fanfare.

Byron Katie - American speaker and author

You move totally away from reality when you believe that there is a legitimate reason to suffer.

Friedrich Nietzsche - German philosopher, whose critiques of contemporary culture, religion, and philosophy centered on a basic question regarding the foundation of values and morality

Will – that is the name of the liberator and joy-bringer.

William Glasser - American psychiatrist

Good or bad, everything we do is our best choice at that moment.

Tal Ben-Shahar - American and Israeli teacher, and writer in the areas of positive psychology and leadership

One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And, the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.

John Calvin Maxwell - American author, speaker, and pastor who has written many books, primarily focusing on leadership

The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That's the day we truly grow up.

Anthony Moore - Author, writer, coach

Choose success over mediocrity.
Choose learning instead of entertainment.
Choose personal growth instead of jealousy.
Choose what you want, not what anyone else wants.

Albert Ellis - American psychologist and psychotherapist who founded Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.

Vernon Linwood Howard - American spiritual teacher, author, and philosopher

We are exactly where we have chosen to be.

David Kent Reynolds - Author and the founder of Constructive Living. He was a faculty member at the UCLA School of Public Health, the University of Southern California School of Medicine and the University of Houston

Talk, talk, talk. How often it is used to back away from reality.

James Clear - Author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, Atomic Habits, which has sold more than 4 million copies worldwide

You don’t have to be the victim of your environment. You can also be the architect of it.

Matthew Kelly - One of the great thought leaders of our time. His enormous success as an author, speaker, and business consultant is the result of his comprehensive worldview which springs forth from the single idea that we are each here to become the-very-best-version-of-ourselves

God does not want to control you, or stifle you, or manipulate you, or force you to do anything you don't want to do. Quite the opposite. God will let you do whatever you want to do, whenever you want to do it, with whomever you want to do it, and as often as you want to do it. When was the last time God stopped you from doing anything?

Jordan B. Peterson - Canadian professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, a clinical psychologist, and YouTube personality

To stand up straight with your shoulders back is to accept the terrible responsibility of life, with eyes wide open. It means deciding to voluntarily transform the chaos of potential into the realities of habitable order. It means adopting the burden of self-conscious vulnerability, and accepting the end of the unconscious paradise of childhood, where finitude and mortality are only dimly comprehended. It means willingly undertaking the sacrifices necessary to generate a productive and meaningful reality (it means acting to please God, in the ancient language).

Jordan B. Peterson - Canadian professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, a clinical psychologist, and YouTube personality

When you have something to say, silence is a lie.

Tim S. Grover - CEO of Attack Athletics, Inc., which he founded in 1989, and author of the international bestseller Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable

“Fuck “try.” Trying is an open invitation to failure, just another way of saying, “If I fail, it’s not my fault, I tried.”

Charles Duhigg - American journalist and non-fiction author. He was a reporter for The New York Times, currently writes for The New Yorker Magazine and is the author of two books on habits and productivity, titled The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business and Smarter Faster Better

Every choice we make in life is an experiment.

Raymond Charles Barker - Leader and author in the New Thought spiritual movement and, specifically, in Religious Science 

To you God gave the greatest gift God could ever bestow. It is the gift of creative thought.

Jean-Paul Sartre - French philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the key figures in the philosophy of existentialism and phenomenology, and one of the leading figures in 20th-century French philosophy and Marxism

In life man commits himself and draws his own portrait, outside of which there is nothing. No doubt this thought may seem harsh to someone who has not made a success of his life. But on the other hand, it helps people to understand that reality alone counts, and that dreams, expectations and hopes only serve to define a man as a broken dream, aborted hopes, and futile expectations.

Jocko Willink - American author, podcaster, and retired naval officer who served in the Navy SEALs

Extreme Ownership. Leaders must own everything in their world. There is no one else to blame.

Jason Selk - One of the premier performance coaches in the United States, with dozens of professional athletes and Fortune 500 executives as his clients

Excuses are the antithesis of accountability.

Rory Vaden - One of the top 100 leadership speakers in the world according to Inc. Magazine

Your highest obligation to other people is to be your highest self.

Darren Hardy - American author, keynote speaker, advisor, and former publisher of SUCCESS magazine. Hardy is a New York Times best-selling author, who wrote The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster, Living Your Best Year Ever and The Compound Effect

We can all make powerful choices. We can all take back control by not blaming chance, fate, or anyone else for our outcomes. It’s within our ability to cause everything to change. Rather than letting past hurtful experiences sap our energy and sabotage our success, we can use them to fuel positive, constructive change.

Eric Greitens - American politician, author, and former Navy SEAL who was the 56th governor of Missouri from January 2017 until his resignation in June 2018

The first step to building resilience is to take responsibility for who you are and for your life. If you’re not willing to do that, stop wasting your time reading this letter. The essence of responsibility is the acceptance of the consequences—good and bad—of your actions.

Brian Tracy - Canadian-American motivational public speaker and self-development author. He is the author of over eighty books that have been translated into dozens of languages. His popular books are Earn What You're Really Worth, Eat That Frog!, No Excuses!

You can make excuses or you can make progress. You choose.

Earl Nightingale - American radio speaker and author, dealing mostly with the subjects of human character development, motivation, and meaningful existence

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.

Earl Nightingale - American radio speaker and author, dealing mostly with the subjects of human character development, motivation, and meaningful existence

We can let circumstances rule us, or we can take charge and rule our lives from within.

Jim Rohn - American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker

The fault… is not in the stars, but in ourselves.

Orison Swett Marden - American inspirational author who wrote about achieving success in life and founded SUCCESS magazine in 1897. His writings discuss common-sense principles and virtues that make for a well-rounded, successful life. Many of his ideas are based on New Thought philosophy

Most men fail, not through lack of education or agreeable personal qualities, but from lack of dogged determination, from lack of dauntless will.

Thích Nhất Hạnh - Vietnamese Thiền Buddhist monk, peace activist, and founder of the Plum Village Tradition, historically recognized as the main inspiration for engaged Buddhism

For the sharing to be useful and good, you have to be prepared to say something like, “I have made mistakes. I have thought, spoken, and acted in ways that have harmed our happiness and damaged our connection.

Jim Rohn - American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker

The world doesn’t care whether you choose to stop here or to go on. So you have to care.

Barry Schwartz - American psychologist. Schwartz is the Dorwin Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action at Swarthmore College and since 2016 has been visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley. His work focuses on the intersection of psychology and economics 

Freedom to choose has what might be called expressive value. Choice is what enables us to tell the world who we are and what we care about. 

William H. McRaven - Retired United States Navy four-star admiral who served as the ninth commander of the United States Special Operations Command from August 8, 2011 to August 28, 2014

It is easy to blame your lot in life on some outside force, to stop trying because you believe fate is against you. It is easy to think that where you were raised, how your parents treated you, or what school you went to is all that determines your future. Nothing could be further from the truth. The common people and the great men and women are all defined by how they deal with life’s unfairness.

David Goggins - American ultramarathon runner, ultra-distance cyclist, triathlete, public speaker, and author. He is a retired United States Navy SEAL and former United States Air Force Tactical Air Control Party member who served in the Iraq War. His memoir, Can't Hurt Me, was released in 2018

Denial is the ultimate comfort zone.

Maya Angelou - American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist

If you don’t like something change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.