"A good life emerges not from planning it out, but through training ourselves to respond well to small moments."
"Every person has equal potential for growth"
"All living things have dispositions, or tendencies to respond to things in certain ways... ...Our disposition is to respond emotionally to other people."
"We find ourselves experiencing certain emotions more often than we do others, and our responses then become patterned habits."
"If we are feeling a bit down, taking a moment to say hi to another person can interrupt a cycle of negative emotion."
"If we are greeting someone we've had conflict with, we can share another, more civil side of ourselves and momentarily break the pattern of disagreement"
"Note your patterns and then work actively too shift them... ...Little by little you develop parts of yourself you never knew existed, and you start becoming a better person."
"You do not yet understand life -- how could you understand death?"
"Change doesn't happen until people alter their behavior, and they don't alter their behavior unless they start with the small."
"The very things we believe to be true when we plan out our lives are also the things that ironically, limit us."
"Mencius believed that what set good people apart from others was that they had not lost touch with their emotional side."
"In Chinese, the word for mind and heart is actually one and the same: xin."
"When you hold on too tightly to a plan, you risk missing out on unexpedted opportunities, unforseen chances to do something you love, the chance encounter with someone who will change the trajectory of your whole life."
"Going head-to-head with difficult people rarely results in better relationships with them."
"The Laozi is actually quite specific about who will be most influential in any given situation: it is those who practice nonaction (wu-wei), which in the Laozi means appearing not to move or act but, in fact, being very, very powerful."
"True influence isn't to be found in overt strenght or will. It comes from creating a world that feels so natural that no one questions it."
"People around us can become drawn toward us and enriched by us because of how we energize them. As we become known for being this sort of person, our relationships and connections grow."
"A walk with someone who has a different perspective on the world can allow you to step outside your normal patterns and to see the world not just differently but also with incredible openness."
"We can constantly ask ourselves how someone else would view this world and remain ever aware that our perspective on it is not the only one that exists."
"The problem is not simply that we have perspectives. The problem comes when we assume that our perspectives are universal, and we close off our minds."
"We can embrace far more of the cosmos than any other creature on Earth because of our vast capacity for imagination. Only we can enter endless as-if worlds to see the universe through the perspective of another."
"Human beings are the ones who give patterns to the world."