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When you think of it, really there are four fundamental questions of life. You've asked them, I've asked them, every thinking person asks them. They boil down to this; origin, meaning, morality and destiny. 'How did I come into being? What brings life meaning? How do I know right from wrong? Where am I headed after I die?'
One of the things that I did before I ran for president is I was a professional speaker. Not a motivational speaker - an inspirational speaker. Motivation comes from within. You have to be inspired. That's what I do. I inspire people, I inspire the public, I inspire my staff. I inspired the organizations I took over to want to succeed.
I did not have three thousand pairs of shoes, I had one thousand and sixty.
Nelson Mandela went to jail believing in violence, and 27 years later he and his colleagues had slowly and carefully honed the skills, the incredible skills, that they needed to turn one of the most vicious governments the world has known into a democracy. And they did it in a total devotion to non-violence.
Did Superman really want to save the world, or did he just feel like he had to? Would he much rather be a farmer? Maybe. Would he much rather be hanging out with his dad and his mom and his dog? Probably.
Some may remember, if you have good memories, that there used to be a concept in Anglo-American law called a presumption of innocence, innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Now that's so deep in history that there's no point even bringing it up, but it did once exist.
A friend at school was always being laughed at because his father emptied dustbins for a living. But those who laughed worshipped famous footballers. This is an example of our topsy-turvy view of 'success.' Who would we miss most if they did not work for a month, the footballer or the garbage collector?
Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.
Yeah, I did see where the people dissing me were coming from. But, it's like, anything that happened in the past between black and white, I can't really speak on it, because I wasn't there. I don't feel like me being born the color I am makes me any less of a person.
I'm probably wouldn't do anything differently if I had to do it again. Every little thing that happens to you, good and bad, becomes a little piece of the puzzle of who you become. Every successful person you read about - Warren Buffett, Bill Gates - they all say pretty much the same thing. 'Do what you love.' I know I did.
I always thought of photography as a naughty thing to do - that was one of my favorite things about it, and when I first did it, I felt very perverse.
Producing suits me because I have a business mind and a business sensibility. I was a street hustler. I did whatever it took. I sold whatever I could sell. I'm a good organiser.
I look at my father. He is one of my heroes. He is such an incredible, classy man. He was such a great father and such a great husband in so many ways, and we lived through some pretty tough times losing my mom. When I see all that he did, I think, 'Wow, that's a really wonderful man.'
I did most of my volunteer work when I was in college because I knew of more ways to get involved. In high school, we'd do things like, there was a homeless shelter near our hometown and our church group decorated one of the rooms. In college, I was in a sorority, and we did a lot of things, like pick up trash on the highway.
I lead by example. My kids know what sweat is. They've seen me come home from so many runs and asked, 'What's on your skin? How did you get it?' And I tell them, 'It's from exercise!' So now my son will come home from a bike ride, take off his helmet and say, 'Look, Mom. I'm sweating! I just worked out!'
I did not break up the Beatles. You can't have it both ways. If you're going to blame me for breaking the Beatles up, you should be thankful that I made them into myth rather than a crumbling group.
The things that have been most valuable to me I did not learn in school.
If what you did yesterday seems big, you haven't done anything today.
God tries you in certain, certain ways. Some people are rich, and they believe in God. They lose the money, things get hard, they get weak and quit going to church. Quit serving God like they did.
One day I looked at something in myself that I had been avoiding because it was too painful. Yet once I did, I had an unexpected surprise. Rather than self-hatred, I was flooded with compassion for myself because I realized the pain necessary to develop that coping mechanism to begin with.
I grew up on the edge of a national park in Canada - timberwolves, creeks, snow drifts. I really did have to walk home six miles through the snow, like your grandparents used to complain.
If I just do everything the opposite of what my dad did, I think that will make things pretty easy. I can joke about it now because I'm past that stage where it used to hurt. By having a kid, it's gone. I could take all that negative energy that I had and put it in a positive way.
Luckily, he was in the process of moving to France at the time, anyway. But if he had stayed in the States, I don't know how he would have handled that, because it was getting pretty crazy. I mean, a celebrity which he really did not welcome. And I can't blame him.
I'm stupid, I'm ugly, I'm dumb, I smell. Did I mention I'm stupid?
Gay marriage will be universally accepted in time. But if I may be so bold as to say to gays and lesbians, don't wait for that time to arrive. Just as my father and his generation did not 'wait' for their civil rights, nor should you. The toothpaste ain't going back in the tube. The tide has turned.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
John F. Kennedy
Leonardo da Vinci
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