...I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.
Source: The Bell Jar: A Novel (Perennial Classics), Pages: The Bell Jar, Chapter 7
Listen: We live in a world in which everyone is always in a hurry; no one has time for anything. It's true for you, and it's just as true for me. Well, in this situation each of us has to make a choice: either to be overwhelmed by our work or else to sanctify it. There is no middle course.
Source: Saints in the World: The Adventure of Christian Life
Pleasure is great- but it doesn't last. Pleasure comes from your five senses. From a great meal, a nice glass of wine and a new car. Nothing wrong with these things- they make the experience of life better. But they are fleeeting...
Happiness is the DNA of pleasure. My point is simply this: Pleasure comes from something on the outside. Happiness comes from within. It's a state you create by choice. It's a decision. It's an act of will.
People can be happy while they are going through great pain and adversity. There's no pleasure evident in their external lives yet they are content on the inside. And conversely, tons of people are surrounded by pleasure (fast cars, nice homes, great clothes) but there is no joy within. So choose to be happy.
Source: Greatness Guide Intl, The: Powerful Secrets for Getting to World Class, Pages: 122
For centuries you have been taught that love-sponsored action arises out of the choice to be, do, and have whatever produces the highest good for another. Yet I tell you this: the highest choice is that which produces the highest good for you.
Neale Donald Walsch
Source: Conversations with God : An Uncommon Dialogue (Book 1)