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The largest part of what we call 'personality' is determined by how we've opted to defend ourselves against anxiety and sadness. -- Alain De Botton
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Few things rival the torment of the once-famous actor, the fallen politician or, as Tocqueville might have remarked, the unsuccessful American. -- Alain De Botton
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We were bothered by sex because it is a fundamentally disruptive, overwhelming and demented force, strongly at odds with the majority of our ambitions and all but incapable of being discreetly integrated within civilized society. -- Alain De Botton
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Feeling lost, crazy and desperate belongs to a good life as much as optimism, certainty and reason. -- Alain De Botton
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The desire for high status is never stronger than in situations where "ordinary" life fails to answer a median need for dignity and comfort. -- Alain De Botton
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Try, before taking off for distant hemispheres to notice what we have already seen. -- Alain De Botton
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One's doing well if age improves even slightly one's capacity to hold on to that vital truism: This too shall pass. -- Alain De Botton
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Our responses to the world are crucially moulded by the company we keep, for we temper our curiosity to fit in with the expectations of others. -- Alain De Botton
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A marriage doesn't begin with a proposal, or even an initial meeting. It begins far earlier, when the idea of love is born, and more specifically the dream of a soulmate. Rabih -- Alain De Botton
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When you feel sad, you are participating in a venerable experience, to which I, this monument, am dedicated. Your sense of loss and disappointment, of frustrated hopes and grief at your own inadequacy, elevate you to serious company. Do not ignore of throw away your grief -- Alain De Botton
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Our capacity to draw happiness from aesthetic objects or material goods in fact seems critically dependent on our first satisfying a more important range of emotional or psychological needs, among them the need for understanding, for love, expression and respect. -- Alain De Botton
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Sublime places repeat in grand terms a lesson that ordinary life typically teaches viciously: that the universe is mightier than we are, that we are frail and temporary and have no alternative but to accept limitations on our will; that we must bow to necessities greater than ourselves. -- Alain De Botton
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There's a whole category of people who miss out by not allowing themselves to be weird enough. -- Alain De Botton
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Most of what makes a book 'good' is that we are reading it at the right moment for us. -- Alain De Botton
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We've also been forced to learn something rather more surprising: no one is particularly interested. -- Alain De Botton
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Year-end financial statements ... express a truth about office life which is no less irrefutable yet also, in the end, no less irrelevant or irritating than an evolutionary biologist's proud reminder that the purpose of existence lies in the propagation of our genes. -- Alain De Botton
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The only possible way to begin a book is to tell oneself that its eventual failure is guaranteed - but survivable. -- Alain De Botton
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The truth, in so far as a human being is able to attain such a thing, lies in a statement which it seems impossible to disprove. It is by finding out what something is not that one comes closest to understanding what it is. -- Alain De Botton
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We shouldn't be surprised if this kind of stoicism is of no interest whatsoever to the news, for it has sound commercial incentives for overemphasizing our vulnerability. -- Alain De Botton
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Socrates, on being insulted in the marketplace, asked by a passerby, "Don't you worry about being called names?" retorted, "Why? Do you think I should resent it if an ass had kicked me? -- Alain De Botton
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Nothing satisfies the man who is not satisfied with a little. -- Alain De Botton
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Look not just at the Roman campagna, the pageantry of Venice, and the proud expression of Charles I astride his horse, but also have a look at the bowl on the sideboard, the dead fish in your kitchen, and the crusty bread loaves in the hall. -- Alain De Botton
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We need objects to remind us of the commitments we've made. That carpet from Morocco reminds us of the impulsive, freedom-loving side of ourselves we're in danger of losing touch with. Beautiful furniture gives us something to live up to. All designed objects are propaganda for a way of life. -- Alain De Botton
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One kind of good book should leave you asking: how did the author know that about me? -- Alain De Botton
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Social media has lots of benefits, but compared to Christianity, it tends to group people by interests. Religion puts you with people who have nothing in common except that you're human. -- Alain De Botton
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My mistake was to confuse a destiny to love with a destiny to love a specific person. It was the error of thinking that Chloe, rather than love, was inevitable. -- Alain De Botton
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But is shame really the most useful tool to be employed in the reformation of mankind? Do people grow better through being belittled? Does fear educate? -- Alain De Botton
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As victims of hurt, we frequently don't bring up what ails us, because so many wounds look absurd in the light of day. -- Alain De Botton
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Like many other outstanding examples of the genre, Ingres's portrait teaches us that appearance can be a bearer of authentic meaning. -- Alain De Botton
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Yet we can perhaps only ever fall in love without knowing quite who we have fallen in love with. The initial convulsion is necessarily founded on ignorance. -- Alain De Botton
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These inventors were elevating the formulation of entrepreneurial ideas to the status of a visionary activity. Though forced to justify their efforts in the pragmatic language of venture capital, they were at heart utopian thinkers intent on transforming the world. -- Alain De Botton
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For the Romantic, it is only the briefest of steps from a glimpse of a stranger to the formulation of a majestic and substantial conclusion: that he or she may constitute a comprehensive answer to the unspoken questions of existence. The -- Alain De Botton
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It is according to how we are able to answer the question of what we do (normally the first enquiry we will have to field in any new acquaintance) that the quality of our reception is likely to be decided. -- Alain De Botton
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The pursuit of personal happiness and the production of healthy children are two radically contrasting projects, which love maliciously confuses us into thinking of as one for a requisite number of years. We should not be surprised by marriages between people who would never have been friends -- Alain De Botton
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I keep a picture of my beloved children close by. Also, water and plenty of pads and pens. -- Alain De Botton
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He feared that by leaving her he would ruin her life - so he stayed, and did just that. -- Alain De Botton
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The company of certain people may excite our generosity and sensitivity, while that of others awakens our competitiveness and envy. -- Alain De Botton
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It was no longer her absence that wounded me, but my growing indifference to it. Forgetting, however calming, was also a reminder of infidelity to what I had at one time held so dear. -- Alain De Botton
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If we accord importance to the kind of portraits which surround us, it is because we fashion our lives according to their example, accepting aspects of ourselves if they concur with what others mention of themselves. -- Alain De Botton
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There are two ways to make a man richer, reasoned Rousseau: give him more money or curb his desires. -- Alain De Botton
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Our sense of what is valuable will hence be radically distorted if we must perpetually condemn as tedious everything we lack, simply because we lack it. -- Alain De Botton
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We will cease to be angry once we cease to be so hopeful. -- Alain De Botton
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Newspapers are being read all around. The point is not, of course, to glean new information, but rather to coax the mind out of its sleep-induced introspective temper. -- Alain De Botton
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It would be foolish to describe the logistics hub as merely ugly, for it has the horrifying, soulless, immaculate beauty characteristic of many of the workplaces of the modern world. -- Alain De Botton
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a lack of love:
between a man and a woman is the announcement that what they might produce would only be a badly organized, unhappy being, wanting in harmony in itself. -- Alain De Botton
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The media insists on taking what someone didn't mean to say as being far closer to the truth than what they did. -- Alain De Botton
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Maturity: knowing where you're crazy, trying to warn others of the fact and striving to keep yourself under control. -- Alain De Botton
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My writing always came out of a very personal place, out of an attempt to stay sane. -- Alain De Botton
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Rejection hurts so much because we take it as a damning judgement passed not merely on our physical appeal but on our entire selves, and by extension (at this stage we're crying into our pillow, as something by Bach or Leonard Cohen plays on the stereo) on our very right to exist. 2. -- Alain De Botton
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One of our major flaws, and causes of unhappiness, is that we find it hard to take note of appreciate and be grateful for what is always around us. We suffer because we lose sight of the value of what is before us and yearn, often unfairly, for the imagined attraction elsewhere. -- Alain De Botton
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Far from rejecting outright any hierarchy of success or failure, philosophy instead reconfigures the judging process, lending legitimacy to theidea that themainstream value system may unfairly consign some people to disgrace and others to respectability. -- Alain De Botton
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Despite our best efforts to clean it of its peculiarities, sex will never be either simple or nice in the ways we might like it to be. -- Alain De Botton
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The foregrounding of health may be one part of the mission of fashion, but on a more ambitious level, this art form also provides women with clothes that support a range of views about what it means to be an interesting and desirable human being. -- Alain De Botton
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Writing a book has about it some of the anxiety of telling a joke and having to wait several years to know whether or not it was funny. -- Alain De Botton
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He considered earthquakes and decided they were the result of air trapped inside the earth that had sought a way out, a form of geological flatulence. -- Alain De Botton
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Artistic accounts involve severe abbreviations of what reality will force upon us. -- Alain De Botton
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One rarely falls in love without being as much attracted to what is interestingly wrong with someone as what is objectively healthy. -- Alain De Botton
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You're not upset.' 'I am.' 'You deserve to be. -- Alain De Botton
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Choosing a spouse and a choosing career: the two great decisions for which society refuses to set up institutional guidance. -- Alain De Botton
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Sunday evenings had long saddened me, reminders of death, unfinished business, guilt, and loss. -- Alain De Botton
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We should add that it is a privilege to be the recipient of a sulk: it means the other person respects and trusts us enough to think we should understand their unspoken hurt. It is one of the odder gifts of love. Eventually -- Alain De Botton
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Bitterness: anger that forgot where it came from. -- Alain De Botton
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Every realistic picture represents a choice as to which features of reality should be given prominence; no painting ever captures the whole ... -- Alain De Botton
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We are sensitized by the books we read. And the more books we read, and the deeper their lessons sink into us, the more pairs of glasses we have. And those glasses enable us to see things we would have otherwise missed. -- Alain De Botton
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Her lie was symptomatic of a certain pride she took in mocking the romantic, in being unsentimental, matter-of-fact, stoic; yet at heart she was the opposite: idealistic, dreamy, giving, and deeply attached to everything she liked verbally to dismiss as mushy. -- Alain De Botton
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Life gives us no such handy markers - a storm comes, and far from this being a harbinger of death and collapse, during its course a person discovers love and truth, beauty and happiness, the rain lashing at the windows all the while. -- Alain De Botton
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Work begins when the fear of doing nothing at all finally trumps the terror of doing it badly. -- Alain De Botton
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More data flows into the building in a single day than mankind as a whole would have generated in the twenty-three centuries between the death of Socrates and the invention of the telephone. -- Alain De Botton
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Cynics are - beneath it all - only idealists with awkwardly high standards. -- Alain De Botton
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Artistic talent is like a brilliant firework which streaks across a pitch-black night, inspiring awe among onlookers but extinguishing itself in seconds, leaving behind only darkness and longing. -- Alain De Botton
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Being snappy is a symptom of an argument we forgot to have some way back. -- Alain De Botton
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For most of our lives, sex seems fated to remain steeped in longing and awkwardness. Whatever the manuals may promise, there are really no solutions to the majority of the dilemmas sex creates for us. -- Alain De Botton
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The prestige of the news is founded on the unstated assumption that our lives are forever poised on the verge of critical transformation thanks to the two driving forces of modern history: politics and technology. -- Alain De Botton
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Blessed with riches and possibilities far beyond anything imagined by ancestors who tilled the unpredictable soil of medieval Europe, modern populations have nonetheless shown a remarkable capacity to feel that neither who they are nor what they have is quite enough. -- Alain De Botton
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There are people who say, 'Oh this guy is quite thick.' I think the reason is that, increasingly, I don't mind being simple in terms of literary expression. Others say, 'No, no, no. He went to Cambridge. He got a good degree. He must be Einstein.' -- Alain De Botton
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We read the weird tales in newspapers to crowd out the even weirder stuff inside us. -- Alain De Botton
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Being put in our place by something larger, older, greater than ourselves is not a humiliation; it should be accepted as a relief from our insanely hopeful ambitions for our lives. -- Alain De Botton
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Marriage: a hopeful, generous, infinitely kind gamble taken by two people who don't know yet who they are or who the other might be, binding themselves to a future they cannot conceive of and have carefully omitted to investigate. -- Alain De Botton
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A grasp of the psychological mechanism behind taste will not necessarily change our sense of what we find beautiful, but it can prevent us from reacting to what we don't like with simple disparagement -- Alain De Botton
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Most victories are, in the best way, acts of revenge. -- Alain De Botton
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Because we inhibit the same material world and manoeuvre with languages tied to common definitions, we talk to others in the assumption that they largely share our images and conceptions. -- Alain De Botton
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I learnt to stop fantasising about the perfect job or the perfect relationship because that can actually be an excuse for not living. -- Alain De Botton
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I was uncomfortable writing fiction. My love was the personal essay, rather than the novel. -- Alain De Botton
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Sex will never be simple or nice in the ways we might like it to be,It is not fundamentally democratic or kind; it is bound up with cruelty, transgression and the desire for subjugation and humiliation. It refuses to sit neatly on top of love, as it should. -- Alain De Botton
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Happiness may be difficult to obtain. The obstacles are not primarily financial. -- Alain De Botton
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The man who shouts every time he loses his house keys is betraying a beautiful but rash faith in a universe in which keys never go astray. -- Alain De Botton
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I'm also interested in the modern suggestion that you can have a combination of love and sex in a marriage - which no previous society has ever believed. -- Alain De Botton
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The pleasure we derive from journeys is perhaps dependent more on the mindset with which we travel than on the destination we travel to. -- Alain De Botton
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Good sex isn't just fun, it keeps us sane and happy. Having sex with someone makes us feel wanted, alive and potent -- Alain De Botton
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He feeds her his worlds. -- Alain De Botton
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The arrogance of wanting to be loved had emerged only now it was unreciprocated - I was left alone with my desire, defenseless, beyond the law, shockingly crude in my demands: Love me! And for what reason? I had only the usual paltry, insufficient excuse: Because I love you . . -- Alain De Botton
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Maturity means acknowledging that Romantic love might constitute only a narrow, and perhaps rather mean-minded, aspect of emotional life, one principally focused on a quest to find love rather than to give it; to be loved rather than to love. Children -- Alain De Botton
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Few in this world are ever simply nasty; those who hurt us are themselves in pain. The appropriate response is hence never cynicism nor aggression but, at the rare moments one can manage it, always love. -- Alain De Botton
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The beginning of revolutions is psychologically strikingly akin to that of certain relationships: the stress on unity, the sense of omnipotence, the desire to eliminate secrets (with the fear of the opposite soon leading to lover's paranoia and the creation of a secret police). -- Alain De Botton
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In hock to the excitements and commercial advantages of rage, the news cruelly ignores the project of consolation. -- Alain De Botton
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Writing isn't a career choice. It's self-medication that over time precipitates the madness it was meant to ward off. -- Alain De Botton
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True love is a lack of desire to check one's smartphone in another's presence. -- Alain De Botton
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Every skillful writer foregrounds notable aspects of experience, details that might otherwise be lost in the mass of data that continuously bathes our senses - and in so doing prompts us to find and savour those in the world around us. -- Alain De Botton
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There is always the option of being emotionally lazy, that is, of quoting. -- Alain De Botton
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There is a devilishly direct relationship between the significance of an idea and how nervous we become at the prospect of having to think about it. -- Alain De Botton
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The feeling one has no time to get anything done provides the pressure that guarantees one does get some things done. -- Alain De Botton
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The mind may be reluctant to think properly when thinking is all it is supposed to do; the task can be as paralysing as having to tell a joke or mimic an accent on demand. -- Alain De Botton
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Our best chance of contentment lies in taking up the wisdom offered to us in coded form through our coughs, allergies, social gaffes, and emotional betrayals, and avoid the ingratitude of those who blame the peas, the bores, the time, and the weather. -- Alain De Botton
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Q: Did he think that love could last forever? A: Well, no, but the limits to eternity didn't lie specifically with love. They lay in the general difficulty of maintaining an appreciative relationship with anything or anyone that was always around. -- Alain De Botton
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The moment we cry in a film is not when things are sad but when they turn out to be more beautiful than we expected them to be. -- Alain De Botton
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One of the better guarantors of ending up in a good relationship: an advanced capacity to be alone. -- Alain De Botton
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The most attractive are not those who allow us to kiss them at once [we soon feel ungrateful] or those who never allow us to kiss them [we soon forget them], but those who coyly lead us between the two extremes. -- Alain De Botton
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Whereas we can say something sensible and polite to any stranger, it is only in the presence of the lover we wholeheartedly believe in that can we date to be extravagantly and boundlessly unreasonable. -- Alain De Botton
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Beauty, then, is a fragment of the divine, and the sight of it saddens us by evoking our sense of loss and our yearning for the life denied us. -- Alain De Botton
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Jesus sleeping in his mother's arms subliminally reinforce his counsel that we should learn to regard all our fellow human beings as if they were children. -- Alain De Botton
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It's very hard to respect people on holiday - everybody looks so silly at the beach, it makes you hate humanity - but when you see people at their work they elicit respect, whether it's a mechanic, a stonemason or an accountant. -- Alain De Botton
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When two people part, it is the one who is not in love who makes the tender speeches. -- Alain De Botton
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The study of maps and the perusal of travel books aroused in me a secret fascination that was at times almost irresistible. -- Alain De Botton
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He will conclude that love can endure only when one is unfaithful to its beguiling opening ambitions; and that for his relationships to work he will need to give up on the feelings that got him into them in the first place. He will need to learn that love is a skill rather than an enthusiasm. -- Alain De Botton
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We are all more intelligent than we are capable, and awareness of the insanity of love has never saved anyone from the disease. -- Alain De Botton
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The essence of art is that its one case applies to thousands,' knew Schopenhauer. -- Alain De Botton
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The finest proof of our loyalty toward one another was our monstrous disloyalties towards everyone else. -- Alain De Botton
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In Britain, because I live here, I can also run into problems of envy and competition. But all this is just in a day's work for a writer. You can't put stuff out there without someone calling you a complete fool. Oh, well. -- Alain De Botton
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Adulthood involves learning to conclusively bury a great many of our hopes. -- Alain De Botton
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The only problem with unrestricted choice, however, is that it tends not to lie so far from outright chaos. -- Alain De Botton
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What we call a home is merely any place that succeeds in making more consistenly available to us the important truths which the wider world ignores, or which our distracted and irresolute selves have trouble holding onto. (p123) Architecture of Happiness -- Alain De Botton
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If it is true that love is the pursuit in another of qualities we lack in ourselves, then in our love of someone from another culture, one ambition may be to weld ourselves more closely to values missing from our own culture. -- Alain De Botton
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It seems as if, in making a marriage, either the individual or the interest of the species must come off badly. -- Alain De Botton
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A supernatural instrument before whose miracle we used to stand amazed, and which we now employ without giving it a thought, to summon our tailor or to order an ice cream -- Alain De Botton
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we would not reliably assent to reproduce unless we first had lost our minds. -- Alain De Botton
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The destination was not really the point. The true desire was to get away - to go, as he concluded, 'anywhere! anywhere! so long as it is out of the world! -- Alain De Botton
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I was relying on youth be loyal to the specific variety of compromise and unhappiness, which our hard-won marriage represents. -- Alain De Botton
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A good half of the art of living is resilience. -- Alain De Botton
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[ ... ] what Ruskin judged to be the twin purposes of art: to make sense of pain and to fathom the sources of beauty. -- Alain De Botton
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Half the ingratitude and complacency in the world down to how slowly and imperceptibly most good and bad things unfold. -- Alain De Botton
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We are certainly influenced by role models, and if we are surrounded by images of beautiful rich people, we will start to think that to be beautiful and rich is very important - just as in the Middle Ages, people were surrounded by images of religious piety. -- Alain De Botton
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Forcing people to eat together is an effective way to promote tolerance. -- Alain De Botton
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I believe that the sight is more important thing that the drawing; and i would rather teach drawing that my pupils may learn to love nature, that teach looking at nature that they may learn to draw. -- Alain De Botton
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In the mountains of truth you will never climb in vain: either you will get up higher today or you will exercise your strength so as to be able to get up higher tomorrow. -- Alain De Botton
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We start trying to be wise when we realize that we are not born knowing how to live, but that life is a skill that has to be acquired, -- Alain De Botton
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It was a symbol of what Ruskin had done for Proust, and what all books might do for their readers, namely bring back to life, from the deadness caused by habit and inattention, valuable yet neglected aspects of experience. -- Alain De Botton
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The longing for company may be no less powerful or irresponsible in its effects than the sexual motive once was. -- Alain De Botton
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I thought of the similarities of complaints
always selfishness, always blindness
and the old psychological truth that what we complain of in others, others will complain of in us. -- Alain De Botton
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I love the idea of a university as away from capitalist values, where people can do things that don't immediately have to pay their way. It's like a monastery in a way, and that beautiful refuge has been destroyed by dogma about what this stuff is for. -- Alain De Botton
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Though we sometimes suspect that people are hiding things from us, it is not until we are in love that we feel an urgency to press our inquiries, and in seeking answers, we are apt to discover the extent to which people disguise and conceal their real lives. -- Alain De Botton
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Curiosity might be pictured as being made up of chains of small questions extending outwards, sometimes over huge distances, from a central hub composed of a few blunt, large questions. -- Alain De Botton
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He was marked out by his relentless ability to find fault with others' mediocrity
suggesting that a certain type of intelligence may be at heart nothing more or less than a superior capacity for dissatisfaction. -- Alain De Botton
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There is no such thing as work-life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life. -- Alain De Botton
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But I could I tell her so in a way that would suggest the distinctive nature of my attraction? Words like "love" or "devotion" or "infatuation" we're exhausted by the weight of successive love stories, but the layers imposed on them through the uses of others. -- Alain De Botton
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To have a sexual history did not only imply one had made love to a succession of people, it also suggested one had either rejected or been rejected by these same bedroom companions. -- Alain De Botton
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Never too late to learn some embarrassingly basic, stupidly obvious things about oneself. -- Alain De Botton
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In the end, I've found that it doesn't really matter who you marry. If you like them at the beginning, you probably won't like them at the end. And if you start off hating them, there's always the chance you'll end up thinking they're all right. -- Alain De Botton
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What we colloquially call 'feeling bored' is just the mind, acting out of a self-preserving reflex, ejecting information it has despaired of knowing where to place. -- Alain De Botton
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To appreciate life's small moments, it helps to have a sense the whole can never be made perfect. -- Alain De Botton
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By conceiving of love as biologically inevitable, key to the continuation of the species, Schopenhauer's theory of the will invites us to adopt a more forgiving stance towards the eccentric behaviour to which love so often makes us subject. -- Alain De Botton
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Perhaps it is true that we do not really exist until there is someone there to see us existing, we cannot properly speak until there is someone who can understand what we are saying in essence, we are not wholly alive until we are loved. -- Alain De Botton
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Virtue is its own reward. We only invented concepts like heaven and hell to describe how we feel. We don't feel good doing bad and it's nice to help someone. -- Alain De Botton
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It's clear to me that there is no good reason for many philosophy books to sound as complicated as they do. -- Alain De Botton
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Responsible for wrapping the iron fist of authority in its velvet glove is Jane Axtell, head of the accountancy firm's Human Resources department. -- Alain De Botton
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Never, ever become a writer. It's a nightmare. -- Alain De Botton
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You can tell a paragraph is slipping out of control when there's a runaway use of the word 'hence. -- Alain De Botton
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The challenge of modern relationships: how to prove more interesting than the other's smartphone. -- Alain De Botton
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Politics is so difficult, it's generally only people who aren't quite up to the task who feel convinced they are. -- Alain De Botton
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A great writer picks up on those things that matter. It's almost like their radar is attuned to the most significant moments. -- Alain De Botton
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To one's enemies: I hate myself more than you ever could. -- Alain De Botton
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You need a long hard day's work to reveal the logic of the craving for very bad tv and alcohol. -- Alain De Botton
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Let's say you went to Harvard or Oxford or Cambridge, and you said, 'I've come here because I'm in search of morality, guidance and consolation; I want to know how to live,' - they would show you the way to the insane asylum. -- Alain De Botton
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There is real danger of a disconnect between what's on your business card and who you are deep inside, and it's not a disconnect that the world is ready to be patient with. -- Alain De Botton
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Insomnia is his mind's revenge for all the tricky thoughts he has carefully avoided during the daylight hours. -- Alain De Botton
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The degree of sympathy we feel regarding another's fiasco is directly proportional to how easy or difficult it is for us to imagine ourselves, under like circumstances, making a similar mistake. -- Alain De Botton
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The best cure for one's bad tendencies is to see them in action in another person. -- Alain De Botton
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Envy: a confused, tangled guide to one's own ambitions. -- Alain De Botton
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I've had my successes and failures. I know many academics in my field loathe me. I've come to loathe them back, as it seems only polite to do so. But at heart it's absurd; we should band together against the big common enemies. -- Alain De Botton
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It's almost a blessing when we meet people who naturally want to do the sort of things that are in high demand in society. What a gift to do that, as opposed to other people who would say, 'I want to be a novelist but actually I have to be an accountant.' -- Alain De Botton
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I passionately believe that's it's not just what you say that counts, it's also how you say it - that the success of your argument critically depends on your manner of presenting it. -- Alain De Botton
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A thought provoking number of the world's most intelligent people have disdained any interest in decoration and design, equating contentment with discarnate and invisible matters instead. -- Alain De Botton
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Although I don't believe in God, Bach's music shows me what a love of God must feel like. -- Alain De Botton
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Literature deserves its prestige for one reason above all others - because it's a tool to help us live and die with a little bit more wisdom, goodness, and sanity. -- Alain De Botton
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It's perhaps easier now than ever before to make a good living; it's perhaps harder than ever before to stay calm, to be free of career anxiety. -- Alain De Botton
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Sweetness is the opposite of machismo, which is everywhere-and I really don't get on with machismo. I'm interested in sensitivity, and weakness, and fear, and anxiety, because I think that, at the end of the day, behind our masks, that's what we are. -- Alain De Botton
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It is easy to get upset about the deteriorating state of one's body, but there are other ways to excel and impress than via one's legs. -- Alain De Botton
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I am conscious of trying to stretch the boundaries of non-fiction writing. It's always surprised me how little attention many non-fiction writers pay to the formal aspects of their work. -- Alain De Botton
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If we were entirely sane, if madness did not have a serious grip on one side of us, other people's tragedies would hold a great deal less interest for us. -- Alain De Botton
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Work is a way of bringing order to chaos, and there's a basic satisfaction in seeing that we are able to make something a little more coherent by the end of the day. -- Alain De Botton
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After 40 (old age for most of man's history), one should strive to be more or less packed and ready to go were the end call to come. -- Alain De Botton
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A dominant impulse on encountering beauty is to wish to hold on to it, to possess it and give it weight in one's life. There is an urge to say, 'I was here, I saw this and it mattered to me. -- Alain De Botton
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We never envy another's achievement more than when we know very little about how it was attained. -- Alain De Botton
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Literature deeply stands opposed to the dominant value system-the one that rewards money and power. Writers are on the other side-they make us sympathetic to ideas and feelings that are of deep importance but can't afford airtime in a commercialized, status-consciou s, and cynical world. -- Alain De Botton
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One of love's greatest drawbacks is that, for a while at least, it is in danger of making us happy. -- Alain De Botton
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It's hard loving those who don't much like themselves: If you're so great, why would you think I'm so great. -- Alain De Botton
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In Flaubert's eyes, that only entirely illiterate and uneducated Frenchmen now stood a chance of being able to think properly: -- Alain De Botton
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When work is not going well, it's useful to remember that our identities stretch beyond what is on the business card, that we were people long before we became workers - and will continue to be human once we have put our tools down forever. -- Alain De Botton
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Intimacy is the capacity to be rather weird with someone - and finding that that's ok with them. -- Alain De Botton
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Nature's kind trick is to make everything happen so slowly that we don't get as scared as we should. -- Alain De Botton
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Public life is debased because it's only the nice people who are worried about imposing their views on others. -- Alain De Botton
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We wanted to test each other's capacity for survival: only if we had tried in vain to destroy one another would we know we were safe. -- Alain De Botton
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We should read other people's books in order to learn what we feel; it is our own thoughts we should be developing, even if it is another writer's thought that help us to do so. -- Alain De Botton
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Do you love me enough that I may be weak with you? Everyone loves strength, but do you love me for my weakness? That is the real test. -- Alain De Botton
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It is perhaps when our lives are at their most problematic that we are likely to be most receptive to beautiful things. -- Alain De Botton
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Without sex, we would be dangerously invulnerable. We might believe we were not ridiculous. We wouldn't know rejection and humiliation so intimately. -- Alain De Botton
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Living is something of an emergency anyway, but our struggles must usually be strenuously concealed. Our anxieties churn away within us, yet on the outside we must smile and deliver upbeat answers to enquiries about how we're doing. -- Alain De Botton
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Hence Proust's assertion that the greatness of works of art has nothing to do with the apparent quality of their subject matter, and everything to do with the subsequent treatment of that matter. -- Alain De Botton
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Pronounce a lover 'perfect' can only be a sign that we have failed to understand them. We can claim to have begun to know someone only when they have substantially disappointed us. -- Alain De Botton
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Most of us still caged within careers chosen for us by our not entirely worldly 18-22 year old selves. -- Alain De Botton
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The average citizen now has near-instantaneous access to information about events in every nation on earth. -- Alain De Botton
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The ease with which we can connect the psychological world with the outer, visual and sensory one seeds our language with metaphors. -- Alain De Botton
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We are creature deeply marked by our expectations -- Alain De Botton
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Dreams reveal we never quite get 'over' anything: it's all still in there somewhere. -- Alain De Botton
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It's as though either you accept [religious] doctrine and then you can have all the nice stuff, or you reject the doctrine and you're living in some kind of spiritual wasteland under the guidance of CNN and Walmart. -- Alain De Botton
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In the works of Lucretius, we find two reasons why we shouldn't worry about death. If you have had a successful life, Lucretius tell us, there's no reason to mind its end. And, if you haven't had a good time, "Why do you seek to add more years, which would also pass but ill?" -- Alain De Botton
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It is surely significant that the adults who feature in children's books are rarely, if ever, Regional Sales Managers or Building Services Engineers. -- Alain De Botton
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A work of tragedy would rise to its true moral and edifying possibilities when the audience looked upon the hero's ghastly errors and crimes and was left with no option but to reach the terrifying conclusion: 'How easily I, too, might have done the same. -- Alain De Botton
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Even if the whole of the man-made world could, through relentless effort and sacrifice, be modelled to rival St Mark's Square, even if we could spend the rest of our lives in the Villa Rotonda or the Glass House, we would still often be in a bad mood. 7. -- Alain De Botton
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In their different ways, art and philosophy help us, in Schopenhauer 's words, to turn pain into knowledge. -- Alain De Botton
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The Arab-Israeli conflict is also in many ways a conflict about status: it's a war between two peoples who feel deeply humiliated by the other, who want the other to respect them. Battles over status can be even more intractable than those over land or water or oil. -- Alain De Botton
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To look at the paper is to raise a seashell to one's ear and to be overwhelmed by the roar of humanity. -- Alain De Botton
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Most business meetings involve one party elaborately suppressing a wish to shout at the other: 'just give us the money'. -- Alain De Botton
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The more people you have to ask for permission, the more dangerous a project gets. -- Alain De Botton
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An urgent wish is no guarantor of a sound solution. -- Alain De Botton
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Pegging your contentment to the overall state of the world rather than of your own life: the basis of morality, or a sort of madness? -- Alain De Botton
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You normally have to be bashed about a bit by life to see the point of daffodils, sunsets and uneventful nice days. -- Alain De Botton
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I suffer, therefore I am special. I am not understood, but for precisely that reason, I am worthy of greater understanding. 13. -- Alain De Botton
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With no attempt there can be no failure; with no failure no humiliation. So our self-esteem in this world depends entirely on what we back ourselves to be and do. It is determined by the ratio of our actualities to our supposed potentialities. -- Alain De Botton
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If the beginnings of love and amorous politics are equally rosy, then the ends may be equally bloody. -- Alain De Botton
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Wanting to sound like other people has its temptations. There are inherited habits of speech guaranteed to make us sound authoritative, intelligent, worldly, appropriately grateful, or deeply moved. -- Alain De Botton
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According to Montaigne, it was the oppressive notion that we had complete mental control over our bodies, and the horror of departing from this portrait of normality, that had left the man unable to perform sexually. -- Alain De Botton
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And I wondered, with mounting anxiety, What am I supposed to do here? What am I supposed to think? -- Alain De Botton
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Being incomprehensible offers unparalleled protection against having nothing to say ... but writing with simplicity requires courage, for there is a danger that one will be overlooked, dismissed as simpleminded by those with a tenacious belief that the impassable prose is a hallmark of intelligence. -- Alain De Botton
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Books should be full of stuff you could never say to people in public. -- Alain De Botton
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I am not a foodie, thank goodness. I will eat pretty much anything. A lot of my friends are getting incredibly fussy about food and I see it as a bit of an affliction. -- Alain De Botton
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If you wish to put off all worry, assume that what you fear may happen is certainly going to happen. -- Alain De Botton
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The mind does most of its best thinking when we aren't there. The answers are there in the morning. -- Alain De Botton
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Importance of the random: keep brushing up against people, books, experiences we don't yet know what to do with. -- Alain De Botton
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Because I have this thing about birthdays--they always remind me of death and forced jollity. -- Alain De Botton
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To make it into a discipline is to give too large a role to what is only an incitement. Reading is on the threshold of the spiritual life; it can introduce us to it: it does not constitute it. -- Alain De Botton
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I feel that the great challenge of our time is the communication of ideas. -- Alain De Botton
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The only way to defend language is to attack it ... ' - Proust. Every good writer in history had, in order to ensure adequate expression, broken a range of rules laid down by previous writers. -- Alain De Botton
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It might be a Proustian slogan: n'allez pas trop vite. And an advantage of not going by too fast is that the world has a chance of becoming more interesting in the process. -- Alain De Botton
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The greatest works of art speak to us without knowing us. -- Alain De Botton
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Out of the millions of people we live among, most of whom we habitually ignore and are ignored by in turn, there are always a few that hold hostage our capacity for happiness, whom we could recognize by their smell alone and whom we would rather die than be without. -- Alain De Botton
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wisdom lies in correctly discerning where we are free to mould reality according to our wishes and where we must accept the unalterable with tranquillity. The -- Alain De Botton
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Wealth is not an absolute. It is relative to desire. Every time we yearn for something we cannot afford, we grow poorer, whatever our resources. And every time we feel satisfied with what we have, we can be counted as rich, however little we may actually possess. -- Alain De Botton
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If the world seems unfair or beyond our understanding, sublime places suggest that it is not surprising that things should be thus. We are the playthings of the forces that laid out the oceans and chiselled the mountains. -- Alain De Botton
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Rage is caused by a conviction, almost comic in its optimistic origins (however tragic in its effects), that a given frustration has not been written into the contract of life. -- Alain De Botton
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I think people want to get married to end their emotional uncertainty. In a way, they want to end powerful feelings, or certainly the negative ones. -- Alain De Botton
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The telephone becomes an instrument of torture in the demonic hands of a beloved who doesn't call. -- Alain De Botton
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Being political doesn't only or principally mean caring what party wins the next election; to be political is to care about the happiness of strangers. -- Alain De Botton
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A spouse who gets angry at having been betrayed is evading a basic, tragic truth: that no one can be everything to another person. -- Alain De Botton
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One of the unexpectedly important things that art can do for us is to teach us how to suffer more successfully. -- Alain De Botton
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Unfortunately for our esteem, societies of the West are not known for their conduciveness to the surrender of pretensions, to the acceptance of age or fat, let alone poverty and obscurity. -- Alain De Botton
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The moral? That life can be a stranger substance than a cliche life, that goldfinches should occasionally do things differently from their parents, and that there are persuasive reasons for calling a loved one Plouplou, Missou, or poor little wolf. -- Alain De Botton
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A fine remedy for our anxieties over our low status in society may be to travel - whether literally or figuratively, by viewing works of art - through the gigantic spaces of the world. -- Alain De Botton
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Objects mimic in a material dimension what we require in a psychological one. We need to rearrange our minds but are lured towards new shelves. We buy a cashmere cardigan as a substitute for the counsel of friends. We -- Alain De Botton
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Love could not induce us to take on the burden of propagating the species without promising us the greatest happiness we could imagine. -- Alain De Botton
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Belittling others is no pastime for those convinced of their own standing. There is terror behind haughtiness. It takes a punishing impression of our own inferiority to leave others feeling that they aren't good enough for us. -- Alain De Botton
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Our nation isn't just a severed hand, a mutilated grandmother, three dead girls in a basement, embarrassment for a minister, trillions of debt, a double suicide at the railway station and a fatal five-car crash by the coast. -- Alain De Botton
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We might do better, instead, to distance ourselves, both practically and emotionally, from those whom we consider to be our equals and yet who have grown richer than us. -- Alain De Botton
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While mourning the number of missed opportunities, we have no reason to abandon a belief in the ever-present possibility of moulding circumstances for the better. -- Alain De Botton
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It is no coincidence that the Western attraction to sublime landscapes developed at precisely the moment when traditional beliefs in God began to wane. -- Alain De Botton
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Page 25 "But if we accept the legitimacy of the subject nevertheless, then a new and contentious series of questions at once opens up. -- Alain De Botton
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In a secularising world, art has replaced religion as a touchstone of our reverence and devotion. -- Alain De Botton
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Being funny should be an incidental byproduct of trying to get to something truthful, not a destination in itself. -- Alain De Botton
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To design means forcing ourselves to unlearn what we believe we already know, patiently to take apart the mechanisms behind our reflexes and to acknowledge the mystery and stupefying complexity of everyday gestures like switching off a light of turning on a tap -- Alain De Botton
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Insecurity is a sign of well-being. It means we haven't allowed ourselves to take other people for granted, that we remain realistic enough to see that things could genuinely turn out badly and that we are invested enough to care. It -- Alain De Botton
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It is not necessarily at home that we best encounter our true selves. The furniture insists that we cannot change because it does not; the domestic setting keeps us tethered to the person we are in ordinary life, who may not be who we essentially are. -- Alain De Botton
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It follows that the balance we approve of in architecture, and which we anoint with the word 'beautiful', alludes to a state that, on a psychological level, we can describe as mental health or happiness. Like buildings, we, too, contain opposites which can be more or less successfully handled. -- Alain De Botton
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We used to build temples, and museums are about as close as secular society dares to go in facing up to the idea that a good building can change your life (and a bad one ruin it). -- Alain De Botton
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Watching crowds step off the escalators and onto the concourse, I thought it miraculous that in the midst of so many people, I should ever be able to find her
as well as testimony to the strange particularities of desire that it should be precisely she whom I needed to find. -- Alain De Botton
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The arrogance that says analysing the relationship between reasons and causes is more important than writing a philosophy of shyness or sadness or friendship drives me nuts. I can't accept that. -- Alain De Botton
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Serious journalists often imagine society is adrift because people don't know certain things. Yet often, they know but just don't care. So the task of serious journalism isn't just to lay out truths. It is to make vital truths compelling to a big audience. -- Alain De Botton
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It is perhaps sad books that best console us when we are sad, and to lonely service stations that we should drive when there is no one for us to hold or love. -- Alain De Botton
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But fantasies are often the best thing we can make of our multiple and contradictory wishes; they allow us to inhabit one reality without destroying the other. Fantasizing spares those we care about from the full irresponsibility and scary strangeness of our urges. -- Alain De Botton
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It has provided not only physical but also psychological sanctuary. It has been a guardian of identity. Over the years, its owners have returned from periods away and, on looking around them, remembered who they were. -- Alain De Botton
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As for despair, it comes about when I have been a fool and hate myself and despair of my personality. I am prone to gloom, but not depression as such. -- Alain De Botton
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We should give chaos pride of place once a year or so, designating occasions on which we can be briefly exempted from the two greatest pressures of secular adult life: having to be rational and having to be faithful. -- Alain De Botton
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The problem is if you really believe in a society where those who merit to get to the top, get to the top, you'll also, by implication ... believe in a society where those who deserve to get to the bottom also get to the bottom and stay there. -- Alain De Botton
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Religions understand this: they know that to sustain goodness, it helps to have an audience. The faiths hence provide us with a gallery of witnesses at the ceremonial beginnings of our marriages and thereafter they entrust a vigilant role to their deities. -- Alain De Botton
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My greatest joy comes from creativity: from feeling that I have been able to identify a certain aspect of human nature and crystallise a phenomenon in words. -- Alain De Botton
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By travelling across frontiers, on horseback and in the imagination, Montaigne invited us to to exchange local prejudices and the self division they induced for less constraining identities as citizens of the world. -- Alain De Botton
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I am in general a very pessimistic person with an optimistic, day- to- day take on things. The bare facts of life are utterly terrifying. And yet, one can laugh. Indeed, one has to laugh precisely because of the darkness: the nervous laughter of the trenches. -- Alain De Botton
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The fear of saying something stupid (which stupid people never have) has censored far more good ideas than bad ones. -- Alain De Botton
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shoes are supreme symbols of aesthetic, and hence by extension psychological, compatibility. Certain areas and coverings of the body say more about a person than others: shoes suggest more than pullovers, thumbs more than elbows, underwear more than overcoats, ankles more than shoulders. 7. -- Alain De Botton
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How generous was it to offer gifts to people one knew would never accept them? -- Alain De Botton
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Booksellers are the most valuable destination for the lonely, given the numbers of books written because authors couldn't find anyone to talk to. -- Alain De Botton
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We must, between periods of digging in the dark, endeavour always to transform our tears into knowledge. -- Alain De Botton
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Insomnia is a glamorous term for thoughts you forgot to have in the day. -- Alain De Botton
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Work is most fulfilling when you're at the comfortable, exciting edge of not quite knowing what you are doing. -- Alain De Botton
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On account of its scale and complexity, the world will always outstrip the capacity of any single body to ask fertile questions of it. -- Alain De Botton
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What kills us isn't one big thing, but thousands of tiny obligations we can't turn down for fear of disappointing others. -- Alain De Botton
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for lack of what is found there. -- Alain De Botton
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Religions understand that to belong to a community is both very desirable and not very easy. -- Alain De Botton
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Clashes of taste are an inevitable by-product of a world where forces continually fragment and deplete us in new ways. -- Alain De Botton
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We need long train journeys on which we have no wireless signal -- Alain De Botton
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Why, then, if expensive things cannot bring us remarkable joy, are we so powerfully drawn to them? -- Alain De Botton
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As David lifted a suitcase onto the conveyor belt, he came to an unexpected and troubling realisation: that he was bringing himself with him on his holiday. Whatever the qualities of the Dimitra Residence, they were going to be critically undermined by the fact that he would be in the villa as well. -- Alain De Botton
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We should keep a careful diary of our moments of envy: they are our covert guides to what we should try to do next. -- Alain De Botton
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Crucial insights that we need to convey to ourselves can often be received only at night, like city church bells that have to wait until dark to be heard. During -- Alain De Botton
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The greater part of our anxieties stems from an exaggerated sense of the importance of our own projects and concerns. We are tortured by our ideals and by a punishingly high-minded sense of the gravity of what we are doing. -- Alain De Botton
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It is striking how much more seriously we are likely to be taken after we have been dead a few centuries. -- Alain De Botton
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Endeavoring to purchase something we think beautiful may in fact be the most unimaginative way of dealing with the longing it excites in us, just as trying to sleep with someone may be the bluntest response to a feeling of love. -- Alain De Botton
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We accept the need to train extensively to fly a plane; but think instinct should be enough for marrying and raising kids. -- Alain De Botton
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Whatever the benefits of prolific and convenient air travel, we may curse it for its smooth subversion of our attempts to use journeys to make lasting changes in our lives. -- Alain De Botton
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Art holds out the promise of inner wholeness. -- Alain De Botton
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Paying tax should be framed as a glorious civic duty worthy of gratitude - not a punishment for making money. -- Alain De Botton
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As Proust once said, classically beautiful women should be left to men without imagination. -- Alain De Botton
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How do the stems connect to the roots?' 'Where is the mist coming from?' 'Why does one tree seem darker than another?' These questions are implicitly asked and answered in the process of sketching. -- Alain De Botton
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A momentous but until then overlooked fact was making itself apparent: I had inadvertently brought myself with me to the island. It -- Alain De Botton
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[W]e all incline in astonishingly personal ways to idiocy and spite -- Alain De Botton
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Every year, humanity produces some 30,000 films, 2 million books and 100,000 albums, and 95 million people visit a museum or art gallery. -- Alain De Botton
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How we feel about 'the nature of existence' is largely determined by what we have to do in the next few hours. -- Alain De Botton
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Pick up any newspaper or magazine, open the TV, and you'll be bombarded with suggestions of how to have a successful life. Some of these suggestions are deeply unhelpful to our own projects and priorities - and we should take care. -- Alain De Botton
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A person is never good or bad per se, which means that loving or hating them necessarily has at its basis a subjective, and perhaps illusionistic, element. -- Alain De Botton
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Mental health: having enough safe places in your mind for your thoughts to settle. -- Alain De Botton
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The notion of buildings that speak helps us to place at the very centre of our architectural conundrums the question of the values we want to live by - rather than merely of how we want things to look. -- Alain De Botton
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Only by declaring a book completely finished can one start to see how much remains to be done on it. -- Alain De Botton
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Loneliness makes us more capable of true intimacy if ever better opportunities do come along. We might be isolated for now, but we'll be capable of far closer, more interesting bonds with anyone we do eventually locate. -- Alain De Botton
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Le Corbusier is an outstanding writer. His ideas achieved their impact in large measure because he could write so convincingly. His style is utterly clear, brusque, funny and polemical in the best way. -- Alain De Botton
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One of the best protections against disappointment is to have a lot going on. -- Alain De Botton
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Bad art might be defined as a series of bad choices about what to show and what to leave out. -- Alain De Botton
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Whatever modern democracies may tell themselves about their commitment to free speech and to diversity of opinion, the values of a given society will uncannily match those of whichever organizations have the scale to pay for runs of thirty-second slots around the nightly news bulletin. -- Alain De Botton
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Many moments in religion seem attractive to me even though I can't believe in any of it. -- Alain De Botton
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Love is an incurable disease. In love, there is permanent suffering. Those who love and those who are happy are not the same. -- Alain De Botton
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Duchess of Cambridge Due to Give Birth in July 5.82M -- Alain De Botton
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Maturity/experience: the beguiling texture of stones subjected to years of furious seas. -- Alain De Botton
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On paper, being good sounds great but a lot depends on the atmosphere of the workplace or community we live in. We tend to become good or bad depending on the cues sent out within a particular space. -- Alain De Botton
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It was a reminder that the labeling of others is usually a silent process. Most people do not openly force us into roles, they merely suggest that we adopt them through their reactions to us, and hence surreptitiously prevent us from moving beyond whatever mold they have assigned us. 12. A -- Alain De Botton
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Our dissatisfactions may be the result of failing to look properly at our lives rather than the result of anything inherently deficient about them. -- Alain De Botton
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The sulker is a complicated creature, giving off messages of deep ambivalence, crying out for help and attention, while at the same time rejecting it should it be offered, wanting to be understood without needing to speak. -- Alain De Botton
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Alcohol-inspired fights ... are a reminder of the price we pay for our daily submission at the altars of prudence and order. -- Alain De Botton
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A danger of travel is that we see things at the wrong time, before we have had a chance to build up the necessary receptivity and when new information is therefore as useless and fugitive as necklace beads without a connecting chain. -- Alain De Botton
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Travel agents would be wiser to ask us what we hope to change about our lives rather than simply where we wish to go. -- Alain De Botton
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What ease our seemingly entrenched lives might be altered were we simply to walk down a corridor and onto a craft that in a few hours would land us in a place of which we had no memories and where no one knew our name. -- Alain De Botton
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We each appear to hold within ourselves a range of divergent views as to our native qualities.. And amid such uncertainty, we typically turn to the wider world to settle the question of our significance.. we seem beholden to affections of others to endure ourselves. -- Alain De Botton
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We owe it to the fields that our houses will not be the inferiors of the virgin land they have replaced. We owe it to the worms and the trees that the building we cover them with will stand as promises of the highest and most intelligent kinds of happiness. -- Alain De Botton
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Rather than getting more spoilt with age, as difficulties pile up, epiphanies of gratitude abound. -- Alain De Botton
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We often lose our tempers not with those who are actually to blame; just with those who love us enough to forgive us our foul moods. -- Alain De Botton
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My dear friend, I may be dense,' replied Humblot after having taken a brief and clearly bewildering glance at the opening of the novel, 'but I fail to see why a chap needs thirty pages to describe how he tosses and turns in bed before falling asleep. -- Alain De Botton
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Our greatest furies spring from events which violate our sense of the ground of our existence. -- Alain De Botton
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As an atheist, I think there are lots of things religions get up to which are of value to non-believers - and one of those things is trying to be a bit better than we normally manage to be. -- Alain De Botton
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The good parent: someone who doesn't mind, for a time, being hated by their children. -- Alain De Botton
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The value of a novel is not limited to its depiction of emotions and people akin to those in our own life; it stretches to an ability to describe these far better than we would have been able, to put a finger on perceptions that we recognize as our own, but could not have formulated on our own. -- Alain De Botton
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Getting to the top has an unfortunate tendency to persuade people that the system is OK after all. -- Alain De Botton
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We may seek a fortune for no greater reason than to secure the respect and attention of people who would otherwise look straight through us. -- Alain De Botton
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Our minds are susceptible to the influence of external voices telling us what we require to be satisfied, voices that may drown out the faint sounds emitted by our souls and distract us from the careful, arduous task of accurately naming our priorities. -- Alain De Botton
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What we see evidence for in others, we will attend to within, what others are silent about, we may stay blind to or experience only in shame. -- Alain De Botton
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Art cannot single-handedly create enthusiasm, nor does it arise from sentiments of which nonartists are devoid; it merely contributes to enthusiasm and guides us to be more conscious of feelings that we might previously have experienced only tentatively or hurriedly. -- Alain De Botton
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The real issue is not whether baking biscuits is meaningful, but the extent to which the activity can seem to be so after it has been continuously stretched and subdivided across five thousand lives. -- Alain De Botton
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Beauty is a promise of happiness. -- Alain De Botton
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Rather than struggling to become bigger fish, we might concentrate our energies on finding smaller ponds or smaller species to swim with, so our own size will trouble us less. -- Alain De Botton
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Patron Saint of Failures St Birgitta of Sweden. -- Alain De Botton
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By forty, everyone has the face they deserve,' wrote George Orwell, -- Alain De Botton
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Our homes do not have to offer us permanent occupancy or store our clothes to merit the name. To speak of home in relation to a building is simply to recognise its harmony with our own prized internal song. Home can be an airport or a library, a garden or a motorway diner. -- Alain De Botton
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The longing for a destiny is no nowhere stronger than in our romantic life. All too often forced to share our bed with those who cannot fathom our soul, can we not be forgiven if we believe ourselves fated to stumble one day upon the man or woman of our dreams. -- Alain De Botton
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There may be significant things to learn about people by looking at what annoys them most. -- Alain De Botton
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Curiosity takes ignorance seriously, and is confident enough to admit when it does not know. It is aware of not knowing, and it sets out to do something about it -- Alain De Botton
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It is in dialogue with pain that many beautiful things acquire their value. Acquaintance with grief turns out to be one of the more unusual prerequisites of architectural appreciation. We might, quite aside from all other requirements, need to be a little sad before buildings can properly touch us. -- Alain De Botton
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Tragedies remind us how badly we need to keep controlling ourselves by showing us what happens when people don -- Alain De Botton
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Being content is perhaps no less easy than playing the violin well: and requires no less practice. -- Alain De Botton
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Rather than saying 'I hate mess', it might draw more compassion to say, 'mess terrifies me as a harbinger of catastrophe'. -- Alain De Botton
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What we find exotic abroad may be what we hunger for in vain at home. -- Alain De Botton
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The longing for destiny is nowhere stronger than in our romantic life. -- Alain De Botton
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We feel guilty for all that we have not yet read, but overlook how much better read we already are than Augustine or Dante, thereby ignoring that our problem lies squarely with our manner of absorption rather than with the extent of our consumption. -- Alain De Botton
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When we suspect that we are appropriate targets for hurt, it does not take much for us to believe that someone or something is out to hurt us -- Alain De Botton
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(disliking people rarely being a sufficient reason for not wanting them to like us). -- Alain De Botton
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Work finally begins when the fear of doing nothing exceeds the fear of doing it badly. -- Alain De Botton
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It seems the only way to write a half decent book is to worry oneself sick on an hourly basis that one is producing a complete disaster. -- Alain De Botton
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There is a danger of developing a blanket distaste for modern life which could have its attractions but lack the all-important images to help us identify them. -- Alain De Botton
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The twenty-four-hour diner, the station waiting room and the motel are sanctuaries for those who have, for noble reasons, failed to find a home in the ordinary world, sanctuaries for those whom Baudelaire might have dignified with the honorific 'poets'. -- Alain De Botton
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There are two ways to make people richer, reasoned Rousseau: to give them more money or to restrain their desires. -- Alain De Botton
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What bothers me is that there is so much emphasis on food, rather than gathering and meeting - so that there is all this effort in creating the right food, whereas the food is only a small part of whether the encounter is successful or not. -- Alain De Botton
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The architects who benefit us most maybe those generous enough to lay aside their claims to genius in order to devote themselves to assembling graceful but predominantly unoriginal boxes. Architecture should have the confidence and the kindness to be a little boring. -- Alain De Botton
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I lost the ability to consider the question of predestination with necessary scepticism. -- Alain De Botton
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I was a very un-literary child, which might reassure parents with kids who don't read. -- Alain De Botton
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Arguments are like eels: however logical, they may slip from the minds weak grasp unless fixed there by imagery and style. -- Alain De Botton
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Don't despair: despair suggests you are in total control and know what is coming. You don't - surrender to events with hope. -- Alain De Botton
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Our "ego" or self-conception could be pictured as a leaking balloon, forever requiring the helium of external love to remain inflated, and ever vulnerable to the smallest pinpricks of neglect. -- Alain De Botton
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If the search for happiness is the underlying quest of our lives, it seems only natural that it should simultaneously be the essential theme to which beauty alludes. -- Alain De Botton
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The quickest way to stop noticing something, may be to buy it - just as the quickest way to stop appreciating someone may be to marry him or her. -- Alain De Botton
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What is a snob? A snob is anybody who takes a small part of you and uses that to come to a complete vision of who you are. That is snobbery. -- Alain De Botton
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We may be powerless to alter certain events, but we remain free to choose our attitude towards them, and it is in our spontaneous acceptance of necessity that we find our distinctive freedom. -- Alain De Botton
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We pick our friends not only because they are kind and enjoyable company, but also, perhaps more importantly, because they understand us for who we think we are. -- Alain De Botton
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People who go on to be writers are those who can forgive themselves the horror of the first draft. -- Alain De Botton
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Eroticism is therefore seemingly most clearly manifest at the intersection between the formal and the intimate. -- Alain De Botton
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It was not by mere coincidence that sex so disturbed us for thousands of years: repressive religious dictates and social taboos grew out of aspects of our nature that cannot now just be wished away. -- Alain De Botton
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The possibility of an alternative love story is a reminder that the life we are leading is only one of a myriad of possible lives, and it is the impossibility of leading them all that plunges us into sadness. -- Alain De Botton
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All tours are filled with humiliation. My publisher once hired a private jet to fly me to a venue where 1,000 people were waiting. It almost bankrupted him. -- Alain De Botton
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Because the rhythm of conversation makes no allowance for dead periods, because the presence of others calls for continuous responses, we are left to regret the inanity of what we say, and the missed opportunity of what we do not. -- Alain De Botton
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I went to church and couldn't swallow it. The music was nice but I don't belong there. -- Alain De Botton
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According to this view, love is simply a direction, not a place, and burns itself out with the attainment of its goal, the possession (in bed or otherwise) of the loved one. -- Alain De Botton
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How seldom we notice rooftops; how easily our eyes are drawn to the more flamboyant attractions of a Roman temple or Renaissance church. -- Alain De Botton
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We study biology, physics, movements of glaciers ... Where are the classes on envy, feeling wronged, despair, bitterness ... -- Alain De Botton
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The materialistic view of happiness of our age starkly revealed in our understanding of the word luxury. -- Alain De Botton
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Everyone endeavours to eliminate through the other individual his own weaknesses, defects, and deviations from the type, lest they be perpetuated or even grow into complete abnormalities in the child which will be produced. -- Alain De Botton
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We envy only those whom we feel ourselves to be like; we envy only members of our reference group. There are few successes more unendurable than those of our close friends. -- Alain De Botton
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It is difficult when reading the description of certain fictional characters not at the same time to imagine the real-life acquaintances who they most closely, if often unexpectedly, resemble. -- Alain De Botton
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There are selections so acute that they come to define a place, with the result that we can no longer travel through that landscape without being reminded of what a great artist noticed there. -- Alain De Botton
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Anyone who isn't embarrassed of who they were last year probably isn't learning enough. -- Alain De Botton
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I waste most of the day, then finally start to write around 3 P.M., totally disgusted with myself for my wasteful nature. -- Alain De Botton
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We are richer than we think, each one of us. -- Alain De Botton
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I am always anxious. -- Alain De Botton
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The universe is large and we are tiny, without the need for further religious superstructure. One can have so-called spiritual moments without belief in the spirit. -- Alain De Botton
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We should not be frightened by appearances. -- Alain De Botton
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One cannot read a novel without ascribing to the heroine the traits of the one we love. -- Alain De Botton
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Happiness is impossible for longer than 15 minutes. We are the descendants of creatures who, above all else, worried. -- Alain De Botton
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A simple problem of arithmetic: there are far more ambitions than there are grand destinies available. -- Alain De Botton
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We may not agree with what religions are trying to teach us, but we can admire the institutional way in which they're doing it. -- Alain De Botton
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The more closely we analyze what we consider 'sexy,' the more clearly we will understand that eroticism is the feeling of excitement we experience at finding another human being who shares our values and our sense of the meaning of existence. -- Alain De Botton
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The great fortunes of our day have rarely been accumulated through the sale of the most meaningful items and services, such as poetry or relationship counselling. -- Alain De Botton
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One has to go into relationships with equal expectations, ready to give as much as the other - not with one person wanting a fling and the other real love ... -- Alain De Botton
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Socrates
The philosopher offered us a way out of two powerful delusions: that we should always or never listen to the dictates of public opinion.
To follow his example, we will best be rewarded if we strive instead to listen to the dictates of reason -- Alain De Botton
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To speak of home in relation to a building is simply to recognise its harmony with our own prized internal song. -- Alain De Botton
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A world where a majority had imbibed the lessons implicit within tragic art would be one in which the consequences of our failures would necessarily cease to weigh upon us so heavily. -- Alain De Botton
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Most anger stems from feelings of weakness, sadness and fear: hard to remember when one is at the receiving end of its defiant roar. -- Alain De Botton
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It is in books, poems, paintings which often give us the confidence to take seriously feelings in ourselves that we might otherwise never have thought to acknowledge. -- Alain De Botton
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Analogising architecture with ethics helps us to discern that there is unlikely ever to be a single source of beauty in a building, just as no one quality can ever underpin excellence in a person. -- Alain De Botton
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How pleasant is the day when we give up striving to be young or slender. 'Thank God!' we say,' those illusions are gone.' Everything added to the self is a burden as well as a pride. -- Alain De Botton
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The only people we can think of as normal are those we don't yet know very well. -- Alain De Botton
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The very act of drawing an object, however badly, swiftly takes the drawer from a woolly sense of what the object looks like to a precise awareness of its component parts and particularities. -- Alain De Botton
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It follows that the more people we take to be our equals and compare ourselves to, the more people there will be to envy. -- Alain De Botton
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Long before we've had a chance to become truly familiar with our loved one, we may be filled with the curious sense that we know them already. It can seem as though we've met them somewhere before, in a previous life, perhaps, or in our dreams. -- Alain De Botton
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I was to look around me as though I had never been in this place before. And slowly, my travels began to bear fruit. -- Alain De Botton
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Status anxiety definitely exists at a political level. Many Iraqis were annoyed with the US essentially for reasons of status: for not showing them respect, for humiliating them. -- Alain De Botton
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Love reveals its insanity by its refusal to acknowledge the inherent NORMALITY of the loved one -- Alain De Botton
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We don't really learn anything properly until there is a problem, until we are in pain, until something fails to go as we had hoped ... We suffer, therefore we think. -- Alain De Botton
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For paranoia about 'what other people think' : remember that only some hate, a very few love - and almost all just don't care. -- Alain De Botton
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Religions are so subtle, so complicated, so intelligent in many ways that they're not fit to be abandoned to the religious alone; they're for all of us. -- Alain De Botton
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A man is born an artist as a hippopotamus is born a hippopotamus; and you can no more make yourself one than you can make yourself a giraffe. -- Alain De Botton
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What we seek, at the deepest level, is inwardly to resemble, rather than physically to possess, the objects and places that touch us through their beauty. -- Alain De Botton
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The whole art of living is to make use of the individuals through whom we suffer. -- Alain De Botton
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Let death find us as we are building up our matchstick protests against its waves. -- Alain De Botton
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Unhappiness can stem from having only one perspective to play with. -- Alain De Botton
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It seems easier to respond to our enthusiasms by trading in facts than by investigating the more naive question of how and why we have been moved -- Alain De Botton
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It seems that most of us could benefit from a brush with a near-fatal disaster to help us recognise the important things that we are too defeated or embittered to recognise from day to day. -- Alain De Botton
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Insofar as we appreciate order, it is when we perceive it as being accompanied by complexity, when we feel that a variety of elements has been brought to order
that windows, doors and other details have been knitted into a scheme that manages to be at once regular and intricate. (p184) -- Alain De Botton
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Taking photographs can assuage the itch for possession sparked by the beauty of a place; our anxiety over losing a precious scene can decline with every click of the shutter. -- Alain De Botton
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To be shown love is to feel ourselves the object of concern: our presence is noted, our name is registered, our views are listened to, our failings are treated with indulgence and our needs are ministered to. And under such care, we flourish. -- Alain De Botton
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A feeling of beauty is a sign that we have come upon a material articulation of certain of our ideas of a good life. -- Alain De Botton
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Distress at losing an object can be as much a frustration at the intellectual mystery of the disappearance as about the loss itself. -- Alain De Botton
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Reputation matters so much only because people so seldom think for themselves. -- Alain De Botton
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We could not be fulfilled if we weren't inauthentic some of the time - inauthentic, that is, in relation to such things as our passing desires to throttle our children, poison our spouse, or end our marriage over a dispute about changing a lightbulb. -- Alain De Botton
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And what excuse was there for this? Nothing but the old line that parents and politicians will use before taking out their scalpels: I care about you, therefore I will upset you, I have honoured you with a vision of how you should be, therefore I will hurt you. -- Alain De Botton
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The most boring and unproductive question one can ask of any religion is whether or not it is true. -- Alain De Botton
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Despite the best efforts of critics and the hopes of authors, our tastes in books are probably as inherent & unbudgeable as those in food. -- Alain De Botton
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People who readily accept the need for a gym will resist that their personalities might need some work too. -- Alain De Botton
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There are few more effective ways to promote tolerance between suspicious neighbours than to force them to eat supper together. -- Alain De Botton
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We are sad at home and blame the weather and the ugliness of the buildings, but on the tropical island we learn that the state of the skies and the appearance of our dwellings can never on their own underwrite our joy nor condemn us to misery. -- Alain De Botton
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The inability to live in the present lies in the fear of leaving the sheltered position of anticipation or memory, and so of admitting that this is the only life that one is ever likely (heavenly intervention aside) to live. -- Alain De Botton
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The news had, for Flaubert, armed stupidity and given authority to fools. -- Alain De Botton
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The dream of the news is that it makes us care about other people and situations. But we cannot identify with people to whom we haven't been introduced. Humans will only respond to art, to people who are skilled in making you care. -- Alain De Botton
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Web traffic figures for the BBC news website: -- Alain De Botton
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Lovers may kill their own love story for no other reason than that they are unable to tolerate the uncertainty, the sheer risk, that their experiment in happiness has delivered -- Alain De Botton
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...love is a skill, not just an enthusiasm. -- Alain De Botton
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Rather than employing it as a supplement to active, conscious seeing, they used the medium as a substitute, paying less attention to the world than they had done previously, taking it on faith that photography automatically assured them possession of it. -- Alain De Botton
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We seem divided between an urge to override our senses and numb ourselves to our settings and a contradictory impulse to acknowledge the extent to which our identities are indelibly connected to, and will shift along with, our locations. -- Alain De Botton
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E may value foreign elements not only because they are new but because they seem to accord more faithfully with our identity and commitments than anything our homeland can provide. -- Alain De Botton
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Only as we mature does affection begin to depend on achievement. -- Alain De Botton
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The greatest difficulty of Travel is that one is forced to take oneself along. -- Alain De Botton
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Though it may feel otherwise, enjoying life is no more dangerous than apprehending it with continuous anxiety and gloom. -- Alain De Botton
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Much of the really serious trouble in the world gets going with a sense of humiliation. -- Alain De Botton
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Once I began to consider everything as being of potential interest, objects released latent layers of value. -- Alain De Botton
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When Franklin D. Roosevelt was asked what book he could give the Soviets to teach them about the advantages of American society, he pointed to the Sears catalogue. -- Alain De Botton
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We don't need to be constantly reasonable in order to have good relationships; all we need to have mastered is the occasional capacity to acknowledge with good grace that we may, in one or two areas, be somewhat insane. -- Alain De Botton
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You ask whether the Orient is all I imagined it to be. Yes, it is - and more than that, it extends far beyond the narrow idea I had of it. I have found, clearly delineated, everything that was hazy in my mind.' 8. -- Alain De Botton
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East DR Congo Faces Catastrophic Humanitarian Crisis 4,450 -- Alain De Botton
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it seems impossible to talk of love and letting live, and if we are left to live, we are not usually loved. -- Alain De Botton
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I did not live Chloe for her body, I loved her body for the promise of who she was. It was a most inspiring promise -- Alain De Botton
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How mean to buy only as many books as one will actually have time to read. -- Alain De Botton
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Our jobs make relentless calls on a narrow band of our faculties, reducing our chances of achieving rounded personalities and leaving us to suspect (often in the gathering darkness of a Sunday evening) that much of who we are, or could be, has gone unexplored. -- Alain De Botton
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The truth of the maxim that beauty lies between the extremities of order and complexity. -- Alain De Botton
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Delusions are not harmful in themselves, they only hurt when one is alone in believing in them, when one cannot create an environment in which they can be sustained. -- Alain De Botton
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There is an easy way to measure our inner levels of abjectness and friendliness to ourselves: we should examine how well we response to noise. -- Alain De Botton
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Intuition is unconscious accumulated experience informing judgement in real time. -- Alain De Botton
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He did not mean to depress us, rather to free us from expectations which inspire bitterness. It is consoling, when love has let us down, to hear that happiness was never part of the plan. -- Alain De Botton
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Philosophy had supplied Socrates with convictions in which he had been able to have rational, as opposed to hysterical, confidence when faced with disapproval. -- Alain De Botton
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What is fascinating about marriage is why anyone wants to get married. -- Alain De Botton
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To grow interested in any piece of information, we need somewhere to 'put' it, which means some way of connecting it to an issue we already now how to care about. -- Alain De Botton
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We don't exist unless there is someone who can see us existing, what we say has no meaning until someone can understand, while to be surrounded by friends is constantly to have our identity confirmed; their knowledge and care for us have the power to pull us from our numbness. -- Alain De Botton
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There is a longing for a return to a time without the need for choices, free of the regret at the inevitable loss that all choice (however wonderful) has entailed. -- Alain De Botton
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It is as if we need to be reminded of convention in order properly to appreciate the wonder of being unguarded... -- Alain De Botton
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We would not love if there were no lack within us, but we are offended by the discovery of a similar lack in the other. -- Alain De Botton
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The only way to be happy is to realise how much depends on how you look at things -- Alain De Botton
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We are continuously challenged to discover new works of culture - and, in the process, we don't allow any one of them to assume a weight in our minds. -- Alain De Botton
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Nothing is erotic that isn't also, with the wrong person, revolting, which is precisely what makes erotic moments so intense: at the precise juncture where disgust could be at its height, we find only welcome and permission. -- Alain De Botton
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The motor of our ingenuity is the question 'Does it have to be like this?', from which arise political reforms, scientific developments, improved relationships, better books. -- Alain De Botton
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It would be insane to call Hamlet a loser, though he has lost and I think that is the lesson of tragedy. -- Alain De Botton
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As adults, we try to develop the character traits that would have rescued our parents. -- Alain De Botton
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The most courageous act in politics is to try to understand your opponent. -- Alain De Botton
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Bowie Comeback Makes Top 10 Singles Chart 2.52M -- Alain De Botton
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There are lessons for long-term relationships in the way that Manet approached asparagus. -- Alain De Botton
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Confinement. This morning the plane was over the Malay peninsula, -- Alain De Botton
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A successful work will draw out the features capable of exciting a sense of beauty and interest in the spectator. -- Alain De Botton
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Seeing through people is so easy, and it gets you nowhere,' remarked Elias Canetti, suggesting how effortlessly and yet how uselessly we can find fault with others. -- Alain De Botton
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Man seems merely dust postponed: the sublime as an encounter - pleasurable, intoxicating, even - with human weakness in the face of strength, age and size of the universe. -- Alain De Botton
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The Anxiety of Sunday afternoon: your unlived lives and infinite possibility pressing upon the constraints of reality. -- Alain De Botton
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Chamfort, echoing the misanthropic attitude of generations of philosophers before and after him, put the matter simply: 'Public opinion is the worst of all opinions. -- Alain De Botton
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We charm by coincidence rather than design. -- Alain De Botton
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A clean conscience is the preserve of those without sufficient imagination. -- Alain De Botton
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As the determinants of high status keep shifting, so, too, naturally, will the triggers of status anxiety be altered. -- Alain De Botton
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Kant and Hegel are interesting thinkers. But I am happy to insist that they are also terrible writers. -- Alain De Botton
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Those who divorce aren't necessarily the most unhappy, just those neatly able to believe their misery is caused by one other person. -- Alain De Botton
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At the heart of every frustration lies a basic structure: the collision of a wish with an unyielding reality. -- Alain De Botton
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The challenge for a human now is to be more interesting to another than his or her smartphone. -- Alain De Botton
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We will have nothing substantial to offer anyone else so long as we have not first mastered the art of being patient midwives to our own thoughts. -- Alain De Botton
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Our disrespect for thinking: someone sitting in a chair, gazing out of a window blankly, always described as 'doing nothing'. -- Alain De Botton
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So many complaints boil down to the belly ache of the fragile, mortal, ignored ego in a vast and indifferent universe. -- Alain De Botton
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I always feel that I am writing for somebody who is bright but impatient. Someone who doesn't have unlimited time. That is my sense of the reader. So I have got to get to the point. -- Alain De Botton
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Cynics are merely idealists with unusually high standards. -- Alain De Botton
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Everyone returns us to a different sense of ourselves, for we become a little of who they think we are. -- Alain De Botton
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Established views have frequently emerged not through a process of faultless reasoning, but through centuries of intellectual muddle. There may be no good reason for things to be the way they are. -- Alain De Botton
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Forgiveness requires a sense that bad behaviour is a sign of suffering rather than malice. -- Alain De Botton
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Failure is becoming someone who needs others to fail. -- Alain De Botton
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I know a lot about writing, but I don't know much about how other industries work. I've tried to use my naivety to my advantage. -- Alain De Botton
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Art was the very antithesis of crass moralism. -- Alain De Botton
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You have to be quite heavily invested in someone to do them the honour of telling them you're annoyed with them. -- Alain De Botton
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this is the one world we will ever know. 5. -- Alain De Botton
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I ... thought about societies where exceptional fortunes are built up in industries with very little connection to out sincere and significant needs, industries where it is difficult to escape from the disparity between a seriousness of means and a triviality of ends. -- Alain De Botton
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Good books put a finger on emotions that are deeply our own - but that we could never have described on our own. -- Alain De Botton
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Though debts are condemned in the financial world, the world of friendship and love may perversely depend on well-managed debts. -- Alain De Botton
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True respectability stems not from the will of the majority but from proper reasoning. -- Alain De Botton
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Just be yourself' is about the worst advice you can give some people. -- Alain De Botton
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When Proust urges us to evaluate the world properly, he repeatedly reminds us of the value of modest scenes. -- Alain De Botton
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Memory is ... similar to anticipation: an instrument of simplification and selection. -- Alain De Botton
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However, the immediacy with which aesthetic judgments arise should not fool us into assuming that their origins are entirely natural or their verdicts unalterable. -- Alain De Botton
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The lesson? To respond to the unexpected and hurtful behavior of others with something more than a wipe of the glasses, to see it as a chance to expand our understanding. -- Alain De Botton
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A fundamental truth, is that there is simply no such thing as an inherently boring person or thing. People are only in danger of coming across as such when they either fail to understand their deeper selves or don't dare or know how to communicate them to others. -- Alain De Botton
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Despite its maddeningly vague, inarticulate form, anxiety is almost always trying to tell you something useful and apposite. -- Alain De Botton
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When I see someone like Richard Dawkins, I see my father. I grew up with that. I'm basically the child of Richard Dawkins. -- Alain De Botton
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When I'm writing, I write all day. Other days, I sit around thinking. Or I run around from one meeting to another, out in the world. It varies, and I like that. -- Alain De Botton
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A notorious inability to express emotions makes human beings the only animals capable of suicide. -- Alain De Botton
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peculiar, or sad, and yet still deserve a place within the circle of familial love. The parents would thus have created an invaluable wellspring of courage from which those children would eventually be able to draw to sustain the confessions and direct conversations of adult life. Rabih -- Alain De Botton
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Gaffe-focused journalism: revenge of intelligent people who know true evils are out there but lack the access/time to get to them. -- Alain De Botton
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Most of our childhood is stored not in photos, but in certain biscuits, lights of day, smells, textures of carpet. -- Alain De Botton
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The continuing belief that the world is fundamentally just is implied in the very complaint that there has been an injustice. -- Alain De Botton
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The most unbearable thing about many successful people is not - as we flatteringly think - how lazy they are, but how hard they work. -- Alain De Botton
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As we write, so we build: to keep a record of what matters to us. -- Alain De Botton
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For many, the point of marriage isn't so much to be in love as to stop having to think of love. -- Alain De Botton
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The price we have paid for expecting to be so much more than our ancestors is a perpetual anxiety that we are far from being all we might be. -- Alain De Botton
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My father paid for my education; then he made it clear that I was on my own. -- Alain De Botton
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Unnatural to expect that learning to be happy should be any easier than, say, learning to play the violin or require any less practice. -- Alain De Botton
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The difference between hope and despair is a different way of telling stories from the same facts. -- Alain De Botton
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A sharp decline in actual deprivation may, paradoxically, have been accompanied by an ongoing and even escalating sense of fear of deprivation. -- Alain De Botton
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Not being understood may be taken as a sign that there is much in one to understand. -- Alain De Botton
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Everyone is extremely hard and troubled to be around. Everyone has something substantially wrong with them. Everyone is extremely hard to live with. -- Alain De Botton
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Because beauty is typically the result of a few qualities working in concert, it can take more to guarantee the appeal of a bridge or a house than strength alone. (p 205) -- Alain De Botton
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I assemble my ideas in pieces on a computer file, then gradually find a place for them on a piece of scaffolding I erect. -- Alain De Botton
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Even the God of the Old Testament, faced with the continual querulousness of the tribes of Israel, had occasionally to ignite a piece of desert shrub to awe his audience into reverence. Technology would be the Modernists' burning bush. -- Alain De Botton
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There is no one more likely to destroy us than the person we marry. -- Alain De Botton
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Must being in love always mean being in pain? -- Alain De Botton
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An argument in a couple: 2 people attempting to introduce each other to important truths - by panicked shouting. -- Alain De Botton
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One of the privileges of being on our own is therefore the sincere impression that we are really quite easy to live with -- Alain De Botton
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Most good thinking has its origin in fear. -- Alain De Botton
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Everyone wants a better life: very few of us want to be better people. -- Alain De Botton
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How pleasant to hold in mind, through the crevasses of our moods, at three in the afternoon when lassitude and despair threaten, that there is always a plane taking off for somewhere. -- Alain De Botton
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If one felt successful, there'd be so little incentive to be successful. -- Alain De Botton
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BOREDOM IS A new challenge and responsibility. -- Alain De Botton