Rollo May Quotes

The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity.

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.

It takes courage to endure the sharp pains of self-discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.

Human freedom involves our capacity to pause between stimulus and response and, in that pause, to choose the one response toward which we wish to throw our weight. The capacity to create ourselves, based upon this freedom, is inseparable from consciousness or self-awareness.

Dependence is a basic need of every human being. But when that dependence becomes entangled in one’s emotions, it turns into a crippling need.

To let our creative impulse flow means not only to think, but to feel, to imagine, to create.

Creativity is the process of bringing something new into being. It requires courage to go against the conventional wisdom, to take risks, and to have faith in your own ideas.

The purpose of psychotherapy is to set people free.

It is an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when we have lost our way.

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.

When we cannot bear to be alone, it means we do not properly value the only companion we will have from birth to death—ourselves.

The more you try to avoid suffering, the more you suffer, because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you, in proportion to your fear of being hurt.

It is an ambiguous pleasure that revenge brings.

Courage is not the absence of despair; it is, rather, the capacity to move ahead in spite of despair.

People of our time are losing the power of celebration. Instead of celebrating we seek to be amused or entertained.

The relationship between commitment and doubt is by no means an antagonistic one. Commitment is healthiest when it’s not without doubt, but in spite of doubt.

Freedom is man’s capacity to take a hand in his own development. It is our capacity to mold ourselves.

While it’s too easy to glamorize our creative heroes and make them seem otherworldly, the truth is that they were human beings just like any of us. The only difference is that they had the courage and determination to pursue their creative vision.

We too often confuse vulnerability with weakness. In reality, vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity, innovation, and change.

The search for truth is a creative act. It requires us to challenge existing assumptions and explore new possibilities.

The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it’s not. It is an existential truth: only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of another person without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, and without becoming addicted to the other.

Change is the essential process of all existence.

Our task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within ourselves that we have built against it.

The relationship between art and life may appear murky and complex, but in essence they are one and the same. Both art and life require creativity, imagination, and the courage to take risks.

To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.

Will is not a physical ability, but a mental one. It is the power to make choices, to take control of our own lives.

The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.

What we need is not more intelligence, but more imagination.

There is no meaning to life except the meaning man gives his life by the unfolding of his powers.

If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself.

It is an old and ironic habit of human beings to run faster when they have lost their way.

The prison from which we must escape is ourselves.

The creative act is a courageous, ancient gesture, a confrontation with the abyss of non-being. It requires us to step out of the comfort zone of the known and venture into the unknown.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.

Our task is to look at the world and see it whole.

Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love.

The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love.

Art is the education of feeling.

To love means to open ourselves to the negative as well as the positive – to grief, sorrow, and disappointment as well as to joy, fulfillment, and an intensity of consciousness we did not know was possible before.

Listen to your heart. It knows all things, because it comes from the soul of the world, and one day it will return there.

Freedom is not the absence of commitments, but the ability to choose and commit to what is important to us.

The opposite of faith is not doubt: it is certainty.

The ability to create is a fundamental gift of being human. It is the essence of our existence, the source of our vitality, and the spark that ignites our inspiration.

There is a danger in running away from the emptiness within. It is a cold emptiness that never warms, an emptiness that is chronic and relentless.

The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it’s not. It is an existential truth: only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of another person.

The human being is not just a bio-chemical machine, but a complex organism with a capacity for consciousness, self-awareness, and creative expression.

If we fear change, we will never grow. If we fear failure, we will never succeed. If we fear death, we will never truly live.

Our creativity is the key to unlocking our true potential and living a meaningful life. Let us embrace the power of imagination and the freedom of self-expression.

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