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Man is the only creature that strives to surpass himself, and yearns for the impossible.
—  Eric Hoffer
Action is at bottom a swinging and flailing of the arms to regain one's balance and keep afloat.
—  Eric Hoffer
The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.
—  Eric Hoffer
In human affairs every solution serves only to sharpen the problem, to show us more clearly what we are up against. There are no final solutions.
—  Eric Hoffer
We find it hard to apply the knowledge of ourselves to our judgment of others. The fact that we are never of one kind, that we never love without reservations and never hate with all our being cannot prevent us from seeing others as wholly black or white.
—  Eric Hoffer
A great man's greatest good luck is to die at the right time
—  Eric Hoffer
The leader has to be practical and a realist, yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist.
—  Eric Hoffer
No matter what our achievements might be, we think well of ourselves only in rare moments. We need people to bear witness against our inner judge, who keeps book on our shortcomings and transgressions. We need people to convince us that we are not as bad as we think we are.
—  Eric Hoffer
To spell out the obvious is often to call it into question.
—  Eric Hoffer
There is no loneliness greater than the loneliness of a failure. The failure is a stranger in his own house.
—  Eric Hoffer
The greatest pretenses are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, but our emptiness. The hardest thing to hide is something that is not there.
—  Eric Hoffer
There can be no real freedom without the freedom to fail.
—  Eric Hoffer
With some people solitariness is an escape not from others but from themselves. For they see in the eyes of others only a reflection of themselves.
—  Eric Hoffer
Wise living consists perhaps less in acquiring good habits than in acquiring as few habits as possible.
—  Eric Hoffer
Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many.
—  Eric Hoffer
It still holds true that man is most uniquely human when he turns obstacles into opportunities.
—  Eric Hoffer
Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.
—  Eric Hoffer
One might equate growing up with a mistrust of words. A mature person trusts his eyes more than his ears. Irrationality often manifests itself in upholding the word against the evidence of the eyes. Children, savages and true believers remember far less what they have seen than what they have heard.
—  Eric Hoffer
It would be difficult to exaggerate the degree to which we are influenced by those we influence.
—  Eric Hoffer
Fear comes from uncertainty. When we are absolutely certain, whether of our worth or worthlessness, we are almost impervious to fear. Thus a feeling of utter unworthiness can be a source of courage.
—  Eric Hoffer
There is in most passions a shrinking away from ourselves. The passionate pursuer has all the earmarks of a fugitive.
—  Eric Hoffer
The chemistry of dissatisfaction is as the chemistry of some marvelously potent tar. In it are the building stones of explosives, stimulants, poisons, opiates, perfumes and stenches.
—  Eric Hoffer
Many of the insights of the saint stem from his experience as a sinner.
—  Eric Hoffer
Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life.
—  Eric Hoffer
The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do.
—  Eric Hoffer
We are more ready to try the untried when what we do is inconsequential. Hence the remarkable fact that many inventions had their birth as toys.
—  Eric Hoffer
We can never really be prepared for that which is wholly new. We have to adjust ourselves, and every radical adjustment is a crisis in self-esteem; we undergo a test, we have to prove ourselves. It needs inordinate self-confidence to face drastic change without inner trembling.
—  Eric Hoffer
It is the stretched soul that makes music, and souls are stretched by the pull of opposites--opposite bents, tastes, yearnings, loyalties. Where there is no polarity--where energies flow smoothly in one direction--there will be much doing but no music.
—  Eric Hoffer
In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.
—  Eric Hoffer
The wisdom of others remains dull till it is writ over with our own blood. We are essentially apart from the world; it bursts into our consciousness only when it sinks its teeth and nails into us.
—  Eric Hoffer
How much easier is self-sacrifice than self-realization!
—  Eric Hoffer
The compulsion to take ourselves seriously is in inverse proportion to our creative capacity. When the creative flow dries up, all we have left is our importance.
—  Eric Hoffer
You can never get enough of what you don't need to make you happy.
—  Eric Hoffer
We need not only a purpose in life to give meaning to our existence but also something to give meaning to our suffering. We need as much something to suffer for as something to live for.
—  Eric Hoffer
Self-esteem and self-contempt have specific odors; they can be smelled.
—  Eric Hoffer
Our achievements speak for themselves. What we have to keep track of are our failures, discouragements and doubts. We tend to forget the past difficulties, the many false starts, and the painful groping. We see our past achievements as the end results of a clean forward thrust, and our present difficulties as signs of decline and decay.
—  Eric Hoffer
The necessary has never been man's top priority. The passionate pursuit of the nonessential and the extravagant is one of the chief traits of human uniqueness. Unlike other forms of life, man's greatest exertions are made in the pursuit not of necessities but of superfluities.
—  Eric Hoffer
That which corrodes the souls of the persecuted is the monstrous inner agreement with the prevailing prejudice against them.
—  Eric Hoffer
The real persuaders are our appetites, our fears and above all our vanity. The skillful propagandist stirs and coaches these internal persuaders.
—  Eric Hoffer
It is a paradox that in our time of drastic rapid change, when the future is in our midst devouring the present before our eyes, we have never been less certain about what is ahead of us.
—  Eric Hoffer
The pleasure we derive from doing favors is partly in the feeling it gives us that we are not altogether worthless. It is a pleasant surprise to ourselves.
—  Eric Hoffer
The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep.
—  Eric Hoffer
We have perhaps a natural fear of ends. We would rather be always on the way than arrive. Given the means, we hang on to them and often forget the ends.
—  Eric Hoffer
The individual who has to justify his existence by his own efforts is in eternal bondage to himself.
—  Eric Hoffer
They who lack talent expect things to happen without effort. They ascribe failure to a lack of inspiration or ability, or to misfortune, rather than to insufficient application. At the core of every true talent there is an awareness of the difficulties inherent in any achievement, and the confidence that by persistence and patience something worthwhile will be realized. Thus talent is a species of vigor.
—  Eric Hoffer
The only way to predict the future is to have power to shape the future.
—  Eric Hoffer
Our credulity is greatest concerning the things we know least about. And since we know least about ourselves, we are ready to believe all that is said about us. Hence the mysterious power of both flattery and calumny.
—  Eric Hoffer
Compassion is the antitoxin of the soul: where there is compassion even the most poisonous impulses remain relatively harmless.
—  Eric Hoffer
We can remember minutely and precisely only the things which never really happened to us.
—  Eric Hoffer
We do not really feel grateful toward those who make our dreams come true; they ruin our dreams.
—  Eric Hoffer
There is sublime thieving in all giving. Someone gives us all he has and we are his.
—  Eric Hoffer
Our greatest pretenses are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, but our emptiness. The hardest thing to hide is something that is not there.
—  Eric Hoffer
You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
—  Eric Hoffer
There are no chaste minds. Minds copulate wherever they meet.
—  Eric Hoffer
It is not so much the example of others we imitate as the reflection of ourselves in their eyes and the echo of ourselves in their words.
—  Eric Hoffer
It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one's neighbor.
—  Eric Hoffer
There is a totalitarian regime inside every one of us. We are ruled by a ruthless politburo which sets our norms and drives us from one five-year plan to another. The autonomous individual who has to justify his existence by his own efforts is in eternal bondage to himself.
—  Eric Hoffer
Those in possession of absolute power can not only prophesy and make their prophecies come true, but they can also lie and make their lies come true.
—  Eric Hoffer
The real Antichrist is he who turns the wine of an original idea into the water of mediocrity.
—  Eric Hoffer
To believe that is we could but have this or that we would be happy is to suppress the realization that the cause of our unhappiness is in our inadequate and blemished selves. Excessive desire is thus a means of suppressing our sense of worthlessness.
—  Eric Hoffer
We usually see only the things we are looking for so much so that we sometimes see them where they are not.
—  Eric Hoffer

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