What do beginnings mean to you? Here are some comments on beginnings, quotations familiar and new.

Keep on beginning and failing. Each time you fail, start all over again, and you will grow stronger until you have accomplished a purpose — not the one you began with perhaps, but one you’ll be glad to remember.

— Anne Sullivan

You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.

— C. S. Lewis

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.

— Carl Bard

Can anything be sadder than work left unfinished? Yes, work never begun.

— Christina Rossetti

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.

— Dan Millman

Human beings were given a secret and that secret was not how to begin, but how to begin again.

— Elie Wiesel

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.

— F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Of the origin of things we know nothing, and can know nothing. Perfection does not reveal itself to us as existent in the beginning; but as something that ought to be, something new which we are to help create. Somehow the secret of the universe is hidden in our breast. Somehow the destinies of the universe depend upon our exertions.

— Felix Adler

Take each day as you find it,
If things go wrong, don’t mind it,
For each day leaves behind it
A chance to start anew.

— Gertrude Ellgas

Coming together is a beginning, Keeping together is progress, Working together is success.

— Henry Ford

Whosoever wishes to know about the world must learn about it in its particular details.
Knowledge is not intelligence.
In searching for the truth be ready for the unexpected.
Change alone is unchanging.
The same road goes both up and down.
The beginning of a circle is also its end.
Not I, but the world says it: all is one.
And yet everything comes in season.

— Heraclitus

Only barbarians are not curious about where they come from, how they came to be where they are, where they appear to be going, whether they wish to go there, and if so, why, and if not, why not.

— Isaiah Berlin

The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning.

— Ivy Baker Priest

Perfection is the enemy of done. Wait, forget that, sometimes perfection is the enemy of even starting.

— Jen Schmidt

Let every dawn be to you as the beginning of life, and every setting sun be to you as its close. Then let every one of these short lives leave its sure record of some kindly thing done for others — some goodly strength or knowledge gained for yourselves.

— John Ruskin

We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.

— Joseph Campbell

Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn!
Look to this Day!
For it is Life, the very Life of Life.
In its brief course lie all the
Verities and Realities of your Existence;
The Bliss of Growth,
The Glory of Action,
The Splendor of Beauty;
For Yesterday is but a Dream,
And Tomorrow is only a Vision;
But Today well lived makes every
Yesterday a Dream of Happiness, and every
Tomorrow a Vision of Hope.
Look well therefore to this Day!
Such is the Salutation of the Dawn.

— Kalidasa, from the Sanskrit

The tallest tree begins as a tiny sprout. The tallest building starts with one shovel of dirt. A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single footstep.

— Laozi (Lao Tzu), Tao Te Ching

Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop.

— Lewis Carroll

And suddenly you know: it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.

— Meister Eckhart

The capacity for hope is the most significant fact of life. It provides human beings with a sense of destination and the energy to get started.

— Norman Cousins

When there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of the story. It may be just the beginning of a great adventure.

— Pema Chödrön

The beginning is the most important part of the work.

— Plato

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our life is an apprenticeship to the truth that around every circle another can be drawn; that there is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning, and under every deep a lower deep opens.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our life is an apprenticeship to the truth, that around every circle another can be drawn; that there is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning; that there is always another dawn risen on mid-noon, and under every deep a lower deep opens.

This fact, as far as it symbolizes the moral fact of the Unattainable, the flying Perfect, around which the hands of man can never meet, at once the inspirer and the condemner of every success, may conveniently serve us to connect many illustrations of human power in every department.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them — every day begin the task anew.

— Saint Francis de Sales

Find the seed at the bottom of your heart and bring forth a flower.

— Shigenori Kameoka

You can, you should, and if you are brave enough to start, you will.

— Stephen King

You may wonder, ‘How can I leave it all behind if I am just coming back to it? How can I make a new beginning if I simply return to the old?’ The answer lies in the return. You will not come back to the ‘same old thing.’ What you return to has changed because you have changed. Your perceptions will be altered. You will not incorporate into the same body, status, or world you left behind. The river has been flowing while you were gone. Now it does not look like the same river.

— Steven Foster, The Book of the Vision Quest

You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.

— Steven King

Every morning, when we wake up, we have twenty-four brand-new hours to live. What a precious gift! We have the capacity to live in a way that these twenty-four hours will bring peace, joy, and happiness to ourselves and others.

— Thich Nhat Hanh

The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.

— Tony Robbins

All transitions are composed of an ending, a neutral zone and a new beginning.

— William Bridges
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