This is great stuff:
Do not think of what will be in a year, or in ten years. Think of to-day. Leave your theories. /…/ Live in to-day. /…/ If you are good, all will go well. If you are not, if you are weak, if you do not succeed, well, you must be happy in that. No doubt it is the best you can do. So, then, why will? Why be angry because of what you cannot do? We all have to do what we can…. Als ich kann.”
“It is not enough,” said Christophe, making a face.
Gottfried laughed pleasantly.
“It is more than anybody does. You are a vain fellow. You want to be a hero. That is why you do such silly things.… A hero!… I don’t quite know what that is: but, you see, I imagine that a hero is a man who does what he can. The others do not do it.“
“Oh!” sighed Christophe. “Then what is the good of living? It is not worth while. And yet there are people who say: ‘He who wills can!'”…
Gottfried laughed again softly.
“Yes?… Oh! well, they are liars, my friend. Or they do not will anything much….”
They had reached the top of the hill. They embraced affectionately. The little peddler went on, treading wearily. Christophe stayed there, lost in thought, and watched him go.
(From my favourite book)
I was disappointed by this English translation. I have an edition in my native language and this paragraph is much superior there. The above reads like something I might have written. I find it hard to resist improving it. But what can you do, I’m not going to type up this quote in my native language and I wanted to record that idea somewhere. It was at once new and instantly strikingly relatable.