Words I have lived by

As I fast approach my 66th birthday…and given that I have no intention of living beyond 70….there is more to look back upon, than look forward to. In one of these introspective, retrospective moods I thought I must catalogue the WORDS I HAVE LIVED BY : words that have inspired & helped, supported & motivated, driven & directed me.

Being a Literature aficionado, I was privileged to read & internalize words, thoughts & images from diverse authors & other sources. English, Hindi, Marathi cinema has contributed a lot to my make up. And now of course, the all pervasive, super invasive Social Media shapes me, as much as it shapes you. But even in this cacophonic overload, some words survive, stuck as they are in my heart and head. I realize they exactly are the Words I Live By. This blog is an attempt to share some of these quotes with you.

Had read somewhere, possibly Kahlil Gibran’s advice:, If you have 3 Dirham, Spend 1 Dirham on food, so that you may live; Spend 1 Dirham on buying a Rose, so that you may know why to live; and Spend the last Dirham on a Book so that you may know how to live”. Having been surrounded by words through my life time I do believe:

At the start, I quote Walt Whitman , the Father of Free verse, words I resonate with:

Yes I am large. Most of the time goes in establishing boundaries and exploring new horizons. and as you go forward you understand the truth of Tennyson’s words, “I am a part of all that I have met./ Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough/Gleams that untraveled world/Whose margin fades/For ever and for ever when I move…” And, I continue:

I take solace and draw strength from 2 aphorisms fundamental to Hinduism:

I do believe God has made us in his own image and He is constantly telling us, ” Not my will, but Thy Will Be Done”. But in our Human condition we continue to be afraid and look out for clutches. Sad, since we are complete in ourselves. We need to remind ourselves:

To me it is obvious that we are put on this Earth to succeed and if we are still breathing our mission is not over. Trust the process, JUST BELIEVE

The Free Will believers will readily accept that I can choose a different future. But a different past? think about it. Past is what you carry with you in your mind & in your heart. Who stops us from setting the burden down? We only need to leverage our ability to Let Go.

“Yes Father, Yes” I have with great humility understood that our plans and efforts take us only thus far and finally you must ACCEPT & say, “Yes Father, Yes” . Remember John Lennon:

A King asked his Shaman to capture the wisdom of the world in a few words. The Shaman spoke the wisest words ever:

As a career HR person, I have had my share of battles & arguments, My discussions & debates. Till someone told me : Discuss (v) late 14c., discussen, “to examine, investigate,” from Latin discuss-, past participle stem of discutere “to dash to pieces, agitate, strike or shake apart,”. And Debate (n) early 14c., “a quarrel, dispute, disagreement” (now archaic), from Old French debat, from debatre. Sense of “contention by argument” That revelation made me silent. I learnt to keep my counsel to myself. But my faith was, there is no problem which together, all of us, cannot solve. I got a lot of backing from:

In my life, I have chosen to stand on shoulders of giants, and thus got to see farther and see better. But, as I live my life, I keep reminding myself of Einstein’s golden words:

We all would do well to remember this exhortation as we must go forward with enthusiasm & energy to conquer the challenges before us. Every challenge strengthens me and makes me more capable, more competent; indeed, a better leader:

A true leader knows his real mission is to create other leaders. When the Disciple overtakes the Master, curiously the Master is the happiest as he knows he has given back in full measure, what he has received. Just like, as parents we are happiest when our children succeed : that was our fondest dream. We owe this debt to Life itself, as Kahlil Gibran reminds us:

I have spoken of many commandments & made many pronouncements, so I must hasten to add 2 caveats which have kept me steady:

So where does that leave you? Confused?? That is good. As a teenager, my daughter Rashmi used to wear a T-shirt with a blurb: ” If you are not confused , you really don’t know what is going on!!! WAKE UP”

These Words to Live By are then wake up calls. Think about them. Mull over the meaning. Contemplate how they apply to you. So I am giving a bunch quotes which have been rules for living my life:

To end, I must 1) share with you my 5 best friends who have stayed next to me all my life and guided me to all the answers I sought; and 2) a quote I read first in MC Chagla’s autobiography, which puts a wistful smile on my face towards the dusk of my life:

If you did not like my list of Words I have Lived By, I will say:

And if you indeed liked what I shared, I would urge you to draw up a list of Words that You have Lived by. It is your own personal Geeta, Bible or Koran: The Holiest of Holy Words which guide Your life. And don’t tell me it is impossible, as:

Au Revoir, सुखस्तू पंथु, अलविदा, বিদায়, Arrivederci, Auf Weidersehen, Adios, See you soon: vikas

68 Replies to “Words I have lived by”

  1. Excellent compilation of quotes which are worth emulating. I didn’t like exit at 70. Here is a quote on old age, “Never curse the old age, many are denied of it.” Living for 100 years of healthy life is going to be normal, with the advent of medical science.


  2. VS:

    When a politician makes tall promises, a common refrain is : “these are MERE words”….

    A set of Values, nicely printed in a company brochure, are often ignored as “ EMPTY words” ….

    Come to look at it, the words are mere collection of alphbets..!!

    The way the words are perceived, however, changes from person to person..

    It is said: “The beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”

    The set of words that you have listed may have been seen, read, re read ,heard..and talked about ..by so many!

    It is someone like you, VS, who goes deep enough to find meaning in them …so much as to live by them!

    The quotes in your article are certainly thought provoking and very meaningful…

    It is indeed a great collection!

    Thanks for sharing them..for a reader to find her own meaning in them ..which may help provide some valuable guidance in dealing with a problem on hand!

    Wish you a very happy 66 th birthday ..whenever it is…and wish you a very long life ahead to …..

    …….find more and more meaning in your chosen words and
    …….find many more words ,giving further joy and meaning to you and to all your loved ones

    best wishes!


    1. When two erudite folks VS & JS exchange notes the result is scintillating word play.

      Kudos to both.



    2. Jagdish bhai
      thanks for your feedback and kind words about me

      That BeeGees song “Words” was the first inscription I wrote on a first gift ( book , of course) that I gifted to Vinita in our courting days
      That time of course, I had only words to give her!!!!

      I feel words acquire a life of their own and traverse the distance and go straight to ones heart
      Difficult to resist the power of words

      Remember as kids, when the Readers’ Digest monthly magazine was delivered by the postman, the struggle in the 5 member household was to “solve” the Word Power page first and then exchange scores with one another
      Many times have I felt words overtake even experience: like the proverbial tourist who takes greater pleasure in capturing photographs of the scenery than to enjoy it first had, by his eyes, his experience

      Of course when you are confronted by say the Jog Falls or the Niagara you are totally left without any words at all as nothing can capture that majesty
      I have been similarly spell bound whenever I went in the hills and saw Himalayan mountain peaks
      what can you say when you are looking at the Everest?
      Words totally fail you

      When I first decided to write Words I have Lived By I just wanted to paste the quotes
      against my original thought, I did build some continuity in the blog as I weaved in the Quotes
      But I recd a lot of negative feedback form some near and dear ones
      Where is Vikas in this blog?
      explain why each quote is important to you
      Write an anecdote or personal experience for each

      But that was far from the concept I had when I thought of creating a blog on Quotes imp to me
      Even the 800 words I wrote to link the quotes were wrong in my opinion
      Each of the Quote stands tall on its own might
      and I am too small to introduce Walt Whitman, Or Einstein, Or Back, or Jesus Christ for that matter
      Of course there are many many flowers in the bough and the challenge was which ones I use in the garland

      Maybe the Words I have Lived By II will be a collections of anecdotes and stories with a few of the wise words and how they have guided me

      Thanks for being a regular reader & regular commenter
      you have always added value to my thoughts

      And many thanks for the advance birthday wishes


      1. Nikhilbhai:
        Thanks very much for your encouraging words. In the process ,i have learnt one more word: ‘Erudite’..frankly i had to look at the thesaurus

        Thanks VS for your more detailed response particularly on the genesis of the blog


  3. Dear Vikas,
    As usual it was a pleasure reading your blog.Excellent collection of thoughts But didn’t feel like reading it after I read no intention of living beyond 70. I intend to be in touch with you till I’m 70. That’s another 15yrs So you don’t have a choice
    Thanks once again for the quotes



    1. Thanks Pinkie for your feedback
      I had attempted something new in terms of a collation: so something in it for everyone
      One of my exbosses said 60 is the new 40
      while I appreciate that and know that you all do want me around, looking at what age and time did to so may people we had seen in their heydays like my Aai Baba, Ranju mama, Nandu, Akka maushi, Balu Mama I often feel Aba Mama was the smartest and luckiest to quit ahead of time
      Lekin wo kissa phis kabhi
      Mean while take care and wishing you a Happy 70th birthday in advance
      Love, vikas


  4. Hi Vikas, very inspirational quotes.
    Thanks for sharing. Although i dont agree with your opening remark’ no intention of living beyond 70 ‘
    Vikas , 60 is the new 40 and some one like you can easily go on for another couple of decades. So banish such negative thoughts from your mind.
    I am 75+ but still very much alive & kicking. Although kicks are not as strong as they used to be. So carry on. We look forward to your inspiring blogs.
    Best wishes.
    – Dr. Ajit Dangi


    1. Dr Dangi
      many many thanks for your comments
      Am glad you found the quotes collection good
      I also appreciate your feedback about 60 being the new 40
      Unfortunately have seen in my family the dependency and helplessness of older family members that it has scarred me
      anyway, do take your feedback seriously


  5. Wonderful collection. To have lived by these would indeed makes it all a wonderful experience.





    1. Thanks Mudit
      I have really enjoyed my stint hitherto
      have not agonized on the past, a little, not too much
      Have not worried about the future, a little maybe, not too much
      so I have indeed no complaints


  6. Fabulous compilation. Thanks for sharing Vikas. You have always inspired with your words, spoken or written.
    A like to share a quote that I like for its simplicity and yet very profound for every sphere of life-
    A quitter never wins and a winner never quits.


  7. Great quotes, Vikas dada! I particularly loved the ones on anger, communication and forgiveness.

    Sharing a few I came across recently-

    “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”
    – Steve Jobs, 2005

    “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all — in which case, you fail by default.”
    – JK Rowling, 2008

    “If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.”
    – William H. McRaven, 2014


  8. Wow.. Exceptional expression and excellently compiled. I’m taking many quotes to my dairy. And yes, be ready to live for another 100 years.. We like and love u so much that we will not leave you for another 100+ years..


    1. Shalav
      thanks for your sweet words
      I hope some of the words resonate with you and help you bring sharper light on the convoluted lanes of Fate
      look fw to staying in touch


  9. Wow.. exceptional expression and excellently compiled. I’m taking many quotes to my dairy. And yes, be ready to live for another 100 years.. We like and love u so much that we will not leave you for another 100+ years..


  10. Wonderful collection indeed. Inspires me to make mine too. Thank you for reminding us that we need to live by some guiding words of wisdom from the masters.


  11. Dear Sir,
    Your blog is very informative and full of useful stuff.. Beautifully written which has uplifted my knowledge
    and inspiring as well.

    Keep writing and share your wonderful thoughts.

    Warm Regards


    1. Surendra ji
      thanks a lot for your comment
      every writer looks to connect to his audience
      feedback such as yours gives me the confidence that I am on right path


  12. Wonderful Vikas

    You forced me to think back on my life and, remember all the beautiful and the tough moments. I was able to relate all the quotes to each of those moments.

    This pandemic has been a tough period. “This too shall pass” is so relevant.

    You have really compiled a quote for every situation and these can be the guiding principles for life.

    Thank you for sharing


  13. Dear Vikas Shitodkar
    An excellent compilation of highly thought provoking quotes. Many are so inspirational that one can kept referencing them every day. It reminds me of Daily Stoic. I hope to print these and keep them on my table to read them often. Thanks for this absolutely wonderful collection.


    1. Chandra
      many many thanks for your feedback and support
      yes most of these quotes can be a source of inspiration and support on most of our challenges
      Great idea to print and keep them in front of our eyes
      they can guide us always


  14. Dear Vikas sir. This was an excellent sharing and quite introspective.You will live longer and longer, independently, healthy and happily singing the glory of our creator… to sing bhagwan’s glory is a rare gift and possible only with this human body.Thanks for sharing. KarthikeyanSent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.


  15. Vikas, Lot of thought and effort has gone into this very useful compilation. Thanks a lot.
    Rembered the day you gifted ‘ Notes to Myself by Hugh Prather’ decades back and your fascination for contra thoughts all along.
    Keep sharing.


    1. Vishwa
      yes I feel life is too rich and diverse to be able to straight jacket and live in a linear fashion
      in fact the joy comes in the twists and turns and the ups and downs


  16. I enjoyed your blog well. Thought overcome from mind will be truth,anger or new research or investigation but it arises from bottom of heart then it be your true love to your family, friends, colleagues or mankind.Thx for your nice blog enjoyed ever .


  17. Very well “ worded “ piece of excellence indeed. It ought to help one to unearth, be conscious of the words he / she has lived by, so far and reflect on its direct / indirect impact on one’s life.
    This article also helps one to navigate into future with the solid help of the words dear to his heart.
    Thanks once again for sharing this masterpiece. Kind regards Sanjay


    1. Sanjay
      you are always so kind to me
      during my growing up years i have time to time got may great directions and support
      this blog was an effort to compile these
      glad you found it useful


  18. Vikas …You always write & express so well. Great compilation of so many wires & quotes …. sab ek se badhkar ek. Many of them, if understudy & followed, can make a good difference to Life. I have crossed my desired going age of 60 years … Let’s see if I can use some of the quotes in this overtime phase of mine. Continue wary your passion of reading & writing. Hugs, Ashok Chandan


    1. Salle Ashok do baari wohi message likhega to bhi mai ek hi jawab doonga

      Today I speak in words of Iron what today teaches me
      and tomorrow I will speak in words of iron what tomorrow teaches me
      Though tomorrow I may contradict all that I said today

      so post the same message again tomorrow
      maybe my reply will differ???
      love you bro


  19. Vikas …. You always write & express so well. Great compilation of so many wires & quotes …. sab ek se badhkar ek. Many of them, if understudy & followed, can make a good difference to Life. I have crossed my desired going age of 60 years … Let’s see if I can use some of the quotes in this overtime phase of mine. Continue wary your passion of reading & writing. Hugs, Ashok Chandan


  20. Vikas, it is a Quintessential Piece of knowledge. Profound, deep and life changing thoughts all at one place. Superb


    1. Niraj bhai thanks for your feedback. Have tried to capture many things in one place
      Got feedback from many on WA that it is too multitiered and multi layered
      but I was presenting a collation/a collection
      thanks for your praise


  21. Hi Vikas

    Have always looked forward to your blogs to get insights into various facets of, what is often called , life

    This blog is one more, in the series, which explores this fascinating subject.

    Earlier today I came across a quote which seemed to sum it all up:

    Is the
    Meaning & Purpose


    You are certainly blessed since you do spread Happiness with your blogs



    1. Nikhil bhai
      thanks for writing in
      yes indeed we are fortunate to learn from the wisdom of the Aristotle and other giants who lived before us
      Quotes connect us to their thinking
      and always stretches our world view to become more diverse and rich
      thanks for sharing the real meaning of happiness


  22. Very Well complied and in an excellent flow.

    Enjoyed reading the while stuff and cherished many moments.

    Thanks for sharing and keep writing

    With warm Regards
    Shakespeare Datta


    1. Thanks Shakespeare
      glad that you enjoyed the collection and found value in it

      I have decided 1 blog per month
      so I will keep boring my loyal readers like you every month
      pl bear with me


  23. Written with all humility and in such a free flowing style.
    Thoroughly enjoyed reading !
    Personally while reading does have impact, the interaction with people is what I find fascinating and a constant learning.
    Cheers and keep writing 😀


    1. Shrikant
      thanks for the candid feedback
      it means a lot to me
      As HR I have also enjoyed personal interactions more than written words
      but have also realised the written word has its own role to play
      and comes in handy often


  24. Passion don’t need any qualification
    Be passionate abt wt U luv to do
    U wl be never working in your life

    My favourite quote
    Trust Same applies to U too
    Well written dear


    1. Mukesh many many thanks friend for your comments
      I agree if you love what you do , it never seems like work
      I worked for 34 years as HR but every day was a naya natak
      and I thoroughly enjoyed myself
      which is why I was a damn good HR Officer

      Your compliment motivates me a lot as I know it is genuine feedback from a friend
      many thanks
      keep encouraging me


  25. Awesome, VSS! This is a treasure…you have complied and presented best quotes, signages at one blog. The idea is superb and executed well as well. Thanks for the compilation.


    1. Milind bhau
      appreciate your whole hearted compliment. Yes I too thought this idea was great. Hope I was able to do justice and execute it well.
      Have recd many SMS & WA messages of negative comments that it all appears disjointed. Others have appreciated the collection.
      I only say “to each his own”


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