It is a secret known but to few, yet of no small use in the conduct of life, that when you fall into a man's conversation, the first thing you should consider is, whether he has a greater inclination to hear you, or that you should hear him.
There is a time in the lives of most of us when, despondent of all joy in an earthly future, and tortured by conflicts between inclination and duty, we transfer all the passion and fervor of our troubled souls to enthusiastic yearnings for the divine love, looking to its mercy, and taking thence the only hopes that can cheer - the only strength that can sustain us.
Everything naturally loves itself, the result being that everything naturally keeps itself in being, and resists corruption as far as it can. Wherefore suicide is contrary to the inclination of nature, and to charity whereby every man should love himself.
Ethics is… to be regarded as a therapeutic attempt – as an endeavor to achieve, by means of a command of the superego, something which has so far not been achieved by means of any other cultural activities. As we already know, the problem before us is how to get rid of the greatest hindrance to civilization – namely, the constitutional inclination of human beings to be aggressive towards one another.
Be very careful never to show your own bias to anyone who is giving you information, or passing it on to you. Once he sees that you have a particular inclination he will instinctively tend to tell you what he thinks will suit you, and enhance your opinion of him.
Vanity causes us to do more things against our inclination than reason does.
Love is but a prelude to life, an overture in which the theme of the impending work is exquisitely hinted at, but which remains nevertheless only a symbol and a promise. What is to follow, if all goes well, begins presently to appear. Passion settles down into possession, courtship into partnership, pleasure into habit. A child, half mystery and half plaything, comes to show us what we have done and to make its consequences perpetual. We see that by indulging our inclination we have woven about us a net from which we cannot escape: our choices, bearing fruit, begin to manifest our destiny. That life which once seemed to spread out infinitely before us is narrowed to one mortal career. We learn that in morals the infinite is a chimera, and that in accomplishing anything definite a man renounces everything else. He sails henceforth for one point of the compass.
Beneficence is a duty. He who frequently practices it, and sees his benevolent intentions realized, at length, comes really to love him to whom he has done good. When, therefore, it is said, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” it is not meant, thou shalt love him first and do him good in consequence of that love, but thou shalt do good to thy neighbor; and this thy beneficence will engender in thee that love to mankind which is the fullness and consummation of the inclination to do good.
We are what we think we are. The habitual inclination of our thoughts determines our talents and abilities, and our personality... So whatever you want to be, start to develop that pattern now. You can instill any trend in your consciousness right now, provided you inject a strong thought in your mind; then your actions and whole being will obey that thought. One must never give up the hope of becoming better.