Quotes from Norwegian Wood

I’ve finished reading Murakami’s Norwegian Wood few months ago, but I feel that some of quotes in his book are very relatable with life in general. Maybe, that’s the reason why it is so popular. This are my favorite :

Death exists, not as the opposite but as part of life

If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking

Everything was too sharp and clear, so that I could never tell where to start- the way a map that shows too much can sometimes be useless

If you need me, use me. Don’t you see? Why do you have to be so rigid? Relax, let down your guard. You’re all tensed up so you always expect the worst. Relax your body and the rest of you will lighten up

What’s the point of saying that to me? If I relaxed my body now, I’d fall apart. I’ve always live like this, and it’s the only way I know how to go on living. If I relaxed for a second, I’d never find my way back. I’d go to pieces and the pieces could be blown away

Why can’t you see that? How could you talk about watching over me if you can’t see that?

I saw these paradoxical qualities of his from the start and I could never understand why they weren’t just as obvious to everyone else. He lived in his own special hell.

When you’re surrounded by endless possibilities, one of the hardest things you can do is pass them up. How can you ignore it? You have a certain ability and the opportunity to use it: can you keep your mouth shut and let it pass?

Try not to get so worked up about things. Whatever happened – or didn’t happen – the end result would have been the same.

Nobody likes being alone that much. I don’t go out of my way to make friends, that’s all. It just leads to disappointment.

If I am going to test myself, I want to do it in the biggest field there is – the nation. I want to see how high I can climb, how much power I can exercise in this insanely huge bureaucratic system.

You’re very clear about what you like and what you don’t like. You make it obvious you don’t care whether people like you or not. That makes some people angry.

“What happens when people open their hearts?” “They get better.”

Its because I hated the place so much. I wasn’t going to let it beat me. If I’d let it get to me once I’d be finished. I was scared I’d just keep slipping down and down

Never sure where I was, never sure I was headed in the right direction, knowing only that I had to keep moving, one step at a time.

This was nothing new for me. Whenever I get involved in something, I shut out everything else.

“Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Only arseholes do that.” “I’ll keep it in mind”. We shook hands and went our separate ways, he to his new world and I back to my swamp.

Do you find something that you like from the list above?

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Story about Fisherman

Hallstatt, April 2019. (Picture taken by me).

This is a story from a book that I am currently reading.

There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village. As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat toward the shore having caught quite a few big fish. The businessman was impressed and asked thefisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?” The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.”

“Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished. “This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said. The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?” The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and [when] evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink—we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.”

The businessman offered a suggestion to the fisherman. “I am a PhD in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, set up your own company, your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to São Paulo, where you can set up an HQ to manage your other branches.”

The fisherman continues, “And after that?” The businessman laughs heartily. “After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.” The fisherman asks, “And after that?” The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with [your] kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!” The fisherman was puzzled. “Isn’t that what I am doing now?”

Source : Paul Dolan. Happiness by Design: Change What You Do, Not How You Think. Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.