To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded! ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

In the 'words to live by' category, this is one of my favourite quotes (although Monty Python's "Adopt, adapt and improve" also has a lot to recommend it - and it's pithier, which is important when trying to maintain grace under pressure. Ralph Waldo is a bit long-winded when you're trying to regain your sense of purpose in a crisis).

Whose words inspire you?