Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself.
If you can't be seven feet tall, be seven feet smart.
Some prices are just too high, no matter how much you may want the prize. The one thing you can't trade for your heart's desire is your heart.
When you choose an action, you choose the consequences of that action. When you desire a consequence you had damned well better take the action that would create it.
I've always thought tests are a gift. And great tests are a great gift. To fail the test is a misfortune. But to refuse the test is to refuse the gift, and something worse, more irrevocable, than misfortune.
Don't wish to be normal. Wish to be yourself. To the hilt. Find out what you're best at, and develop it, and hopscotch your weaknesses. Wish to be great at whatever you are.
Guard your honor. Let your reputation fall where it will. And outlive the bastards.
My home is not a place, it is people.
Since no one is perfect, it follows that all great deeds have been accomplished out of imperfection. Yet they were accomplished, somehow, all the same.
Some people grow into their dreams, instead of out of them.
Never interrupt your enemy while he is making a mistake
Ignorance is not stupidity, but it might as well be. And I do not like feeling stupid.
A weapon is a device for making your enemy change his mind.
Events may be horrible or inescapable. Men have always a choice - if not whether, then how, they may endure.
I am who I choose to be. I have always been what I chose, though not always what I pleased.
When the time comes to leap in faith whether you have your eyes open or closed or scream all the way down or not makes no practical difference.
The gods' most savage curses come upon us as answers to our own prayers. Prayer is a dangerous business.
Aim high. You may still miss the target, but at least you won't shoot your foot off.
I need words that mean more than they mean, words not just with height and width, but depth and weight and, and other dimensions that I cannot even name.
The world is made by the people who show up for the job.
Never do yourself, what you can con professionals into doing for you.
It's a bizarre but wonderful feeling, to arrive dead center of a target you didn't even know you were aiming for.
All the geniuses I ever met were so just part of the time. To qualify, you only have to be great once, you know. Once when it matters.
The dead cannot cry out for justice; it is a duty of the living to do so for them.
The will to be stupid is a very powerful force, but there are always alternatives.
Growing up, I have discovered over time, is rather like housework: never finished.
We should have taken our chances back then, when we were young and beautiful and didn't even know it.
If you make it plain you like people, it's hard for them to resist liking you back.
One step at a time,” Vorkosigan returned grimly, “I can walk around the world. Watch me.
An honor is not diminished for being shared.
I've got forward momentum. There's no virtue in it. It's just a balancing act. I don't dare stop.
If you can't do what you want, do what you can.
This wasn't prayer anyway, it was just argument with the gods. Prayer, he suspected as he hoisted himself up and turned for the door, was putting one foot in front of the other. Moving all the same.
If the truth doesn't save us, what does that say about us?
When you give each other everything, it becomes an even trade. Each wins all.
Endure pain, find joy, and make your own meaning, because the universe certainly isn't going to supply it.
Too late, he recalled Miles's dictum that the reward for a job well done was usually a harder job.
The rule for finding plots for character-centered novels, which is to ask: 'So what's the worst possible thing I can do to *this* guy?' And then do it.
Have you ever heard the phrase, Living well is the best revenge?" "Where I come from, someone's head in a bag is generally considered the best revenge
I don't want power. I just object to idiots having power over me.
On the sixth day God saw He couldn't do it all, so He created ENGINEERS
Not that I haven't leaped up into the blinding light of competence now and then. It's sustaining the altitude that defeats me.
Experience suggests it doesn't matter so much how you got here, as what you do after you arrive.
Miles clutched Quinn's elbow. "Don't Panic." "I'm not panicking," Quinn observed, "I'm watching you panic. It's more entertaining .
I do think, half of what we call madness is just some poor slob dealing with pain by a strategy that annoys the people around him.
If you're trying to take a roomful of people by surprise, it's a lot easier to hit your targets if you don't yell going through the door.
You try to give away what you want yourself.
If power was an illusion, wasn't weakness necessarily one also?
The Imperial Service could win a war without coffee, but would prefer not to have to.
Money, power, sex ... and elephants.
Well, what is a blessing but a curse from another point of view?
Poets speak of hope in ladies smiles, but give me a smirk any day, I say.
My dinner party,' Miles grated. 'It's just breaking up.' And sinking. All souls feared lost.
I am not a fate worse than death, dammit!
I'd storm heaven for you, if I knew where it was.
Do it for yourself. The universe will be around to collect its cut later.
[Koudelka] looked back, "You?! I know you! You trust beyond reason!" [Cordelia] met his eyes steadily, "Yes, it's how I get results beyond hope, as you may recall.
The good face pain. But the great? They embrace it.
Lately I have come to believe that the principle difference between Heaven and Hell is the company you keep there....
Miles is... Miles; close to a force of nature, climbing up out of his own pages and escaping subordination to any opinion of mine.
I don't confuse greatness with perfection. To be great anyhow is…the higher achievement.
Yes," Vorkosigan agreed, "I could take over the universe with this army if I could ever get all their weapons pointed in the same direction.
Children might or might not be a blessing, but to create them and then fail them was surely damnation.
Bleeding ulcers run in my family, we give them to each other.
Suicidal glory is the luxury of the irresponsible.
It was hell to be so tired, and still care.
One foot in front of the other, wasn't that the grownup way of solving problems? Surely he ought to be a grownup at his age.
A true Vor, Miles told himself severely, does not bury his face in his liegewoman's breasts and cry--even if he is at a convenient height for it.
When the souls rise up in glory, yours shall not be shunned nor sunderered, but shall be the prize of the gods' gardens. Even your darkness shall be treasured then, and all your pain made holy.
What you are is a question only you can answer.
Hunting hawks did not belong in cages, no matter how much a man coveted their grace, no matter how golden the bars. They were far more beautiful soaring free. Heartbreakingly beautiful.
You go on. You just go on. There's nothing more to it, and there's no trick to make it easier. You just go on.
War is not its own end, except in some catastrophic slide into absolute damnation. It's peace that's wanted. Some better peace than the one you started with.
But when he’s cut, I bleed.
Anything worth achieving is worth overachieving.
I wanted to give you a victory. But by their essential nature triumphs can’t be given.
It's an ancient and honorable term for the final step in any engineering project. Turn it on, see if it smokes.
The fourth approved approach for the problem of frontally attacking a guarded wormhole was to shoot the officer who suggested it.
And this was your friend?" Cordelia raised her eyebrows. "Seems to me the only difference between your friends and your enemies is how long the stand around chatting before they shoot you.
Forward momentum only worked as a strategy if one had correctly identified which way was forward.
He's not too short. He's just... concentrated.
History does not so much repeat as echo, I suppose.
Change is possible.' 'Change is inevitable.
People give themselves to you, in their talking, and in other ways, if you are quiet and patient and let them, and not in such a damned rush to give yourself to them you go bat-blind and deaf.
Never underestimate the human capacity for wishful thinking and willful blindness,' said Miles. Such as a whole society of people who became so wrapped up in avoiding death, they forgot to be alive?
I am not schizoid. A little manic-depressive, maybe." "'Know thyself.'" "We try, sir.
Miles added it to his life's lessons list. Call it Rule 27B. Never make key tactical decisions while having electro-convulsive seizures.
All true wealth is biological (Aral Vorkosigan)
I don’t duel, boy. I kill as a soldier kills, which is as a butcher kills, as quickly, efficiently, and with as least risk to myself as I can arrange.
…the trouble with oaths of the form, death before dishonor, is that eventually, given enough time and abrasion, they separate the world into two sorts of people: the dead, and the forsworn.
For a while, I thought I was going mad. At last, I became reconciled to my despair. The medications helped, too, I thought, sir.
It’s not that I’m not upset; it’s just that I’m too tired to run up and down the corridor screaming.
Stupidity can be as bad as malice
I miss it every minute, and I have no wish at all to go back.
I wonder if we should add a box to tick off -- Reason for travel: creepy planetary conquest... no, I suppose not.
He was shaken by an unwelcome insight. Lives did not add as integers. They added as infinities.
Gardens were meant to be seen, smelled, walked through, grubbed in. A hundred objective measurements didn't sum the worth of a garden; only the delight of its users did that.
Colonel Otto, do you have a, perhaps, fuller and more detailed account than your preliminary one of why my Imperial Security building is now largely an underground installation? From a technical perspective.
Stand before his grave and use your gift of breath to complain of your limited time. If you dare.
The most important thing about quests, he decided, was not in finding what you went looking for, but in finding what you never could have imagined before you ventured forth.