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Ray Charles Quotes

Ray Charles Robinson

Ray Charles quotes: Brother Ray’s life lessons.

“I don’t think any of us really knows why we’re here. But I think we’re supposed to believe we’re here for a purpose.”

“There are many spokes on the wheel of life. First, we’re here to explore new possibilities.”

“When you do yourself, you gotta like what you do. If you love what you’re doing, you will never be bad.”

“Everything I can look at as negative, I learned something from it. I got something out of it. It helped me to do other things better.”

“Dreams, if they’re any good, are always a little bit crazy. Sometimes my dreams are so deep that I dream that I’m dreaming.”

“The fact of the matter is, you don’t give up what’s natural. Anything I’ve fantasized about, I’ve done.”

“If you want to do it, do it.”

“I really feel that if you’re gonna be good, you gotta practice. Practice whatever the hell you do.”

“You cannot have excellence unless you think excellence. The state of excellence is in the mind, the desire, the will.”

“My big goal is to get up and do what I did yesterday but maybe a little better.”

“I figure you do what you can, while you can, on this earth, because you can bet your ass you’re gonna leave here. Ain’t no doubt about that.”

“The greatest thing in the world is to know how you want to live, and live that way.”

“Don’t go backwards; you’ve already been there.”

“Do it right or don’t do it at all. That comes from my mom. If there’s something I want to do, I’m one of those people that won’t be satisfied until I get it done. If I’m trying to sing something and I can’t get it, I’m going to keep at it until I get where I want it.”

“Just because you can’t see anything, doesn’t mean you should shut your eyes.”

“Talking is the best way we can all get together, but you gotta go out and be with the people.”

“There’s nothing written in the Bible, Old or New Testament, that says, ‘If you believe in Me, you ain’t going to have no troubles.'”

“My mom taught me a lot. A lot about minding your own business and leaving other people’s business alone. And let them think what they want.”

“Sighted people, you gotta deal with them.”

“People couldn’t understand why my mama would have this blind kid out doing things like cutting wood for the fire. But her thing was: he may be blind, but he ain’t stupid.”

“Let me make my own mistakes, let me produce my own small triumphs.”

“If somebody don’t like something that I do, that’s his or her prerogative. Just like it’s mine.”

“You got to set your mind right and the rest will come to you naturally. No restrictions, no hang-ups, no stupid rules, no formalities, no forbidden fruit. Just everyone getting and giving as much as he and she can.”

“My advice is: never do anything that you don’t like.”

“Before I begin, let me say right here and now that I’m a country boy. And, man, I mean the real backwoods! That’s at the start of the start of the thing, and that’s at the heart of the thing.”

“I was born with music inside me. Music was one of my parts. Like my ribs, my kidneys, my liver, my heart. Like my blood. It was a force already within me when I arrived on the scene. It was a necessity for me, like food or water. Music to me is like breathing. I don’t get tired of breathing, I don’t get tired of music.”

“Music is my life, professionally, for nearly 60 years. To be recognized by the Academy is still the highest honor.”

“Learning to read music in Braille and play by ear helped me develop a damn good memory.”

“Mama was a country woman with a whole lot of common sense. She understood what most of our neighbors didn’t: that I shouldn’t grow dependent on anyone except myself. ‘One of these days, I ain’t gonna be here,’ she kept hammering inside my head.”

“I don’t know what would have happened to me if I hadn’t been able to hear.”

“I look at blindness like an inconvenience. I can do 98% of everything I want to do in my life. I don’t feel sorry for people who can’t see. I see more than most people. I feel sorry for people who can’t hear.”

“I’m black, I’m blind, I once fooled around with drugs, but all of it was like going to school—and I’ve tried to be a good student. I don’t regret a damn thing. I did it to myself. It wasn’t society, it wasn’t a pusher, it wasn’t being blind or being black or being poor. It was all my doing.”

“The name of the game is to treat your body right ’cause it treats you right if you don’t treat it bad.”

“Nothing is gonna make you perform better than the talent God gave you.”

“What makes my approach special is that I do different things. I do jazz, blues, country music and so forth. I do them all, like a good utility man.”

“I never wanted to be famous. I only wanted to be great.”

“The ‘everyday people’ who get up and go to work, feed their kids and try to do the right thing—they’re my real heroes; they’re the people who come and see my shows, spend their hard-earned money, and I appreciate their loyalty and support. If they think you’re great, then don’t fight it.”

“When you can make people happy along with yourself and still get paid for it, that’s the ultimate utopia.”

“It’s all a matter of zeros, whether you’re talking about 10 bucks or 100,000. You ain’t going to last long if your outlay is greater than your intake. Since I’m in business to make an honest dollar (because I’m too chicken to steal), I figure I might as well make two or three extra while I’m at it.”

“I just want to make my mark, leave something musically good behind. I just want people to remember me. How they remember me, I don’t give a good damn about that. As long as I left a mark, that’s good enough for me.”

“I like my music to be like Coca-Cola: I want everybody in the world to dig it.”

“What I’ve got to live up to, is being myself. If I do that, the rest will take care of itself.”

“I’m not into the money thing. You can only sleep in one bed at a time. You can only eat one meal at a time, or be in one car at a time. So I don’t have to have millions of dollars to be happy. All I need are clothes on my back, a decent meal, and a little loving when I feel like it. That’s the bottom line.”

“There’s such a thing as too much happiness and sadness. What I’m after is contentment.”

“You ask me what I’d like to do that I haven’t done and I say, ‘Nothin’!’ I haven’t any mountains to climb or oceans to swim. I’ve been an extremely blessed individual. I’m not clamorin’ for more trinkets. If I were to die tomorrow, I could say I’ve had a good life.”

“When I was going blind, I didn’t turn to God. It didn’t seem to me then—and it doesn’t seem to me now—that those items were His concern. Early on, I figured I better begin to learn how to count on myself, instead of counting on supernatural forces.”

“I’m a firm believer in God himself, but that’s as far as I can go. I’m not any denomination. I’m not Catholic or Presbyterian or Baptist or Methodist or Jewish or Muslim. I’m none of those things. And I’m sure that’s just fine with God.”

“It ain’t God who needs the praise: it’s us who need to do the praising.”

“I suppose I’ve always done my share of crying, especially when there’s no other way to contain my feelings. I know that men ain’t supposed to cry, but I think that’s wrong. Crying’s always been a way for me to get things out which are buried deep, deep down. When I sing, I often cry. Crying is feeling, and feeling is being human. Oh yes, I cry.”

“What is a soul? It’s like electricity—we don’t really know what it is, but it’s a force that can light a room.”

“Love is a special word, and I use it only when I mean it. You say the word too much and it becomes cheap.”

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder and tears are only rain to make love grow.”

“Goodbye don’t mean gone.”

“Sh*t on living to be 100 years old if you’re gonna suffer. Let me live till 60 and be happy.”

“My biggest motivation is making the best use of the time I have in life. You can’t relive a moment. You can’t redo it, patch it up. It’s gone forever.”

“You better live every day like your last because one day you’re going to be right.”

Cory Johnson: likes bumping #OnRepeat through the Bang & Olufsen sound system in his naturally aspirated V10; post-workout pumps; big boobs; dumb comedy; and your mom’s potato salad. He hates awkward handshakes. But who cares? Let’s talk about you.