Scott Peck

“Love is a form of work or a form of courage.  Specifically, it is work or courage directed toward the nurture of our own or another’s spiritual growth.  We may work or exert courage in directions other than toward spiritual growth, and for this reason all work and all courage is not love.  But since it requires the extension of ourselves, love is always either work or courage.  If an act is not an of work or courage, then it is not an act of love.  There are no exceptions.” ~ Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled

15 Quotes From The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck

15 Quotes From The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck

Introduction:  Love is as Love Does

The Road Less Traveled is a deeply insightful, no bull, tell-you-what-you-need-to-hear book by Dr. Scott Peck that covers, what he believes to be, the attributes that make for a fulfilled person.  Dr. Peck references his life experience as a psychiatrist and divides his advice into four parts for fulfillment:  Discipline, Love, Religion, and Grace.

Below, you will find 15 of my favorite quotes from The Road Less Traveled that transcend the individual parts of the book and speak to his message as a whole.  Spend some time reading through these tid-bits of wisdom and reflect on how they might merge with your life’s (road less traveled) path.

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The Road Less Traveled [Book]

Book Overview: Written in a voice that is timeless in its message of understanding, The Road Less Traveled continues to help us explore the very nature of loving relationships and leads us toward a new serenity and fullness of life. It helps us learn how to distinguish dependency from love; how to become a more sensitive parent; and ultimately how to become one’s own true self.  Recognizing that, as in the famous opening line of his book, “Life is difficult” and that the journey to spiritual growth is a long one, Dr. Peck never bullies his readers, but rather guides them gently through the hard and often painful process of change toward a higher level of self-understanding.

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Post(s) Inspired by this Book:

  1. 5 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Stop Selectively Listening and Start Truly Listening to Children.
  2. 15 Quotes from The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck


“Most of us are like children or young adolescents; we believe that the freedom and power of adulthood is our due, but we have little taste for adult responsibility and self-discipline.  Much as we feel oppressed by our parents – or by society or fate – we actually seem to need to have powers above us to blame for our condition.  To rise to a position of such power that we have no one to blame except ourselves is a fearful state of affairs.” ~ Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled

“Great marriages cannot be constructed by individuals who are terrified by their basic aloneness, as so commonly is the case, and seek a merging in marriage.  Genuine love not only respects the individuality of the other but actually seeks to cultivate it, even at the risk of separation or loss.  The ultimate goal of life remains the spiritual growth of the individual, the solitary journey to peaks that can be climbed only alone.” ~ Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled

“When I genuinely love I am extending myself, and when I am extending myself I am growing.  The more I love, the longer I love, the larger I become.  Genuine love is self-replenishing.  The more I nurture the spiritual growth of others, the more my own spiritual growth is nurtured.  I am a totally selfish human being.  I never do something for somebody else but that I do it for myself.  And as I grow through love, so grows my joy, ever more present, ever more constant.” ~ Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled

“No marriage can be judged truly successful unless husband and wife are each other’s best critics.  The same holds true for friendship.  There is a traditional concept that friendship should be a conflict-free relationship, a ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ arrangement, relying solely on a mutual exchange of favors and compliments as prescribed by good manners.  Such relationships are superficial and intimacy-avoiding and do not deserve the name of friendship which is so commonly applied to them.  Mutual loving confrontation is a significant part of all successful and meaningful human relationships.  Without it the relationship is either unsuccessful or shallow.” ~ Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled

“As long as one marries, enters a career or has children to satisfy one’s parents or the expectations of anyone else, including society as a whole, the commitment by its very nature will be a shallow one.  As long as one loves one’s children primarily because one is expected to behave in a loving manner toward them, then the parent will be insensitive to the more subtle needs of the children and unable to express love in the more subtle, yet often most important ways.  The highest forms of love are inevitably totally free choices and not acts of conformity.” ~ Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled

“Love is not simply giving; it is judicious giving and judicious withholding as well.  It is judicious praising and judicious criticizing.  It is judicious arguing, struggling, confronting, urging, pushing and pulling in addition to comforting.  It is leadership.  The word ‘judicious’ means requiring judgment, and judgment requires more than instinct; it requires thoughtful and often painful decision making.” ~ Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled

“Dependency may appear to be love because it is a force that causes people to fiercely attach themselves to one another.  But in actuality it is not love; it is a form of antilove.  It has its genesis in a parental failure to love and it perpetuates the failure.  It seeks to receive rather than to give.  It nourishes infantilism rather than growth.  It works to trap and constrict rather than to liberate.  Ultimately it destroys rather than builds relationships, and it destroys rather than builds people.” ~ Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled


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