His health was exceptional. He swam a mile a day. But a little over a month ago, Oliver Sacks, a popular author and well-known neurologist, learned that he had multiple metastases in his liver. And while he still continues to take his daily mile swim, Dr. Sacks’ condition cannot be treated and is learning to live with the fact that his “luck has ran out.” These were his own words in an emotional op-ed piece he wrote for The New York Times. His words are just a glimpse into his brilliant mind which has famously touched many. Here are some of his pleasantly stimulating quotes:

On living in the moment…

I feel a sudden clear focus and perspective. There is no time for anything inessential. I must focus on myself, my work and my friends. I shall no longer look at “NewsHour” every night. I shall no longer pay any attention to politics or arguments about global warming.

It is up to me now to choose how to live out the months that remain to me. I have to live in the richest, deepest, most productive way I can.

On being ourselves…

“To be ourselves we must have ourselves – possess, if need be re-possess, our life-stories. We must “recollect” ourselves, recollect the inner drama, the narrative, of ourselves. A man needs such a narrative, a continuous inner narrative, to maintain his identity, his self.”

On practicing medicine…

“In examining disease, we gain wisdom about anatomy and physiology and biology. In examining the person with disease, we gain wisdom about life.”

On consciousness…

“To live on a day-to-day basis is insufficient for human beings; we need to transcend, transport, escape; we need meaning, understanding, and explanation; we need to see over-all patterns in our lives. We need hope, the sense of a future. And we need freedom (or, at least, the illusion of freedom) to get beyond ourselves, whether with telescopes and microscopes and our ever-burgeoning technology, or in states of mind that allow us to travel to other worlds, to rise above our immediate surroundings. We may seek, too, a relaxing of inhibitions that makes it easier to bond with each other, or transports that make our consciousness of time and mortality easier to bear. We seek a holiday from our inner and outer restrictions, a more intense sense of the here and now, the beauty and value of the world we live in.”

On aging…

“At 11, I could say ‘I am sodium’ (Element 11), and now at 79, I am gold.”