I recently read a blog entry by Tim Tyrell-Smith on his site Quixoting, commenting about a line from the movie Zorba The Greek. The entry is titled "A Man Needs a Little Madness." I highly recommend reading the blog, then going out there and renting the movie. If you have some time, pickup the book of the same title by Nikos Kazantzakis. Incidentally, if you want to watch the segment of the movie that Tim's referring to, watch it here on YouTube.
I posted a comment on Tim's site for his entry that I'll republish here:
I loved reading this book and watching the movie when I was in my twenties. I recently saw it again in May of this year and carried the "madness" quote as part of my email signature for a short while.
The line speaks to me as taking risks and acknowledging the madness of trying something new that may end in disaster. This is the same madness that will make you look back and laugh at the failed efforts, knowing full well you gave it your best and took risks. It is madness that will help you get up, dust yourself off and try again at reaching your goals.
This is the same madness that pushed Thomas Edison to experiment 10,000 times before he found the right filament for the light bulb, without ever quitting or losing confidence.
It's the same madness that pushes the likes of Warren Buffet to continue to invest in stocks even when everyone else is bailing out.
It's this madness that we should all possess to reach our dreams and truly live free.