Archive | October, 2011

Silence is one of the great arts of conversation

Silence is one of the great arts of conversation. – Cicero What does that mean? To me, it basically says “Shut up already!” We know that you can’t have a conversation with both (or all) of the people talking at the same time. So somehow we have to take turns. There are some social conventions […]

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Disturbing emotions not only disturb our own state of mind, they also disturb the minds of others.

Disturbing emotions not only disturb our own state of mind, they also disturb the minds of others. – Dalai Lama What does that mean? Our lives intersect the lives of others. When we are with others, if we have any empathy at all (most of us do, to some extent), we can get a sense of how […]

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One change always leaves the way open for the establishment of others

One change always leaves the way open for the establishment of others. – Niccolò Machiavelli What does that mean? While this quote is almost certainly about political change, and how a ruler might use this to their advantage, I believe it also works well for us as individuals. When you change one habit, what happens […]

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Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach

Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach. – Tony Robbins and here What does that mean? To me, it means that once you have made a decision, you’ve cut yourself off from other possibilities. You are also committed to the desired outcome. However, things happen, and your chosen path, your approach, might not […]

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Nobody who ever gave his best, regretted it.

Nobody who ever gave his best, regretted it. – George Halas What does that mean? Having done a Vince Lombardi quote about 2 weeks ago, I thought it time to give Papa Bear equal time. (I’m a Bears fan, what can I say!). I don’t think I have ever heard of anyone who, on their death-bed, […]

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Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago

Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. – Les Brown What does that mean? To me, this is about being kind, but with a very broad target, and thinking far into the future. Trees take a fairly long time to be useful. Even the quick growing trees […]

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True love is like a pair of socks: you gotta have two and they’ve gotta match.

True love is like a pair of socks: you gotta have two and they’ve gotta match. – Erich Fromm What does that mean? Well, as a nerd an the antithesis of a snappy dresser, I might argue with having to have two that match, but two does seem to be a good number. Seriously, though, having […]

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We should not moor a ship with one anchor, or our life with one hope

We should not moor a ship with one anchor, or our life with one hope. – Epictetus What does that mean? Back in the days of this quote, almost everything about a ship was organic. Organic compounds and water are not the best mix, and frequently end in some form of rot or degradation. Eventually, […]

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Whether or not we follow any particular spiritual tradition, the benefits of love and kindness are obvious to anyone

Whether or not we follow any particular spiritual tradition, the benefits of love and kindness are obvious to anyone. – Dalai Lama What does that mean? To me, this talks about a fundamental human need, the need of love and kindness. Even in warrior cultures, love and kindness were shown. From the Spartans to the Vikings […]

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The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.

The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him. – Niccolò Machiavelli What does that mean? What kind of people does a leader surround themselves with? Is it a bunch of “Yes-Men” or are they subject matter experts, ready and willing to go toe-to-toe with […]

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Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. – Robert Louis Stevenson What does that mean? Here, the emphasis isn’t on enjoying collecting of the results at the end, but in the joy of getting things started. The form is agricultural, and notes that it takes time to […]

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Come what may, all bad fortune is to be conquered by endurance.

Come what may, all bad fortune is to be conquered by endurance. – Virgil What does that mean? To me, this quote says that no matter how or why it happens, bad fortune (an unfortunate turns of events) can only be conquered by enduring it. In other words, when things don’t work out the way […]

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Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time.

Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time. – Goethe What does that mean? To me, this quote talks about preparation, planning, and foresight. Or more precisely, the complete lack of it. If you had been doing […]

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You can stand tall without standing on someone. You can be a victor without having victims.

You can stand tall without standing on someone. You can be a victor without having victims. – Harriet Woods What does that mean? This quote sounds like it’s promoting win-win methods over win-lose methods, which I call cooperation. Most of us are familiar with win-lose. War, competitive sports, card games, anything with one victor and […]

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There are two things a person should never be angry at; what they can help, and what they cannot

There are two things a person should never be angry at; what they can help, and what they cannot. – Plato What does that mean? This reminds me of the old saying “There are two kinds of people in this world; those who divide everything into two camps and those who don’t.” Here we have […]

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