Archive | June, 2012

The new ruler must determine all the injuries that he will need to inflict. He must inflict them once and for all.

The new ruler must determine all the injuries that he will need to inflict. He must inflict them once and for all. – Niccolò Machiavelli What does that mean? This is the classic “pull off the bandage” issue. Do you pull it off quickly and get it over with, or do you pull a little bit at […]

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What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.

What is not started today is never finished tomorrow. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe What does that mean? This is another quote about getting up off your rear end and getting busy. If you don’t start it today, when will you start it? Tomorrow? The day after that? For any non-trivial task, you aren’t likely to […]

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A feeble body weakens the mind.

A feeble body weakens the mind. – Jean-Jacques Rousseau What does that mean? While having a robust body doesn’t guarantee your mind will be equally robust, there are few who have maintained a strong mind while allowing their body to become feeble. Note that I discount from this saying those who suffered accidents or other life-altering […]

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Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it. – Helen Keller What does that mean? This is a great quote, from someone who knew both the suffering and the overcoming of suffering, a more complete listing of which can be found in her bio (click on her name, above). […]

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It is idle to dread what you cannot avoid.

It is idle to dread what you cannot avoid. – Publius Syrus What does that mean? Most of us have dreaded or worried about the coming of something that was inevitable, at one time or another in our lives. Whether it was waiting for dad to get home to dispense justice after an afternoon of dubious […]

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Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.

Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it. – George Orwell What does that mean? To me, this is the eternal deceit of humankind. Starting in the teenage years, they are more intelligent and better equipped to make decisions than […]

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Just as we need good physical health we also need strength of mind to ensure our well-being; and we develop it by cultivating ethics.

Just as we need good physical health we also need strength of mind to ensure our well-being; and we develop it by cultivating ethics. – Dalai Lama What does that mean? This quote starts with the discussion of a simple truth, saying that most of us recognize that it is necessary to keep our bodies in […]

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Tardiness often robs us opportunity, and the dispatch of our forces.

Tardiness often robs us opportunity, and the dispatch of our forces. – Niccolò Machiavelli What does that mean? This quote is another in a long series of truisms which warn us against sloth, procrastination, and other forms of time wasting. This quote speaks of the possibility of squandering an opportunity through not taking action soon enough. […]

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The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. – Walt Disney What does that mean? Well, as far as I can tell, you can talk about something or you can do something about it. All the while you are talking, you are not doing, as you haven’t yet made a decision as […]

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Commitment is an act, not a word.

Commitment is an act, not a word. Jean-Paul Sartre What does that mean? To what are you committed? Really, really committed? The usual answers include your family, your friends, your system of beliefs, your values, even your country or your culture. But how committed are you? Are you committed to the level of “I only regret […]

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If we examine our thoughts, we shall find them always occupied with the past and the future.

If we examine our thoughts, we shall find them always occupied with the past and the future. – Blaise Pascal What does that mean? I don’t know about you, but this quote is very true for me. I am either busy learning from past mistakes, or applying those lessons to future plans. Only rarely am […]

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Success is not counted by how high you have climbed but by how many people you brought with you.

Success is not counted by how high you have climbed but by how many people you brought with you. – Dr Wil Rose What does that mean? I like quotes that challenge the usual thought process. Many, perhaps most, score how successful a person is based on what the person has managed to accumulate in […]

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There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.

There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self. – Aldous Huxley What does that mean? The only thing you can be certain of your ability to change is yourself, or so the quote says. While we may have some influence with others, ultimately, they have the […]

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If we are optimistic, take a longer view, and we employ realistic methods, we can contribute to making the world a better place.

If we are optimistic, take a longer view, and we employ realistic methods, we can contribute to making the world a better place. – Dalai Lama What does that mean? This quote is all about improving the world in general. To me, that is one of our primary functions as the dominant species on the planet. Yes, […]

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A prudent man should always follow in the path trodden by great men and imitate those who are most excellent.

A prudent man should always follow in the path trodden by great men and imitate those who are most excellent – Niccolò Machiavelli What does that mean? This is another Twitter friendly version of a longer quote. “A prudent man should always follow in the path trodden by great men and imitate those who are most excellent, […]

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