Archive | foolish

To the wise, life is a problem; to the fool, a solution.

To the wise, life is a problem; to the fool, a solution. – Marcus Aurelius What does that mean? To me, and my understanding of Stoicism, a closer translation of problem might well be puzzle or challenge. Stoics take the world as it is, and try to deal with it with the minimum fuss. Life, […]

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Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult.

Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult. – Proverbs 12-16 NIV What does that mean? In this translation, it is all about keeping your head about you when things become difficult. What you do in such moments helps people determine what kind of person you are. Fools, as it says, will […]

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He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.

He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever. – Chinese Proverb What does that mean? This, like most ancient proverbs, was difficult to source, but quite interesting to contemplate. In this case, we have all been there, right? You have a […]

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Wisdom and Folly are taking opposite sides. Which shall I join?

Wisdom and Folly are taking opposite sides. Which shall I join? – Seneca What does that mean? In the letter from which this quote is taken, Seneca is discussing the difference between Stoics and others when it comes to defining man and friend. To a Stoic, all of humanity is a friend, as the motivation […]

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Luck is probability taken personally.

Luck is probability taken personally. – Penn Jillette, who attributes this quote to Chip Denman What does that mean? Think about that for a moment. Were you lucky, or did statistics simply favor you that one time? Or, perhaps, for several times in a row? Is that really luck, or are you reading more into […]

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The talk of the ignorant is like the rumblings which issue from the belly.

The talk of the ignorant is like the rumblings which issue from the belly. – Demetrius the Cynic What does that mean? I like this quote. It is one of the snarkier bits of Ancient Wisdom with which I have ever had the pleasure to be acquainted. Can you feel the burn? I’m glad I […]

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The beginning is the most important part of the work.

The beginning is the most important part of the work. – Plato What does that mean? The wikiquote translation of the quote is “the beginning in every task is the chief thing” which I consider to be close enough to be the same thing. This quote is accurate in so many ways, it’s hard to know […]

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By changing nothing, nothing changes.

By changing nothing, nothing changes. – Tony Robbins What does that mean? This quote is about procrastination, and what results from doing nothing. I imagine every one of us have something we wish we’d started last year. A diet, started last year, could mean everything from better health to a new wardrobe by now. A savings […]

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If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.

If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid. – Epictetus What does that mean? I like this quote, because I have lived it so many times. While we can learn a lot from books, the internet, and friends, that kind of learning lacks one thing: action. You can read a hundred books […]

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To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid; you must also be well-mannered.

To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid; you must also be well-mannered. – Voltaire What does that mean? This is another example of the biting wit of Voltaire. He was also showing us how little things have changed since his day, roughly 300 years ago. The quote talks about the two […]

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Enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure future ones.

Enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure future ones. – Seneca What does that mean? This is a great quote for the weekend. Consider the pleasure, as some call it, of a few drinks. That can be fun, even pleasurable. Now consider making the mistake of trusting your judgement while intoxicated. How […]

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We naturally have self-interest but it should be wise rather than foolish self-interest by taking others needs into account as well as ours.

We naturally have self-interest but it should be wise rather than foolish self-interest by taking others needs into account as well as ours. – Dalai Lama What does that mean? I like this quote, as it acknowledges a basic human behavior, yet implores us to try to use it for the good of all. What do I […]

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A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.

A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation. – Mark Twain What does that mean? While this quote shows up on many quote sites, I couldn’t find a definitive source for the quote, so it’s probably one of the “Twain-isms” floating around the internet. Even so, it’s an interesting quote, […]

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Control your thoughts; they may break into words at anytime.

Control your thoughts; they may break into words at anytime. – Anonymous What does that mean? This quote is about the things people say. It implies that sometimes that filter between our mind and our mouth doesn’t work as well as one might hope. It can be funny when someone else does it, but usually […]

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People may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do.

People may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do. – Lewis Cass What does that mean? This is a classic, which has been said many ways before, from elegant, through practical, to downright crass. But the point remains clear, say what you will, it’s what you actually do that matters. People […]

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