Archive | learning

Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.

Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous. – Confucius What does that mean? This quote is about the synergy between knowledge and ideas of how to do things. Learning brings knowledge. Thought brings ideas of how to do things. Knowledge of how to do something without actually giving any consideration to […]

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Don’t let the darkness from your past block the light of joy in your present.

Don’t let the darkness from your past block the light of joy in your present. – Karen Salmansohn What does that mean? This quote, to me, is about keeping the past in the past. It warns us against allowing the darkness, presumably a metaphor for less than helpful feelings, thoughts and emotions, to encroach on […]

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Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you.

Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you. – Ovid What does that mean? This Latin verse has also translated as “Have patience and endure; this unhappiness will one day be beneficial.” I have been unable to locate a more complete section of the work from which to gather more context. […]

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Beware of the person of one book.

Beware of the person of one book. – Thomas Aquinas What does that mean? These words have been used in many different ways, from a warning regarding the narrow nature of such a person (ie not broadly educated). But in the original sense, it is a warning about one who has devoted their life to […]

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Teachers open the door but you must walk through it yourself.

Teachers open the door but you must walk through it yourself. – Chinese Proverb What does that mean? The world is a big place. There are many things to do, and many places to visit. But what if you don’t know about it, or have fears or worries about what you do know? This is […]

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Never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense.

Never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. – Winston Churchill What does that mean? This quote is often badly mistaken to mean that one should be stubborn, as the portion of the speech immediately preceding this might seem to say, taken out of context. But the “Never, never, never… give up” […]

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Only the educated are free.

Only the educated are free – Epictetus What does that mean? This is an interesting quote from a person born a slave and with the permission of his owner, studied philosophy and became quite good at it. Back then, slaves weren’t educated as much as trained for the use the owner needed of them. Without […]

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Your descendants shall gather your fruits.

Your descendants shall gather your fruits. – Virgil What does that mean? also translated as “your grandchildren shall gather your fruits,” it is part of a discussion of the times of harvesting, and of the planting of fruit trees (pears, in this case). Fruit trees take a long time to grow and then mature to […]

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The whole is more than the sum of its parts

The whole is more than the sum of its parts – Aristotle What does that mean? Also translated as “The whole is greater than the part,” this quote is about how much better things are together than as pieces. The idea is used heavily in Synergy and Gestalt as well as in non-linear fields. It […]

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The best revenge is to be unlike the one who performed the injustice.

The best revenge is to be unlike the one who performed the injustice. – Marcus Aurelius What does that mean? This quote is translated in many forms, including “The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.” which is very close to what my paper copy of Meditations says. This is something you have […]

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A fall into a ditch makes you wiser.

A fall into a ditch makes you wiser. – Chinese Proverb What does that mean? At first you don’t know what a ditch is. Then you fall in. Now you know. You are now wiser, and know to avoid falling into ditches, whenever possible. Life is like that, test first, then the lesson. So the […]

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Silence is safer than speech.

Silence is safer than speech. – Epictetus What does that mean? The longer version of the quote says “Silence is safer than speech; refrain from saying what shall be void of sense and open to blame.” Speaking when no speech is necessary or useful leads to saying things which are not always very bright, or […]

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You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf.

You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf. – Jon Kabat-Zinn What does that mean? Waves are unstoppable. They are a force of nature. They may change heights and intensity, but still they come. We can brace against them, but they are as unstoppable as anything on this Earth. However, while […]

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Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide.

Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide. – Cicero What does that mean? Excess is often synonymous with too much of something. But you can also have an excess of caution, or in other words, you can also have too little of something. The quote asks us to consider a middle path, […]

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If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.

If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster. – Stephen Covey What does that mean? This quote comes from the difference between management and leadership. A leader has the vision to see the ladder is leaned up against the wrong wall. […]

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