Archive | personal growth

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. – Mother Teresa What does that mean? Hello. Thank you. That’s nice. I’m happy for you. You’re welcome. All these are kind words, as are many others. It costs you next to nothing to share such kindness with another person. […]

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One kind word can warm three winter months.

One kind word can warm three winter months. – Japanese Proverb What does that mean? This quote, like many metaphors, has much to imply. Starting with the core of it, the one kind word. The one kind word is the nice thing you say to a loved one, a friend, a neighbor, or even a […]

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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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Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I’d like to see you in better living conditions.

Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I’d like to see you in better living conditions. – Hafez of Persia What does that mean? While the English versions of Hafez’s verses are often considered more an approximation than a translation, I found this one to be quite interesting, and worthy of consideration, even if […]

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Life is painting a picture, not doing a sum.

Life is painting a picture, not doing a sum. – Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr What does that mean? Note that this is not an attempt to diminish those who are into math, but to encourage them to try something with some soul and deeper feeling, in this case, painting. The metaphor of painting a picture […]

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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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If you wish to be a writer, write.

If you wish to be a writer, write. – Epictetus What does that mean? While it is usually hard to find these quotes, I have managed to find a precise source for this quote of Epictetus. It is in his Discourses, in a section talking about how Habits are Formed. The meaning is both simple […]

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The human race is governed by its imagination.

The human race is governed by its imagination. – Napoleon What does that mean? I can’t imagine what he could possibly have meant. Well, sarcasm aside, the human imagination is responsible for almost everything we have. Someone had to imagine light at night to see in the dark before candles or light bulbs could be […]

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A kingdom founded on injustice never lasts.

A kingdom founded on injustice never lasts. – Seneca What does that mean? This is also alternately translated in the following manner: “Unjust rule never abides continually.” This quote is an interesting observation of the basics of human nature. Humans are a resilient bunch, and we are often willing to put up with a great […]

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As one falling headlong has no control over his body… so with the mind when it plunges into anger, love or the other passions.

As one falling headlong has no control over his body… so with the mind when it plunges into anger, love or the other passions. – Seneca What does that mean? While the quote is from a section where he discusses anger in specific, this passage, and quote, talks about the power of strong emotions or […]

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Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.

Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards. – Vern Law What does that mean? This is the testing method of the School of Hard Knocks, otherwise known as learning as you go.  Put another way, Experience is how you figure things out by trial and error. When you […]

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About death: Whether it is a dispersion, or a resolution into atoms, or annihilation, it is either extinction or change.

About death: Whether it is a dispersion, or a resolution into atoms, or annihilation, it is either extinction or change. – Marcus Aurelius What does that mean? Well, that’s pretty straightforward. You either cease to exist, or you change into something else. Either way, you are no longer the same, right? Not that I’m that […]

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Absorb what is useful. Discard what is not. Add what is uniquely your own.

Absorb what is useful. Discard what is not. Add what is uniquely your own. – Bruce Lee What does that mean? The first part of this quote is fairly straight forward. It is part of what learning is all about. You retain what helps you in your daily life: Pass the Test; Survive; Improve. The […]

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Associate with people who will improve you.

Associate with people who will improve you. – Seneca What does that mean? As is so often the case, the quote has been shortened to fit within the confines of the structure allowed by Twitter. The longer version of the quote is: “Withdraw into yourself, as far as you can. Associate with those who will […]

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I want you to be everything that’s you, deep at the center of your being.

I want you to be everything that’s you, deep at the center of your being. – Confucius What does that mean? Ever feel like you should be doing something else? Ever feel like something inside of you desperately wants to get out? I know that I have. To me, that is what this quote is […]

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