Archive | self improvement

Most men seem to live according to sense rather than reason.

Most men seem to live according to sense rather than reason. – Saint Thomas Aquinas What does that mean? To me, this quote is about the difference between sense (sensations), and reason (logic). Living according to sense is about feelings, and the sensations which provide pleasure. This is, according to the quote’s observation of the […]

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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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Never confuse movement with action.

Never confuse movement with action. – Ernest Hemingway What does that mean? This quote was related in the book by Marlene Dietrich, who added “In those five words he gave me a whole philosophy.” Let’s start with movement. Movement can be anything which causes a change in the situation, whether it’s the deck chairs on […]

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If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. – Fred DeVito What does that mean? To me, this is saying that if a situation is so normal that it offers you no challenge at all, it isn’t able to change you in any way, shape or form. Stated another way, challenges are what change […]

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Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience often comes from bad judgement. – Mulla Nasrudin What does that mean? This quote about judgement is hard to source, having been attributed to dozens of people all the way back to the 13th century. But through the centuries, it rings true. The quote, usually in two parts, says […]

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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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Reading is equivalent to thinking with someone else’s head instead of with one’s own.

Reading is equivalent to thinking with someone else’s head instead of with one’s own. – Arthur Schopenhauer What does that mean? Many of us will, from time to time, try to imagine what someone is thinking, or how they came up with an idea. If they’re nearby, you can ask. If not, you could read […]

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One of the most difficult things is not to change society – but to change yourself.

One of the most difficult things is not to change society – but to change yourself. – Nelson Mandela What does that mean? The basis of this quote is something which I have firmly believed for quite some time, having tried to change myself a few times over the years. In the mean time, I […]

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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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They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.

They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom. – Confucius What does that mean? To reuse words from the quote, this is about the only constant in life, and that is change. Everything around us is changing, and even we ourselves are changing. If we are to remain constant in our […]

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It ain’t bragging if you can back it up.

It ain’t bragging if you can back it up. – Dizzy Dean What does that mean? As there is pride, there is also confidence. And with pride, there can be a good and useful version of confidence, as well as an unhelpful version. In the case of this quote, the old term bragging is used to […]

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People are rewarded in public for what they practice for years in private.

People are rewarded in public for what they practice for years in private. – Tony Robbins   What does that mean? This is another straight forward observation of human life. When people get rewarded in public, it is rarely for something they did the very first time. Instead, people are rewarded for things they do well, and […]

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In order to derive the maximum benefit the wise thing is to take care of others.

In order to derive the maximum benefit the wise thing is to take care of others. – Dalai Lama What does that mean? I was unable to find the context for this quote, so I will presume that the quote is about the difference, and the conflict, between selfish and selfless. We all have wants and needs. […]

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He who can not endure the bad will not live to see the good.

He who can not endure the bad will not live to see the good. – Jewish Proverb What does that mean? This is a bit of practical wisdom, from a people who have known the bad times. To me, this quote is about having the toughness to survive, because life isn’t always kind. It seems […]

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The more I give to thee, the more I have, for both are infinite.

The more I give to thee, the more I have, for both are infinite. – William Shakespeare What does that mean? A slightly more complete version of the quote is as follows: My love as deep [as the sea]; the more I give to thee, The more I have, for both are infinite. While this is […]

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