Archive | thinking

If you desire to make a difference in the world, you must be different from the world.

If you desire to make a difference in the world, you must be different from the world. – Elaine S. Dalton What does that mean? How much change will happen if everyone is the same? If everyone thinks the same, acts the same, and no one is different, how can change happen at all? That […]

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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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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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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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When anger enters the mind, wisdom departs.

When anger enters the mind, wisdom departs – Thomas à Kempis What does that mean? Anger. In moderation it can be somewhat useful as a motivator. But how rarely is it used in moderation? It seems to run past moderation rather quickly, on the path to excess far too often. That is the warning of […]

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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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How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks.

How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks. – Marcus Aurelius What does that mean? This is a shorter, Twiter-friendly version of a passage from his book Meditations regarding time, and the efficient use thereof. The more complete quote is listed below: “How much […]

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The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision

The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision. – Helen Keller What does that mean? This is an interesting quote from a blind person about the difference between having sight, and having vision. Sight is a function of the eyes, and allows us to see. This is something a blind person […]

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Ab uno disce omnes. – From one, learn all.

Ab uno disce omnes. – From one, learn all. – Virgil What does that mean? This has usually been translated to mean that we would be well served to learn the general rule which governs most situations. We must also remember that where there is a rule, there is always an exception, and that we […]

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Even people opposed to religion need calm minds and compassion to make their work more effective.

Even people opposed to religion need calm minds and compassion to make their work more effective. – Dalai Lama What does that mean? This quote talks about how calm minds and compassion is useful to everyone, even those who do not have religious beliefs or are opposed to religion. Compassion does not require religion to […]

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I cannot tell you that I lose nothing, but whatever I do lose I can tell you how and why the loss occurred.

I cannot tell you that I lose nothing, but whatever I do lose I can tell you how and why the loss occurred. – Seneca What does that mean? In the original text, he is moving between discussing the value of time and money, but the title of the section is on saving time. In […]

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We have to try to solve local problems keeping global interests in mind.

We have to try to solve local problems keeping global interests in mind. – Dalai Lama What does that mean? This quote is about solving problems. We all have problems, issues, troubles, or whatever word you prefer to use. And we all need to solve them. It is not about the actual mechanics of the solution, […]

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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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Let us train our minds to desire what the situation demands.

Let us train our minds to desire what the situation demands. – Seneca What does that mean? This is not the best citation ever, but that’s all I have. I find this interesting due to the way it is stated, which is mostly backwards. Reversed, the quote states “Whatever the situation demands, we should train […]

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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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