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Sunday, June 17, 2007


motivational inspirational quotes for self-development, personal fulfillment, management, leadership, ethical business, organisational development and life

BIG ONE.. Better eat something b4 u read this.. :)

Anthony Seldon is a pioneering educationist. His ideas about developing young people apply just the same to developing grown-ups. Here is a quote which captures very well his philosophy for what a school should be, and as I say, the principles transfer naturally to the workplace:

"This is about helping children become themselves. What is a school if it isn't helping people find what they want to do? I don't just mean careers. I mean teaching how to sing, dance, paint, act, write poetry, play tennis, play the guitar. We'd be a better, more harmonious society if people had these interests developed when they were young. But they don't. That's a cause of depression. And the things I'm talking about: children need them here [in school], but the more deprived the background, the less the infrastructure at home, the greater the need. If schools aren't going to do these things, who is?" (Anthony Seldon, writer, educationist, school head, and advocate of developing young people's personal potential, as opposed to merely giving instruction to fit the university-to-career sausage machine. From an interview with Peter Wilby in May 2007, in which Seldon also references Gardner's Multiple Intelligence theory and its crucial relevance to developing young people. See also Erik Erikson's theory on life stages - notably school years, and the working years too - to understand why so many people grow up with no sense of value, purpose, or belief in their ability to make a contribution to life. Just as schools must improve the way they develop young people, so business and employers must improve the way they develop adults.)

"If rulers learn to undervalue the lives of their own subjects by the custom of war, how much more do they undervalue the lives of their enemies! As they learn to hear of the loss of five hundred or a thousand of their own men, with perhaps less feeling than they would hear of the death of a favorite horse or dog, so they learn to hear of the death of thousands after thousands on the side of the enemy with joy and exultation." (Noah Worcester, aka Philo Pacificus, 1758-1837, American writer, pacifist and minister, from A Solemn Review of the Custom of War, 1814, transcribed by Tom Lock.)

"I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their life". (generally attributed to Leo Tolstoy, 1828-1910, Russian novelist and philosopher - if you know the actual source please tell me.)

"The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him." (Leo Tolstoy, 1828-1910, Russian novelist and philosopher, from The Kingdom of God is within You, chapter 3, 1894, translated by Constance Garnett and transcribed by Tom Lock.)

"There are no conditions of life to which a man cannot get accustomed, especially if he sees them accepted by everyone about him." (Leo Tolstoy, 1828-1910, Russian novelist and philosopher, from Anna Karenina, part 7 chapter 13, 1875-7, translated by Rosemary Edmonds.)

"Our body is a machine for living. It is organized for that, it is its nature. Let life go on it unhindered and let it defend itself, it will do more than if you paralyse it by encumbering it with remedies." (Leo Tolstoy, 1828-1910, Russian novelist and philosopher, from War and Peace, 1865-9, book 10 chapter 29, translated by A & L Maude.)

"Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." (Hubert H Humphrey, 1911-78, American Democratic politician.)

"Get involved in an issue that you're passionate about. It almost doesn't matter what it is ... We give too much of our power away, to the professional politicians, to the lobbyists, to cynicism. And our democracy suffers as a result." (Barack Obama, b.1961, US senator for Illinois and US presidential alternative, from a publicity interview about his 2006 book, Audacity of Hope.)

"When you focus on solving problems instead of scoring political points, and emphasize common sense over ideology, you'd be surprised what can be accomplished." (Barack Obama, b.1961, US senator for Illinois and US presidential alternative, from a publicity interview about his 2006 book, Audacity of Hope.)

"How doth the little busy bee improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day from every opening flower."
(Isaac Watts, 1674-1748, English independent minister and hymn writer, from 'Against Idleness and Mischief' in which also appears the famous expression: "For Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do.")

"Don't hurry, don't worry. You're only here for a short visit. So be sure to stop and smell the flowers." (Walter C Hagen, 1892-1969, American world champion golfer, from the New York Times, 22 May 1977.)

"Everything is data." (This expression, whose origin is unclear and is probably untraceable, most typically occurs in the field of information management, but its meaning comes to life when used in the context of human relationships and behaviour. To explain: in the information management context the operative word is 'everything', meaning that every piece of information is relevant and is worthy of recording and analysing. This of course is perfectly fine, and is true for many situations. However in the human relationships context, 'data' is the operative word, meaning that everything (whatever it is) should be regarded objectively and non-judgementally. Data isn't necessarily good or bad. Data just 'is'. As such, "Everything is data," reminds us of the importance of seeing things for what they are, and not how we feel about them. The expression helps us to be objective and fair, and to put our feelings and emotions to one side when reacting and making decisions, especially when our reactions and decisions affect others. Thanks B Heyn for inspiring this.)

"No cord nor cable can so forcibly draw, or hold so fast, as love can do with a twined thread." (Robert Burton, 1577-1640, English writer and clergyman, from The Anatomy of Melancholy, written 1621-51.)

"I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended." (Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, born 1918, South African lawyer, statesman and 1993 Nobel Peace Prizewinner. This quote is from Mandela's inspirational 1994 book, Long Walk to Freedom.)

"It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth - and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had." (Dr Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, 1926-2004, psychiatrist, humanitarian, teacher, author, and pioneer of bereavement and hospice care. Used with permission, with thanks to www.ekrfoundation.org and www.elisabethkublerross.com.)

"It is in exchanging the gifts of the earth that you shall find abundance and be satisfied. Yet unless the exchange be in love and kindly justice it will but lead some to greed and others to hunger." (Kahlil Gibran, 1883-1931, Syrian writer, poet and artist, from his inspirational book The Prophet)

"In one of my classes I ask my students to write on the subject, 'If I were to die tomorrow, how would I live tonight?' Answering this question always brings great insight." (Professor Leo F Buscaglia, 1924-1998, teacher, writer and humanitarian, from his remarkable book, Love, 1972.)

"Carpe Diem" ('Seize the day', Horace, 65-8BC, Roman poet, from 'Odes' Book 1.)

"Aut Viam Invenium Aut Facium" ('Where there's a will there's a way', literally, 'I'll either find a way or make one'.)

"Cogito Ergo Sum" ('I think, therefore I exist', popularised by René Descartes, 1596-1650, French philosopher, from Discourse on Method, 1637.)

"Facta Non Verba" ('Actions speak louder than words', literally, 'Deeds not words'.)

"We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are." (Attributed to Anais Nin, French-born American writer, 1903-1977.)

"The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances." (Martha Washington, 1731-1802, wife of US President George Washington and the first US First Lady, 1789-1797. Ack Douglas Miller, writer, who features this quote in his excellent book 'Positive Thinking, Positive Action'.)

"While you teach, you learn." (Based on the words of Seneca The Younger, 4BC-AD65, Roman philosopher and poet: "Even while men teach, men learn", from Epistulae Morales 7:viii.)

"Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they're yours." (Richard Bach, b.1936, American writer and pilot, from his 1977 book, Illusions.)

"If you don't know what port you are sailing to, no wind is favourable." (Seneca 'The Younger', 4BC-AD65, Roman philosopher and poet, translated loosely from the original Latin: "Ignoranti, quem portum petat, nullus suus ventus est", from Epistulae Morales 73:iii.)

"It is the weak who are cruel. Gentleness can only be expected from the strong." (Leo Rosten, 1908-1997, US academic, teacher and writer, as referenced by Leo Buscaglia in his 1972 book called Love.)

"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care." (Variously attributed, including almost certainly wrongly to Theodore Roosevelt. Most likely origin seems to be Don Swartz, a US broadcaster and entertainer. A different Don Swartz, an American change management consultant and writer has confirmed he is not the author of this quote. If you know for sure please tell me. Ack L Harris.)

"Cerca Trova" ('Seek and you shall find', or 'He who searches shall find' an old Italian saying, pronounced 'cherka-trohva'. The saying originally appears - although not in Italian of course - in the Bible, Matthew VII;vii as "Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you." The later Italian 'Cerca Trova' version partly owes its popularity to the artist Giorgio Vasari who used it in a fresco he painted on a wall of The Hall of Five Hundred in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence around 1563. The words Cerca Trova appear on a soldier's banner, and are believed by some to be a reference to the great 'lost' mural by Leonardo da Vinci, The Battle of Anghiari, painted around 1500, depicting the Florentine victory over Milan, which previously adorned the wall and which Vasari was commissioned to cover in celebration of the ruling Medici family. Efforts are ongoing in Florence to solve the mystery of whether Leonardo's painting is indeed hidden and recoverable beneath Vasari's work.)

"If you don't create your reality, your reality will create you." (Lizzie West, b.1973, American singer-songwriter. Incidentally Lizzie West, aside from her wonderful talent, humanitarian philosophy and social justice activities, also wrote and performed a beautiful interpretation of the Mary Frye poem, 'Do not stand at my grave and weep', which appears on her CD 'Holy Road: Freedom Songs', track title 'Prayer'. Lizzie West's second album is an exceptional work too.)

"In the factory we make cosmetics. In the store we sell hope." (Charles Revson, 1906-75, founder of the Revlon corporation, as quoted by his biographer Andrew Tobias in the 1976 book Fire and Ice. While Revson is not a great model for responsible and compassionate leadership, this quote illustrates well an essential aspect of business and selling and communications, ie., that people need to know what something means to them, beyond what something merely is.)

"The salary of the chief executive of the large corporation is not a market award for achievement. It is frequently in the nature of a warm personal gesture by the individual to himself." (John Kenneth Galbraith, 1908-2006, American economist and social responsibility advocate - the quote is from Annals of an Abiding Liberal, 1980, and sadly it remains widely applicable today.)

"I forget what I was taught, I only remember what I've learnt." (Patrick White, 1912-90, Australian novelist and 1973 Nobel Prizewinner for Literature, from The Solid Mandala, 1966)

"The best careers advice to give to the young is 'Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it'." (Katherine Whitehorn, b.1926, English journalist and writer, from The Observer in 1975 - the principle applies today still, and to grown-up careers too..)

"How can I take an interest in my work when I don't like it?" (Francis Bacon, 1909-93, English philosopher and statesman, attributed.)

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." (John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, aka Lord Acton of Aldenham, 1834-1902, English historian and founding editor of the Cambridge Modern History, in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton, 1887. We've all heard the quote, but not many know its origins.)

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." (Anne Frank, 1929-45, German Jewish diarist and holocaust victim, from The Diary of Anne Frank, first published in 1947.)

"In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart." (Anne Frank, 1929-45, German Jewish diarist and holocaust victim, from The Diary of Anne Frank, entry dated 15 July 1944.)

"Compassion is not a sloppy sentimental feeling for people who are underprivileged or sick... it is an absolutely practical belief that regardless of a person's background, ability or ability to pay, he should be provided with the best that society has to offer." (Neil Kinnock, b.1942, Welsh Labour politician, from his maiden speech in 1970.)

"Once the last tree is cut and the last river poisoned, you will find you cannot eat your money." (Traditional saying, referenced by Joyce McLean in the Globe and Mail, 1989.)

"My barn having burned to the ground, I can now see the moon." (Traditional Japanese haiku verse teaching us to see the good in all things, referenced by Leo Buscaglia in his 1972 book called Love.)

"I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness I can show to any fellow-creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again." (Variously attributed to quakers Stephen Grellet, 1773-1855, and William Penn, 1644-1718, and to Mahatma Gandhi, 1869-1948, Indian spiritual leader, humanitarian and constitutional independence reformer. This quote is also shown as a slightly different version, as below.)

"I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness I can show to any fellow human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again." (Variously attributed to quakers Stephen Grellet, 1773-1855, and William Penn, 1644-1718, and to Mahatma Gandhi, 1869-1948, Indian spiritual leader, humanitarian and constitutional independence reformer. This quote is also shown as a slightly different version, as above.)

"If you don't know where you are going you will probably end up somewhere else." (Laurence Peter, 1919-90, Canadian academic and expert on organised hierarchies, from his 1969 book The Peter Principle.)

"There is hardly anything in the world that some man can't make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey." (John Ruskin, 1819-1900, English art critic and social commentator, thanks R Parker)

And some more lovely Ruskin quotes:

"There is no wealth but life."

"Better the rudest work that tells a story or records a fact, than the richest without meaning."

"To know anything well involves a profound sensation of ignorance."

"Let us reform our schools and we shall find little reform needed in our prisons."

"The essence of lying is in deception, not in words." (See the Mehrabian item for related theory and explanation.)

"Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness."

(John Ruskin, 1819-1900, English art critic and social commentator)

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