Good quotes offer a quick hit of wisdom. Those that resonate provide an "aha"- a delicious moment of shared insight. Does it matter who said them? Do we appreciate wisdom independent of its source, or is it the source that influences our idea of what is wise? For me quotes are windows to the values of an individual. Come be a voyeur with me...
Michaelangelo, famous artist of the Italian renaissance, had lofty standards. Is this a mark of greatness? Understandable if it’s true. Does his quote motivate or intimidate?
"The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it's too low and we achieve it."
Amelia Earhart, the first female pilot to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, said something similar from an adventurer's perspective. Please note that she mysteriously disappeared while flying over the Pacific Ocean in 1937.
"Decide whether the goal is worth the risks involved. If it is, stop worrying."
Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States, preserved the Union during the U.S. Civil War and brought about the emancipation of slaves. Here's his pragmatic advice.
"Be sure you put your feet in the right place. Then stand firm."
Gloria Steinem, feminist activist, says this about fighting for what you believe. Makes sense to me.
"The truth will set you free, but first, it will piss you off."
Bill Gates, accomplished inventor, business leader and philanthropist, shares this from his experience. It makes me think.
"Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose."
Maya Angelou, renowned author and poet, uses her gift with words to both inspire and caution us.
"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style."
"If you're always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be."
"You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them."
"Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet."
"If you get, give; if you learn, teach."
"People will forget what you said, forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
Albert Einstein is a recognized genius in theoretical physics. Should we automatically assume his genius extends to his philosophy of life?
"Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid. "
"Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think."
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."
"If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects."
Anyone who has never made a mistake, has never tried anything new."
Judi Dench, Oscar winning actress and author, sums up her approach to living this way.
"I think you should take your job seriously but not yourself."
So many quotes to stimulate our thinking…
What's your favorite?