Some of my favorite words of wisdom from others. As I keep getting a little bit of that scarce thing called “spare time” I will add to this and categorize it. Just re-reading through it sometimes helps me refocus on things that matter. Hope it does the same for you!
All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.
T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia)
Getting ahead in a difficult profession requires avid faith in yourself. That is why some people with mediocre talent, but with great inner drive, go much further than people with vastly superior talent.
I was blessed with a sense of my own destiny. I have never sold myself short. I have never judged myself by other people’s standards. I have always expected a great deal of myself, and if I fail, I fail myself.
There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will have truly defeated age.
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the most adaptable to change
To change with change is the changeless state.
It’s like a finger pointing away to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.
He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.
In the world there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong nothing can surpass it. Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.
Superior leaders get things done with very little motion. They impart instruction not through many words, but through a few deeds. They keep informed about everything but interfere hardly at all. They are catalysts, and though things would not get done as well if they weren’t there, when they succeed they take no credit. And, because they take no credit, credit never leaves them.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
The sage wears clothes of coarse cloth but carries jewels in his bosom; He knows himself but does not display himself; He loves himself but does not hold himself in high esteem.
An essential part of creativity is not being afraid to fail.
For even those who have renounced Christianity and attack it, in their inmost being still follow the Christian ideal, for hitherto neither their subtlety nor the ardor of their hearts has been able to create a higher ideal of man and of virtue than the ideal given by Christ.
The Brothers Karamazov
Men reject their prophets and slay them, but they love their martyrs and honor those they have slain.
The Brothers Karamazov
The absent are never without fault. Nor the present without excuse.
The power to destroy a thing is the absolute control over it.
Dune – Paul-Muad’Dib to the Guild navigators
Greatness is a transitory experience. It is never persistent. It depends in part upon the myth-making imagination of humankind. The person who experiences greatness must have a feeling for the myth he is in. He must reflect what is projected upon him. And he must have a strong sense of the sardonic. This is what uncouples him from belief in his own pretensions. The sardonic is all that permits him to move within himself. Without this quality, even occasional greatness will destroy a man.
Dune – from Collected Sayings of Muad’Dib by the Princess Irulan
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.
What? Men dodging this way for single bullets? Why are you dodging like this? They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distan…
Major General John Sedgwick (Said moments before being killed by a Confederate Army sharpshooter bullet)
For ourselves, we shall not trouble you with specious pretenses—either of how we have a right to our empire because we overthrew the Mede, or are now attacking you because of wrong that you have done us—and make a long speech which would not be believed; and in return we hope that you, instead of thinking to influence us by saying that you did not join the Spartans, although their colonists, or that you have done us no wrong, will aim at what is feasible, holding in view the real sentiments of us both; since you know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must….Of the gods we believe, and of men we know, that by a necessary law of their nature they rule wherever they can. And it is not as if we were the first to make this law, or to act upon it when made: we found it existing before us, and shall leave it to exist forever after us; all we do is to make use of it, knowing that you and everybody else, having the same power as we have, would do the same as we do
Thucydides (Recounting the words of the Athenian ambassador to the council of Melos, see Melian Dialoge)
If you had any knowledge of the noble things of life, you would refrain from coveting others’ possessions; but for me to die for Greece is better than to be the sole ruler over the people of my race.
King Leonidas of Sparta (When told by Persian King Xerxes he would be made King of all Greece if he would join the Persian side)
If philosophy does not resolve any scientific problem, science, in its turn, does not resolve any philosophical problem.
Truths are not relative. What is relative are opinions about truth.
The fool is disturbed not when they tell him that his ideas are false, but when they suggest that they have gone out of style.
When you succeed, the tendency is to think you’re somehow better than everyone else. You’re not. You’re just more successful. There’s a difference.
When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles.
Children of Dune
There is no escaping reason; no denying purpose. Because as we both know, without purpose, we would not exist. It is purpose that created us. Purpose that connects us. Purpose that pulls us. That guides us. That drives us. It is purpose that defines us. Purpose that binds us.
Agent Smith – The Matrix Reloaded
Never argue. To win an argument is to lose a sale.
Alfred Fuller (Fuller Brushes)