Quotations and Inspiration

“It is possible to be busy—very busy—without being very effective.”
Stephen R. Covey


“Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.”
Thomas Carlyle

“Some men give up their designs when they have almost reached the goal; While others, on the contrary, obtain a victory by exerting, at the last moment, more vigorous efforts than ever before.”

“Then David took his shepherd's staff, selected five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the pocket of his shepherd's pack, and with his sling in his hand approached Goliath.”
1 Samuel 17:40 MSG.

“Language is perpetually in flux: it is a living stream, shifting, changing, receiving new strength from a thousand tributaries, losing old forms in the backwaters of time. To suggest that a young writer not swim in the main stream of this turbulence would be foolish indeed, and such is not the intent of these cautionary remarks. The intent is to suggest that in choosing between the formal and the informal, the regular and the offbeat, the general and the special, the orthodox and the heretical, the beginner err on the side of conservatism, on the side of established usage. No idiom is taboo, no accent forbidden; there is simply a better chance of doing well if the writer holds a steady course, enters the stream quietly, and does not thrash about.
‘But,’ the student may ask, ‘what if it comes natural to me to experiment rather than conform? What if I am a pioneer, or even a genius?’ Answer: then be one. But do not forget that what may seem like pioneering may be merely evasion, or laziness–the disinclination to submit to discipline.”
William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White

“When you finish a thing you ought to be able to say to yourself: ‘There, I am willing to stand for that piece of work. It is not pretty well done; it is done as well as I can do it; done to a complete finish. I will stand for that. I am willing to be judged by it.'”
Orison Swett Marden

“How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and, keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most.”
Stephen R. Covey

“The fountain of content must spring up in the mind, and he who hath so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition, will waste his life in fruitless efforts and multiply the grief he proposes to remove.”
Samuel Johnson

“It is best to do things systematically, since we are only human, and disorder is our worst enemy.”


“The price of greatness is responsibility.”
Winston Churchill

Ockham's Razor: “Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem.”
Translation: Entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity.
Paraphrase: All things being equal, the simplest solution tends to be the best one.
Attributed to William of Ockham

“The best way to deal with procrastination is to postpone it.”
Anthony Robbins

“Drops wear down the stone not by strength but by constant falling. Therefore, we are taught to work tirelessly in order to master the sciences, and to allow no day to pass without a line written.”
Johann Joseph Fux

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action. And because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that actuate you. Keep the channel open.”
Martha Graham

“Get rid of self-conceit. For it is impossible for anyone to begin to learn that which he thinks he already knows.”

“An effective goal focuses primarily on results rather than activity. It identifies where you want to be, and, in the process, helps you determine where you are. It gives you important information on how to get there, and it tells you when you have arrived. It unifies your efforts and energy. It gives meaning and purpose to all you do.”
Stephen R. Covey

“That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly.”
Thomas Paine

“Measure not the work until the day's out and the labor done.”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“What is to give light must endure burning.”
Viktor Frankl


“Cogito, ergo sum.”
Translation: I think, therefore I am.
Rene Descartes

“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.”
Bob Dylan

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Enthusiasm releases the drive to carry you over obstacles and adds significance to all that you do. It tones up your physical vitality and gives warmth to all your personal relationships. When you associate with enthusiasm long enough it grabs you and takes over within you.”
Norman Vincent Peale

“Aspiration lifts the life; groveling lowers it. When we are striving for excellence in everything we do the entire life grows and expands, but if we allow our standards to drop, there is a natural progression that follows, a tendency for a downward effort in all that we do thereafter.”
Orison Swett Marden

“So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up, or quit.”
Galatians 6:9 MSG

Salutation to the Dawn
“Look to this day! For it is life, the very life of life. In its brief course lie all the verities and realities of your existence: the bliss of growth, the glory of action, the splendor of beauty; for yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow is only a vision, but today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well, therefore, to this day! Such is the salutation to the dawn.”

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

“Quod caret alterna requie, durabile non est.
Haec reparat vires, fessaque membra novat.”
Translation: That which lacks its alternations of repose will not endure;
this is what repairs the strength and renews the wearied limbs.


“For every ailment under the sun,
There is a remedy, or there is none;
If there be one, try to find it;
If there be none, never mind it.”
Mother Goose

“He that is good with a hammer tends to think everything is a nail.”
Abraham Maslow

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
Mark Twain

“Apply yourself. Get all the education you can, but then...do something.
Don't just stand there, make it happen.”
Lee Iacocca

“A well-spent day brings happy sleep.”
Leonardo da Vinci