Eclectic quotations accumulating in Hell's Kitchen, NY, USA.


"Humility is the embarrassment you feel when you tell people how wonderful you are".
-- Laurence J. Peter


"Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation."
-- Life's Little Instruction Book


"I never came upon any of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking".
-- Albert Einstein


"It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it."
-- Albert Einstein


"Many people are wanting to fan your flames of discomfort, because they
believe that "you're either with us or against us; if you don't stand in
the same disgust and horror that we are all standing, then you are not
with us." It's hard for people to understand that you can not agree with
them -- and not be against them. That you could be for something without
being against something else."
-- Abraham-Hicks


"If you want an average successful life, it doesn’t take much planning. Just stay out of trouble, go to school, and apply for jobs you might like. But if you want something extraordinary, you have two paths:

1. Become the best at one specific thing.
2. Become very good (top 25%) at two or more things.

The first strategy is difficult to the point of near impossibility. Few people will ever play in the NBA or make a platinum album. I don’t recommend anyone even try.

The second strategy is fairly easy. Everyone has at least a few areas in which they could be in the top 25% with some effort. In my case, I can draw better than most people, but I’m hardly an artist. And I’m not any funnier than the average standup comedian who never makes it big, but I’m funnier than most people. The magic is that few people can draw well and write jokes. It’s the combination of the two that makes what I do so rare. And when you add in my business background, suddenly I had a topic that few cartoonists could hope to understand without living it.

I always advise young people to become good public speakers (top 25%). Anyone can do it with practice. If you add that talent to any other, suddenly you’re the boss of the people who have only one skill. Or get a degree in business on top of your engineering degree, law degree, medical degree, science degree, or whatever. Suddenly you’re in charge, or maybe you’re starting your own company using your combined knowledge.

Capitalism rewards things that are both rare and valuable. You make yourself rare by combining two or more “pretty goods” until no one else has your mix. I didn’t spend much time with the script supervisor, but it was obvious that her verbal/writing skills were in the top tier as well as her people skills. I’m guessing she also has a high attention to detail, and perhaps a few other skills in the mix. Probably none of those skills are best in the world, but together they make a strong package. Apparently she’s been in high demand for decades.

At least one of the skills in your mixture should involve communication, either written or verbal. And it could be as simple as learning how to sell more effectively than 75% of the world. That’s one. Now add to that whatever your passion is, and you have two, because that’s the thing you’ll easily put enough energy into to reach the top 25%. If you have an aptitude for a third skill, perhaps business or public speaking, develop that too.

It sounds like generic advice, but you’d be hard pressed to find any successful person who didn’t have about three skills in the top 25%.

What are your three?"

-- Scott Adams, on his Dilbert Blog.


"Fear not for the future, weep not for the past."
-- Percy Bysshe Shelley
,English poet


"As children, we lived our lives using the more the creative “right” side of our brain. As we got older, we had a tendency to pull away from our right side and rely more on the intellectual “left” side of our brain. Layers upon layers of life’s issues begin to attach to us, and slowly we can no longer feel our spirit as we once did. This week try doing something creative, such as taking a class where you can sketch, draw, write, paint, color, sing, or do whatever works for you. Wake up your spirit as you get back in the flow of using your creative and intuitive side once again".
-- John Holland


"When others start telling us their problems, too many of us respond instantly with what we believe would be best. Quick responses or quick fixes are not always the best way, since that person may only be venting or expressing their thoughts. Sometimes we must recognize when it’s right to be silent. Sometimes that soul needs to go through what it is they’re experiencing currently in their life. Who are we to pull them from that souls lesson? Use your intuition wisely for a more considered response — if one is really needed".
-- John Holland


"I want my funeral to be a real happy time. I want everybody laughing and remembering how crazy I was."
-- Tammy Faye Bakker, 1942-2007, as told to Larry King, and quoted in her obituary in today's New York Times.


"Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated."
-- Coretta Scott King


"I think the one lesson I have learned is that there is no substitute for paying attention."
-- Diane Sawyer


"When someone does something good, applaud! You will make two people happy."
-- Samuel Goldwyn


"You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."
-- Jack London


"Whether or not you write well, write bravely."
-- Bill Stout


"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself."
-- Josh Billings


"Do you have a purpose? Do you have a calling? Do you have a vocation?...I want to suggest to you that whether or not you have a job, everyone has a vocation, and that vocation is to live a life that is worth living. The best advice I can give is that which St. Paul gives us in Romans 12, where he says to the likes of you, who all look alike from here, ''Be not conformed to this world.'' Do not join the throng. Don't get lost in the crowd. Don't be a part of the cookie-manufactured college generation, but stake out for yourselves some extraordinary, maybe even eccentric, piece and place of the world, and make it your own".
-- Rev. Peter J. Gomes


"Lesson No. 1: You cannot plan the rest of your life". 
-- John Grisham


"I was a songwriter, I was struggling, and I loved it. I wanted to be the greatest songwriter. I was writing about everything -- everything I saw. But I was not making money, and I finally agreed with everyone I ever talked to who knew me, who said, ''Boy, you need to get a job -- a real one.'' So I got a job on the Ford assembly line. And every day I watched how a bare metal frame rolling down the line would come off the other end a spanking brand-new car. Wow, I thought. What a great idea. Maybe I can do the same thing with my music -- create a place where a kid off the street can walk in one door an unknown and come out another door a star. That little thought that came to me while running up and down that assembly line at Ford Motor Company became a reality you now know as Motown."
-- Berry Gordy


"It has been a wonderful life. I feel like a jug into which wine is
poured until it overflows."

-- Lady Bird Johnson, 1912-2007


"Inspiration comes forth from within. It's what the light burning within
you is about, as opposed to motivation, which is doing it because if you
don't do it, there will be negative repercussions. Motivation is making
myself do something that I don't really want to do. Inspiration is
having the clear picture of what I am wanting -- and letting Universal
forces come into play to get the outcome".
-- Abraham-Hicks


"A dream becomes a goal when action is taken toward its achievement".
-- Bo Bennett


"The vision that you glorify in your mind, the ideal that you enthrone in your heart - this you will build your life by, and this you will become".
-- James Allen


"I am an optimist. I am short, and short people can only see the glass as half full. So optimize who you are and what you are. Optimize your experiences and what you have learned. Optimize others. Optimize your opportunities. Seize them and do meaningful things".  -- Shirley Ann Jackson


"We all have things that oftentimes we're upset about, or ashamed of, or
feel guilty over, and so many people carry these enormous burdens
around. One of the great gifts of faith is to let it go."

-- Hillary Rodham Clinton


"Every time you say, 'I appreciate that. I really like that. I applaud that. I acknowledge the value in that.' Every time you do that, you spend some of your Energy, and it is the spending of the Energy that creates a vacuum, so to speak, or an attraction, so to speak, that draws more and more and more and more".
-- Abraham-Hicks


"If you want your life to be a magnificent story, then begin by
realizing that you are the author and every day you have the opportunity
to write a new page."

-- Mark Houlahan, on the chalkboard at Giorgio's Grill this morning.


"This is a working day in the rest of the world, and, for that matter, a working day in the middle of the working week. The Fourth of July, a day that is central to our sense of our own history, will pass uncapitalized around the rest of the globe. It’s a local holiday, after all, nevermind how large our idea of local may be.

"But the idea of freedom is not local. It is universal. Even in these very difficult times, four years deep into a war that has turned much of the world against this country, when some political leaders seek to arrogate the idea of freedom as their own political preserve, the universal freedom described in the Declaration of Independence remains a fundamental truth.

"Our own domestic history has made it clear how deeply acculturated that original idea of freedom really was, but also how difficult it has been, and still is, to win political and economic freedom for every American. The desire for freedom is part of human nature. But what matters as much as the principle of freedom is the practice of it.

"Ideas have a way of recommending themselves by the behavior of the men and women who hold them, and this is no less true of nations. The question isn’t simply whether we can project our ideal of freedom around the world. The question is whether, by who we are and how we behave, we can make the freedom that animates us compelling to others.

"The country looks inward on the Fourth of July — not in introspection, but in an easy, comfortable sense of historical gratification. Yet this is a good day to look outward as well.

"It is a day to ask how good a job — from the world’s perspective — we are doing living up to the principles enunciated in the Declaration of Independence, whether we have done enough to make those sonorous old rights seem like more than a limited case in a limited argument. The answer is more equivocal than we like to believe. But the ideal is one that must drive us all."

-- Editorial, The New York Times.


"The bridge from challenge to reality is built with inspiration."
-- Deb Siber


"Maturity begins to grow when you can sense your concern for others outweighing your concern for yourself." 
-- John Macnaughton


"The tragedy of life does not lie, young folk, in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach. It is not a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream. It is not a disaster to not be able to capture your ideals, but it is a disaster to have no ideals to capture. It is not a disgrace to not be able to reach all the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for".
-- Tavis Smiley