Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Searching for a little work-life inspiration

I have a thing for inspirational quotes. It started back when I was in high school, I think -- in the yearbook, seniors each got an entire page to do with as they liked, and it was traditional to include at least one, usually several, quotes. So I started collecting them in a little fabric-covered book, which I still have. I filled that book, started a second one, and then just kept jotting them down on random post-it notes and scraps of paper. Eventually, when I got an email address in the 1990s, I started collecting them in a folder online.

I came upon a stash of those little scraps of paper while trying to declutter my house, and all decluttering ground to a halt while I re-read these snippets of inspiration. Some are long, like The Desiderata by Max Ehrmann (which begins "Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence" and offers up wisdom in every line), but others are short and sweet.

Here are a few of the quotes that have always hit home with me:

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." - Albert Einstein

"One should count each day a separate life." - Seneca (B.C. 3-65 A.D.)

"If it ain't so, act like it is so, until it is so." - Anon.

"When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt." - Henry J. Kaiser

"Shine like fire, that mirrors nothing." - Wallace Stevens

"It's the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top. Here's where things grow. ... But of course, without the top you can't have any sides. It's the top that defines the sides." - Robert Pirzig

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." - John 1:5

"Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing." - Thomas A. Edison

"The person who knows how will always have a job. The person who knows why will always be his boss." - Diane Ravitch

"It's amazing what you can do if you don't know you can't do it." - Anon.

What words inspire you?

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