This is a compilation of thoughts and quotes that I have found or written recently, as well as many that I've collected throughout the years. Most thoughts are posted randomly, as I feel inspired. A listing of quotes can be found alphabetically (check the 2008 and 2009 archives listing), or by source.

Feel free to suggest additions!

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” – Proverbs 23:7

Friday, June 18, 2010

On Courage: by Rudy Guiliani

Courage doesn't simply materialize out of thin air. Courage begins years before, often in the early days of childhood, as we forge our character. Each choice we make either strengthens or weakens it. Ultimately, it is our character that forms the unshakable, unbreakable foundation for courage.

Seven character traits that courageous people share:

1. Integrity: Go to a Place Beyond Reproach.
The point [is] not to be honest by the barest of margins. [My parents urged] me to go far past that – to a place beyond reproach. They wanted me to value integrity so much that I would be willing to stand up and fight for it.

2. Determination: Stay Strong in Adversity.
Courage isn’t the absence of fear. It is the management of fear. Courage is being afraid but then doing what you have to do anyway.

3. Compassion and Love: Look Beyond Yourself.
Revealing your love and compassion doesn’t weaken your leadership. It makes it stronger. Love – not duty – is what makes a firefighter run into a flaming building to save someone he or she has never met.

4. Wisdom: Learn from Others Wiser Than Yourself.
Our experiences mold and shape our wisdom. However, we can save ourselves some pain by learning from the wisdom of others. King Solomon said, “Listen, my child, to what your father teaches you. Don’t neglect your mother’s teaching. What you learn from them will crown you with grace and clothe you with honor.”

Courageous people are lifelong learners and apply wisdom from the difficult situations they encounter.

5. Hope: Encourage Optimism.
In the depths of the Depression, during his first inaugural address, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to converts retreat into advance.

Fear parlayzes. Hope mobilizes.

6. Composure: Don’t Let Emotion Override Wisdom.
The more emotional things get, the calmer you have to become to figure your way out. As the adage goes, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” If you worry or panic about the small, day-to-day events in your life, you won’t be prepared for the big ones.

7. Faith: Gain Strength from God.
Prayer and faith in God give us a strength that’s impossible to attain any other way. Perhaps that’s why most of us, when the chips are down, stop and pray for guidance and strength.

Choices and Character
No magic formula can completely prepare us for crises in life. However, each choice we make now will impact how we handle those crises in the future. Make your choices count. Dedicate time each day to developing your character. If you do, courage will be there when you need it most.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Quotes by Gordon B. Hinckley

Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds.

Stop looking for the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight.

Give expression to the noble desires that lie in your heart.

Forget yourself and get to work.

I am totally in the hands of the Lord.

Be believing, be happy, don't get discouraged. Things will work out.
A prominent judge was asked what we, as citizens of the countries of the world, could do to reduce crime and disobedience to law and to bring peace and contentment into our lives and into our nations. He thoughtfully replied, "I would suggest a return to the old-fashioned practice of family prayer.”

Our kindness may be the most persuasive argument for that which we believe.

If life gets too hard to stand, kneel.

Truly, my dear young friends, you are a chosen generation. I hope you will never forget it. I hope you will never take it for granted. I hope there will grow in your hearts an overpowering sense of gratitude to God, who has made it possible for you to come upon the earth in this marvelous season of the world's history.

Our lives are the only meaningful expression of what we believe and in Whom we believe. And the only real wealth, for any of us, lies in our faith.

Respect for self is the beginning of cultivating virtue in men and women.

You can be smart and happy or stupid and miserable. . . it's your choice.

Good books are as friends, willing to give to us if we are willing to make a little effort.

Faith in something greater than ourselves enables us to do what we have said we'll do, to press forward when we are tired or hurt or afraid, to keep going when the challenge seems overwhelming and the course is entirely uncertain.

Try a little harder to be a little better.

Get on your knees and pray, then get on your feet and work. Believe in Jesus Christ, our Savior and our Redeemer, the Son of God, who came to earth and walked the dusty roads of Palestine-the Son of God-to teach us the way of truth and light and salvation, and who, in one great and glorious act offered an atonement for each of us. He opened the way of salvation and exaltation for each of us, under which we may go forward in the Church and kingdom of God. Be not faithless, but believe in the great and wonderful and marvelous blessings of the Atonement.

You have not failed until you quit trying.

True love is not so much a matter of romance as it is a matter of anxious concern for the well-being of one's companion.

Generally speaking, the most miserable people I know are those who are obsessed with themselves; the happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others...By and large, I have come to see that if we complain about life, it is because we are thinking only of ourselves.

Cultivate an attitude of happiness. Cultivate a spirit of optimism. Walk with faith, rejoicing in the beauties of nature, in the goodness of those you love, in the testimony which you carry in your heart concerning things divine.

Be grateful, be smart, be clean, be true, be humble, be prayerful.

Mediocricy will never do. You are capable of something better.

Let us never forget to pray. God lives. He is near. He is real. He is not only aware of us but cares for us. He is our Father. He is accessible to all who will seek Him.

Aim high, but do not aim so high that you totally miss the target. What really matters is that he will love you, that he will respect you, that he will honor you, that he will be absolutely true to you, that he will give you the freedom of expression and let you fly in the development of your own talents. He is not going to be perfect, but if he is kind and thoughtful, if he knows how to work and earn a living, if he is honest and full of faith, the chances are you will not go wrong, that you will be immensely happy.

The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.

Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, but with great purpose in heart.

The time has come for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial mission of this, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It isn't as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don't worry. I say that to myself every morning. It all works out in the end. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. He will not forsake us. If we will put our trust in Him, if we will pray to Him, if we will live worthy of His blessings, He will hear our prayers.

You can't plow a field simply by turning it over in your mind.

Get on your knees and pray, then get on your feet and work.

God has brought us together as families to bring to pass His eternal purposes. We are part of this plan in this marriage relationship. let us love and respect and honor one another. We can do it, and we will be the better for it.

The willingness to forgive is a sign of spiritual and emotional maturity. It is one of the great virtues to which we all should aspire. Imagine a world filled with individuals willing both to apologize and to accept an apology. Is there any problem that could not be solved among people who possessed the humility and largeness of spirit and soul to do either -- or both -- when needed?

It is both relaxing and invigorating to occasionally set aside the worries of life, seek the company of a friendly book...from the reading of 'good books' there comes a richness of life that can be obtained in no other way.

Be believing, be happy, don't get discouraged. Things will work out.

Love is the very essence of life. It is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Yet it is not found only at the end of the rainbow. Love is at the beginning also, and from it springs the beauty that arched across the sky on a stormy day. Love is the security for which children weep, the yearning of youth, the adhesive that binds marriage, and the lubricant that prevents devastating friction in the home; it is the peace of old age, the sunlight of hope shining through death. How rich are those who enjoy it in their associations with family, friends, and neighbors! Love, like faith, is a gift of God. It is also the most enduring and most powerful virtue.

Through all of living have much joy and laughter, life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.

It is not so much the major events as the small day-to-day decisions that map the course of our living. Our lives are, in reality, the sum total of our seemingly unimportant decisions and of our capacity to live by those decisions.

How sweet is the assurance, how comforting is the peace that come from the knowledge that if we marry right and live right, our relationship will continue, notwithstanding the certainty of death and the passage of time. Men may write love songs and sing them. They may yearn and hope and dream. But all of this will be only a romantic longing unless there is an exercise of authority that transcends the powers of time and death.

There are four pillars to a happy marriage: respect one another as individuals; give soft answers; practice financial honesty; conduct family prayer.

Do your best, and be a little better than you are.

When I say do your best, I mean your very best. You are capable of so much more.

Marriage in its truest sense, is a partnership of equals, with neither exercising dominion over the other, but, rather, with each encouraging and assisting the other in whatever responsibilities and aspirations he or she might have.

Being humble means recognizing that we are not on earth to see how important we can become, but to see how much difference we can make in the lives of others.

You are doing the best you can, and that best results in good to yourself and to others. Do not nag yourself with a sense of failure. Get on your knees and ask for the blessings of the Lord;then stand on your feet and do what you are asked to do."

There is something wonderful about a book. We can pick it up. We can heft it. We can read it. We can set it down. We can think of what we have read. It does something for us. We can share great minds, great actions, and great undertakings in the pages of a book.

Things work out, it isn't as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out, don't worry. I say that to myself every morning. It will all work out. If you do your best, it will all work out. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. If we will put our trust in him, if we will pray to him, if we will live worthy of his blessings, he will hear our prayers.

Carry on.  Things will work out.  If you keep trying and praying and working, things will work out.  they always do.  If you want to die at an early age, dwell on the negative.  Accentuate the positive, and you'll be around for awhile.

See also:
Quotes by Thomas S. Monson

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wisdom on Managing Stress

Do you realize that if you took the fear, worry, and anxiety out of every stressful situation in your life, the end result of that situation would still occur? You can panic and freak out all you want, but time will still pass and the end of that moment will still happen, whether you freak out or not. So why not choose something different? When do fear, worry, and anxiety ever really help a situation?

So what is stress? It's the inability to move through a situation logically, peacefully, positively, productively, and gracefully. To be stressed out takes lots of energy. Being stressed out can severely affect how well you'll sleep at night. Stress is when you assess blame and don't take responsibility. ("I'm stressed out because of____, and that's why I can't____.") Don't let stress be your scapegoat.

There's a story about 10 people in line at a bank when three armed robbers come flying in, screaming and yelling and pointing guns. They terrorize everyone and steal all their money. The moral of the story is that these 10 people will be affected by this experience in 10 different ways. The two extremes range from one having a wild story to tell at work the next day to another being severely traumatized for the rest of his or her life. Where would you fall in that spectrum?

There's a saying that there are three kinds of business: "God's business"—things that happen in this world that are out of my control; "their business"—the choices other people make based on their life experiences so far; and "my business"—the choices I make that shape my life. If I focus on what I have to do to make my life the best it can be, and NOT on God's and everyone else's business, I will have less stress, which in turn will give me the energy to live the life I've always wanted.

Don't waste your time on gossip, ridicule, envy, self-pity, anger, guilt, arrogance, need, impatience, regret, manipulation, jealousy, fear, worry, and anxiety, because they'll zap your energy and cause you stress!

Choose understanding, truth, clarity, patience, devotion, gratitude, vulnerability, acceptance, wisdom, hope, forgiveness, empathy, discipline, perseverance, community, and peace. Because if you do, you will gladly kiss stress goodbye and say hello to all the energy you'll need.

- Tony Horton