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

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Core Commitments: What is Most Important to You

One of the most powerful ways to expand your perspective and re-orient effectively is to reconnect with your core commitments – the values and purpose that mean most to you in life.

Anyone who has watched a triathlon knows that trailing well behind the leaders is an amazing group of physically challenged athletes who compete with the aid of prostheses and modified bikes. These people have chosen to act on their core commitments rather than succumb to a victim mentality. They are quick to let you know that although they may be disadvantaged, they are not disabled.

Many [people] become great leaders because they’ve endured and learned powerful lessons from horrible life experiences. While some people collapse from these situations, leaders find their way and come through them stronger, wiser and more inspiring to others. How? Core commitments are a big part of the answer.

A commitment is a choice. Your core commitments are choices so central to your being that you never release them. Physically challenged athletes have discovered their passion for competing and making the most of opportunities, whatever it takes. Parents have discovered they will sacrifice their lives for their children. [People] who identify and then persistently act on their core commitments tend to stay creative, resilient, engaging, and more successful over time.

The I-Beam
Imagine that someone has securely placed a steel I-beam on the curb, spanning the width of a city street. The beam is but 7 inches off the ground, all traffic has been stopped, and someone offers you $1,000 to walk across the beam to the other corner. Would you do it? Of course.

What if the beam was raised to a height of 10 feet off the ground, and now they offer you $20,000 to walk across it? Some would no doubt consider it.

Finally, the beam is moved to a height of 290 feet, spanning a narrow, 80-foot-wide canyon in southwestern Colorado. Heavy winds blow up and down the canyon all day long. Would you walk across it for the same $20,000? For $50,000? Probably not.

How about if the person offering you the money dangled your young child, or someone dear to you over the edge and threatened to drop them? Would you walk across the I-beam to save them? You bet. Think about the things in your life you would be willing to walk the I-beam for. These are your core commitments.

When you find yourself stuck, disoriented or momentarily knocked on your keister, take time to reflect and then act on your core commitments. They will guide effective choices that leave you fulfilled and encourage those around you.

- excerpts from “Rebooting…Leadership” by Kimbell, Hadden and Catlette

The Surfer

Our experiences in life and in work could be compared with surfing. Here are some lessons on how we can follow the example of the surfer.

The surfer knows to expect good days and bad. Some waves exhilarate him with the ride of a lifetime, while others leave him disoriented and gasping for air under tons of rushing seawater. The surfer's life is full of chills, spills and occasional thrills. And on most days he goes home with sand in his pants.

The surfer doesn't spend 100% of his time riding great waves. Much of his time is spent swimming to get out past the break line, then sitting astride his board looking seaward to spot and choose his next ride. He anticipates about every seventh wave being a bigger, more interesting challenge. If he chose to ride only little waves, he would get too comfortable and achieve the same old results. Instead, he waits, spots the juicy waves and swims fast to catch them.

When the surfer gets disoriented underwater after being dumped by a big wave, he can't immediately tell up from down. He re-orients himself by relaxing during the uncontrollable period of turbulence. Then as it passes, he exhales slowly to watch which way his air bubbles go, and follows them up to a fresh start.

The surfer will never swim or surf alone, especially when he is in rough water - where the big waves are.

The surfer didn't learn to surf by reading about it. He mastered surfing by practicing regularly and loving the practice, on both good days and bad.

- adapted from "Rebooting...Leadership", by Kimbell, Hadden & Catlette

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Wisdom of Yoda

Do or do not... there is no try.

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship.

Luke: What's in there?
Yoda: Only what you take with you.

Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force. Mourn them do not. Miss them do not. Attachment leads to jealously. The shadow of greed, that is.

Luke: I can’t believe it.
Yoda: That is why you fail.

Remember, a Jedi's strength flows from the Force. But beware. Anger, fear, aggression. The dark side are they. Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.

May the Force be with you.

Oh. Great warrior. Wars not make one great.

Feel the force!

Happens to every guy sometimes this does.

Named must your fear be before banish it you can.

Always in motion is the future.

Much to learn, you still have.

Yogi Berra Wisdom

A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore.

Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.

Half the lies they tell about me aren't true.

He hits from both sides of the plate. He's amphibious.

I always thought that record would stand until it was broken.

I just want to thank everyone who made this day necessary.

I never said most of the things I said.

I wish I had an answer to that because I'm tired of answering that question.

I'm not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.

If people don't want to come out to the ball park, nobody's gonna stop 'em.

If the world was perfect, it wouldn't be.

If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

It ain't over till it's over.

It gets late early out there.

It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.

It's like deja-vu, all over again.

Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.

Slump? I ain't in no slump... I just ain't hitting.

The future ain't what it used to be.

The other teams could make trouble for us if they win.

There are some people who, if they don't already know, you can't tell 'em.

We made too many wrong mistakes.

When you arrive at a fork in the road, take it.

You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six.

You can observe a lot by just watching.

You should always go to other people's funerals, otherwise, they won't come to yours.

You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011



liquid life
falling from heaven
moisture nourishing earth

seeping, sinking
quenching thirsty roots
droplets soaking the ground

trickling, dripping
bubbling into a spring
forming a crystal-clear pool

glistening, sparkling
glass-smooth and glossy
swirling past the mossy green

flowing, gliding
into a babbling brook
gurgling over rocks and stones

splashing, sloshing
washing fallen leaves
down the mountain stream

falling, leaping
over broken cliffs
cascades spraying in the air

rolling, winding
wending its way
a mighty river finds the sea

buoying, tossing
fishing and sail boats
floating in the open bay

surging, crashing
the high tide comes in
forceful surf pounding shore

swimming, diving
a marine world thrives
in deep mystery called ocean

sailing, cruising
out over the deep blue
sandwiched in sea and sky

warming, evaporating
humid air rises
billowing into great clouds

blowing, moving
over land once again
a wet storm in the making

sprinkling, raining
showers transition
into a torrential downpour

misting, steaming
shimmering colors
of a promising rainbow

drinking, slurping
enjoying the taste
an icy-cold glass of lemonade

laughing, singing
dancing in the rain
a refreshed reason for living

cleansing, purifying
old life becomes new
the essence of life called water

by Ken R. Young


Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it. - Lao Tsu

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. - Lao Tsu

Friday, January 14, 2011

Even Eagles Need a Push

The Push

The eagle gently coaxed her offspring to the edge of the nest. Her heart quivered with conflicting emotions as she felt their resistance to her persistent nudging.

“Why does the thrill of soaring have to begin with the fear of falling?” she thought. This ageless question was still unanswered for her.

As is the tradition of her species, her nest was located upon the shelf of a sheer rock face. Below there was nothing but air to support the wings of each child. “Is it possible that this time it will not work?” she thought.

Despite her fears, the eagle knew it was time. Her parental mission was all but complete. There remained one final task... the PUSH.

The eagle drew courage from an innate wisdom. Until her children discovered their wings, there was no purpose for their lives. Until they learned how to soar, they would fail to understand the privilege it was to have been born an eagle.

The push was the greatest gift she had to offer. It was her supreme act of love.

And so, one by one, she pushed them...and they flew.

The push. Sometimes we need it. Sometimes we need to give it.

by David McNally

Thursday, January 13, 2011

George Bernard Shaw Quotes

Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.

Give a man health and a course to steer, and he'll never stop to trouble about whether he's happy or not.

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake.

Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.

Independence? That's middle class blasphemy. We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth.

Just do what must be done. This may not be happiness, but it is greatness.

Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

Men are wise in proportion, not to their experience, but to their capacity for experience.

Miracles, in the sense of phenomena we cannot explain, surround us on every hand: life itself is the miracle of miracles.

No man who is occupied in doing a very difficult thing, and doing it very well, ever loses his self-respect.

People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them.

People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Perhaps the greatest social service that can be rendered by anybody to the country and to mankind is to bring up a family.

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.

Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.

Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get.

The only service a friend can really render is to keep up your courage by holding up to you a mirror in which you can see a noble image of yourself.

The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can't find them, make them.

The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react.

The test of a man or woman's breeding is how they behave in a quarrel.

We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.

We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.

We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it.

What a man believes may be ascertained, not from his creed, but from the assumptions on which he habitually acts.

When I was young, I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures. So I did ten times more work.

You see things; and you say "Why?" But I dream things that never were; and I say "Why not?"

You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.

Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Letting God Build Your House

Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of — throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.

- from C S Lewis, "Mere Christianity"

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Farmer Wins the Race

"They" told Robert Banister he couldn't run the mile in under 4 minutes.

"They" told Elvis Presley he would never become a singer.

They" told Cliff Young he couldn't finish a 6 and half day extreme race!

I love this story of Cliff Young because it reminds me that "They" don't know a thing when it comes to you, me or Cliff Young striving for something we REALLY want.
Watch this video and ask yourself if you are ALLOWING other people's perceptions to discourage you from going after what you really want.

- from Lee J. Colan

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Managing Risk, Making a Difference

Gladys Ingles was a member of a barnstorming troupe called the 13 Black Cats in the 1920's. Ingles was a wing walker. In this film, she shows her fearlessness in a classic barnstorming fashion to save an airplane that has lost one of its main wheels. With a replacement wheel being strapped to her back, off she goes ("Up She Goes," a duet from the era, provides the soundtrack). Watch Ingles transfers herself from the rescue plane to the one missing its main gear tire. She then expertly works herself down to the undercarriage only a few feet from a spinning prop and replaces the missing wheel.

Risky, dangerous?

Was she prepared and able? Did she make a difference?

Risk is not meant to be avoided, just managed. So, make your assessment of the actions you need to take (or change) this year along with the potential upside and downside, then step out and make a difference!

Borrowed from Lee J. Colan, Ph.D.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Our Deepest Fear

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Quoted in a speech by Nelson Mandela, from Marianne Williamson's "Return to Love"

On Setting Goals

An excerpt from the article "Ten Ways to a New You" by Steve Edwards

Use a target goal that's qualitative, not quantitative.
Our society loves numbers. Losing X amount of pounds, running X amount of miles, going X number of days without smoking — these are things we dangle in front of ourselves as if they were some Holy Grail. In fact, these things have very little impact, if any, on what we really want, which is to improve our lives. Numbers can be great motivators. They can be nice as signposts on your road to progress. But they can also mislead you and shouldn't be a part of your ultimate goal, because you can't really control them. Shooting for unattainable numbers is one primary way we can sabotage our self-improvement goals.

The adage "It's not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game" isn't just about sports. Live your life well, and in the end, you'll be content, no matter where the numbers fall.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Second Set of Ten Commandments

An article by Harvey Mackay printed in the Arizona Republic:

We all know about the original Ten Commandments, but have you ever heard of the Second Ten Commandments? I don't remember who sent them to me - these pearls of wisdom have been often attributed to one Elodie Armstrong - but I sure would like to thank him or her for sharing this wisdom.

Here they are with my spin on them:

1. Thou shall not worry, for worry is the most unproductive of all human activities.

A day of worry is more exhausting than a day of work. People get so busy worrying about yesterday or tomorrow, they forget about today. And today is what you have to work with.

2. Thou shall not be fearful, for most of the things we fear never come to pass.

Every crisis we face is multiplied when we act out of fear. When we fear something, we empower it. If we refuse to concede to our fear, there is nothing to fear.

3. Thou shall not cross bridges before you come to them, for no one yet has succeeded in accomplishing this.

Tomorrow's problems may not even be problems when tomorrow comes.

4. Thou shall face each problem as it comes. You can only handle one at a time anyway.

In one of my favorite "Peanuts" comic strips, Linus says to Charlie Brown, "There is no problem so big it cannot be run away from." I chuckle every time I think about it, because it sounds like such a simple solution. Problem-solving is not easy, so don't make it harder than it is.

5. Thou shall not take problems to bed with you, for they make very poor bedfellows.

If I wake up thinking of a problem, I tell myself that it will seem lighter in the morning, and it always is.

6. Thou shall not borrow other people's problems.

They can better care for them than you can. I confess that I have broken this commandment because I wanted to help someone, without being asked, or I thought I was more equipped to handle a situation. But I wouldn't have to deal with the consequences, either.

7. Thou shall not try to relive yesterday. For good or ill, it is forever gone.

Concentrate on what is happening in your life and be happy now. We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get a better job, make more money, get married, have a baby, buy a bigger house and so on. Yet the accomplishment of any of those events may not make any difference at all. The Declaration of Independence says we are endowed "with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." You are responsible for your own happiness.

8. Thou shall be a good listener, for only when you listen do you hear ideas different from your own.

You can win more friends with your ears than with your mouth. Hearing is one of the body's five senses, but listening is an art. Your success could hinge on whether you have mastered the skill of listening. Most people won't listen to what you're saying unless they already feel that you have listened to them. When we feel we are being listened to, it makes us feel as if we are being taken seriously and what we say really matters.

9. Thou shall not become bogged down by frustration, for 90 percent of it is rooted in self-pity and will only interfere with positive action.

Seriously, has frustration ever improved a situation? Better to take a break, collect your thoughts, and redirect your attention to a positive first step. Then, go on from there.

10. Thou shall count thy blessings, never overlooking the small ones, for a lot of small blessings add up to a big one.

We all have something to be grateful for, even on the worst days. Hey, you're still on the green side of the grass, aren't you?

Mackay's moral: These may not be chiseled in stone, but try them; they'll make your life less rocky.