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

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Magic Rings

There was a father who had three sons and a magic ring.This magic ring had the power to bestow the gifts of kindness,generosity, and grace to the one who possessed it, and the father had used it well his entire life.Eventually, however, the time came when the father knew he was dying. Unwilling to give the magic ring to only one of his sons, he sent the ring to a jeweler and asked that two other identical rings be made. Afterwards, he called his sons together and told them, “I have loved you my entire life, and now I must pass along to you my most cherished possession. I give each of you a magic ring. These rings will bestow kindness, generosity, and grace. Use the rings well, that you may have a long life and prosper with God’s help.”

Now, after the father died, the sons believed that only one of them actually had the magic ring. They began to argue and complain. Each believed that another brother had the magic ring. Eventually they took the rings to a judge and demanded, “Tell us which of these is the magic ring!” The judge answered, “It is impossible to tell by looking at the rings. I would suggest we wait, and watch to see who lives the most virtuous life—like your father. The one who lives well will be the one who, obviously, possesses the magic ring.”

Each of the brothers agreed to this idea. And each of the brothers lived as if he possessed the magic ring. From that day forward, each of the brothers was filled with goodness, thoughtfulness, and honesty.

The virtues of goodness and love are not derived from props or magic. Love comes from the heart, and is demonstrated by the way we live. There are no shortcuts. It is possible, however, to pass along signs and symbols that may remind others of these virtues, and assist others in the striving toward a better life. Nearly all faiths have relics and rituals that are aimed at pointing others toward a more virtuous existence.

The real magic, of course, occurs when we live a virtuous life simply because we want to, with no aim but to please others,and no thought of gain. The greatest proof of a life well lived is not the possessions we hold in the hand, but the attributes we hold in the heart.

- borrowed from Ankur Bhandari

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Excerpts from "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff" by Richard Carlson

... and it's all small stuff.

Simple ways to keep the little things from taking over your life.

A great little book with tons of great advice for de-stressing your life, "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff..." was written by Richard Carlson, PH.D.  Here are some excerpts:

       "The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his  attitude." - William James

When we are immobilized by little things - when we are irritated, annoyed, and easily bothered - our (over-) reactions not only make us frustrated but actually get in the way of getting what we want...Because everything seem like such a big deal, we end up spending our lives dealing with one drama after another.

We fail to recognize that the way we relate to our problems has a lot to do with how quickly and efficiently we solve them.

Happily, there is another way to relate to life - a softer, more graceful path that makes life seem easier and the people in it more compatible...replacing old habits of "reaction" with new habits of prespective.

When you "don't sweat the small stuff," your life won't be perfect, but you will learn to accept what life has to offer with far less resistance.

We often allow ourselves to...focus on little problems and concerns and blow them way out of proportion...[and] completely lose touch with the magic and beauty of life.

I've yet to meet an absolute perfectionist whose life was filled with inner peace.  The need for perfection and the desire for inner tranquility conflict with each other...When we are zeroed in on what's wrong, it implies that we are dissatisfied, discontent.

This strategy has nothing to do with ceasing to do your very best but with being overly attached and focused on what's wrong with life.  It's about realizing that while there's always a better way to do something, this doesn't mean that you can't enjoy and appreciate the way things already are.

Begin to discover the perfection in life itself.

When you have what you want (inner peace), you are less distracted by your wants, needs ,desires, and concerns.  It's thus easier to concentrate, focus, achieve your goals, and to give back to others.

Filling your head with thoughts of how overwhelmed you are only exacerbates the problem by making you feel even more stressed than you already do.

         "We cannot do great things on this earth.  We can only do small things with great love." - Mother Teresa

Many of the things you think of as "big stuff" are really just "small stuff" that you are turning into big stuff.

Nothing is more important than your own sense of happiness and inner peace and that of your loved ones.  If you're obsessed with getting everything done, you'll never have a sense of well-being!

The purpose of life isn't to get it all done but to enjoy each step along the way and live a life filled with love.

While acts of kindness are inherently wonderful, there is something even more magical about doing something thoughtful but mentioning it to no one, ever.

To a large degree, the measure of our peace of mind is determined by how much we are able to live in the present moment.

        "Life is what's happening while we're busy making other plans." - John Lennon

        "I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened." - Mark Twain

Your job is to try to determine what the people in your life are trying to teach you.  You'll find that if you do this, you'll be far less annoyed, bothered,  and frustrated by the actions and imperfections of other people.

Ask yourself..."Do I want to be 'right' - or do I want to be happy?"

Being listened to and heard is one of the greatest desires of the human heart.  And those who learn to listen are the most loved and respected.

The more patient you are, the more accepting you will be of what is, rather than insisting that life be exactly as you would like it to be.  Without patience, life is extremely frustrating.  You are easily annoyed, bothered, and irritated.  Patience adds a dimension of ease and acceptance to your life.  It's essential for inner peace.

If you look deeply enough, you can almost always see the innocence in other people as well as in potentially frustrating situations.

My present challenge isn't "life or death" but simply a minor obstacle that must be dealt with.

Whenever we hold on to our anger, we turn "small stuff" into really "big stuff" in our minds.  We start to believe that our positions are more important than our happiness.  They are not.  If you want to be a more peaceful person you must understand that being right is almostnever more important than allowing yourself to be happy.

One of the nice things about surrendering to the fact that life isn't fair is that it keeps us from feeling sorry for ourselves by encouraging us to do the very best we can with what we have.

Our current level of stress will be exactly that of our tolerance to stress.

When you're feeling out of control and resentful of all that you have to do, rather than roll up your sleeves and "get to it," a better strategy is to relax, take a few deep breaths, and go for a short walk...When your mind is clear and peaceful and your stress level is reduced, you'll be more effective and you'll have more fun.

The first step in becoming a more peaceful person is to have the humility to admit that, in most cases, you're creating your own emergencies.

Gratitude and inner peace go hand in hand.  The more genuinely I feel for the gift of my life, the more peaceful I feel.

If you wake up in the morning with gratitude on your mind, it's pretty difficult, in fact almost impossible, to feel anything but peace.

There is virtually always a parallel between our attitude toward strangers and our overall level of happiness.

When you see how similar we all are, you begin to see the innocence in all of us.

I can't think of a single person whom I would consider to be inwardly peaceful who doesn't carve out at least a little quiet time, virtually every day.

Become more interested in understanding others and less in having other people understand you...When you understand where people are coming from, what they are trying to say, what's important to them, and so forth, being understood flows naturally; it falls into place with virtually no effort.

Slowing down your responses and becoming a better listener aids in in becoming a more peaceful person...Not only will becoming a better listener make you a more patient person, it will also enhance the quality of your relationships.  Everyone loves to talk to someone who truly listens to what they are saying.

There are always going to be people who disagree with you, people who do things differently, and things that don't work out.  If you fight against this principle of life, you'll spend most of your life fighting battles.

If your primary goal isn't to have everything work out perfectly but instead to live a relatively stress-free life, you'll find that most battles pull you away from your most tranquil feelings.

For more excerpts, see:

Excerpts from "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff", Part 2

Excerpts from "Dont Sweat the Small Stuff", Part 3

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Great Quotes by Dr. Seuss

Theodor Seuss Geisel was an American writer, poet, and cartoonist most widely known for his children's books written under the pen names Dr. Seuss andTheo LeSieg.

Geisel published 46 children's books, which were often characterized by imaginative characters, rhyme, and frequent use of anapestic meter. His most celebrated books include the bestselling Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Horton Hatches the Egg, Horton Hears a Who!, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. Numerous adaptations of his work have been created, including 11 television specials, four feature films, a Broadway musical and four television series.

Here are some great quotes from his books and other sayings:  

“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

“You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”  ― Oh, the Places You'll Go!

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
Happy Birthday to You!

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”  ― I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

“A person's a person, no matter how small.”
Horton Hears a Who!

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It's not.”
― The Lorax

“Being crazy isn't enough.”

“Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.”

“In my world, everyone's a pony and they all eat rainbows and poop butterflies!”

“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”
“From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere!”
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

“If things start happening, don't worry, don't stew, just go right along and you'll start happening too.”

“I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant's faithful one-hundred percent!”
Horton Hatches the Egg

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”

“How did it get so late so soon?”

“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!”
How the Grinch Stole Christmas

“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life's A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you'll move mountains.” ― Oh, The Places You'll Go!

“Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them.”

“If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good.”

“All alone! Whether you like it or not, alone is something you'll be quite a lot!”
Oh, the Places You'll Go! and The Lorax

“Only you can control your future.”

“You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”
I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

“They say I'm old-fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast!”

“I'm afraid that sometimes you'll play lonely games too. Games you can't win 'cause you'll play against you.”

“When beetles fight these battles in a bottle with their paddles
and the bottle's on a poodle and the poodle's eating noodles...
...they call this a muddle puddle tweetle poodle beetle noodle
bottle paddle battle.”
Fox in Socks

“I’m glad we had the times together just to laugh and sing a song, seems like we just got started and then before you know it, the times we had together were gone.”

“You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.”

“Be awesome! Be a book nut!”

“Remember me and smile, for it's better to forget than to remember me and cry.”

“ASAP. Whatever that means. It must mean, 'Act swiftly awesome pacyderm!”
―  Horton Hears a Who!

“Think and wonder, wonder and think.”

“You'll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You'll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.”

“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.”

“Look at me!
Look at me!
Look at me NOW!
It is fun to have fun
But you have to know how.”
The Cat in the Hat (Deluxe Edition)

“There's no limit to how much you'll know, depending how far beyond zebra you go.”

“I know, up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights.”  ― Yertle the Turtle and Gertrude McFuzz

“Oh the places you'll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all.”
Oh, the Places You'll Go!

“He who makes a beast out of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.”

“The storm starts, when the drops start dropping
When the drops stop dropping then the storm starts stopping.”

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, And that enables you to laugh at life's realities.”

“If you'd never been born, then you might be an Isn't!  An Isn't has no fun at all. No, he disn't.”

“Things may happen and often do to people as brainy and footsy as you”
Oh, the Places You'll Go!

“Oh, the things you can find if you don't stay behind!”

“It has often been said
there’s so much to be read,
you never can cram
all those words in your head.

So the writer who breeds
more words than he needs
is making a chore
for the reader who reads.

That's why my belief is
the briefer the brief is,
the greater the sigh
of the reader's relief is.

And that's why your books
have such power and strength.
You publish with shorth!
(Shorth is better than length.)”

“Just tell yourself, Duckie, you're real quite lucky.”

“Words and pictures are yin and yang. Married, they produce a progeny more interesting than either parent.”

“When he worked, he really worked. But when he played, he really PLAYED.”

“It's not about what it is, it's about what it can become.”
The Lorax

“I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of good fun that is funny.”
― The Cat in the Hat

“You are you. Now, isn't that pleasant?”

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.”

“Today I shall behave, as if this is the day I will be remembered.”

“I am weird, you are weird. Everyone in this world is weird. One day two people come together in mutual weirdness and fall in love.”

“Today is your day, your mountain is waiting. So get on your way.”

“When you think things are bad,
when you feel sour and blue,
when you start to get mad...
you should do what I do!
Just tell yourself, Duckie,
you're really quite lucky!
Some people are much more...
oh, ever so much more...
oh, muchly much-much more
unlucky than you!”
― Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?

“I do not like green eggs and ham I do not like them Sam-I-Am.  Try them, try them, and you may! Try them and you may, I say.”
― Green Eggs and Ham

“Oh, the thinks you can think!”

“You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”

“I meant what I said and I said what I meant.”
― Horton Hatches the Egg

“To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.”

“With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.”

“It is fun to have fun but you have to know how.”

Monday, March 4, 2013

Cowboy Ethics by James Owen

Live each day with courage.

Take pride in your work.

Always finish what you start.

Do what has to be done.

Be tough, but fair.

When you make a promise, keep it.

Ride for the brand.

Talk less and say more.

Remember that some things aren't for sale.

Know where to draw the line.