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

Monday, April 27, 2015

Patience: Allowing The Master Potter To Do His Work

Pottery is among mankind’s oldest and most enduring crafts. The process itself feels like a work of art, as the expert potter carefully, patiently shapes a lump of clay into a beautiful, useful vessel. While finishing the work takes time and patient effort, the result is clearly worth it. It’s no wonder that pottery making is often used as a metaphor for how our lives are gently molded by the patient hand of God.

But patience is not always a popular virtue today, when almost everything is instantaneous. We eat fast food, photos appear instantly on our smartphones, and we can quickly access almost any information we need. Waiting even a few seconds seems like too long, as we hurry from one app, one website, or one transaction to another. Our time is hardly measured in minutes anymore, but in bits per second—not just fast, but superfast.

This increase in speed has brought many advantages. But it can also lead us to be less than patient with each other and with ourselves.

Patience does not mean suffering while we wait to get what we want—that’s more like impatience! When we are truly patient, we kindly and lovingly allow others the time they need to reach their full potential. We do not resent the fact that progression is a process, and we resist putting undue pressure and unrealistic expectations on others—or on ourselves—knowing that it will only hinder growth and create frustration.

Patience means not despairing when mistakes happen. It means making room for change as we all learn a better way. It means we will sometimes be offended, but we won’t harbor resentment or anger as we work out a solution. Patience inspires us to give people another chance and the benefit of the doubt, just as we hope they will do for us. Patience is the power that comes from hope and confidence that things will, in time, improve. 

Even in our fast-paced life, let us allow the Master Potter to do His work. If we are patient, we will see a beautiful result.

- by Don H. Staheli, as broadcast on "Music and the Spoken Word"

Monday, April 6, 2015

10 Life Lessons Known by the Wise

Here are 10 life lessons wise people have figured out but most likely won't talk about:
1. There are no mistakes, only growth.
2. You will keep repeating the same patterns until you get the lesson.
3. Whatever you believe about yourself on the inside is manifested on the outside.
4. The more you approve of yourself, the less you need others' approval.
5. All situations are pathways instead of problems.
6. Things don't happen to you — they happen for you.
7. There is no "there" to get to — it never ends.
8. Where you are today is preparing you for tomorrow. Everything is connected.
9. You will always get what you need. It might not be what you want, but it is always exactly what you need.
10. What you make of your life is up to you.

by Shannon Kaiser

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Benjamin Franklin and The Thirteen Virtues

Benjamin Franklin–one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America–was an author, political theorist, scientist, musician, inventor, and the list goes on and on.
How was Franklin able to accomplish so much? The key to Franklin´s amazing success was his continuous pursuit of self-improvement.
In 1726, at the age of 20, Franklin set the following lofty goal for himself:
“It was about this time I conceived the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection. I wished to live without committing any fault at any time; I would conquer all that either natural inclination, custom, or company might lead me into.”
That is, he resolved to always do right, and to avoid any wrongdoing. In order to accomplish his goal, Franklin came  up with a list of 13 virtues which he would strive to live up to. In this post you’ll discover Franklin’s 13 virtues, the method that he used in order to adhere to these virtues, and a plan so that you can follow in Franklin’s footsteps.

The Thirteen Virtues

Franklin developed his list of 13 virtues based on the moral virtues he had come across in his readings. In addition, he wrote down a few words about each of the virtues in order to clarify the meaning he gave to each one.
Here’s a list of the 13 virtues which Franklin committed himself to:
1. “TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.”
The first virtue selected by Franklin was not to overindulge in food or drink. Franklin writes that he selected temperance first because “it tends to procure that coolness and clearness of head which is so necessary where constant vigilance was to be kept up”.
2. “SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.”
By adopting this virtue Franklin wished, first, to gain knowledge, which he noted one acquires by using the ears instead of the tongue. Second, he wanted to “break a habit I was getting into (of) prattling, punning, and joking, which only made me acceptable to trifling company”.
3. “ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.”
By achieving order Franklin expected to be able to have more time for the pursuit of his studies and other projects. In addition, Franklin explains that the “precept of Order requires that every part of my business should have its allotted time“.
4. “RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.”
Here’s what Franklin has to say about the virtue of resolution: “Resolution, once habitual, would keep me firm in my endeavors to obtain all the subsequent virtues”. The virtue of resolution can be summed up as follows: if you say you’re going to do something, do it.
5. “FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.”
6. “INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.”
Franklin explains his inclusion of frugality and industry in his list of virtues as follows:
“Frugality and Industry, freeing me from my remaining debt, and producing affluence and independence, would make more easy the practice of Sincerity and Justice, etc.”
In his autobiography Franklin explains that he owes the acquisition of his fortune to frugality and industry.
7. “SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.”
8. “JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.”
9. “MODERATION. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.”
10. “CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.”
11. “TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.”
12. “CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.”
13. “HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.”
Of the virtue of humility, Franklin writes the following:
“My list of virtues contained at first but twelve; but a Quaker friend having kindly informed me that I was generally thought proud, that my pride showed itself frequently in conversation, that I was not content with being in the right when discussing any point, but was overbearing and rather insolent, of which he convinced me by mentioning several instances, I determined endeavoring to cure myself, if I could, of this vice or folly among the rest, and I added Humility to my list, giving an extensive meaning to the word.”

 The Methodology
Franklin wisely decided not to try to tackle all of the 13 virtues at once. Instead, he would concentrate on one at a time. Here’s the methodology that Franklin developed in order to attain mastery over the 13 virtues which he had selected:
  • “I made a little book, in which I allotted a page for each of the virtues.”
  • “I ruled each page with red ink, so as to have seven columns, one for each day of the week, marking each column with a letter for the day.”
  • “I crossed these columns with thirteen red lines, marking the beginning of each line with the first letter of one of the virtues, on which line, and in its proper column, I might mark, by a little black spot, every fault I found upon examination to have been committed respecting that virtue upon that day.”
In his autobiography Franklin includes the chart which he used:
13 virtues chart
Franklin then proceeded to do the following:
  • “I determined to give a week’s strict attention to each of the virtues successively.”
  • “Thus, in the first week, my great guard was to avoid every the least offense against Temperance, leaving the other virtues to their ordinary chance, only marking every evening the faults of the day.”
  • “Thus, if in the first week I could keep my first line, marked T, clear of spots, I supposed the habit of that virtue so much strengthened, and its opposite weakened, that I might venture extending my attention to include the next, and for the following week keep both lines clear of spots.”
  • “Proceeding thus to the last, I could go thro’ a course complete in thirteen weeks, and four courses in a year.”

Follow Franklin’s Example

Franklin was one of the first people to recognize that recording your behavior helps you to change it.In fact,he turned self-development into a science by observing, monitoring, and measuring his behavior.
If you would like to follow in Franklin’s footsteps, you can go ahead and download his chart of virtues here. Glue the chart to your day planner or to a notebook, and always carry it around with you, just like Franklin did. Instead of using a notebook, you can use your iPhone by downloading the Virtues App.


At the age of 79 Franklin wrote in his autobiography that he never did achieve his goal of attaining perfection. However, he did achieve the following:
Tho’ I never arrived at the perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet I was, by the endeavour, a better and a happier man than I otherwise should have been if I had not attempted it.”

- from Marelisa Fabrega,

See also: Benjamin Franklin Quotes