These would be in my opinion among the best and most influential wisdom quotes:
1. “To communicate, put your thoughts in order; give them a purpose; use them to persuade, to instruct, to discover, to seduce. "
-William Safire. Have you ever struggled to get your message across? This simple quote is about two doing things and bearing in mind four motivations to make your communication powerful and effective. It requires planning, prudence, and savvy to employ this. It's acknowledging that communication is also about marketing strategy.
2. “Life is for most of us a continuous process of getting used to things we hadn't expected. "
-Martha Lupton. We often get what we don't expect. As humans we can't use our perception to predict everything that's coming at us. But this reminds me of the ‘opportunity’ in the unexpected. Stephen Covey once said words to the effect, ‘To ignore the unexpected (even if that were possible) would be to live without opportunity, spontaneity, and the rich moments of which “life" is made. ’ Of course, Helen Keller also said, ‘Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all. '
3. “People who know how to employ themselves, always find leisure moments, while those who do nothing are always in a hurry. "
-Jeanne-Marie Roland. What an irony this one is. If one is in the practice of organising themselves for work, they'll invariably be able to organise themselves for play. Perhaps there is something here also for the procrastinator in each of us?
4. “If you preach excellence but walk mediocrity, you are nothing more than a common liar. "
-Old Maxim used by Justin Langer. We must endeavour to do what we say. This one is most relevant for anyone in leadership, whether that's in a home as a parent, at work as a manager, or on a sports field. It's about credibility and integrity. It's about doing the difficult things well and experiencing the pain ‘with your team. '
5. “It is better to sleep on things beforehand than lie awake about them afterward. "
-Baltasar Gracian. I've fallen for this one often enough to cringe. It's about the wisdom of restraint in knowing when to delay an action that will bring pain, embarrassment, and regret. The prudent person employs this.
6. “Sometimes we have to be silent to be heard. "
-Stanislaw J. Lee. I often wonder when I'm in a small group if anyone is being heard. I mean, how often are there just the flurry of voices and no one's hearing anyone else. There's too much of it in this day and age. This saying is also a communication tool. At times silence speaks louder than words.
7. “The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. "
-George Orwell. How often do people communicate and don't think of what they're saying. It's just words. There's no plan, no structure, and no way of being understood. It is harder to be understood than most think. It requires great skill. The key to this saying however is courage. Cowardice will win over in our speaking if we let it; for instance, we'll flatter when we should be honestly rebuking a person. We need to have the courage to speak the truth, but do so in a loving manner. This is no easy task. It requires skill and most of all the right heart.
8. “Accept whatever befalls you, and in times of humiliation be patient. For gold is tested in the fire, and those found acceptable, in the furnace of humiliation. "
-Sirach's Ecclesiasticus 2:4-5 To learn and improve there's the easy way and there's the hard way. We need both ways. This saying speaks about the hard way. It is no less useful than the easy way, which is learning willingly.
9. “Unhappiness is best defined as the difference between our talents and our expectations. "
-Edward De Bono. Let's be realistic in life. But, for those who are ambitious this is not bad, just something to understand why they'll be unhappy. For some, being unhappy is a good thing because they constantly drive themselves toward continual improvement in their chosen field of excellence. For those who simply want to be happy, be more realistic.
10. “If we would please in society, we must be prepared to be taught many things we know already by people who do not know them. "
-Sebastien Roch Nicolas Chamfort. How often have you made it to a high level of competence in something and then had someone quite ignorant of the fact go into great deal to “teach" you it? It happens all the time. It takes grace and humility to accept the lesson, and you never know what new insight you might get.
© Copyright 2008, Steven John Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
Steve Wickham is a safety and health professional (BSc) and a qualified Christian minister (GradDipDiv). His passion in vocation is facilitation and coaching; encouraging people to soar to a higher value of their potential. Steve's key passion is work / life balance and re-creating value for living, and an exploration of the person within us. His highest goal is doing God's will, in enhancing his life, and the lives of others.