Distilled Wisdom- Some of My Favorite Quotes

Some of My Favorite Quotes

By no means should this be considered a complete list but it contains a series of quotes that have meaning for me personally and professionally.

Some of these are brilliant and some are not but the beauty of a quote isn’t always tied up in whether it is brilliant but whether it inspires you to action, especially for someone like me who makes his living by trying to craft a compelling phrase that moves people to…move.

“Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.”

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

“Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don’t have the strength.”

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”

“the most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

― Theodore Roosevelt

I wasn’t sure which Einstein quotes to include here but these represent a good sample of what I enjoy about him.

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”

“It is not that I’m so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.”

“I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking” “Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible.”

“When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That’s relativity.”
― Albert Einstein

Emerson has a great quote that I’ll paraphrase in which he says ‘to hell with quotes, tell me what you know.” There is a real truth that I appreciate about it, but as you can see I didn’t include that one today.

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.”

“Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.”

“Life is a journey, not a destination.”

“Be not the slave of your own past – plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with new self-respect, with new power, and with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.”

“A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.”

“There is creative reading as well as creative writing.”

“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

I can’t tell you how many times I have read some of Tolkien’s books but I can tell you I read them again every few years or so.

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

“Not all those who wander are lost.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

“Never laugh at live dragons.”

Twain is one of my all time favorites too, love his writing and common sense approach.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”

“The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

“I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”

“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.”

“My books are water; those of the great geniuses is wine. Everybody drinks water.”

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.”

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.”

Mark Twain

Ask me to sum up what you will find or have found in these quotes and I’ll give you an answer. I’ll tell you these words are a call to think about what you believe and why.

I’ll tell you they are a reminder that inaction can be as dangerous as rash actions. Paralysis of analysis can cause you not to do anything and while sometimes it is smart to wait and see there are situations in which it will hurt you.

Sometimes looking out the window will tell you if the sun is shining or there are clouds in the sky but it won’t tell what lies around the bend and the only way to find out is to go see for yourself.

What you find above is a reminder that heroes aren’t necessarily smarter, tougher or stronger they are simply people who master fear long enough to see what lies around the corner.

If you asked me to pick two quotes from those listed above to serve as the basis for multiple posts about business I would use these two:

My books are water; those of the great geniuses is wine. Everybody drinks water.” Mark Twain

If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” Albert Einstein


Because as a writer/marketer my job is to create content that moves you. I can’t do that unless I understand what it is I am writing about and am able to convey that in a way that  you understand too.

What do you think? Do these quotes catch your eye? Did I include any of your favorites?

Let me know in the comments.

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