Friday, October 29, 2010

Quotes- Favorite Verse

He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither, and whatever he does shall prosper.
- Psalm 1:3

While not the most important message one of the most undervalued in The Bible is the idea that if you do what's right everything will work itself out. The Christian and non-Christian can find value in that. If we treat those around us with love and respect and improve the lives of other we come into contact with; it's going to be ok at the end of the day.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Quotes- Competition

There is something that can happen to every athlete and every human being; the instinct to slack off, to give in to pain, to give less than your best; the instinct to hope you can win through luck or through your opponent not doing his best, instead of going to the limit and past your limit where victory is always found. Defeating those negative instincts that are out to defeat us, is the difference between winning and losing--and we all face that battle every day.
-Jessie Owens

I read an interesting article last week from the New York Times on the abilities of elite athletes. Come to find out they go through the same pains and trials as the average person. They just have a mental acuity to fight through the pain. Jesse Owens summed it up best above. To succeed in anything we must challenge ourselves. Too often we look for the easy road, when hard work is the answer.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Quotes- Mark Twain

In my list of quotes I have a few patches of quotes from the same individual. Mark Twain is one of my favorites.

It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.
-Mark Twain

Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.
-Mark Twain

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
-Mark Twain

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
-Mark Twain

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.
-Mark Twain

Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.
-Mark Twain

It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not to deserve them.
-Mark Twain

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
-Mark Twain

It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.
-Mark Twain

The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.
-Mark Twain

The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not.
-Mark Twain

There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.
-Mark Twain

What would men be without women? Scarce, sir, mighty scarce.
-Mark Twain

When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.
-Mark Twain

Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.
-Mark Twain

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Quotes- Love/Sex

There is something mythic in the way a man is with a woman. Our sexuality offers a parable of amazing depth when it comes to being masculine and feminine. The man comes to offer his strength and the woman invites the man into herself, an act that requires courage and vulnerability and selflessness for both of them. Notice first that if the man will not rise to the occasion, nothing will happen. He must move; his strength must swell before he can enter her. But neither will the love consummate unless the woman opens herself in stunning vulnerability. When both are living as they were meant to live, the man enters his woman and offers her his strength. He spills himself there, in her, for her, she draws him in, embraces and envelops him. When all is over he is spent, but ah, what a sweet death it is.
-John Eldredge, Wild at Heart

This is my favorite passage regarding love. For background, Wild At Heart is a fantastic book and explores the inherent male psyche. Great read for all guys and from the girls I've talked to that have read it; girls too. It's poetically literal and the same time completely figurative.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Quotes- Attitude

If I asked, 'Why me?' about my troubles, I would have to ask, 'Why me?' about my blessings.
-Arthur Ashe

A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but
rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.
-Hugh Downs

What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Whether you believe you can or you can't, you are right.
-Henry Ford

If there is one thing I have learned it’s attitude changes everything. It’s easy to find fault in one’s day, find fault with others; it’s equally easy to find your blessings. Where do you focus? Two activities I did really shifted my mindset. The first was my thirty day experiment to identify 10 unique things I was thankful for. At first it was hard to find ten new things everyday. Then it came to the point where I could write my list in 30 seconds.

We create our realities. This idea was sealed by Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance which has changed my life. In it the author talks about the difference between Western and Eastern thought. We literally grow up in an environment that affects how we view the world. Reality is completely subjective because we process what we want, see what we want and hear what we want.

Changing your life is about changing your attitude, and it’s the hardest thing you will ever do.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Quotes- Passion

All humanity is passion; without passion, religion, history, novels, art would be ineffectual.
-Honore de Balzac

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
-Gil Bailie

Poverty of purpose is far worse than poverty of purse.

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet keep looking and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart you’ll know when you find it… So keep looking don’t settle.
-Steve Jobs 2005 commencement address

Passion is something hard to define. For me it brings up mental images of fire. It consumes everything around it. Scientifically there is a state of intense focus and creativity that an individual can achieve when one does something he is intently engaged in. I try to cultivate these moments in my life as much as possible. We’re inspired by great people because they have taken a passion and applied it to a craft be that athletics, business, or love. It’s a significant thread on the canvas of a successful life. Without it we have blasé mediocrity and no one falls in love with/wants/dies for that.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Quotes- St. Augustine

I’ve kept a quote book for almost ten years now. In it are a collection of thoughts that at the moment I read them touched me in some way. I recently read a post by Ryan Holiday discussing the practice of collecting quotes by the stoic Michel de Montaigne and the use of it for self reflection. I continuously look through my own book (now at 37 pages) when delving for moments of inspiration. My hope is that I can share these quotes with you and in some small way enrich your life.

Patience is the companion of wisdom.
-Saint Augustine

This is the very first quote I ever recorded. Thirty seven pages later it’s still one of my absolute favorites. I believe as a generation we have become a group of constant change and movement. Rarely do I find myself stopping to breathe enjoy life and just wait. Immediacy is the new word of the day and when I wrote this quote I had just started college in 2001. I was impatient and had no love for tasks or activities that paid off at a future point in time. Judgments were immediate and without recourse. I was right and I knew my path. It had to change.

I’m not sure if this battle is ever something that I overcome, but I now know to take time to breathe, reflect and act. The incredible depth of a person is not something to surmise off one meeting, or one experience. Instead we should stop and reflect; those that are patient see the true beauty in those around us. And with tasks, often the things worth doing are the ones that pay off in the long run. If we exercise patience now we reap a bigger reward down the line.

Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.
-Saint Augustine

Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
-Reinhold Niebuhr

I couple these two together because I’ve always thought of them in the same moment. A spiritual journey is something that for me has been far from static. I’ve come to understand how little I know and have strayed from an adherence to strict rules and ideologies to a message of faith and a search for connectedness and love. At the end of the day I think we are all connected and part of a higher plane then mere human existence. We therefore must give to those around us and in return we receive back in abundance. I can tell you through my own experience that this has been the case.
In the last few years I have made it a point to be more giving of my time and money. I’m far from empathetic, but these quotes reminds me that when life happens; let it. Don’t get angry or sad. If it’s out of your hands then it just is. We move forward. For things I can control I must give my best effort because what I do will change my environment and those around me. This isn’t a message of mastery that I’m writing believe me. It’s a hope.

Find out how much God has given you and from it take what you need; the remainder is needed by others.
-St. Augustine

I’m selfish by nature. I’m not sure if that is the product of human experience or my environment. When I first recorded this quote it was in recognition of this glaring fault and the strive for improvement. I believe it was around 2003 as I reflected on my contribution to the world. In the last three years or so I’ve had a dramatic shift from finding value in monetary success to finding value in bringing joy to those around me. Financial gains are fleeting, but relationships and experiences last a life time. I definitely am blessed with more than I’ll ever need and I try and find outlets to bring joy to others. One thing I’ve had great fun in doing is hosting parties for friends. The set up, clean up, and cost can be substantial but the memories last forever. I also have donated to a few charities such as donorschoose, habitat for humanity, or my church. Giving can take many forms and can be something even as small as a smile. We all have something to be thankful for. Find your abundance and give back.