“When a man is getting better he understands more and
more clearly the evil that is still left in him.  When a man is
getting worse he understands his own badness less and less.
A moderately bad man knows he is not very good: a thoroughly
bad man thinks he is all right.  This is common sense, really.
You understand sleep when you are awake, not while you are sleeping.
You can see mistakes in arithmetic when your mind is working
properly: while you are making them you cannot see them.
You can understand the nature of drunkenness when
you are sober, not when you are drunk.  Good people know
about both good and evil: bad people do not know about either.”

— C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, p. 93

Elegance in Simplicity, Wisdom in Truth

“To thine own self be true.”
— William Shakespeare

There is elegance in simplicity and wisdom in truth.  Recently I was treated to an example of this when Bryan Flanagan, during a sales workshop in Ohio, used two simple questions and one statement to make a key point to a room full of sales professionals.  He began with an important sales tool – transportation.  “How much do you spend each year on your car?”  He then asked us how much we spend on professional appearance (hair, clothing, hygiene, etc.)  The estimate was in excess of $6000.

In context with the rest of the session the logical conclusion was clear when he completed the point by revealing the price of his sales training package.  Your car gets you to the appointment.  Your personal appearance helps create a good first impression.  But, it’s who you are that earns their business.  The implication was this.  You need to continue investing in yourself and here’s an affordable opportunity for doing so.

“Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom.”
― Thomas Jefferson

It’s amazing how much simpler life appears when we give honest, straightforward answers to the right questions.  It’s even more amazing how much simpler life becomes when we comport ourselves according to what we discover in those answers, not what we wish to be true.

“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end;
if you look for comfort you will not get neither comfort nor truth
only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.”
— C. S. Lewis

Quotes Plus 4/2/2012

“Most, I fancy, have discovered that to be born
is to be exposed to delights and miseries
greater than imagination could have anticipated;
that the choice of ways at any cross-road
may be more important than we think; and
that short cuts may lead to very nasty places.”
– “The Vision of John Bunyan”, by C.S. Lewis, 1962.

From the pen of CSL we are reminded that life can be boiled
down to the following realities about cause and effect:

1) Every thought and action has consequences.
2) By choosing our thoughts and actions we indirectly
     choose our consequences.
3) Small things matter, too.  In fact, maybe they’re
     not so small after all.

“Free will is the modus operandi of destiny.”
– “On Stories, by C.S. Lewis, 1947.

Quotes Plus 3/1/2012

“Suspicion often creates what it suspects.”
The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis, p. 164.

The longer and harder I imagine a negative thought, the more
real it becomes and the more I fret over something that has
not and may not ever happen. This, I believe, is the essence of pessimism. Optimism is the opposite—a preference for creating
positive realities. To get from pessimism to optimism, I’ve
learned to change the tone of my “self-talk” to suspect a more
pleasant reality. By the words I say to myself, Dreary Lane
becomes a momentary detour, not my permanent residence.

“For myself I am an optimist—
it does not seem to be much use being anything else.”
– Sir Winston Churchill