Daily Quotes 8/29

Some of the quotes I’ve selected recently have been quite long.  Length was not the objective. The message simply resonated with me. To make it up to those who like pithy phrases, this post is for you. Each phrase is meaningful and short ( ten words or less thanks in part to contractions and hyphenated words) making it highly quotable.   Try memorizing one or two of these. Then, see what happens when you cleverly slip one into your conversation, especially if it’s one of the Latin phrases.   😉

“Semper fidelis” — U.S. Marine Corp motto meaning “Always Faithful”

“Be prepared.” — Boy Scouts motto

“Jesus wept.” — Bible, John 11:35, shortest verse in the Bible


“Inches make champions.”
–- Vince Lombardi

“Underpromise and overachieve.” -– Tom Peters

“Never give up.” — Winston Churchill

“Action conquers fear.” — Pete Zarlenga

“Facta, non verba” — Deeds, not words


“Fear clogs; faith liberates.”
— Elbert Hubbard

“Facts are stubborn things.” — Ronald Reagan

“Lead from the front.” — Audie Murphy

“Gloria in excelsis Deo” — Phrase in Christian hymn meaning “Glory to God in the Highest”


“What gets measured gets done.”
-– Peter Drucker

“Your attitude determines your altitude!” –- Denis Waitley

“Laughter is an instant vacation.” — Milton Berle


“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.”
— Colin Powell

“Perplexity is the beginning of knowledge.” — Kahlil Gibran

“For fast-acting relief try slowing down.” — Lily Tomlin


“You may delay, but time will not.”
— Benjamin Franklin

“Do something wonderful; people may imitate it.” — Albert Schweitzer

“One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.” — George Carlin


“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”
— Victor Borge

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” — John F. Kennedy

“On the one hand, we’ll never experience childbirth.” — Bruce Willis (On the difference between men and women)

“On the other hand, you have different fingers.” — Steven Wright


“‘No’ puts distance between you and the wrong influence.”
— Jim Rohn

“Achieving life is not the equivalent of avoiding death.” — Ayn Rand

“There is no distinctly American criminal class – except Congress.” — Mark Twain


“Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail.”
— Charles F. Kettering

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

“Either this man is dead or my watch has stopped.” — Groucho Marx

God bless,

— CC

Your Excellency!

The ABC’s of Professionalism

“Your Excellency!” Even those who never come in contact with royalty know what these words mean. Well, get used to a brand new meaning because they are now my battle cry for you and a call to arms against the dragons that are impeding your quest toward professional excellence. Maybe your dragons are named “Rut” and “Grudge.” Or maybe they are known as “Pride” and “Rigid.” Thankfully, there are attitudes, behaviors, and principles of professionalism that will equip you to slay them. This post in particular will help sharpen your battle axe and fill any chinks in your armor. Add them to your arsenal and get to work on “Your Excellency!”

Adaptability/Flexibility

Professionals will bend when they need to bend and stand firm when they need to stand firm. The challenge is understanding which attitude is appropriate for which circumstances.

“The definition of insanity is continuing the same behavior and expecting a different result.” — Alcoholics Anonymous

“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” — Thomas Jefferson

“Stay committed to your decisions but, stay flexible in your approach.” — Tom Robbins

Patience

People who orient their lives around accomplishment, who are driven by achievement, often have to work harder than others to develop patience. Perhaps it’s because when they visualize outcomes, they overlook the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to get there. Maybe it’s because they do not foresee certain challenges or they underestimate the level of effort required.    In any case, without patience, frustration sets in. Patience is a sobering virtue that adds realism to expectations. As long as patience does not become a substitute for action, it is an irreplaceable virtue needed to achieve professionalism.

“Patience is the companion of wisdom.” — Saint Augustine

“One moment of patience may ward off great disaster. One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life.” — Chinese proverb

“For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace.”

— Bible, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Commitment/ Determination/Resolve

One of the worst habits anyone can form is the habit of giving up. When things get difficult, it’s not the time to quit. Struggling through difficulties, trying again and again after multiple failures is where the learning and improvement occur. Success follows failure. In fact, if you aren’t failing, you aren’t growing.

“If at first you succeed, try something harder.” — John C. Maxwell

It’s impossible to predict with 100% certainty which failure will precede success. What is certain is that every time you quit, you are forfeiting success.

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.” — Japanese Proverb

“There is no telling how many miles you will have to run while chasing a dream.” — Anonymous

Growing up, we had a rule in our family. No one was allowed to quit. It wasn’t as much a rule as it was an understanding. It meant, if I went out for football and made the team, I had to finish the season. If I was injured, I would be expected to sit on the bench (where I spent most of my time anyway) and support my teammates. It was acceptable to not go out the following year. But, finishing meant completing the season.

“Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second.” — William James

Quitting is no minor thing. It always means breaking a promise to one’s self.  It usually means breaking a promise to others, too.  Here’s some food for thought: is quitting also breaking a promise to God?

“Saints are sinners who kept on going.” — Robert Louis Stevenson

Loyalty is another word for commitment, usually referring to a relationship toward a person or a group of people, such as a team or an institution.

“Lack of loyalty is one of the major causes of failure in every walk of life” — Napoleon Hill

An ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness.” — Elbert Hubbard

“A boy can learn a lot from a dog: obedience, loyalty, and the importance of turning around three times before lying down.” — Robert Benchley

Champions are those who take commitment to an entirely different level. They have a do-or-die attitude. No failure, mistake, or hurdle is bigger than the desire they have to achieve their dreams. When people tell them, “It’s okay, you gave it your all.” they dig deeper and find a little bit more to give. Their dream is bigger than their doubts, fears, pain, and excuses.

“When the world says, ‘Give up,’ Hope whispers, ‘Try it one more time.’” — Anonymous

“Difficult things take a long time, impossible things a little longer.” — Anonymous

“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.” — Newt Gingrich

Trying new things is generally a good thing. People should always be willing to get out of their comfort zones for new experiences. However, there is a difference between “trying” and “committing.” Too often people walk away from something and say, “Oh well, I tried.” Did they really try? Or was it a half-hearted attempt? Did they start off with a built-in excuse? They next time you are faced with an opportunity, be resolute. Instead of saying, “I’ll try.” say, “I will!” That’s a commitment.

Assertiveness/Self-Assurance

Being assertive is sometimes confused with being aggressive, pushy, or rude. Once a person understands that ideas, principles, and opinions can be expressed in both a direct and respectful way, he is able to imagine the benefits of professional assertiveness.

“The basic difference between being assertive and being aggressive is how our words and behavior affect the rights and well being of others.” — Sharon Anthony Bower

Assertiveness takes form in all of the ways that define who we are: thoughts, words, and deeds.

“Assertiveness is not what you do, it’s who you are!” — Attributed to Shakti Gawain

While becoming an assertive person is a personal decision, it is also unlikely to be a quick transition. Raw assertiveness tends to grow gradually in direct proportion to increases in confidence.

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” — Arthur Ashe

“Self-confidence is the memory of success” — Anonymous

Discretion/Prudence

Professionalism requires assertiveness to be tempered with professional attitudes and behaviors such as kindness, forethought, and patience. With these well in hand, professionals are prepared to balance assertiveness with tact.

“Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy.” — Sir Isaac Newton

“Forethought and prudence are the proper qualities of a leader.” — Publius Cornelius Tacitus

“Wit without discretion is a sword in the hand of a fool” — Spanish Proverb

“The better part of valor is discretion, in the which better part I have saved my life” — William Shakespeare

“Discretion in speech is more important than eloquence” — English Proverb

There’s a special instance of discretion that involves appropriate use of private information. Let me be blunt — gossip is not a feature of professionalism.

“What you don’t see with your eyes, don’t witness with your mouth.” — Jewish Proverb

“If it’s very painful for you to criticize your friends – you’re safe in doing it. But if you take the slightest pleasure in it, that’s the time to hold your tongue.” — Alice Duer Miller

“Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you.” — Spanish Proverb

“Gossip needn’t be false to be evil – there’s a lot of truth that shouldn’t be passed around.” — Frank A. Clark

“Trying to squash a rumor is like trying to unring a bell.” — Shana Alexander

“There is so much good in the worst of us,
And so much bad in the best of us,
That it hardly becomes any of us
To talk about the rest of us.”

— Edward Wallis Hoch

Finally, before setting out to slay your personal dragons, there’s a Biblical perspective to take into account.

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;”

— Bible, Ephesians 6:10-17

Armed with these added tools of professionalism, you can be more prepared to someday say to yourself, “Welcome, your excellency!”

God bless,

— CC

[ W=Work | Index | Y=Youth ]

© Copyright February 2009, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com

Make More Mistakes

[ L=Language | Index | N= Netiquette ]

Series: The ABC’s of Professionalism

“Abraham Lincoln became America’s greatest Precedent. Lincoln’s mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. When Lincoln was President, he wore only a tall silk hat. He said, ‘In onion there is strength.’ Abraham Lincoln write the Gettysburg address while traveling from Washington to Gettysburg on the back of an envelope. He also signed the Emasculation Proclamation, and the Fourteenth Amendment gave the ex-Negroes citizenship. But the Clue Clux Clan would torcher and lynch the ex-Negroes and other innocent victims. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. The believed assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposedly insane actor. This ruined Booth’s career.”

— From a compilation of student bloopers and mistakes, attributed to Richard Lederer. (Source: http://www.innocentenglish.com)

Now that you’ve hopefully had a good laugh, let’s get serious about “mistakes.” Human beings are deeply flawed in two respects. First, we make countless mistakes every day. No surprise, right? The curious part is why we harbor fears about making more. Fear of imperfection is the second and far greater flaw.

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” — Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915)

“To avoid situations in which you might make mistakes may be the biggest mistake of all.” — Peter McWilliams, Life 101

 

“If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not working on hard enough problems. And that’s a big mistake.” — Frank Wilczek (1951- )

We fear mistakes because it reveals that we are imperfect.  But, everyone already knows that. So why do we think that makes us look bad?

“While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.” — Henry C. Link

“I have learned the novice can often see things that the expert overlooks. All that is necessary is not to be afraid of making mistakes, or of appearing naive.” — Abraham Maslow, Psychologist

“Assert your right to make a few mistakes. If people can’t accept your imperfections, that’s their fault.” — Dr. David M. Burns

Mistakes should be welcomed and valued because they are opportunities to learn and improve.

“Mistakes, obviously, show us what needs improving. Without mistakes, how would we know what we had to work on?” — Peter McWilliams, Life 101

“An inventor fails 999 times, and if he succeeds once, he’s in. He treats failures simply as practice shots.” — Charles Franklin Kettering, inventor

What we learn from our mistakes they will guide us and nudge us along the path toward success.

“If I had to live my life again, I’d make the same mistakes, only sooner.” — Tallulah Bankhead (1903-1968 )

“If I had my life to live over… I’d dare to make more mistakes next time.” — Nadine Stair

“Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t as all. You can be discouraged by failure – or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember, that’s where you will find success.” — Thomas J. Watson

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

“It’s a sad day when you find out that it’s not accident or time or fortune, but just yourself that kept things from you.” — Lillian Hellman (1905-1984)

If we are wise and able to suppress our arrogance, it is also possible to learn from the mistakes of others.

“You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.” — Sam Levenson (1911-1980)

To make no mistakes is not in the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes, the wise and the good learn wisdom for the future.” — Plutarch, Historian

Still, one’s own mistakes handled professionally are the best-learned lessons.

Don’t argue for other people’s weaknesses. Don’t argue for your own. When you make a mistake, admit it, correct it, and learn from it immediately.” — Stephen R. Covey, Author and Speaker

“It’s always helpful to learn from your mistakes because then your mistakes seem worthwhile.” — Garry Marshall, ‘Wake Me When It’s Funny’

There are proper and improper responses to mistakes.

“Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life. Laughing at someone else’s can shorten it.” — Cullen Hightower

“When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should ever do about it: admit it, learn from it, and don’t repeat it.” — Paul “Bear” Bryant, “I Ain’t Never Been Nothing but a Winner”

History has proven there’s an undeniable connection between mistakes and innovation.

“Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” — James Joyce (1882-1941)

“He who never made a mistake never made a discovery.” — Samuel Smiles

“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.” — Steve Jobs

Here’s the lesson. Forgive yourself for your mistakes, then commit to improvement. As long as your intentions were moral and ethical and your efforts were careful and thorough, there is no valid reason to feel guilty about a mistake, even if it caused harm. Of course when harm has occurred the whole matter of forgiveness and reparations must take place. After that, there’s not much else you can do but move on and do better.

“How unhappy is he who cannot forgive himself.” — Publilius Syrus (~100 BC)

“Life is an adventure in forgiveness.” — Norman Cousins (1915-1990)

“Forgiveness does not always lead to a healed relationship. Some people are not capable of love, and it might be wise to let them go along with your anger. Wish them well, and let them go their way.” — Real Live Preacher, RealLivePreacher.com Weblog, July 7, 2003

The worst thing is to allow one mistake to turn into more.

“A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it, is committing another mistake.” — Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC)

“If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down but the staying down.” — Mary Pickford (1893-1979)

Accepting our limits and imperfections as humans is not the same as being cavalier about mistakes. Errors are inevitable and they are serious business. Learning to deal properly with mistakes is the mark of a professional.

“Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life” — Sophia Loren

God bless,

— CC

[ L=Language | Index | N= Netiquette ]

© Copyright October 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com

Buying Bread

Before long, the television industry will have made a so-called reality series on every possible subject. So far, I haven’t seen one that takes place in a grocery store. As my contribution to the television industry I will offer this idea along with a storyboard for the pilot episode.

Imagine a woman going into a grocery store to buy bread. She picks up a loaf, squeezes it for freshness, checks the price, and makes the decision to try the bread. She has decided that the price is acceptable – she is confident that the bread is fresh and will meet her needs. The decision was made in a timely manner allowing time for the other decisions she will make before reaching the check-out counter.

“First weigh the considerations, then take the risks.” — Helmuth von Moltke (1800 – 1891)

The second shopper comes along and picks up two brands of bread, compares them, puts one in the shopping cart, the other back on the rack and proceeds to the check-out line. Suddenly he does an about-face, returning to the bread aisle to swap the first loaf for the second. There’s a pause. Indecision sets in. Will it be brand “A” or brand “B”? — then a blank stare accompanied by a cold sweat. Life is so full of tough decisions.

“Indecision may or may not be my problem.” — Jimmy Buffett

Shopper number three comes in for bread. He picks up the first loaf, reads the ingredients, weighs the bread, takes out one slice and performs a chemical analysis, computes cost per ounce, per calorie, and per grams of fiber, conducts a customer survey on taste, contacts Dun and Bradstreet for financial information about the manufacturer and rates the bread on his findings. Before he can repeat the process for the other 23 bread products, he is voted out of the store by the employees.

“You always second guess yourself. Just think of all the time you’d save if you just trusted yourself.” — Takayuki Ikkaku, Arisa Hosaka and Toshihiro Kawabata, Animal Crossing: Wild World, 2005

— End of episode —

The second shopper was held hostage to indecision, fueled by the fear of the unknown and the imagined consequences of making a bad decision. The third shopper attempted to deal with the same fear by doing an excessive amount of research, research that had already been done. What shoppers two and three have in common is a total lack of perspective about the magnitude of the decision. Buying bread IS NOT a major life decision. How long will it take Shopper Three to select a car? Will Shopper Two begin hyperventilating if faced with a weighty moral decision?

“The policy of being too cautious is the greatest risk of all.” — Jawaharlal Nehru (1889 – 1964)

The first shopper made a timely decision using two simple pieces of information: freshness and price. The decision was made with confidence based on limited knowledge. The truth is, all decisions are made with partial information. No one ever has 100% of the information. Trust is required to fill in the information gap. Using a process that combines information with her intuition (i.e. faith), Shopper One was able to make a bread decision. Larger, more important decisions can be made the same way, including a decision about whether or not to take advantage of low-risk, life-changing opportunities.

“If I had to sum up in one word what makes a good manager, I’d say decisiveness. You can use the fanciest computers to gather the numbers, but in the end you have to set a timetable and act.” — Lee Iacocca

Most opportunities are missed because of fear, which leads to over-analysis and procrastination. Truthfully, opportunity is never missed. It’s just grabbed by someone else. What opportunities are standing at your doorstep? Perform your due diligence, then make a courageous and timely decision.

“Make a decision, even if it’s wrong.” — Jarvis Klem

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” — Elbert Hubbard

God bless,

— CC

© Copyright August 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com