The secret to success

“Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding. Hold this picture tenaciously. Never permit it to fade. Your mind will seek to develop the picture…Do not build up obstacles in your imagination.” Norman Vincent Peale

What this quote means is that to succeed, you need to see yourself succeeding in your mind. Always have it in your mind that you will succeed, always remember it, and remove any doubts or roadblocks to your success.

Doubt is what kills many peoples dreams. The most successful people never doubted themselves, and knew they would one day succeed in reaching their goals.

Knowing you will succeed and removing all doubt from your mind is half the battle. Once you are able to do that, you’ll start finding yourself in the right places, at the right times. This is why less talented people are able to go further than many with talent: they do not doubt themselves, and see themselves succeeding in their mind.

Is it right rather than who is watching should be the question

“The measure of a man’s character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out.” Baron Thomas Babington Macauley

What this quote means is the real person we, our character, are becomes apparent when we do things which we think no one will ever know. A person of high moral character would do the same things, regardless of being found out or not. A person of low moral character will do certain things, and act one way in public, but their true self, their true character will appear when they are in private, when they think what they are doing will not be found out. A person of low moral character would ask who is watching, before doing something.

The way to become a person of character is to act the same way in private as in public. Rather than asking who is watching, a person of character asks ‘is it right’.

No matter how far the apple falls, it still came from that tree

“Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves have poisoned the fountain.” John Locke

What this quote means is that parents are ultimately responsible for how their children grow up and how they act and think. Whether or not parents know it, or acknowledge it, how children turn out is heavily dependent on how the parents raise them.

Many parents question why a child turned out the way he or she did, claiming they did the best they could. In reality, the child turned out a particular way because of the parents, because of what they did, or in most cases, what they didn’t do.

Peer pressure, illness and other things may affect what happens to a child, but the child’s character and inner soul are molded by actions, or inactions of the parents

Being a fool for a few minutes is better than being a fool forever

“He who asks a question may be a fool for five minutes; he who asks no questions stays a fool forever.” Chinese proverb

The meaning of this quote is something almost everyone can relate to. Each of us at some point or another had a question we wanted to ask, but refrained, thinking it was a dumb question. The point of this quote is that we should go ahead and ask these questions. If it is a dumb question and makes us look like a fool, it will be all forgotten within a few minutes. While others may have thought it was a dumb question, the answer provided a missing piece of a puzzle, allowing our minds to go further on the correct path. The person who never asks a question, may not look like a fool for the moment, but over time, their actions and what they say, will give them away. Without the questions, we get no answers. Without the answers, our minds can’t process the correct information. Without the correct information to process and drive a persons actions and words, that  person, will over time become known as a fool.

Live according to your conscience and not the majority

“If all the world hated you and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved of you and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends.” Charlotte Bronte

What this quote means is that you should follow your conscience, your inner voice, before following the crowd. Let others think of you what they will as long as deep down, within your conscience, you are comfortable with your actions and feel them to be proper.

Live your life according to your conscience, and no matter how many people in the world think you’re wicked, there will be those who will stand up for you, and call you friend.

You are what you do

“I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it is best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions.” Dorothy Day

What this quote means is that most people are all talk, and most of what they say has no value. To truly know a person, judge them by what they do, not by what they say.

So when someone tells you about themselves, watch what they do to see how much of what they said is true.

Fight to be yourself

“To be nobody-but-yourself? In a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else? Means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”   E. E. Cummings

What this quotes means is that is it not easy to be yourself, to be unique, or to think differently. This is a world which promotes conformity, where you are expected to play a certain role, to be a certain person, to be like everyone else. To conform and accept what everyone wants you to be is easy.

Being true to yourself, being different than what the world expects of you is extremely difficult. You are not just fighting an inner struggle, questioning if staying true to yourself is the right path, but also fighting the world, which wants you to be the same as every other type of person, and to think like everyone else. This is not a fight which you win and move on, but a fight which stays with you your entire life, no matter how successful you become, or how many times you prove them wrong. That is why it is the hardest battle.

The people who stand out throughout history are the ones who fought against conformity, who were different than everyone else, and who refused to accept the worlds view of who they should be. Some examples are Leonardo Da Vinci,  Alexander the Great, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., Frank Lloyd Wright, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Thomas Alva Edison, Christopher Columbus, Jesus, Moses, Muhammad, Peter the Great and many others.

 

Don’t wrestle with pigs

“Don’t wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.”
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

What this quote means is that you become what you allow yourself to get into to. This goes hand in hand with arguing or debating with fools. Win or lose, you bring yourself down to the fools level, while the fool, just being himself, gets satisfaction for adding a new member to the club.

Looking at it another way, the message is to be careful of the company you keep and who you interact with. Just like wrestling with pigs, you will get brought down to their level. If you want to help others, bring them into your environment, or take the pigs out of the muddy pen.

Are blessed people happier?

“Since the things we do determine the character of life, no blessed person can become unhappy, for he will never do those things which are hateful and petty.”  Aristotle

This quote conveys several messages. The first message makes an assumption that your life and character are determined by what you do. The things you do, or don’t do, determines your character of life;  the type of person you are and your outlook on life.

The second and focal point of the quote, further explains that people who are blessed are happy, and as a result, are not full of hate and bitterness and so will not do anything which is hateful or petty in nature.

The third message is that people who do hateful and petty things are unhappy.

The danger of approaching a fool

Don’t approach a goat from the front, a horse from the back, or a fool from any side. Jewish proverb

What this quote means is that there are certain things you shouldn’t do based on a certain set of rules, usually at the expense of someone else. The quote appears to have three warnings, but the first two are there to set the context for the third, to show that approaching a fool from any side is a dangerous endeavor.