Tidbits & Quotes: Quotations
Melody. When you hear a Beatles melody or Marvin Gaye, it changes everything around you. You ever see those commercials where somebody's someplace and then the whole room changes? Melody does that.
You don't want to have organizations in what some people think of as a liquid state. I'm an engineer by training so my physics comes back. An organization is something very solid and when you apply a lot of heat to change it, it becomes fluid. You want to make sure that you don't keep it fluid too long, because liquids move in many directions that you might not have intended.
In God we trust; all others bring data.
I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it.
Those who have mastered etiquette, who are entirely, impeccably right, would seem to arrive at a point of exquisite dullness.
We inevitably doom our children to failure and frustration when we try to set their goals for them.
A man must be master of his hours and days, not their servant.
I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.
A woman never knows what she really wants until she finds out what her husband cannot afford.
I decide who offends me.
You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.
Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.
Caution is a most valuable asset in fishing, especially if you are the fish.
The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
A police state finds that it cannot command the grain to grow.
Wenn ich Mathematikprofessor oder Physiker werden will, brauche ich ein Studium. Aber um einen kaufmännischen Beruf auszuüben, in dem jeden Tag etwas Neues passiert, muss ich nicht bis zum Sankt-Nimmerleins-Tag studieren.
I feel so miserable without you, it's almost like having you here.
Before you contradict an old man, my fair friend, you should endeavor to understand him.
If one cannot invent a really convincing lie, it is often better to stick to the truth.
When a woman dresses up for an occasion, the man should become the black velvet pillow for the jewel.
Music is essentially useless, as life is.
There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, learning from failure.
The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital.
You cannot antagonize and influence at the same time.
To pretend, I actually do the thing: I have therefore only pretended to pretend.
In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.
The nice thing about being a celebrity is that when you bore people, they think it's their fault.
Instinct is action taken in pursuance of a purpose, but without conscious perception of what the purpose is.
There is no delight in owning anything unshared.
We all have ability. The difference is how we use it.
All this talk about equality. The only thing people really have in common is that they are all going to die.
Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.
Adventure is just bad planning.
Why is it when we talk to God, we're praying, but when God talks to us, we're schizophrenic?
It is always easier to believe than to deny. Our minds are naturally affirmative.
I have only one superstition. I touch all the bases when I hit a home run.
The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.
Productivity is being able to do things that you were never able to do before.
Popularity is overrated. Style is not a democracy.
No one travelling on a business trip would be missed if he failed to arrive.
Most people have seen worse things in private than they pretend to be shocked at in public.
Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting, but never hit soft.
Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.
Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else.
Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.
Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.
An idea is a point of departure and no more. As soon as you elaborate it, it becomes transformed by thought.
The ideal has many names, and beauty is but one of them.
If you train people properly, they won't be able to tell a drill from the real thing. If anything, the real thing will be easier.
Action is the foundational key to all success.
He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.
A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are.
I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.
A modest little person, with much to be modest about.
Don't be afraid to go out on a limb. That's where the fruit is.
He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others.
Life's too short for chess.
There can't be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
I feel that the most important requirement in success is learning to overcome failure. You must learn to tolerate it, but never accept it.
What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.
The trouble with jogging is that, by the time you realize you're not in shape for it, it's too far to walk back.
He had delusions of adequacy.
There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure.
Be willing to make decisions. That's the most important quality in a good leader. Don't fall victim to what I call the Ready- Aim-Aim-Aim Syndrome. You must be willing to fire.
Success means only doing what you do well, letting someone else do the rest.
Money can't buy happiness, but neither can poverty.
Confusion is always the most honest response.
I quietly declare war with the State, after my fashion, though I will still make use and get advantage of her as I can, as is usual in such cases.
The great living experience for every man is his adventure into the woman. The man embraces in the woman all that is not himself, and from that one resultant, from that embrace, comes every new action.
Cheerfulness is the best promoter of health and is as friendly to the mind as to the body.
We judge others by their behavior. We judge ourselves by our intentions.
We love vegetarians. All our chickens are vegetarian.
I detest life-insurance agents; they always argue that I shall some day die, which is not so.
Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.
The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass.
The best index to a person's character is (a) how he treats people who can't do him any good, and (b) how he treats people who can't fight back.
About the time we think we can make ends meet, somebody moves the ends.
Happiness is never stopping to think if you are.
I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves.
He knows all about art, but he doesn't know what he likes.
The trouble with facts is that there are so many of them.
We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are - that is the fact.
You can only be young once. But you can always be immature.
Every winner has scars.
Don't ever slam a door, you might want to go back.
A champion needs a motivation above and beyond winning.
That's why many fail -- because they don't get started -- they don't go. They don't overcome inertia. They don't begin.
Instead of getting married again, I'm going to find a woman I don't like and give her a house.
Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.
A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.
To be content with life -- or to live merrily, rather -- all that is required is that we bestow on all things only a fleeting, superficial glance; the more thoughtful we become the more earnest we grow.
I have had dreams, and I have had nightmares. I overcame the nightmares because of my dreams.
If you're enthusiastic about the things you're working on, people will come ask you to do interesting things.
To accuse others for one's own misfortunes is a sign of want of education. To accuse oneself shows that one's education has begun. To accuse neither oneself nor others shows that one's education is complete.
Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life. Laughing at someone else's can shorten it.
If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less.
Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today.
Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the
world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.
The world has the habit of making room for the man whose actions show that he knows where he is going.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
Martyrdom is the only way a man can become famous without ability.
The man who does more than he is paid for will soon be paid for more than he does.
We love to expect, and when expectation is either disappointed or gratified, we want to be again expecting.
I would not waste my life in friction when it could be turned into momentum.
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.
Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.
There are no days in life so memorable as those which vibrate to some stroke of the imagination.
Friendship multiplies the good of life and divides the evil.
Man is so made that when anything fires his soul, impossibilities vanish.
Of course we cross our fingers for our team, and I think chances are not that bad. The women's national soccer team already is world champion, and I don't see a reason why men would not be able to achieve the same as women.
The willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life is the source from which self-respect springs.
You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.
True greatness consists in being great in little things.
As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.
That all men are equal is a proposition to which, at ordinary times, no sane human being has ever given his assent.
Heat cannot be separated from fire, or beauty from the eternal.
Experience tells you what to do; confidence allows you to do it.
Priority is a function of context.
People who are smart get into Mensa. People who are really smart look around and leave.
Less isn't more; just enough is more.
Be absolutely determined to enjoy what you do.
Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers.
In a country well governed poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed wealth is something to be ashamed of.
Don't be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so.
Knowledge of what is possible is the beginning of happiness.
It's like Patti LaBelle, she has a beautiful voice, especially when she hits high notes. But if she hit a high note the whole song, you'd never want another like it from her. It's the fact that she eases into it, and that it's just a small part, a bridge of a song, makes it beautiful. And that's what life is. It's the bridge of a song.
I'm trying to right my wrongs.
But its funny these same wrongs helped me write this song.
Truly great madness cannot be achieved without significant intelligence.
I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.
I believe in getting into hot water; it keeps you clean.
Coincidences are God's way of remaining anonymous.
The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion.
I say that a man must be certain of his morality for the simple reason that he has to suffer for it.
The mediocre talent just never hits the high notes that the top talent hits all the time. The number of divas who can hit the f6 in Mozart's Queen of the Night is vanishingly small, and you just can't perform The Queen of the Night without that famous f6.
The possibilities are endless. I plan to hide in the woods.
Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and be my friend.
What lies behind us, and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person! Having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out just as they are, chaff and grain together. Certain that a faithful hand will take them and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.
A true friend is someone that knows the song of your soul, and sings it back to you when you have forgotten the words.
In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him I may think aloud.
No duty the Executive had to perform was so trying as to put the right man in the right place.
In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice so others could reach for the stars.
Voters don't decide issues, they decide who will decide issues.
We confide in our strength, without boasting of it; we respect that of others, without fearing it.
In our view, based on our considerable boardroom experience, the least independent directors are likely to be those who receive an important fraction of their annual income from the fees they receive for board service (and who hope as well to be recommended for election to other boards and thereby to boost their income further). Yet these are the very board members most often classed as "independent".
I like the bar being set so high that falling off would kill you.
... the Berkshire board is a model: (a) every director is a member of a family owning at least $4 million of stock; (b) none of these shares were acquired from Berkshire via options or grants; (c) no directors receive committee, consulting or board fees from the company that are more than a tiny portion of their annual income; and (d) although we have a standard corporate indemnity arrangement, we carry no liability insurance for directors. At Berkshire, board members travel the same road as shareholders.
I viewed the selection of a flight provider as akin to picking a brain surgeon: you simply want the best. (Let someone else experiment with the low bidder.)
... a hypothetical tale about an employee who asked his boss for permission to hire an assistant. The employee assumed that adding $20,000 to the annual payroll would be inconsequential. But his boss told him the proposal should be evaluated as a $3 million decision, given that an additional person would probably cost at least that amount over his lifetime, factoring in raises, benefits and other expenses (more people, more toilet paper). And unless the company fell on very hard times, the employee added would be unlikely to be dismissed, however marginal his contribution to the business.
... illustrates the importance of a guideline – stay with simple propositions – that we usually apply in investments as well as operations. If only one variable is key to a decision, and the variable has a 90% chance of going your way, the chance for a successful outcome is obviously 90%. But if ten independent variables need to break favorably for a successful result, and each has a 90% probability of success, the likelihood of having a winner is only 35%. ... Since a chain is no stronger than its weakest link, it makes sense to look for – if you’ll excuse an oxymoron – mono-linked chains.
It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.
You have a lifetime to work, but children are only young once.
We are not retreating - we are advancing in another direction.
Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.
Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.
It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place.
I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.
Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.
A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.
One man with courage is a majority.
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government.
I am just one person, and I could be wrong.
Strive for perfection in everything we do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it. Accept nothing nearly right or good enough.
Found in "Business Transformation" by Gouillart/Kelly
We become what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act but a habit!
Failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.
We're not going to stop fighting 'till hell freezes over! Then we're gonna fight on the ice!
The time is always right to do what is right.
Once you say you're going to settle for second, that's what happens to you in life.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
Anyone who criticizes others must have an alternative to offer to them.
Not every end is a goal. The end of a melody is not its goal; however, if the melody has not reached its end, it would also not have reached its goal. A parable.
Sometimes people have a beef against me, and part of that beef comes from being a little too direct in my feedback. To me, the other thing I'm rigorous about is intellectual honesty. To me, honesty is really, really important. That means when an entrepreneur is screwing up, I call him up and say, "You're screwing up. OK?" I'm not polite. I prefer brutal honesty to hypocritical politeness any time of the day. Because fundamentally, every time you're hypocritically polite in a situation where it matters, the outcome is going to be impacted, you hurt the company, the entrepreneurs, and all the people you have helped recruit.
Excellence can be attained if you care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think is safe, dream more than others think is practical, and expect more than others think is possible.
A cat that jumps on a hot stove will never jump on a hot stove again. Neither will it jump on a cold stove.
Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.
I don't know if it will get better, if it gets different. But it has to get different to get better.
When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.
A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.
But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.
If sometimes you feel yourself little, useless, offended and depressed, always remember that you were once the fastest and most victorious sperm in your group.
The great advantage of being in a rut is that when one is in a rut, one knows exactly where one is.
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
People who seized the opportunity and took the money are alive now.
When markets present supply-demand imbalances, you've got to take
advantage of those.
If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it's another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity.
I'm dominant every night. I come in every night and get beat up. I
never make a face when they try to flagrant or hack-a-Shaq me,
because I'm not from this planet. Earthlings don't faze me...
Faith is a cop-out. It is intellectual bankruptcy. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it can't be taken on its own merits.
From the book "Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist"
In real life, unlike in Shakespeare, the sweetness of the rose depends upon the name it bears. Things are not only what they are. They are, in very important respects, what they seem to be.
Failure is humbling, character-building and can teach you, but it is
definitely not good.
It is not how hard you push along the way. It is having something in you to finish.
Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.
One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.
I have failed over and over and over and over. And that is why I suceed!
Each of us is given five balls. One is rubber and four are glass. The rubber ball is work. If you drop it, it will always bounce back. The other four glass balls are family, friends, health and integrity. If you drop them, they are shattered. They won't bounce back.
I have learned to use the word "impossible" with the greatest caution.
Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.
I've never taken a position on the stock price, and I don't think it's appropriate for management to take a position on stock price. [Management's] job is to build an important, lasting, valuable company, and to work hard at that. And then there's the job of investors -- to try to assess what that company is worth. Those jobs are hard [and distinct]. So, I never speculate on stock price.
Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently.
I will have no man work for me who has not the capacity to become a partner.
We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.
He will never be a tough competitor. He doesn't know how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
Don't be humble. You're not that great.
It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.
If you don't have a valid business model, scaling up only means losing money faster.
Do what you like, but like what you do.
You don't get anything clean without getting something else dirty.
I'm never absolutely sure of anything, and I don't want to be. You're either right and you'll pull through, or you're not. We're never going to be right about everything, and we've certainly been wrong.
It is not always recognized that, to function best, morality should sometimes appear unfair, like most worldly outcomes. The craving for perfect fairness causes a lot of terrible problems in system function. Some systems should be made deliberately unfair to individuals because they’ll be fairer on average for all of us. I frequently cite the example of having your career over, in the Navy, if your ship goes aground, even if it wasn’t your fault. I say the lack of justice for the one guy that wasn’t at fault is way more than made up by a greater justice for everybody when every captain of a ship always sweats blood to make sure the ship doesn’t go aground. Tolerating a little unfairness to some to get a greater fairness for all is a model I recommend to all of you.
So, economics should emulate physics' basic ethos, but its search for precision in physics–like formulas is almost always wrong in economics.
God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things which should be changed and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.
Well practically everybody (1) overweighs the stuff that can be numbered, because it yields to the statistical techniques they’re taught in academia, and (2) doesn’t mix in the hard-to-measure stuff that may be more important. That is a mistake I’ve tried all my life to avoid, and I have no regrets for having done that.
One reason I don't drink is that I want to know when I am having a good time.
You know, by the time you reach my age, you've made plenty of mistakes if you've lived your life properly. So you learn. You put things in perspective. You pull your energies together. You change. You go forward. My fellow Americans, I have a great deal that I want to accomplish with you and for you over the next two years. And, the Lord willing, that's exactly what I intend to do.
If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?
All human beings should try to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.
It's funny that on old photos people look younger.
The rule of my life is to make business a pleasure, and pleasure my business.
Nobody in TV makes as much money as Robert Redford, who likes to make movies for several million dollars only on the condition that they contain some sort of social message. I can't take very seriously a social message delivered by an actor who's paid nine million dollars to deliver it, and who charges you five dollars to see it.
All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusion is called a philosopher.
To the small part of ignorance that we arrange and classify we give the name knowledge.
I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell.
Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.
Friend: One who knows all about you and loves you just the same.
God created the flirt as soon as He made the fool.
Just think how happy you would be if you lost everything you have right now, and then got it back again.
Man will do many things to get himself loved; he will do all things to get himself envied.
There's a rule they don't teach you at the Harvard Business School. It is, if anything is worth doing, it's worth doing to excess.
There is, therefore, only one categorical imperative. It is: Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.
There is always something ridiculous about the emotions of people whom one has ceased to love.
What the world needs is more geniuses with humility, there are so few of us left.
To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice.
Give us the luxuries of life and we will dispense with the necessities.
If you want to make enemies, try to change something.
I may not understand, but I am willing to admire.
I am not young enough to know everything.
Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant.
It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.
Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.
To write brashly about some things, it is almost necessary not to know much about them.
Be competitive, intense, and accountable.
Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down. And this is all life really means.
I'm desperately trying to figure out why kamikaze pilots wore helmets.
For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.
The four stages of scientific acceptance:
This is worthless nonsense.
This is an interesting, but perverse, point of view.
This is true, but quite unimportant.
I always said so.
In nature there are neither rewards nor punishment - there are consequences.
To be a number one, you will have to train like a number two.
Never argue with a fool. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
What is the major problem? It is fundamentally the confusion between effectiveness and efficiency that stands between doing the right things and doing things right. There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead. Not sick, not wounded, dead.
Nothing is impossible. Some things are just less likely than others.
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