Tag Archives: quotations

Is There One “Best” Type of Temperament? Or Tendency?

thomasmerton“Temperament does not predestine one man to sanctity and another to reprobation. All temperaments can serve as the material for ruin or for salvation…It does not matter how poor or how difficult a temperament we may be endowed with. If we make good use of what we have, if we make it serve our good desires, we can do better than another who merely serves his temperament instead of making it serve him.”

–Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude

This passage from Merton caught my attention, because of my Four Tendencies framework for personality.

In that framework, I divide all of humanity into four types: Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, and Rebel. (Want to find out what you are? The Quiz is here. Almost 500,000 people have taken it.) Continue reading

Do You Struggle to Give Up an Object that Once Served You Well? For Me, My Laptops.

laptops4“We conceive…a sort of gratitude for those inanimated objects, which have been the causes of great or frequent pleasure to us. The sailor, who, as soon as he got ashore, should mend [build] his fire with the plank upon which he had just escaped from a shipwreck, would seem to be guilty of an unnatural action. We should expect that he would rather preserve it with care and affection, as a monument that was, in some measure, dear to him.”

–Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments

I love this passage, but the old-fashioned language may make it difficult to understand Smith’s point: when some object has done us great service, we’re reluctant to get rid of it.

Do you feel this way? I sure do. Continue reading

What’s Your Favorite Quote About Coming Home?

LittleHousecover-300x433When the fiddle had stopped singing Laura called out softly, “What are days of auld lang syne, Pa?”

“They are the days of a long time ago, Laura,” Pa said. “Go to sleep, now.”

But Laura lay awake a little while, listening to Pa’s fiddle softly playing and to the lonely sound of the wind in the Big Woods. She looked at Pa sitting on the bench by the hearth, the firelight gleaming on his brown hair and beard and glistening on the honey-brown fiddle. She looked at Ma, gently rocking and knitting.

She thought to herself, “This is now.”

She was glad that the cosy house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago.

– Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House in the Big Woods (last paragraphs)

This is one of my favorite passages in all of literature. I think of it often, especially when I come home after a trip. “This is now.Continue reading

10 Quotes That Inspire And Motivate


I posted this blog recently on PsychCentral. I thought I’d excerpt from it here, but you can find more quotes there.

I recently joined “The Psychology Network” on LinkedIn and have been enjoying the discussion among mental health professionals (since I’m not really one, but pretend to be all the time).15 Quotes that Motivate and Inspire

Especially intriguing was the discussion thread called “What are some of your favorite quotes that have motivated and inspired you?” They are quotes that they share with patients or with each other, or that they just think are cool and sound good. Here are just 15 from the 70 or so responses:

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” –Hilary Cooper

“If you can keep your wits about you while others are losing theirs and blaming you, the world will be yours.” –Rudyard Kipling

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” –Attributed to Confucius

If there is one lesson that I have learned during my life as an analyst, it is the lesson that what my patients tell me is likely to be true – that many times when I believed that I was right and my patients were wrong, it turned out, though often only after a prolonged search, that my rightness was superficial, whereas their rightness was profound. –Heinz Kohut

“Quitting smoking is easy. I’ve done it a 100 times.” ?–Mark Twain

“You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew.” –Albert Einstein


Three Proven Clichés: Truer Words Were Never Spoken

Clichés are annoyingly difficult to escape, not only because they’re (by definition) overused, but also because they achieve what so few of the wordiest among us can: they make their points quickly and cleverly. “A stitch in time saves nine.” “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” (Rhyming while managing to stay succinct? Now, that’s skillful.) Even so, because they’re thrown about so often and usually with little thought, messages like these just don’t hold much water for us anymore. But though we may dismiss them as trite, some clichés are, for lack of a more original phrase, right on the money. In fact, beyond common sense, they even have science to back them up.

“You snooze, you lose.”
If you understood this cliché to mean that sleeping leads to underachievement, that would make it 100 percent wrong. We need a certain amount of sleep every night for optimal physical and emotional health. (That amount, rather than the oft-cited eight hours, is largely individual.) But if you took the phrase literally, then yes, sleeping does lead to actual loss—at least, according to various research on weight loss.

Studies show that when you don’t get enough sleep, your brain has to find another way to keep you awake during the day. Enter ghrelin, the appetite-stimulating hormone that goes into production overdrive in an attempt to keep you hungry, and therefore awake. At the same time, levels of leptin, a hormone that signals satiation, decrease significantly. A 2010 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that participants who slept only 5.5 hours a night lost more than 50 percent less fat than those who slept 8.5 hours per night instead. Aside from the hormonal connection, being exhausted all the time doesn’t make anyone want to go to the gym or be all that active. The added stress then causes stronger cravings for comfort food (high-calorie, high-fat goods). Clearly, if you don’t snooze, it’s likely you won’t lose.

“Kill ’em with kindness.”
When dealing with bullies, you can do one of two things: give them a taste of their own medicine or kill them with kindness, which means countering their rudeness and aggression with courtesy and politeness. Almost all anti-bullying programs would advocate for the latter, but one in particular takes it further than most. Roots of Empathy (ROE), a classroom program that started in Canada and spread to the United States and New Zealand, believes that empathy is the key to reducing, if not eliminating, bullying.

Students are taught empathy by routine visits from a baby and his or her parent. By watching the baby grow and learning to pick up on his or her emotional cues, ROE supporters believe that kids are more likely to understand themselves and others, which makes them less likely to harm themselves and others. What’s more, research at the University of British Columbia has shown an 88 percent decrease in aggression among students who participate in ROE’s program. A little lesson in kindness and empathy can go a long way.

“Out of sight, out of mind.”
Even if this cliché isn’t true in every respect (at least, not when you’re pining away for someone), we humans sometimes assume it is when we’re working in groups. Various psychological studies suggest that social loafing, the tendency of people working in groups to work a little less harder because they’re less directly responsible, is a very real thing. A 1993 meta-analysis covering seventy-eight studies and published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that certain factors, like not caring about the task itself or having higher expectations of others’ performances, increase the “out of sight, out of mind” assumption.

But the cliché is true beyond group work situations as well. A 2010 study in the journal Tobacco Control found that after tobacco ads were removed from a certain location, only 22 percent of teenagers could remember the ads’ content (compared with a whopping 81 percent beforehand). The removal also lowered these teens’ beliefs about how many of their peers smoked. When the ads weren’t confronting them every day, they thought about them—and the prospect of smoking—much less. (If only that were true of that whole pining-away business.)

Relying on clichés is often thought of as lazy, but when it comes down to it, sometimes they say it better than any paraphrasing or unique spin ever could. Within those words that have been repeated infinitely are pearls of wisdom we’d all do well to remember as we go about our daily lives—even if, as is the case with these phrases, we have to fudge their original meaning a little to get to the golden truth. 

9 Summer-Inspired Quotations To Inspire Your Remaining Summer Days

What is there to not love about the summer season? Impromptu beach visits, weekend road trips, longer daylight hours, flip-flops with short jean skirts, sunglasses, barbeques, lazy afternoons in the park. Ahh! 

On a metaphorical level, summer represents the apex of all the great things that life has to offer–in love, beauty, success, friendships, and joy. Summer is the glory days to think big, dance like you don’t care, and live up your wildest dreams before we begin to wind down for the next phase of our lives. What are some big, exciting things you want to manifest this summer? 

In ode to the glorious summer season, here are ten summer-inspired quotations to inspire you to enjoy the remaining weeks of summer. It always goes by so fast before you know it. 

"The tendinous part of the mind, so to speak, is more developed in winter; the fleshy, in summer. I should say winter had given the bone and sinew to literature, summer the tissues and the blood." – John Burroughs

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer." – Albert Camus

"People take pictures of the Summer, just in case someone thought they had missed it, and to proved that it really existed." – Ray Davies

"A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken."– James Dent

"Our fear of death is like our fear that summer will be short, but when we have had our swing of pleasure, our fill of fruit, and our swelter of heat, we say we have had our day."Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Summer is the time when one sheds one’s tensions with one’s clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all’s right with the world." – Ada Louise Huxtable

"Summer afternoon – Summer afternoon… the two most beautiful words in the English language." – Henry James

"Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability." – Sam Keen

"A life without love is like a year without summer." – Swedish Proverb

 PHOTO (cc): flickr / geoftheref

8 Quotations To Light That Inner Fire To Live Your Greatest Life Possible

I love finding new quotations. And the best quotations have a way of finding you in the most unexpected ways: in a book you randomly pick up, a card from a long-lost friend, or even on a bumper sticker while driving to an unknown destination.

For this particular collection, I tried to dig deep for quotations I’ve never heard of, or authors I whose books I have never read. I hope all of you find the following words from these wise people as inspiring as I did. In celebration of living your dream life (and sharing your daily intentions with everyone you know), here are eight quotations to get that inner fire going.

"In absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia." Author Unknown

"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 at 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

"Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, that is way great spiritual giants are produced." -Swami Vivekanada

"For true success ask yourself these four questions: Why? Why not? Why not me? Why not now?" – James Allen

"Passion creates the desire for more and action fuelled by passion creates a future." – Byron Pulsifer

"A great attitude does much more than turn on the lights in our worlds; it seems to magically connect us to all sorts of serendipitous opportunities that were somehow absent before the change." – Earl Nightingale

"Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot." D.H. Lawrence

"We all need to look into the dark side of our nature – that’s where the energy is, the passion. People are afraid of that because it holds pieces of us we’re busy denying." Sue Grafton

BONUS: The following quotation is an oldies but a goodie. I’ve seen this quotation in different places so many times, but it is worth seeing again and again and again.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."-Aristotle

 PHOTO (cc): Flickr / adpt27

Wedding Season Driving You Crazy? 9 Inspirational, Funny Or Just Plain Depressing Quotes About Wedding Ceremonies

So many profound things have been said about the nature of love and the institution of marriage. But what do the wise sages, comedians, literary geniuses, artists and social critics of the past and present have to say about weddings? The epic epicenter where it all starts–or falls apart. (Half-kidding.) 

A beautiful union of two souls melding together before family and friends–or a ridiculous and expensive ritual that people take way too seriously? In celebration of wedding season, check out the following inspiring, witty (or just plain depressing) quotations to help you get through your wedding invitations–or your OWN wedding–with more humor and grace.

"I dreamed of a wedding of elaborate elegance,
A church filled with family and friends.
I asked him what kind of a wedding he wished for,
He said one that would make me his wife."
– Author Unknown

"The woman cries before the wedding and the man after." – Polish Proverb

"If it were not for the presents, an elopement would be preferable."– George Ade


"A wedding is a funeral where you smell your own flowers."– Eddie Cantor

“Now very often events are set up for photographers… The weddings are orchestrated about the photographers taking the picture, because if it hasn’t been photographed it doesn’t really exist.”– Elliott Erwitt 

"To keep your marriage brimming, with love in the wedding cup, whenever you’re wrong, admit it; whenever you’re right, shut up." – Ogden Nash

"Our wedding was many years ago. The celebration continues to this day" -Gene Perret

 “My fiance and I are having a little disagreement. What I want is a big church wedding with bridesmaids and flowers and a no-expense-spared reception; what he wants is to break off our engagement."– Sally Poplin

"Always get married early in the morning. That way, if it doesn’t work out, you haven’t wasted a whole day." -Mickey Rooney

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / ajturner

Thoughts for Life


 Asato Ma Sat Gamaya
Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya
Mrityor Ma Amritam Gamaya
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
.-Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.3.28

Lead Us From the Unreal To Real,
Lead Us From Darkness To Light,
Lead Us From Death To Immortality,
Aum (the universal sound of God)
Let There Be Peace Peace Peace. – Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.3.28

"There can be no greater inspiration for strength and power than the idea of the Indian Vedanta that the soul is essentially divine… Actually the more wecan think of our divine heritage the more divine we become. Error(thinking of sins or being sinner) brings about sorrow and that is ultimately the cause of weakness. Consequently remedy is seen in strength, and strength is conveyed by basing(establishing) oneself not on the individual but universal.By Expanding Mind/to Cosmic Mind or Cosmic Consciuosness Level.”
                                                                                                                  – Dr. Hans Jacobs


“Each soul is potentially divine.
The goal is to manifest this Divinity within by controlling nature, external and internal.
Do this either by work, or worship, or psychic control, or philosophy — by one, or more, or all of these — and be free.
This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but secondary details.”-Swami Vivekananda
"We have learnt to fly in the skies, we have learnt to race in the waters, but alas we have not yet learnt to walk on the earth."-Dr.Sr.Radhakrishnan
“???????? ?? ??? ??? ??? ????? ?? ??????? ?? ??? ???? ??? ????? ????? ?? ??? ?? ???? ???????? ?? ??? ????? ?? ???? ????? ?? I”- ??. ??????????

"Those who have neither education,nor effort,nor charity,nor knowledge,nor charachter,nor virtuesor rightiousnes.
They live on this planet of death(earth), as animals in the form of man."-Bhartahri Shatak

ye??? na vidy? na tapo na d?na?
jñ?na? na ??la? na gu?o na dharma? |
te martya-loke bhuvi bh?ra-bh?t?
manu?ya-r?pe?a m?g?? caranti || BharSt_1.13 ||


"I believe that the looming ecological crisis combined with increasing terrorism will change the face of the Earth in the decades to come. With its rapacious consumerism and all its wealth, the crisis will hugely affect North America. Yoga must be made more relevant to this issue, which involves the practice of yoga as a spiritually based and ecologically sensitive lifestyle."

                                                                                                       -Georg Feuerstein, Traditional Yoga Studies


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