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Don't Be Arrogant - A Frog and Swans Story

A pair of swans was ready to leave a drought lake. A frog asked the swans to take him together. But, the swans were confused how to take the frog together.

The frog had a brilliant idea. "You both bite tip of the root of this grass, and I'll bite the middle of it. Then take me fly." The swans agreed. Then, they were flying to the sky.

In the sky, a group of birds praising their ingenuity & asked them. "You're really smart, who got this briliant idea?". The frog replied proudly, "This is my idea."
At that time, the frog lost his bite. The frog was falling down and die.

Praise is like a two edged sword. Can be productive if addressed with humility ; become a motivation to do better.

But it can also be counterproductive if addressed with arrogancy. So take the praise with self-control. Without self-control, we will be easily intoxicated by the praise. Covetous of praise is the beginning of the ruination.

Praise is like a chewing gum. It should be enjoyed but DO NOT swallow it !

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Anton Chekhov

"Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint on the broken glass."

Russian Writer

1860 -1904

Writing is in the sharing of details.  Even the smallest detail helps to create the story.  Writers are cautioned again and again not to tell, but to show.  If you tell, you are placing judgement on the story.  If you show, you are allowing the reader to make up his own mind.  And I think the same is true of painting.  The goal is not to show the moon hanging in the sky, but to see it reflected in the plants and trees.  Painting is about light and shadow.  You know the sun or moon is there even if you can't see it.  You see the light on the leaves.  Dig deep and reveal the details.  The story is build on the details.

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Attraction Quotes

These attraction quotes are taken from the ebook, How to Attract Anything You Want in Life. They can be helpful to anyone who desires to attract positivity in their daily life. I hope they are helpful.

"The Law of Attraction is very simply defined as that which attracts towards your life anything that you pay attention to, focus on, or spend energy on, whether you actually want it or not." Wings of Success

"Most of the time, failure in people is basically a subconscious acceptance of negative declarative statements." Wings of Success

"The Law of Attraction does not care whether you want something or not or whether it will be good for you or not. It simply takes your current mood or feeling and goes ahead with it. Every time you think something negative you should immediately dismiss it from your mind." Wings of Success

"Success is often seen as something hard to achieve but this is simply because most people are already tuned in to failure." Wings of Success

"You must be clear in your goals if you are to achieve them." Wings of Success

" must focus on what you really want instead of what you think will fix the problem. Until you are completely clear in your mind what you want you will never achieve the kind of success that makes you envious." Wings of Success

"Always keep in mind how you wish your life to be instead of complaining about how it is." Wings of Success

"The human instinct is a powerful tool. If you deeply feel that you ought to do something then you should do it provided it is positive." Wings of Success

"Thinking of success will lead to success and pondering or worrying about failure will only bring more failure. Even in moments of failure or negativity it is crucial to stay focused on the positive and not give in to negativity." Wings of Success

"By staying positive you are forcing the law of attraction to bring you good things. If you want something then do not think of what will happen if you do not get it. That is futile. Instead focus on all the good things that will happen once you do get it." Wings of Success

"This positive feeling will in turn define your actions that will eventually lead to a positive outcome. Once you are doing this constantly it will be noticed by everyone you meet and you will have no trouble passing on your positivity and passion to others." Wings of Success

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Denis Waitley

"There are two primary choices in life:  to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them."

American Speaker/Writer

1933 - 

Do you accept your world as it is or are you willing to change it and make it better?  As creative leaders we have a choice —  to make things better or leave them as they are.  If you are unhappy with your life, then change it.  If you are not happy with your art, then change yourself.  Practice more.  Study more.  Create more.  Life is about choice.  Don't waste time blaming others.  Don't blame your parents.  Don't blame God.  Don't blame your education.  The choice is yours.  Choose to be a winner.

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Leonardo da Vinci

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

Italian Painter/Creative Leader

1452 - 1519

Sometimes we make the world too complicated.  We need to learn to simplify our lives, our work and our creative expressions.  What can you leave out of the painting that will make it stronger?  What can you leave out of your short story that will make it better and more meaningful to your readers?  What can you leave out of your poem that will make it more powerful?  Strive to achieve simplicity in all that you do.
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Alfred North Whitehead

"No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others.  The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude."

English Mathematician/Philosopher

1861 - 1947

Who have been your mentors?  Who have helped you along the way?  I believe we must from time to time stop and acknowledge those who have assisted on our journey through life.  Most people start with their parents and move on to their teachers.  My parents gave me a start by paying for my college education.  I was the first in either my mother's or father's family to graduate from college.  So I have much to be thankful for.  And my teachers have been numerous, whether in the classroom or in books or in day-to-day living.  And don't forget your children and grandchildren.  They teach us parents so much.  They help us to return to the passion of our youth.  How about the person who hired you into your current job.  They saw something in you that others did not.  I could list hundreds of people who have touched my life from beggars whom I gave a handout to the Presidents of companies.  And don't forget your neighbors.  The person who mowed your yard when you were sick.  The minister who married you.  The banker who loaned you money.  We have so much to be thankful for.  Yet, how easily we forget and feel we have nothing.  It is time to develop an attitude of gratitude.  Give thanks today.

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Lucille Ball

"One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn't pay to get discouraged.  Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself."

— Lucille Ball

American Actress

1911 - 1989

It is very easy for creative leaders to become discouraged and depressed when their ideas don't work out.  Yet what good does it do to wallow in self-pity and discouragement?  We become less productive and might even stop creating all together.  The challenge is to find ways to keep our chin up and to keep moving forward.  Having spent the first 35 years of my life as a pessimist, I know it takes work to become an optimist.  And it is easy to backslide.  Being down on ourselves does us no good.  We need to keep the faith.  We need to believe in ourselves.

Here's part one of a documentary of Lucille Ball's life.

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Ralph Ellison

"It takes a deep commitment to change and an even deeper commitment to grow."

American Novelist

1914 - 1994

Change and growth require commitment.  People dream of changing their lives but usually they lack the deep commitment to do so.  Change takes hard work and follow through.  Nothing changes overnight.  Many in the American society expect instant change.  Not happy with your body weight, take a pill or have surgery.  Not happy with your body, have plastic surgery.  Change takes commitment and patience.  It is better to lose weight slowly than quickly.  Becoming a writer doesn't happen overnight.  It takes years.  Actors often are labeled an overnight success — a success which took ten or fifteen years.  Harrison Ford, the actor, spent 15 years in Hollywood before he got the break in Star Wars that made him famous.  Creative expression is a lifetime commitment.  Don't give up.
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Bernice Johnson Reagon

"Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are."

American Singer/Composer

1942 - 

We all face challenges in life.  How we handle these challenges helps to form our character and our soul.  Sometimes these challenges will knock us off our feet and leave us lying face down in the mud.  We must find the strength to climb to our feet and regain our courage.  Only in distress do we learn who we really are.  What challenges are you facing today?  Have the challenges knocked you down?  Have you picked yourself back up?  What are you learning about yourself?  

Here is Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon performing Old Ship of Zion.  You have to hear this.

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Breast Cancer Quotes

"...friends and loved ones can be more sensitive by imagining for a moment that they're the patient." Unknown

"If I should ever leave you to go along the silent way, grieve not, nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk of me." Isla Richardson

"Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work, which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished... Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here, which is gratitude, to be given a mind and heart..., a mouth with which to give shouts of joy." Mary Oliver

"When God gives gifts we do not want it is our challenge to accept them in what form they take and live our lives anew." Marion

"Eyes have held my eyes touching my soul, and words have carried me to the next challenge." Sue Prins

"The rattle of branches as the wind teases through them, the laughter of my grandchildren. Light against dark... Dark against light. It's what my heart feels as it contemplates stopping." Sue Prins

"When you feel there is no place to go. Whenever you feel lonely, a special angel drops in for tea. Angels are with you every step of the way and help you soar with amazing grace." Laura

"Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly. Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain." Unknown

"... I have learned the secret of being content in every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:11-15

"Come to me, all you who are weary or burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light." Mathew 11:28-30

"...we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Romans 5:1-5

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E. B. White

"Your whole duty as a writer is to please and satisfy yourself, and the true writer always plays to an audience of one."

American Writer

1899 - 1985

People today are often told to target their audience and write what their audience wants to read.  The same applies to artists and other creative leaders.  Young singers on American Idol are encouraged to know the audience their music most appeals to.  And there is some truth in this philosophy.  You can find success writing, singing and painting for a particular audience, both financially and personally.  And as creative leaders we do want success.  

But great writers and artists create for themselves and wait for their audience to find them.  Because if you are not satisfied by what you create, you will ultimately disappoint yourself.  You will feel that you betrayed your gift to secure the almighty dollar.  Your job is to satisfy that deep need within yourself to create what you choose to create.  

I have written poetry for over 35 years with little commercial success.  Yet I have written what I wanted and needed to write.  And maybe some day long after I am dead, my writing will find an audience.  And maybe it won't, but at least I have been true to myself.

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Isak Dinesen

"These difficult times have helped me to realize how infinitely rich and beautiful life is.  And that so many things one worries about are of no importance whatsoever."

Danish Writer

1885 - 1962

Sometimes we let the difficulties of living block our realizations of how beautiful life actually is.  Even in the worst of times, there are positive things happening.  The sun does come up every day, even when all we see are clouds.  Many of our worries never come to pass, yet we allow ourselves to spend thousands of hours imagining what could happen.  Most things that we worry about don't happen and when they actually occur, there was nothing we could have done to prevent them from happening.  So stop worrying and start enjoying the beautiful life that is in your hands.  Besides, what is the worst that could happen — we might die.  Then our worries will be over.
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Motivational Time Management Quotes

Many of us find it difficult to incorporate beneficial time management skills into our lives. This can be the case for a number of first year college students. These time management quotes can help college student, as well as anyone who has difficulty managing their time, to better make use of each day.

"It will help you manage your time well if you know where your time actually gets spent." How to Become a Highly Effective Time Manager

"Make two activity lists: "things I like to do" and "things I have to do." Mix up activities from both lists and work on each activity for a short period of time. Alternating between fun and work helps to maintain motivation and interest. " How to Become a Highly Effective Time Manager

"Everyone has high and low periods of attention and concentration...Use your power times to study; use the down times for routines such as laundry and errands." How to Become a Highly Effective Times Manager

"Study in shorter time blocks with short breaks between. This keeps you from getting fatigued and wasting time." How to Become a Highly Effective Time Manager

"Important and urgent- do it now without thinking. Important but not urgent- mark the date in the calendar. Not important but urgent- send any other to represent that and try to keep you away as far as possible. Neither important nor urgent- don't waste time on it." How to Become a Highly Effective Time Manager

"The first thing you need to do before you even begin to manage your time is to get in touch with what you really want from life." Wendy Hearn

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Gwendolyn Brooks

"I felt that I had to write.  Even if I had never published, I knew that I would go on writing, enjoying it and experiencing the challenge."

American Poet

1917 - 2000

Creative individuals must create.  Whether you write, paint, draw, sing or dance, your soul demands that you create.  If you don't, a part of you will die.  Unfortunately, our society says if don't publish and sell your work you are not successful.  This is far from the the true.  Success exists in the process of creation, not in publication or performance.  Don't give up because no one has bought your paintings or that you can't make a living from your writing.  It's okay to take a job to pay the bills and then spend those spare moments creating.  Creative work is what our spirits need and demand.  Don't deny your spirit.

Here are five poems by Gwendolyn Brooks.

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Rollo May

"Creativity arises out of tension between spontaneity and limitations, the latter forcing the spontaneity into various forms which are essential to the work of art or poem."

Rollo May

American Author/Psychologist

1909 - 1994

I spent seven years writing and studying haiku.  The 5-7-5 three-line form is seen by some as very limiting.  Yet, there is freedom and spontaneity within the limits of the form.  Do you want to challenge yourself? Then impose some limits on what you create.  After I moved on from haiku, I created my own 7-line and 20-line poems.  I limited how much I could say by the number of lines.  Online you can find the six word story.  The challenge is to tell your story in six words.  Another blog publishes fiction that is 25 words long, composed of 5 sentences with each sentence being 5 words long.  It is called 5 X 5 fiction.  The same can be done with painting.  There are artists who commit to painting a painting every day.  That is a major limitation.  Here is a link to Angela's blog where she posts a new painting every day.  What limitations are you challenging yourself with?  Remember limitations can increase the creativity.

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Jasper Johns

"As one gets older one sees many more paths that could be taken.  Artists sense within their own work that kind of swelling of possibilities, which may seem a freedom or a confusion."

American Artist

1930 -

Fool's House

When I begin to write a short story, I see many paths for the story to take and I have to make choices.  The excitement comes in the choosing.  Sometimes the path ends and I have to retreat and find another path.  Sometimes the path branches and again I have to choose which direction to go.  The same is true when I start a painting.  So many paths.  So many possibilities.  And the same is true of life.  So many paths.  So many choices.  Some become paralyzed by having too many choices.  After I graduated from college, I was paralyzed because I did not know what to do with my life.  Too many choices.  Or in my mind, too few choices.  Once I made a choice, the path began to take shape and I followed it where I needed to go.  And I arrived where I was supposed to be.

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Anna Quindlen

"The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself."

American Author

1953 -

Like many people, I have for much of my life tried to be perfect.  The perfect student.  The perfect son.  The perfect employee.  The perfect husband.  The perfect writer.  The perfect father.  The perfect speaker.  It took me years to understand that I would never be perfect.  That my character contained flaws, many of which I could not see or understand.  Perfection is impossible.  I can never be perfect in the eyes of others.  I can only be me with my unique strengths and weaknesses.  I have come to the point where I don't have to spell every word correctly.  I don't have a panic attack when I send out an email with mistakes.   I don't worry when I slur my words when I speak.  

How about you?  Have you kicked the perfection habit?  Or do you beat yourself up every time you make a mistake?  The next time you screwup give yourself a pat on the back.  Celebrate the fact that you are human.  Treat yourself to a massage.  And most of all, forgive yourself.
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Raymond Chandler

"Technique alone is never enough.  You have to have passion.  Technique alone is just an embroidered pot holder."

American Novelist

1888 - 1959

Are you passionate about you create?  Are you passionate about your subject matter?  Are you passionate about your medium?  Technique without passion is cold and empty and rarely touches the hearts of people.  Passion without technique still has the power to bring people to tears.  Passion with technique is great art.  Have you perfected your technique?  Have you encouraged and cultivated your passion?  What are you passionate about?  What keeps you awake at night?  What fills your spirit with love?
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Rosanne Cash

"Reading inspirational and motivational quotes daily is like taking my vitamins."

American Singer/Songwriter/Author

1955 - 

You and I live in a very negative world.  Just listen to the news on TV, read the daily newspaper and listen to the people around you.  If we want to remain positive amidst this negativity, we need to give ourselves daily doses of motivation.  We need to daily feed our minds and our hearts with inspirational words.  We feed ourselves food daily because we are hungry.  We take baths regularly because we become dirty.  The same is true for our spirit.  We are in charge of what enters our minds, our hearts and our souls.

The reason this blog is called Daily Inspiration is because each of us needs to feed positive energy into our spirit.  So how can you use the the positive quotes I share with you everyday?  Here are some ways to daily feed your soul.

  1. Memorize each quote and repeat it to yourself throughout the day.

  2. Write the quote down and reread it throughout the day.

  3. Share the quote with others and tell them what it means to you.  

  4. Meditate on the meaning of the quote for 10 - 15 minutes.

  5. Keep a journal and write down what the quote means to you and how you will apply it to your life.

Here is Rosanne singing The Wheel.

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Natalie Goldberg

"Some people write for fifteen years with no success and then decide to quit.  Don't look for success and don't quit.  If you want writing, write under all circumstances.  Success will or will not come, in this lifetime or the next.  Success is none of our business.  It comes from the outside.  Our job is to write, to not look up from our notebook and wonder how much money Norman Mailer earns."

— Natalie Goldberg

American Writer

1948 -

The creative arts are not about fame and fortune.  They are about creating.  If success is what you seek then you ought to pursue another profession.  For every actor who becomes rich, famous and invited to the Oscars, there are thousands who act in small community plays for the love of it.  For every writer who reaches the best sellers list, there are thousands who toil daily with neither recognition nor financial rewards, simply for the love of writing.  For every musician whose songs top the music charts, there are millions who sing at church or in the shower.  Our work is to create, not to become rich and famous.  Are you focused on creating or are you daydreaming about being rich and famous?

Here is Natalie Goldberg:

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Aung San Suu Kyi

"If you're feeling helpless, help someone."

Burmese Author/Political Activist

1945 -

Have you ever felt helpless?  That there was nothing you could do?  It is easy to get discouraged and want to quit — to feel that what one does doesn't matter.  Yet we must pick ourselves up and keep going.  There is always hope.  When you are down, find someone to help.  One of the great paradoxes is that when we help others we help ourselves.  By giving of ourselves to others we are giving to ourselves.  We all need to believe in something beyond ourselves.  For some of us, our artistic creations are what we believe in.  We find hope and strength in our creativity.  For others, their strength and hope comes from helping those less fortunate.  You are never helpless, if you can help someone else.

Here is Morley, a singer and songwriter, who was so inspired by this quote that she turned it into a song.  Listen to the words and watch the images.

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Pastor And Taxi Driver

A minister dies and is waiting in line at the Pearly Gates. Ahead of him is this guy who's dressed in sunglasses, a T-shirt, leather jacket and jeans.

Saint Peter asks this guy. "Who are you, so I may know whether or not to admit you into the Kingdom of Heaven?"

"I'm Joe Cohen, a taxi driver, of New York city."

Saint Peter consults his list, smiles and says "Take this silken robe and enter the Kingdom of Heaven."

The minister stands up and booms out. "I'm Joseph Snow, pastor of the Second Baptist Church for the last forty-three years."

Saint Peter consults his list again and says to the minister, "Take this cotton robe and enter the Kingdom of Heaven."

Just a minute says the minister, "The taxi driver gets a silken robe, how can that be?". "I know this taxi driver because I rode with him while he was alive. He was obnoxious and drove like a maniac."

"In heaven, we reward on results" says Saint Peter. "When you preached, everyone slept. When the taxi driver drove, everyone prayed to God".

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Portrait of Michelangelo
by Jacopino del Conte

"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."

Italian Artist

1475 -1564


Creative leaders see the world differently than others.  They see things that others do not see.  Do you see the angel in the marble?  Have you set him free?  Don't be afraid of what you see.  Don't worry that you may be crazy.  What you see makes you very special.  Trust yourself.  You won't lead yourself down the wrong path.  Believe in the angels locked in stone.  Believe that you can free the angels.  Believe that the world will be a better place because of what you created.  Believe in your talent.
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Marian Wright Edelman

"Failure is just another way to learn how to do something right."

American Activist

1939 - 

Too often we believe failure is something bad.  We have been conditioned by our parents, our schools and society to believe that failure is a negative.  We need to change our perspective of what failure means.  A failure is an opportunity to try again — to start over, to have another chance.  A failure is not the end of the road unless we give up.  Failure is a great teacher.  We learn about ourselves and others.  Sometimes we learn more in failure than we do through success.  So the next time you receive a rejection slip, view it as an opportunity to learn and grow.  

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Aimee Bender

"It seems the best work I do is when I am really allowing the unconscious to rule the page and then later I can go back and hack around and make sense of things."

American Novelist

1969 -

The unconscious mind is a powerful tool for the creative leader.  The unconscious is able to make tremendous leaps and build connections between very different images and words.  Encourage yourself to listen to your unconscious.  Cultivate your unconscious.  Explore your unconscious.  Dance with your unconscious.  Leap into the unknown.  Connect with that which you don't know.

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Once there was a disciple of a renowned Greek philosopher who was handed an odd assignment. He was commanded by his Master to give money to everyone who insulted him, for a period of three years. Wanting very much to awaken, this student did exactly what he was told.

When this rather lengthy trial was over, the Master summoned the young man to his quarters and said to him, "Now you can go to Athens, for you are ready to learn wisdom."

Elated, the disciple set off for Athens. Just before he entered the great city, he saw a certain wise man sitting at the gate insulting everybody who came and went. Naturally, the moment this fellow saw the disciple he insulted him, too.

"Hey!" he cried out to the student, "How did you get to be so ugly and stupid? I have never before seen anyone as ridiculous looking as you."

But instead of taking offense, the disciple just burst out laughing.

"Why do you laugh when I insult you?" asked the wise man.

"Because," said the disciple, "for three whole years I have been paying for this kind of thing and now you give it to me for NOTHING!"

"Enter the city," said the wise man. "It is all yours."

Desert Fathers

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Chinua Achebe

"Art is man's constant effort to create for himself a different order of reality from that which is given to him."

Nigerian Novelist/Poet

1930 -

Through our painting and writing we have an opportunity to recreate the world as we want it to be.  We have the ability and the opportunity to alter reality.  The world into which we are born can be changed.  We can change our story by retelling it in new ways.  Have you changed your story?  Have you altered the reality in which you live?  Or are you caught up in facts as reality?  The more you can alter and change reality, the better artist you will become.

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Maya Angelou

"You can't use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have."

American Poet/Writer

1928 - 

Creativity is a gift that we all possess.  If you have ever watched a small child play, you know this is true.  Children before they attend school have such powerful imaginations, yet through the many years of schooling much of this imagination is lost as the children are forced to conform to the world of adulthood.  Only the strongest hold onto their imagination and continue to think in ways that upset the mainstream.  The more we use our imagination the stronger it grows.  If we don't use our imagination, it withers and disappears.  Are you encouraging your imagination and that of the people around you?

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Robert Henri

"There is no art without contemplation."

American Painter

1865 - 1929

Do you take the time to contemplate your work?  Sometimes we need to step back and process our work.  We need to let it sit for a few days or weeks or even months.  Often when we come back to the work, it is with renewed energy and ideas.  We quickly solve problems that before were obstacles.  Take a day off from time to time to give the creative juices some rest.  To paraphrase an old saying:  "All work and no play, makes Jack a dull artist." 

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Steve Jobs

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Steve Jobs

"Great art stretches the taste, it doesn't follow tastes."

American Businessman/Inventor

1955 - 2011

If you want to achieve greatness, don't follow the pack.  Don't go where others are going.  Choose the path least traveled or create a new path.  Create the world as you want it to be.  Steve Jobs was a visionary.  He took a path that few others could see.  The role of creative leaders is to lead the way to new worlds and new opportunities.  Great artists have a vision of where they want to go and what they want to achieve.  What is your vision?  What path are you on?  Are you leading the way or are you following the pack?

(Quote Source:  Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson)
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J. K. Rowling

"It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."

British Novelist

1965 - 

The choices we make help determine the person we become and what we accomplish.  Did you choose to write today or to watch TV?  Did you choose to help a stranger or did you buy something for yourself?  We make choices every minute of every day.  Did you choose to brush your teeth or comb your hair?  And these decisions impact our lives.  Some decisions have an impact immediately and others take years to materialize.  When I was in my 20's and 30's I played volleyball.  I was known for diving without knee pads on asphalt and hardwood floors to save a ball.  I felt very little pain at the time.  Now 30 years later those dives have come back to haunt my knees and me.  What choices are you making to day that will impact you tomorrow.  Again, I ask:  did you write or paint today?  Or did you go to a movie?  The choices we make tell us who we are, not whom we want to be.
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