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Nice Inspirational Quotes - A Gift From A Friend

"Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world.
For, indeed, that's all who ever have."
---Margaret Mead

"It's not your blue blood, your pedigree or your college degree.
It's what you do with your life that counts."
---Millard Fuller

"If we don't change, we don't grow.
If we don't grow, we aren't really living."
---Gail Sheehy

"I don't do it for the money. I've got enough, much more than I'll ever need.
Money is not an end in itself, but it's sometimes the most effective way
to help us realize our dreams."
---Donald Trump

"There is only one success :
To be able to spend your life in your own way."
---Christopher Marley

"The entrepreneur is essentially a visiualizer and an actualizer...
He can visualize something, and when he visualizes it
he sees exactly how to make it happen."
---Robert I. Schwartz

"No man can discover his own talents."
---Brendan Francis

"To desire and strive to be of some service to the world,
to aim at doing something which shall really increase
the happiness and welfare and virtue of mankind-
This is a choice which is possible for all of us;
and surely it is a good haven to sail for."
---Henry Van Dyke

"Do not pray to God to save the world. Pray to God to make you God's instrument to save the world."
--- Merry Riana)

From "A Gift From A Friend" - Merry Riana
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Alexander Graham Bell

"A man, as a general rule, owes very little to what he is born with — a man is what he makes of himself."

Scotish Scientist/Inventor

1847 - 1922

Most of us come into this world with nothing but the love of our parents and some do not have even that.  There is nothing written on our birth certificates about us being writers, doctors, farmers, artists or lawyers.  All of that comes much later.   Each of us makes himself into what he becomes.  Some do become farmers, lawyers, doctors, poets, preachers, actors, artists and creative leaders.  But who we become is in our hands.  We choose the direction our lives are to take.  Have you become the person you want to be?  

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Anita Brookner

"You never know what you will learn till you start writing.  Then you discover truths you never knew existed."

English Novelist

1928 -

Through the creation of works of art, we are privileged to discover the truth about ourselves and the world we inhabit.  What truths have you learned about yourself?  What has the process of creation revealed to you?  Are you paying attention to the process?  Are you demanding more of yourself?  Listen to the wind strumming your hair.  Choose to be alive and full of hope.  Dance with the romance of life.
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Steve Martin

"Despite a lack of natural ability, I did have the one element necessary to all early creativity: naivete, that fabulous quality that keeps you from knowing just how unsuited you are for what you are about to do."

American Comedian/Actor/Author

1945 -

As creative leaders we must begin each project with beginner's mind.  Being naive allows us to try new things without the history of the past.  I heard a story of a new garment salesman in New York.  Every experienced salesman knew that the buyers did not want to see a salesman during the Christmas holiday so they did not make sales calls.  The new guy didn't know the past so he made sales calls and outsold everyone that month.  Don't let the myths get in your way.  Choose to see the world with the eyes of a child.  Be open to new ways, new habits.
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Thomas Edison

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."

American Inventor

1847 - 1931

Since we don't know the future, we often give up on our goals before we should.  Sometimes the closer we come to achieving our goals, the more discouraged we become.  To us the night appears to be darkest before the dawn.  So the key is not to give up on your dreams.  Hold fast to your dreams.  

Thomas Edison held over a thousand U.S. Patents in his lifetime.  He invented the phonograph, the motion picture camera, a stock ticker, a vote recorder and the light bulb.  In 1914 the phonograph factory of Thomas Edison burnt to the ground.  Over night he lost more than 3 million dollars.  The next day when Edison was walking through this burnt out factory, his son came over to console him.  Thomas Edison turned to his son and said:  "There is great value in disaster.  It burns up all our mistakes.  Thank God we can start anew."  Within three months, he went out and build a new factory, redesigned the phonograph and gave the world a brand new phonograph.
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Martin Buber

"Play is the exultation of the possible."

— Martin Buber

Austrian Philosopher/Writer

1878 - 1965

Adults often forget how to play.  We become too serious and think play is beneath us.  The truth is that play relaxes us and helps us be more creative.  So relearn how to play and have fun.  Create your own games.  Fantasize about the world.  Explore the possibilities.  Some of the best play is unplanned and spontaneous.  Be ready to follow the path of the unexpected.  Learn to be silly and goofy.  Be willing to be and look foolish.  
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Lucy Maud Montgomery

"Humor is the spiciest condiment in the feast of existence.  Laugh at your mistakes but learn from them, joke over your troubles but gather strength from them, make a jest of your difficulties but overcome them."

— Lucy Maud Montgomery

Canadian Novelist

1874 - 1942

Have you laughed today?  We all make mistakes, face difficulties and have to cope with troubles.  The opportunity is to successfully navigate the white water rapids and find your way safely home to the warm fires of love.  Find the humor in the most difficult situations.  Look for the brighter side.  

Listen to Jane Urquhart, the biographer of L. M. Montgomery, talk about the writer.

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Jing Si Aphorism - Inspirational Wisdom by Dharma Master Chen Yen

When walking, as we step one foot forward,
we lift the other foot up.
In the same way, we should let go of yesterday
and focus on today.


The future is an illusion,
the past is a memory.
Hold on to the goodness that is
in our heart at this present moment
and take care to fulfill the duties that we have at hand.


Over time, we can
build great character,
achieve great success,
and cultivate great virtue.


While working, learn ;
while learning, awaken
to the many truth of life.


Use wisdom to contemplate the meaning of life.
Use resolve to organize the time you are given.

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Jean Toomer

"We learn the rope of life by untying its knots."

— Jean Toomer

American Writer

1894 - 1967)

Many people wish that what they know at sixty they had known at twenty.  Unfortunately, life does not work that way.  Life is a process of learning and growing.  The mistakes we make at 20 help make the person we become at 60.  And for writers and artists the same is true.  We perfect our art as we grow.  What we write at 15 is not the same as what we write at 30.

What knots have you untied?  What have you learned that has made you a better person?

Here is a poem by Jean Toomer.

Portrait in Geogia

Hair--braided chestnut,
coiled like a lyncher's rope,
Lips--old scars, or the first red blisters,
Breath--the last sweet scent of cane,
And her slim body, white as the ash
of black flesh after flame

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Margaret Thatcher

"Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction."

British Prime Minister

1925 -

Self-discipline is the key to success in anything one attempts.  As creative leaders we need to nurture and practice self-discipline.  Self-discipline requires sacrifice in the short-term in order to achieve long-term goals.  Yet many do not have the patience to wait.  They want it all and they want it now.

I watched the movie, The Iron Lady, about the life of Margaret Thatcher this past weekend.  Whether or not you are a fan of Thatcher and her politics, this is a movie that you need to see.  It tells the story of Thatcher's rise to power from a grocer's daughter to a powerful world leader.  She lived a life of self-discipline and personal sacrifice that allowed her to accomplish many things on the world stage.

Meryl Streep, who won an Oscar for best actress in this movie, does a fantastic job in playing Margaret Thatcher.  Thatcher like President Reagan before her suffers  from dementia.  The story is told through flashbacks between present day and the past.  Watch the movie trailer.

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Max de Pree

"We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity.  We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing and inclusion."

— Max de Pree

American Author/Businessman 

1924 - 

How we relate and interact with others is important to our success.  We need to treat others with the same respect and courtesy that we wish to be treated.  If we give others the space to grow, we will grow.  If we allow others to be themselves, then we can be ourselves.    it is only with others that we find ideas, dignity and healing.  How we interact with others impacts how others interact with us.  What we give is what we get back.  How are your relationships today?  Healthy?  Growing?  Inclusive?  Joyful?

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Judson Jerome

"Poetry is more fundamental than written language... It is one of the characteristics that defines us as human... Where there are people, there is speech; where there is speech, there is poetry."

American Author

1927 - 1991

I just pulled off my bookshelf the first book about writing poetry that I ever read.  I purchased it in 1967.  The book is The Poet and the Poem by Judson Jerome.  For more than 30 years, Jerome wrote the poetry column for Writer's Digest.  The title of the first chapter is:  "Are You A Poet?"  The first two sentences read:  "Of course, you think you are.  I have never met a person who has never written a poem."

Many people write what they think is poetry.  Most have no clue as to what poetry really is and many have never read a book of poetry.  Few people would take up painting without studying the masters of the past.  Most people wouldn't attempt to play the piano without studying the greats.  Yet, many who have not ever read a poem will pick up a pen and attempt to write one.

As Jerome says, "where there is speech, there is poetry.  Poetry is in our DNA.  Poetry is at the heart of language.  So maybe we all at some level are poets.  We may not be great poets or even good poets, and we may write bad poems, but we still call ourselves poets.  And that is okay.  We should not stop writing, painting or singing simply because we are not successful.
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Yo-Yo Ma

"I will make a mistake on stage.  And you know what?  I welcome that first mistake.  Because then I can shrug it off and keep smiling.  Then I can get on with the performance and turn off that part of the mind that judges everything.  I'm not thinking or worrying anymore."

Chinese-American Musician

1955 -

Being perfect does not make us successful.  Often it is the mistakes that make us who we become.  The mistakes make us human.  People often identify with our mistakes more than our successes.  I once hired a speaker who through her stories appeared to live the perfect life and she turned off at least a third of the audience.  Sometimes it is better to show weakness than strength.  So forgive yourself your mistakes.  They are what make you human and will eventually make you successful.  Often new ideas, products and opportunities come from failures.  How have you benefited from your failures?

Listen to Yo-Yo Ma talk and perform.

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Christopher Reeve

"A hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles."

American Actor

1952 - 2004

Life is filled with obstacles that are designed to test our desire and persistence.  Many people give up on their dreams and hopes much too soon.  Others never realize that they achieved their dreams because they do not understand their true desires.  How are you doing with the obstacles in your life?  Are you still going after your dreams or have you given up?
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Anthony Robbins

"Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more."

American Author/Speaker

1960 -

Life is truly a gift that each of us has been given.  What we do with that life is our choice.  What we achieve, what we accomplish, and what we do with the gift we have been given is up to us.  What have you done with the gift you have been given?  How have you given something back?
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Ludwig van Beethoven

Portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler

"I make many changes, and reject and try again, until I am satisfied."

German Composer and Pianist

1770 -1827

Writers rewrite their material.  Artists draw and sketch before beginning the final painting.  Musicians rewrite their compositions.  Rarely is a creative work finished in the mind of the creator.  He is continuously revising and recreating.  Most writers and artists spend their lives exploring a few key themes.  They write the same novel over and over or paint the same painting again and again.  What are the themes that you are exploring in your creative work?  

For your listening pleasure as you think, here is Beethoven's Tempest Sonata performed by Wilhelm Kempff.

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Caroline Myss

"Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that's the one that is going to require the most from you."

American Author

1952 -

Through out life we are faced with choices.  Some are easy to make and some are difficult, but the choices that require courage are the ones that will teach us the most.  Being an artist can be a courageous choice if our parents and siblings stand against us.  Choosing to leave a secure job with benefits to paint or write full-time can be a courageous act.  The choices we make help to define who we are and who we become.  What choices are you making today that require courage?  What choices are you making that will challenge and teach you the most?  

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Quote of the Day on Anti-bullying

Today’s quote of the day is to help parents think about what steps can be taken to prevent bullying as a whole. 

“…teach your children what to do -- kindness, empathy, fair play, and turn-taking are critical skills for good peer relations.”

Reading this quote helped me to realize that the prevention of bullying starts in the home. If we as parents belittle our children or others they will adapt that same behavior.  If we are selfish and uncaring to others you better believe that your child is watching and learning.  On the other hand if they see that we treat others the same way we would like to be treated they will likewise do the same to others.

I noticed this when my three year old"s favorite thing to say became, “Daddy does it” or “Mommy does it” to justify unacceptable behavior. This gave my husband and I a wake-up call.  We now realize that we have to constantly watch what we say and do in front of him because he is always watching and observing.

What About the Victims of Bullying?

Now, what about the child who is the victim of bullying?  How can we teach them to avoid or put a stop to this cruel act?  One way is through, once again, our actions as parents. 

For example, a young teen who we will call Ann was the constant target of bullying at school.  She was often harassed and alienated by her classmates because she had very low self esteem and was painfully shy.  This problem continued as she matured into adulthood and she began to take a hard look at herself as an individual.  Ann finally realized that others treated her the way she allowed them to which quickly helped her to make another connection.  She had subconsciously adopted the traits of her mother who was also bullied and abused by her husband.  Looking back she realized that her mother never valued herself as an individual.  Ann’s father treated her mother the way she allowed him to and so the abusive cycle continued.

This example shows how a parent’s actions can also cause a child to become the target of bullying.  How we treat ourselves and what we allow others to do and say to us can affect the way a child views himself now and through adulthood.

Monitor Your Child’s Recreation    

Also what a child fills their head with from day to day can have an effect on their actions.  For example, many video games and television programs promote inappropriate content such as violence and sexual harassment.  If a child is exposed to this sort of entertainment on a daily basis these behaviors will become second nature to them and will emulate through their actions towards their peers. It is our responsibility, as parents, to monitor what types of entertainment our children engage themselves in.

These are just some of the ideas this quote of the day helped me to reflect on. 

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Leo Buscaglia

"Happiness and love are just a choice away."

American Author

1924 - 1998

Have you chosen to be happy?  Or have you chosen to be miserable?  Happiness, I believe, is a choice.  We may have little or no control over what happens to us, but we do have control over our attitude.  We have control over how we respond to what happens to us?  We can wallow in self-pity or we can pick ourselves up and put a smile on our face.  Have you chosen to be happy?  Do you enjoy life?

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Susan Minot

"I also find solace in painting because it's an alternative to writing.  It doesn't involve words, and while it requires concentration that makes the time you are doing it disappear, it does not involve the mind the same way, or require logic in the same way.  Painting allows me to convey something not from my head, but from my hand, through images."

American Novelist

1956 - 

I have taken up painting late in life but like Susan I find it a great alternative outlet for my creativity.  I can paint for 2 to 3 hours and be totally lost in what I am doing.  Here is video of Susan Minot talking about both her writing and her art.

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Bob Dylan

"I don't know where my songs come from.  It's like a ghost is writing a song.  It gives you the song and it goes away.  You don't know what it means."

American Musician

1941 - 

Often we don't know the source of our creativity and so pretend that it came from a muse.  Have you ever written something and had no idea where it came from?  Have you ever painted something and surprised yourself with your own originality?  You are no different than the greatest writers, painters or musicians.  Be happy that the muse visited you.  Celebrate the gift of creativity that you have been given.  

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William Trevor

"I believe in not quite knowing.  A writer needs to be doubtful, questioning.  I write out of curiosity and bewilderment."

Irish Novelist

1928 -

I believe that all creative leaders need to doubt and question.  If we just accept the world as is, there is no progress.  It is only through doubt that we are able to follow new paths and create new opportunities.  Cultivate the doubt in you life.  Use it to find your way.  Some people have a difficult time living in the uncertainty of doubt.  They want everything to be black and white.    Unfortunately, that is not the real world.  Uncertainty is a given.  You and I don't know when we will die.  Or when we are born.  Security is momentary.  Success is fleeting.  Learn to live with doubt.  Learn to question.  Learn to be curious.  Then maybe you will be happy.
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Inspirational Generosity Quotes

Generosity is a vital aspect of being human.  Without the generosity of those around us this world would be even more chaotic. May these generosity quotes inspire you to make this act a fundamental part of your daily life.

“Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.” Mathew 5:42

“Be generous and lend them (the poor) whatever they need.”Deuteronomy 15:8

“Make a list of your blessings, thanking God for the experiences, people, and things that are tangible reminders of God’s generosity in your life…as we remember how generous God has been with us, we can’t help but look for ways to show our generosity to others!” Scott Owings, Heartlight Magazine

“Everyone, everything I encounter on my path, and how I respond to it, becomes part of me.  And so, I cannot always give money, but I can always give my good wishes, I can always say good morning.” S. Donovan Mullaney

“…the worth of a gift isn’t only measured in monetary value, or how useful an item is, it’s the intention of the giver, and the gratitude of the recipient. S. Donovan Mullaney

“Start at home, keep it simple and maybe open your eyes and ears to see if even your close friends are in need.”

“A generous person doesn’t hog the limelight but will listen and be interested in others.  The generous-hearted will make light of their own generosity and not be unduly impressed by their owner’s acts of giving.” Mark Tyrrell

“True generosity isn’t about transaction-me doing you a favor so that you can ‘owe me one.’” Mark Tyrrell

“In marriage, generosity is more than tolerating our spouse; it’s bringing out the best in each other and giving each other encouragement to grow.  That means focusing on strengths instead of weaknesses and forgiving mistakes.”

“Generosity inspires gratitude, and gratitude inspires generosity.  God is generous to us and our generosity, as St. Paul tells us, ‘gives proof of our gratitude towards God.’(2 Cor.9:11).” Donald Demarco

“To the calculating mind, being generous seems to be costly.  To the generous heart, being greedy seems incomprehensible.  It is greed that impoverishes us, not generosity.  True generosity, indeed, enriches us a hundredfold” Donald Demarco


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Mark Strand

"Increasingly, I have felt that I don't see a painting until I turn away from it and don't read a poem until I close the book.  What I know or retain of either depends on what I am able to invent in their place."

Canadian Poet

1934 -

Memory is a teller of tales.  What we remember of a painting or a book has less to do with what is in it and more to do what is in our memories.  As readers we bring so much to a book and often we change the intention of the author and the meaning of the book through our reading.  Think about the books you have read or the paintings you have seen.  How much do you remember of the work itself versus your own experiences at the time?  The same is obviously true of songs.  Songs bring back memories of a time and place.  Song connects a generation.  Song connects lovers.  We shape our experience of art probably more than the art shapes us.  What do you remember of the last book your read or the last painting you saw? 

What does this have to say to us as creative leaders?  Don't let the comments of your audience and critics trouble you.  If the comments are negative, they are a reflection of the heart of the person expressing them.  If the comments are postive, they are a reflection of the heart of the person expressing them.  The comments are not about our art but about who they are as people and how they see the world.

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Inspirational Money Quotes

These Inspirational Money quotes often help me to focus on what truly matters when it comes to money.  I hope they will help you too.

“You should never speak about lack, no matter in what context you would mention it. You should not even joke about it. When you speak of lack, you think of lack and you create a mental image of lack and you have lack as a result.”Simona Rich

“If you live in fear of losing your job, either you fear the embarrassment of being jobless, or you fear the loss of material goods - house, car, and such. If you live in fear of losing your stuff and money, it is clear that they own you.” Jonathan Lockwood Huie

“It does not matter whether you own three homes, six cars, and a yacht, or whether you rent a room. Just the acceptance that a simpler lifestyle could be joyful is enough. The only meaningful value in life is happiness, and happiness is dependent neither upon owning things nor upon renouncing material wealth, but rather upon consciously adopting an acceptance of whatever circumstances life throws your way.” Jonathan Lockwood Huie

“Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.” Norman Vincent Peale

“Do everything you can to be ready. Don’t just sit and wish and dream. Be proactive and make sure that you are the most qualified when the door opens. Make sure that you are the hardest worker. Make sure you are the closest to the door.” Chris Widener

“The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenty; but the thoughts of everyone who is hasty only to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5

“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he may have enough to finish it; lest perhaps, after he has laid the foundation and is not able to finish, all those seeing begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build and was not able to finish.” Luke 14:28-30

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