Wisdom Quotes

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If You Want To Go East, Don't Go West

Wisdom often seems simplistic. The initial response to a truly profound statement may be "I knew that already.” One example is “this moment is all you have”, a statement that is simple to acknowledge but not easy to remember since we constantly swing back and forth between the memories of the past and hopes and fears for the future.

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Better Is Better Than Best

I've previously discussed the concept that "progress works backwards", meaning that growth toward a desired goal generally happens in incrementally improving stages. I find a lot of hope in the idea that what initially seems like "failure" is more productively viewed as useful feedback on the path to ultimate success. A related philosophy is the idea that "better is often better than best". This may initially seem to be a confusing and contradictory statement, but the idea is actually both simple and comforting.

When Your Reach Exceeds Your Grasp

Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?” -Robert Browning 

I love this quote by Browning because it establishes the nobility of attempting something new or outlandish and then failing.

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Wisdom Quote: Be Resourceful In inspiring Yourself

Become as resourceful in inspiring yourself to enter your own peace as you are at being neurotic and competitive in the world.

-- Sogyal Rinpoche

This quote resonates deeply with me since I'm very good at generating neurotic, self-defeating, resentful and similarly unproductive thoughts. It's not that I'm trying or wanting to produce them; they just come naturally, generally without a great deal of self-awareness. I'm neither proud nor ashamed of this fact. It simply is what it is.

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Searching Where You Haven't Looked

I recently found myself feeling a bit unsettled during a therapy session with a client I've worked with for several months. Since we trust each other's instincts I described to him what I was experiencing and suggested that we review what we had just been talking about.

The Universe Is Made of Stories

The universe is made of stories, not atoms.  -- Muriel Ruykeyser
 
This lovely quote reminds me that it is not matter but meaning that holds the world together. Whatever objectively exists around us inevitably fits into a narrative each of us concocts to help make sense of it all.  I wrote the following thoughts while reflecting on this quote, and the result is a post that is more philosophical than a concrete set of suggestions.  So for those of you who may share my interest in the philosophy of ideas, the followig may hold some interest.    
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Wisdom Quote: The Past Isn't Past

"The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past." -- William Faulkner

This famous quote from Faulkner's "Requiem for a Nun" crops up from time to time in popular culture. I remember when Barack Obama used it in a speech on race relations during his first presidential campaign. The same sentiment was paraphrased in the excellent 1999 movie "Magnolia" when one of the main characters says "We might be through with the past, but the past ain't through with us."

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