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96 Quotes on Making Big Ideas Real and Challenging the Status Quo

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96 Quotes on Making Big Ideas Real and Challenging the Status Quo

  1. 1. 96 Quotes* on Making Big Ideas Real and Challenging the Status Quo * A library of greatest hits** ** For now
  2. 2. The strength of words is directly related to their ability to inspire action. I hope the following examples help accomplish this goal.
  3. 3. “I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.” -Pearl S. Buck
  4. 4. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” -Aristotle
  5. 5. “You can’t TRY to do things, you must simply DO them.” -Ray Bradbury
  6. 6. “It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” -Lena Horne
  7. 7. “It is not enough to be busy (the ants are busy): we must ask: ‘What are we busy about?’” -Henry David Thoreau
  8. 8. “The most basic form of human stupidity is forgetting what we are trying to accomplish.” -Friedrich Nietzsche
  9. 9. “Creation is in part merely the business of forgoing great and small distractions.” -E.B. White
  10. 10. “Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are.” -Jose Ortega y Gasset
  11. 11. “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” -Warren Buffett
  12. 12. “You can do anything, but not everything.” -David Allen
  13. 13. “Our intention is to affirm this life, not to bring order out of chaos, nor to suggest improvements in creation…but simply to wake up to the very life we’re living.” -John Cage
  14. 14. “A creator needs only one enthusiast to justify him.” -Man Ray
  15. 15. “Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.” -William S. Burroughs
  16. 16. “The artist who aims at perfection in everything achieves it in nothing.” -Eugene Delacroix
  17. 17. “Life is either daring adventure or nothing at all.” -Helen Keller
  18. 18. “Creativity is not a talent. It is a way of operating.” -John Cleese
  19. 19. “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work.” -Chuck Close
  20. 20. “There is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself.” 
 -H. Melville
  21. 21. “Above all, try something.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt
  22. 22. “I never worry about the future. It comes soon enough.” 
 -Albert Einstein
  23. 23. “The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.” 
 -J.J. Rousseau
  24. 24. “He who moves not forward goes backward.” -JW. van Goethe
  25. 25. “Know that there is often hidden in us a dormant poet, always young and alive.” -Alfred de Musset
  26. 26. “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” - Mark Twain

  27. 27. “I can’t give you a surefire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.” 
 - Herbert Bayard Swope

  28. 28. “Everything popular is wrong.” -Oscar Wilde
  29. 29. “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” -Mark Twain 

  30. 30. “Action expresses priorities.” 
  31. 31. “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.” -George Bernard Shaw

  32. 32. “Perfection is not when there is no more to add, but no more to take away.” 
 -Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  33. 33. “Love of bustle is not industry.” 

  34. 34. “Do your own thinking independently. Be the chess player, not the chess piece.” -Ralph Charell

  35. 35. “In the end it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” -Abraham Lincoln
  36. 36. “If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not working on hard enough problems. And that’s a big mistake.”
 -Frank Wilczek

  37. 37. “I love fools’ experiments. I’m always making them.” 
 -Charles Darwin

  38. 38. “Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.” -Dalai Lama XIV

  39. 39. “Out of clutter, find simplicity.” 
 -Albert Einstein

  40. 40. “Beyond the very extreme of fatigue and distress, we may find amounts of ease and power we never dreamed ourselves to own; sources of strength never taxed at all because we never push through the obstruction.” 
 -William James

  41. 41. “One who makes no mistakes makes nothing at all.” 
 -Giacomo Casanova
  42. 42. “Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.” -Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
  43. 43. “There are two types of creativity: the creativity of making zero to one, and the creativity of making one to 1,000.”
 -Kazuhiro Nishi
  44. 44. “We don’t pay attention to boring things.” -John Medina (Brain Rules, Rule #4)
  45. 45. “You do not merely want to be the best. You want to be considered the only ones who do what you do.”
 -Jerry Garcia
  46. 46. “We don’t know where we get our ideas from. We do know that we do not get them from our laptops.” -John Cleese
  47. 47. “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” -Dale Carnegie
  48. 48. “No one is obliged to be a genius, but everyone is obliged to participate.” -Philippe Starck
  49. 49. “My friend, drop all your preconceived and fixed ideas and be neutral. Do you know why this cup is useful? Because it is empty.” -Bruce Lee
  50. 50. “All children are born artists. The problem is to remain artists as we grow up.” -Pablo Picasso
  51. 51. “If I’d have followed the rules, I’d never have gotten anywhere.” -Marilyn Monroe
  52. 52. “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique.” -Martha Graham
  53. 53. “Action may not always be happiness…but there is no happiness without action.” -Benjamin Disraeli
  54. 54. “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.” -Steve Jobs
  55. 55. “All big things in this world are done by people who are naïve and have an idea that is obviously impossible.” -Charles Hamilton
  56. 56. “Everyone aimed at security: no one accepted responsibility. What was plainly lacking, long before the barbarian invasions had done their work, long before economic dislocations became serious, was inner go. Rome’s life was now an imitation of life: a mere holding on. Security was the watchword – as if life knew any other stability than through constant change, or any form of security except through a constant willingness to take risks ” -Lewis Mumford, The Condition of Man
  57. 57. “The future is sending back good wishes and waiting with open arms.” -Kobi Yamada
  58. 58. “Your imagination is the preview to life’s coming attractions.” -Albert Einstein
  59. 59. “Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Louis Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” -H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
  60. 60. “You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own and you know what you know And you are the one who’ll decide where to go.” -Dr. Seuss
  61. 61. “The tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goals, the tragedy lies in not having any goals to reach. It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream. It is not a disaster to be unable to capture your ideals, but it is a disaster to have no ideals to capture. It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach.” -Dr. Benjamin Mays
  62. 62. “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon seem inevitable.” -Christopher Reeve
  63. 63. “Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child, listen to the DON’TS – listen to the SHOULDN’TS, the IMPOSSIBLES, the WON’TS – listen to the NEVER HAVES. Then listen close to me – anything can happen, child. ANYTHING can be.” -Shel Silverstein
  64. 64. “This may be the turning point your grandchildren will tell stories about years from now: the time you leap over the abyss to the other side of the Great Divide and begin your life in earnest. On the other hand, this moment of truth may end up being nothing more than a brief awakening when you glimpse what’s possible on the other side of the Great Divide, but then tell yourself, “Nah, that’s waayyy too far to jump.” In that case, your grandchildren will have to be content talking about what delicious cookies you used to bake or what your favorite sports team was. It will depend on how brave you’ll be.” -Rob Brezsney
  65. 65. “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight – but never stop fighting!” -e.e. cummings
  66. 66. “Success? Odd as it seems, you will achieve the greatest results in business and career if you drop the word “achievement” from your vocabulary and replace it with “contribution.”” -Peter Drucker
  67. 67. “We are here on earth to do good for others. What the others are here for I do not know.” -W.H. Auden
  68. 68. “Here is the test to determine whether your mission on earth is finished: If you’re alive, it isn’t.” -Richard Bach
  69. 69. “I would rather be ashes than dust; I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot; I would rather be in a superb meteor, every atom of me in a magnificent glow than in a sleepy and permanent planet; the proper function of man is to live, not to exist; I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them; I shall USE my time.” -Jack London
  70. 70. “Because of our routines we forget that life is an ongoing adventure.” -Maya Angelou
  71. 71. “Life is truly a ride. We’re all strapped in and no one can stop it. When the doctor slaps your behind, he’s ripping your ticket and away you go. As you make each passage from youth to adulthood to maturity, sometimes you put your arms up and scream, sometimes you just hang onto that bar in front of you. But the ride is the thing. I think the most you can hope for at the end of life is that your hair is messed, you’re out of breath and you didn’t throw up.” -Unknown
  72. 72. “Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth—that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves, too.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  73. 73. “The belief that becomes truth for me… is that which allows me the best use of my strength, the best means of putting my virtues into action.” -Andre Gide
  74. 74. “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” -Proverbs 23:7
  75. 75. “There is nothing training cannot do. Nothing is above its reach. It can turn bad morals to good; it can destroy bad principles and recreate good ones; it can lift men to angelship.” -Mark Twain
  76. 76. “Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.” -Aldous Huxley
  77. 77. “Some men see things as they are, and say, ‘Why?’ I dream of things that never were, and say, ‘Why not?’” -George Bernard Shaw
  78. 78. “He that cannot ask cannot live.” -Old Proverb
  79. 79. “Life is painting a picture, not doing a sum.” -Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
  80. 80. “There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion.” -Carl Jung
  81. 81. “Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance.” -Bruce Barton
  82. 82. “A man’s character is his guardian divinity.” -Heraclitus
  83. 83. “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” -John Wooden
  84. 84. “Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you.” -Henry Ward Beecher
  85. 85. “The knowledge of the world is only to be acquired in the world, and not in a closet.” -Lord Chesterfield
  86. 86. “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  87. 87. “The great man is he that does not lose his child’s-heart.” -Mencius
  88. 88. “Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.” - Michael Landon
  89. 89. “If I had my life to live over again, I’d dare to make more mistakes next time. I’d relax. I’d limber up. I’d be sillier than I’ve been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances, I would take more trips, I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would, perhaps, have more actual troubles but fewer imaginary ones. You see, I’m one of those people who was sensible and sane, hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I’ve had my moments. If I had it to do over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else—just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot-water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute. If I could do it again, I would travel lighter than I have. If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances, I would ride more merry-go-rounds, I would pick more daisies.” -Nadine Stair
  90. 90. “Courage charms us, because it indicates that a man loves an idea better than all things in the world, that he is thinking neither of his bed, nor his dinner, nor his money, but will venture all to put in act the invisible thought of his mind.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
  91. 91. “Live as brave men and face adversity with stout hearts.” -Horace
  92. 92. “Pereunt et imputantur.” (“The hours perish, and are laid to our charge.”) -Inscription on a sun dial at Oxford
  93. 93. “Rest not! Life is sweeping by, Go and dare, before you die; Something mighty and sublime Leave behind to conquer time!” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  94. 94. “The chiefest action for a man of great spirit is never to be out of action … the soul was never put into the body to stand still.” -John Webster
  95. 95. “Fight one more round. When your arms are so tired that you can hardly lift your hands to come on guard, fight one more round. When your nose is bleeding and your eyes are black and you are so tired that you wish your opponent would crack you one on the jaw and put you to sleep, fight one more round—remembering that the man who fights one more round is never whipped.” -James “Gentleman Jim” Corbett
  96. 96. “First we make our habits, then our habits make us.” -John Dryden
  97. 97. “Be regular and orderly in your daily affairs that you may be violent and original in your work.” -Gustave Flaubert
  98. 98. “Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing the lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” -Jack Kerouac
  99. 99. All for now John Tintle // Seattle, WA