Weekend Quotable Feed

weekend quotable no. 66

 

‘Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences’.

J.K. Rowling

 

Looking back in retrospect, at moments of destiny, can be a terrible thing. Dreadful, because doing so distorts and hides the opportunities that present themselves each day. Retrospective navel gazing glamorizes the end result, but overlooks and largely ignores the importance of the ongoing process.

It ignores the struggles, insecurities, and the tenacity of the many decades of work.

When you look back, you realize that of course you should have bought some Apple stock when it was beginning to reassert itself on the market. You were so silly to hesitate. 

And when you think about it, isn’t it terribly obvious that Harry Potter was going to be the next big thing? So why didn’t you read it, when it first appeared in print? Or see the movie when it was released in the theatre?

Why didn’t you buy a McDonald’s or a Tim Horton’s franchise when it was affordable? When they were growing their business. When everyone was looking elsewhere. When nobody saw it coming.

Their rise and prominence was a matter of destiny.

A divine ordinance.

A matter of luck.

But thats not true.

Destiny doesn’t account for the millions and millions of tiny little choices and trillions of setback that become the foundation of something beautiful.

Destiny overlooks the courage it takes to share what you have made, or to say I’m sorry, to pay back your wrongs, or to forgive and make peace with the past.

Destiny gives ordinary decisions dramatic consequences and in turn discourages others from pushing forward.

You may not be the next big thing, but that doesn’t matter.

You have a voice. 

An important voice and some unfinished business. 

A toy box full abandoned projects and ideas.

Get back at it or keep at it.

Make your mark.

Don’t let looking back prevent you from dreaming forward.

Seize the moment.

Speak. Write. Sing. Dance.

Be counted.

 


weekend quotable no. 65

 

Instead of wondering when your next vacation is,

you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.

Seth Godin

 

Create a life you don’t need to escape from.

Escape from the prison of your own making.

Create a life you don’t mind sharing, that feels meaningful and complete.

Share yourself abundantly. Without asking for anything in return. Without clandestine moves, or ulterior motives. Without ladders and promotions. Without long hours and constant worry.

Such a life is possible.

It’s not only possible, you are most likely in possession of all the blueprints.

You are the architect, not them.

You are a dignified human being, not cog in a wheel, in these modern times.

There are things that you should have never been asked to compromise. There are things you should have never been asked to give up. There is never a time to compartmentalize yourself, and pin one part of your life against the other.

Your work should never be in conflict with your family. You should never have to choose between a paycheque and the time you have with those you care about.

I know that’s how it is, but it’s not a vacation that you need.

You need a whole other life and it won’t be easy. That’s for sure.

But neither will be dying with regret.

Dying without meaning or purpose. Having to say goodbye to a life you didn’t really live. Desiring more time with the people you didn’t make enough time for to begin with.

Build a life where you can be yourself.

Uninterrupted. Unapologetic. Glorious!

Build a life you don’t need to escape from.

Repurpose the walls of your prison.

Build a life that inspires others.

A life that will be missed when you’re gone.

 


weekend quotable no. 64

 

It isn’t where you came from,

Its where you’re going that counts.

Ella Fitzgerald

 

It’s not where you came from.

It’s not where you’ve been or haven’t been. What you know or don’t know. What mistakes have troubled you or what opportunities you’ve let slip through your fingers.

It’s not how much you’ve suffered. What side of town you’ve come from. What family genetics you’ve inherited or what nurturing you may or may not have received.

You’re not hopeless.

Far from it.

There is much hope in choosing to go where you’re going.

The past doesn’t define you. Or at least it doesn’t have to, if you’re willing to burn the ill begotten scripts which have governed your life thus far.

You’re not predestined.

You are free.

Free to dream.

And armed with time to become who you dream of becoming. Time to embrace a new life, if you have the courage to renew your sense of purpose. If you realize that its where you’re going and not where you’ve been that matters.

So, don’t look back. Look forward.

Don’t get discouraged by what you don’t have but become inspired by what you seek.

Where are you going?

Who are you going with?

What will you bring on your journey?

Who will you meet? What will you experience? What stories will you be happy to tell?

Go with God’s speed.

Go unapologetically.

Stop saying if and when.

Start moving here and now.


weekend quotable no. 63

 

If you want to increase your success rate,

double your failure rate.

Thomas J. Watson

 

Double them.

Double down with a smile on your face when on you’re wrong.

Double and renew your effort to do, what deep inside, you are so uncomfortable to do.

Make mistakes.

The message and advice from those at the top is abundantly clear. Be inspired, work hard, and don’t be afraid to fail.

Seek it out because you can’t get the good stuff, without embracing the stinky stuff.

There are no secret formulas. No short cuts. No predestination.

There is you. There is your idea. There is your best effort. And the result.

Our knowledge of the outcome is often unpredictable. No matter how prepared you are, there is always something you will miss. In the end, your flaws will be embarrassingly exposed, but you will be able to see where it went wrong.

This is where you want to hang out.

This is where most people turtle. This is where they hang their head, curse their effort and turn back. Feeling ashamed. Looking for something else to do. Regretful. Embarrassed. Dejected.

But you’re not them.

You need to double down.

You need to keep digging.

It is time to lead instead of follow because you’re going to double down.

You have more time to learn along the way. To test your ideas. Readjust your course. Take a break if necessary, but it’s truly over if you decide to quit. 

Quit because you’ve made a mistake or experienced a series of failures.

So, do the opposite. Ignore your feelings.

Double your efforts. Double your convictions.

Seek out more dirt and mud to shovel, and you’re sure to behold your diamond.

 


weekend quotable no. 62

 

“Lasting change is a series of compromises”.

Jane Goodall

 

People consider an act of compromise as a sign of defeat. A shameful act of weakness.

They fight it with unrelenting energy and hold fast to their stubborn convictions to the bitter end.

They hate being wrong. They hate that you’re right.

The absolutely hate giving in. Accepting. Changing. Adjusting.

We hate it too.

Compromise is not for the faint of heart.

The act of compromise calls for a rare and abundant act of maturity. It calls for believing in something greater than ourselves. A passionate idea. A beautiful vision.

It calls for the courage to gaze at something greater than you. The embrace of something bigger than you.

And only then.

By taking an uncomfortable, regretful, retrograde step backward. Or perhaps by allowing others to leap ahead of you, will you arrive at lasting, meaningful change.

You can either be right, or you can be happy.

You can be right, or you can be married.

Change is easy. Lasting change requires compromise.

Compromise takes strength. It demands stamina and an openness to look foolish for a period of time. To appear defeated.

Laughed at. Dismissed. Ignored. Abandoned. Forgotten.

And while others spend a great deal of energy and their limited resources holding on to a shattered empire built on sand. Through compromise, you can rebuild the foundation of your own life and be happy.

Compromise give you a chance to retreat and regroup. To refocus and relearn. To understand and see what you missed the first or second time around.

Compromise allows you to help everyone, not just yourself.

Compromise is an act that offers everyone something better in return.

Compromise is the harbinger of lasting change.

The greatest act of kindness.

The only way to be.

 


weekend quotable no. 61

 

“I cannot learn other people’s lessons for them.

They must do the work for themselves,

and they will do it when they are ready”.

Louise Hay

 

Guilt.

 

It’s regrettably painful to watch those we love, struggle with addiction, or all sorts of gut wrenching problems.

It’s tough to stand by and watch them suffer. To see them walk with downcast eyes, or an angry spirit. To see their sadness and melancholy. Their dependency on prescription drugs and alcohol. And it’s really tough, to bear witness to their self-doubt and lack of self-worth.

As parents or friends, we can be easily wounded by their pain.

We can fall prey to our own sense of shame, by not knowing what to say, or by feeling helpless in not knowing how to help. We can burden ourselves with very serious and unwarranted guilty, by not being able to do more.

But we cannot learn their lessons for them.

We are incapable of living their lives.

We cannot carry their cross.

And in the process, when we try, we only hurt ourselves, by becoming their scapegoat and surrogate, an unsolicited, enabling crutch.

We have to learn to let go.

We have to trust in the ultimate meaning of all creation.

We have to let God drive.

We must let go and let them carry their problems by themselves. Let them take their lumps. To let them learn their lessons.

We must give them a chance.

A chance to correct their course. To see the value of their lives.

But those we love may not be ready.

That’s certainly understandable. Most meaningful things take a long time to build and accomplish. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was the Notre Dame Cathedral. It takes patience and oodles of reassurance. It takes faith that the sun will rise again tomorrow.

And it will.

The sun will rise, and spring will come.

So, unburden yourself of your guilt.

Let go.

When they are ready. They will find their way home.

Change will come.  

And when it does, rest certain, that they will be better. They will become a beacon of hope for others.

 


weekend quotable no. 60

 

“Human life has meaning only that degree

and as long as it is lived

in the service of humanity”.

Wole Soyinka

 

There is no greater calling in life than to be of service to humanity.

But be forewarned not to serve the idea of humanity. Or your own distorted version of it, because there is an boundless difference between the real person and the philosophical notion of one.

Traditionally, this how our human history is written, how we lose heart, abandon our life’s work, or worse, bring entire nations to absolute and complete ruin.

When you only embrace an idea of humanity, you will be blind to the needs of one individual, who is vastly different than another. You will see everyone as the same.

You will fail to listen. Fail to understand. Fail to ask who they long and care to be.

You will mean well of course, and probably rely on your God given right, or your hard earned degree to prescribe and pontificate. To use and abuse. To save them from themselves. To kill the Indian but save the man. (At a small margin of profit of course).

Vladimir Lenin openly served the idea of humanity, but privately knew that the Russian people were too ignorant to make any difference. His comrade, Joseph Stalin, thought that the peasants needed a strong selfless leader, a man of steel, and so he lead them, with an iron fist, against their will, despite their resistance.

There truly is no greater joy than to devote your life and your talents to the service of humanity.

There is no greater meaning than to help someone who is in need.

But remember the person.

Never fail to see the individual person.

Start with their name and go from there.

There is so much to be done.

But the last thing we need, is servitude to an idea.

 


weekend quotable no. 59

 

“As a child my family’s menu

Consisted of two choices:

Take it or leave it”.

Buddy Hackett

 

Two choices.

Take it or leave it.

Do it or don’t do it.

Yes or no.

This level of childlike simplicity is the key to accomplishing everything.

We are often overwhelmed by the complexity of the many choices that push themselves upon our consciousness and demand our attention. We are easily frustrated by the seemingly infinite number of steps, we think we must understand first, before we can get started, or keep going.

We complicate things. We overthink things. We flinch.

I remember seeking advice from my friends, when I weighed a pudgy 337 pounds. I asked them, if I should weight train with dumbbells or exercise with machines. If I should perform low reps or high reps. If I should split my routine this way or that way. If I should exercise in the morning, or in the evening.

They had loving pity for me.

Look, they said.

Don’t overcomplicate things.

You’re fat.

You need to lose weight and as far as we’re concerned, anything will work.

Stop asking questions and do something.

Pick up any object within reach. Light or heavy and drop it on the floor. Bend your fat body and pick it up. Repeat.

Repeat until you get tired.

Do it every day.

That’s it.

Do anything. Do everything. Do something.

That is the menu of happiness.

Take it or leave it.

 


weekend quotable no. 58

 

“Truth that costs nothing is a lie”.

Kś. Jerzy Popieluszko

 

Like a piece of wood that burns in a fire to provide warmth for us, so it is with truth. Either we are willing to bear its demands and cost, or it is nothing more than a lie.

Lies are somewhat easier to embrace.

Easier to believe. Easier to consume. Easier to spread.

But truth.

Truth is the only thing, that lasts and endures forever.

But there is a cost for truth.

Time.

Truth rejects all short cuts and requires much time and effort. She requires constant failure. A perpetual, relentless effort of trial and error. Truth is very demanding. She requires living our lives, unapologetically, and meaningfully.

Truth will cost us much time.

Because life cannot be fooled. She knows the difference between speaking and asking, glancing and seeking, and between timidly tapping and knocking.

Life knows if you have insufficient funds. She knows if you are living your life on credit. She will not eagerly hand you the truth, like adults hand out candy at Halloween.

The pursuit of truth is a journey. A long journey. A journey that will cost you the inconvenience of time, and much enduring effort.

Don’t look at the cost. There is much to be paid if you’re living a lie.

Ask for truth, and she will reveal herself.

Seek her, and you will find her.

Knock and the door will open.

In time. With patience. And a little more time.

 


weekend quotable no. 57

 

“Courage does not always roar.

Sometimes courage is the quiet voice,

at the end of the day saying,

I will try again tomorrow”.

Mary Anne Redmacher

 

We all need courage.

And some of us need it more than others.

Because for some, probably more than we care to admit, facing the break of day, is a blistering, grinding, daily routine of pain and struggle.

When by chance, they happen to glance in a mirror. Or when through circumstance, their eyes meet yours, they won’t see what they should see. Won’t see, what they need to see.

Instead, they will imagine and embrace someone undesirable. Someone else. A disgrace. An ugly, regrettable, expandable; disappointment.

They will hurl insults at themselves, because by know they have become a source of comfort. Words that could curdle milk and turn fine wine into table vinegar.

They need courage.

A lot of courage.

Not through a roar, a momentary rush of passion, but in the ordinary and quietest of moments.

You see.

They roar so much already.

They rant. They rave, about the unfairness of it all. Hands to the sky. Lungs full of air. Bitching and moaning. Doing anything and everything, to prove themselves right.

Courage gets lost when they themselves are prone to roar. It becomes just another booming drum. Another imposing gesture. Another failed promise. Another futile resolution. Yet another, abandoned moment, of epiphany. A gift unopened.

A map.

Unused.

They need a whisper. Even if that whisper is broken and fragile.

They need a single ray of hope.

A friable, but graspable straw.

They need to know and hear that they have more time tomorrow.

Tomorrow.

To begin again.

To face their demons again. To have hope in the future again.

So, don’t ever fool yourself into thinking you were meant to roar for them.

Understand that you were born to whisper. No matter how small, insignificant, and broken you think you are, you are always capable of whispering something kind, and uplifting, to someone else.

Sometimes we don’t know why. Think it won’t matter. Think that it won’t make a difference.

But if we were to all whisper, not roar.

We would all find the courage, a thousand times a day.

We would all give each other another chance.

A chance.

At a new beginning and the dawning of a new day.