I am your constant companion. I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden. I will push you onward or drag you down to failure. I am completely at your command. Half the things you do might just as well turn over to me, and I will be able to do them quickly, correctly. I am easily managed—you must merely be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done, and after a few lessons I will do it automatically. I am the servant of all great people; and alas, of all failures as well. Those who are great, I have made great. Those who are failures, I have made failures. I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a human being. You may run me for profit or turn me for ruin—it makes no difference to me. Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet. Be easy with me and I will destroy you. Who am I? I am habit.
I sought my God and my God I could not find. I sought my soul and my soul eluded me. I sought my brother to serve him in his need, and I found all three—my God, my soul and thee.
Pick your battles.
That which we desire most earnestly, we believe most easily.
The brain said, "I’m the smartest organ in the body." The heart said, "Who told you?”
The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.
This too shall pass.
Time heals all wounds.
I keep a stiff upper lip, and I shoot from the hip!
The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.
Every man gives his life to what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing, and so they give their lives to little or nothing.
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things.
When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.
Leaders do not avoid, repress, or deny conflict, but rather see it as an opportunity.
Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.
Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.
The person who eats beer and franks with cheer and thanks will probably be healthier than the person who eats sprouts and bread with doubts and dread.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Leadership without the discipline of execution is incomplete and ineffective. Without the ability to execute, all other attributes of leadership become hollow.
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
-- Chinese proverb
Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.
Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide.
Good is the enemy of great.
Almost all of the world-class athletes and other peak performers are visualizers. They see it; they feel it; they experience it before they actually do it. They begin with the end in mind.
Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.
Anytime we think the problem is "out there," that thought is the problem. We empower what’s out there to control us. The change paradigm is "outside-in"—what’s out there has to change before we can change. The proactive approach is to change from the inside-out.
Asking for permission is asking to be told "no."
Be loyal to those not present.
Between stimulus and response is our greatest power—the freedom to choose.
Borrowing strength builds weakness—in self, in others and in relationships.
Effectiveness—often even survival—does not depend solely on how much effort we expend, but on whether or not the effort we expend is in the right jungle.
Even in the midst of people or circumstances that seem to ignore the principles, we can be secure in the knowledge that principles are bigger than people or circumstances, and that thousands of years of history have seen them triumph, time and time again.
Focus on the wildly important.
For those filled with regret, perhaps the most needful exercise of proactivity is to realize that past mistakes are also out there in the Circle of Concern. We can’t recall them, we can’t undo them, we can’t control the consequences that came as a result.
Happiness can be defined, in part at least, as the fruit of the desire and ability to sacrifice what we want now for what we want eventually.
I can live out of my imagination instead of my memory. I can tie myself to my limitless potential instead of my limiting past.
I highly recommend starting with a goal of a book a month, then a book every two weeks, then a book a week.
If you visualize the wrong thing, you’ll produce the wrong thing.
If you’re proactive, you don’t have to wait for circumstances or other people to create perspective expanding experiences. You can consciously create your own.
If you pick up one end of the stick, you pick up the other.
In a very real sense, there are only two roles in organizations: customers and suppliers. Everybody functions simultaneously in both roles, whether inside or outside of the organization…The essence of good business, therefore, is the quality of the relationship between customer and supplier.
In relationships, the little things are the big things.
In the great literature of all progressive societies, love is a verb. Reactive people make it a feeling.
In the long run, you can never accomplish a worthy end with an unworthy means.
Integrity is, fundamentally, the value we place on ourselves. It’s our ability to make and keep commitments to ourselves, to "walk our talk." It’s honor with self, a fundamental part of the Character Ethic, the essence of proactive growth.
Interdependence is a choice only independent people can make.
Interdependence is a higher value than independence.
It becomes obvious that if we want to make relatively minor changes in our lives, we can perhaps appropriately focus on our attitudes and behaviors. But if we want to make significant, quantum change, we need to work on our basic paradigms.
It is character that communicates most eloquently. ... In the last analysis, what we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do.
It’s conscience that constantly tells us the value of both ends and means and how they are inseparable. But it’s ego that tells us that the end justifies the means, unaware that a worthy end can never be accomplished with an unworthy means. It may appear that you can, but there are unintended consequences that are not seen or evident at first that will eventually destroy the end.
It’s not what happens to us, but our response to what happens to us that hurts us.
Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they come to see it in themselves.
Manage from the left; lead from the right.
Many of the great things in the history of our civilization have been achieved by the independent will of a determined soul. But the greatest opportunities and boundless accomplishments of the Knowledge Worker Age are reserved for those who master the art of "we." True greatness will be achieved through the abundant mind that works selflessly—with mutual respect, for mutual benefit.
Maturity is the balance between courage and consideration.
Moral Authority: The principled exercise of free choice, which almost always involves some form of sacrifice.
No matter how long we've walked life's pathway to mediocrity, we can always choose to switch paths. Always. It's never too late. We can find our voice.
Our paradigms, correct or incorrect, are the sources of our attitudes and behaviors, and ultimately our relationships with others.
Paradigms are inseparable from character.
People are naturally wired to focus on only one thing at a time (or at best very few) with excellence.
Principles are like lighthouses. They are natural laws that cannot be broken.
Principles are the territory. Values are maps. When we value correct principles, we have truth—a knowledge of things as they are.
Private victories precede public victories.
Proactive people subordinate feelings to values.
The ability to subordinate an impulse to a value is the essence of the proactive person.
The challenge is not to manage time, but to manage ourselves.
The essence of effective time and life management is to organize and execute around balanced priorities.
The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.
The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.
The most important ingredient we put into any relationship is not what we say or what we do, but what we are.
The only person over whom you have direct and immediate control is your self. The most important assets to develop, preserve, and enhance, therefore, are your capabilities. And no one can do it for you. You must cultivate the habits of leadership effectiveness yourself and doing so will be the single best investment you’ll ever make.
The proactive approach to a mistake is to acknowledge it instantly, correct and learn from it. This literally turns a failure into a success.
The way you spend your time is a result of the way you see your time and the way you really see your priorities.
To achieve goals you've never achieved before, you simply need to start doing things you've never done before.
To learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know.
Too often we fail to recognize when we're confronting a false dilemma—which is too bad, because in fact most dilemmas are false.
True financial independence is not having wealth; it's having the power to produce wealth. It's intrinsic.
Trust becomes a verb when you communicate to others their worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves.
Two people can see the same thing, disagree, and yet both be right. It's not logical; its psychological.
Victimism gives your future away.
We see the world, not as it is, but as we are—or, as we are conditioned to see it.
When man created the mirror, he began to lose his soul. He became more concerned with his image than with his self.
When the history of the world and of institutions, societies, communities, families and individuals is finally written, the dominant theme will be the degree to which people have lived not by their socialized conscience but by their divine conscience.
When we look through the lens of each other’s weaknesses, we make others’ strengths irrelevant and their weaknesses more evident.
When you engage in work that taps your talent and fuels your passion—that rises out of a great need in the world that you feel drawn by conscience to meet—therein lies your voice, your calling, your soul’s code. There is a deep, innate, almost inexpressible yearning within each one of us to find our voice in life.
Win/Win is a belief in the Third Alternative. It’s not your way or my way; it’s a better way, a higher way.
Without involvement, there is no commitment.
You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically—to say "no" to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger "yes" burning inside. The enemy of the "best" is often the "good."
When the infrastructure shifts, everything rumbles.
Creative thinking involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in different ways.
The voice of conscience is so delicate that it is easy to stifle it; but it is also so clear that it is impossible to mistake it.
It is impossible for us to break the law. We can only break ourselves against the law.
The end of education is to see men made whole, both in competence and in conscience. For to create the power of competence without creating a corresponding direction to guide the use of that power is bad education. Furthermore, competence will finally disintegrate apart from conscience.
A new philosophy, a new way of life, is not given for nothing. It has to be paid dearly for and only acquired with much patience and great effort.
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.
It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer.
Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.
The history of free man is never written by chance but by choice—their choice.
Children have a lesson adults should learn, to not be ashamed of failing, but to get up and try again. Most of us adults are so afraid, so cautious, so "safe," and therefore so shrinking and rigid and afraid that it is why so many humans fail. Most middle-aged adults have resigned themselves to failure.
I don't believe in fighting today in any one front, but on all fronts. In fact, I'm a black nationalist freedom fighter.
I find that to say you're going to lead something creates a lot of hostility, division, jealousy and envy. I hope to work with any group of leaders, or any group of organizations, to do whatever is necessary to see that this problem is brought before the United Nations.
I’m not out to fight other Negro leaders or organizations. We must find a common approach, a common solution, to a common problem. As of this minute, I’ve forgotten everything bad that the other leaders have said about me, and I pray they can also forget the many bad things I’ve said about them. The problem facing our people here in America is bigger than all other personal or organizational differences. Therefore, as leaders, we must stop worrying about the threat that we seem to think we pose to each other’s personal prestige, and concentrate our united efforts toward solving the unending hurt that is being done daily to our people here in America.
This is part of what's wrong with you: you do too much singing. It's time to stop singing and start swinging.
We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.
That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has become easier, but that our ability to perform it has improved.
What you are shouts so loudly in my ears I cannot hear what you say.
No horse gets anywhere until he is harnessed. No steam or gas ever drives anything until it is confined. No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled. No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined.
Don’t aim at success—the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long run—in the long run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think of it.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it stands than to anything on which it is poured.
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
One man cannot do right in one department of life whilst he is occupied in doing wrong in any other departments. Life is one indivisible whole.
The difference between what we are doing and what we're capable of doing would solve most of the world's problems.
They cannot take away our self-respect if we do not give it to them.
Everyone is a house with four rooms: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. Unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.
The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don’t like to do. They don’t like doing them either necessarily. But their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose.
Although something is not natural, it can become second nature and seem natural.
You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.
There are so many gifts still unopened from your birthday. There are so many hand-crafted presents that have been sent to you by God. The Beloved does not mind repeating, "Everything I have is also yours." There are so many gifts, my dear, still unopened from your birthday.
Forgiveness breaks the chain of causality, because he who ‘forgives’ you—out of love—takes upon himself the consequences of what you have done. Forgiveness, therefore, always entails a sacrifice.
It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for the salvation of the masses.
You cannot play with the animal in you without becoming wholly animal, play with falsehood without forfeiting your right to truth, play with cruelty without losing your sensitivity of mind. He who wants to keep his garden tidy doesn’t reserve a plot for weeds.
You have not done enough, you have never done enough so long as it is still possible that you have something of value to contribute.
No man for any considerable period can wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true.
Give me liberty or give me death!
The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision; you can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.
A goal is a dream with a deadline.
No system can long command the loyalties of men and women which does not expect of them certain measures of discipline, and particularly self-discipline. The cost in comfort may be great. The sacrifice may be real. But this very demanding reality is the substance of which comes character and strength and nobility. Permissiveness never produced greatness. Integrity, loyalty, and strength are virtues whose sinews are developed through the struggles that go on within as we practice self-discipline under the demands of divinely spoken truth.
It ain't real music without guitar.
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.
What luck for rulers that men do not think.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.
Wisdom denotes the pursuing of the best ends by the best means.
Instinct leads, logic does but follow.
If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.
There can be no friendship without confidence, and no confidence without integrity.
All organizations are perfectly aligned to get the results they get.
There is no real excellence in all this world which can be separated from right living.
Into the hands of every individual is given a marvelous power for good or evil—the silent, unconscious, unseen influence of his life. This is simply the constant radiation of what man really is, not what he pretends to be.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Balancing one’s life to avoid burning out is an essential part of an attitude that working for justice is not just something to do for a few years before settling down into a more conventional life. Rather, the activists we talked to see themselves as part of a historical process longer than their own lifetimes.
A lie told often enough becomes the truth.
A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in a sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in.
Women get the richest guy their looks can attract; men get the hottest chick their wealth can attract. It's Darwinism of the highest order.
Back of every noble life there are principles that have fashioned it.
I have so much to do today, I’ll need to spend another hour on my knees.
We have committed the Golden Rule to memory; let us now commit it to life.
I have seen flowers come in stony places, and kind things done by men with ugly faces, and the gold cup won by the worst horse at the races. So I trust too.
He that would govern others first should be master of himself.
Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.
People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.
We become so caught up in the busyness of our lives. Were we to step back, however, and take a good look at what we’re doing, we may find that we have immersed ourselves in the "thick of thin things."
I am not aware of any other factor in medicine—not diet, not smoking, not exercise, not stress, not genetics, not drugs, not surgery—that has a greater impact on our quality of life, incidence of illness, and premature death from all causes.
That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly. It is dearness only that gives everything its value.
The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.
When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bounds. Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world.
Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.
The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.
Search your own heart with all diligence for out of it flow the issues of life.
If they can get you to ask the wrong questions, then they don't have to worry about the answers.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.
No one can hurt you without your consent.
Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike.
Intuition will tell the thinking man where to look next.
In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
Most powerful is he who has himself in his power.
To be or not to be, that is the question: whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them?
Dancing is a vertical expression of a horizontal desire.
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.
Believe in your gut feelings…your own instincts. Everyone around you will tell you why something won’t work. It’s up to you to prove them wrong and be there at the finish line to collect. Failure means nothing. Keep swinging that bat. Sooner or later, you’ll hit the ball!
The way I fight is very scientific. My goal is always to win. I don't want to engage the battle where my opponent is the strongest. I want to fight him where he's the weakest.
Money should never change one's values. Making money is only a report card. It's a way to tell how you're doing.
There is an inverse relationship between the time spent purchasing luxury items such as cars and clothes and the time spent planning one's financial future.
A lot of doubters said it couldn't be done by me. Them same sucka's are now lookin' from under me, wondering what I did? I didn't play myself kid. I respected my fans and made the high bid.
At least be real enough to say what you think. ... I have to live my life from point A to point B, and that’s saying what’s on my mind. That’s what I care about, being in tune with myself, and people respect that…if you just go ahead and get if off your chest, you’ll feel much freer.
... but I never let another player see me down. I kept my front up, my gear clean, even when checkin’ minor green. Brothers knew my game was true, so I hooked up with the real crew that knew exactly what to do…
Don’t ever believe anything blindly. Always use your own head and your own heart to determine your beliefs. Don’t even believe me without thinking it through.
No religion is more powerful than your own spirit and determination.
Old friends will pull you back toward your old ways. Unfortunately, sometimes you just got to cut them loose to move forward.
When a woman finds the right man, it's the right time. When a man reaches the right time, he'll find the right woman.
I slept and dreamed that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted, and behold, service was joy.
Moderation in all things.
The fruit of silence is prayer. The fruit of prayer is faith. The fruit of faith is love. The fruit of love is service. The fruit of service is peace.
Being powerful is like being a lady; if you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.
I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.
There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.
Nothing fails like success.
The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.
The secret of getting ahead is getting started.
You can't last two minutes in my world.
Less is more.
Self-knowledge is best learned, not by contemplation, but by action. Strive to do your duty and you will soon discover of what stuff you are made.
Things which matter most should never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
Treat a man as he appears to be, and you make him worse. But treat a man as if he were what he potentially could be, and you make him what he should be.
In a sense, knowledge shrinks as wisdom grows, for details are swallowed up in principles. The details for knowledge, which are important, will be picked up ad hoc in each avocation of life, but the habit of active utilization of well-understood principles is the final possession of wisdom.
No good deed goes unpunished.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
You must have the courage of your convictions.
If you do good things, good things will come to you.
You can’t be too high and you can’t be too low.
If you're not challenging authority, then you're not challenging yourself.
Life is too short to be boring.