Inspirational Quotations #662

It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.
Warren Buffett

What you cannot see in the world is far more powerful than anything you can see.
T. Harv Eker

Court not the critic’s smile nor dread his frown.
Walter Scott

Wisdom begins in wonder.
Socrates

A person should set his goals as early as he can and devote all his energy and talent to getting there. With enough effort, he may achieve it. Or he may find something that is even more rewarding. But in the end, no matter what the outcome, he will know he has been alive.
Walt Disney

Glory follows virtue as if it were its shadow.
Cicero

Revenge is the abject pleasure of an abject mind.
Juvenal

All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.
Galileo Galilei

Man is generally led the way which he is inclined to go.
The Talmud

The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.
Albert Einstein

The jests of the rich are ever successful.
Oliver Goldsmith

Hold your neighbor’s honor as sacred as your own.
The Talmud

Three things produce love: culture of mind, modesty, and meekness.
The Talmud

He gives little who gives with a frown; he gives much who gives little with a smile.
The Talmud

It is not how much one makes but to what purpose one spends.
John Ruskin

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.
Eleanor Roosevelt

8 Effective Ways to De-Stress This Holiday Season

‘Tis the season to feel harried.

The “most wonderful time of the year” can present plenty of reasons to be anxious and stressed—even depressed—during an occasion meant for cheerfulness and celebration.

According to this American Psychological Association survey, 44 percent of women and 31 percent of men reported an increase in stress during the holidays. 59 percent of respondents testified to feeling nervous or sad, and 51 percent reported symptoms of fatigue.

De-Stress This Holiday Season

Here are some practical tips to help you minimize the stress that may accompany your holidays.

  • Plan ahead and take control of the holidays. Don’t let the holidays become something you dread. Look back at prior years and identify your holiday triggers (cranky relatives, gifts, financial pressures, and end-of-the-year demands at work, etc.) so that you can combat them before they lead to a meltdown. A little planning and positive thinking can go a long way in helping you find peace and joy during the holidays.
  • Get organized. Put first things first. Don’t get engulfed with demands and expectations. Establish relaxing surroundings. Commence each day by writing down whatever is most important for you to accomplish that day. Make decisions quickly and act upon them.
  • Be realistic and don’t pursue perfection. You are only one person—you can only do so much! Let go of your vision of a picture-perfect holiday. Be pragmatic about what you expect of yourself and others. Establish priorities, avoid procrastination, and let go of impossible goals. Relax and enjoy the companionship of family and friends.
  • Holiday Stress Relief Tips Take frequent breaks. When frazzled, take a nap, go for a short walk, read a book, or watch a funny movie.
  • Try adult coloring books. Studies have shown that coloring within lines inspires mindfulness—being in the present moment instead of in the past (associated with depression) or in the future (associated with anxiety.) Coloring books can set you in a relaxed, absorbed, meditative state and help you reduce anxiety, depression, and fatigue.
  • Say ‘no’ generously. You don’t have to attend every holiday party you’re invited to—it’s OK to say ‘no’ to a few or all of them. Don’t skip the office holiday party, however—it’s a great opportunity to “get noticed.” Don’t overcommit yourself.
  • Meditate, if even for a few minutes. Sitting for just a few minutes of meditation can be an incredible sanctuary of calm and relaxation that you’ll seldom find during the holiday season. Meditation is known to reduce the stress hormone cortisol, strengthen the immune system, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Take time out of the day to lower your stress levels and focus on your well-being.
  • Maintain healthy eating and exercise habits. The holiday season is notorious for ruining healthy habits and adding a few extra pounds to waistlines. Fend off holiday weight gain by being mindful of what you eat and regulating portion sizes. Avoid starving yourself in anticipation of eating at holiday parties. Instead, consume some nourishing snacks to fill you up before dinner parties. Try simple, small workouts each day. Maintain a food and workout journal to help you stay committed to your health goals.

Tips to Relax During the Holidays

Idea for Impact: This holiday season, your needs belong to the top

When demands for your time intensify during the holiday season, you need to do more for yourself—not less.

In spite of everything, the holidays are less about gatherings, grub, and gifts—and more about finding peace and serenity for yourself and sharing it with your loved ones.

Happy holidays everyone!

This Holiday Season, Read about How to Boost Your Willpower

'Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength' by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney (ISBN 0143122231) In previous articles, I have discussed a key differentiating trait I’ve observed in successful people: they get things done not by pursuing motivation but through discipline, self-control, determination, and willpower. They actively seek a way to work at whatever must be done even when they do not really feel like doing it.

In Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength (2011,) New York Times science writer John Tierney and Florida State University psychologist Roy Baumeister discuss the virtues of self-control, and the concepts of ego depletion and decision fatigue. This informative tome is grounded in thirty years of academic research into willfulness and self-discipline.

Willpower starts with the assertion that intelligence and willpower are your two best predictors of achieving success in life. You may not be able to meaningfully increase your intelligence, but you can surely enhance your capacity for self-control. Parenthetically, when people were inquired about their failings in life, a lack of self-control was consistently at the top of the list.

The book’s central theorem is the much-debated “strength model of self-control.” This “muscle metaphor” states that willpower is like a muscle that tires out—or runs out of energy—as you use it, but can be fortified through practice.

How to Boost Your Willpower

Here are some prominent insights and tips from Willpower:

  • You have a limited amount of willpower, which, in the short term, depletes as you use it and must be replenished. Each instance of applying willpower (e.g. repressing your thoughts and actions, working intensely, stressing at work, making decisions, and dealing with difficult people) drains the same psychological reservoir of self-control. Expending willpower in one sphere of life leaves you less able to exercise self-control in another.
  • Just as muscles can get overworked and become tired and feeble until they can recuperate, the exercise of self-control causes fatigue.
  • Willpower is fuelled by blood glucose. Therefore, acts of self-control drain the glucose. When glucose is low, self-control failures are more likely. Restoring glucose to a sufficient level usually improves self-control. Willpower can be restored by boosting blood sugar. Foods like white bread, potatoes, white rice, and sugared snacks cause boom-and-bust cycles of willpower since these foods are quickly converted into glucose. Vegetables, nuts, raw fruits, and cheese are converted more slowly, and therefore provide ‘fuel’ more progressively.
  • Being in a tidy room seems to increase self-control and being in a messy room seems to curb self-control.
  • Your daily supply of willpower is limited. If you exhaust most of your willpower during the day at work, you will have less self-control, tolerance, and imperturbability when you come home to family. Many marriages go bad when stress at work is at its worst: people use up all their willpower on the job; their home lives suffer because they gave much to their work.
  • When your willpower is low, you’ll find it more arduous to make tougher decisions. Moreover, during decision-making, you’ll be more reluctant to eliminate some of the options you could choose from.
  • In the long term, practicing willpower strengthens it, just as a muscle develops stamina and power when consistently exercised. Even small, inconsequential acts of self-control—avoiding slouching, for example—can strengthen your capacity for self-discipline in the long term.
  • Ego Depletion and Decision Fatigue When you resist one temptation but cannot resist another, your egos have been fatigued by the exercise of willpower. Conversely, you can resist temptations across the board when your ego has been strengthened by exercise.
  • Stress instigates many negative emotions because stress depletes willpower, which consequently diminishes your ability to control and overcome those negative emotions.
  • The best use of willpower is in setting priorities and getting things done. Given you have a limited amount of willpower on a given day, you’re best served by budgeting your willpower and spending it where and when you need it the most.
  • Clear, attainable goals combined with rewards strengthen willpower. Monitoring goals and committing yourself publicly to your goals can help you counteract weakness of will.
  • Live as much of your life as possible on an autopilot. Eliminate distractions, temptations, and unnecessary choices. Simplify. Develop routines and cultivate habits that you can eventually do robotically.
  • Organize your life to decrease the need for willpower. Conserve willpower for demanding circumstances.

Recommendation: Read Willpower. This New York Times best seller is filled with guidance about how best to deploy willpower to overcome temptation and how to build up your willpower ‘strength’ with small—but regular and methodical—exercises. Even if somewhat academic for a self-help book, this worthwhile volume is filled with resourceful research, practical advice, and enthralling stories of people who’ve achieved personal transformation owing to the strength of their will.

Inspirational Quotations by Thomas Carlyle (#661)

Inspirational Quotations by Thomas Carlyle

Today marks the birthday of Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881,) the great-yet-controversial Scottish historian, philosopher, and essayist from the Victorian era.

Known for his incisive critique of British society, Carlyle was one of the most significant thinkers of the nineteenth century. However, since the early 1900s, his work has been censured for his belief that powerful, heroic individuals can transform the course of humanity and for his veneration of the Germanic spirit—both of which invigorated Nazi ideologues.

Carlyle studied and translated German literature in his early years. Some of his earliest writings describe a polarity between the “sacrificial seriousness” of the German culture and the “superficial, pleasure-seeking” British culture. In Signs of the Times (1829), he described the chasm between the material advancements of the machine age and the soulless mediocrity of “modern man.”

Carlyle’s first truly successful book was the three-volume The French Revolution (1837.) Legend has it that after months of hard work, Carlyle lent his completed manuscript of the first volume to his friend, the political philosopher John Stuart Mill. A friend of Mill read the manuscript and left the pages in an untidy heap at his home. Mill’s maid mistook it for trash and threw it in the fire. Carlyle refused to let the loss get him down and rewrote it after finishing the second and third volumes. The French Revolution became one of his most respected works and is considered a reliable account of the early course of the Revolution. Charles Dickens referred to it while writing his A Tale of Two Cities (1859.)

At the core of Carlyle’s political philosophy was his attribution of all historical progress solely to mighty heroes who served as role models for how people should live. He wrote, “No great man lives in vain. The history of the world is but the biography of great men.” He expounded these beliefs in The French Revolution, On Heroes and Hero Worship (1841), and History of Frederick the Great (1858–1865, 6 volumes.) These books profoundly influenced German and Italian fascism and painted Carlyle as a progenitor of the concept of totalitarian regimes.

Inspirational Quotations by Thomas Carlyle

The block of granite which was an obstacle in the pathway of the weak becomes a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong.
Thomas Carlyle

In every man’s writings, the character of the writer must lie recorded.
Thomas Carlyle

Only the person of worth can recognize the worth in others.
Thomas Carlyle

Nothing is more terrible than activity without insight.
Thomas Carlyle

Of all acts of man repentance is the most divine. The greatest of all faults is to be conscious of none.
Thomas Carlyle

A man willing to work, and unable to find work, is perhaps the saddest sight that fortune’s inequality exhibits under this sun.
Thomas Carlyle

Our grand business undoubtedly is, not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.
Thomas Carlyle

The wealth of man is the number of things which he loves and blesses, which he is loved and blessed by.
Thomas Carlyle

The man who cannot laugh is not only fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils, but his whole life is already a treason and a stratagem.
Thomas Carlyle

No great man lives in vain. The history of the world is but the biography of great men.
Thomas Carlyle

We are firm believers in the maxim that for all right judgment of any man or thing it is useful, nay, essential, to see his good qualities before pronouncing on his bad.
Thomas Carlyle

A man’s honest, earnest opinion is the most precious of all he possesses: let him communicate this, if he is to communicate anything.
Thomas Carlyle

In every phenomenon the beginning remains always the most notable moment.
Thomas Carlyle

The great law of culture is: Let each become all that he was created capable of being.
Thomas Carlyle

A well-written Life is almost as rare as a well-spent one.
Thomas Carlyle

All greatness is unconscious, or it is little and naught.
Thomas Carlyle

All work, even cotton spinning, is noble; work is alone noble … A life of ease is not for any man, nor for any god.
Thomas Carlyle

Obstructions are never wanting: the very things that were once indispensable furtherances become obstructions; and need to be shaken off, and left behind us,—a business often of enormous difficulty.
Thomas Carlyle

All work is as seed sown; it grows and spreads, and sows itself anew.
Thomas Carlyle

Originality is a thing we constantly clamour for, and constantly quarrel with.
Thomas Carlyle

What you see, yet can not see over, is as good as infinite.
Thomas Carlyle

No nobler feeling than this of admiration for one higher than himself dwells in the breast of man. It is to this hour, and at all hours, the vivifying influence in man’s life.
Thomas Carlyle

The first duty of man is to conquer fear; he must get rid of it, he cannot act till then.
Thomas Carlyle

Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.
Thomas Carlyle

Today is not yesterday. We ourselves change. How can our works and thoughts, if they are always to be the fittest, continue always the same? Change, indeed, is painful, yet ever needful; and if memory has its force and worth, so also has hope.
Thomas Carlyle

The depth of our despair measures what capability and height of claim we have to hope.
Thomas Carlyle

There is endless merit in a man’s knowing when to have done.
Thomas Carlyle

Everywhere in life the true question is, not what we have gained, but what we do.
Thomas Carlyle

Experience is the best of schoolmasters, only the school fees are heavy.
Thomas Carlyle

Enjoying things which are pleasant; that is not the evil: it is the reducing of our moral self to slavery by them that is.
Thomas Carlyle

All human things do require to have an ideal in them; to have some soul in them.
Thomas Carlyle

Imperfection clings to a person, and if they wait till they are brushed off entirely, they would spin for ever on their axis, advancing nowhere.
Thomas Carlyle

Man is a tool-using animal…Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.
Thomas Carlyle

A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.
Thomas Carlyle

The man of Humor sees common life, even mean life, under the new light of sportfulness and love; whatever has existence has a charm for him. Humor has justly been regarded as the finest perfection of poetic genius.
Thomas Carlyle

A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats little men.
Thomas Carlyle

There are depths in man that go to the lowest hell, and heights that reach the highest heaven, for are not both heaven and hell made out of him, everlasting miracle and mystery that he is.
Thomas Carlyle

Tell a person they are brave and you help them become so.
Thomas Carlyle

With stupidity and sound digestion man may front much.
Thomas Carlyle

No man lives without jostling and being jostled; in all ways he has to elbow himself through the world, giving and receiving offense.
Thomas Carlyle

Adversity is the diamond dust Heaven polishes its jewels with.
Thomas Carlyle

Misery which, through long ages, had no spokesman, no helper, will now be its own helper and speak for itself.
Thomas Carlyle

Men do less than they ought, unless they do all that they can.
Thomas Carlyle

Man’s unhappiness, as I construe, comes of his greatness; it is because there is an Infinite in him, which with all his cunning he cannot quite bury under the Finite.
Thomas Carlyle

The weakest living creature, by concentrating his powers on a single object, can accomplish something. The strongest, by dispensing his over many, may fail to accomplish anything.
Thomas Carlyle

Crayons and Coloring Paper Aren’t Just for Kids

Adult coloring books, composed of outlines of designs (geometric patterns, for example) that you can fill in with colored pencils or pens, have become hugely popular over the last few years.

'Secret Garden' by Johanna Basford (ISBN 1780671067) Coloring books for adults have been around for decades. However, the publication of French publisher Hachette Pratique’s Art-therapie: 100 Coloriages Anti-Stress (2012) and Scottish artist Johanna Basford‘s bestselling Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book (2013) and Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest and Coloring Book (2015) ushered in a social phenomenon. Adult coloring books are among the top sellers on Amazon, and completed colored-in sheets are trending on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. And according to a New Yorker article, coloring books are “also part of a larger and more pervasive fashion among adults for childhood objects and experiences.”

Therapeutic Benefits of Coloring: Concentration and Mindfulness

The emotional benefits of drawing, coloring, and other forms of expressive art was first promoted in the 1920s by the eminent Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl Jung. He noticed that coloring mandalas (ritual symbols in Hinduism and Buddhism) had a calming effect on his adult patients. He journalized (compiled in Jung on Active Imagination (1997)),

I sketched every morning in a notebook a small circular drawing, a mandala, which seemed to correspond to my inner situation at the time. With the help of these drawings I could observe my psychic transformations from day to day … My mandalas were cryptograms…in which I saw the self—that is, my whole being—actively at work.

psychotherapeutic benefits of adult coloring books

Mindfulness Is Being Aware and Being Present on Purpose

Psychologists say that coloring within lines inspires mindfulness—being in the present moment rather than in the past (associated with depression) or in the future (associated with anxiety.) Besides, coloring books, like other forms of expressive art, can put you in a relaxed, absorbed, meditative state and help reduce anxiety, depression, and fatigue.

In an essay on “Coloring Your Way Through Grief,”New York Times columnist Jane Brody discussed the many psychotherapeutic benefits of coloring:

While art therapy has been used for decades to help people express what they can’t put into words, filling in the spaces of a coloring book has a different kind of benefit: enabling people to relax and be more focused…. Coloring within an outlined structure can help to contain and organize feelings of distress and helplessness. Today, there are adult coloring books to help alleviate stress and anxiety, release anger, induce calm and enhance mindfulness… [They can] help people with losses of every kind, including illness, divorce, financial ruin, post-addiction—anything that might force people to redefine their identity.

Idea for Impact: Try adult coloring books for emotional grounding and relaxation. Many colorists find that selecting colors is reassuring. The intentional focus on the coloring process and the repetitive movements can form the underpinning of many self-soothing activities.

Entrepreneurial Lessons from Soichiro Honda [They Beat the Odds #2]

Soichiro Honda - Founder of Honda Motor Company Successful people don’t expect or wait around for the perfect conditions; instead they stay focused on their hopes and dreams. They persist in the face of less-than-ideal circumstances. They don’t achieve greatness because of their optimal surroundings; they achieve it in spite of all of the challenges they face.

Grit and entrepreneurial mindset are lessons from the life of Soichiro Honda (1906–91,) the iconic founder of the Honda Motor Company.

Early Influences Can Open up the Future

Soichiro was born in 1906, just as Japan’s pre-war agricultural economy was shifting towards manufacturing. He inherited from his blacksmith-father an inborn manual dexterity and curiosity about machineries. Even in childhood, Soichiro developed a keen interest in the new engines, pumps, airplanes, and machines that were creating Japan’s nascent industrial base. A Ford Model T motor car that had visited his village when he was a toddler enthused him to no end; in later life he often recalled running behind the car in excitement and never forgot the smell of oil that had dripped from the engine.

Like his lifelong hero, American inventor Thomas Edison, Soichiro had barely any formal education and even less interest in conventional wisdom. He developed a carefree, disobedient personality: once, when a teacher berated him for not finishing a school assignment, Honda angrily retorted that the school’s diploma had less value than a ticket to the movies.

Honda A-Type Auxiliary Bicycle Engine

Obsessive Attention to Detail

With no interest in book learning, Soichiro plunged into hands-on work with cars and engines. He abandoned school at age 15 to seek work as an automotive mechanic in Tokyo. His first job was scarcely promising: for a year, he cared for an infant baby of his boss’s family. With the baby in tow, he often meandered the garage, observed the mechanics at work, and gave suggestions. Soichiro also tinkered with engines in between diaper changes and bottle feedings. He developed a passion for rebuilding engines, and just six years later, opened his own repair shop in his native Hamamatsu. At the same time, he began building and driving racecars. He also developed a fondness for reckless behavior especially with racing cars and sporadically overindulged in sake.

By 1937, Soichiro had more than 100 patents to his name and perfected a technique for making piston rings for Toyota. He started his own company called Tokai Seiki, but was forced to switch to building engines for the Imperial Navy’s boats and planes to support the growing Japanese military.

During World War II, the Allies bombed and leveled his factory; Honda adroitly built his own alcohol-distilling stills and ran a brewery.

It’s Important to Do What You Love

Soichiro Honda Riding the Honda Dream C70 In 1948, Soichiro returned to his true love: building engines. He started Honda Motor Company in a wooden shack. He focused on engineering and production. He found the administrative aspects of running the company boring and delegated them to his partner, Honda Motor Company’s co-founder Takeo Fujisawa.

Honda’s first motorized bicycle, Bata-Bata, became a huge hit in impoverished Japan. The ever-popular Dream motorcycle followed it. By 1959, Honda had become the world’s leading maker of motorcycles.

Soichiro spent long hours in the shop with engineers and focused on superior handling, fuel efficiency, and reliability. In 1957, Honda introduced its first car, the N360. Honda’s big hit came with the revolutionary CVCC engine that burned a leaner mix of gasoline. The Japanese government unsuccessfully tried to restrain his startup and coerced Honda into merging his company with one of Japan’s stronger, bigger automakers.

In 1972, Honda introduced Civic, a compact car with a clean-burning engine that fit the miles-per-gallon mood of the time. The Civic took the U.S. by storm and created as much resentment in Tokyo as it did in Detroit. When the Big Three lobbied to get limitations on imports, Honda started building cars in the U.S. Within a few years, Honda’s Civic and Accord models became the cars of choice for millions of middle-class Americans.

Honda Motor Company Founders Soichiro Honda and Takeo Fujisawa

Entrepreneurs Are Non-Conformists

'Japan's Emergence as a Global Power' by James I. Matray (ISBN 0313299722) The nonconformist Soichiro eschewed conventional Japanese managerial traditions by promoting “the Honda Way,” which relied on personal initiative coupled with a close relationship between workers and management. Soichiro’s obsessive attention to detail prompted him to personally test new car and motorcycle models.

Even after retirement from the company presidency in 1973, Soichiro took the title of “supreme adviser.” He made an 18-month driving tour of Japan, visited Honda’s 700 production factories and car dealerships, and reported his findings to the corporate headquarters.

Soichiro Honda died of liver failure in 1991. In building a company that epitomizes Japan’s Emergence as a Global Power as a leader in automobile production, Soichiro was a radical freethinker in a nation that valued conformity. He is renowned for his defiant spirit as an entrepreneur and fabulous creativity as an engineer.

Idea for Impact: Stop waiting for the perfect conditions and get to work. Maintain optimism during difficult times; take action that moves you closer to your goals, day after day after day.

Reference: Soichiro Honda and His Philosophy of Entrepreneurship, Koshi Oizumi’s 2003 Ph.D. dissertation at California State University

Inspirational Quotations by Bruce Lee (#660)

Inspirational Quotations by Bruce Lee

Today marks the birthday of Bruce Lee (1940–73,) the influential martial artist and pop culture icon. This American-born film actor helped popularize martial arts movies in the 1970s and influenced numerous Hollywood action heroes.

Lee was born Lee Jun-fan in San Francisco’s Chinatown, but grew up in Hong Kong. When he returned to America in his early twenties, Lee developed a new martial arts technique called “jeet kune do” by blending traditional kung fu, fencing, boxing, and Eastern philosophy. He taught martial arts and performed minor roles in TV and film.

In 1971, Lee moved back to Hong Kong and immediately starred in two films that broke box-office records: Tang shan da xiong (1971, The Big Boss in Hong Kong/ Fists of Fury in USA) and Jing wu men (1972, Fist of Fury/ The Chinese Connection.)

Lee produced, directed, wrote, and starred in his next film, Meng long guo jiang (1972, The Way of the Dragon/ Return of the Dragon.) Lee’s subsequent film Enter the Dragon (1973) became a worldwide hit and thrust him into international super-stardom. Unfortunately, Lee died a sudden and mysterious death six days before the film’s Hong Kong release. An unfinished film called Game of Death (1978) was compiled with stand-ins and paper cutouts of Lee’s face.

Over the decades, Lee’s action performances, onscreen humor, and dramatic sensibility in his five films cultivated a huge following. Lee became a prominent pop culture icon of the 20th century.

Inspirational Quotations by Bruce Lee

To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.
Bruce Lee

If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.
Bruce Lee

As long as we separate this ‘oneness’ into two, we won’t achieve realization.
Bruce Lee

It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.
Bruce Lee

Take things as they are. Punch when you have to punch. Kick when you have to kick.
Bruce Lee

Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.
Bruce Lee

If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.
Bruce Lee

One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always run to simplicity.
Bruce Lee

I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.
Bruce Lee

Ideas are the beginning of all achievement.
Bruce Lee

I am learning to understand rather than immediately judge or to be judged. I cannot blindly follow the crowd and accept their approach. I will not allow myself to indulge in the usual manipulating game of role creation. Fortunately for me, my self-knowledge has transcended that and I have come to understand that life is best to be lived and not to be conceptualized. I am happy because I am growing daily and I am honestly not knowing where the limit lies. To be certain, every day there can be a revelation or a new discovery. I treasure the memory of the past misfortunes. It has added more to my bank of fortitude.
Bruce Lee

Flow in the living moment.—We are always in a process of becoming and nothing is fixed. Have no rigid system in you, and you’ll be flexible to change with the ever changing. Open yourself and flow, my friend. Flow in the total openness of the living moment. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Moving, be like water. Still, be like a mirror. Respond like an echo.
Bruce Lee

Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless—like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.
Bruce Lee

Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.
Bruce Lee

Let the spirit out—Discard all thoughts of reward, all hopes of praise and fears of blame, all awareness of one’s bodily self. And, finally closing the avenues of sense perception, let the spirit out, as it will.
Bruce Lee

Adapt to Your Boss’s Style: Cases from Andy Grove and Steve Ballmer’s Expectations in Meetings

Andy Grove’s Meeting Style at Intel

Andy Grove's Meeting Style at Intel Intel’s former Chairman and CEO Andy Grove (1936–2016) was known for his brash management style. He habitually resorted to fear as a management technique. In an effort to aggressively pursue the right answers, he devoted his focus to facts and data, as I wrote in my article on lessons from the Intel Pentium integer bug disaster.

In meetings, Grove expected his employees to be self-willed, clear-sighted, and obstinate. Grove wrote in his autobiography / management primer Only the Paranoid Survive (1996,) “Don’t sit on the sidelines waiting for senior people to make a decision so that you can later criticize them over a beer.”

With an “in-your-face” interpersonal style, Grove bellicosely challenged his interlocutors and called his meetings “constructive confrontations.” In contrast, his executives recalled them as “Hungarian inquisitions” in reference to his childhood in Hungary under Nazi and Communist regimes.

Recalling Grove’s technique for meetings, one executive said, “If you went into a meeting, you’d better have your data; you’d better have your opinion; and if you can’t defend your opinion, you have no right to be there.” In pursuit of accuracy and rationality, Grove would rip his employees’ ideas to shreds even while they were still on the first page of their carefully prepared presentations.

Steve Ballmer’s Meeting Style at Microsoft

Steve Ballmer's Meeting Style at Microsoft Another case in point is how Steve Ballmer conducted meetings. For most of his career as Microsoft’s CEO, Ballmer expected his employees to deliver a presentation he hadn’t seen before, take the “long and winding road” of discovery and exploration, and then arrive at the conclusion. This allowed Microsoft employees to expose Ballmer analytically to all their contemplations and postulations before steering him to their conclusions.

Years later, Ballmer reflected that this meeting style wasn’t efficient because, as a high-energy person, he couldn’t bear longwinded narratives and grew impatient for the conclusions. Ballmer changed his expectations of meetings and required employees to send him the presentation materials in advance. He would read them and directly venture into questions, asking for data and supporting evidence only if needed. This gave him greater focus in meetings.

Idea for Impact: Attune to Your Boss’s Communication Style

As I’ve discussed in previous articles, your ability to work well with others can mean the difference in whether your career progresses or stalls. To advance professionally, it’s particularly important that you have a good working relationship with your immediate supervisor.

Attune to Your Boss's Communication Style Bosses, like all people, differ greatly in their capacities and communication styles. You and your boss may be reasonably compatible or you may have entirely different communication preferences, temperaments, and styles. Regardless, you need to achieve a beneficial and cordial way of working with your boss.

Invest time and energy in understanding how your boss works, her ambitions and goals, her priorities, her strengths and weaknesses, the specificity she expects from your projects and decisions, her hot buttons, and her flash points.

Accommodate your boss’s work style. Discuss communication preferences and seek feedback. Be flexible. Ask questions to clarify what you don’t understand.

A Grateful Heart is a Happy Heart: Book Review & Summary of Janice Kaplan’s ‘The Gratitude Diaries’

At one dismal New Year’s Eve party, veteran author and journalist Janice Kaplan heard a woman gripe and grumble. While reflecting on this experience, Kaplan realized that she herself had much to be grateful for, but frequently wasn’t. She resolved to “spend the coming year seeing the sunshine instead of the clouds.”

That self-declaration was the genesis of an inspiring yearlong experiment in living gratefully and concluding that being thankful really does offer a conduit to happiness.

'The Gratitude Diaries' by Janice Kaplan (ISBN 1101984147) Kaplan recounts her transformation “from grumpy to grateful” in her book The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life (2015.)

Throughout the year, Kaplan maintained a gratitude journal and wrote down three things that she was thankful for each day. She also decided to “find one area to focus on each month—whether husband, family, friends, or work—and become my own social scientist. I wanted to see what happened when I developed an attitude of gratitude.”

Here are a few highlights from The Gratitude Diaries:

  • Kaplan started her yearlong gratitude experiment by appraising her marriage and recognized all over again what a good man her husband was. “When you expect everything, it’s hard to be grateful for anything. So I decided that now was the time to put aside impossible expectations and start appreciating [my] husband.” After she expressed appreciation to her startled husband, “the warm feelings between us [grew] stronger than ever…. Gratitude was making us both a lot happier.”
  • Discussing the importance of not overlooking one’s blessings, Kaplan writes, “We get used to something—whether a husband, a house, or a shiny new car—and then forget why it seemed so special in the first place.”
  • One month, Kaplan instituted a “no-complaining zone.” Writing about the need to emphasize life’s positives over its negatives, Kaplan mentions, “If you can change something that’s making you unhappy, go ahead and change it. But if it’s done, gone, or inevitable, what greater gift can you give yourself than gratitude for whatever life did bring?”
  • Kaplan discusses the story of her heartfelt and earnest reconciliation with her sister. This meaningful experience was the beginning a “new friendship” and had both women “appreciating the good in the moment rather than fussing about the past.”
  • Kaplan concludes, “gratitude lodged deeper and deeper into my heart and soul…. Gratitude affected how I looked at every event that happened. Being positive and looking for the good had become second nature—and that made me much happier.” And, “by living gratefully, I’d had the happiest twelve months I could remember.”

'The Gratitude Diaries' by Janice Kaplan

Recommended: Speed Read. Janice Kaplan’s The Gratitude Diaries confirms that gratitude truly is an attitude—how you feel has less to do with events that occur in your life and more to do with your attitudes. Kaplan’s experiment substantiates that keeping a gratitude journal boosts your sense of wellbeing. With interviews on gratefulness with psychologists, friends, and other thankful people, The Gratitude Diaries encourages you to pause, take stock of your blessings, and be grateful for what you have in life in order to make life more pleasant, gratifying, and peaceful.

Inspirational Quotations #659

Get mad, then get over it.
Colin Powell

A pat on the back is only a few vertebrae removed from a kick in the pants, but is miles ahead in results.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

In the final analysis, the questions of why bad things happen to good people transmutes itself into some very different questions, no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it happened.
Harold Kushner

The simplest things are often the truest.
Richard Bach

You must have the devil in you to succeed in the arts.
Voltaire

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie—deliberate, contrived, and dishonest—but the myth—persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.
John F. Kennedy

From the deepest desires often come the deadliest hate.
Socrates

It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.
Anais Nin

One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity.
Albert Schweitzer

Do the things you know, and you shall learn the truth you need to know.
George Macdonald

Better no ear at all than one that listeneth to evil.
The Talmud

Hope is a light diet, but very stimulating.
Honore de Balzac

The excesses of love soon pass, but its insufficiencies torment us forever.
Mignon McLaughlin