Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. — Aristotle
Category: Quips and Quotables
Short, memorable ideas, quotes and words of wisdom.
Marietta, GA – While Bryan is away, today’s article is written by a special contributor, Kasey Eister.
Perspective: a mental view or prospect to gain a broader perspective on the international scene (Merriam-Webster)
As the months go on and the world continues with the ramifications of a worldwide pandemic, people begin to settle into a normalcy with what has and is happening. We can wear masks, wash our hands, and social distance, but in the larger picture we must still wait out the virus. I have heard and seen countless individuals complain about the “new normal”, how this pandemic has destroyed all they have known. Yes, things are different, but does different always mean something bad? COVID-19 is bad, definitely, but what is has done to our world as we know it is not all evil.
Before the pandemic, our countries, cities, people, were known to never stop. We always had somewhere to be and something to do. All that was forced to a standstill when the virus went worldwide. Families are now spending more time together; nature is able to breathe from the lack of emissions with people having nowhere to go. Now, as some of the restrictions pertaining to the virus are lifting in certain areas, I urge people to remember what we have learned. Slow down. Breathe. Instead of seeing all that has gone wrong from your known life before COVID-19, see instead what you can learn from it instead. I hope for businesses to bring a better work-life balance into practice and for everyone to remember that all work is not always the answer.
Changing perspective can be difficult, but all it takes is a single thought that is expounded upon and put into practice.
Marietta, GA – While Bryan is away, today’s article is written by a special contributor, Kasey Eister.
“The only thing that is constant is change.” -Heraclitus
Our world is constantly changing. This has been a known fact for thousands of years and it has been taught that to survive in a changing world, one must adapt to the new standard. While some of this rings true, it is not always the case.
With LGBTQ+ rights rising more strongly in the past decade, the Black Lives Matter movement once more taking the front stage, and a controversial president at the head of America, things couldn’t be controversial. In order to “stay with the times” numerous people have disregarded their personal beliefs and morals in order to fit into a societal stigma in our changing world.
While those were just a few examples, they fit onto a larger scale. Most times it is personal, community based bias that convinces groups of people to disregard their personal morals to be on top of the change. It is important to remember one’s beliefs and morals so that despite change, one can still remain firm in what they know is right. There are always opportunities to learn, and perhaps one’s beliefs were not what was thought, but proper education and research is needed before following what the world dictates as correct.
Sometimes it’s difficult not to procrastinate. We get distracted, bored, or maybe frustrated. Maybe the first question to ask ourselves is whether or not the task which we are delaying is worthy of our precious time in the first place. Is it?
The second important question is when. Because if it’s worth doing at all, then it’s worth doing well. And if it’s worth doing well, why not begin working on it now. In the present. Don’t wait to do something the right way, the first time.
“If you ain’t growing, then you be dying” was a phrase I heard growing up by a wise daughter of a share cropper from Mississippi. I didn’t quite understand it at the time but later realized the wisdom from such a comment.
We need more Miss Lorettas in the world. She may have had very little formal education but her wisdom was immense. If we aren’t striving to become more productive and to contribute to our society (Village), we will become consumers of other people’s efforts.
We’ve heard that it takes a village and everyone in it plays a part but let’s make sure we are on the giving side of the equation and not the taking side. When too many people expect others to provide, the village becomes a ghetto.
Encourage everyone to contribute and give of their time, talents and treasure for the benefit of the village and it will come back to each of us in many different ways. Make the effort to make good choices and let every small decision stand on its own as an excellent one. You will be an extraordinary person.
We should all read Stephen Schwarzman’s (www.Blackstone.com) autobiography entitled, “What it Takes – Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence”.
A brilliant read about why hard work, constant education and being process driven is so critical to our success. Wisdom is a process that incorporates knowledge and experience. Even when we feel that failure is insurmountable, the lessons learned during the process can be applied to future success.
Here is a quote from the book that sums up everything that I would like to say but he puts so much more eloquently than me. Schwarzman wrote this as a high school senior to his fellow students after he was crushed when waitlisted at Harvard, and accepting his second choice, Yale. He would later attend Harvard Business School for his MBA.
“I believe that education is a discipline. The object of this discipline is to learn how to think. Once we have mastered this we can use it learn a vocation, appreciate art, or read a book. Education simply enables us to appreciate the ever-changing drama fashioned of God’s own hand, life itself. Education continues when we leave the classroom. Our associations with friends, our participation in clubs all increase our store of knowledge. In fact, we never stop learning until we die. My fellow officers and I just hope that you will become aware of the purpose of education and follow its basic tenets, questioning and thinking, for the rest of your life.”
Stephen, I couldn’t agree with you more. Thank you for sharing your life’s experiences with us.
If you are reading this article, then you are part of the human race. Or perhaps an Artificial Intelligence robot that is digesting this as data collection to be analyzed and processed by humans later. 😁
What separates us from the animal kingdom is our soul and the ability to think creatively in a way that applies our minds to form ideas that will stimulate action.
God created the matter and the raw materials but we have the ability to have dominion over the environment and create things using our minds.
There is no monopoly on creative thinking. Brilliant ideas stimulate action and we have the authority to create brilliantly. Let’s us this ability wisely.
Catherine Ryan Hyde wrote a brilliant novel that was based on a middle school student that was given an assignment by his social studies teacher to change the world.
The plan that the main character, Trevor, presented would be to create a flywheel effect of kindness by helping 3 other people in some big way. The 3 disconnected strangers, would each do the same again for 3 other random people and to have this process repeat over and over creating a better world.
We need folks to initiate such a plan today. Challenge yourself and a friend to do a few random acts of kindness this week for strangers that have no reason to expect anything from you.
If they ask why you might want to help them just mention that you are only paying forward kindness that you have been shown by someone else.
I would love to hear any reactions you might receive.
I believe that the pursuit of happiness is a moral responsibility that we each have as members of our human race. The phrase was written by Thomas Jefferson as found in the Declaration of Independence and was originally written by the English philosopher John Locke in the early 18th century. In order to achieve greatness, we have to be passionate and driven to reach our potential. We need to work toward something. Aren’t we truly happy when we pursue our dreams and reach our capabilities? And happiness isn’t an instant feeling that comes and goes. Happiness is felt inside as you live.
My friend Edwin Luis Mendoza Alvarez writes that even losing while attempting big things can bring happiness. How? By embracing the process of the pursuit. Happiness is not just a present state but a mindset that is determined when you pursue something with your heart, mind and soul.
Now for the secret that I want to share with you. Something so simple to understand that millions of people spend years trying to accomplish but never find the happiness they are seeking. If you follow this simple rule, I guarantee your life will be changed.
“In the present, do every little thing well.” That’s it. In other words, “Do good work” or as phrased by Greg Norman’s teacher, “Do it now, do it proper”.
Or found in scripture as, “Do all things decently and in order“. If we consciously perform every action, choice or decision as perfect as possible, we will continually get better at the process of achieving success. You will not fall behind by making good choices. The process gets easier and the rewards will follow. I guarantee it.
We influence others in many different ways. Some have broad spheres and others have small personal interactions within their reach. As we witness the actions of the Black Lives Matter influencers, remember that their choices will have an impact on society. There will be positive influence and negative influence that will affect the lives of a generation at least.
I think of humble men who have achieved great influence such as Nelson Mandela or Mahatma Gandhi. Actions and accomplishments affect our sphere of influence today. Our leaders today have an opportunity to have a positive impact on our world and encourage meaningful change providing hope and deliberate action.
But even our children have their own spheres of influence. From the moment of birth, children affect the lives of parents, teachers and caregivers. We, as parents and adults have a responsibility to teach civility, and encourage equality while teaching discernment and bias. Yes, we all have bias built into our DNA from thousands of years of human development but race should not be a bias to be embraced or encouraged.
We are God’s children. We are all unique, and we all have our own sphere of influence. Use your choices and biases wisely, and affect positive change on others.
Determine what you want and have the courage to act on it!
Sometimes we day dream about this or that but never determine in our mind whether to take action and ASK of ourselves or others to obtain what we want. Are we shy or bashful? Or perhaps lack confidence?
When you determine to have something, put a list together of the steps necessary to have it. Then you will quickly decide whether or not you want to make the effort to obtain that which you desire.