Category Archives: Quotes

Are you Learning from Others?

Learning happens constantly and continually. Yes, even during summer vacation!

Every person you meet is your teacher and every environment your classroom. Regardless of where your summer plans have taken you, you have the opportunity to learn from those around you. I don’t care if you are flipping burgers at McDonalds this summer, or if you are on a mission trip to Haiti, you are learning from those around you; at least you should be.

Everybody is smarter than you in some area and they are just waiting to share with you everything they know; you just have to ask. People like to talk about themselves and they love to talk about what they love. If you take the time to listen not only will you learn, but you will be seen as caring, considerate, and an all-around great person.

I’m going to leave it at that; short and sweet.  I just wanted to leave you with these three thought provoking quotes about learning from others and to challenge you to intentionally learn from others this summer.

Here they are, enjoy:

 

“Every person you meet knows something you don’t; learn from them.” – H. Jackson Brown

“If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher. I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself.”  – Confucius

“We meet no ordinary people in our lives.” – C.S. Lewis

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Hope: Your Biggest Enemy

Hope is Bad?

I was listening to an interview on the EntreLeadership podcast this week and heard a phrase that really caught my attention:

“Hope might be your biggest enemy.”

I heard that and instantly thought; rubbish! How can hope be anything but noble and wonderful?  It’s a virtue and something we all should be full of. Like me, maybe your mind went to the Bible verse 1Corinthians 13:13 about abiding in faith, hope, and love. Maybe you thought about President Obama and how his entire campaign centered on the theme of hope. Perhaps you thought of the acronym “Hold On Pain Ends” or maybe some other encouraging quote or phrase.  How could we possibly think of hope as anything but a positive thing?

The podcast was an interview of Dr. Henry Cloud, author of Necessary Endings, and he says that hope might be your biggest enemy because hope placed in the wrong thing can be disastrous. It can take you in the wrong direction for far too long. Hope must be based in reality and in truth. Take for example Jim.

Jim

Jim decided at 16 that he wanted to become an astronaut when he got older. He loved the idea of studying the stars and maybe even traveling to space. He wanted to use a giant telescope and discover new planets.  It’s all he had ever hoped for. Unfortunately, he hated math and he hated science.

Not only were Jim’s grades not very good in those subjects, but he also had little interest to study them or improve his grades. In his mind and in his dreams, however, Jim imagined himself as an astronaut. He held out hope that his dreams would come true somehow.  Jim hadn’t even thought about doing anything else. He continued the rest of his high school career planning on becoming an astronaut. When it came time to apply for college his grades held him back from getting into any college that had an aerospace program, but he never lost hope.

After graduating, Jim moved to Florida in an attempt to get a job working for NASA. Jim hoped that if he could just get hired doing a menial job he might just be able to work his way up the ranks. He held onto hope through the tough times and when he became discouraged he imagined himself standing on the moon with the American flag in his hand. Jim did this a lot as he mopped the halls of the Kennedy Space Center.

It’s a fine line between being delusional and being hopeful. At what point should Jim have given up hope?  Is it safe to say that he isn’t going to become an astronaut? How much happier would he have been if he could have stopped placing his hope in an unobtainable dream and instead allowed himself to imagine a new dream. Hope is a good thing, but there are times when realizing something is hopeless is necessary.

Should I Be Hopeless?

It would be impossible for me to come up with a formula or easy explanation for you to determine if your situation is hopeless. Everyone is unique and their experiences are unique; however, there are some simple questions you can ask yourself to help you decide if you’re on the right course.

  1. Am I passionate about the direction I’m going?
  2. Do I feel that I have the ability and a special talent for what I am doing?
  3. Am I full of anticipation and excitement? Or am I dreading the path ahead of me?
  4. Are the steps needed to get to my goal measurable and obtainable for me?
  5. Can I define what a successful outcome will look like?
  6. Do I have a timeline to reach my destination?

Don’t Stay HopelessStubbornness

Hopeless is not a destination, so don’t stay there. Take a minute and look at your situation. Look at where you’re at and the results you’re getting. Be honest with yourself.  Do you need to change directions?  If you are heading in the wrong direction, then stop. Turn around and start plotting a new course. Don’t mistake stubbornness for determination.

The quicker you can ditch your delusional hopes and change course, the quicker you can arrive at your new destination.  Imagine if you were driving your car east in an attempt to get from New York to California. It doesn’t matter how hard you work, how determined you are, or how much you want to get to California.  It isn’t going to happen until you realize you made a mistake and you need to turn around and head west.

It can be scary when you realize you need to change directions, you may feel lost and desperate.  It doesn’t have to be like that.  Let feelings of hopelessness work for you. Embrace them as guideposts and as opportunities for you to examine the path you’re on and start a new and exciting journey.

So here’s to the hopeless!

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Childish Things

C.S. Lewis once said, “When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”

What are your childish things? What are the things you love to do but might be avoiding because of how it will make you look? Everyone has an image, a mask they put on so that no one will know who they really are. We all like people to think of us a certain way: strong, funny, clever, smart, mature, witty, free-spirited, fun loving, intellectual, and many other things. There is nothing wrong with trying to be those things, but you need to know who you really are.  

When you can let go of your need to impress others and stop suppressing who you are and what you love; you become free to pursue your passions and through them truly excel. How many of you are thinking about other people as you plan your future?

“I have to go to college, all my friends are going and if I don’t go, they’ll think I’m dumb.”

“I should probably study business or accounting; my parents would kill me if I told them I really wanted to study art.”

“All I can afford is a community college, but I don’t want anyone to know that!”

“I really want to make stuff and work in carpentry but all my college friends will think I’ve lost it.”

You need to let those things go. It’s freeing. Do what you love to do, as often as you can. If you love to read children’s books, read them. If you love to dance in your room, then dance. If you love to draw cartoons, then draw them every day. If you love to catch bugs then go and do that too! Don’t be ashamed of what you love. Innovation stems from passion, passion comes from love, and that is the only way you will do great things no matter what line of work you choose.

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eyes

“Give me a stock clerk with a dream and I will give you a person who can make history. Give me a person without a dream and I will give you a stock clerk.”

– J.C. Penny

I read this quote today and thought I would share it.

The potential really is in each of us to do great things. We just need to be awake and dreaming.

Thoughts?

Dream On

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