Tag Archives: determination

A powerful call

“…we’ve found that optimism can be a powerful call to action. And it has a multiplier effect: The more optimists there are working for a better future, the more reasons there are to be optimistic.” – Bill and Melinda Gates One of the most pernicious aspects of despair is that it snuffs out the motivation …

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If you can wait

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise…  — Rudyard Kipling If I had to name my top five favorite poems, “If” by Kipling would definitely make …

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Not alone

“One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.” ― Shannon L. Alder The online world is full of contradictions, and none more obvious than its tendency to create feelings of isolation even as it facilitates digital connection. Still, the anonymity and freedom …

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How important you are

“If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.” ― Fred Rogers “Mister Rogers wasn’t a relic of a simpler time; he …

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My state of general wonder

“Not until years later would I realize that my state of general wonder throughout this process, peppered though it was with fear and doubt, would help preserve my sanity through the events that followed.” — Hilary Tindle Sometimes I will hear or read a sentence that rings so true in my own experience that I …

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We’re a parade

“Friends: we’re a parade – even by ourselves!” – Mary Anne Radmacher Pictured above are three people whose presence in my life is a tremendous blessing. Without going into the details, let’s just say that without friends and loved ones, life is unbearable. But with them, it can be a celebration, even in the midst …

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Regular phases

 “…bereavement is not the truncation of married love, but one of its regular phases– like the honeymoon. What we want is to live our marriage well and faithfully through that phase too. If it hurts (and it certainly will) we accept the pains as a necessary part of this phase…We were one flesh. Now that …

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To look forward

“I didn’t have particular baseball heroes in those days…I didn’t relate to baseball players, even though I played the game myself, because I knew I had nothing to look forward to. There was no hope for me to play in the big leagues back then because I was black.” — Hank Aaron Wow. Talk about defeating …

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You won’t be the same

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what …

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A pretty good diet

“I am living on hope and faith…a pretty good diet when the mind will receive them.” — Edwin Arlington Robinson It’s interesting that a poet of Robinson’s stature, who penned the devastatingly powerful “Richard Cory,” would describe himself as living on hope and faith. Such somber work does not seem consistent with what we think …

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Go after it

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” — Jack London I just love this quote. I think it applies to all sorts of inspiration, not just artistic or literary. If I have learned anything from life, one of the most indelible lessons of experience is that inactive brooding …

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Only one thing to do

“We are so outnumbered there’s only one thing to do. We must attack.” — Sir Andrew Browne Cunningham Admiral Cunningham spoke these words before the Battle of Taranto, in which a small number of obsolete planes (the Fairey Swordfish biplanes) conquered a mighty fleet of ships and ushered in the ascendancy of naval aviation.  I loved this quote the first time …

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Your vision

“Your vision of the future is not intended to keep you living in a ‘someday’ mode. It is as much a guide to the way you live out each day in the present as it is to direct you toward the future.” — Mark Brunetz This quote from Brunetz pinpoints the difference between getting stuck …

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Their life and their limits

“Experience has taught me this, that we undo ourselves by impatience. Misfortunes have their life and their limits, their sickness and their health.” —  Michel de Montaigne Experience seems to be teaching me the same things it taught Montaigne, though I may not be learning it as gracefully.  There’s an old saying: “If you don’t …

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In spite of all

“If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you to go on in spite of all.  And so today I still have a dream.”  — Martin Luther King, Jr.  The Trumpet of Conscience, 1968 Today we remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and …

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A story

“You have a story.  It doesn’t have you.” — Mark Brunetz At year’s end, we often take stock of the past twelve months, and this can lead us into contemplation about past years.  For many of us 2015 has been more remarkable for its difficulties than for its successes or gifts.  Come to think of it, …

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That’s when you start

“…when you realize that the story of your life could be told a thousand different ways, that you could tell it over and over as a tragedy, but you choose to call it an epic, that’s when you start to learn what celebration is.” — Shauna Niequist Let me guess: your life is fantastic, a …

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I learn by going

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.    I learn by going where I have to go. —  Theodore Roethke I’ve never been fond of awakening from a nice dreamy sleep, and getting up (especially on cold, dark mornings) is not something I do well. I envy and wonder at Jeff’s ability to get up very early, usually …

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Ingenuity and resourcefulness

“Risk brings out the ingenuity and resourcefulness which ensure success.” — Robert Rawls “There are men climbing around in the top of your tree!” Darla reported with excitement when I answered the front door that morning.  She knew the tree surgeons were coming to remove our giant oak that day, but the sight of them …

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The right mental attitude

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” — author unknown, often attributed to Thomas Jefferson Just the other day, Jeff sent me this quote because he knew I would like it; I knew, too, that he …

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To you today

“Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.  I say to you today, my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.” — Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King’s words continue to inspire us because his message was timeless.  In the face of centuries of oppression …

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Sanctified bull doggedness

“Your success does not depend upon the brilliance and the impetuosity with which you take hold, but upon the ever lasting and sanctified bull doggedness with which you hang on after you have taken hold.” –– Dr. A. B. Meldrum As anyone who knows me well can tell you, tenacity is a virtue that sometimes …

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And yet be determined

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald For most of …

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More power than will

“We have more power than will; and it is often by way of excuse to ourselves that we fancy things are impossible.” – Francois VI, Duc De la Rochefoucauld “I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can’t be done.” — Henry Ford “Ford decided to produce …

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This realm of freedom

“Perish that Thirst of boundless Power, that drew On Albion’s Head the Curse to Tyrants Due. But thou appeas’d submit to Heaven’s decree, That bids this Realm of Freedom rival thee! Now sheathe the Sword that bade the Brave attone With guiltless Blood for Madness not their own.” — Phillis Wheatley, from the poem “Liberty …

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