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Quotes

Authenticity

“The most common form of despair is not being who you are. ~ Kierkegaard

Branding

“Suppliers and especially manufacturers have market power because they have information about a product or a service that the customer does not and cannot have, and does not need if he can trust the brand. This explains the profitability of brands.” ~ Peter Drucker

Committees

“A committee is a group that keeps minutes, and loses hours.” ~ Milton Berle

Economics

“The nonpredictability of future prices from past and present prices is the sign, not of failure of economic law, but the triumph of economic law after competition has done its best.” ~ Paul Samuelson

“The riches, and so far as power depends upon riches, the power of every country must always be in proportion to the value of its annual produce, the fund from which all taxes must ultimately be paid.” ~ Adam Smith

“Reasoning correctly from erroneous premises.” ~ John Locke’s definition of a madman

“I want predictors to have visible scars on their body from prediction errors, not distribute these errors to society.” ~ Nassim Taleb in Antifragile

Education

“An academic is someone who is not satisfied by something that’s working well in practice, until he’s tried it out in theory.” ~ Prof Robert Cialdini

“A theorist is someone who is willing to assume anything, except responsibility.” ~ Prof Robert Cialdini

“A theory is like medicine (or government): often useless, sometimes necessary, always self-serving, and on occasion lethal.” ~ Nassim Taleb in The Black Swan

“In theory there is no difference between theory and practice; in practice there is.” ~ Yogi Berra

“College is a place where a professor’s lecture notes go straight to the students’ lecture notes, without passing through the brains of either.” ~ Mark Twain

“The mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting.” ~ Plutarch

“In spite of the lack of empirical support, the CAPM is still the preferred model for classroom use in MBA and other managerial finance courses. In a way it reminds us of cartoon characters like Wile E. Coyote who have the ability to come back to original shape after being blown to pieces or hammered out of shape.” ~ Jagannathan and Wang (1996)

Excellence

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. In letting our own light shine, we give people permission to shine. Who are you, not to be brilliant, fabulous and talented? You are a child of God, and playing small does not serve the world. As we are liberated from our fears, our presence automatically liberates others. And so I choose today to live big. My successes and mistakes teach me that the lessons are here to take us beyond our self imposed limits, so that we may be the best persons we can imagine.” ~ Nelson Mandela

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” ~ Aristotle

“Don’t worry about being smarter than your competitors, because any competent competitor will be working just as hard to be smarter than you. The trick is to have no competitors.” ~ Warren Buffett, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway

“The first and best victory is to conquer self. To be conquered by self is, of all things, the most shameful and vile.” ~ Plato

“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.” ~ Thomas Edison

“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.” ~ Epictetus

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” ~ Mark Twain

“We must learn to honor excellence in every socially-acceptable human activity—and to scorn shoddiness, however exalted the activity. An excellent plumber is infinitely more admirable than an incompetent philosopher. The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity—and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity—will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.” ~ John Gardner

Innovation

“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.” ~ Steve Jobs

Leadership

“The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.” ~ John Buchan

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

Management

“So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.” ~ Peter Drucker

Money

“Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.” ~ Woody Allen

“The man who does more than he is paid for will soon be paid for more than he does.” ~ Napoleon Hill

“These individuals have riches just as we say that we “have a fever”, when really the fever has us.” ~ Seneca

Felix qui nihil debet. Happy is he who owes nothing.” ~ Roman proverb warning against the use of debt

“He is in debt, whether he borrowed from another person or from fortune.” ~ Seneca

“Never ask anyone for their opinion, forecast, or recommendation. Just ask them what they have-or don’t have-in their portfolio.” ~ Nassim Taleb in Antifragile

“Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty.” ~ Socrates

Motivation

“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” ~ Steve Jobs

“Success is never final and failure is seldom fatal, it’s courage that counts” ~ Winston Churchill

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another without loss of enthusiasm.” ~ Winston Churchill

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” ~ Muhammad Ali / The Greatest / The Champ

“We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood — it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, “Too late.” There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember–the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.” ~ Zig Ziglar

“Set aside a certain number of days, during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with course and rough dress, saying to yourself the while: “Is this the condition that I feared?” ~ Seneca

“All courses of action are risky, so prudence is not in avoiding danger (it’s impossible), but calculating risk and acting decisively. Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer.” ~ Niccolò Machiavelli

“A great many years ago I purchased a fine dictionary. The first thing I did with it was to turn to the word “impossible,” and neatly clip it out of the book. That would not be an unwise thing for you to do.” ~ Napoleon Hill

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” ~ Yogi Berra

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

“When it’s darkest, men see the stars.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.” ~ Lyndon Johnson

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry ~ Lou Holtz

“If you start by promising what you don’t even have yet, you’ll lose your desire to work towards getting it.” ~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

“Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better.” ~ Jim Rohn

“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” ~ Henry Ford

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it.” ~ Goethe

“Fire feeds on obstacles.” ~ Marcus Aurelius

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” ~ Confucius

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” ~ John Lennon

Optionality

“If the student is smart, the teacher takes the credit.” ~ Yiddish saying referenced by Nassim Taleb in Antifragile

Personal Development

“My intent is to invest in my life, not save until it’s over.” ~ Alan Weiss

“Your mind is a garden, Your thoughts are the seeds; You can grow flowers, Or you can grow weeds.” ~ Anon.

Perspective

“To a sick person, honey tastes better.” ~ Seneca

“In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” ~ Anon.

Politics

“[A] prince who is not himself wise cannot be wisely advised … good advice, whoever it comes from, depends on the shrewdness of the prince who seeks it, and not the shrewdness of the prince on good advice.” ~ Machiavelli

“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.” ~ Oscar Wilde

“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.” ~ Oscar Wilde

“What chance has the innocent uncultivated liar against the educated expert? What chance have I against a lawyer?” ~ Mark Twain

“I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.” ~ Mark Twain

“Law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.” ~ Anatole France

“This is no time to be making new enemies.” ~ Machiavelli, when asked to renounce the devil on his deathbed

“Political language–and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists–is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” ~ George Orwell

“Wear your learning like your watch, in a private pocket: and do not pull it out and strike it, merely to show that you have one.” ~ Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

“Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

Philosophy

“Genuine philosophical problems are always rooted outside philosophy and they die if these roots decay.” ~ Karl Popper

Positive Living

“Question: Why did the chicken cross the road? Answer: Who are we to question the chicken’s motives?” ~ Alan Weiss

“For as long as space endures, for as long as living beings remain, until then may I too abide, to dispel the misery of the world.” ~ Shantideva

“Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones that strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart.” ~ Henry Clay

“Capacity for the nobler feelings is in most natures a very tender plant, easily killed, not only by hostile influences, but by mere want of sustenance.” ~ J S Mill

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead

“You should be satisfied with what you have but never be satisfied with the amount of good you have carried out.” ~ Buddha

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

“We don’t stop playing games because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing games.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

“If you’ve got nothing to dance about, find a reason to sing.” ~ Melody Carstairs

“I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” ~ Stephen Grellet

“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” ~ C.S. Lewis

“You can observe a lot by just watching.” ~ Yogi Berra

“The people you meet on the way up, you will meet again on the way down.” ~ Anon.

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” ~ Mark Twain

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” ~ Mark Twain

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” ~ Mark Twain

“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” ~ Mark Twain

“Drag your thoughts away from your troubles… by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.” ~ Mark Twain

“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.” ~ Mark Twain

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain

“It is hard to be a great man to one’s chambermaid.” ~ Nassim Taleb in Antifragile

“The good is mostly in the absence of bad; Nimium boni est, cui nihil est mali.” ~ Ennius

“There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path.” ~ Buddha

“I do not like that man; therefore I shall get to know him better.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” ~ John Lennon

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” ~ Dalai Lama

Power

“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.” ~ Lao Tzu

Religion

“He was an embittered atheist, the sort of atheist who does not so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike Him.” ~ George Orwell

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” ~ Nelson Mandela

“Be not too hasty to trust or admire the teachers of virtue: They discourse like angels but they live like men.” ~ Samuel Johnson

Etiam si omnes–ego non” (Even if all others do–I will not) ~ St. Matthew

“Religion gets its morality from us, we don’t get our morality from religion.” ~ Christopher Hitchens

Risk and Uncertainty

“Those who spend too much time with their noses glued to maps will tend to mistake the map for the territory.” ~ Nassim Taleb in The Black Swan

“You are indeed much safer if you know where the wild animals are.” ~ Nassim Taleb in The Black Swan

“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” ~ Yogi Berra

“The future ain’t what it used to be.” ~ Yogi Berra

“You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.” ~ Yogi Berra

“There are some people who, if they don’t already know, you can’t tell ’em.” ~ Yogi Berra

“Do not cross a river if it is on average four feet deep.” ~ Nassim Taleb in Antifragile

Science

“There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesome returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact” ~ Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi

Strategy

“If you need a machine and don’t buy it, then you will ultimately find that you have paid for it and don’t have it.” ~ Henry Ford

“I have often reflected that the causes of the successes or failures of men depend upon their manner of suiting their conduct to the times.” ~ Niccoli Machiavelli

“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. ~ Jim Rohn

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

“To know what people really think, pay regard to what they do, rather than what they say.” ~ Descartes

Success

“Success is something you attract by the person you become.” ~ Jim Rohn

“Success requires no apologies, failure permits no alibis.” ~ Napoleon Hill

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. ~ Goethe

“Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.” ~ Dale Carnegie

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” ~ Jim Rohn

“The albatross’s giant wings prevent him from walking.” ~ Baudelaire, quoted by Nassim Taleb in Antifragile. Taleb notes that “It is said that the best horses lose when they compete with slower ones, and win against better rivals. Undercompensation from the absence of a stressor, inverse hormesis, absence of challenge, degrades the best of the best.”

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” ~ Maya Angelou

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” ~ Albert Einstein

“I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse.” ~ Florence Nightingale

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” ~ Chinese Proverb

Time

“Time has sharp teeth that destroy everything.” ~ Simonides of Ceos, poet, 6th century B.C.

“Time devours everything.” ~ Ovid

“Time burns but leaves no ashes.” ~ Elsa Triolet

Tolerance

“Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.”
~ John F. Kennedy

“In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.”
~ Dalai Lama

“Religion is like a pair of shoes … Find one that fits for you, but don’t make me wear your shoes.”
~ George Carlin

“Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant with the weak and wrong. Sometime in your life, you will have been all of these.”
~ Buddha

“Laws alone cannot secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be a spirit of tolerance in the entire population.”
~ Albert Einstein

“The highest result of education is tolerance”
~ Helen Keller

“Think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege of doing so too.”
~ Voltaire

“In order to have faith in his own path, he does not need to prove that someone else’s path is wrong.”
~ Paulo Coelho

“Good-humor makes all things tolerable.”
~ Henry Ward Beecher

“Bear with things as the earth bears with us: by yielding, by accepting, by nourishing.”
~ The I Ching

Trust

“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” ~ Nietzsche