3 of life’s lessons learned you really should know

Lifes Lessons LearnedMany regular readers will be familiar with the three life’s lessons learned that I’ve included here today, but that won’t be true for everyone, of course. It all comes down to experience really, wouldn’t you agree?

Well dear reader, please don’t feel that you must make every mistake yourself in order to learn.

Learning directly from the mistakes of others is a perfectly valid strategy. You can also listen to and learn from lessons others have learned the hard way.

There’s no finer education than the University of Life, School of Hard Knocks.

So, allow me to offer you three of life’s lessons learned, that you’d do well to bear in mind.

1. Money can’t make you happy:

If you’re not happy without money then having money won’t change how you feel about yourself.

We experience happiness not through the things we purchase but through our personal philosophy, as well as our relationships with other people. Human beings are social animals, and we all need other people.

If you want to be happy you must never lose sight of the most important people in your life, i.e. family and friends.

Spend time with them and enjoy their company, especially your children. Make the most of every minute you have with your loved ones.

Yes, of course, go out there and make some money. I’m not suggesting money doesn’t matter because it does. It’s up there with oxygen for sustaining a life worth living.

So you must manage your money carefully and invest some of it too.

Enjoy some of your money, of course, and buy nice things occasionally too. Life’s too short not to enjoy at least some of your hard-earned cash from time to time.

However never focus on money and work, to the exclusion of your family and friends. Without them you have nothing. Money is important but the people in your life are far more important.

You could have all the money in the world but without your friends and loved ones you’d have nothing at all.

Lifes Lessons Learned2. Life is too short to do a job you hate:

You should never do anything for money alone.

Yes, you need an income and yes, it’s nice to have plenty of money in your pocket. Let’s face it we’d all like to have plenty of money, wouldn’t we? That’s human nature.

However, no amount of money will compensate you for the drudgery of doing a job you really hate.

If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you won’t do it well. And if you don’t do it well eventually you’ll come unstuck. It will all end in tears. Now is that really what you want, dear reader?

Remember this also; one day, you will die. You’re not going to live forever, nor would you want to.

What a shame it would be if on your death bed you felt you’d completely wasted your life. Now, how bad would that be?

So find a job you enjoy.

That really is important. You’ll spend one-third of your life in work and that’s a long time to be doing something you really hate.

And if you haven’t found a job you love yet? Then just keep looking, until you find something you’d do for free if you couldn’t earn a living at it.

When it comes to a job, money shouldn’t be your primary focus. Find the right job; do it well and add real value; and the money will follow, all in good time.

3. Greed can lead to expensive mistakes:

There’s a classic telephone scam, which never fails to catch some people out.

The way it works is a salesman or woman working in a ‘boiler room’ somewhere offshore calls you with an offer for you to purchase an asset at a price which they’ll tell you will guarantee you an enormous profit.

It might be stocks and shares or it might be plots of land in some faraway place but the underlying message is always the same.

Essentially they’ll tell you that next to no one knows about the availability of this asset just yet but when they do the price of the asset will go through the roof and just keep on heading in an upwardly direction.

They’ll tell you that whatever they have to offer is a steal and that you have the opportunity to get in on the ground floor and make an absolute killing but you have to buy today or you’ll miss out.

The salespeople always sound friendly, very plausible and they’ll make it all sound very professional. They’ll even take a little time to make you feel that really they’re trustworthy.

This scam plays on our greed and our gullibility.

We believe what we’re being told because we want to believe it. We just love the idea that we might get something for nothing too.

However if you part with your money, when presented with such an offer, that‘s the last you’ll see of it.

The asset will be worthless or even non-existent. You’ll have been scammed.

Furthermore, if you’re foolish enough to buy, you’ll also be put on a ‘sucker list’ which means you’ll get inundated with similar calls from other high-pressure salespeople offering similar ‘deals‘.

In reality, any deal that sounds too good to be true will always prove to be too good to be true.

There’s no easy money to be had anywhere. Take that from someone who’s spent a lot of time looking.

And anyway, think about it, if it was that good a deal why would they be telling you?

If there really was a killing to be made, they’d simply invest their own money and bag the ‘profit’ for themselves, surely?

Never allow yourself to fall for it.

And never, ever allow yourself to be bounced into buying anything just because they tell you that this deal is only available today.

In sales language that’s known as a ‘call to action‘. It’s the oldest sales trick in the sales handbook.

The idea is to bounce you into making a purchasing decision before you have time to think it all through properly.

Don’t be a mug and don’t be foolish enough to line other peoples’ pockets at your own expense. As the old saying goes, invest in haste, repent at leisure.

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5 short inspirational quotes that’ll really make you think

Short-Inspirational-QuotesToday I offer you 5 short inspirational quotes which I’m confident will get you thinking about your life and what you want out of it.

Short inspirational quotes:

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

On days when I don’t work, I am working on maintaining my image, just like an athlete. ~Linda Evangelista

I would perceive three years at university as a waste of time. I would have made £200,000 by then. ~Lord Sugar

You have to rule the money. Don’t let the money rule you. ~Fil Adams-Mercer

Marriage is an investment that pays dividends if you pay interest. ~Bob Monkhouse

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Did you find these short inspirational quotes interesting, dear reader? Did they really make you think?

If they did then perhaps this blog post might interest others you know too?

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Like every blogger, I can only keep doing what I do if there are readers viewing my blog posts. So you really can help me, dear reader.

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How to build wealth from nothing – 5 Top Tips

How to build wealth from nothingThere’s nothing you can do about being born poor. If that was the case, then it was just unfortunate. However, you don’t have to go through life poor.

It is possible to build wealth over time and plenty of people do, frequently from absolutely nothing.

Many people born poor become very wealthy through their own efforts and you can too dear reader.

Here are five tips to help you build wealth from nothing.

How to build wealth from nothing:

1. Pay yourself first:

You may well appreciate that making money can be relatively easy, whilst holding on to it is very, very hard.

We’re all constantly bombarded with reasons why we should spend our money in return for some fleeting sense of gratification. Would that be an experience you recognise dear reader?

It doesn’t have to be that way of course and rich people know that only too well.

So what do rich people do that’s different to everyone else? Simple! They always pay themselves first.

And what do I mean by paying yourself first?

I mean the moment you’re paid, you take a slice off the top of your income immediately and you put it away somewhere safe. And by a slice I mean say 10%, or more if you can afford it.

And what do I mean by somewhere safe?

Well initially that would be depositing your money in an interest-bearing account.

However, once your money starts building into a larger sum then you can start thinking about other forms of investment that’ll give you greater returns potentially. Stocks and bonds for instance.

Building a capital sum is important because as your money grows it starts to generate a second income stream for you. That may not seem important to you now but it will be as you get older.

So paying yourself first is a discipline to which you must adhere until it becomes a habit you do without thinking.

You must always put some money away and you must make that money work hard for you. You must grow and protect your investment portfolio with careful diversification and over time you’ll find yourself building a sizeable fortune.

So here’s today’s mantra for you: Pay Yourself First. Never forget that please dear reader.

2. Be an investor, not a speculator:

You must understand that there’s a big difference between investing and speculation. They’re not the same thing at all.

I don’t wish to imply that there’s something wrong with speculation though. There isn’t.

In the world of finance, speculation brings liquidity to the market and therefore it does have its place.

However, speculation tends to operate on the ‘greater fool’ principle.

By that I mean someone is prepared to buy an asset for a given price in the hope that it can then be sold quickly to someone else, the greater fool, for a greater price.

This is what professional speculators do and they can make money this way because they know what they’re doing and they have sophisticated systems to support them.

However, for ordinary people speculation is like gambling in a casino. And you should never invest your money as though you’re gambling in a casino.

You might get lucky occasionally of course but over time your losses will outstrip any gains you might make, and almost certainly by a significant margin.

So my recommendation to you dear reader is you should never speculate. Instead, you should focus on becoming an investor.

By investing I mean buying stocks and shares in solid, well managed, cash-generative businesses which have the ability to pay good dividends on a sustained basis.

Buy stocks worth holding for the long term. This will provide you with a steady income stream from the dividends regardless of any short to medium term volatility in the market. And spread your risk by building a diversified portfolio.

If you reinvest your dividends then over time you will find that this approach should give you a good return on your money.

If you want to make money and build capital, then my advice to you dear reader is to be an investor, not a speculator.

3. Focus on value not price:

The legendary investor Warren Buffett once said, “Price is what you pay; value is what you get.

With this observation, he’s making a very important point. There’s a distinction between price and value.

A low price for an asset doesn’t necessarily mean you’d be getting value.

And a high price doesn’t automatically mean you would not be getting value.

Price in itself is not a measure of value. You must consider other factors to judge value.

When you’re buying any financial asset, says stocks and shares, you should always focus on value and you must establish metrics by which you can adequately judge the intrinsic value within that asset.

Judged in isolation price is just a number, nothing more.

A lower price means absolutely nothing if you’re getting little or no value in return for your money.

Never, ever forget that it’s the intrinsic value that will determine whether something is really worth buying or not.

Get real value at the right price and then you can get a decent return over time from an investment.

4. Create a personal private income:

Much as we all aspire to do work we love, you must never forget dear reader that ultimately work is simply a means to an end.

Essentially work is just doing stuff for other people in exchange for money. In turn, that money is then the fuel on which we run our lives.

Money provides us with the means to put bread on the table, a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs and those of our loved ones of course.

If you work hard enough you can earn a lot of money.

Manage that money wisely and you can build capital. Invest that capital intelligently and you can create your own personal private income streams.

When you have a decent private income in your own right then you can truly pick and choose the work you do.

Then you only have to do what you enjoy doing; that thing that gives you a genuine sense of purpose.

Creating a personal private income is a worthy goal and it’s well worth the effort.

That way you’re in control of your own life and no one else can dictate what you should and shouldn’t do.

You’ll be in control of the good ship ‘Me’ and only you then decide where it goes.

The message here is, work hard now, so one day you don’t have to work hard.

5. Never forget what matters most:

It would be very easy to believe that a life filled with lots of money and materiality will make you blissfully happy. Well let me tell you, dear reader, in isolation, it won’t.

I’m not suggesting that these things are not important but you must get your priorities right.

Yes, of course, go out there and make money. Manage it carefully. Buy nice things and enjoy some of that money too.

However, to be truly happy you must never lose sight of the most important thing in your life and that is family and friends. People are social animals; we’re not solitary animals like cats. We need other people and most of all we need our loved ones.

So make time for your loved ones, especially your children. Enjoy their company and make the most of every minute with them.

Never focus on work to the exclusion of your family and friends. Without them you have nothing. Money is important of course but people are much more important.

Never lose sight of the people in your life.

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7 inspirational quotes about business

If you want to get seriously rich then having your own business is probably the best way, if not the only way to do it.

Certainly, that would be true for most people.

Unless you’re a Hollywood A-lister, an investment banker on Wall Street or a top player in the NFL, the English Premier League or the Indian Premier League.

Otherwise, very few jobs would provide you with the means for getting seriously rich beyond your dreams.

However business is not for the faint-hearted, that’s important to recognize.

You’ll need to think big and you must be prepared to take calculated risks. You must also be prepared to work very hard if you’re to succeed in business.

There is no such thing as easy money. Your business must add value to peoples’ lives.

Adding value means offering customers products which provide them with real solutions to their problems.

You must offer good customer service too.

Great products and exceptional customer service will certainly attract customers but the other key ingredient for business success is to manage money carefully, particularly when it comes to costs.

Money will flow into your business and money will flow out too. The trick is to make sure that MONEY IN always exceeds MONEY OUT. And that’s easier said than done.

Get it the other way round for too long and your business will go bust.

Business success can be yours but you have to be serious about it and you have to be very professional too.

That said, it can be done and people do. And if other people can do it, so can you.

Here are seven inspirational quotes about business to help you think about it.

Quotes About Business:

  1. A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all. ~Michael LeBoeuf
  2. There is only one boss; the customer. And he [or she] can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his [or her] money somewhere else. ~Sam Walton
  3. There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. ~Colin Powell
  4. The secret of business is to know something that nobody else knows. ~Aristotle Onassis
  5. Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your project or service, and that bring friends with them. ~W Edwards Deming
  6. If you don’t drive your business, you will be driven out of business. ~BC Forbes
  7. An organization, no matter how well designed, is only as good as the people who live and work in it. ~Dee Hock

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7 inspirational quotes about health and why it matters

We can all be a little too neglectful of our health sometimes and yet it is so important.

Think about that next time you’re giving priority to a stressful situation at work.

You only ever have one you and once damaged it’s difficult, if not impossible, to repair.

If your aim is to enjoy your life and be happy then it all starts with good health. So you have to take good care of yourself.

No amount of money will compensate for being in a poor state of health.

So eat a well-balanced diet, exercise regularly and get a good night’s sleep.

Obviously you can’t wrap yourself in cotton wool and there’s always a balance to be struck. But you get the gist, I’m sure.

Challenge yourself occasionally and make sure you have some fun along the way.

Bad food and your tipple of choice can be enjoyed occasionally and burning the candle at both ends won’t do too much harm as long as you don’t make a habit of it.

Life would be very dull without the odd guilty pleasure but never lose sight of the need to maintain good health.

Here are seven inspirational quotes about health to help you reflect on this all too important subject.

Quotes About Health:

  1. It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver. ~Mahatma Gandhi
  2. Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. ~Benjamin Franklin
  3. Health is not valued till sickness comes. ~Thomas Fuller
  4. There’s nothing more important than our good health. That’s our principal capital asset. ~Arlen Specter
  5. I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you. ~Joyce Meyer
  6. Calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health. ~Dalai Lama
  7. I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself. ~Johnny Carson

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5 secret steps to tackling life and achieving success

Achieving SuccessIf you’re looking for a formula for achieving success, dear reader, then you’ll find this blog post useful.

Many desire success but few really achieve it. So it’s useful to study successful people, identify their approach and use them as role models. If their approach worked for them then it might just work for you.

In the embedded video, Hollywood legend, movie star, two-term Governor of California and former Mr Universe, Arnold Schwarzenegger shares his five secret steps to tackling life and achieving success.

Essentially these are his five rules to excel at whatever you choose to do.

He has an interesting story to tell and his story proves that no obstacle is too big to overcome and no vision, too big to achieve, if you’re determined enough and you’re prepared to work hard.

Change the world:

To summarise Arnold Schwarzenegger’s rules, they are:-

  1. Find your vision and follow it;
  2. Never, ever think small;
  3. Ignore the Naysayers;
  4. Work your ass off; and
  5. Don’t just take, give something back.

However, if you listen to Arnold’s story, his burning desire was to move to the United States and become a big star. This was his reason why.

Initially, he had no idea how to achieve that goal but a little piece of good fortune came his way.

Arnold happened to read an article in a magazine about a man just like him who achieved just what he wanted to achieve. The article explained how the man did it and Arnold used that success template as the basis for pursuing his own goal.

Achieving SuccessIdentify successful people and do what they did:

Once he knew his ‘why‘, Arnold Schwarzenegger just needed to work out a way to get there. Knowing your ‘why‘ will always, eventually, lead you to your how.

Once Arnold knew his purpose and his passion, he was always going to find a way to achieve success. His determination and his willingness to do whatever was necessary saw to that.

Had he not been lucky enough to identify a role model through a magazine article, something else would have guided him because that’s the nature of life. When you’re searching for something you’ll tune in to all the little clues you need.

Once you know your why, you develop a keen sense of that subject and everyone else involved.

Trust yourself:

If you know your why then you’ll have the drive and determination to pursue your goal.

Nothing happens by accident of course. You must make it happen.

So figure out for yourself what it is you really, really want. What would make you happy? What would you regard as a real achievement?

Then find a role model.

Someone who’s done what you want to do. Identify how they did it and copy what they’ve done. If their approach worked for them, it can work for you.

Avoid distractions:

If you want to be successful then don’t allow ‘time sucks’ to throw you off course.

Television and social media are the biggest time wasters of all. So avoid them.

Time is a precious resource and successful people don’t waste it. So if you want to be successful, don’t waste your time either. Put every minute to good use.

Know your ‘Why?’

The key message today, both from this article and the embedded video, is that you must know your why.

That’s the starting point for success.

So if you’ve yet to do that then I suggest that’s where you start, if you want to be successful.

And remember this; if not you, who? If not now, when?

Achieving success is possible and people do it all the time. So can you, if you’re determined and prepared to work hard enough to get it.

Good luck.

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7 inspirational quotes about dreams and why they matter

Today I have so quotes about dreams for you, dear reader.

Dreams are so important, wouldn’t you agree?

Those dreams we have, particularly when we’re young, about what we could be as individuals and what our lives could be too.

Dreams are undervalued:

How many young people are discouraged from pursuing their dreams?

Maybe you’ve had this experience. You go to your careers officer in High School and you explain that your ambition is to be an actor, a footballer, a photographer or whatever. They listen politely and they tell you to be ‘more realistic’.

The received wisdom is always along the lines of “Oh, football is a tough profession; you might not make it. Have you thought about becoming an electrician?

For football you can substitute music, acting, theatre, writing or any number of jobs people dream about building their lives around.

In short, youthful dreams are undervalued and they’re often crushed before they can even see the light of day. How sad is that?

It’s true, you might not make it, of course, but it’s better to try and fail than to spend the rest of your life wondering what might have been.

Dreams matter:

The beauty of being young is that for most people, you have plenty of time to try things, make a few mistakes and learn from your experiences, until eventually you find that thing that works for you and where you can really make a difference.

We only get one life, so we have to live it on our own terms.

We need a vision of what our own lives could be and then we have to live life with passion and enthusiasm in pursuit of our dreams, making the most of every minute.

Life is short:

Life is short, so we cannot afford to live our lives based on someone else’s idea of what will work for us.

We must identify what it is we want in life and then we have to go out there and get it if we can. And we have to keep on trying and refining our approach as we go.

Never let other people discourage you. And never accept an answer unless it’s the one you want.

Remember this; always trust your instincts.

If you feel you can do it then have a go. It doesn’t matter whether other people think you can do it, as long as you believe you can do it.

Of course, the converse applies as well. If it feels wrong to you then that’s probably true too.

So, here are seven inspirational quotes about dreams to help you think about today’s underlying message.

Quotes about dreams:

  1. Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe. ~Gail Devers
  2.  The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. ~Eleanor Roosevelt
  3. You have to dream before your dreams can come true. ~APJ Abdul Kalam
  4. All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. ~Walt Disney
  5. A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. ~Colin Powell
  6. Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. ~Harriet Tubman
  7. We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort. ~Jesse Owens

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7 inspirational quotes about moving on

Today let’s explore some quotes about moving on.

How often do we form an emotional attachment to the bad things that happen to us when what we should be doing is drawing a line under it and moving on?

Bad things happen to us all and of course, they can be a bitter pill to swallow.

However, you can’t change what’s happened; only how you choose to look at what’s happened.

You can allow these things to define you; to constrain you, and to prevent you from enjoying the happiness you deserve.

Alternatively, you can say, “Pity me not. Stuff may happen but I’m a tough nut to crack. I will not let anything prevent me from enjoying my life as best I can. I value my self-esteem and my personal happiness more than I will allow unfortunate circumstances to throw me off course.”

The past serves only for the lessons it teaches us; it has no other bearing on the future. However bad the past may have been, that doesn’t mean the future can’t be better.

So never be constrained by anything that has happened to you. Just take it on the chin and move on.

Learn the lessons of course, as they will make you wiser and stronger. Otherwise, focus on the future, don’t worry and above all be happy.

Nothing matters much and few things really matter at all.

Here are seven inspirational quotes about moving on to reinforce today’s underlying message.

Quotes about moving on:

  1. Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself. ~Walter Anderson
  2. You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space. ~Johnny Cash
  3. To help yourself, you must be yourself. Be the best that you can be. When you make a mistake, learn from it, pick yourself up and move on. ~Dave Pelzer
  4. Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future. ~Lewis B Smedes
  5. Every day is a new day and you’ll never be able to find happiness if you don’t move on. ~Carrie Underwood
  6. Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. ~Seneca
  7. As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison. ~Nelson Mandela

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How to ensure you’re a satisfied customer

Pay beforehand was never well served. ~English Proverb

Have you ever been in a situation where someone is trying to sell you something and seemingly they can’t do enough for you? They promise so much and they seem so keen to ensure that you enjoy a ‘great customer experience‘.

Then you buy; you part with your money; and suddenly everything changes.

They’d love to help you but that wasn’t included in the sale price, despite you having been given the impression that it was.

This is particularly true with a service, in my experience.

If you have a tradesman or woman doing work for you, for as long as they haven’t been paid, they’ll do just about anything and everything you ask.

Once they’ve been paid, “they’d love to help you but they’re far too busy”.

The moral of the story is that paying for a service before you’ve actually received it is always a mistake.

You won’t be well-served if they’ve already got your money, undoubtedly that’s a fact I’m afraid.

So my message to you is clear dear reader. You pay as little as possible upfront and retain as much as possible until the work has been finished to your complete satisfaction.

Do that and you’ll always be sure to get a job well done. Part with your money first and you’ll be a hostage to fortune.

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7 inspirational quotes about experience

Education is a fine thing but absolutely nothing beats experience.

There is nothing anyone can tell you that will be more valuable to you than doing it for yourself, getting your fingers burned and learning from the experience.

You’ll forget many things you were taught in a classroom but you won’t forget your mistakes, mishaps and the experience you got from them.

So don’t worry about making mistakes for mistakes can be pure gold, providing you don’t repeat them too often.

From mistakes you’ll get experience and experience is a valuable and much sought after commodity.

As a hiring manager, I value people with experience. The more experience you have the less likely you are to make mistakes whilst you’re on my payroll. So it’s good business to hire for experience I think.

However let me add, I’m not dismissing the value of education. I can tell you now that education is important too dear reader.

Learning is an investment in you and it can pay great dividends.

The higher your level of education, the more you can earn potentially. Learning is a lifelong process, so don’t forget you must always keep your knowledge current.

And if you have both experience and knowledge then you can go as far as your ambition and determination will take you.

Here are seven inspirational quotes about experience to reinforce today’s message.

Quotes about experience:

  1. The only source of knowledge is experience. ~Albert Einstein
  2. Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes. ~Oscar Wilde
  3. Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience. ~Paulo Coelho
  4. People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built. ~Eleanor Roosevelt
  5. Experience is the teacher of all things. ~Julius Caesar
  6. If you want to know the taste of a pear, you must change the pear by eating it yourself. If you want to know the theory and methods of revolution, you must take part in revolution. All genuine knowledge originates in direct experience. ~Mao Zedong
  7. Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. ~Helen Keller

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Thank you.

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