25 laser-sharp quotes by Napoleon Bonaparte to inspire you

Quotes-by-Napoleon-BonaparteFor any readers unfamiliar with European history, Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the Revolutionary Wars.

Ultimately defeated at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815, he was subsequently exiled by the British to the remote island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic, where he died in 1821 at the age of 51.

Nevertheless, he was a major influence on European history and many of the quotations for which he is credited are certainly thought-provoking.

Here are 25 quotes by Napoleon Bonaparte to illustrate my point. They’re definitely worth reading and my personal favourite is the first one. However, Number 5 is also a pretty accurate reflection of what most of us now know to be true.

Quotes by Napoleon Bonaparte (1-12):

  1. A leader is a dealer in hope.
  2. Imagination rules the world.
  3. An army marches on its stomach.
  4. History is a set of lies agreed upon.
  5. In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.
  6. Victory belongs to the most persevering.
  7. Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.
  8. The best cure for the body is a quiet mind.
  9. If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.
  10. The surest way to remain poor is to be an honest man.
  11. There is no such thing as accident; it is fate misnamed.
  12. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.

Quotes by Napoleon Bonaparte (13-25):

  1. Quote-by-Napoleon-BonaparteMen are moved by two levers only: fear and self-interest.
  2. Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.
  3. A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of coloured ribbon.
  4. Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools.
  5. Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.
  6. I can no longer obey; I have tasted command, and I cannot give it up.
  7. Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.
  8. If you wish to be a success in the world, promise everything, deliver nothing.
  9. History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.
  10. Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious than to be able to decide.
  11. You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war.
  12. There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the long run, the sword will always be conquered by the spirit.
  13. Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them.

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15 Quotes by George Orwell guaranteed to make you think

Quotes-by-George-OrwellGeorge Orwell was the pen name of the late author Eric Arthur Blair.

His reputation is built on his pen name and the late George Orwell is widely respected as a novelist, essayist, journalist and critic.

In fact, he was arguably one of the great thinkers of the twentieth century, certainly in the English-speaking world.

George Orwell’s best-known novels Animal Farm and 1984 are still essential reading for anyone with a desire to be considered well-read.

So here are 15 quotes by George Orwell that are I think guaranteed to make you think dear reader.

Quotes by George Orwell:

  1. Big Brother is watching you. ~George Orwell
  2. At fifty everyone has the face he deserves. ~George Orwell
  3. No one can look back on his schooldays and say with truth that they were altogether unhappy. ~George Orwell
  4. If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. ~George Orwell
  5. In our age there is no such thing as keeping out of politics. All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia. ~George Orwell
  6. Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. ~George Orwell
  7. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. ~George Orwell
  8. Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it. ~George Orwell
  9. People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. ~George Orwell
  10. But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. ~George Orwell
  11. So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that fire is hot. ~George Orwell
  12. All the war propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting. ~George Orwell
  13. Society has always to demand a little more from human beings than it will get in practice. ~George Orwell
  14. Early in life, I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper. ~George Orwell
  15. Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence. In other words, it is war minus the shooting. ~George Orwell

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10 truly inspirational quotes that are thoughtful and deep

truly-inspirational-quotesWe can all use a little inspiration occasionally, I’m sure you’ll agree dear reader. So here are what I believe to be 10 truly inspirational quotes.

Truly Inspirational Quotes (1-5):

  1. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. ~Margaret Mead
  2. If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down. ~Mary Pickford
  3. It’s really important for children to have good morals and good manners, and that they’re thoughtful of other people and that they learn the consequences of their actions. ~Jerry Hall
  4. Gay people are the sweetest, kindest, most artistic, warmest and most thoughtful people in the world. And since the beginning of time, all they’ve ever been is kicked. ~Little Richard
  5. Before you speak ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, is kind, is necessary, is helpful. If the answer is no, maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid. ~Bernard Meltzer

Truly Inspirational Quotes (6-10):

  1. Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved. ~Helen Keller
  2. We must protect the very things that make America so special – most certainly including our civil liberties. But we cannot do so without strong national security and thoughtful and informed discourse. ~Mike Pompeo
  3. truly-inspirational-quotesHave patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them and every day begin the task anew. ~Saint Francis de Sales
  4. I used to hear on the radio people like Jack Benny or Bob Hope, but I never had any interest in their type of humour. I thought that I could do something more substantially meaningful with significant, thoughtful, analytical reflections on real-life situations. ~Jackie Mason
  5. In a president, character is everything. A president doesn’t have to be brilliant. He doesn’t have to be clever; you can hire clever. You can hire pragmatic, and you can buy and bring in policy wonks. But you can’t buy courage and decency. You can’t rent a strong moral sense. A president must bring those things with him. He needs to have, in that much-maligned word, but a good one nonetheless, a vision of the future he wishes to create. But a vision is worth little if a president doesn’t have the character – the courage and heart – to see it through.  ~Peggy Noonan

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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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65 facts about life that few people ever mention

Facts-About-LifeLooking for some facts about life, dear reader? Well, here are some facts which rarely, if ever get a mention.

Some will argue they’re subjective and they could be right. However, in my experience the facts I offer you today are all true.

Take a look at them all and see what you think.

And please feel free to pass them on.

Facts about life (1-20):

  1. There’s no such thing as easy money.
  2. If you don’t go for it, you won’t get it.
  3. You cannot debate with those who despise you.
  4. Your opinion is just as valid as the next person’s.
  5. In wanting to appeal to everyone you’ll appeal to no one.
  6. Sometimes the road less travelled is less travelled for a reason.
  7. You’ll be remembered not for what you got but for what you gave.
  8. Create your own job and you’ll never be threatened by layoffs again.
  9. Life’s tough for everyone and for many people it’s very tough indeed.
  10. Free speech is the right to express opinions to which others may object.
  11. Rarely do people appreciate what they had, until they no longer have it.
  12. A lie is repeated often enough eventually becomes accepted as the truth.
  13. Just because it matters to you, it doesn’t mean it must matter to me too.
  14. People should be judged by their character and the contribution they make.
  15. The public will get what it tolerates. An easy life comes at a significant price.
  16. We live on in the hearts we touch and within the people for whom we mattered.
  17. You don’t decide your future. You make choices and your choices decide your future.
  18. By definition, a fact is a fact, and ignoring a fact doesn’t mean it ceases to exist.
  19. You won’t find true happiness in material things. Happiness lies in love and laughter.
  20. Blessed are the young, and those not born yet, for they shall inherit the national debt.

Facts about life (21-35):

  1. The unquestioning acceptance of fashionable dogma is not the mark of great intellect.
  2. To believe is to accept unquestionably as fact that which cannot be demonstrated to be fact.
  3. People will believe what they want to believe, regardless of whether they can be sure it’s true.
  4. People who demand tolerance from others are frequently the most intolerant people themselves.
  5. You’ll be judged not on what you say but on what you do. Talk is cheap but only results matter.
  6. We’re not defined by the circumstances into which we were born. Life can be better if we make it so.
  7. Your years on this earth will teach you far more than you could possibly learn in any university or college.
  8. All good ideas are eventually infiltrated and ruined by the attention-seeking few with their own agenda.
  9. In the po-faced, new-puritanical era in which we now live, we’re losing the ability to laugh at ourselves.
  10. With gambling, there’s only one winner consistently and that’s the casino. That’s why they’re in business.
  11. It doesn’t matter what you do, or how well you do it, there’ll always be someone who will criticise you.
  12. Success is enjoying what you do, whilst having sufficient money to live your preferred lifestyle comfortably.
  13. Being too nice is not virtuous, it’s naive, bordering on foolishness, and it creates more problems than it solves.
  14. As long as we’re not hurting anyone else then how we choose to live our lives is no one’s business but our own.
  15. If something cannot be subjected to scrutiny and criticism then it’s probably not a good idea in the first place.

Facts about life (36-45):

  1. People will always have problems in need of a solution. If you can be that solution you can make a good living.
  2. When your opinions run counter to the fashionable dogma of the day you’re unlikely to get a fair hearing in the media.
  3. Past wrongs cannot be righted. All we can do is learn from any mistakes made and endeavour to do better next time.
  4. No job is more important than being a good parent because parents nurture the next generation and children are the future.
  5. A promotion at work is not a reward for what you’ve done in the past it’s an opportunity to show what you can do in the future.
  6. When everything’s going well and you’re feeling like you can do no wrong, think twice. You’re more vulnerable than you realise.
  7. We live in a world of Orwellian ‘newspeak’ where we’re expected to accept as fact that which everyone knows is complete nonsense.
  8. The world is full of Charlatans and con artists all claiming to know what’s best for the rest of us. They should all be challenged constantly.
  9. Having a fancy job title doesn’t mean you’re more important than someone else. A job is just a job and we all add value in our own way.
  10. We have to deal with reality as it is and not how we like it to be. So, we must protect ourselves and our interests because no one will do it for us.

Facts about life (46-54):

  1. Extreme political movements are usually a lot of useful idiots led by a few sinister people with an agenda that’s in no one’s interests but theirs.
  2. We’ll keep making the same mistake until we learn the lesson the mistake was intended to teach us. Life is a classroom and the lessons never stop.
  3. A question asked comes with no obligation to provide anything other than a polite response. Remember that should you ever be grilled by the media.
  4. Remaining loyal to the circumstances into which you were born is not a noble act. Just because you were born poor doesn’t mean you have to remain poor.
  5. We live in an age when a lack of knowledge or expertise doesn’t mean people will not have an opinion on a given issue that they expect to be taken seriously.
  6. It’s for us to give our lives meaning. To leave a legacy by doing something that’ll add a little value to the lives of others and make the world a slightly better place.
  7. If you don’t tend your own garden regularly it will be attacked quickly by noxious weeds. Life’s like that too. We must all take good care of that which is precious to us.
  8. An employer will replace you in a heartbeat, should you pass away, but to your loved ones you can never be replaced. That should tell you where your priority should be.
  9. History serves as a series of lessons to us all. We cannot be selective about what we include in our history, otherwise, we risk forgetting the lessons and making the same mistakes again.

Facts about life (55-60):

  1. Drawing attention to injustices, wherever they are, really can make a difference. So don’t be afraid to call out those who seek to harm others for doing nothing other than expressing an opinion.
  2. To remain silent is to be irrelevant. A quiet life will come at a cost to you. The cost is people with louder voices moving the world in a direction you may not like. Speak up or live with the consequences.
  3. In a totalitarian world dissenting voices must be crushed ruthlessly or they might influence others to express dissent too. Political ideologues demand subservience and dogma accepted without question.
  4. If your job can be done from anywhere, then someone anywhere can do your job? So, if a company is looking to reduce costs, in order to increase their profits, jobs will be moved to wherever in the world labour is cheapest.
  5. Extreme ideology can pass into the mainstream and take hold if we’re all too complacent to stay on top of what’s going on. If we’re asleep at the wheel, life can quickly become a car crash and we’ll only have ourselves to blame.
  6. If we judge previous generations through the prism of modern sensibilities, they’ll always look bad. They lived in their time and we live in ours. We cannot know what their lives were really like, so we cannot judge them fairly, nor should we try.

Facts about life (61-65):

  1. It doesn’t matter how good a job you do, others will take credit for your contribution long after you’ve gone, but you’ll be the person responsible for any problems, regardless of whether you actually had anything to do with any of them or not.
  2. Celebrities are nothing more than skilled media manipulators who profit from the public’s gullibility by constantly maintaining an image with the aim of creating the illusion that they’re something special when in fact they’re nothing special at all.
  3. The problem with social media today is that far too many people feel the need to express opinions consistent with the latest fashionable dogma currently trending regardless of whether they actually have any significant knowledge of the subject at all.
  4. Unless your ambition is to secure a job for which having a degree is mandatory, then you’re probably wasting three years of your life and $75,000 of debt by going to university nowadays. You’re unlikely to get a return on the debt you incur, so consider your options carefully.
  5. They say that those with the gold make the rules. Well, if you’re not being served in the way you feel you should be, then whoever’s providing you with that service can be reminded of the purchasing power you hold in your hands by a simple boycott. You don’t have to accept the unacceptable.

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What is grit and why is it important?

What-is-gritWhat is grit? I’ve heard this word a lot recently. And of course, the obvious supplementary question is, why is it important?

I’m referring to a term used in psychology to represent a positive, non-cognitive personality trait based on an individual’s perseverance of effort combined with the passion for a particular goal and a powerful motivation to achieve it. Allow me to explain.

Have you ever noticed that the smartest people are not always the most successful? Obviously, success can be defined in different ways but for most people, their measure would usually revolve around money and prestige.

If we take money as the measure for success, then you’d think the smartest people would easily come out on top on that score, surely? Yet you’d be wrong.

We hear stories frequently about college professors who struggle financially whilst at the same time tradesmen like bricklayers and plumbers become millionaires. How can that be?

Surely the smartest people have a natural advantage? Well, actually they don’t.

The people with the real, innate advantage are those with this quality known as grit.

So exactly what is grit? It is an inner steeliness. It is courage and resolve. It is a strength of character. It is drive and desire. It is passion and motivation. It is a willingness to persevere until the desired result is achieved. It is a determination to achieve a goal and a willingness to take calculated risks.

It is a fact that doing well in life depends on much more than academic ability and your capacity to learn quickly and easily.

Having those qualities is useful of course but in the absence of grit, you’d still be at a disadvantage.

Someone of average academic ability but with a shed-load of grit will be better placed to achieve real success in life.

What is gritPeople with grit intuitively recognize that life is a marathon, not a sprint.

They’re willing to experience failure because they know that failure is a temporary outcome, not a permanent position. And they’re willing to fail and then start over using the lessons they’ve learned from the experience.

So what’s the key to success? It’s the need to get grittier!

Angela Lee Duckworth makes this point admirably in this excellent TEDxTalk video and it’s well worth a few minutes of your time. It’s an interesting video and I think she nails the point perfectly.

That’s what I think but what is your opinion?

Could there be such an easy answer or is it all much more complicated? I’d be interested to hear your views.

Grit: The power of passion and perseverance:

Further Reading:

If you’d like to know more about grit and Angela Lee Duckworth’s ideas about the secret of success then read her excellent and Number 1 best selling book Grit: Why passion and resilience are the secrets to success.

It’s well worth the cover price and you can check it out if you CLICK HERE

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21 thought-provoking quotes about advice

quotes-about-adviceHow do you feel about giving advice?

How do you feel about getting advice?

If you’re like me then you’re much more comfortable with giving than getting.

When we give advice our intentions are usually good but rarely does it come over that way to the recipient of our advice, unless it resonates with what they had in mind anyway.

So when you’re considering giving someone the benefit of your own personal wisdom, a good question to ask yourself is, “If I were to be on the receiving end of the advice I’m about to give, how would I feel and how would I react?

If you think that your reaction would be negative then perhaps you shouldn’t give that advice at all.

And remember, if you do give advice then tone matters. How you say something is just as important as what you say.

Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and treat them as you’d like to be treated. That way your advice might have a better chance of being well received.

Of course, these are just my views, dear reader. However, there are plenty of people who might have different views on the subject of advice.

Here are 21 thought-provoking quotes about advice from the great and the good to offer you a more balanced view on the subject.

Quotes about advice:

  1. The best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it. ~Harry S Truman
  2. Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls Royce to get advice from those who take the subway. ~Warren Buffett
  3. The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself. ~Oscar Wilde
  4. Many receive advice, only the wise profit from it. ~Harper Lee
  5. Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself. ~Marcus Tullius Cicero
  6. Wise men don’t need advice. Fools won’t take it. ~Benjamin Franklin
  7. The advice I would give to someone is to not take anyone’s advice. ~Eddie Murphy
  8. My advice to anyone with a dream is to never stop pursuing it. ~Shawn Mendes
  9. The people sensible enough to give good advice are usually sensible enough to give none. ~Eden Phillpotts
  10. The best advice I ever got was that knowledge is power and to keep reading. ~David Bailey
  11. Financial independence is paramount. My mom always says that when a woman is financially independent, she has the ability to live life on her own terms. I think that was the soundest advice that I ever got. ~Priyanka Chopra
  12. My dad said to me, ‘Work hard and be patient.’ It was the best advice he ever gave me. You have to put the hours in. ~Simon Cowell
  13. My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn’t prevent you doing well, and don’t regret the things it interferes with. Don’t be disabled in spirit as well as physically. ~Stephen Hawking
  14. Good advice is always certain to be ignored, but that’s no reason not to give it. ~Agatha Christie
  15. My only advice is, follow your dream and do whatever you like to do the most. I chose journalism because I wanted to be in the places where history was being made. ~Jorge Ramos
  16. I never take advice from anyone more messed up than I am. ~Tom Hopkins
  17. If stock market experts were so expert, they would be buying stock, not selling advice. ~Norman Ralph Augustine
  18. A good scare is worth more to a man than good advice. ~E W Howe
  19. The best fashion advice I’d say would be just to do what makes you comfortable and what makes you feel cute, and that’s how you’re gonna look your best ’cause when you feel your best, everybody else can feel it, too. ~Ariana Grande
  20. When we ask for advice, we are usually looking for an accomplice. ~Saul Bellow
  21. You know how advice is. You only want it if it agrees with what you wanted to do anyway. ~John Steinbeck

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15 Quotes by Barbara Sher to inspire you

Quotes by Barbara SherToday I offer you 15 quotes by Barbara Sher and I hope they will prove to be inspirational for you, dear reader.

Barbara Sher is best known as a speaker, a career and lifestyle coach, and an author. She is in fact a voice of authority for self-help advice-seekers everywhere.

Barbara Sher’s books have sold millions of copies worldwide and they’ve been translated into many languages.

She’s made numerous appearances on television shows in the United States, including Oprah, The Today Show, 60 Minutes, CNN, and Good Morning America. Her own public television specials also air regularly in the United States.

Quotes by Barbara Sher:

  1. Our dreams are who we are. ~Barbara Sher
  2. Change is not only likely, it’s inevitable. ~Barbara Sher
  3. Doing is a quantum leap from imagining. ~Barbara Sher
  4. The cure for sorrow is to learn something. ~Barbara Sher
  5. You don’t have to get it right the first time. ~Barbara Sher
  6. Resentment is weak and lowers your self-esteem. ~Barbara Sher
  7. When you play it too safe, you’re taking the biggest risk of your life. Time is the only wealth we’re given. ~Barbara Sher
  8. You can learn new things at any time in your life if you’re willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up to you. ~Barbara Sher
  9. Imaginary obstacles are insurmountable. Real ones aren’t. ~Barbara Sher
  10. It’s essential to distinguish between events that are really beyond your control and events you caused yourself. ~Barbara Sher
  11. You must go after your wish. As soon as you start to pursue a dream, your life wakes up and everything has meaning. ~Barbara Sher
  12. The amount of good luck coming your way depends on your willingness to act. ~Barbara Sher
  13. Real obstacles don’t take you in circles. They can be overcome. Invented ones are like a maze. ~Barbara Sher
  14. When you start using senses you’ve neglected, your reward is to see the world with completely fresh eyes. ~Barbara Sher
  15. Every single one of us can do things that no one else can do – can love things that no one else can love. We are like violins. We can be used for doorstops, or we can make music. You know what to do. ~Barbara Sher

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15 Quotes by Paulo Coelho to challenge your thinking

Quotes-by-Paulo-CoelhoPaulo Coelho de Souza, or Paulo Coelho as he’s better known to the wider world, is a Brazilian novelist and lyricist.

He’s best known for his novel The Alchemist.

Paulo Coelho is also known as a keen user of digital media. He posts up to three times a week on his blog and he has millions of fans on both Facebook and Twitter.

In 2014, he also uploaded around 80,000 documents-manuscripts, diaries, photos, reader letters, press clippings and created a virtual Paulo Coelho Foundation, along with the physical foundation which is based in Geneva.

Here are 15 quotes by Paulo Coelho which certainly made me think, so I hope you will find them interesting too dear reader.

Quotes by Paulo Coelho (1-10):

  1. We want to answer this classical question, who am I? ~Paulo Coelho
  2. We have lost contact with reality, the simplicity of life. ~Paulo Coelho
  3. The more in harmony with yourself you are, the more joyful you are. ~Paulo Coelho
  4. Love can consign us to hell or to paradise but it always takes us somewhere. ~Paulo Coelho
  5. The good old days, when each idea had an owner, are gone forever. ~Paulo Coelho
  6. One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving. ~Paulo Coelho
  7. The more violent the storm, the quicker it passes. ~Paulo Coelho
  8. Every blessing ignored becomes a curse. ~Paulo Coelho
  9. We have to stop and be humble enough to understand that there is something called mystery. ~Paulo Coelho
  10. Everybody is a political person, whether you say something or you are silent. A political attitude is not whether you go to parliament; it’s how you deal with your life, with your surroundings. ~Paulo Coelho

Quotes by Paulo Coelho (11-15):

  1. Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream. ~Paulo Coelho
  2. Things do not always happen the way I would like them to happen, and I had better get used to that. ~Paulo Coelho
  3. You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one. Each day brings a miracle of its own. It’s just a matter of paying attention to this miracle. ~Paulo Coelho
  4. Let us be absolutely clear about one thing: we must not confuse humility with false modesty or servility. ~Paulo Coelho
  5. You’re always learning. The problem is, sometimes you stop and think you understand the world. This is not correct. The world is always moving. You never reach the point you can stop making an effort. ~Paulo Coelho

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How will your life be measured? Here’s what matters most

How-will-your-life-be-measuredHow will your life be measured? A philosophical question perhaps but an interesting one nevertheless.

Some time ago, I attended the funeral of someone whom I’d known quite well professionally but not at all socially. Someone I liked and respected but I wouldn’t claim to have known them well. Nevertheless, funerals are a time to reflect on someone’s life. A time to consider the impact they’ve had on other people throughout their lives.

The funeral service was held at a large, traditional church in London and it was absolutely crowded.

Listening to the eulogy and associated readings I began to appreciate just how much my late colleague had meant to so many people. It’s fair to say that she meant a lot to many people. The lives of so many people had clearly been blessed by her presence in them.

This experience really made me think.

So in life, what really matters most?

As human beings, we’re all driven to achieve and leave our mark on life before we pass on.

However, we do tend to measure our impact on life in terms of careers and money. With those things it’s fairly easy to keep score, wouldn’t you agree dear reader?

Obviously, careers provide tangible evidence of achievement, or so it seems.

So climbing the greasy pole and increasing our wealth tend to be the measures we use when we consider the idea of success. Nevertheless, as I sat there listening that day I had to ask myself, are these things the most appropriate measure of the lives we lead?

Anything we do that only has a long-term payoff we tend not to measure because there’s no immediate evidence of achievement. We can’t see the immediate impact of the small things we do, so we don’t believe they matter much.

However, I realised that day that they do matter. In fact, they matter a great deal.

It’s all in the little things we do:

A random act of kindness might not mean much to us but to the recipient of our action, it could mean the world. It could have had a profound effect on that individual. And it might prove to be a life-changing experience for that person.

So, how will any of us be remembered?

When our lives have passed, how will they talk about us at our funerals?

People won’t talk about the size of our house or our car but they will talk about how we made them feel. They won’t talk about the importance of our jobs but they will mention how we helped them at a difficult time in their lives.

Perhaps they’ll talk about how we mentored them and how they’re a better person because of the impact we had on their lives. Maybe they’ll say they enjoyed our company and they’ll talk about how they looked forward to seeing us whenever we were around. Perhaps they’ll just mention how we made them smile.

When you think about it, why would we want to be remembered in any other way?

Material possessions are meaningless:

Let’s face it material possessions are meaningless. Equally successful careers are as much a reflection of good fortune as they are of anything we actually did to justify them.

That’s not the case when it comes to the impact we have on the lives of others.

The help we give; the kindness we show; that’s all down to us and our own actions day-to-day.

So how many people we’ve helped seems to me like a much better measure of success than the size of the car we drive or the size of the house in which we live.

Real success in life comes down to the difference we make. How we’ve touched the lives of other people.

Certainly, that’s how I think we’ll be remembered by those who knew us, however much we’re focused on careers, money and material possessions.

How great would it be to be remembered fondly and with respect by all who crossed our paths during our lives?

How will your life be measured?

I remembered my thoughts that day at the funeral when I stumbled upon this video of a presentation given by Clay Christensen at TEDxBoston.

It offers a great perspective on how your life will be measured.

I recommend you watch this video as it’s well worth a little bit of your time.

And after you’ve watched it, I would suggest you reflect on this question, “Should the measure of our lives be just about money and achievement or should it be more about the lives we’ve touched and the people whose lives are better for us having been in them?”

How do you want to be remembered, dear reader?

For me, life’s measure should be in terms of how I’ve touched the lives of other people and not money, career and the size of my house.

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