Some of My Favorite Quotes and Humorous Stories

"If you wait until you have a 99 percent solution, you'll never act. 

Go with an 80 percent solution."

Gary Di Camillo, CEO, Poloroid Corporation


"Good judgment comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgment."

 

Walter Wriston


"The one fact of life that is grossly overlooked is that the shareholders own the company."

Alfred Dunlap, CEO, Scott Paper Company


"People acting together as a group can accomplish things which no individual acting alone could ever hope to bring about."

Franklin D. Roosevelt


FOR REFLECTION:

"The composer Stravinsky had written a new piece with a difficult violin passage.  After it had been in rehearsal for several weeks, the solo violinist came to Stravinsky and said he was sorry, he had tried his best, the passage was too difficult, no violinist could play it.  Stravinsky said, 'I understand that.  What I am after is the sound of someone trying to play it.' "

Thomas Powers, Sunbeams: A Book of Quotations, S. Safransky, ed.,(No. Atlantic Books, 1990)


"The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand."

Vince Lombardi


ON "EXCELLENCE":

 

"When you can do the common things of life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world."

George Washington Carver


ON "INVESTING":

 

"There is only one side to the market.  It's not the bull side or the bear side, but the right side".

Jesse Livermore (legendary speculator)

 


ON "SPECULATION":

 

"Speculation is like being a judge in a beauty contest where the objective is not to pick the prettiest girl, but the girl the other judges pick."

John Maynard Keynes

 


 

JUST FOR TODAY

JUST FOR TODAY -- I will live through the next 12 hours and not try to tackle all of life's problems at once.

JUST FOR TODAY -- I will improve my mind.  I will learn something useful.  I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.

JUST FOR TODAY -- I will be agreeable.  I will look my best, speak in a well-modulated voice, be courteous and considerate.

JUST FOR TODAY -- I will not find fault with friend, relative or colleague.  I will not try to change or improve anyone but myself.

JUST FOR TODAY -- I will have a program.  I might not follow it exactly, but I will have it.  I will save myself from two enemies -- hurry and indecision.

JUST FOR TODAY -- I will do a good turn and keep it a secret.  If anyone finds out, it won't count.

JUST FOR TODAY -- I will do two things I don't want to do, just for the exercise.

JUST FOR TODAY -- I will believe in myself.  I will give my best to the world and feel confident that the world will give its best to me.

Author Unknown


"When a man spends his own money to buy something for himself, he is very careful about how much he spends and how he spends it. When a man spends his own money to buy something for someone else, he is still very careful about how much he spends, but somewhat less what he spends it on.  When a man spends someone else's money to buy something for himself, he is very careful about what he buys, but doesn't care at all how much he spends.  And when a man spends someone else's money on someone else, he doesn't care how much he spends or what he spends it on.  And that's government for you." 

Economist and Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman


"Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst."

Russian Proverb


"I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand."

Chinese Proverb


"You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."

Christopher Robin to Pooh

 


ON MATURITY:

 

"The first sign of maturity is the discovery that the volume knob also turns to the left."

Chicago Tribune

 


"When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength.  Give thanks for your food, and the joy of living.  If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself."

Tecumseh, Shawnee Chief

 


ON VICES:

"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues."

Abraham Lincoln

 


"Incremental contribution is in the eyes of the beholder."

Dan Rogers, quote made on 11/04/02

 


"If it were not for the last minute, nothing would get done."

Anonymous


"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.  Anyone who keeps learning stays young.  The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young."

Henry Ford


"A speculator is a man who orders oysters without a penny in his pocket, hoping to pay with a pearl."

Paul Getty


"The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of good ideas."

Linus Pauling


ON THE OIL SHORTAGE:

There are a lot of folks who can't understand how we came to have an oil shortage here in the USA. Well, there's a very simple answer. Nobody bothered to check the oil. We just didn't know we were getting low. 

The reason for this is purely geographical. All the oil is in Alaska, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Wyoming, etc.,, All the dipsticks are in Washington, DC.


ON STAYING YOUNG, BEING HAPPY, AND ACHIEVING SUCCESS:

 

There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success.

   #1:  You have to laugh and find humor every day.

 

 #2:  You've got to have a dream.  When you lose your dreams, you die.  We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it!

 

  #3:  There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up.  If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old.  If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight.  Anybody can grow older.  That doesn't take any talent or ability.  The idea is to grow up by always finding the opportunity in change.

 

 #4:   Have no regrets.  The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do.  The only people who fear death are those with regrets."

 From “The Rose” email


“He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may be cast.”   

Leonardo da Vinci, 1452-1519


Jack Welch's (Manco, Inc.) Six Rules for Success

1. Control your destiny or someone else will.
2. Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it were.
3. Be candid with everyone.
4. Don't manage; lead.
5. Change before you have to.
6. If you don't have a competitive advantage, don't compete.


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:

Seize the Moment

 

Achievement comes to those who look for opportunities and then seize the moment with unwavering zeal.  In the days of our   Founding Fathers, Andrew Bradford held an enviable business contract. Despite its shoddy work, his company was endowed with the responsibility of doing the public printing for all of Pennsylvania. One day Bradford was asked to print an important address the governor was planning to make. Bradford put the document together in his usual careless, unimpressive manner.


Realizing this sloppy product was the opportunity he had been waiting for, another young printer decided to seize the moment. He elegantly prepared and printed the speech, then forwarded it with his compliments to the governor and to each member of the assembly. The rest of the story is history. This unknown printer - Benjamin Franklin - was soon awarded the contract for all of Pennsylvania's public printing.
Benjamin Franklin not only seized the moment but gave special attention to the quality of his work. These characteristics were the foundation for a long list of Franklin's further achievements.


Dare to Dream

Believe in yourself and in your dream, Though impossible things may seem.
Someday, somehow you'll get through to the goal you have in view.

Mountains fall and seas divide before the one who in his stride, Takes a hard road day by day, Sweeping obstacles away.

Believe in yourself and in your plan, Say not - I cannot - but, I can.
The prizes of life we fail to win
Because we doubt the prizes within.

Author Unknown


THE THREE MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS TO SUCCESS:  

Lesson Number One:  A crow was sitting on a tree, doing nothing all day. A small Rabbit saw the crow, and asked him, "Can I also sit like you and do nothing all day long?" The crow answered: "Sure, why not." So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the crow, and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.
        Moral of the story is: To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.

Lesson Number Two:  A turkey was chatting with a bull. "I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree," sighed the turkey, "but I haven't got the energy." 
"Well, why don't you nibble on some of my droppings?" replied the bull.
"They're packed with nutrients." The turkey pecked at a lump of dung and found that it actually gave him enough strength to reach the first branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally after a fortnight, there he was proudly perched at the top of the tree. Soon he was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot the turkey out of the tree.
        Moral of the story: Bullshit might get you to the top, but it won't keep you there.


Lesson Number Three:  A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold, the bird froze and fell to the ground in a large field. While it was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on it. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, it began to realize how warm it was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy. A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him!
            The morals of this story are:
            1) Not everyone who drops shit on you is your enemy.
            2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend.
            3) And when you're in deep shit, keep your mouth shut.


Donkey in Well Story

  

One day a farmer's donkey fell into an abandoned well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was too old and the well needed to be covered up anyway; so it just wasn't worth it to him to try to retrieve the donkey.

 

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They each grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. Realizing what was happening, the donkey at first cried and wailed horribly. Then, a few shovelfuls later, he quieted down completely.

 

The farmer peered down into the well, and was astounded by what he saw. With every shovelful of dirt that hit his back, the donkey would shake it off and take a step up on the new layer of dirt. As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off, to the shock and astonishment of everyone. 

 

The Moral: Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to stop wailing, and not let the dirt bury you, but to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

 

Remember the five simple rules to be happy: Free your heart from hatred. Free your mind from worries. Live simply. Give more. Expect less.

 

By the way, after he calmed down, the donkey kicked the shit out of the farmer who tried to bury him, which brings us to the second moral of this story: When you try to cover your ass, it will always come back to get you.

 


Do you have a favorite quote that you would like to share with me?  If so, please email me at simkins@okstate.edu