There’s a lot of people today that disregard the “old ways” and see them as obsolete, outdated, and unnecessary.
I believe this is a very sad and very unfortunate way to view the past.
There’s a lot of wisdom and solid thought what was done and said in years past.
Yes, we have made significant sociological, societal, and technological process in recent years.
Yes, we live in a time of more prosperity and abundance than any time ever in human history.
Yes, the barriers to success and achievement are farrrr lower than ever before.
In pursuit of all this progress, we’ve settled into a sort of “malaise” and have lost some of what made people in the past have tremendous grit despite severe adversity.
A lot of these people lived lives of tremendous purpose and meaning. Yet, in this modern world…we have lost that. We have tons of people walking around asking “what’s my purpose? what’s the meaning of this whole thing?”
As a result to unearth and shine a light on what made a lot of these people live a great life, I found 20 quotes from people on various subjects. A lot of these people were pre-Internet, pre “ease-of-use”. As a result, they had to develop their own philosophy of life and determine what made them tick.
You can use these quotes to help yourself keep in mind certain ideals in pursuit of the life you want to live.
Work… It’s a word that brings dread to the minds of many, especially of the younger generation. We’ve been conditioned to believe that work is something that should be avoided at all costs. That certainly isn’t true. I believe in the value of good work. Not hard work but good work. There’s a big difference.
Young people are threatened… by the evil use of advertising techniques that stimulate the natural inclination to avoid hard work by promising the immediate satisfaction of every desire.- Pope John Paul
Explanation: In this age of convenience, many people are mesmerized by “promises” of “6 day abs” or “get rich quick” schemes. There’s a lot of con-men that promise the road to El Dorado…even though it doesn’t exist. There’s no way around hard work to get the things we want in life.
I don’t pity any man who does hard work worth doing. I admire him. I pity the creature who does not work, at whichever end of the social scale he may regard himself as being. – Theodore Roosevelt
Explanation: It is easier now more than ever to be lazy.
It’s easy to eat the fast food.
It’s easy to make excuses not to go to the gym.
It’s easy to say you’ll just skip work.
What isn’t easy however, is putting in the time to make your ideas bloom to reality. That’s hard. It takes extreme sacrifice and self-discipline.
Procrastination is like a credit card: it’s a lot of fun until you get the bill.” – Christopher Parker
Explanation: Procrastination is something that affects us all, hitting us all like a sledgehammer at one point or another in our lives.
Excessive procrastination is mostly an affliction of us young guys.
When you become old, you start to realize…”oh shit. looks like I don’t have as much time as I thought.”
Work is the grand cure for all the maladies and miseries that ever beset mankind – honest work, which you intend getting done. – Thomas Carlyle
Explanation: This quote can be seen as a follow-up to the aforementioned quote on procrastination. When you do good, honest work, you feel really good about yourself. Human beings were made to be active, not complacent. Just ask anyone who took retirement extremely early and then came out of it!
On the flip side of work is play. We all like play. We all like pleasure. But unfortunately, play in and of itself gets little done. In order to truly live, we myst integrate play with work.
The true object of all human life is play. Earth is a task garden; heaven is a playground. – Gilbert K. Chesterton
Explanation: Seeing play in everything we do makes us feel alive. Just ask Charlie Hoehn. If you’re not playing, you’re not living.
A person’s maturity consists in having found again the seriousness one had as a child, at play. – Frederich Nietzche
Explanation: Being at play puts us in a childlike state of mind. It’s how we truly connect to ourselves. ItWhen you’re in a childlike state, you cast off all worries, all fears, all anxieties. It’s truly freeing.
When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all. Theodore Roosevelt
Explanation: The “Bully” President knew that work and play are two sides of the same coin. Thus, he understood that each had it’s proper place. There’s a time for seriousness and there’s a time for being lighthearted. The people who can find the perfect balance of the two are vastly better off.
Curiosity about life in all of it’s aspects, I think, is still the great secret of creative people. – Leo Burnett
Explanation: Children are infinitely curious. Children are always playing. To connect back to a childlike state will unlock the doors to your full potential. Thus, in order to reach a state of heightened creativity and peak performance, we must play.
Patience is indeed a virtue. It makes all the difference. Ask anyone who does meditation or goes to the gym on how to achieve results and they’ll tell you it doesn’t happen overnight.
Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish. – John Quincy Adams
Explanation: One of our earliest Presidents knew the value of patience. After all, you need it to ascend to the highest office imaginable. Patience makes everything else dissolve into nothingness when you learn to exercise it right.
It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience. – Julius Caesar
Explanation: It is far easier to be extinguished in a moment than live with a lifetime of pain. Pain comes in many forms whether that be emotional or physical. However, pain is not always bad. The pain you suffer in the gym for instance, is very beneficial.
The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.” – Arnold H. Glasgow
Explanation: It is far easier to be frustrated at a situation when it isn’t going your way, when you’re seeing no progress. Most bad situations are temporary, not permanent.
Patience is necessary, and one cannot reap immediately where one has sown.” – Soren Kierkegaard
Explanation: When seeds are planted, they take time to bloom. Thus, the seeds of your life must also take time to bloom. If you rush the process, you’ll find yourself with the lack of a plant or a bad crop.
We are all connected. What one person does, it ripples and affects another. The wisest people know this.
A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm. – Henrik Ibsen
Explanation: The writer of a “A Doll’s House” understood full well that a community is a network of people and it needs everyone to be accountable to thrive.
A chain is no stronger than its weakest link, and life is after all a chain. – William James
Explanation: William James understood this as well. A community, a network, a team, a group of people, etc… are only strong as their weakest member. What one does affects all.
Teamwork is the ability to work towards a common vision… It is the fuel that allows common people to obtain uncommon results. – Andrew Carnegie
Explanation: One of the richest men who ever lived intuitively understood that teamwork helps a group of people collectively achieve goals. If anyone would know, it’s certainly him.
“When two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as he wants to be seen, and each man as he really is. – Michael De Saintamo
Explanation: Each of us has potential inside of us, waiting to be unleashed. Other people can help to draw this potential out. After all, other people see us more than we see ourselves. Ask yourself: “what do others see in me? How do I portray myself to the outside world?”
I think self-reliance and self-responsibility and self-accountability will help you as a parent, a teacher, as a citizen as a friend. – Henry Rollins
Explanation: Self-reliance makes us into better people. By taking our fate into our own hands, We take responsibility for the life we live and want to live.
We do need a return to individual integrity, self-reliance, and old-fashioned gumption. We really do. – Robert Pirsig
Explanation: As said earlier, a lot of people like to put blame on external forces and not on themselves. If you want to see the solution and cause of all your problems: look in the mirror.
When Marcus Garvey spoke about self-reliance, he wasn’t only talking about people of color. It’s like self-reliance in general, for anyone. Just keep moving and moving within the right direction, and everything will be all right. – Burning Spear
Explanation: Here’s the hard truth about life: no one is coming to the rescue. No one will come and save you. To be honest, no one really cares. You just need to keep burning and keep going through the motions until you reach the highest goals you’ve set for yourself.
Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
This essay inspired the whole of this important article. My article and his essay are two things you’ll want to read if you want a better life for yourself.
I want to hear from you. Do you have any timeless quotes that inspire you greatly? Let me know in the comments down below!