Favorite Quotes: 2017

I read just north of 50 books in 2017 and kept a running list of my favorite quotes from those works. Like my readings, they’re a hodgepodge of philosophy, history, business, self-improvement and the classics. They are below; hope you enjoy. Happy New Year!


I never discuss anything except religion and politics. There is nothing else to discuss. – G.K. Chesterton

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. – Bertrand Russell

How small, of all that human hearts endure/ That part which laws and kings can cause or cure. – Samuel Johnson

Man’s chief merit consists in resisting the impulses of his nature. – Samuel Johnson

If you had to boil down the Wal-Mart system to one single idea, it would probably be communication. The necessity of good communication is so vital it can’t be overstated. – Sam Walton

What we guard against here is people saying ‘Let’s think about it.’ We make a decision. Then we act on it. – David Glass, CEO, Wal-Mart

The mass of people, who are never quite right, are never quite wrong. – C.S. Lewis

We shall draw nearer to God, not by trying to avoid the sufferings inherent in all lives but by accepting them and offering them to Him; throwing away all defensive armor. If our hearts need to be broken, and if he chooses this as the way they should break, so be it. – C.S. Lewis

I believe that the most lawless and inordinate love are less contrary to God’s will than a self-invited and self-protected lovelessness. – C.S. Lewis

The Goal is to reduce operational expense and reduce inventory while increasing throughput – Eliyahu Goldratt, The Goal

Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other. – Edmund Burke

If we take the wisest and widest view of a cause, there is no such thing as a lost cause, because there is no such thing as a gained cause. We fight for lost causes because we know that our defeat and dismay may be the preface to our successors’ victory, though that victory itself will be temporary; we fight rather to keep something alive than in the expectation it will triumph. – T.S. Eliot

Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them. – David Hume

The universe is 100% malevolent but only 80% effective. – Sir Martin Rees

There are two things, and two things only, for the human mind: a dogma and a prejudice. – G.K. Chesterton

Most of the Feminists would probably agree with me that womanhood is under shameful tyranny in the shops and mills. But I want to destroy the tyranny. They want to destroy womanhood. That is the only difference. – G.K. Chesterton

An ulcer, the badge of administrative success, may be the only product of pushfulness. – Laurence J. Peter, The Peter Principle

Know, all the good that individuals find/ Or God or Nature meant to mere Mankind/ Reason’s whole pleasure, all the joys of Sense/ Lie in three words, Health, Peace and Competence. – A. Pope

Success is counted sweetest by those who ne’er succeed. – Emily Dickinson

It is glorious to drink the wine of the enemy. – Robert Leckie

Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in. – Napoleon

Never stand and take a charge. Charge them too! – Nathan Bedford Forrest

He who defends everything defends nothing. – Frederick the Great

Start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. – St. Francis of Assisi

Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true. – Honore de Balzac

The courage of the soldier depends upon the wisdom of the general. – Publius Syrus

Fortune favors the bold. – Latin Proverb

The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and notwithstanding, go out to meet it. – Thucydides

Strength of numbers is the delight of the timid. The valiant in spirit glory in fighting alone. – Mahatma Gandhi

What is the nature of the search? The search is what anyone would undertake if he were not sunk in the everydayness of his own life. – Walker Percy

I have found that the most effective leaders are alike in one crucial way: they have a high degree of emotional intelligence. It’s not that IQ and technical skills are irrelevant. They do matter, but mainly as “threshold capacities”; that is, they are the entry-level requirements for executive positions. But my research, along with recent studies, clearly shows that emotional intelligence is the sine qua non of leadership. Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won’t make a great leader. – Daniel Goleman

Justice consists of loving and hating aright. – Aristotle

Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition. Whether it be true or not, I can say, for one, that I have no other so great as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow-men, by rendering myself worthy of their esteem. How far I shall succeed in gratifying this ambition is yet to be developed. – Abraham Lincoln

The price of good style is eternal vigilance. – Kingsley Amis

No work with interest is ever hard. – Henry Ford

An individual without information cannot take responsibility; an individual who is given information cannot help but take responsibility. – Jan Carlzon

People make mistakes, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Mistakes can usually be corrected later; the time lost in not making a decision can never be retrieved. – Jan Carlzon

The new leader is a listener, communicator and educator – an emotionally expressive and inspiring person who can create the right atmosphere rather than make all the decisions himself. – Jan Carlzon

A good leader spends more time communicating than doing anything else. – Jan Carlzon

A man with no enemies is a man with no character. – Paul Newman

Fear is what causes hesitation – and hesitation causes defeat. – Jocko Willink

The poor and middle class work for money. The rich have money work for them. – Robert Kiyosaki

Action always beats inaction. – Robert Kiyosaki

The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget: within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition. – Zen proverb

The things which hurt, instruct. – Benjamin Franklin

Objective judgment, now at this very moment. Unselfish action, now at this very moment. Willing acceptance – now at this very moment – of all external events. That’s all you need. – Marcus Aurelius

Would you have a great empire? Rule over yourself. – Publius Syrus

We must all either wear out or rust out, every one of us. My choice is to wear out. – Teddy Roosevelt

The best men are not those who have waited for chances but who have taken them; besieged chance, conquered chance, and made chance the servitor. – E.H. Chapin

It’s alright. We’ve just got rid of a lot of rubbish. – Thomas Edison, watching his famed laboratory burn to the ground in an industrial fire

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will/ To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. – Tennyson

The Fates guide the person who accepts them and hinder the person who resists them. – Cleanthes

The paths of glory lead but to the grave. – Thomas Gray

Maturity is the ability to reject good alternatives in order to pursue even better ones. – Ray Dalio

This is how I did it: I never saved anything for the swim back. – Gattaca

In time I realized that the satisfaction of success doesn’t come from achieving your goals, but from struggling well. – Ray Dalio

Man needs difficulties. They are necessary for health. – Carl Jung

Go to the pain rather than avoid it. – Ray Dalio

Be an imperfectionist. Perfectionists spend too much time on little differences at the expense of the important things. – Ray Dalio

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