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Thinking, Creativity and Objectivity

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“Rommel, you magnificent bastard. I read your book!”
Patton (The Movie)

“It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business.”
Michael Corleone in the Godfather

“Every valuable creative idea must always be logical in hindsight. If it were not, we would never be able to see its value.”
Edward de Bono

“Analysis is simplifying, breaking down things into parts, picking out strands and elements. Analysis is comparing unknown things with things that are known. Analysis also involves picking out relationships and putting them back together as a whole.”
Edward de Bono

“The vertical thinker says: ‘I know what I am looking for.’ The lateral thinker says: ‘I am looking but I won’t know what I am looking for until I have found it.'”
Edward de Bono

“A weak mind is like a microscope, which magnifies trifling things but cannot receive great ones.”
G.K. Chesterton

“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.”
Mark Caine

“Man can learn nothing unless he proceeds from the known to the unknown.”
Claude Bernard

“New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not common.”
John Locke

“Those who give too much attention to trifling things become generally incapable of great ones.”
François duc de la Rochefoucauld

“The obvious is always least understood.”
Prince Metternich

“The only joy in the world is to begin.”
Cesare Pavese

“Few people think more than two or three times a year. I’ve made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week.”
George Bernard Shaw

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in the world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.”
George Bernard Shaw

“Whatever a man does he must do first in his mind.”
Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

“Future shock [is] the shattering stress and disorientation that we induce in individuals by subjecting them to too much change in too short a time.”
Alvin Toffler

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”
Alvin Toffler

“Change is not merely necessary to life – it is life.”
Alvin Toffler

“Profits, like sausages… are esteemed most by those who know least about what goes into them.”
Alvin Toffler

“It is better to err on the side of daring than the side of caution.”
Alvin Toffler

“The illiterate of the future will not be the person who cannot read. It will be the person who does not know how to learn.”
Alvin Toffler

“You’ve got to think about big things while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.”
Alvin Toffler

“Every major horror of history was committed in the name of an altruistic motive.”
Ayn Rand

“Great men can’t be ruled.”
Ayn Rand

“If I were to speak your kind of language, I would say that man’s only moral commandment is: Thou shalt think. But a ‘moral commandment’ is a contradiction in terms. The moral is the chosen, not the forced; the understood, not the obeyed. The moral is the rational, and reason accepts no commandments.”
Ayn Rand

“If you fear failure, you shall never suceed.”
Evan Guay

“Never stop. One stops as soon as something is about to happen.”
Peter Brock

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”
Bill Cosby

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.”
Marcus Aurelius

“I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others.”
Marcus Aurelius

Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what no one else has thought.”
Albert Szent-Gyorgi

“The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think — rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with thoughts of other men.”
Bill Beattie

“All the problems of the world could be settled easily if men were only willing to think. The trouble is that men very often resort to all sorts of devices in order not to think, because thinking is such hard work.”
Thomas J. Watson

“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it.”
Henry Ford

“What we are actually experiencing is not an information explosion. It is an explosion of data. Data provide neither enlightenment nor knowledge. What we are really experiencing may be access to excess. The mere fact that there is more data available does not mean that people either want it or can use it meaningfully.”
Patricia Glass Schuman

“In today’s economy there are no experts, no ‘best and brighest’ with all the answers. It’s up to each one of us. The only way to screw up is to not try anything.”
Tom Peters

“Success isn’t something you chase. It’s something you have to put forth the effort for constantly. Then maybe it’ll come when you least expect it. Most people don’t understand that.”
Michael Jordan

“Habit may lead us to belief and expectation but not to the knowledge, and still less to the understanding, of lawful relations.”
David Hume

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
Mark Twain

“Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.”
Mark Twain

“A man sits with a pretty girl for an hour and it seems shorter than a minute. But tell that same man to sit on a hot stove for a minute, it is longer than any hour. That’s relativity.”
Albert Einstein

“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”
Albert Einstein

“I always get what I want because I always want what I get.”
Tim Bischoff

“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”
Winston Churchill

“Never, never, never give up.”
Winston Churchill

“Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on.”
Winston Churchill

“A fanatic is someone who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.”
Winston Churchill

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”
Walt Disney

“An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.”
Victor Hugo

“Understanding is a kind of ecstasy.”
Carl Sagan

“You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.”
Abraham Lincoln

“In short, the habits we form from childhood make no small difference, but rather they make all the difference.”

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

“I don’t fear failure. I only fear the slowing up of the engine inside of me which is pounding, saying, Keep going, someone must be on top, why not you?”
General George S. Patton

“I am a soldier, I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight.”
General George S. Patton

“Most battles are won before they are ever fought.”
General George S. Patton

“Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

“Everything flows.”

“Many people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so.”
Bertrand Russell

“The biggest cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid people are so sure about things and the intelligent folks are so full of doubts.”
Bertrand Russell

“Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.”
Bertrand Russell

“A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.”
William James

“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.”
Douglas Adams

“Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you recognize a mistake when you make it again.”
F. P. Jones

“Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple.”
Charles Mingus

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

“What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?”
Dr. Robert Schuller

“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.”
Marie Curie

“Expedients are for the hour; principles for the ages.”
Henry Ward Beecher

“Truth never hurts the teller.”
Robert Browning

“The beginning is the most important part of the work.”

“Too clever is dumb.”
Ogden Nash

“We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.”
Anais Nin

“SAT tests are designed by huge panels of experts in education and psychology who work for years to design tests in which not one single question measures any bit of knowledge that anyone might actually need in the real world. We should applaud kids for getting lower scores.”
Dave Barry

“There is never a better measure of what a person is than what he does when he’s absolutely free to choose.”
William M. Bulger

“When the speed of rushing water reaches the point where it can move boulders, this is the force of momentum. When the speed of a hawk is such that it can strike and kill, this is precision. So it is with skillful warriors – their force is swift, their precision is close. Their force is like drawing a catapult, their precision is like releasing the trigger.”
Art of War

“Those who are first on the battlefield and await the opponents are at ease; those who are last on the battlefield and head into battle get worn out.”
Art of War

“So in the case of those who are skilled in attack, their opponents do not know where to defend. In the case of those skilled in defense, their opponents do not know where to attack.”
Art of War

“Prohibit omens to get rid of doubt, and soldiers will never leave you. If your soldiers have no extra goods, it is not that they dislike material goods. If they have no more life, it is not that they do not want to live long. On the day the order to march goes out, the soldiers weep.”
Art of War

“Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.”
Vince Lombardi

“Success demands singleness of purpose.”
Vince Lombardi

“Winning is not a sometime thing: it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do the right thing once in a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”
Vince Lombardi

“I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is the moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle-victorious.”
Vince Lombardi

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.”
Vince Lombardi

“A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.”
Vince Lombardi

“If you’ll not settle for anything less than your best, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish in your lives.”
Vince Lombardi

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”
Vince Lombardi

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”
Vince Lombardi

“It is the knowledge of the genuine conditions of our life, of reality, that we must draw our strength to live and our reasons for living.”
Simone de Beauvoi

“It always comes back to the same necessity: go deep enough and there is a bedrock of truth and reality however hard.”
Mary Sarton

“A mind too active is no mind at all.”
Theodore Roethke

“Undoubtedly we become what we envision.”
Claude M. Bristol

“Take life into your own hands and what happens? A terrible thing. No one to blame.”
Erica Jong

“Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: They try to have more things, or more money, in order to have more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you are, then do what you need to do, in order to get what you want.”
Margaret Young

“Money will come when you are doing the right thing.”
Mike Phillips

“Taking a new step, uttering a new word is what people fear most.”
Fyodor Dostoyevski

“No trumpets sound when the important decisions of your life are made. They are made silently.”
Agnes de Mille

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”
Anais Nin

“Real learning comes about when the competitive spirit is ceased.”
J. Krishnamurti

“Do not fear mistakes. There are none.”
Miles Davis

“One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.”
Andre Gide

“Inspiration comes slowly and quietly.”
Brenda Ueland

“Skepticism’s bad rap arises from the impression that, however necessary the activity, it can only be regarded as a negative removal of false claims. Not so… Proper debunking is done in the interest of an alternate model of explanation, not as a nihilistic exercise. The alternate model is rationality itself, tied to moral decency–the most powerful joint instrument for good that our planet has ever known.”
Stephen Jay Gould

“The most erroneous stories are those we think we know best–and therefore never scrutinize or question.”
Stephen Jay Gould

“Losing an illusion makes you wiser than finding a truth.”
Ludwig Borne

“An observant person sees things overlooked by others. A scientist sees things going on and then asks how these goings-on array themselves into patterns, patterns that are reliable and predictable. A really good scientist–or a really good artist for that matter, anyone whose mind and soul are capable of some extension–sees what is going on, sees the patterns, and asks, ‘Why?’ What underlying forces are at work? How are those forces exerting themselves? How may we understand? Once pried from the universe by a great mind or a discerning heart, the hard-won understanding may then be conveyed and conferred upon humanity at large. A painting is nothing more than light reflected from the surface of a pigment-covered canvas. But a great painter can make you see the depth, make you feel the underlying emotion, make you sense the larger world. That, too, is the power of science: to sense and convey the depth and dimensionality of nature, to glance at the surface and to divine the shape of the universe around us.”
Carl Safina

“Human beings never think for themselves, they find it too uncomfortable. For the most part, members of our species simply repeat what they are told–and become upset if they are exposed to any different view. The characteristic human trait is not awareness but conformity, and the characteristic result is religious warfare. Other animals fight for territory or food; but, uniquely in the animal kingdom, human beings fight for their ‘beliefs.’ The reason is that beliefs guide behavior, which has evolutionary importance among human beings. But at a time when our behavior may well lead us to extinction, I see no reason to assume we have any awareness at all. We are stubborn, self-destructive conformists. Any other view of our species is just a self-congratulatory delusion.”
Michael Crichton in The Lost World

“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.”
Derek Bok

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