Quotes and Quotable Sayings

A collection of one-liners and quotable sayings.

These are sayings I’ve either come up with or encountered over the years. If the saying came from someone else, it’s either attributed to the author or to “anonymous”. If it’s unattributed, it came from me.

  • My dental plan is to chew on the side that doesn’t hurt.
    [Stolen from a comedian’s act in 2008]
  • My retirement plan is to work ’till I die, my dental plan is to chew on the side that doesn’t hurt, and my medical plan is to stay the hell out of the doctor’s office.
    [2009]
  • Pace is important. But so are tools. You can’t dig a canal with a hoe. If pace matters, then productivity matters. If productivity matters, then tools matter. If anyone that doesn’t get that, they’re not connecting the dots. [2008]
  • Self-confidence is the inner certainty that you are loved. That certainty is strongest when it is developed in childhood. But you can go back in time and rebuild it yourself, by contemplating every act of kindness you ever experienced. Examine them. Dwell on them. Cherish them. They are your path to positivity. And when your memory surfaces negatives, think to yourself, “I am not that. I will not be that.” [2008]
  • Well, shoot me in the wazoo and hang me sideways. [2008]
  • Age prides itself on getting up early. Youth prides itself on staying up late. [2008]
  • Design is tricky. You have to imagine what you’d like to have in an ideal world. But you also have to know what is achievable. If you don’t know what’s possible, you aim too low. If you don’t know what’s practical, you aim to high. The interesting design choices lay at the intersection of possiblity and practicality. [2008]
  • Words I speak ring in my ears for days. Negative thoughts cut me off from my connection with the source of inner peace and happiness. If I refocus my thinking, I can drop the negative feelings and move on. But if I speak them aloud, they interfere with my connection for days to come. It is important to right wrongs and make improvements. But it is equally important to dwell totally on the positive outcome, rather than on the negative obstacles. [2007]
  • Drug companies are getting rich treating problems that food companies are creating. The problem is, both companies have the same owners. [2006]
  • Take a bite of the elephant, swallow the frog, and then have dessert. [2005]
    (To plan your day: Break a large, looming task into managable pieces so it’s not so intimidating. Take one step to accomplish it, so you’ve made substantial progress right away. That’s your warm up. (Knowing that you didn’t have to do it all made it easier to work on it, didn’t it?) Next, tackle the frog — the hairy thing that’s so unpalatable. Mark Twain said that if you eat the frog first thing in the day, nothing else is as bad. True. But it’s a horrible way to start the day. So make it the second thing. With that out of the way, take the remainder of the day to do the fun things you like to do.)
  • The goal of living — the only purpose worth having, really — is to do as much as humanly possible to make of this world a garden of Eden. [2005]
    There are multiple levels to that goal — physical, emotional, mental, spiritual. It means creating a world where people have no unwanted mental or emotional stress, spiritual contentment, and physical comfort — a world where food and shelter are readily available to all, and one’s days are spent in joy and freedom, and daily toil is held to a minimum. There are many ways to move in that direction: the way we treat the person at the checkout counter, caring for a tree, or working for a sustainable future. The Nobel prizes (Eden prizes?) belong to the people who move mankind the furthest in that direction. A meaningful life is found in maximizing and actualizing our innate talents in pursuit of that goal.
  • What do I believe? I believe that people who believe in their god to the exclusion of all others are responsible for most of the real evil that has ever been perpetrated on this planet.[2005]
  • I have no problems that a good dose of success wouldn’t cure. [2005]
  • Regardless of circumstances, I can choose to be happy. I can choose to be calm and loving, no matter what the state of my life, or the state of the world. This is true power — inner power. [2005]
  • Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), of which Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) is an example (for single-winner elections) is an essential tool for democracy. Without it, we are doomed to electing the most heavily-backed minority candidate, instead of a candidate that a true majority prefers. [2005]
  • IRV allows voters to cast a symbolic vote for someone unlikely to win, without skewing an election outcome. [Editorial, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 26 Mar 2005]
  • If you can see the humor in human nature, you will never lack for amusement. [2005]
  • Corporations are like chainsaws. If you control them, they’re powerful tools. If you don’t, they’ll rip your leg off. [2005]
  • I feel like a thimble of knowledge in an ocean of technology. [2005]
  • When you’re in a game you can’t win, the only alternative is to change the game. 2008]
  • Inefficiency costs money. It’s not just the time you spend doing things more slowly necessary — it’s the opportunity cost of the time you could be spending working on the next big thing. [2004]
  • There are many ways to money. There are illegal ways to make money. There are legal ways to make money that are immoral. I’m only interested in making money in ways that actually help people. [2004]
  • I’m a thimbleful of knowledge floating in a vast sea of ignorance. Enlighten me! [2003]
  • Neitsche said, “What doen’t kill you makes you stronger”. The truth is, what doesn’t kill you, kills you — eventually. [2003]
  • What is the path to God’s grace? First, recognize that it exists. Second, recognize that it is a gift. Third, be grateful for it, and express your gratitude. Feel it grow and expand in your heart, and you are there. [2002]
  • “We live in a toxic food environment.” [Walter Willet, Head of the Harvard Medical Group, quoted in the 2000 Harvard Health Study] (Note: Attribution needs to be confirmed .)
  • If you play any sports at all, you’ll be able to relate to this one, sooner or later:
    “The problem with getting older is that difference between being “warmed up” and “worn out”
    is about 10  minutes.” [mid-80’s]
  • Human Adaptability is no excuse for a poor design. [1980]
    In response to the often heard response, “people get used to it”, when software designers were queried as to why an interface was inconsistent and/or inefficient.
  • The four joys of successful living are anticipation, rapture, satisfaction, and contentment. If you cycle them right, you can be happy and successful. Anticipation means relishing the prospect of what lies ahead. Cultivate your enthusiasm, and let it grow. Rapture means being so deeply engrossed in what you’re doing that you are oblivious to all else. Find work you love, and strive to love your work. Rapture follows. Satisfaction is the pride you take in completing a task. Celebrate your achievement. Enjoy it. Then drop it and move on. Contentment is that peaceful state of mind in which there is nothing in particular that you need to be doing. Enjoy this time and use it to recharge your batteries before beginning your next undertaking. Cultivating these emotions and dwelling in them lets you live happily and successfully. [late 60’s]

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