Archive for the ‘Focused Action’ Category

I must lose myself in action, lest I wither in despair.

Alfred Lord Tennyson (by George Frederic Watts; Public Domain)

I admit it, I much prefer happy, uplifting quotes. But more importantly, I prefer quotes that can help someone with what they are going through. Not only does this very brief quote by Tennyson remind us that grief, despair, and depression afflicted even the most famous people in history (in fact, these dark forces generally helped shape who they would become), it also gives us a clear pathway out of the shadows. No matter how dark of a time we might be going through, we still have the mental capacity to choose where we would like to be, and define what actual steps it will take to get there. When our mind wants to focus on the darkness, let us recognize this condition and lose ourselves in the actions needed to move forward. It is amazing how this simple step will make the melancholy abate.

—Mike Hazell

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“A trail through the mountains, if used, becomes a path in a short time, but, if unused, becomes blocked by grass in an equally short time.” 

—Mencius (371-289 BC; Public domain)

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The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.

Mayflower II

— William Arthur Ward

…Every know and again, it is good to review both your thoughts and actions for a set period of time to assure you haven’t drifted into the enemy’s camp.

—MSH, Penn Wealth

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There is no greater harm than that of time wasted.

Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564)

— Michelangelo (Public domain)

…And don’t worry about perfection, just keep moving. Certainly, you will need to make adjustments along the way to your destination, but dedicate a specific small block of time each week—perhaps an hour over the weekend—to check your bearings. The remainder of the time, remain focused and keep moving forward.

The true measure of your success will come when you meet your next obstacle (of many), and you continue to move forward in a focused manner despite the roadblock.

—MSH, Penn Wealth

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Decide firmly what you will not do, and you will be free to do vigorously what you ought to do.


— Mencius (Public domain)

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Passive inactivity, because you have not been given specific instructions to do this or to do that, is a serious deficiency.

Marshall, George C 2

— George Marshall

…And ideally, we are the ones giving ourselves the “specific instructions.” We must create a vision for our life—one which we can passionately pursue with a specific set of actions. Lacking this, we either flounder through life, going from crisis to crisis in a reactionary state, or we live with a chip on our shoulders because we are simply taking orders from someone else. We can live life on offense or on defense. One we proactively control; the other controls us due to our passive inactivity.


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Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.

van Gogh, Vincent

— Vincent van Gogh


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