“In times of change, learners inherit the world, while the learned remain beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”

Eric Hoffer

Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.


The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately in England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever. If it did, it would prove a serious danger to the upper classes, and probably lead to acts of violence in Grosvenor Square.

Oscar Wilde (1854–1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, Author.

Lady Bracknell, in The Importance of Being Earnest, act 1. [1]

Formerly government was the responsibility of the people; now people are the responsibility of government.

Garet Garrett

"No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it.  We must learn to see the world anew."

Albert Einstein

"I was Snow White, but I drifted."

Mae West

You will move no faster to your career than is provided by the clarity of the image of yourself in that place.


Survival fear is most common in "first-generation winners" - people whose families didn't know how to prepare them for action.

Barbara Sher

If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right.

Henry Ford (1863 - 1947)

If you have tried to do something and failed, you are vastly better off than if you had tried to do nothing and succeeded.


"When a man starts on the road to success, he's an outlaw, he's a nut.  When he starts to have a little success, then they say he's a little weird.  When he's really achieved success - he's eccentric.  They keep saying, 'This guy doesn't fit in!'  So 90 percent of the people in America are trying to fit in with people who aren't makin' it."

Dexter Yager, CEO

Yager Enterprises, Inc.

Charlotte, N.C.

I really cannot give you the formula for success.  But I can give you the formula for failure.  It’s this:  Try to please everyone.

Bernard Meltzer

Bernard Meltzer’s Guidance for Living

The Lily-Pad Riddle

"A powerful illustration of the exponential effect of change comes not from a scientist or a futurist, but from a child's riddle:

'On day one, a large lake contains only a single small lily pad.  Each day the number of lily pads doubles, until on the thirtieth day the lake is totally choked with vegetation.  On what day was the lake half full?'

The answer, of course, is the twenty-ninth day.  It takes twenty nine days for the first half of the lake to fill with lily pads, but only twenty-four additional hours for the lake to become overwhelmed.

Welcome to day twenty-nine.  Imagine that the proliferating lily pads represent the expanding array of changes that face the world.  Suppose that the human resilience required to address these changes is represented by the lake's capacity to accommodate the lily pads.  What happens as day twenty-nine approaches?"

Daryl R. Conner

Managing at the Speed of Change

When a management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that stays in tact.

Warren Buffet

New management paradigms are needed.  A change in the way managers think is needed to implement those paradigms

"If I had to recommend only one training course as most worthy of investment of the funds on and organization, I would choose an intensive course in practical thinking techniques for its managers. ...A manager who can think effectively can manage effectively."

Karl Albrecht

Brain Power - Learn to Improve Your Thinking Skills

There is no statement that the world is more afraid to hear than this:

I do not know the thing I am, and therefore do not know what I am doing, where I am, or how to look upon the world or on myself.

Yet in this learning is salvation born.  And What you are will tell you Itself.

A Course in Miracles

"No one can make you feel inferior without your permission."

Eleanor Roosevelt

"The anxieties of tomorrow added to the frustrations of yesterday carried along with the problems of today are too much for any man or woman."


The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions.

Antony Jay

"It's a disturbing idea that depressed people see reality correctly while non-depressed people distort reality in a self-serving way....  There is considerable evidence that depressed people, though sadder, are wiser......  Non-depressed people...believe they have much more control over things than they actually do."

Martin Seligman - Learned Optimism

Quoted from Liberation Management - Tom Peters

When the Master governs, the people
are hardly aware he exists.
Next best is a leader who is loved.
Next, one who is feared.
The worst is one who is despised.
If you don't trust the people,
you make them untrustworthy.
The Master doesn't talk, he acts.
When his work is done,
the people say, "Amazing:
we did it, all by ourselves!

Chapter 17 - Tao Te Ching


Whoever relies on the Tao in governing men
doesn't try to force issues
or defeat enemies by force of arms.
For every force there is a counterforce.
Violence, even well intentioned,
always rebounds upon oneself.
The Master does his job
and then stops.
He understands that the universe
is forever out of control,
and that trying to dominate events
goes against the current of the Tao.
Because he believes in himself,
he doesn't try to convince others.
Because he is content in himself,
he doesn't need others' approval.
Because he accepts himself,
the whole world accepts him.

Chapter 30 - Tao Te Ching



We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.
We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.
We hammer wood for a house,
but it is the inner space
that makes it livable.
We work with being,
but non being is what we use.

Chapter 11 - Tao Te Ching


"When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter.  As you see him, you will see yourself.  As you treat him, you will treat yourself.  As you think of him, you will think of yourself.  Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose yourself."

A Return to Love
Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles

Marianne Williamson

Peter Abelard (1079-1142?), French philosopher and theologian laid down four basic rules for argument and investigation:

  1. Use systematic doubt and question everything.
  2. Learn the difference between statements of rational proof and those merely of persuasion.
  3. Be precise in use of words, and expect precision from others.
  4. Watch for error, even in Holy Scripture.

Don’t forget that every body, including yourself, has only his own experience to think with.

Rudolf Flesch

Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving there is no need to do so, everyone gets busy on the proof.

John Kenneth Galbraith

There is nothing more frightening than ignorance in action.


There is one thing stronger than all the armies of the world: and that is an idea whose time has come.

Victor Hugo

Imagination is more important than knowledge.

Albert Einstein

Anything one man can imagine, other men can make real.

Jules Verne

Every great oak was once a nut that stood its ground.


Your must adjust…This is the legend imprinted in every schoolbook, the invisible message on every blackboard.  Our schools have become vast factories for the manufacture of robots.

Robert M. Lindner

ALBRECHT’S LAW: Intelligent people, when assembled into an organization, will tend toward collective stupidity.

Karl Albrecht

The biggest problem in the world
Could have been solved when it was small.

Lao Tzu

Opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth than plague or earthquakes.


We don’t know one millionth of one percent about anything.

Thomas Edison

Change your thoughts and you change your world.

Norman Vincent Peale

It takes a very unusual mind to make an analysis of the obvious.

Alfred North Whitehead

An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.

Elbert Hubbard

There is no right way to do the wrong thing.


It is not who is right, but what is right that is important.

Thomas Huxley

If you would persuade, you must appeal to interest rather than intellect.

Benjamin Franklin

To change and change for the better are two different things.

German proverb

What is now proved was once only imagined.

William Blake

Before we can change things we must call them by their real name.


Human inventiveness is overwhelming human adaptiveness.  Our ability to judge lags behind our ability to create.

Robert Ornstein

Our education system and our society discriminate against one whole half of the brain.  The right hemisphere gets only the barest minimum of training, nothing compared to what we do to the left.

Roger Perry

Do not do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Their tastes may not be the same.

George Bernard Shaw

In developing strong teams, understanding and valuing differences is essential.  But in adapting to change, understanding and valuing commonalties is the key.  We grow by focusing on how we are unique; we progress by focusing on how we are similar.

Harvey Robbins and Michael Finley

Why Change Doesn’t Work  page 56

People only see what they are prepared to see.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Other people are not in this world to live up to your expectations.

Fritz Perls

There is no limit to the amount of good that people can accomplish, if they don’t care who gets the credit.


A leader is someone who understands where people are going, and stands in front of them.


If you don’t have time to do it right you must have time to do it over.

Philip Crosby

Leadership is nature’s way of removing morons from the productive flow.

Dogbert, in the cartoon strip Dilbert

Vision without action is a daydream.  Action without vision is a nightmare.

Japanese proverb

The most important skills of managers and leaders in the years to come will be conversation.

Alan Weber

It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.

St. Francis of Asisi

The universe is a living, creative, experimenting experience of discovering what’s possible at all levels of scale, from microbe to cosmos.

Margaret J. Wheatley & Myron Kellner-Rogers

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

George Bernard Shaw in Man and Superman

Try not.


Or do not.

There is no try.

Yoda - Jedi Master

"The only victory lies in the surrender to oneself."

"Learn to forgive yourself, again, and again, and again....."

"We must learn the power of living with our helplessness."

"All of the significant battles are waged within the self."

"The most important things that each man must learn no one else can teach him.  Once he accepts this disappointment, he will be able to stop depending on the therapist, the guru who turns out to be just another struggling human being."

Sheldon B. Kopp

If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him!

If I continue to take in data as I have always taken in data,
Then I will continue to think as I have always thought.
If I continue to think as I have always thought,
Then I will continue to believe as I have always believed.
If I continue to believe as I have always believed,
Then I will continue to act as I have always acted,
If I continue to act as I have always acted,
Then I will continue to get what I have always gotten.




From: If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him! - Sheldon B. Kopp

An Eschatological Laundry List

A Partial Register of the 927 (or was it 928?) Eternal Truths.

  1. This is it!
  2. There are no hidden meanings.
  3. You can't get there from here, and besides there's no place else to go.
  4. We are already dying, and we will be dead for a long time.
  5. Nothing lasts.
  6. There is no way of getting all you want.
  7. You can't have anything unless you let go of it.
  8. You only get to keep what you give away.
  9. There is no particular reason why you lost out on some things.
  10. The world is not necessarily just. Being good often does not pay off and there is no compensation for misfortune.
  11. You have a responsibility to do your best nonetheless.
  12. It is a random universe to which we bring meaning.
  13. You don't really control anything.
  14. You can't make anyone love you.
  15. No one is any stronger or any weaker than anyone else.
  16. Everyone is, in his own way, vulnerable.
  17. There are no great men.
  18. If you have a hero, look again: you have diminished yourself in some way.
  19. Everyone lies, cheats, pretends (yes, you too).
  20. All evil is potential vitality in need of transformation.
  21. All of you is worth something, if you will only own it.
  22. Progress is an illusion.
  23. Evil can be displaced but never eradicated, as all solutions breed new problems.
  24. Yet it is necessary to keep on struggling toward solution.
  25. Childhood is a nightmare.
  26. But it is so very hard to be an on-your-own, take-care-of-yourself-cause-there-is-no-one-else-to-do-it-for-you grown-up.
  27. Each of us is ultimately alone.
  28. The most important things, each man must do for himself.
  29. Love is not enough, but it sure helps.
  30. We have only ourselves, and one another. That may not be much, but that's all there is.
  31. How strange, that so often, it all seems worth it.
  32. We must live within the ambiguity of partial freedom, partial power, and partial knowledge.
  33. All important decisions must be made on the basis of insufficient data.
  34. Yet we are responsible for everything we do.
  35. No excuses will be accepted.
  36. You can run, but you cannot hide.
  37. It is most important to run out of scapegoats.
  38. We must learn the power of living with our helplessness.
  39. The only victory lies in surrender to oneself.
  40. All of the significant battles are waged within the self.
  41. You are free to do whatever you like. You need only face the consequences.
  42. What do you know...for sure...anyway?
  43. Learn to forgive yourself, again and again and again and again...

B. Extra

  1. Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.
  2. "All of the significant battles are waged within the self."
  3. "The most important things that each man must learn no one else can teach him. Once he accepts this disappointment, he will be able to stop depending on the therapist, the guru who turns out to be just another struggling human being."

If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him!
Sheldon B. Kopp

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[1]The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations is licensed from Columbia University Press. Copyright © 1993, 1995 by Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.