This is just a post about ten of my favourite quotes and why I love them.
- The first quote is by none other than one of my favourite poets, W.H. Auden:
“A professor is one who talks in someone else’s sleep.”
This quote is just amazing. Auden compares a lack of knowledge to being asleep. So a teacher or professor educates us to a point where we are no longer suffering from an intellectual slumber. It inspired this tweet I wrote a while ago: “The moment you surrender your mind to Dan intellectual slumber you’ve allowed darkness to encompass you. Many live asleep…”.
2. Albert Einstein
I was introduced to this quote when I was about fourteen years old. I managed to get myself onto a program that was aimed at helping young people to overcome the barriers set before them in order to become successful. Long story short, the quote didn’t seem that special to me until very recently when I realised that friendships, relationships, or even results in my education always ended the same way. It wasn’t necessarily because everyone around me was just evil (not saying that some of them weren’t) but I exacerbated issues by not doing anything to change my behaviour in situations. It’s honestly insane to carry out the same methodology over and over and not expect the same results. Do something different and watch things change around you.
This quote was printed in large letters a minuet across from the library I used for five years at secondary school. I genuinely feel like, in an odd manner, the quote raised me (feel free ti call me a weirdo at this point). But yes the quote is simple but so important. You can not be successful if you do not observe the successes and failures of your predecessors. Note that I said failures as well. My father always says “observes yesterday’s hero’s, even the bad ones”. Obviously there is no such thing as a bad hero. But what he means is that learning from the mistakes of other will save you so much hassle in your own life. The quote also just means to literally start off by standing on someone else’s shoulders. Sometimes, we need a firm foundation in order to embark on the journey towards our dreams. So standing on the shoulders of those who have already achieved those goals puts you in a position to view your surroundings and provides you with a start towards those goals. You can not be successful if all you see is yourself. So go on, pick a couple giants and stand on their shoulders.
4. Abraham Lincoln
“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
DAMN! This is no lie. I’d probably add money to it though. The poorest people, the least influential people are always so lovely. But give them money. Give them power and you’ll see their true colours. My father always says (yes he’s a great muse) that arrogance is something that always exists. It doesn’t just randomly develop. People who are arrogant have always been arrogant. But the arrogance was in poor conditions and could not develop. However, take that characteristic and surround it with the right amount of money and power (or clothes, friends, fans. women, whatever) and see how it grows to its optimum level (scientists, relate this to photosynthesis for a plant). Power is really a test of integrity and integrity isn’t something that everyone possesses.
5. Michelle Obama
“The problem is when the fun stuff becomes a habit “
Wise words from the world’d former first lady, as always. There is nothing wrong with having fun. But when having fun becomes your primary concern your priorities are clearly all wrong. Fun is good every once in a while. But the moment you over familiarise yourself with settings that your mind recognises as fun, you become too comfortable with the feeling of fun; more comfortable than the feeling of work.
6. Idris Elba
“My Father always told me that a fool at 40 is a fool for life.”
I’m sorry but this is self explanatory and if you don’t get it… sigh let me not…
7. Ezra Pound
“Literature is news that stays news.”
Like music, novels, poetry and plays never get old (that is if they’re good). Literature is timeless which is why we can write about a book written in 1909 in the present tense; the moment you open the book the story starts again – amazing.
8. What would a thread of my top ten quotes be without one from William Shakespeare?
“… for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”
What is good and what is bad is to an extent subjective. This is my issue with the west’s desire (need, obsession) with controlling the world and telling people how to behave. What is good to me here in London, might seem awful to someone who lives on the other side of the world. However, that’s not really what shakespeare meant. That was just me taking the opportunity to rant (LOL). But yes, things are only as bad or as good as you think they are.
9. Maya Angelou
“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
Call me a hopeless romantic or naive, but I really do believe that love conquers all. There is nothing and no one who can stop it – but only when it’s real.
10. And finally two quotes from this legend Samuel Beckett
“My mistakes are my life” and “Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better”
Okay so this guy really makes me feel like this:
You can’t get rid of your mistakes. People don’t forget. The mistakes become your life as you bare whatever consequences they carry. Your mistakes make you who you are and without them you probably wouldn’t know what you know or be as wise as you are. Do I regret my mistakes? Yes, some were stupid as hell. But do I waste time stressing over them? Hell no. I’m glad I made some mistakes. I’ve learnt so much from getting things wrong.
Disclaimer: I am not saying go out and do something stupid.
And the second quote… I’ll leave that one to you guys.