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WORDS OF WISDOM
"The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life."—Jessica Hische

A type artist & graphic designer whose work I admire was featured on Humble Pied recently. It's a website that highlights advice—one piece of advice—from one inspiring person every few days. What a neat idea! Sometimes out of all the blah blah blah that constantly passes through your receptors, it's that one sudden striking of a clapper inside the bell of your brain that stands out and makes you sit up and pay attention. It arrests you, snaps you out of it, gives you a sudden whiplash focus.

I've been collecting words of wisdom for a very long time. Sometimes they are things a friend has said or written; more often they are quotes by writers, artists, scientists, thinkers. Sometimes it's a poem or part of one. Sometimes it's the lyrics of a song. Sometimes it's actual advice from my mom. It doesn't matter what the source is, so long as it makes me stop. Reflect. Think. Act.

I have once-blank books full of them. For awhile I would do books of my favorites for cherished friends: sharing those bits that resonated best. Nowadays I often collect them in digital form: cutting and pasting them into an email to myself (Subject line: snippet) and even have a infrequently updated online journal where I post them for my own pleasure and a kind of personal posterity.

It's fun to think that something I've said to someone has made them stop and think and act. I had a friend once tell me that her and her husband's decision to go ahead with starting a family was based on something I had said to her: that there was no reason to wait until they were "ready" because no one is EVER really ready. One of the other people featured on Humble Pied said something similar: "You can't keep preparing to be ready. Be ready now." I think it's one of those good principles for living; heck, Nike has made a fortune from promoting the same basic thought.

Whether you consider it words to live by or platitudinal marketing suckage, there's something strangely satisfying about the condensation of a philosophy into a sentence or two that has seared itself into your cerebrum. That particular philosophy—Just do it—is one I have made a touchstone of my life. Sometimes, perhaps, to the point of OCD, but that's another post altogether. :)

What are some of the things you've been told or have read that have stuck with you? One of the things that I find so inspiring about the blogs I read is the amazing amount of excellent advice, motivation, and thought-provoking philosophy out there. You people are smart! You say interesting things. You think great thoughts. And you share them: thank you!

One never knows when wisdom will tap on your shoulder and force your gaze to sharpen. Be ready.

Jip-Jam-Jumpin' Jive Hip Hep Happy Birthday Wishes to somebodystrange!
 thoughtful
mood: thoughtful
music: Joe Jackson—Jumpin' Jive


Comments

I run across quite a few thought provoking quotes by friends and the famous alike, but with my short lived memory, they stick for just a short while. Oh, I find them in the novels and other books I read too. Sometimes a phrase simply jumps right out as if it were speaking directly to me.

That's what I feel like to: as if it were speaking directly to me. ME! Imagine that!

(Anonymous)
From Megsie

I LOVE THAT QUOTE!!! Mostly because I procrastinate. A lot. I too collect quotes and "snippets." In fact, on my calendar I have this quote that I look at every day:

"There are two types of people—those who come into a room and say, "Well, here I am!" and those who come in and say, "Ah, there you are."
—Frederick L. Collins

I got it from you ages ago. It helps me remember that it isn't all about me, this life. So, THANK YOU. I am happy that you have had a better day today. Still sending you hugs, though :)

Re: From Megsie

I remember that one, I love it, too. :)

I used to have an ongoing collection of quotations that I loved, pieced together because they spoke to me or enlightened me or amused me. I still have the file but haven't added anything to it in several years. I just realized that I miss it.

This would make a better post than a comment so I'll stop here. :)

I know what you mean...I miss my books full of quotes, too. Think I should get back in the habit of writing them down!

I keep my favorite quotes in my Google gadget sidebar on my desktop. They are a bit long to be pasted here, though. Perhaps I can write a post revolving around each one, once I find the time to blog more :)

If the work I do while I procrastinate is the work I should do for a living, I need to find a job that combines searching for good shopping deals online and reading blogs :)

I think you're defining "work" rather loosely :D

Thank you!

And that quote is fascinating. It suggests I should drink beer and think about sports.

That's not quite right. Pretty much just the NFL.

I think you're defining "work" rather loosely :D

That's a great quote. I should find a job puttering about, letting one thing lead to another without an agenda. (Which is pretty much how I actually get things done albeit slowly.)

I would say that I have little snippets running through my mind and my day all the time, but pressed to write one here I find that I got nothin'.

That's why it's so good to write them down! Then they're always handy!

These days, the words of wisdom that most often pop up in my periphery are "You will miss this time" (said to me at some point in context of my little children and all the frustration that stay-at-home parenting brings). When an entire morning goes by and steam is coming out of my ears because the only thing I accomplished was cleaning up bodily fluids while keeping my toddler out of peril... I think of that quote and say "HELL NO!" And then laugh. And then realize I actually will miss this time one day.
(I like your procrastination quote, but I'm afraid it means I should spend the rest of my life reading blogs and watching "Glee" re-runs in my pajamas. Not sure how okay the rest of my family would be with that!)

That's not work, so it doesn't count :)

Something I read once that might apply is my favorite (and only time I ever) quote from the Bible: "It came to pass". Get it? It doesn't come to STAY. It comes to pass. Which means that when things are bad, they will pass and get better, and when they are GOOD...well. you'd better enjoy them as much as you can now. Or at least see the bright side in them, which it soundsl ike you are doing with your laughter!

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