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Quotes, Quotes, and Quips January 25, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
26 comments

You guys know I love quotes, right?

Quotes, and adages, and aphorisms, and pithy sayings, and quips, and . . .

If you don’t, just type “aphorism” or “quote” in the search bar and you’ll be busy scrolling for some time.  Come back and join us when you’re finished.

Today, I stumbled into several posts on quotes which are worth a peak:

Woodstock-&-SnoopySandra Lee posted 101 Inspirational Quotes To Light Up Your Life (Always Well Within).  One quote resonated with me in light of my recent post You’re Going the WRONG Way!:

“It doesn’t really matter how fast you’re going if you’re heading in the wrong direction.” ~ Stephen Covey

Another new favorite:

“Don’t write because you want to say something, write because you have something to say.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

A reminder from Thoreau to view life with alert curiosity and awareness:

“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

A reminder not to let one blemish prevent us from seeing all the remaining blessings in the basket:

“Don’t let one cloud obliterate the whole sky.” ~ Anais Nin

WordPress posted 30 Writing Quotes to Motivate You (Daily Post) which sent me around to 30 Writing Quotes to Kick Off 2011 (The Urban Muse).

My two favorites from the U.M. list, which capture how I feel about the sheer enjoyment I get from writing:

“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.” ~ Isaac Asimov

“Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” ~ Gloria Steinem

For the inner artist who longs to share the majesty of the world with readers:

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” ~ Anton Chekhov

And for those of us who enjoy writing because we get to control both sides of every conversation:

“We writers dream of a future where actors are mostly computer generated and their performances can be adjusted, by us, on a laptop, alone.” ~ Tina Fey

To round out the day, Granny shared some quips in her post, Granny’s Hot Tuesday.  I especially enjoyed:

#9 ~ Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

#5 ~ Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals, dying of nothing.

How about you?  Heard any good quotes lately?

No rules.  Just write!

Related posts:  Quickly Quotable ~ Martin Luther King, Jr. (My Literary Quest) * Aphorisms from Aa to Zz: Zz * A Writer’s Life For Me

“I Know What YOU Should Do” January 25, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Mindfulness, People.
28 comments

When I stopped practicing law, I needed to figure out what to do next.

I read books on possible careers, and explored my own interests, skills, and abilities.

Even though I was not looking for advice from others, that did not stop the advice from pouring in.

Whenever you are at a cross-roads in your life, and let that fact slip, people who know and love you, and people you have just met, will smack their foreheads and say, “I know what you should do!”

In reality, they know what they would do if they were in your shoes ~ but they are not in your shoes.

Fred-'n-BarneyI went bowling with a friend who introduced me to someone she had known for years.  This friend of a friend, who had just met me, asked what I did for a living.

When I said that I had just resigned from a law firm, she told me, without  first asking me any questions, that I should be a private investigator.

She was not a psychic, or a guidance counselor, and she had known me all of five minutes.  Nonetheless, she was willing to substitute her judgment for mine.

Why not?  What did SHE have to lose?

I knew that I would hate being a private investigator, lying in ditches to snap pictures for attorneys who would never be happy with the angle of the shot.

I knew that I would hate having to testify in court that someone was lying about their abilities in order to bilk an insurance company.

And, of course, I had no desire to work around attorneys on a regular basis.

One of the reasons that I left the practice of law was to distance myself from the profession because I had seen, first hand, the moral qualities in lawyers that keep lawyer jokes in circulation. 

When I tried to explain why being a P.I. would not be a good fit for me, she argued with me ~ insisting that being a private eye would be perfect.

She felt confident, after knowing me a full five minutes, that she was in a better position to assess what would make me happy than I was ~ even though I had been walking around in my shoes for an entire lifetime.

I realized the idea of being a Private Eye appealed to her, and shared that information with her.

Another woman, who met me at a party, asked me what I did for a living.  I explained that I had just stopped practicing law and wasn’t sure what I was going to do next.

“What type of law?”

“Medical malpractice litigation.”

On hearing those three words, she smacked her forehead and said, without preamble,”I know what you should do!  Go into hospital administration.”

I explained that I didn’t enjoying being in hospitals, even occasionally.  She  swatted my concerns away, and assured me that I would learn to ignore the medicinal smells in time.

Her advice had nothing to do with who I was at that moment.  Instead, it stemmed from who she was and what SHE wanted out of life.

Some people questioned the correctness of my decision to stop practicing law.  Of course, these people had never been lawyers and had no real understanding of the profession.

The lawyers I knew just wished they could trade places with me.  

A typical conversation with the naysayers followed along these lines:

“Why do you want to stop practicing law?  You’re so good at it.”

“I’m not happy.”

“But don’t you earn a lot of money?”

“Yes, but I”m not happy.”

“Well, you went to law school for three years.  You have an investment in your career.  You can’t just walk away from it.”

“Sure I can.  I’ve practiced for thirteen years.  I’ve already received a good return on that investment.”

“But don’t you earn a lot of money?”

“Yes, but I’m not happy.”

As indicated, these conversations centered around the money that I could make as an attorney . . . if I continued to sacrifice my happiness.

Money should be factored into the career choice equation, especially if you’re just starting out and need the basics ~ food, clothing, and shelter.  But once you reach a basic level of subsistence, it doesn’t make sense to trade your limited time on this planet for money that you don’t really need to survive, unless doing so adds to your net happiness.

Earning enough to save for a “rainy day” is a wonderful idea, in concept, but what if that day never arrives?

What if you sacrifice your happiness today, for a tomorrow that never appears?

Eventually, I learned to ignore the well-meaning, but misguided advice that virtual strangers offered on my next best choice of career.

I stopped defending my position to them.  I just smiled and thanked them for their advice, and said that I would give it due consideration.

Feel free to do the same.

If you need career counseling, hire someone who will take the time to evaluate YOUR unique skills, talents, and abilities and walk you through options in likely fields of interest, without just blurting out what they would do if they were wearing your shoes.

Hey, hey, you, you, get out of my shoes! 

No rules.  Just write!

Related posts:  Whose Shoes Are They Anyway? * Other People See Your Problems More Clearly Than You Do (Raptitude)