In every work of genius
we recognize our own rejected thoughts.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
American poet & essayist (1803-1882)
Will a quote a day really keep the doctor away?
Like an apple a day, there are no guarantees of its efficacy but pondering the meaning behind a thought-provoking, image-evoking, enlightening and inspiring quote, can stimulate and energize you in healthy ways. I for one, find that quotes extend my thinking beyond my own. They also reinforce many of the thoughts I already have. Quotes make me think further. They make me think more.
Outside of mundanity is where I seek to go – where most of us wish to go – faraway from what we have to do when we deal with everyday life – roof tile repairs, burst water pipes, leaking kitchen faucets or the many other responsibilities to which we as social beings, commit. At the same time however, we can be uplifted by a quote from a profound and inspiring thinker. Our minds have the capacity to think in more than one direction at the same time. So how about a quote a day to keep mundanity at bay?
Connecting to creativity
I love quotes and over the years I have collected many that are meaningful to me. In the introduction to my recent book, QUOTES ABOUT CREATIVITY: What Makes Creative People Tick, I write:
“I have been collecting quotations for many years from a variety of creative thinkers whom I have come across in my readings. Their thoughts about their lives, their creative processes and philosophies on a wide-range of topics have served as both reinforcements to and advancements of my own thinking on creativity and related topics. I have benefited from and enjoyed my internal conversations with these profound thinkers from the past and the present. I decided therefore, to honor their individual strivings and dedication to what was and is meaningful to them in a book of their quotations about creativity.”
All these people lived their lives according to their individual creative yearnings, beliefs, and desires to contribute to the world. They did not do their work because of their need to appear important, but because they were compelled to explore what was meaningful to them – what they truly believed in. Each individual whom I selected for my book of quotes, had their own song to sing and I have included their thought songs in the book:
A bird does not sing because it has an answer.
It sings because it has a song.
Chinese Proverb (page 13)
I selected the quotes that I felt reflected individual authenticity and profundity, quotes that resonated with me:
Originality does not consist in saying what no one has ever said before,
But on saying exactly what you think yourself.
British High Court Judge (1829-1894) page 20
In or out of context?
I find it enjoyable to select a particular quote and see how I can apply it’s meaning in ways that might be quite different to the context in which it was originally used. It is fun to do and so you might want to try that, too. Take this quote for example. There are many ways it could be applied. I have selected two:
Why do you look like an envelope without any address on it?
Writer & humorist (1835 – 1910) page 110
What marvelous images this evokes for me! I see many bland, expressionless faces with little internal cerebration or animation. I see houses with no addresses – no ownership and no evidence of human energy. I see rooms with only safety in their design, all quite devoid of risk-taking or surprises. These unaddressed envelope-houses, have no sense of adventure but are instead, homes based solely on perfection rather than on personality. Just like a person should not be only a structure uninhabited by a self within, so a home needs to reflect who you are…
Be yourself; everybody else is already taken.
American writer & humorist (1845 – 1910) page 111
Collaboration to discover
So put yourself into yourself and put yourself into your home. Sometimes, you might need reinforcement in doing so. You might find that instead of achieving this entirely on your own, you need to collaborate with people who will help you to discover that place – in your head or that physical space that feels like home:
Great discoveries and achievements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds.
Alexander G. Bell
Scottish-born American inventor (1847 – 1920) page 63
When you take time to read and ponder quotes, you think not only about the individual whose words have been recorded, but you also think about society in general, life in its many forms, progress and regress and the state of the world today. Plus, very importantly, when you ponder a quote, you ponder yourself.