Poetry Saturday—A Hundred Years From Now

cloudsIt will not make much difference, friend,
A hundred years from now,
If you live in a stately mansion
Or on a floating river scow;
If the clothes you wear are tailor-made
Or pieced together somehow,
If you eat big steaks or beans and cake
A hundred years from now.

It won’t matter about your bank account
Or the make of car you drive,
For the grave will claim your riches and fame
And the things for which you strive.
There’s a deadline we all must meet
And no one will turn up late,
It won’t matter then all the places you’ve been,
Each one will keep that date.

We will only have in eternity
What we gave away on earth,
When we go to the grave we can only save
The things of eternal worth,
What matters, friend, the earthly gain
For which some men always bow?
For your destiny will be sealed, you see
A hundred years from now. —Walden Parker

Poetry Saturday—The Oyster

Pearl oysterThere once was an oyster, whose story I’ll tell,
Who found that some sand had gotten into his shell.
It was only a grain, but it gave him great pain,
For oysters have feelings, although they are plain.
Now, did he berate the harsh workings of fate
That had brought him to such a deplorable state?
“No,” he said to himself, “since I cannot remove it,
I’ll lie in my shell and think how to improve it.”
They years rolled around, as the years always do,
And he came to his ultimate destiny… stew.
Now the small grain of sand that had bothered him so
Was a beautiful pearl all richly aglow.
This tale has a moral, for isn’t it grand,
What an oyster can do with a morsel of sand?
Think… what could we do, if we’d only begin
With some of the things that get under our skin. —Anonymous (I heard this poem as a part of a brilliant message on dealing with life’s irritations)

13 Other Quotes From “JumpStart Your Leadership”

JumpStart Your LeadershipOne of the things I appreciate about John Maxwell’s work is how many other authors and deep thinkers he reads. Dr. Maxwell then sifts through all those works and brings the best of the best to his books. Here are some of the other quotes John shared in his book JumpStart Your Leadership.

“Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved.” —William Jennings Bryan

“No man is a leader until his appointment is ratified in the mines and the hearts of his men.” —Infantryman’s Journal (1954)

“The supreme quality of leadership is unquestionably integrity.” —Dwight Eisenhower

“You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.” —Ken Kesey

“Let him that would move the world, first move himself.” —Socrates

“The most essential quality for leadership is not perfection but credibility. People must be able to trust you.” —Rick Warren

“Looking back, my life seems like one big obstacle race, with me being the chief obstacle.” —Jack Paar 

“Effective leaders reward dissent, as well as encourage it. They understand that whatever momentary discomfort they experience as a result of being told from time to time that they are wrong is more than offset by the fact that ‘reflective back talk’ increases a leaders ability to make good decisions.” —Warren Bennis

“You can dream, create, design, and build the most wonderful idea in the world, but it requires people to make the dream a reality.” —Walt Disney

“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” —Rosalynn Carter

“The outstanding leaders of every age are those who set up their own quotas and constantly exceed them.” —Thomas Watson

“Do what you do so well that those who see you do what you do are going to come back to see you do it again and tell others that they should see you do what you do.” —Walt Disney

“The secret is to work less as individuals and more as a team. As a coach, I play not my eleven best, but my best eleven.” —Knute Rockne

You can read quotes from John Maxwell in this book by clicking here.

You can read my review of JumpStart Your Leadership by clicking here.

15 Quotes From “Mansfield’s Book Of Manly Men”

Mansfield's Book Of Manly MenFrankly, fellas, there are just way too many passages I highlighted to share them all here, but I did want to give you a taste of some of the manly wisdom in Mansfield’s Book Of Manly Men. You can read my full book review by clicking here, but I suggest every red-blooded male who wants to be a manly man go get this book! You’ll be reading a lot more from me in the next few weeks that is inspired from this book.

“What makes a man a warrior is his willingness to place himself between what he holds dear and anything that threatens it. Honor is the chief motivator for the warrior. Dishonor is unthinkable. He does the right thing without expectation of reward because honor is an intrinsic value that, when manifested in one’s life, provides its own rewards.” —William Boykin

“By words like manly and manhood, I don’t mean the kind of behavior we see in the fake masculinity that surrounds us today. There’s nothing manly about a guy downing booze until he throws up in the street. There’s nothing manly about cruising for women like some predatory beast and then devouring them for pleasure before casting them aside. There’s nothing manly about making a child but then running like a coward before that child is born. There’s nothing manly about dominating a woman or treating her like a servant or leaving her with burdens that aren’t rightly hers. To think these actions make up true manhood is like thinking the average ‘gentleman’s club’ is actually for gentlemen. It’s not. Instead, it is a Palace of Perpetual Adolescence where incomplete males go to get on the cheap what they don’t have the guts to fight for righteously and make their own. … I am talking about the kind of manhood that makes a family whole, a woman safe, a child confident, and a community strong.” —Stephen Mansfield

“All it takes for a contagious manly culture to form is for one genuine man to live out genuine manhood. It creates a model, something for other men to feed upon and pattern themselves after. It also gives other genuine men a vital connection that sustains and extends who they are.” —Stephen Mansfield

“A man cannot fulfill his purpose if he is living for applause, approval, and affirmation in this world.” —Stephen Mansfield

“If a man does not have an ideal and try to live up to it, then he becomes a mean, base and sordid creature, no matter how successful.” —Theodore Roosevelt, in a letter to his son Kermit 

“Honorable men refuse to wallow in the small and the bitter. Honorable men refused to hate life because something once went wrong. Honorable men don’t build monuments to their disappointments, nor do they let others brand into them and curse them to their destruction. Honorable men seek out the highest definition of their lives, the nobler meaning granted by heritage, by their ancestors’ dreams and their parents’ hopes. Honorable man cry out to God until curses are broken and a grander purpose is achieved. Honorable man don’t settle for lives of regret.” —Stephen Mansfield

“Nothing great will ever be achieved without great men, and men are great only if they are determined to be so. For glory gives herself only to those who have always dreamed of her.” —Charles de Gaulle

“True friends stand in harm’s way for each other. True friends take the hits for one another. … Genuine men stand with their friends and look on the scars that result has signs of manly honor.” —Stephen Mansfield

“Weak men assume what they need to know will seek them out. Men of great character and drive search out the knowledge they need.” —Stephen Mansfield

“For a man to become a great man, he will have to defeat the force of bitterness in his life. No one escapes it. There is enough offense and hardship in the world to assure that all of us will be wounded and betrayed, all of us will have opportunity to drink the sweet-tasting poison of bitterness against those who have wronged us. The art of surviving untainted is to learn the art of forgiveness.” —Stephen Mansfield

“The question we all face is not whether or not we have defects. We do. Everyone of us. The question is whether we are capable of envisioning a life defined by forces greater than the weight of our flaws. The moment we can—the moment we can envision a life beyond mere compromise with our deformities—that is the moment we take the first steps toward weighty lives. Manly men know themselves, work to understand their God-ordained uniqueness and their unique brand of damage, and accept they will always be a work in progress, always be a one-man construction project that is never quite finished in this life. They don’t despair. They don’t settle. They don’t expect perfection of themselves. They understand that destiny is in the hand of God. They also understand that these destinies are fashioned in a man’s struggle against the enemies of his soul.” —Stephen Mansfield

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” —Martin Luther King Jr.

“Virtue is a state of war, and to live in it we have always to combat with ourselves.” —Jean-Jacques Rousseau

“Adversity toughens manhood, and the characteristic of the good or the great man is not that he has been exempt from the evils of life, but that he has surmounted them.” —Patrick Henry

“The man, whom I called deserving the name, is one whose thoughts and exertions are for others rather than himself.” —Walter Scott

21 Quotes From “Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn”

Sometimes You WinAs I mentioned in my book review (which you can read by clicking here), John Maxwell always expands my horizons with his writings. I appreciate his ability to use his own life experiences as well as historical and contemporary examples and writings. So some of my favorite quotes from Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn are from Dr. Maxwell, and some are from others that he quotes. Enjoy!

“I sometimes react to making a mistake as if I have betrayed myself. My fear of making a mistake seems to be based on the hidden assumption that I am potentially perfect and that if I can just be very careful, I will not fall from heaven. But a mistake is a declaration of the way I am, a jolt to the way I intend, a reminder that I am not dealing with facts. When I have listened to my mistakes, I have grown.” —Hugh Prather

“Those who profit from adversity possess a spirit of humility and are therefore inclined to make the necessary changes needed to learn from their mistakes, failures, and losses. … When we are focused too much on ourselves, we lose perspective. Humility allows us to regain perspective and see the big picture. … Humility allows us to let go of perfection and keep trying.” —John Maxwell

“Most people spend their entire lives in a fantasy Island called ‘Someday I’ll.’” —Denis Waitley 

“An idealist believes the short-run doesn’t count. A cynic believes the long run doesn’t matter. A realist believes that what is done or left undone in the short-run determines the long run.” —Sydney J. Harris

“Those things that hurt, instruct.” —Benjamin Franklin

“You can’t grow and learn if your focus is on finding someone else to blame instead of looking at your own shortcomings.” —John Maxwell

“The highest reward for our toil is not what we get for it but what we become by it. … Mistakes are not failures. They are proof that we are making an effort. When we understand that, we can more easily move out of our comfort zone, try something new, and improve. … Improvement demands a commitment to grow long after the mood in which it was made has passed.” —John Maxwell 

“Success in most things comes not from some gigantic stroke of fate, but from simple, incremental progress.” —Andrew Wood

“The main trouble with despair is that it is self-fulfilling. People who fear the worst tend to invite it. Heads that are down can’t scan the horizon for new openings. Bursts of energy do not spring from a spirit of defeat. Ultimately, helplessness leads to hopelessness.” —Norman Cousins

“Positive thinking must be followed by positive doing.” —John Maxwell

“When you are influential and highly respected, people tend to tell you what you want to hear, not what you need to hear. They are seeking your approval, or they flatter you. Unfortunately, this creates a gap between what you hear and reality. If you find yourself in that situation, you will need to work extra hard to get the people close to you to speak honestly into your life. And you will have to become highly intentional in observing and listening.” —John Maxwell 

“Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you would have preferred to talk.” —Doug Larson

“Circumstances are the rulers of the weak; but they are the instruments of the wise.” —Samuel Lover 

“Mistakes are painful when they happen, but years later a collection of mistakes is what is called experience.” —Denis Waitley

“Ninety percent of those who fail are not actually defeated; they simply quit. … As you face bad experiences, it’s important for you to remember that you can rarely see the benefits while you’re in the midst of them. You usually gain perspective on the other side of it.” —John Maxwell 

“Most people would rather change their circumstances to improve their lives when instead they need to change themselves to improve their circumstances. They put in just enough effort to distance themselves from their problems without ever trying to go after the root, which can often be found in themselves. Because they don’t try to change the source of their problems, their problems keep coming back at them.” —John Maxwell

“To grow, you must be willing to let your present and future be totally unlike your past. Your history is not your destiny.” —Alan Cohen

“If I had my life to live over again, I’d make the same mistakes, only sooner.” —Tallulah Bankhead

“Maturity is doing what you are supposed to be doing, when you’re supposed to be doing it, no matter how you feel.” —Dom Capers 

“Have you not succeeded? Continue! Have you succeeded? Continue!” —Fridtjof Nansen, Nobel Peace Prize winner

“How we think when we lose determines how long it will be until we win.” —G.K. Chesterton

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