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The 10 Wisest Things I Ever Heard

October 19th, 2009 by Bob Bly

1–You play the hand you’re dealt.

2–Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

3–There is no “try.” There is only do or not do. (Yoda)

4–It’s not just what happens to you; it’s also how you handle it.

5–Be happy while you’re living, for you’re a long time dead. (Scottish proverb)

6–Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

7–Do something you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.

8–Life is unfair.

9–Be second, not first; the pioneers are the ones who get arrows in their backs.

10–Live below your means.


This entry was posted on Monday, October 19th, 2009 at 6:16 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

765 responses about “The 10 Wisest Things I Ever Heard”

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  2. Richard Armstrong said:

    You left out one of your OWN favorites, Bob! “Live beneath your means.” Here’s one of my favorites: “The secret of success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” — Winston Churchill

  3. Ryan said:

    My favorite – If you do not know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere. Henry Kissinger

  4. Bob Bly said:

    Richard: You are right and I will fax my error ASAP. I also like the Churchill — AND Ryan’s Kissinger.

  5. Bill Rice said:

    Benjamin Franklin and Yoda in the same post. That is truly the sign of a worldly copywriter.

    These are great.

    Here is one that I am sure you will appreciate and one I keep posted nearby…

    From Ogilvy (opening to his quintessential “On Advertising”):

    “I run the risk of being denounced by the idiots who hold that advertising technique which has been in use for more than two years is ipso facto obsolete.”

  6. Lou said:

    An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  7. Steve Rainwater said:

    Hi Bob,

    Good stuff! I actually had each of my kids memorize #4 when they were small. I used to begin the sentence and they would finish it. As teenagers I’m not sure its the first thing that comes to mind now.

    I also hope none of my current target customers read your blog (ref. #9) any time soon. I am working with a small manufacturing company to introduce a new piece of equipment to the supermarket industry – it has been beta tested for more than a year, but it is now time for someone to be first.

    About 10 years ago I was working as a consultant to help a company introduce one of their existing equipment lines to Ford Motor Co. (installed in other automakers, but not in Ford at the time.) We were working closely with a director level engineer who was excited about what the product could do to significantly reduce some production cost in one of the Cleveland plants. A couple of months into working with him to demo the equipment and justify the concept in his plant he found out we had no other installs in Ford and promptly tabled the project, citing his own version of your #9 – saying he never goes first. slr

  8. Lorraine said:

    Number two is one of my favorites.

    I also like Benjamin Disraeli’s quote, “Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.”

  9. Brett Owens said:

    Great list – let me add a fav of mine, courtesy of Robert Heinlein.


    There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

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  11. Bob Bly said:

    Brett: I didn’t know Heinlein said that, though of course I know the saying AND I have read a lot of Heinlein. Thanks!

  12. Antoinette Taus said:

    What I like most are the points in numbers 2, 7, 8 and 10. #2 – Courage is what we need during hard times in our lives. #7 – If you love what you’re doing, you won’t even mind if it took you a day doing it alone. #8 – Life is unfair. You can’t get everything you want, even if you make lots of sacrifices. #10 – Live below your means. I don’t know, most people I know are living beyond what they really can. Maybe that’s the reason why credit cards are made!

  13. Promotional Products said:

    These are some great quotes; I especially like number four, how you handle what happens to you says a lot about your perseverance, and will to succeed. I also like Brett’s comment: TANSTAAFL, I haven’t heard that one since college.

  14. Ethan Brown said:

    “7–Do something you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

    I totally agree with this one. If you only put into practice what you really want, you won’t go wrong. In the long run, this might help you achieve all your dreams in life. Since from the very start, you’re enjoying what you’re doing. Absolutely, no boring moment everytime you work.

  15. William Anderson said:

    “Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway.”

    I like this part. I’ve already proved that kind of feeling. From time to time, you’ll definitely feel the fear within your heart but still continue what you’re doing.

  16. Glenville Gerun said:

    Wisest possible: Jesus said “love thy neighbor as thyself proves love of God and His 10 commandments like thou shalt not kill-steal-lie and give thanks each Sunday will be blessed on earth unto eternal life-peace and love …

  17. Chinny Nwagbo said:

    This is more of a mixture of love and wisdom “a man who believes he has a woman he does not deserve, becomes worthy of that woman when he loves her as she deserves”

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