That praises are without reason lavished on the dead, and that the honours due only to are paid to antiquity, is a complaint likely to be always continued by those who, being able to add nothing to truth, hope for eminence from the heresies of paradox; or those who, being forced by disappointment upon consolatory expedients, are willing to hope from posterity what the present age refuses, and flatter themselves that the regard which is yet denied by envy will be at last bestowed by time.
William L. Stidger, in the magazine, Your Life, tells a story about the conductor, Walter D. Famrosch, who once stopped his orchestra when everything was apparently going along smoothly, and asked: “Where is the seventh flute? Where is the seventh flute?” As Mr. Stidger points out, the conductor didn’t ask for the first flute, or the second—but the seventh. Even the seventh flute had an important place in creating the harmony the leader desired. “We may feel inferior, untalented, not even beautiful, and some of us uneducated,” Mr. Stidger comments, “but each of us has a part to play and should play it well.”
Definition of happiness: The full use of your powers along lines of excellence.
Happiness is the full use of your powers along lines of excellence in a life affording scope.
A man’s excellence is like that of water; It benefits all things without striving; It takes to the low places shunned by men. Water is akin to Tao. . . . In all the earth nothing weaker than water, Yet in attacking the hard, nothing superior, Nothing so certain in wearing down strength: There is no way to resist it. Note then: The weak conquer the strong, The yielding outlast the aggressors.
The quality of a man’s life is in direct proportion to his commitment to excellence, regardless of his chosen field of endeavor.
A first-rate soup is more creative than a second-rate painting.
It’s funny about life: if you refuse to accept anything but the very best you will very often get it.
There is no excellence anywhere without labor. We would think a man foolish indeed who would say, "l am willing that my business should prosper, or that my farm should yield plentifully, but I'll not stir a peg." But he is no more foolish than the man who says, "I am willing that God should bless me abundantly, but I shall not do anything toward that end myself." We must consistently rely upon the help of the Lord, but we will not make any progress or meet with any success unless we put forth an earnest effort.
Am I motivated by what I really want out of life — or am I mass-motivated?
The spirited horse, which will try to win the race of its own accord, will run ever faster if encouraged.
Excellent firms don't believe in excellence — only in constant improvement and constant change.
Notice that "I" is at the center of the word "ethical." There is no "they." Achieving the ethics of excellence is our individual assignment.
Excellence calls for character . . . integrity . . . fairness . . . honesty . . . a determination to do what's right. High ethical standards, across the board.
We need timeless principles to steer by in running our organizations and building our personal careers. We need high standards . . . the ethics of excellence.
But when we get enough people who don't care, and who don't accept personal responsibility for high ethical standards, our organization gets the "M" disease. Mediocrity. Anybody in the place can be a carrier. By the same token, every individual can carry the cure: the ethics of excellence.
It is hard to be truly excellent, four-square in hand and foot and mind, formed without blemish.
In every one of us there are two ruling and directing principles, whose guidance we follow wherever they may lead; the one being an innate desire of pleasure; the other, an acquired judgment which aspires after excellence.
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