Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"Tact is the great ability to see other people as they think you see them." - Carl Zuckmayer

"A highly evolved use of intuition is being able to find meaning in symbols and synchronicities. The more we focus on finding meaning for ourselves in “chance occurrences,” the more we increase our intuitive power. Deepening our connection to our current surrounding increases our ability to follow the guidance of our inner purpose." - Carol Adrienne

"To strengthen your intuitive ability, you need to become more sensitive to body signals such as stiff necks (which usually indicates your are locked into a power struggle and/or feel overwhelmed by too much to do), headaches, stomachaches, or sleeplessness… Intuition seems to come unbidden from external events… Slowing down and doing less is great for increasing your intuition." - Carol Adrienne

"Purpose is about developing relationships. Purpose is about bringing attention and intention into the present moment, moving ahead with new ideas, giving and receiving support, volunteering, mentoring, listening to the imagination and intuition, communicating, taking action based on inner direction and hints from the external, being adaptable, taking responsibility and ending the victim stance forever surrendering to the divine will and working with the lessons developing fluidity, tolerance, compassion, and the ability to love." - Carol Adrienne

"Power corresponds to the human ability not just to act but to act in concert. Power is never the property of an individual; it belongs to a group and remains in existence only so long as the group keeps together." -

"Reading to children at night, responding to their smiles, with a smile, returning their vocalizations with one of your own, touching them, holding them – all of these further a child’s brain development and future potential, even in the earliest months. Research demonstrates that the early responsiveness of caring parents sets the tone for future self-esteem, trust, problem solving, ability to communicate successfully and motivation for future learning." - T. Berry Brazelton, fully Thomas Berry Brazelton

"Charisma is the ability to inspire followers with devotion and enthusiasm to a cause. It encourages disciples rather than independent persons. It is a way of investing oneself with authority over other rather than vesting others with authority over themselves." - Peter R. Breggin

"Refining your ability to think should be your investment priority; it always provides the best returns." - Tom Butler-Bowdon

"The ability to become bamboo is a metaphor for reaching beyond the perceptual, intellectual, and feeling habits, expectations, and assumptions of your own psyche and traditions in order to allow the embracing and the understanding of those of another. In actually becoming bamboo it is essential to listen to another with an open mind and heart, and thereby to embrace what you were previously unwilling or unable genuinely to encounter." - Robert E. Carter, fully Robert Edgar Carter

"When asked what are the desirable qualifications for any young person who wishes to become a politician, Churchill replied: It is the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn't happen." - Winston Churchill, fully Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill

"Now whether the difficulty is real or whether it is imaginary, the results are the same, you become whatever you think. If God is with you, how can you possibly feel inferior to anyone? You have equal access to all the good that comes from God. You can demonstrate your faith in His ability to give it to you by living His life. So change your thought patterns right now. Make up your mind to beat this feeling by faith in God, and you will. He can who thinks he can!" - Albert E Cliffe

"Your subconscious mind produces in your daily life evidence of the thoughts you send back to it. The constant repetition of fear, anxiety and worry thoughts will bring upon you the same thing multiplied many times over, but the constant practice of positive thinking, making affirmations hour by hour that God is now healing your fears and worries, will bring magnificent results... You have the ability for successful living. You have the tools. The power you use is faith and the tools are your thoughts and ideas." - Albert E Cliffe

"The ability to discriminate between that which is true and that which is false is one of the last attainments of the human mind." - James Fenimore Cooper

"Those very characteristics which are demanded by war – the ability to tolerate uncertainty, spontaneity of thought and action, having a mind open to the receipt of novel, and perhaps threatening information – are the antitheses of those possessed by people attracted to the controls, and orderliness, of militarism." - Norman F. Dixon

"How well people manage their emotions determines how effectively they can use their intellectual ability." - Seymour Epstein

"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." -

"Freedom, the ability to preserve one’s integrity against power, is the basic condition for morality." - Erich Fromm, fully Erich Seligmann Fromm

"Like an ability or a muscle, hearing your inner wisdom is strengthened by doing it." - Robbie Gass

"I think luck is the sense to recognize an opportunity and the ability to take advantage of it. Everyone has bad breaks, but everyone also has opportunities. The man who can smile at his breaks and grab his chances gets on." - Samuel Goldwyn

"The purpose of growth: to maximize our ability to be loving, joyful and creative… Growth is not just about striving to be better. It is also about enjoying the moment and accepting yourself as you are (knowing that you are or will do your best to change what you can)." - Tom Gregory

"A necessary quality for the attainment of individuality is the ability to tolerate some degree of loneliness in the sense of independent adherence to values that those around you will not support." - D. W. Harding, fully Denys Clement Wyatt Harding

"Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good… Either we have hope or we don't; it is a dimension of the soul, and it's not essentially dependent on some particular observation of the world or estimate of the situation. Hope is not prognostication. It is an orientation of the spirit, and orientation of the heart; it transcends the world that is immediately experienced, and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons… Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather and ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed. The more propitious the situation in which we demonstrate hope, the deeper the hope is. Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out." - Václav Havel

"The tyranny of conformity tends to deprive man of his inner identity, of his ability to stand still in the midst of flux, to remain a person in the midst of a crowd." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"Life’s development has been much harder to definitely trace than that of the universe. This is because biology’s countless combinations and permutations are exceedingly convoluted compared to the linearity of physics or the predictability of chemistry. Life’s ability to mutate and change over successive generations has meant that investigators cannot simply extrapolate backwards to determine what previously existed, nor look forward and predict what might result." - David Hockey

"Living entails (and is inseparable from) exploiting the environment for resources. Exploiting therefore, at its roots, is constructive. Indeed, the exploitive ability of the creative has improved the quality of life for billions. We should never fear our exploitive nature, but we must manage its excesses." - David Hockey

"Neither existing nor evolving is a purpose – these are simply states of affairs. Demonstrating a trend toward complexity does not demonstrate purpose – it demonstrates only what happens when something new is added to something old. Nor does the ability to learn then apply what has been learned prove that life has a purpose." - David Hockey

"The indivisible is not to be put into compartments. Every fact is a logarithm; one added term ramifies it until it is thoroughly transformed. In the general aspects of things, the great lines of creation take shape and arrange themselves into groups; beneath lies the unfathomable. Which of our methods of measuring could we apply to this eddying mass that is the universe? In the presence of the profundities our sole ability is to dream. Our conception, quickly winded, cannot follow creation, that vast breath." - Victor Hugo

"The celebrity cult celebrates the triumph of ordinariness – charm without character, showmanship without ability, bodies without minds, information without wisdom." - Orrin E. Klapp, fully Orrin Edgar Klapp

"This is the nature of the unenlightened mind: the sense organs, which are limited in scope and ability, randomly gather information. This partial information is arranged into judgments, which are based on previous judgments, which are usually based on someone’s else’s foolish ideas. These false concepts and ideas are then stored in a highly selective memory system. Distortion upon distortion: the mental energy flows constantly through contorted and inappropriate channels, and the more one uses the mind, the more confused one becomes." - Lao Tzu, ne Li Urh, also Laotse, Lao Tse, Lao Tse, Lao Zi, Laozi, Lao Zi, La-tsze

"I can feel guilty about the past, apprehensive about the future, but only in the present can I act. The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness." -

"Autobiographical memories are particularly prone to inaccuracy. Traumatic events embed memories in a powerful but somewhat fragmentary way. Neurological disorders and drugs can disrupt the brain’s ability to distinguish between true and false memories and beliefs. The brain perceives reality and transforms it into an extraordinary range of personal, ethical, and creative premises that we use to build meaning, value, spirituality, and truth into our lives." - Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman

"Lack of will power has caused more failure than lack of intelligence or ability." - Flower A. Newhouse

"Neither power nor wealth, neither education nor ability, neither gifts of creativity nor stores of human energy can insure against the reality that suffering will be our companion at some time during our journey. It is a presence as inseparable from the human condition as food and oxygen are from human life. It is part of our legacy." - Paula Ripple, fully Paula Ripple Comin

"Nature creates ability: luck endows it with opportunities." -

"The roots of a child’s ability to cope and thrive, regardless of circumstance, lie in that child’s having had at least a small, safe place (an apartment? a room? a lap?) in which, in the companionship of a loving person, that child could discover that he or she was lovable and capable of loving in return." - Fred Rogers, "Mister Rogers," born Frederick McFeely Rogers

"It is in deeds that man becomes aware of what his life really is, of his power to harm and to hurt, to wreck and to ruin; of his ability to derive joy and to bestow it upon others; to relieve and to increase his own and other people’s tensions. It is in the employment of his will, not in reflection, that he meets his own self as it is; not as he should like it to be." - Fritz A. Rothschild

"Relying on politics for your sense of who you are greatly impedes your ability to remain true to yourself, your views, and your values." - Robert Edward Rubin, aka Eddy Rubin

"The primary indication… of a well-ordered mind is a man’s ability to remain in one place and linger in his own company." - Seneca the Younger, aka Seneca or Lucius Annaeus Seneca NULL

"The ability to accept responsibility is the measure of the person." - Roy L. Smith, aka Mr. Methodist

"Judgment is the ability to think of many matters at once, in their interdependence, their related importance, and their consequences." -

"In contemporary America [mental health] has come to mean conformity to the demands of society. According to the commonsense definition, mental health is the ability to play the game of social living, and to play it well. Conversely, mental illness is the refusal to play, or the inability to play well." -

"Perhaps the clearest and deepest meaning of brotherhood is the ability to imagine yourself in the other person’s position, and then treat that person as if you were him. This form of brotherhood takes a lot of imagination, a great deal of sympathy, and a tremendous amount of understanding." - Obert C. Tanner, fully Obert Clark Tanner

"Our greatest problems in life come not so much from the situations we confront as from our doubts about our ability to handle them." - Susan Taylor, fully Susan L. Taylor

"Humor: The ability to laugh at any mistake you survive." -

"Creativity is the retention throughout life of something that belongs properly to infant experience: the ability to create the world. . . . By creative living I mean not getting killed or annihilated all the time by compliance or by reacting to the world that impinges; I mean seeing everything afresh all the time… When we are surprised at ourselves we are being creative, and we find we can trust our own unexpected originality." - Donald Woods Winnicott

"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so." -

"What is essential here is the presence of the spirit of dialogue, which is the ability to hold many points of view in suspension, along with a primary interest in the creation of common meaning." - David Bohm, fully David Joseph Bohm

"Courage is always greatest when blended with meekness; intellectual ability is most admirable when it sparkles in the setting of a modest self-distrust; and never does the human soul appear so strong as when it foregoes revenge and dares to forgive an injury." -

"It is no longer enough to be smart — all the technological tools in the world add meaning and value only if they enhance our core values, the deepest part of our heart. Acquiring knowledge is no guarantee of practical, useful application. Wisdom implies a mature integration of appropriate knowledge, a seasoned ability to filter the inessential from the essential." - Doc Childre and Deborah Rozman

"The first requisite for success is to develop the ability to focus and apply your mental and physical energies to the problem at hand - without growing weary. Because such thinking is often difficult, there seems to be no limit to which some people will go to avoid the effort and labor that is associated with it." - Thomas Edison, fully Thomas Alva Edison