One of my favorite people to quote is Dr. Seuss—and it’s even more fun because his quotes are frequently rhymes. Since I love to read and travel I especially liked this quote:
The more that you read,the more that you'll know.
The more that you learn,
the more places you'll go.
Of course, he was referring to the transportation that takes place in your mind as you read and imagine possibilities and not necessarily for the physical travel. But I still like it.
In reading quotes for this post I came across an Australian Aboriginal Proverb that is very close to a Proverb I like in the Bible:
Those who lose dreaming are lost.Australian Aboriginal Proverb
I had heard the Bible version of this proverb a long time ago, but every time I tried to find it, I couldn’t. I finally realized why I couldn’t find it two weeks ago when my Pastor quoted it—I prefer the NIV (New International Version) and this verse, is slightly changed—unfortunately the key words I looked it up by: vision and perish, were the words that were changed. I originally heard it in the King James Version (KJV). The verse is;
Where there is no vision the people perish…
You have to have a vision. But equally important is being able to problem solve. Critical Thinking is a skill we need to instill in our children—rather than teaching to test (teaching just to pass a specific test).
When I was working on my Masters, I took a Problem Solving class and one of the first activities we did was to figure out a riddle about how to get Missionaries safely across the piranha infested river with only two canoes and a bunch of Cannibals. The solution involved taking steps that to the casual observer, might appear to be going backward. This of course, was a lesson that sometimes you have to take a few steps back in order to advance. What appears to be a set-back, may in fact advance you in the long run. That’s a great lesson to learn. Military leaders and sports coaches, among others, use this strategy. It’s not one I can stomach easily, because I want to always make forward progress. But it is a fact of life and once you learn it, those temporary setbacks, don’t have the paralyzing power that they might have if you viewed backward motion as always being negative. John Clarke said it this way:
Go back a little to leap further.John Clarke
Just like I have several favorite Dr. Seuss quotes, Thomas Edison is someone else who said several things I like—most have to do with working hard as the foundation to success. But he also has several quotes about failure. You wouldn’t think he would know anything about failure—at least I never thought of it, but he had his share of failures—just as we all have. Here are three of my favorites:
I failed my way to success.Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless.
I have not failed, I've just found 10,000 ways that will not work.
While I was looking for some of my favorite failure quotes I came across many who said the same thing. It seems failure is rampant—even among the successful. That gives me hope. Thomas Bailey Aldrich and Theodore Roosevelt, said it best:
They fail, and they alone, who have not striven.Thomas Bailey Aldrich
It is hard to fail, but it is worse to have never to have tried to succeed.Theodore Roosevelt
And what about turning failure into success? I love a good come-back-from-behind story. I root for the underdog—unless they are playing the Cowboys or the Saints (in that order). Henry Ford was someone that knew how to turn a failure into a success. He said:
One who fears failure limits his activities. Failure is only the opportunity to more intelligently begin again.Henry Ford
Okay, so everyone fails at something, but how do you turn it around? When I was in Nursing School, one of my jobs was to work in the Campus Health Center, which was run by an RN, named Margret Petrick. Ms. Petrick was also an artist and loved to paint. I told her I couldn’t paint and made too many mistakes. She quickly corrected me and said, “There are no mistakes—only opportunities for embellishment.” I don’t know if she was quoting someone else or not, but I loved that sentiment and I have employed it myself on a number of occasions—especially since I’ve recently become very interested in art of many different media. James Joyce knew this. He said:
Mistakes are the portals for discovery.James Joyce
Since I’m thinking of Ms. Petrick and her painting advise, I have to end with the best Dr. Seuss quote—especially for anyone who creates anything. I love to write and I’m learning to draw, paint, work with clay, and take photos. I love the creative process. In every single instance, when I am creating something I come to a place, anywhere from two-thirds to three-fourths of the way through, when I look at whatever I am creating and I think This is crap! There is no saving this! However, I have found if I keep on doing whatever it is, be it writing or painting, etc., if I work through the wall of negativity, I invariably find I have created something I like. Dr. Seuss said it this way:
Everything stinks 'til it's finished.Dr. Seuss
So turn those backward steps into a forward motion, embellish your mistakes, and make your vision a reality!
This blog post ismy contirbution to the A to Z Blogging Challenge 2015, in which Bloggers from around the world, representing every skill level and interest, blog every Monday through Saturday during the month of April, using the letters of the alphabet as their inspirtaiton. Tommorrow is the letter R and as usual I'm clueless as to what I might write about...