Knowledge is one thing, virtue is another; good sense is not conscience, refinement is not humility, nor is largeness and justness of view faith. Philosophy, however enlightened, however profound, gives no command over the passions, no influential motives, no vivifying principles.
Liberal Education makes not the Christian, not the Catholic, but the gentleman. It is well to be a gentleman, it is well to have a cultivated intellect, a delicate taste, a candid, equitable, dispassionate mind, a noble and courteous bearing in the conduct of life--these are the connatural qualities of a large knowledge; they are the objects of a University; I am advocating, I shall illustrate and insist upon them; but still, I repeat, they are no guarantee for sanctity or even for conscientiousness, they may attach to the man of the world, to the profligate, to the heartless, pleasant, alas, and attractive as he shows when decked out in them. Taken by themselves, they do but seem to be what they are not; they look like virtue at a distance, but they are detected by close observers, and on the long run; and hence it is that they are popularly accused of pretense and hypocrisy, not, I repeat, from their own fault, but because their professors and their admirers persist in taking them for what they are not, and are officious in arrogating for them a praise to which they have no claim. Quarry the granite rock with razors, or moor the vessel with a thread of silk, then may you hope with such keen and delicate instruments as human knowledge and human reason to contend against those giants, the passion and the pride of man.
Stick to your special talents
You were born with a special talent. It may be to sing, write, teach, paint, mentor, preach, defend or befriend. You have something special to offer the world, something you can do better than 10,000 others. You must keep learning and trying new things to find your special talent. The world needs your gift. Be aware that even a special talent can go stale if you don’t keep using and honing it. Endeavor to keep your talents and all your skills up to date.
An advantage isn’t an advantage unless you use it. Find ways to use your advantages to set and reach your goals. Likewise, you should recognize and then try to minimize the impact of your limitations. Remember that not all advantages are transferable. Just because you are talented in one area doesn’t mean that you will be talented at everything you try. The successful real estate investor can easily lose her money opening a restaurant. Stick to your advantages and don’t stray from them without reasoned justification.
Choose Optimism--By Rich De Vos
If you expect something to turn out badly, it probably will.Pessimism is seldom disappointed. But the same principle also works in reverse. If you expect good things to happen, they usually do! There seems to be a natural cause-and-effect relationship between optimism and success.
Optimism and pessimism are both powerful forces, and each of us must choose which we want to shape our outlook and our expectations. There is enough good and bad in everyone’s life — ample sorrow and happiness, sufficient joy and pain — to find a rational basis for either optimism or pessimism. We can choose to laugh or cry, bless or curse. It’s our decision: From which perspective do we want to view life? Will we look up in hope or down in despair?
I believe in the upward look. I choose to highlight the positive and slip right over the negative. I am an optimist by choice as much as by nature. Sure, I know that sorrow exists. I am in my 70s now, and I’ve lived through more than one crisis. But when all is said and done, I find that the good in life far outweighs the bad.
An optimistic attitude is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. The way you look at life will determine how you feel, how you perform, and how well you will get along with other people. Conversely, negative thoughts, attitudes, and expectations feed on themselves; they become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Pessimism creates a dismal place where no one wants to live.
Years ago, I drove into a service station to get some gas. It was a beautiful day, and I was feeling great. As I walked into the station to pay for the gas, the attendant said to me, “How do you feel?” That seemed like an odd question, but I felt fine and told him so. “You don’t look well,” he replied. This took me completely by surprise. A little less confidently, I told him that I had never felt better. Without hesitation, he continued to tell me how bad I looked and that my skin appeared yellow.
By the time I left the service station, I was feeling a little uneasy. About a block away, I pulled over to the side of the road to look at my face in the mirror. How did I feel? Was I jaundiced? Was everything all right? By the time I got home, I was beginning to feel a little queasy. Did I have a bad liver? Had I picked up some rare disease?
The next time I went into that gas station, feeling fine again, I figured out what had happened. The place had recently been painted a bright, bilious yellow, and the light reflecting off the walls made everyone inside look as though they had hepatitis! I wondered how many other folks had reacted the way I did. I had let one short conversation with a total stranger change my attitude for an entire day. He told me I looked sick, and before long, I was actually feeling sick. That single negative observation had a profound effect on the way I felt and acted.
The only thing more powerful than negativism is a positive affirmation, a word of optimism and hope. One of the things I am most thankful for is the fact that I have grown up in a nation with a grand tradition of optimism. When a whole culture adopts an upward look, incredible things can be accomplished. When the world is seen as a hopeful, positive place, people are empowered to attempt and to achieve.