Passion

Abraham Lincoln: On Being the Son of a Shoemaker

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Abraham Lincoln: On Being a Shoemaker's Son

When Abraham Lincoln became the president of America, his father was a shoemaker.  And, naturally, egoistic people were very much offended that a shoemaker’s son should become the president.  They were aristocrats, who thought it was their birthright to be in the highest government post.  A shoemaker’s son?  On the first day, as Abraham Lincoln entered to give his inaugural address, just in the middle, one man stood up.  He was a very rich aristocrat.  He said, “Mr. Lincoln, you should not forget that your father used to make shoes for my family.”  And the whole Senate laughed; they thought that they had made a fool of Abraham Lincoln.

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“Do things with your whole heart, with as much intensity as you are capable of. Anything done halfheartedly never brings joy to life. It only brings misery, anxiety, torture, and tension, because whenever you do anything halfheartedly you are dividing yourself into two parts, and that is one of the greatest calamities that has happened to human beings – they are all split.” ~ Osho, The Book of Understanding

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“You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be. And one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid…. You refuse to do it because you want to live longer…. You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab you, or shoot at you or bomb your house; so you refuse to take the stand.  Well, you may go on and live until you are 90, but you’re just as dead at 38 as you would be at 90. And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

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“In everybody’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

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“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” ~ Swami Vivekananda

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“The great mystery isn’t that people do things badly but that they occasionally do a few things well. The only thing that is universal is incompetence. Strength is always specific! Nobody ever commented, for example, that the great violinist Jascha Heifetz probably couldn’t play the trumpet well.” ~ Peter Drucker

Forget the Money – Follow Your Passion

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In his book Making a Life, Making a Living, Mark Albion writes about a revealing study of businesspeople who took tow very different paths after graduating from college.  Here is what he says:

A study of business school graduates tracked the careers of 1,500 people from 1960 to 1980.  From the beginning, the graduates were grouped into two categories.  Category A consisted of people who said they wanted to make money first so that they could do what they really wanted to do later – after they had taken care of their financial concerns.  Those in Category B pursued their true interests first, sure that the money would eventually follow.

What percentage fell into each category?

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“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bounds. Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world.” ~ The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

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“I think when people say they dread going into work on Monday morning, it’s because they know they are leaving a piece of themselves at home. Why not see what happens when you challenge your employees to bring all of their talents to their job and reward them not for doing it just like everyone else, but for pushing the envelope, being adventurous, creative, and open-minded, and trying new things?” ~ Tony Hsieh, Delivering Happiness