58+ Best Wisdom Quotes in English

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The secret of success is to know something nobody else knows.

Be different! If you want to be successful, then your best bet is to do what others aren't doing and bring a new perspective or concept into the world that no one has ever seen before!

I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.

It is important we learn from our mistakes and take responsibility for all our actions, but it is even more crucial we make the choice to change our paths and choices in life if they are not leading us where we want to go. Make good decisions and better decisions will follow.

If you want to make your dreams come true, the first thing you have to do is wake up.

In order to accomplish anything in life, we must get started and take the necessary steps. A lot of times this means getting out of bed early and starting our day with a clear plan and purpose. The only way to do great work is to love what you do.

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.

This quote speaks for itself! The happiest and most successful people are those who have found a career they love and strive to produce great work every day. The only way this can happen is if the person doing it loves what they do and finds joy in every task that comes their way - which means taking on all new challenges with open arms!

Wisdom comes alone through suffering.
- Aeschylus -

He who learns must suffer. Learning causes knowledge in the same way that suffering causes wisdom. Knowledge is understanding reality quantitatively and wisdom is understanding it qualitatively.

You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.

Just keep moving forward! Don't worry about the future and what may happen, because you can't control that. Just focus on taking actions today that are in line with your goals and aspirations, and trust that things will work out in the end.

Destroy the seed of evil, or it will grow up to your ruin.
- Aesop -

It happened that a Countryman was sowing some hemp seeds in a field where a Swallow and some other birds were hopping about picking up their food. “Beware of that man,” quoth the Swallow. “Why, what is he doing?” said the others. “That is hemp seed he is sowing; be careful to pick up every one of the seeds, or else you will repent it.” The birds paid no heed to the Swallow’s words, and by and by the hemp grew up and was made into cord, and of the cords nets were made, and many a bird that had despised the Swallow’s advice was caught in nets made out of that very hemp. “What did I tell you?” said the Swallow. This means you should try to stop the evil thing/person from growing, otherwise it will cause a lot of harm.

It is with our passions as it is with fire and water, they are good servants, but bad masters.
- Aesop -

It means that power is great when you control it, but when you allow it to grow beyond your control it will destroy indiscriminately and will benefit no one. It says to be careful, lest your creation outgrows you. It applies to a massive amount of things in life and should be the motto of all democracies.

The smaller the mind the greater the conceit.
- Aesop -

A Gnat flew over the meadow with much buzzing for so small a creature and settled on the tip of one of the horns of a Bull. After he had rested a short time, he made ready to fly away. But before he left he begged the Bull's pardon for having used his horn for a resting place. "You must be very glad to have me go now," he said. "It's all the same to me," replied the Bull. "I did not even know you were there." We are often of greater importance in our own eyes than in the eyes of our neighbor. The smaller the mind the greater the conceit. people don’t care about what we’re doing anywhere as near as much as we think they do.

It is thrifty to prepare today for the wants of tomorrow.
- Aesop -

Once there lived an ant and a grasshopper in a grassy meadow. All day long the ant would work hard, collecting grains of wheat from the farmer’s field far away. She would hurry to the field every morning, as soon as it was light enough to see by, and toil back with a heavy grain of wheat balanced on her head. She would put the grain of wheat carefully away in her larder, and then hurry back to the field for another one. All day long she would work, without stop or rest, scurrying back and forth from the field, collecting the grains of wheat and storing them carefully in her larder. The grasshopper would look at her and laugh. ‘Why do you work so hard, dear ant?’ he would say. ‘Come, rest awhile, listen to my song. Summer is here, the days are long and bright. Why waste the sunshine in labour and toil?’The ant would ignore him, and head bent, would just hurry to the field a little faster. This would make the grasshopper laugh even louder. ‘What a silly little ant you are!’ he would call after her. ‘Come, come and dance with me! Forget about work! Enjoy the summer! Live a little!’ And the grasshopper would hop away across the meadow, singing and dancing merrily. Summer faded into autumn, and autumn turned into winter. The sun was hardly seen, and the days were short and grey, the nights long and dark. It became freezing cold, and snow began to fall. The grasshopper didn’t feel like singing any more. He was cold and hungry. He had nowhere to shelter from the snow, and nothing to eat. The meadow and the farmer’s field were covered in snow, and there was no food to be had. ‘Oh what shall I do? Where shall I go?’ wailed the grasshopper. Suddenly he remembered the ant. ‘Ah – I shall go to the ant and ask her for food and shelter!’ declared the grasshopper, perking up. So off he went to the ant’s house and knocked at her door. ‘Hello ant!’ he cried cheerfully. ‘Here I am, to sing for you, as I warm myself by your fire, while you get me some food from that larder of yours!’ The ant looked at the grasshopper and said, ‘All summer long I worked hard while you made fun of me, and sang and danced. You should have thought of winter then! Find somewhere else to sing, grasshopper! There is no warmth or food for you here!’ And the ant shut the door in the grasshopper’s face. It is wise to worry about tomorrow today.The ant, who works hard and plans for the future, is rewarded, and the grasshopper, who wasted his time singing and dancing, is punished.

We should look to the mind, and not to the outward appearance.
- Aesop -

The outer appearance is an important ingredient of physical beauty. It’s not the outer beauty which makes people handsome in life. Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray was very handsome. He adopted evil ways in life. His real beauty dimmed when he committed heinous acts. Even his physical beauty suffered a setback. When things come to a bad pass, Dorian Gray became desperate and shot himself in the early morning hours in one of the rooms of the castle. He came from an aristocratic family. His face lay besmeared with the blood of evil deeds. The real source of beauty lies in the self of man. If the inner self is beautiful born good deeds, then it is the case of real beauty. Real handsomeness trickles form the actions of people. If they are given to good motives and are activated to do good deeds, then they earn real beauty. Just as the beauty of birds is not confined to use feathers, likewise the beauty of people is to be judged with reference to their good action in life. We should not go by the colour of people.

I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.

The past and the future only really exist, in thought, and, at the present moment. So that makes them an illusion. They are concepts that you give your attention to, and thus remove your attention from the present moment. When you think of the future, you are not thinking of the actual future but a scenario in your head that you think will (or will not) happen. When you think of the past, you re-create a memory in your mind in something that happened in the past. Now, where are you thinking about future and the past? In the present. In both instances, you are not living in the future or the past. In fact your imagination of future and past are created in that moment. Even memories are not 100% correct re-creations of what happened in the past and imaginations about future are most certainly not (since nobody has a looking glass). These things don't exist as such as they are mental abstractions. So only moment that there ever is, is the present. In other words, the past and the future are ‘in your head’ and not actually ‘real’.

All lay loads on a willing horse.
- Aesop -

A willing horse is a term which is used to describe people who are sincere and committed workers and are ready to do all the work given to them. The term originated from earlier days when people used horses as their beasts of burden to carry loads. The horses were loaded indiscriminately and still they would carry the load without disobeying their master. This proverb is similar to the proverb that the lead cow always gets the whipping. The lead cow is the first cow which is connected to the plough and the rest of the cows follow the lead cow. Whenever the plough does not move properly as the farmer desired the lead cow gets whipped. In any project the leaders have to work hard to ensure success as they are responsible and directly answerable to the boss. Similarly there are people who would like to exploit sincere, hardworking and duty conscious people by giving them more work. The nature to work doesn’t mean that these people are meek or dumb. But instead it indicates the sincerity of the people. The exploitation of the labour class by their masters is also good example of this saying.

It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds.
- Aesop -

The outer appearance is an important ingredient of physical beauty. It’s not the outer beauty which makes people handsome in life. Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray was very handsome. He adopted evil ways in life. His real beauty dimmed when he committed heinous acts. Even his physical beauty suffered a setback. When things come to a bad pass, Dorian Gray became desperate and shot himself in the early morning hours in one of the rooms of the castle. He came from an aristocratic family. His face lay besmeared with the blood of evil deeds. The real source of beauty lies in the self of man. If the inner self is beautiful born good deeds, then it is the case of real beauty. Real handsomeness trickles form the actions of people. If they are given to good motives and are activated to do good deeds, then they earn real beauty. Just as the beauty of birds is not confined to use feathers, likewise the beauty of people is to be judged with reference to their good action in life. We should not go by the colour of people.

Example is the best precept.
- Aesop -

We often hear precept or advice for moral conduct. It is true that it influences us for the time being but is soon forgotten. It looks funny when a drunkard speaks on the evils of drinking or a cheat advises us to be good in life. We do not follow a precept preached by a bad man because we see a contradiction between what he preaches and what he practices. However, when an honest man tells us that honesty is the best policy, we feel convinced that it is so. We know that the man has been honest throughout his life and has become successful. When a kind-hearted man asks us to help the poor and the sick, we feel that we should do it, for the man has done a lot for suffering humanity. Hence, we will be able to convince others more effectively if we teach them by our good actions rather than mere speeches.

Plodding wins the race.
- Aesop -

Hastily jumping into an activity, job, or something else can cause problems; sometimes a more consistent approach, even if it is slower, can be ideal and give better results.

A doubtful friend is worse than a certain enemy. Let a man be one thing or the other, and we then know how to meet him.
- Aesop -

A hound, after long chasing a hare, at length came up to her and kept first biting and then licking her. The hare, not knowing what to make of him, said; “If you are a friend, why do you bite me? But if you are a foe, why do you caress me?” A doubtful friend is always worse than an enemy. You know for sure that he is your enemy and you cannot trust him. But you don't know the inside of a doubtful friend. Trusting him could be very dangerous.

A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety.
- Aesop -

In just 13 words, Aesop captures within this quote the power of contentment and so much more than that. We people take pause to observe Thanksgiving, the hustle and bustle of the annual holiday often has us swallowing the feast of contentment without even tasting it. Rather than slowing down and peacefully enjoying the crust of simplicity, we feel it necessary to anxiously partake in a banquet of complexity. Enjoying a small things is better than having a bigger one but not enjoying.

Better be wise by the misfortunes of others than by your own.
- Aesop -

This is a very useful thing to keep in mind. Not the easiest to implement consistently though. Some things are very hard to learn by just watching others make a mistake. You have to make it yourself, get the experience of it and learn about the thoughts and feelings associated to it. With that understanding it can be easier to actually learn to avoid doing the same mistake over and over. However, to keep your eyes and mind open to the mistakes and misfortunes of others around you – or via books or blogs – is still very useful. It can allow you to make quicker and less painful progress, for instance when you are a beginner at something.

If you allow men to use you for your own purposes, they will use you for theirs.
- Aesop -

One good reason to have a direction and goals in life is simply because if you don’t, then someone else does. And that person will get the people without goals to work on his/her goal. Or as the second quote suggests, they might help you but with an ulterior motive. And so you lose your personal power. You give it away to someone else by not having your own direction, by not keeping your own hands on the wheel. And it may not feel that horrible really. It might feel safe. But on the other hand, if you start setting goals and get a direction in life you tend to perk up and feel more empowered. That vague, underlying uneasiness that seemed to float through your life start to vanish. You feel more alert. And you can start to work much more on what you really want out of life, instead of what someone else may tell you that you should do or want.

It is easy to be brave from a safe distance.
- Aesop -

A KID was perched up on the top of a house, and looking down saw a Wolf passing under him. Immediately he began to revile and attack his enemy. “Murderer and thief,” he cried, “what do you here near honest folks’ houses? How dare you make an appearance where your vile deeds are known?” Curse away, my young friend,” said the Wolf. We are used to look at things safely (be it an event or situation) when we know it has no direct impact on our lives. Most importantly, if it won't hurt or hit our back after.

The injuries we do and those we suffer are seldom weighed in the same scales.
- Aesop -

we can’t actually weigh experiences on a scale. But Aesop is suggesting that each person weighs the experience of another on THEIR OWN SCALE. Thus, the identical experiences “weigh” different amounts. It’s as if we have the same experiences, and in order to evaluate them, we put them on a scale. The scale will then “weigh” each experience to determine its impact. That is, how “heavy” the experience is. But we don’t use the same scale to weigh the experience. You use your scale and I use my scale. You look at the weight of the experience indicated on your scale. I look at the weight of the experience indicated on my scale. But the weights aren’t the same. Even though the EXPERIENCES are.

Outside show is a poor substitute for inner worth.
- Aesop -

We live in a society where outward appearance influences how one is judged. Being in shape, having material trappings, taking exotic trips, all serve to create one’s persona. Those out of step with the latest trend may yearn to conform, but at the end of the day trying to maintain a phony image can lead to financial destruction. It is wise not to judge a book by its cover.

Injuries may be forgiven, but not forgotten.
- Aesop -

What does it mean when people say, "A mistake can be forgiven but not forgotten"? Its not easy to forgive a person who has broken your trust and sabotaged your faith. Even if u decide to do so...You wont be able to forget what it taught you?how it made u feel?What you had to go through? Somewhere these feelings will always lurk deep down in ur heart and you'll never be able to forget these things because they will be like stamped memories on your heart and your mind. You choose to forgive a person because that person means and matters a lot to you.Despite all odds u cannot afford to lose your relationship with that person.You dont want to lose that person so you continue being what you were to him before the mistake was committed.But you and your relationship walk on thin ice which can break anytime if anything falters or goes wrong.If anything goes wrong all the bad memories will resurface back and come flashing into your mind. Thus, you'll always be alert and on guard to protect yourself from being hurt again.

If you allow men to use you for your own purposes, they will use you for theirs.
- Aesop -

A quarrel had arisen between the Horse and the Stag, so the Horse came to a Hunter to ask his help to take revenge on the Stag. The Hunter agreed, but said: “If you desire to conquer the Stag, you must permit me to place this piece of iron between your jaws, so that I may guide you with these reins, and allow this saddle to be placed upon your back so that I may keep steady upon you as we follow after the enemy.” The Horse agreed to the conditions, and the Hunter soon saddled and bridled him. Then with the aid of the Hunter the Horse soon overcame the Stag, and said to the Hunter: “Now, get off, and remove those things from my mouth and back.” “Not so fast, friend,” said the Hunter. “I have now got you under bit and spur, and prefer to keep you as you are at present.” If you allow someone to use you they will must use you for their own purpose. It wise to not allow yourself to control you.

He that is discontented in one place will seldom be happy in another.
- Aesop -

People who is dissatisfied in one place will not be happy in another place. It is another take on ' grass is always greener in another field. This types of people thinks that everything he has is less than others. But if we put him to other's position he will still think the same.

United we stand divided we fall.
- Aesop -

Once upon a time, there lived a farmer in a village. He had three sons. They always quarrelled with one another. The farmer was much worried about them. He advised them to live in peace but all in vain. One day he fell seriously ill. He planned to advise them for the last time. He sent for his Sons. They came at once. He asked them to bring a bundle of sticks. When they did so, he ordered them to break the bundle one by one. They tried their best to break it but none could succeed. At last, the farmer untied the bundle and asked each of them to break a stick one by one. Everyone broke his stick quite easily. The farmer then advised them that if they are united like the sticks, no one would harm them. But they would be ruined, if they were divided. This had a very good effect on them. So they began to live peacefully. United we stand divided we fall implies that individuals who stand together are glad to accomplish any objective throughout everyday life. However, separation can cause a great fall. Be it, individual or expert, unity holds importance in each period of life. A gathering of individuals who remain united steadily makes more progress than a lonely individual. Through the essay on united we stand divided we fall, one can know if we stay together, then nobody can defeat. But if we keep fighting among ourselves, then any outsider can defeat us.  

Don’t let your special character and values, the secret that you know and no one else does, the truth – don’t let that get swallowed up by the great chewing complacency.
- Aesop -

One of the big, and sneakiest, obstacles to living the life you wish for is complacency. It tells you that it’s easier to just stay where you are, to watch TV and eat snacks instead of for instance working out or trying something new. Or expressing yourself in a genuine way. Complacency might give a feeling of things being good enough. Or a sense of security. But a sense of security is often a just false sense of security. You never really know what will happen. If you want to fulfil more of your potential, if you want to find out what you really can do, then complacency isn’t such a good idea. But how do you keep yourself from falling into it? I don’t have an easy answer. I think you have to keep your focus on the right things to help yourself to grow. And not only check your own thinking and actions continually but also fill much of your life with people and information that will inspire you, challenge you and keep you in a supportive environment. And keep you from falling back into a lazy, comfortable rut.

Please all, and you will please none.
- Aesop -

A Man and his son were once going with their Donkey to market. As they were walking along by its side a countryman passed them and said: “You fools, what is a Donkey for but to ride upon?” So the Man put the Boy on the Donkey and they went on their way. But soon they passed a group of men, one of whom said: “See that lazy youngster, he lets his father walk while he rides.” So the Man ordered his Boy to get off, and got on himself. But they hadn’t gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other: “Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son trudge along.” Well, the Man didn’t know what to do, but at last he took his Boy up before him on the Donkey. By this time they had come to the town, and the passers-by began to jeer and point at them. The Man stopped and asked what they were scoffing at. The men said: “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor donkey of yours and your hulking son?” The Man and Boy got off and tried to think what to do. They thought and they thought, till at last they cut down a pole, tied the donkey’s feet to it, and raised the pole and the donkey to their shoulders. They went along amid the laughter of all who met them till they came to Market Bridge, when the Donkey, getting one of his feet loose, kicked out and caused the Boy to drop his end of the pole. In the struggle the Donkey fell over the bridge, and his fore-feet being tied together he was drowned. “That will teach you,” said an old man who had followed them: “Please all, and you will please none” The Man in the story is most everyone on a daily basis; they just don’t know it. Aiming to please everyone is an innovation killer. You kill consensus by having a strong point of view. Great leaders don’t try to please everyone. Great leaders inspire by provoking and polarizing. Mediocre leaders, on the other hand, are afraid of rejection.

Put your shoulder to the wheel.
- Aesop -

Work hard, make a strenuous effort, as in We'll have to put our shoulder to the wheel to get this job done. These hard-working and decent people are prepared to put their shoulders to the wheel, to build a better society.

To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.

Philosopher Alan Watts, used the analogy of floating on water to deliver us. He said: “To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.” Yet often, grabbing hold and thrashing is our first reaction to bad experiences. We hold on to our fears, lash out at anyone nearby, cling to comforts that don’t serve us, and then emerge injured -- resolved to avoid all further suffering at great personal cost. Watts believed part of what keeps us sinking is our misunderstanding of the very nature of life. He believed our biggest albatross was our false, dichotomous thinking about what is good or bad in our experiences. We rarely know, in the moment, where any experience will lead us, yet we are wired by default to think only of loss and gain. Is winning the lottery good? You’d think, but you never know.

But the attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to truth, whatever it might turn out to be.

Faith is a state of openness or trust. To have faith is like when you trust yourself to the water. You don't grab hold of the water when you swim, because if you do you will become stiff and tight in the water, and sink. You have to relax, and the attitude of faith is the very opposite of clinging, and holding on. In other words, a person who is fanatic in matters of religion, and clings to certain ideas about the nature of God and the universe becomes a person who has no faith at all. Instead they are holding tight. But the attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to truth, whatever it might turn out to be

Every truth has two sides; it is as well to look at both, before we commit ourselves to either.
- Aesop -

Every truth has two sides. There could be a lie under the truth. There could be a huge gap in the truth. We should know the actual picture, the two side of a truth before commit ourselves.

Slow but steady wins the race.
- Aesop -

A hare makes fun of a tortoise for being slow. The tortoise then challenges the hare to a race. Amused by the idea, the hare accepts. He believes there is no way he could possibly lose to a slow turtle. With the course set and ready to go, the race begins and the hare quickly darts down the path, leaving his fellow green contender in the dust. It’s not long before the hare builds a strong lead. In fact, his lead is so strong that he decides to take a nap! Meanwhile, the tortoise continues plodding along, running at a slow and steady pace until he eventually catches up and even passes the napping hare! Shortly after, the hare wakes up only to see the tortoise moments away from finishing the race. He desperately tries to catch up, running as fast as he can, but it’s too late, the tortoise crosses the finish line and wins the race. Slow but steady wins the race is a phrase that means slow, productive progress leads to success, as in We take your time to build this house right. Remember, slow but steady wins the race! You’re likely to hear Slow but steady wins the race when someone thinks doing something slowly but skillfully is better because it helps to avoid mistakes.

We would often be sorry if our wishes were gratified.
- Aesop -

We wish for something. A new car, a new job, a new relationship or perhaps a new pair of shoes. And perhaps you think: “if I only get this thing, then I’m home, then I’ll feel happy and good all around”. And then you get it. And it’s awesome. But often for just a while. And then you may feel like maybe something went a bit wrong. Like it didn’t fulfil you or complete you like you thought it would. Why? Well, after while when you get used to something, when it becomes normal, then the ego tends to want more once again. Or maybe you can’t enjoy something for what it is because even though your environment changes, you are still the same. The same person with the same outlook on life. With the same self-imposed barriers for your own success and happiness and maybe self-sabotaging behaviour. And until you take a look at those things you may find yourself repeating the same patterns over and over. When you are the same, you often tend to get the same results over and over again. Also, our wishes can often come through accompanied by unexpected and not so pleasant side effects. Things may seem just perfect when you dream about them. In reality, it can become a little more complicated and messy. Now, new things or people can be great. But if you think this one thing will fix all your problems or focus on the wrong aspects – what is not perfect, how can I get more etc. – instead of the positives and gratitude then you may find yourself always looking for the next thing and create quite a bit of stress and unhappiness within.

He that always gives way to others will end in having no principles of his own.
- Aesop -

One good reason to have a direction and goals in life is simply because if you don’t, then someone else does. And that person will get the people without goals to work on his/her goal. Or as the second quote suggests, they might help you but with an ulterior motive. And so you lose your personal power. You give it away to someone else by not having your own direction, by not keeping your own hands on the wheel. And it may not feel that horrible really. It might feel safe. But on the other hand, if you start setting goals and get a direction in life you tend to perk up and feel more empowered. That vague, underlying uneasiness that seemed to float through your life start to vanish. You feel more alert. And you can start to work much more on what you really want out of life, instead of what someone else may tell you that you should do or want.

We often give our enemies the means for our own destruction.
- Aesop -

An ancient Greek storyteller, called Aesop, said: An Eagle was soaring through the air when suddenly it heard the whizz of an Arrow, and felt itself wounded to death. Slowly it fluttered down to the earth, with its life-blood pouring out of it. Looking down upon the Arrow with which it had been pierced, it found that the shaft of the Arrow had been feathered with one of its own plumes. “Alas!” it cried, as it died. The moral of Aesop’s fable is equally true when it comes to conflicts: We often give conflicts the means for our own frustration and breakdown. How? With the stories we tell ourselves about the situation, the other person and especially ourselves. For instance, we often surrender to the impulse of telling ourselves that certain situations will never change, that certain people are hopeless and that we ourselves don’t have what it takes to make it work. This means that, like in Aesop’s fable, we are giving the conflict the power to control us, and thus setting ourselves up for a breakdown. It means, we are preparing ourselves to interact with someone who is hopeless (whether he or she is or not). It means, we are determining that whatever efforts we make, we are intrinsically bond to be a slave to our own inability. With this mindset, the kind of results we can expect is rather obvious!

Any excuse will serve a tyrant.
- Aesop -

A Wolf, meeting with a Lamb astray from the fold, decided not to attack the lamb, but to find some reason to justify to the Lamb why the Wolf had the right to eat him. So the Wolf said: “Sir Lamb, last year you greatly insulted me.” “But,” bleated the Lamb mournfully, “I was not born last year!” Then the Wolf said, “You feed in my pasture.” “No, good sir,” replied the Lamb, “I have not yet tasted grass.” Again the Wolf said, “You drink water from my well.” “No,” exclaimed the Lamb, “I never yet drank water, for as yet my mother’s milk is both food and drink to me.” Upon which the Wolf seized the Lamb and ate him up, saying, “Well! I won’t remain supperless, even though you refute every one of my accusations.” The “any excuse” part of the phrase means that the tyrant will take the smallest justification to do what he was planning to do anyway. There is usually some pretence offered as to “why” someone acts in some way, when the real reason for the deed is not acceptable to most honest and good people. That is the point of the phrase. As an example, Roman Emperor Nero (first century AD) blamed the Christians for burning down Rome when he himself did it to make room for a palace he was planning. When the fire got out of control the populace was quite angry. Nero needed someone to blame. He picked the new Jewish sect called “Christians” because they were an easy target. They were different and people already regarded them with suspicion. That's an example of a tyrant using “any excuse” to serve his purpose. It doesn't matter how poor or unbelievable the excuse is.

Familiarity breeds contempt.
- Aesop -

Familiarity is used especially in the expression familiarity breeds contempt to say that if you know a person or situation very well, you can easily lose respect for that person or become careless in that situation. Overexposure to or knowing something or someone too thoroughly can turn liking into hostility.

Self-conceit may lead to self destruction.
- Aesop -

Self-conceit means self-deception. People who suffer from this malady, seldom take notice of their limitations and shortcomings. They ignore their limitations and are lost in a word of self-deception. Self-conceit keeps people far away from the realities of life. They stand rooted in an unreal world. “Self-conceit leads to self-destruction” meaning that over bragging and exaggerating about yourself could be the cause of your self-destruction in the end.

It is in vain to expect our prayers to be heard, if we do not strive as well as pray.
- Aesop -

It is foolish to think that you can achieve something with prayer only. If a starving person think that i will only pray and god will feed me then he is wrong. He have to work for that. God will only help for his succession but he has to work for it. Nothing happens on its own.

Beware that you do not lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.
- Aesop -

IT happened that a Dog had got a piece of meat and was carrying it home in his mouth to eat it in peace. Now on his way home he had to cross a plank lying across a running brook. As he crossed, he looked down and saw his own shadow reflected in the water beneath. Thinking it was another dog with another piece of meat, he made up his mind to have that also. So he made a snap at the shadow in the water, but as he opened his mouth the piece of meat fell out, dropped into the water and was never seen more. We should be happy with what we have. Greediness always pay off with loosing.

Men often applaud an imitation and hiss the real thing.
- Aesop -

AT a country fair there was a Buffoon who made all the people laugh by imitating the cries of various animals. He finished off by squeaking so like a pig that the spectators thought that he had a porker concealed about him. But a Countryman who stood by said: “Call that a pig’s squeak! Nothing like it. You give me till tomorrow and I will show you what it’s like.” The audience laughed, but next day, sure enough, the Countryman appeared on the stage, and putting his head down squealed so hideously that the spectators hissed and threw stones at him to make him stop. “You fools!” he cried, “see what you have been hissing,” and held up a little pig whose ear he had been pinching to make him utter the squeals. This story shows us that people always like the fake one and doesn’t like real one.

Our insignificance is often the cause of our safety.
- Aesop -

A FISHERMAN was drawing up a net which he had cast into the sea, full of all sorts of fish. The Little Fish escaped through the meshes of the net, and got back into the deep, but the Great Fish were all caught and hauled into the ship. Sometimes our insignificance protect us. Insignificance puts us on the bottom row and for this we can escape from danger.

The unhappy derive comfort from the misfortunes of others.
- Aesop -

Most of the people envy each other specially an unhappy man. He doesn’t fell happy to see other's success. He finds happiness in other’s failure. But he doesn’t know that this envy is the reason behind his unhappiness.

People often grudge others what they cannot enjoy themselves.
- Aesop -

One day, in a stable on a farm, a dog lay asleep in a manger that was filled with hay. The dog was awakened by the cattle, which came into the stable tired and hungry from working all day in the field. But the dog would not let them get near the manger, because he wanted it all for himself. Indeed, he snarled and bared his teeth at them: it was as if the manger were filled with the best of meat and bones, which he wished to keep all for himself. In actual fact, of course, the manger contained only hay (and the dog himself). The cattle looked at the dog with undisguised contempt. ‘How selfish he is!’ said one of the cows. ‘He cannot eat the hay himself, but he will not let us eat it – even though we are so hungry for it!’ At this point, the farmer came into the stable and saw how the dog was acting. He grabbed a stick and drove the dog out of the stable, hitting him for his selfish behaviour towards the cows. This quote referring to people who spitefully prevent others from having something that they themselves have no use for. They are selfish. One day they regret for their selfishness. They do not get anyone to their side in the time of trouble.

Affairs are easier of entrance than of exit; and it is but common prudence to see our way out before we venture in.
- Aesop -

ALION, no longer able, from the weakness of old age, to hunt for his prey, laid himself up in his den, and, breathing with great difficulty, and speaking with a low voice, gave out that he was very ill indeed. The report soon spread among the beasts, and there was great lamentation for the sick Lion. One after the other came to see him; but, catching them thus alone, and in his own den, the Lion made an easy prey of them, and grew fat upon his diet. The Fox, suspecting the truth of the matter, came at length to make his visit of inquiry, and standing at some distance, asked his Majesty how he did. "Ah, my dearest friend," said the Lion, "is it you? Why do you stand so far from me? Come, sweet friend, and pour a word of consolation in the poor Lion's ear, who has but a short time to live." "Bless you!" said the Fox, "but excuse me if I cannot stay; for, to tell the truth, I feel quite uneasy at the mark of the footsteps that I see here, all pointing towards your den, and none returning outwards." Enter to an affair is easy but difficult to exit. One should think of an exit before entering in something. To enter something without thinking of an exit is often dangerous.

Adventure is worthwhile.
- Aesop -

It means that the adventure, either as a result of what you got for completing it, or the experience of completing it, justified whatever difficulty there was in doing so.

Appearances are often deceiving.
- Aesop -

The external appearances of an object or a person should not play role in judging them. The external appearances may not be true and there may be some hidden inner qualities. Generally people look at some things and then try judge by them by their sense of vision. But there are many things which have common external appearances but they are very different internally. Diamonds and Glass beads look alike but diamonds are strong. There is also an old story where the tiger which wanted to hunt cows wore the skin and behaved like a cow. He later on entered the cow shed and started killing the cows. People for a long time thought that he was a cow until they found that it is only a tiger in a cow’s hide. So with our power of analytic thinking and reasoning we should judge people and objects based on their inner qualities and not by their external appearances.

People often grudge others what they cannot enjoy themselves.
- Aesop -

Of course, criticism that may be valid should be taken seriously. But negativity directed towards you is pretty seldom about you. It’s more about someone else having a bad day, week or year and directing their negative energy at anyone passing by in their life. So much complaining and negativity that people put out into the world is about how they feel about themselves and their lives. The problem is just that we are often so focused on own lives that we take every negative thing said to us personally. But the world doesn’t revolve around me or you. So remember these two quotes when someone’s directing negativity towards you. And more importantly, remember those quotes when you feel the need to lash out towards someone. Ask yourself what the real problem in your life is. And what you can do about it. Instead of just lashing out and feeding more negativity into your and someone else’s life. One thing you can pretty sure of is that the more people try to boost their own value and temporary positive feelings by putting someone else down, the worse they feel about themselves and their lives. And that goes for you and me too of course.

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.

The best thing about kicking your fear to the curb is your sense of adventure grows, you get to know yourself better, you get creative and stimulated, excitement is generated and you are willing to leap out of your inertia and comfort zones for something potentially greater. As is commonly said “there are many constants in life and one of those is change!”

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.

Wisdom is the ability to both think and act using experiences, skills, and judgment. To be wise, one must intentionally act with prudence and common sense. Wisdom has a connotation of judiciousness, pause, and discipline. On the other hand, Honesty is telling the truth. It is straightforward conduct and Honesty is being sincere, truthful, trustworthy, honorable, fair, genuine, and loyal with integrity. In your dealings with others, be honest and trustworthy. Stand up and Own the difficult conversations, speak the truth, and speak with sincerity of purpose.

Wisdom begins in wonder.
- Socrates -

Wonder is the beginning of wisdom simply means that the curiosity we have in knowing and learning new things makes us question things that we already know and are generally acceptable. It is the awareness that makes us seek the truth and attain wisdom. The willingness to open one's mind is the beginning of wisdom or perhaps knowledge. For a teacher to put interest in his students he has to wonder them about the beauty of knowledge and learning.

Empty your mind; be formless, shapeless – like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.
- Bruce Lee -

Bruce Lee’s, “be like water, my friend” simply means to be flexible in both mind and body. It’s about not being rigid and stubborn about your beliefs, practices, and understanding, and instead, about being open-minded and able to change and adapt to the circumstances we are put into. If we can just understand the properties of this amazing element, we can live a beautiful and better life. Problems arise all the time in life, and you can try to keep your rigid shape, smashing into the problems until one of you breaks, or you can be like water and slip through the cracks.

A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.

The fool is the one who thinks he knows and thinks a lot, has an opinion about everything and judges everybody. He knows himself only as of the body and mind, a separate identity. The wise man knows himself as Absolute Reality, with a childlike/fool-like mind. Acts benevolent indifferent because he is conscious of being the One Reality.

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.

"Science is organized knowledge" means that science is a subject that tells the pattern of life, new inventions of the world, new things all around the world, and events that occur naturally. "wisdom is organized life" means that when a person gets wise his life pattern, behavior and his attitude are automatically improved.

We don't receive wisdom we must discover it for ourselves.

The difference between wisdom and knowledge is that Knowledge can be taught, but wisdom must be obtained by oneself. Wisdom is self-discovered. Galileo said: "You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him to find it within himself." We are now living in an age of knowledge, but our greatest need right now is wisdom.

There is a wisdom of the head, and a wisdom of the heart.

Head is considered with knowledge, understanding, experience, and what you think. The heart is considered with feelings, emotions, intuition, premonitions, and what you imagine. If you can differentiate between them, you can understand why they are dependent on each other.

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