Mark Twain

I Can See Clearly Now

We have all had the benefit growing up of words of wisdom from others - unfortunately we probably didn't have the wisdom to fully appreciate what was being said.

Don't get me wrong, some sayings still baffle me - "You want to have your cake and eat it".. eh no - I want my cake so I can eat it - and it's my cake so what's your problem? 

There are, fortunately, many more profound sayings than my take on the cake scenario.  Man's achievement is unparalleled, from the United States mission walking on the moon to individuals who have been told they are paralysed finding the strength to walk a step.  Our limits as individuals know only the bounds of our fears and perceptions.

Few things are more motivating and fear decreasing than learning of the mindset of the most celebrated and realising - with wisdom - that you and I are in many ways just like them.

"Whether you believe you can do a thing, or you can't, you are right"

Henry Ford

Henry Ford grew up on a family farm but through hard work and self belief he went onto become one of the richest men in America.  A prominant Mason, his company still thrives today over 100 years since its inception - A true example of the power of thought is that Ford's ideas and ideals live on long after the mind that created them is gone.

Henry Ford Canvas Print


"Even if you are in a minority of one - The truth is the truth"

Mahatma Gandhi

One of the most powerful quotes in the sphere of morality.  It has inspired bravery in many lives during adverse times.  Until we are tested it is unlikely that any of us can truly grasp the meaning of this quote but the power of its values is clear.  

At a time when The British Empire was the greatest military power on earth and their prize "cash cow" was India.  A softly spoken man standing at 5ft 3 inches tall used the power of truth and injustice to topple an army many believed to be invincible.

The Indian Independence movement is a true reflection of the inherent similarities among all humans.  Gandi's Satyagraha was the inspiration, the world's empathy was the true global power. 

"Those who choose not to read have no advantage over those who can't"

Mark Twain

Mark Twain is attributed to many great quotes but this one is particulalry relevent to me.  This is certainly a quotation a younger me would have sneered at. Despite being an unwitting but fortunate benefactor of a British Education I used to pride myself on not having read many books until my early 20s.  

With the internet anything we want to do in life is limitless - everything we need is at the touch of a button; ideas, information, contact details, success stories, warnings of mistakes.

For those of us fortunate enough to have education now, more than any other time in history, there are no barriers.

The only thing that prevents anyone's success in any sphere is that they don't want it enough.

Robert Burns

"The best laid schemes of Mice and Men gang aft a gley"

Robert Burns (To a Mouse)

To A Mouse was a poem I did not understand at school.  Looking back I can see why - minimal life experience.

The poem refers to a time the poet turned up a mouse in her nest while ploughing a field - ruining the nest she had worked hard to build.  A reflection that the best laid plans can often go wrong is a concept that only the more weathered can truly appreciate.  It is nice to know that we are not alone in our fears and feelings.

The final stanza, where Burns continues to address the Mouse, is in my opinion one of the most profound ever written (translated slightly into English from Scots);

Still you are blessed compared with me

The present only toucheth thee

But often I backward cast my e'e (EYE)

On prospects drear

And forward, though I cannot see

I guess and fear


I grew up in Scotland - You likely have a completely different background to me but I doubt we feel any differently to Burns did.

Selected Poems (Penguin Classics)
Amazon Price: $17.00 $5.99 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 23, 2013)

"I used to worry about what people thought of me, until I realised they weren't thinking of me at all"


Fear of what other people think of us can really negatively effect our lives.  Some seem little afflicted by this,  others shake it to an extent after High School and some never divest themselves of this restrictive influence.

Yet this fear is a concious choice.  A fantastic lecturer on TED discussed that he understood it was a choice when he was playing music one day, calmly enjoying himself.  He then became aware of another person in the room and immediately became nervous.  This theory is extrapolated further when he considers whether his anxiety levels difer if ithe other person was an adult or a child.

This quote should give anyone confidence.  We all fear what others think - we can either get over it, or waste the one chance we get called life.  

When I look at someone I rarely think ill.  When someone talks about something they are trying I am genuinely interested and supportive.  I don't see that anyone who thinks differently to this is someone whose opinion should be valued too highly - inevitably their negatitity is a reflection of their own issues - not mine.  I mean, I have issues - they are the most important and obvious issues in the world to my eye.  In general noone else would notice them - they have more exciting issues of their own to concern them.  As people say here "When exactly did you realise that you were the centre of the Universe?"