Thursday, September 23, 2010

"...[W]e have to keep moving."

Yesterday, I sat on the telephone with one of my pro bono clients who was forming her very first small business, and together, we walked through the entire registration process. For me, drafting and filing Articles of Incorporation and other forms have become so commonplace that I hardly bat an eye when I do it. That learning curve was scaled long ago, I guess, and I often take it for granted, as I help to formalize dozens of new ventures every year.

With this client, however, I was reminded of just how important even seemingly simple events can be to a person who is embarking on their first venture. In fact, when the client saw her enterprise registered in the state's corporate database - suddenly the whole world had changed! In that instance, her dream came to life, and a wide causeway of new possibilities, of new risks, of new challenges, of new opportunities cleared before her. And this was her moment. She paused, and the only thing that she did next was start to cry, while thanking God. "I know it's going to take a while," she said, while trying to hold back an internal deluge of enthusiasm, "but I am ready, because I know we have to keep moving."

I have been thinking long and hard about that experience all morning, and I can only smile, particularly as I remember that I, too, was in that place, once upon a time. I knew that I had to "keep moving". Nowadays, I find myself thanking God for the ability to help more folks arrive at those early triumphs. In fact, I just love doing it - advising aspiring entrepreneurs on the proper steps to setting up a new business, just as much as advising seasoned business owners on keeping their own ventures viable. Why? Well, because I do sincerely believe that every person should have a chance to craft his or her own destiny, and by doing so, each should help to reshape their worlds. From these little successes, these people will achieve so many greater things.

Those last words might sound a bit lofty, to be sure, but it has been my experience that, sometimes, lofty words are all the inspiration we need.

As a man who loves the quoted words of others, I find myself sometimes leaning on a few for hope and encouragement, when I need help to keep moving. In fact, I felt compelled to share a few of those quotes with this client today, and I wanted to do so here, as well. (To some, the following words are not new.) These words have always been powerful enough to energize my soul. Perhaps they can be sources of similar inspiration for some of other readers of this blog.

Okay guys - in the words of my client, let's "keep moving".



"You, enlightened, self-sufficient, self-governed, endowed with gifts above your fellows, the world expects you to produce as well as to consume, to add to and not to subtract from its store of good, to build up and not tear down, to ennoble and not degrade. It commands you to take your place and to fight your fight in the name of honor and of chivalry, against the powers of organized evil and of commercialized vice, against the poverty, disease, and death which follow fast in the wake of sin and ignorance, against all the innumerable forces which are working to destroy the image of God in man, and unleash the passions of the beast.
"There comes to you from many quarters, from many voices, the call of your kind. It is the human cry of spirits in bondage, of souls in despair, of lives debased and doomed. It is the call of man to his brother ... such is your vocation; follow the voice that calls you in the name of God and of man. The time is short, the opportunity is great; therefore, crowd the hours with the best that is in you."

- John Hibben to the graduating class of Princeton University (1913)


"We are apt to think that our ideas are the creation of our own wisdom, but the truth is that they are the result of experiences through outside contact.
"Without studying or being taught by others, we cannot formulate even a single idea. Therefore, it can be said that a person who can create ideas worthy of note is a person who learned much from others.
"If we are willing to learn, everything in the world can be our teacher.
"With sincerity we hope to absorb wisdom from all things. It is from this attitude that fresh and brilliant ideas are created. The sincere willingness to learn is the first step toward 'prosperity'."

- Konosuke Matsushita


"It took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to get to where we are today, but we have just begun. Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today."

– President-Elect Barack Obama


"The opportunity to guide others to their potential should not be taken lightly. As leaders, we hold the lives of others in our hands. These hands need to be gentle and caring, and always available for support."

– Ken Blanchard


"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."

– Galileo Galilei


"…To lead by example,
Love as if you will live forever,
Work as if you have no need for money,
Dream as if no one can say no,
Have fun as if you never have to grow up,
Sing as if no one else is listening,
Care as if everything depends on your caring,
And raise a banner where a banner never flew."

- Unknown


"Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare."

- Japanese Proverb


"The mind is a fire to be kindled, not a vessel to be filled."

– Plutarch


"Let him that would move the world first move himself."

– Socrates


"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

Philippians 3:13-14


"Optimism is a strategy for making a better future.
Because unless you believe that the future can be better, it’s unlikely you will step up and take responsibility for making it so.
If you assume there is no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope.
If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, [that] there are opportunities to change things, there’s a chance you may contribute to making a better world.
The choice is yours."

– Noam Chomsky


"With God, nothing shall be impossible."

– Luke 1:37


"After a century of mayhem, slaughter, and failed ideology, the people who will make the greatest advances in the new millennium will be those with the greatest capacity to forgive."

– Andrew Russell


"The essence of destiny: watch your thoughts, for they become your words. Choose your words, for they become your actions. Understand your actions, for they become habits. Study your habits, for they will become your character. Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny."

– Unknown


"I figure that sometimes you know what’s in your lunchbox, if you bring it to school everyday. Then every once in a while, your momma will throw in a tuna sandwich and surprise you."

– Bridget Harrell


"No one can say that I’m not strong. I’m the strongest [person] I know…None of those [expletive] had to live the life I lived."

– Derek J. Cheramie


"I might stumble, but I’ll never fall."

–Randy Duet


"We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood -- it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, 'Too late.' There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. Omar Khayyam is right: 'The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on.'
"We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent coannihilation. We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace...and justice throughout the developing world, a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight."

- Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.


“For I know the plan I have for you,” declared The Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future…”

– Jeremiah 29:11


"It is not about who you were three days ago. It is about who you are from this day further."

– Unknown


"Pray about everything; worry about nothing."

– Pastor John Haston


"…[L]eaders of the future will need the traits and capabilities of leaders throughout history: an eye for change and a steady hand to provide both vision and reassurance that change can be mastered, a voice that articulates the will of the group and shapes it to constructive ends, and an ability to inspire by force of personality, while others feel empowered to increase and use their own abilities."

– Rosabeth Moss Kanter


"The best thing to give your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity."

– Arthur James Balfour


"Fear is the assassin of greatness."

– T.D. Jakes


"First they went after the Communists,
and I did not stand up, because I was not a Communist.
Then they went after the homosexuals and the infirm,
and I did not stand up, because I was neither.
Then they went after the Jews,
and I did not stand up, because I was not a Jew.
Then they went after the Catholics,
and I did not stand up, because I was a Protestant.
Finally, they went after me,
and there was no one left to stand."

- Pastor Martin Neimoller


"Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."

- Matthew 5:16


"God is in all things, and from all things come the order of His Will. We should accept that to be the greatest axiom of our times."

- my words Wink


Clay said...

Wow, you are writing again. That's good to see.

Anonymous said...

Four stars for inspiration.

Digger in LV said...


Mike Carson said...

"If you assume there is no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope."

What a powerful statement. Too many of us go through everyday of our lives believing just that, that there is no hope. The end result is we don't do anything to change our circumstances and everything around us just gets worse. You see it everyday. But I have to say that that one statement is going to stay with me for a long time to come. Thanks for sharing these.

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