“Every noble work is at first impossible.”

Pretty much any interesting/useful/beautiful human achievement you can think of was at first impossible. Mass-printing books? You’re crazy. Sailing ships across the oceans? No way. Putting a man on the surface of the freaking moon? That one still gets me.

While John F. Kennedy gets my award for the best speech about doing the impossible (and within the decade no less!), the Scotsman Thomas Carlyle had summed this idea up nicely a hundred years before.

Every noble work is at first impossible.

Thomas Carlyle

This quote is so clear and to-the-point: it is perfect from a writing perspective.

But can you picture JFK getting up on stage at Rice University in 1962, saying, “Every noble work is at first impossible… let’s go to the moon.” and then just leaving? πŸ˜† I guess politics requires a little more bombast.

Thomas Carlyle, looking a lot like The Most Interesting Man in the World.

“…not to nurse memories, especially not of evils, but to overlook them.”

To me, Aristotle always seemed like just another stuffy ancient Greek dude in a robe. I always confused him with Socrates. I related to Bill & Ted when they met Socrates, swapping generic, abstract ideas with classic rock lyrics. πŸ˜†

But Aristotle was not lost in the abstract. Like other ancient philosophers, he had some cool things to say about being a good person, For example, he espoused being forgiving, consciously “overlooking” the past to avoid the self-imposed ill of resentment.

It is proper to a magnanimous person not to nurse memories, especially not of evils, but to overlook them.


πŸ‘‰ You’ve got to love the word “magnanimous” – it’s a new favorite word of mine.

Dude was also into being helpful and generous…

Of all those who are called virtuous the liberal are probably the best liked, because they are helpful; and their help consists in giving.

So “The Philosopher” was just saying be kind, generous, and forgiving. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Quotes · You

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life…”

I’ve been sitting with this theory for a while that what matters most is who you are when all your stuff is stripped away – your house, your car, your bank account. Who are then then?

I think Sophia Loren is right by focusing in on your skills and your positive impact – and tying that to eternal youth. 🀩 Have you noticed that great musicians like Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, and Paul McCartney just keep going and going?

There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love.

Sophia Loren

(The other fountain of youth IMHO is swimming. πŸŠπŸ˜‰)

from Vogue