Category Archives: Thoughts

Perfectionism

  • Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. (Dr. David M. Burns)
  • Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing flawlessly. (Robert Schuller)
  • Does “anal retentive” have a hyphen?
  • For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe.
  • Have no fear of perfection–you’ll never reach it. (Salvador Dali)
  • I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it. (Anne Lamott)
  • In order to go on living one must try to escape the death involved in perfectionism. (Hannah Arendt)
  • It is reasonable to have perfection in our eye that we may always advance toward it, though we know it can never be reached. (Samuel Johnson)
  • It’s pretty hard to be efficient without being obnoxious. (Kin Hubbard)
  • Nothing would be done at all if one waited until one could do it so well that no one could find fault with it. (Cardinal Newman)
  • People throw away what they could have by insisting on perfection, which they cannot have, and looking for it where they will never find it. (Edith Schaeffer)
  • Perfection does not exist in doing extraordinary things, but in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well. (Angelique Arnauld)
  • Perfection, fortunately, is not the only alternative to mediocrity. A more sensible alternative is excellence. Striving for excellence is stimulating and rewarding; striving for perfection–in practically anything–is both neurotic and futile. (Edwin Bliss)
  • Perfectionism is a dangerous state of mind in an imperfect world. (Robert Hillyer)
  • Perfectionism is the enemy of creation, as extreme self-solicitude is the enemy of well-being. (John Updike)
  • Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor. (Anne Lamott)
  • A perfectionist is a person who chooses a picnic site as if it were to be a permanent home.
  • A perfectionist is one who takes great pains, and gives them to everyone else.
  • A person determined never to be wrong won’t likely accomplish much. (Ken Wisdom)
  • Plan to be spontaneous tomorrow.
  • The pursuit of perfection often impedes improvement. (George Will)
  • Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make you a far happier and more productive person. (Dr. David M. Burns)
  • Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing. (Harriet Braiker)
  • The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself. (Anna Quindlen)
  • When a man imagines, even after years of striving, that he has attained perfection, his decline begins. (Theodore Martin)
  • When you aim for perfection, you discover it’s a moving target. (George Fisher)
  • While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, another is busy making mistakes and becoming superior. (Henry C. Link)
  • You shouldn’t compare yourself to the best others can do.

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A Lesson in Optimism

A woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head. “Well,” she said, “I think I’ll braid my hair today. She did and she had a wonderful day.
The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head. “Hmm,” she said, “I think I’ll part my hair down the middle today.” She did and she had…a great day.
The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head. “Well,” she said, “today I’m going to wear my hair in a ponytail.” So she did and she had a fun day.
The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn’t a single hair on her head. “Yes!” she exclaimed, “I don’t have to fix my hair today!”

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Optimism and Pessimism

  • Anyone who thinks only sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain.
  • Anything can happen to me tomorrow, but at least nothing more can happen to me yesterday.
  • Being an optimist after you’ve got everything you want doesn’t count. (Kin Hubbard)
  • Blessed are the pessimists, for they make backups!
  • Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimist invents the airplane and the pessimist the parachute. (Gil Stern)
  • Cheer up, the worst is yet to come. (Philander Chase Johnson)
  • Chicken Little only has to be right once.
  • Clouds may come, but clouds must go, and they have a silver
    lining, for beyond them all, you know, the sun or moon is shining.
  • Don’t ever become a pessimist…a pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun–and neither can stop the march of events. (Robert A. Heinlein)
  • Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia. (Charles Schultz)
  • Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.
  • The fact that everything will be all right, does not necessarily make anything all right now.
  • False hope is better than no hope at all.
  • A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes. (Hugh Downs)
  • How many pessimists end up by desiring the things they fear, in order to prove that they are right. (Robert Mallet)
  • I don’t consider myself a pessimist. I think of a pessimist as someone who is waiting for it to rain. And I feel soaked to the skin. (Leonard Cohen)
  • I guess I just prefer to see the dark side of things. The glass is always half-empty. And cracked. And I just cut my lip on it. And chipped a tooth. (Janeane Garofalo)
  • I have a new philosophy. I’m only going to dread one day at a time. (Charles Schultz)
  • I was going to buy a copy of The Power of Positive Thinking, and then I thought: What the hell good would that do? (Ronnie Shakes)
  • If all is not lost, where is it?
  • If the pessimists aren’t happy now they never will be.
  • If you have butterflies in your stomach…invite them into your heart.
  • I’m a confirmed negaholic. I don’t just see a glass that’s half full and call it half-empty; I see a glass that’s completely full and worry that someone’s going to tip it over. (Peter McWilliams)
  • I’m an optimist, but I don’t think it helps.
  • In the long run the pessimist may be proved right, but the optimist has a better time on the trip. (Daniel L. Reardon)
  • Is the glass half empty, half full, or twice as large as it needs to be?
  • It is impossible for an optimist to be pleasantly surprised.
  • It never hurts your eyesight to look on the bright side of things.
  • Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless. (Thomas Alva Edison)
  • It will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.
  • Life is short, and it’s up to you to make it sweet. (Sadie Delany)
  • Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.
  • Living on Earth is expensive, but it does include a free trip around the sun.
  • A lot of people become pessimists from financing optimists.
  • Never tell a young person that anything cannot be done. God may have been waiting centuries for somebody ignorant enough of the impossible to do that very thing. (John Andrew Holmes)
  • The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or being pleasantly surprised. (George F. Will)
  • No one has ever injured his eyesight by looking on the bright side of things!
  • Nobody really cares if you’re miserable, so you might as well be happy. (Cythina Nelms)
  • On staring out at a gloomy day: First you must realize that it is the day that is gloomy, not you. If you want to be gloomy, too, that’s all right, but it’s not mandatory. (Nora Gallagher)
  • The optimist is as often wrong as the pessimist, but is far happier.
  • An optimist is one who sees a light. A pessimist is one who blows it out.
  • An optimist is the human personification of spring. (Susan L Bissonette)
  • An optimist laughs to forget. A pessimist forgets to laugh.
  • The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true. (James Branch Cabell)
  • The optimist says, “My cup runneth over, what a blessing.” The pessimist says, “My cup runneth over, what a mess.”
  • Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. (M. Kathleen Casey)
  • Pessimism is, in brief, playing the sure game. You cannot lose at it; you may gain. It is the only view of life in which you can never be disappointed. Having reckoned what to do in the worst possible circumstances, when better arise, as they may, life becomes child’s play. (Thomas Hardy)
  • Pessimism, when you get used to it, is just as agreeable as optimism. (Arnold Bennett)
  • A pessimist complains about the noise when opportunity knocks.
  • The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
  • A pessimist is never disappointed.
  • A pessimist is one who builds dungeons in the air.
  • A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities, and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties. (Harry Truman)
  • A pessimist sees only the dark side of the cloud and mopes; A philosopher sees both sides of the cloud and shrugs. An optimist doesn’t see the clouds at all–he’s walking on them.
  • A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. (Winston Churchill)
  • A pessimist’s blood type is be-negative.
  • The place where optimism most flourishes is the lunatic asylum. (Havelock Ellis)
  • Smile, they said, it could be worse. So, I did . . . and it was.
  • A tea kettle continues to sing even when its up to its neck in hot water.
  • Try to believe that if you take the leap you’ll be taught how to fly.
  • Turn your face to the sunshine and all shadows fall behind. (Helen Keller)
  • What passes for optimism is most often the effect of an intellectual error. (Raymond Aron)
  • When I look at the world I’m pessimistic, but when I look at people I am optimistic. (Carl Rogers)
  • When life knocks you down, roll over and look at the stars.
  • When you’re finally holding all the cards, everyone else decides to play chess.
  • Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. (Anthony J. D’Angelo)

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