11 Wise Quotes that Will Change Your Way of Thinking & My 2 Cents

1.”If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. “

Good / Great leaders surround themselves with a diverse group of thinkers.  A really smart leader would be the dumbest person in the room!

2.”There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

When I’m mean to others in order to make myself feel better, I make myself smaller. “Do you feel victory when your words cause pain?”

Don’t take it personally. People who belittle others have a problem with themselves and/or don’t like who they are. Trying showing compassion instead of feeling hurt.

3. “An amateur practices until he can play it correctly, a professional practices until he can’t play it incorrectly.” Or, better, since perfection is not the object: “The master has failed more times than the beginner has tried.”

I LOVE this quote. In “policing” we always talk about being professionals, but are WE as a profession willing to put in the work? In many cases, the answer is NO.

4. “We judge ourselves by our intentions but others by their actions.”

In the case of “policing,” WE judge ourselves by our intentions, but the PUBLIC judges us by our performance. Not fair, but that is reality!

5. “If it takes less than five minutes, just do it now.”

Don’t procrastinate. The obstacle will fester, and it will take the same amount of time to do then as now but you will have lived with the festering for longer. As Trungpa Rinpoche puts it, approach the challenge directly.

You never know what impact completing a task will have. Taking 5 minutes to iron your uniform could lessen the chance of you getting challenged because you look “squared away.”

6. “If you don’t have time to do it right, you must have time to do it over.”

Measure twice. Slow down. Breathe. The Lincoln quote about sharpening the axe comes to mind.

Sometimes, in “policing,” you don’t get a second chance. Be prepared (physically & mentally) to do YOUR job right the first time. NO REGRETS!

7. “When you are torn between 2 choices, always pick the one that will make the best story – grandpa always said this and once I started following it, life became a lot more interesting.”

Approach your cowardice as if stepping forward will make for an adventure. It will.

When making a decision, ask yourself, “how would the headline read on the front page of the newspaper?” A interesting story may not always be a tactfully sound story.

8. “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

So, work hard. Because some talent out there works hard, too.  “90% of talent is interest.” Pick your passion—but that’s not enough. Here’s more on Right Livelihood.

As a leader, I would always take a hard worker that is willing to learn over someone with talent that thinks they know it all!

9. Criticism, if constructive, is a greater gift and a surer sign of true friendship than compliments.

Compliments are easy to give. Constructive criticism is often difficult to give. A person willing to give you constructive criticism, truly cares about your development.

10. Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

Or, Buddha: holding onto anger is like holding onto a piece of hot coal preparing to throw it at someone. You’re the one who gets burned.

Have healthy outlets. 

11. It’s okay if it’s not okay. It’s okay for things to not always be okay. 

Focus on controlling what you can control, let the rest go!

Listen to some Blues. Be okay with not okay. Practice tonglen.



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