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Classic Wisdom for the Professional Life
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Classic Wisdom for the Professional Life

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by Bryan Curtis

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The Professional Life.

In the simplest of meanings, it is the part of your day or week or year or entire life that you spend working to make a living. Everyone knows that the way you spend those hours of your day can very easily carry over into every other aspect of your life.

Do you know someone lucky enough to love what they do to support themselves? That


The Professional Life.

In the simplest of meanings, it is the part of your day or week or year or entire life that you spend working to make a living. Everyone knows that the way you spend those hours of your day can very easily carry over into every other aspect of your life.

Do you know someone lucky enough to love what they do to support themselves? That happiness, pride, and satisfaction doesn’t just stop when they leave the office. It finds its way into their personal relationships and into their community activities. Loving your work is the biggest bonus you can give yourself.

Classic Wisdom for the Professional Life has words of wisdom from some of the world’s preeminent business, political, and cultural leaders. Paying heed to one or one hundred of these quotes that really speaks to you can make a difference not only in the way you earn a paycheck now, but also in how you forge a career path for yourself.

Be one of the lucky few who knows that a happy professional life is one huge part of really living the good life

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Classic Wisdom for the Professional life

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2010 Bryan Curtis
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-59555-126-9

Chapter One

the professional life

Love what you do. Get good at it. Competence is a rare commodity in this day and age. Jon Stewart

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. Henry Ford

What I know is, is that if you do work that you love, and the work fulfills you, the rest will come. Oprah Winfrey

The key to longevity is to keep doing what you do better than anyone else. We work real hard at that. It's about getting your message out to the consumer. It's about getting their trust, but also getting them excited, again and again. Ralph Lauren

* * *

Know and accept your own strengths and weaknesses. In other words: Look at yourself honestly ... understand your passions, your skills, your temperament, and your limitations. If you're a square peg, no matter how hard you-and others-try, you're just not going to fit very well into a round hole. Katie Couric

It's important to scare yourself, to do things you don't think you're capable of doing. Reese Witherspoon

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it. If you think about that you will do things differently. Warren Buffett

To love what you do and feel that it matters-how could anything be more fun? Katharine Graham

I think the one lesson I have learned is that there is no substitute for paying attention. Diane Sawyer

The true measure of a career is to be able to be content, even proud, that you succeeded through your own endeavors without leaving a trail of casualties in your wake. Alan Greenspan

There is no failure. Only feedback. Robert Allen

The fastest way to succeed is to look as if you're playing by somebody else's rules, while quietly playing by your own. Michael Korda

One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested. E. M. Forster

I wasn't running toward the theater but running away from the sporting goods store. Of course now that I'm selling spaghetti sauce (with Newman's Own), I begin to understand the romance of business, the allure of being the biggest fish in the pond and the juice you get from beating out your competitors. Paul Newman

It's hard to beat a person who never gives up. Babe Ruth

How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone. CoCo Chanel

You can't get people excited unless you can help them see and feel the impact. Bill Gates

The imagination is how things get done. You have to cultivate creativity. Russell Simmons

Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him. Booker T. Washington

If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude. Colin Powell

The man who does not work for the love of work but only for money is not likely to make money nor find much fun in life. Charles Schwab

A person should set his goals as early as he can and devote all his energy and talent to getting there. With enough effort, he may achieve it. Or he may find something that is even more rewarding. But in the end, no matter what the outcome, he will know he has been alive. Walt Disney

Learn young about hard work and manners-and you'll be through the whole dirty mess and nicely dead again before you know it. F. Scott Fitzgerald

The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is DEDICATION. Cecil B. Demille

There is no man living who isn't capable of doing more than he thinks he can do. Henry Ford

Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting. And you don't do that by sitting around wondering about yourself. Katharine Hepburn

* * *

Note how good you feel after you have encouraged someone else. No other argument is necessary to suggest that one never miss the opportunity to give encouragement. George Adams

Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance. Samuel Johnson

It's a good thing to turn your mind upside down now and then, like an hourglass, to let the particles run the other way. Christopher Morley

Hire character. Train skill. Peter Schutz

Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people. William Butler Yeats

My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal, we never lose-somehow we win out. Ronald Reagan

If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress. Barack Obama

Sometimes you will apply for a job and you won't get it and you will think it is the greatest setback, but just remember it isn't losing that is wrong; it is quitting. Don't quit. Don't ever quit. Keep trying, because this country needs the very best that you, the young generation of America, can give to it. Richard Nixon

* * *

Every organization should tolerate rebels who tell the emperor he has no clothes. Colin Powell

Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, "Certainly, I can!" Theodore Roosevelt

Really big people are, above everything else, courteous, considerate and generous-not just to some people in some circumstances-but to everyone all the time. Thomas J. Watson

Confidence, like art, never comes from having all the answers; it comes from being open to all the questions. Earl Gray Stevens

* * *

If you don't find a way to do something as work that is fulfilling and enjoyable, then your life is going to be really sad. Rudy Giuliani

It's kind of fun to do the impossible. Walt Disney

By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail. Benjamin Franklin

* * *

It's not the will to win that matters-everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters. Paul "Bear" Bryant

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. Mark Twain

Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit. Conrad Hilton

Keep on going and the chances are you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I have never heard of anyone stumbling on something sitting down. Charles F. Kettering

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else. Judy Garland

When we are doing what we love, we don't care about time. For at least at that moment, time doesn't exist and we are truly free. Marcia Wieder

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt. Henry J. Kaiser

The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't. Henry Ward Beecher

The only way to get people to like working hard is to motivate them. Today, people must understand why they're working hard. Every individual in an organization is motivated by something different. Rick Pitino

You only get out of it what you put into it. If you are a sheep in this world, you're not going to get much out of it. Greg Norman

Quality is not an act. It is a habit. Aristotle

Your success in life isn't based on your ability to simply change. It is based on your ability to change faster than your competition, customers, and business. Mark Sanborn

In the end, the customer doesn't know, or care, if you are small or large as an organization ... she or he only focuses on the garment hanging on the rail in the store. Giorgio Armani

Confidence and enthusiasm are the greatest sales producers in any kind of economy. Have confidence in your products and the house backing them, have enthusiasm for your job, call on your trade regularly and consistently, treat your trade courteously, and you will find that your customers will not have to be sold-they will be glad to buy. O. B. Smith

* * *

Courage is the main quality of leadership, in my opinion, no matter where it is exercised. Usually it implies some risk-especially in new undertakings. Courage to initiate something and to keep it going, pioneering and adventurous spirit to blaze new ways, often, in our land of opportunity. Walt Disney

The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. Theodore Hesburgh

Even a correct decision is wrong when it was taken too late. Lee Iacocca

The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it. John Ruskin

Wherever smart people work, doors are unlocked. Steve Wozniak

The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you're willing to pay the price. Vince Lombardi

The older I get, the more I see a straight path where I want to go. If you're going to hunt elephants, don't get off the trail for a rabbit. T. Boone Pickens

* * *

In a time of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists. Eric Hoffer

You've got to look for a gap, where competitors in a market have grown lazy and lost contact with the readers or the viewers. Rupert Murdoch

You will never make a good leader unless you have learned to follow. On those initial journeys when you are asked to pull your oar while another leads, learn what it takes to be a team player. Learn how to get along with others. Learn what loyalty and honesty are all about. Dr. Robert Ballard

* * *

Above all, we wish to avoid having a dissatisfied customer. We consider our customers a part of our organization, and we want them to feel free to make any criticism they see fit in regard to our merchandise or service. Sell practical, tested merchandise at reasonable profit, treat your customers like human beings-and they will always come back. L. L. Bean

The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more. Jonas Salk

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose. Bill Gates

What is it that you like doing? If you don't like it, get out of it, because you'll be lousy at it. Lee Iacocca

We all have a tendency to use research as a drunkard uses a lamppost-for support, but not for illumination. David Ogilvy

A salesman minus enthusiasm is just a clerk. Harry F. Banks

If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful. Jeff Bezos

Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does. Steuart Henderson Britt

I think we consider too much the good luck of the early bird and not enough the bad luck of the early worm. I'm not the smartest fellow in the world, but I can sure pick smart colleagues. Franklin D. Roosevelt

* * *

If you have a job without any aggravations, you don't have a job. Malcolm S. Forbes

The test of a successful person is not an ability to eliminate all problems before they arise, but to meet and work out difficulties when they do arise. We must be willing to make an intelligent compromise with perfection lest we wait forever before taking action. It's still good advice to cross bridges as we come to them. David Joseph Schwartz

All you need is love ... and some comprehensive technology! Bono

Harshness to me is giving somebody false hopes and not following through. That's harsh. Telling some guy or some girl who've got zero talent that they have zero talent actually is a kindness. Simon Cowell

Use power to help people. For we are given power not to advance our own purposes nor to make a great show in the world, nor a name. There is but one just use of power and it is to serve people. George W. Bush

Never continue in a job you don't enjoy. If you're happy in what you're doing, you'll like yourself, you'll have inner peace. And if you have that, along with physical health, you will have had more success than you could possibly have imagined. Johnny Carson

I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it. Thomas Jefferson

Leadership is action, not position. Donald H. McGannon

Before anything else, preparation is the key to success. Alexander Graham Bell

The future belongs to people who see possibilities before they become obvious. Ted Levitt

The absolute fundamental aim is to make money out of satisfying customers. John Egan

The secret of joy in work is contained in one word-excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it. Pearl Buck

If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, then you are an excellent leader. Dolly Parton

Nearly every man who develops an idea works at it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then gets discouraged. That's not the place to become discouraged. Thomas Edison

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. Thomas Jefferson

Don't fight a battle if you don't gain anything by winning. George S. Patton

Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. Theodore Roosevelt

There is no security in life, only opportunity. Mark Twain

The essential question is not, "How busy are you?" but "What are you busy at?" "Are you doing what fulfills you?" Oprah Winfrey

To turn really interesting ideas and fledgling technologies into a company that can continue to innovate for years, it requires a lot of disciplines. Steve Jobs

In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience first; the cash will come later. Harold Geneen

Modesty is a virtue that can never thrive in public.... A man must be his own trumpeter. He must get his picture drawn, his statue made, and must hire all the artists in his turn, to set about the works to spread his name, make the mob stare and gape, and perpetuate his fame. John Adams

An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes, which can be made in a very narrow field. Niels Bohr

Paying attention to simple little things that most men neglect makes a few men rich. Henry Ford

It is easier to go down a hill than up, but the view is best from the top. Arnold Bennett

You don't get paid for the hour. You get paid for the value you bring to the hour. Kareem Abdul-Jabar

People underestimate their capacity for change. There is never a right time to do a difficult thing. A leader's job is to help people have vision of their potential. John Porter


Excerpted from Classic Wisdom for the Professional life Copyright © 2010 by Bryan Curtis. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Bryan Curtis is an author and the president of Dance Floor Books. He is the author/coauthor and editor of more than 25 books, including My South, My Southern Food, Classic Wisdom for the Good Life, Classic Wisdom for the Professional Life, and the popular GentleManners series.

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