Diamonds Drawn From My Personal Reading

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Post written by Peter G. James Sinclair & Ralph Waldo Emerson.

While my eldest daughter was in the throes of giving birth to my first grand child I was in the waiting room for many hours until the wonderful moment arrived.

However, I didn’t while the hours away wastefully as I waited and prayed, but had in my bag a book – a treasure – that I would read throughout those many hours of waiting.

Each time I came across a phrase that impacted me I noted it quickly down in my journal.

And what was the book?

It was an old book published at the end of the 19th century – a gift in fact from the very daughter who was giving birth. A collection of my favourite writings from the man who has impacted me now for many years – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Please allow me to share with you the thoughts that impacted me once again from this great man and which I scribbled in my journal.

Here are his words….with even a couple of quotes from his mentors.

Practice is nine tenths.

Nobody should be rich, but those who understand it. – Goethe

The secret of success lies never in the amount of money, but in the relation of income to outgo; as if, after expense has been fixed at a certain point, then new and steady rills of income, though never so small, being added, wealth begins.

I think we are entitled here  to draw a straight line, and say, that society can never prosper, but must always be bankrupt, until every man does that which he was created to do.

Spend after your genius, and by system.

The right investment is in tools of your trade; and the like.

The true thrift is always to spend on the higher plane; to invest and invent, with keener avarice, that he may spend in spiritual creation, and not in augmenting animal existence.

He who should inspire and lead his race must be defended from travelling with the souls of other men, from living, breathing, reading, and writing in the daily time-worn yoke of their opinions.

Rough water can teach lessons worth knowing.

Don’t be so tender at making an enemy now and then.

He has neither friends nor enemies, but values men only as channels of power.

The longer we live the more we must endure the elementary existence of men and women; and every brave heart must treat society as a child, and never allow it to dictate.

The measure of a master is his success in bringing all men round to his opinion twenty years later.

I dip my pen in the blackest ink, because I am not afraid of falling into my ink-pot.

We are born believing.

God builds his temple in the heart on the ruins of churches and religions.

Forget your books and traditions, and obey your moral perceptions at this hour.

If your eye is on the eternal, your intellect will grow, and your opinions and actions will have a beauty which no learning or combined advantages of other men can rival.

Strong men believe in cause and effect.

I look on that man as happy, who, when there is question of success, looks into his work for a reply, not into the market, not into opinion, not into patronage.

As men get on in life, they acquire a love for sincerity and somewhat less solicitude to be lulled or amused. In the progress of the character, there is an increasing faith in the moral sentinent, and a decreasing faith in propositions. Young people admire talents and particular excellences. As we grow older, we value total powers and effects, as the spirit or quality of the man. We have another sight, and a new standard, and insight which disregards what is done for the eye, and pierces to the doer; an ear which hears not what they do not say.

Fear God, and where you go, men shall think they walk in hallowed cathedrals.

Every man’s task is his life-preserver. The conviction that his work is dear to God and cannot be spared, defends him.

Immortality will come to such as are fit for it, and he who would be a great soul in future, must be a great soul now.

Why should we feel ourselves to be me, unless it be to succeed in everything everywhere. You must say of nothing, That is beneath me, now feel that anything can be out of your power. Nothing is impossible to the man who can will. Is that necessary? That shall be :- this is the only law of success. – Mirabeau

Ask what is best in our experience, and we shall say, a few pieces of plain-dealing with wise people.

The secret of culture is to learn, that in a few points steadily reappear alike in the poverty of the obscurest farm, and in the miscellany of metropolitan life, and that these few are alone to be regarded, – the escape from all false ties; courage to be what we are; and love of what is simple and beautiful; independence, and cheerful relation, those are the essentials, – these, and the wish to serve, – to add somewhat to the well-being of men.

A deep man believes in miracles, waits for them, believes in magic, believes that the orator will decompose his adversary; believes that the evil eye can wither, that the heart’s blessing can heal; that love can exalt talent; can overcome all odds.

Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.

So there you have it. Hours of reading condensed into these diamonds drawn from the heart and mind of one of the most influential mentors in my life.

To me it is literally liquid gold that inspires and equips me to move forward in my life, and I trust it will do the same for you.

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