Seasonal Wisdom

One nice thing about this time of year is that many people try to see the bright side. It may only be a temporary respite from the usual gloom and doom reported in the industry, but it shows that we can see potential from time to time.

It was a tough year for being optimistic. With September 11, a war against terrorism, a skyrocketing unemployment rate, and a less-than-stellar advertising market, it’s hard to get to a point where your cockles feel any warmer than room temperature. Still, it’s the season of goodwill and promise of a new beginning in 2002.

I’ve been around long enough to have witnessed several economic cycles, waxing and waning unemployment lines, and wars that were fought and then ended. Like the adage says, “Tough times never last, tough people do.”

Perhaps it’s human to see the present and project it onto the future. During good times, we believe the party will never end. During bad times, we feel the same. Of course, tough times will end. Markets will pick up, prosperity will lift its head, and we will be back to believing the good times will last forever.

In an effort to spread a little holiday cheer, I want to share with you some words of wisdom I’ve collected over the years. Some are deep and meaningful; others remind us life really shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.”
–Thomas Jefferson

“People rarely succeed at anything unless they have fun doing it.”
–Dale Carnegie

“It’s so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don’t say it.”
–Sam Levenson

“Never make predictions, especially about the future.”
–Casey Stengel

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory or defeat.”
–Theodore Roosevelt

“Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.”
–Mark Twain

“A smooth sea never made a skillful mariner.”
–English proverb

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”
–Japanese proverb

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
–Albert Einstein

“Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.”
–Japanese proverb

“The most damaging phrase in the language is: ‘It’s always been done that way.'”
–Rear Admiral Grace Hopper

“Oh, my friend, it’s not what they take away from you that counts. It’s what you do with what you have left.”
–Hubert H. Humphrey

“Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.”
–Benjamin Franklin

“It is more important to know where you are going than to get there quickly.”
–Mabel Newcomber

“Nobody can be exactly like me. Sometimes even I have trouble doing it.”
–Tallulah Bankhead

“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.”
–F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of becoming.”
–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“If it’s not fun, why do it?”
–Jerry Greenfield

Happy holidays, everyone.

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