A few years back I gave a talk on the subject of learning. One of the themes was that all of us regardless of whether we are rich or poor, or we are famous or unknown say wise things. But because these phrases are not said in public or written down, these wise aphorisms are not recorded or remembered. I used the term “unquoted quotes”, ‘quotes’ because it is what was actually said but ‘unquoted’ because they have not been recorded as said by some one famous.
A good quote is one that in some way makes a connection to the person listening or reading it. It can provide some insight, help view things from a different angle, touch the emotions, lift the spirits and many things besides.
As a doctor and therapist, over the years, I have needed to give much advice to my patients. Much of it has been repeated many times over to different people. The simplest advice, a sentence, or two at the most, is probably the best because it is the least unforgettable. Most of these have been said many times over, some may be once and some be I simply thought about saying it.
These are my own personal “unquoted quotes”. I give a little description I hope there is in here something that you will find will help you.
I start off with some unquoted quotes about me.
- “My job (as a GP) is like cream cakes, very nice, but too much of it can make you sick.”
- “At 18 I thought I knew it all. At 28 I thought I knew it all because I knew that I knew more than when I was 18.At 38 I thought I knew it all because I knew that I knew more than when I was 28. At 48 I knew that at 18 I was wrong.”
- “Hypnosis is therapy for the sub-conscious mind. So why have a therapy that has to communicate with the sub-conscious mediated through the conscious when you can have one that talks directly with the sub-conscious itself?”
- “There is no incompatibility between my practice of medicine as a GP and my practice of hypnosis as a therapist. What is scientifically valid for the one is equally valid for the other. What I say in the one I could as equally repeat in the other. And the care and attention I take in choosing my words in the one, needs to be similarly meticulous in the other.”
- “It is my patients who make me look good.”
The next group of unquoted quotes relate to learning, improving and developing. It was these unquoted quotes that I presented to the meeting and hence are the first recorded unquoted quotes.
- “There is no such thing as a failure, merely a learning opportunity”
- “Even our successes, the things we did well, we will do even better in 10 years.”
- “If it is so good to learn from our mistakes, why do we strive so hard not to make any?”
- “Success in one exam, gives us the dubious privilege of having the opportunity to fail the next.”
This above quote, originally came from my brother. He actually said, “Success in one exam, gives us the dubious privilege of having the opportunity to sit the next”. I changed it because, like the next quotes, I want to imply that whatever we do career wise we need to be comfortable with where we are at now.
- “What kind of reward is it when promotion, takes us out of our comfort zone and gives us more responsibility and stress?”
- “Failure closes one door, but it can allow us to enter another room, in which we may feel much more at home.”
Here are some quotes on what I call the emotional system. It is a term, hopefully self-explanatory, but it refers to those physical and psychological components within all of us that look after the emotions.
- “Good people make mistakes. Even getting things terribly wrong does not turn a good person into a bad one.”
- “All the mistakes we make in life are due to some sort of mal-function of our emotional systems.”
- “Being strong” is often misunderstood. People think that being strong is about not showing emotion, keeping it together; and by not breaking down and crying. But true strength of character is to do the right thing when our predispositions, feelings and inclinations would let us do the opposite.”
- “The start in life is irrelevant. What counts for each of us is when our children reach young adulthood; their emotional systems are in better shape than ours was at the same stage of development. When this happens throughout, society is a much healthier place than it was a generation previously.”
- “We all find it easier to have around us people whose nerves are good. And, the person with bad nerves, not only does he tend to be shunned by others, but also he has to fight himself to achieve the same. So may be the person with bad nerves is actually deserving of more sympathy and credit, rather than less.”
Still on the theme of emotions I am now specifically focussing on anger. I find it is not a well-understood emotion often with other people being aware a person has a problem before the person himself. These unquoted quotes below may explain why.
- “Anger is an emotion that can drive us to act first and think later.
- “Anger is an emotion that gives energy to right wrongs and protect the innocent. But in the wrong hands anger is highly destructive. If foreign policies were determined by their ability to minimise anger, may be the world would be a much safer place.
- “With anger a person can justify literally anything, even the unjustifiable.”
- “If a person says they are not emotional, you can be certain they are not aware of their own deep-seated anger issues.”
- “The more a person truly understands, the less angry he becomes. If you are still angry, may be you do not fully understand.”
The last group is advice for life, living and well-being.
- “We have a duty to ourselves to strive for perfection in the certain knowledge that it will never ever be achieved. It is the striving for perfection that is the virtue, not the achieving it.”
- “Do what you enjoy the most. Do what you do best. Fortunately they are usually the same thing. Because if we are good at something we enjoy doing it; and if we enjoy doing something we become good at it.”
- “Unemployment is the opportunity to do doing something better with your time.”
- “The break up of a relationship is the opportunity to find a better partner”
- It may sound selfish but it isn’t. Look after Number 1, because if Number 1 is alright, Number 1 can look after Numbers 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
- “Keep life simple.”
- (Because life has a bad habit of creating complications, so if it is already simple there is a better chance of managing the complications)
“If you are not sure how to handle a difficult situation, be strong on the gentle approach.”