Life Essay: Favorite Quotes

January 2022


Early Quotes (1970 – )


“What happens to another human being in your presence is a function of who are, not what you know. And who you are is everything you’ve ever done.”

Ram Das


“The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for.”

Joseph Addison


Life is a journey, not a destination.


“It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Reliance


“It is not the abundance of knowledge, but the inner feeling which satisfies the soul.”

St. Ignatius of Loyola, Spiritual Exercises


“Money. 200 proof. Taken straight or mixed with many lovely things, it is the most intoxicating substance known to man.”

David Augsburger, A Risk Worth Taking


“In no sense do I advocate evading the law…That would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly and lovingly and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.”

Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail


“I shall pass through this world but once: any good thing therefore I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now, let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”

Stephen Grellet


“It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”

Thomas “Tip” O’Neil


“Those only can take up Civil Disobedience who believe in willing obedience even to irksome laws imposed by the state so long as they do not hurt their conscience or religion, and are prepared, equally willing, to suffer the penalty of Civil Disobedience.”



“Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know men.”



“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you not its own mold, but let God remold your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all His demands and moves toward the goal of true maturity.”

Romans 12:2 (J.B. Phillips translation)


“A writer is not so much someone who has something to say and the skills to enable the saying, as a writer is someone who has found a way into the process that will bring about things to say that never would have occurred to him if he hadn’t entered the process.”

William Stafford, Lewis & Clark College poetry reading May 15, 1979


“Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe.”

Thomas Jefferson


“There is danger in reading bad books, but also greater danger not reading good ones.”

John Courtney Murray


“Love alone is capable of uniting living beings in such a way as to complete and fulfill them, for it alone takes them and joins them by what is deepest in themselves.”

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin


“All missiles are aimed at Jesus.”

Jim Wallace


“We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living.”

General Omar Bradley, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, Boston Massachusetts, November 10, 1948


“Wisdom is the principal thing; then get wisdom. And with all thy getting, get understanding.”

Proverbs 4:7


“The light you seek is in your own lantern.”

Buddhist proverb


“After any vigorous action, it is conscience that saves us, for it furnishes us with a thousand and one excuses of which we alone are judges, and however excellent these reasons may be to lull us to sleep, before a tribunal they would avail us little in preserving our lives.”

Alexander Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo


“A religion that is small enough for our understanding would not be large enough for our needs.”

Arthur Balfour


“Find out how much God has given you and from it take what you need; the remainder which you do not require is needed by others. The superfluities of the rich are the necessities of the poor. Those who retain what is superfluous possess the goods of others.”



“If you look for it, you cannot see it. If you listen for it, you cannot hear it. If you believe in it and embrace it, it is inexhaustible.”

An anonymous Zen master


“Chance favors only those who are prepared for it.”

Louis Pasteur


“Even paranoids have enemies.”

Bert Casey


“Wit has truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words.”

Dorothy Parker


An optimist finds opportunities in difficulty; a pessimist finds difficulties

in opportunity.


Together we are stronger than any one of us.


Never give up, never forget, never give in, never again.

September 11


“Let’s roll.”

Todd Beamer, Flight 93 victim, September 11, 2001


“Twenty years from now you will be disappointed by the things you didn’t

do than the ones you do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor.

Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. “

Mark Twain


He who hesitates, waits.

Scott Wolff, San Francisco, 1985



Quotes at Grant Thornton (2004-12)


“Every marketer tells a story. And if they do it right, we believe them. We believe that wine tastes better in a $20 glass than a $1 glass. We believe that an $80,000 Porsche Cayenne is vastly superior to a $36,000 VW Tourareg, which is virtually the same car. We believe that $225 Pumas will make our feet feel better—and look cooler—than $20 no-names…and believing it makes it true. Successful marketers don’t talk about futures or even benefits. Instead, they tell a story. A story we all believe.”

Seth Godin, All Marketers Are Liars


“You’ve got to take the initiative and play your game…confidence makes the difference.”

Chris Evert (1954 – ), American tennis champion


“It’s a cinch by the inch, hard by the yard.”

John Paul Dejoria, co-founder, Paul Mitchell


“Design is important because chaos is so hard.”

Jules Feiffer


“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

Albert Einstein


“Every great journey begins with a single step.”

Chinese Proverb


“Fall down 7 times, get up 8.”

Buddhist proverb


“Five thousand years ago, every human was a hunter. If you were hungry, you got a rock or a stick and you went hunting. The problem was that all of the animals were either dead or really good at hiding. Fortunately, we discovered/invented the idea of farming. Plant seeds, fertilize ‘em, water ‘em, watch ‘em grow and then you harvest them. The idea spread and it led to the birth of civilization. Everyone got the idea… except for marketers. Marketers still like to hunt. What we’re discovering, though, is that the good prospects are getting really good at hiding.

Seth Godin, Posted by Seth Godin on January 11, 2006


“When you’re going through hell, keep going.”

Albert Einstein


“To Howard Shultz, Starbucks isn’t in the coffee business. It’s in the people business. Once you start looking at things that way, the horizons get a lot wider.”

Fast Company, July 2004


“If today was to be the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”

Steve Jobs, CEO, Apple


Lemon quotes (except for one!!!)

“When life throws you a lemon, duck and watch it hit someone else!”

“When life gives you a lemon, hand it to the next person!”

“When life gives you a lemon, make lemonade.”

“When life gives you a lemon, throw it, it’s probably a grenade!”

“When life gives you a lemon, RUN AWAY!!!”

“When life gives you a lemon, make grape juice and sit around watching everyone try to figure out how you made it.”

“When life gives you a lemon, turn it into a muffin. Everyone loves muffins!”

“When life gives you a lemon: don’t just stand there EAT IT!!!”

“When life gives you a lemon, rub it in someone else’s face!”


“Shoot for the moon, and if you miss, you’ll still hit a star.”



“Luck is the residue of design.”

Blake Richey


“Whether I fail or succeed shall be no one’s doing but my own. I am the force. I can clear any obstacle before me or I can be lost in the maze. My choice: my responsibility; win or lose, only I hold the key to my destiny.”

Elaine Maxwell, Quoted in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens


“By avoiding the wrong thing, you may miss the right thing.”

BILL FRITSCH, President of Hydrogen Advertising, Seattle


“Sell the relationship. The fees will come.”

Scott Wolff, Grant Thornton


Si tratta questo pezzo con molto di sentiment

(Treat this piece with great feeling)

Beethoven, Opus 59 no. 2


“It is always the right time to do the right thing”

Martin Luther King Jr.


“Understanding will give you clarity. Clarity is power! Leaders have it. Followers want it. It makes life easier. When you have understanding, you will be able to make the right choices for your job and life.”

Brian Parsley


“Your goal is to be viral, not a virus. Cold calls are virus. Value is viral.”

Jeffrey Gittomer, Sales Caffeine


“We become what we think about all day long.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson


“When the heart is right, ‘For’ and ‘Against’ are forgotten.”

Chuang Tzu


“You know what luck is? Luck is believing you’re lucky, that’s all…To hold a front position in this rat-race, you’ve got to believe you are lucky.”

Stanley Kowalski, Streetcar Named Desire


“Do not worry about what happens tomorrow; the same loving Father who takes care of you today, will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering, or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.”

St. Francis de Sales


I waited, waited for the Lord;

who bent down and heard my cry,

Drew me out of the pit of destruction,

out of the mud of the swamp,

Set my feet upon rock,

steadied my steps,

And put a new song in my mouth

a hymn to our God.

Many shall look on in awe

and they shall trust in the Lord.

Psalm 40, 1-4


“When you get the chance to sit it out or dance…Dance!”

Lee Ann Womack


“You can’t get enough of what you don’t really need.”

Matthew Kelly


Quotes while at RWW (2014 – )


“While things look as though they will not change, with time, they will — and not because we are loud or quiet, riotous or righteous, but because we are sound and right.”

Martin Luther King Jr.


“We choose to . . . do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”

John F. Kennedy, Rice Stadium, September 12, 1962


“A salesperson/marketer/copywriter’s job is to empower people to do the things they already want to do.”

Heather Sloan, “Insurance Marketing: The Emotion Behind Forward Motion.” Posted Sep 04, 2014.


“Attorneys are notorious for centering their business around things which aren’t sustainable. For example, many lawyers base their practice on a few particular referral sources. What happens if those referral sources go away?”

Luke Ciciliano, 30 Days to a Better Law Firm (


“Some books are to tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.”

Francis Bacon (1561-1626)


“Being a good lawyer is what gets you to the table, so (being good) is not what differentiates you from your competition. It’s a given.”

Lindsay Griffiths, “The Law Firm of the Future Will Need a Perfect Storm.” Posted on Zen and the Art of Legal Networking ( September 6, 2016.


“What you do with your billable time determines your current income, but what you do with your non-billable time determines your future.”

David Maister, True Professionalism


“I didn’t sell ice cream. I sold a good time. Ice cream was the vehicle.”

Robert “Bob” Farrell, Founder, Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour (quoted in the Oregonian 16-August-2015)


“Brand is reputation. Reputation is behavior.”

Arthur Anderson


“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.”

Steve Jobs, Interviewed by Wired (1995)


“All failure is failure to adapt. All success is successful adaptation.”

Max McKeown, Author and Strategic Adviser (Forbes quote of the day)


“There are exceptions; but the fact is that for many lawyers, marketing is an annoyance, if not anathema. And there is good reason.


Lawyers, often by nature and certainly reinforced by education and training, are highly skilled at spottin problems, whereas marketing professional services is about the identification of opportunities.

Historically, the practice of law has been reactive, providing analysis and applying precedent, while business development is based on proactive pursuit.”

Roger Hayse, The Key To Resolving The Lawyer / Marketing Dichotomy


“How can you settle for less when the world makes it easy for you to be remarkable?”

Seth Godin


“I am trying to think, don’t confuse me with facts.

Purportedly once said by Plato


“We don’t know where we get our ideas from. We do know that we do not get them from our laptops.”

John Cleese, co-founder, Monte Python


“If you never change your mind, why have one?”

Edward de Bono (1939)


“Law firms never get fired, they just don’t get any more work.”

Dick Dahl, Disgruntled Customers


“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

Martin Luther King Jr.


“Ten years ago, had you asked me about culture and values I would have rolled my eyes and recited a line from Dilbert. But when I started as CEO I began to appreciate just how important they were. Culture and values provide the foundation upon which everything else is built. They are arguably our most important competitive advantage, and something that has grown to define us. It’s one thing to change the world. It’s another to do it in our own unique way: Members first. Relationships matter. Be open, honest and constructive. Demand excellence. Take intelligent risks. Act like an owner.”

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, in an emailed letter to employees following the announcement of the sale of LinkedIn to Microsoft, June 2016


“In mobile moments, intent and context count for everything. If you don’t have information that’s engaging, useful, and quickly discoverable, you lose out on conversion opportunities. Why? Because people don’t want to be sold or persuaded. They want to be informed, engaged, and empowered. So much so, that 73% of consumers say that regularly getting useful information from a company is the most important attribute when selecting a brand. Google also learned that more than half of smartphone users have discovered a new company or product when conducting a

search on their smartphones. Businesses that get it are literally swiping sales from competitors.”

Brian Solis, “Mobile is Eating the World”


“There was the bias toward what people saw with their own eyes, or thought they had seen. The human mind played tricks on itself when it relied exclusively on what it saw, and every trick it played was a financial opportunity for someone who saw through the illusion to the reality.”

Michael Lewis, MONEYBALL


“When people ask what college I graduated from, I say: I didn’t graduate from college. I graduated from Nike. I started my career as an intern getting coffee. I was working in sports marketing, which means building the brands of Nike and the athletes. What I realized after I left Nike is that they tell stories. These shoes I have on are just shoes. Obviously, they put some technology in it. This is knit. This is lunar. Blah blah blah. But they tell you the best story ever about this sneaker. They tell better stories than anyone in Hollywood. So it was just a natural evolution: marketing, storytelling, building your brand, producing content. I’d been doing it my whole life already.

Maverick Carter, Ex-Nike Employee and LeBron James Business Manager


“On Winning: It’s better to fail at the right thing than succeed at the wrong. Winning becomes a means; it is not an end. It is a means to improve yourself and your competition. It is a means to improve the world. You have a moral obligation to play to win and therefore force everyone to play at the highest level. Winning is also a means to play again. The rewards of winning – the money the power, the satisfaction and the self-confidence – should never be squired away. The unexamined life may not be worth living, but an unlived life is not worth examining.”

Guy Kawasaki, Apple Evangelist, 1997 Apple Developers Conference Keynote Address


“After all, the best legal marketing is word of mouth. Referrals from colleagues and former clients have always been the most reliable source of new clients, and the internet didn’t change that. After all, as I’ve said many times before, the online is simply an extension of the offline. The medium doesn’t change the message; it simply changes the method of delivery.”

Nicole Black, “The New Word of Mouth: Lawyer Ratings and Reviews”



“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

Simon Sinek, author


“Personal brand is what people say when you leave the room.”

Jeff Bezos, Amazon


“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

Boxer Mike Tyson


“My (legal) friends are some of the kindest people I know, but honestly, we are Pitbulls.”

Connie Brenton, Corporate Legal Operations Consortium President & CEO


“Some of (our) focus should be on improving the company’s use of data and consumer insights, and how it interacts with patrons. We’re a company that’s stuck in a transaction mindset, and we need to pivot to a customer lifetime mindset.”

Marianne Radley, US. Chief Brand Officer, Pizza Hut


“Power networkers are go-givers, not go-getters. They aim to give so that they deserve to receive. Conversely, most people become defensive when meeting a go-getter. By offering something before expecting something in return, power networkers are able to build mutually beneficial relationships.”

Lindsay Griffiths, “Two Easy Tips to Power Network Like a Pro,” Zen and the Art of Legal Networking, July 26, 2017


“First, they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Martin Niemoller (1892-1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor and contemporary of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.


“Your customers are only satisfied because their expectations are so low and because no one else is doing better. Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create Raving Fans.”

Ken Blanchard, Raving Fans


“No matter how immediate the reply, responsiveness per se is not sufficient. In the context of client service, responsiveness extends beyond the act of replying. There is a proactive element that is integral to the working relationship between client and attorney. It is a relationship that results in the attorney’s ability to understand and interpret the client’s needs and allows a response that is commercially valuable to the client. Without value-added responsiveness, client satisfaction will not ensure client retention.”

Robin Rolfe Resources Consulting/2013 (, “Clients complain their lawyers are not responsive, but does that mean?”


“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ ”

Mr. Rogers


“Simple can be harder than complex; you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.”

Steve Jobs


“The best way to protect your future is to create it.”

Abraham Lincoln


“The effective leader creates a vision with the help of others, then delegates, communicates, motivates and thanks, frequently, those who also serve.”

Edward Auble


“You are remembered for the rules you break.”

Gen. Douglas MacArthur


“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”

Albert Einstein


“Vision without execution is hallucination.”

Thomas Edison


“Without promotion, something terrible happens…NOTHING!”

P.T. Barnum


“You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”

Zig Ziglar (author, salesman and motivational speaker, 1926-2012)




Quotes during COVID (2020-22)


“You are nothing, nothing, without a good team.”

Anna Wintour


“Today is another day to do better.”

Andrew Cuomo, April 2020


“Perfection is the enemy of good.”

Malcolm Gladwell


“People who consider multiple points of view make better predictions than those who hew to one perspective.”

Phillip Tetlock(?), quoted in Harvard Business Review


“Give yourself permission to imagine a better way.”

Beth Comstock, former General Electric executive, quoted in Harvard Business Review


“Sometimes radical isn’t crazy, it’s smart.”

Ernie the Attorney


“If you are doing something you are afraid of, you’re growing.”

Louisa Waldman, Robert Half, at the 2021 PBJ Women of Influence


“Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it.”

Rene Descartes


“I will let go of . . . I am grateful for . . .  I will focus on…”

Neil Pasricha, Harvard Business Review


“You can’t even lose if you don’t enter”

Nick Zito, horse trainer


“The future is already here, it’s just not evenly divided yet.”

William Gibson, Cyberpunk fiction creator


“Bring a solution.”

Barbara Rogan, Neothonics , quoted in Lawyer Whisperer


“Something comes from nowhere.”

Kim Stafford, poet, on 2020 Oregonian podcast


“If we’re lucky, there’s pain and passion. That means you’re alive and still here. That’s the blessing.”

Steve Perry, musician, on 2019 Dan Rather interview


“So let us not return to what was normal, but reach toward what is next.”

Amanda Gorman, poet, “New Day’s Lyric”


“When it’s grim, be the Grim Reaper.”

Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs Coach, 23-January-2022 playoff game