I am an artist…It’s self-evident that what that word implies is looking for something all the time without ever finding it in full.
It is the opposite of saying, “I know all about it. I’ve already found it.”
As far as I’m concerned, the word means, “I am looking. I am hunting for it. I am deeply involved.”
–Vincent van Gogh
… but when I said that nothing had been done I erred in one important matter. We had definitely committed ourselves and were halfway out of our ruts. We had put down our passage money— booked a sailing to Bombay. This may sound too simple, but is great in consequence.
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves, too. A whole stream of events issues from (more…)
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. And also the only real tragedy in life is the being used by personally minded men for purposes which you recognize to be base.
–George Bernard Shaw in
Man And Superman A Comedy And A Philosophy
Epistle Dedicatory To Arthur Bingham Walkley
See also, Success = Fully Engaged
The final idea for civic life is that every man and every woman should set before themselves this goal–that by the labor of their lifetime they shall pay the debt of their rearing and education, and also contribute sufficient for an handsome maintenance during their old age.
I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatsoever I can.
I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live.
I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment; and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
–George Bernard Shaw quoted in
George Bernard Shaw: His Life and Works
A Critical Biography (authorized)
By Archibald Henderson
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I often use the story below at the beginning of executive coaching engagements, particularly when coaching groups. These executives, especially my CEO executive coaching clients, have achieved a great deal by demanding and producing rapid results. Many results, however, require extraordinary diligence and patience. This “Bamboo Story” is a useful metaphor for individuals and teams out to produce significant and enduring new opportunities. [A free, single-page version of this executive coaching story is availabe by clicking here.]
A certain remarkable species of bamboo is cultivated in Asia. The root system is so complex that the farmer must water, fertilize, and weed for five years before the first shoot emerges from the ground. Imagine how this farmer must look to her neighbors: “Hey, how is your dirt crop coming along?” Season after season she sees others harvesting, eating, and selling their produce, while she labors for no visible result.
Once the root system is fully developed the first shoots emerge and the plants grow as high as 90 feet in a few weeks. The bamboo grows so quickly you can hear the rustle as the leaves spread. As anyone who has tried to remove a stand of bamboo knows, good luck stopping such growth once strong roots are established.
How do you tend to your root system?
Click here to download free, printable poster of this story.