Michael Josephson quotes and sayings
December 10, 1942
Don't confuse fun with fulfillment, or pleasure with happiness.
Ethics doesn't require us to ignore our self-interests or demand a life of self-sacrifice. It requires that we know the difference between what we want and what we should do.
Creating a child takes no love or skill; being a parent requires lots of both.
Necessity is not merely the father of invention; it is the father of courage.
Success in anything important rarely comes without the Five Horsemen of Success: planning, effort, positivity, perseverance and resilience.
The opposite of success is not failure. Unsuccessful efforts are not failures unless they so discourage you that you abandon further efforts to achieve your goal. Even then, the venture or effort may be a failure but you are not. Failure is an event not a character trait.
The key to success is effort. The bigger the goal, the greater the effort.
You don't have to be sick to get better.
Physical courage to a person of honor is easier and less risky than acts that could subject him to embarrassment or humiliation or a diminished career or reputation. These things he must live with. To die for honor is an easier thought to bear.
Your life is your ship and you are the captain. Choose your course, take the wheel firmly and get on your way.
When someone is nasty or treats you poorly, don't take it personally. It says nothing about you, but a lot about them.
Pretty isn't beauty. Pretty is how you look; Beauty is who you are. Pretty is in the face and body; Beauty is in the heart, mind and soul. Pretty fades; Beauty grows.
It's a great joy but no test of love or commitment to take your son to a ball game. You really prove your credentials as a good dad when you are willing to take your daughter shopping - more than once.
I am not and never will be perfect. I am not always as honest, respectful, responsible, fair or as kind as I should be. All I can do is what I should do: strive every day, with every decision to be the best person I can be. I don't expect to be perfect but I know I can be better.
Success or failure can only be measured in terms of a particular objective. The success of a person whose life objective is money or status will look very different than the success of one who sets out to make a positive difference in the world.
Being a father is the most important role I will ever play and if I don't do this well, no other thing I do really matters.
We judge our own character by our best intentions and most noble acts, but we will be judged by our last worst act.
If you are the boss it's wise to remember that there are lots of things you don't know and lots of people who hope you won't find out.
Gratitude is a feeling not statement. It is so easy to say we are grateful that I often don't stop to really, really take the time to experience gratitude. Saying the words doesn't mean a thing without the feeling and it takes a moment of genuine reflection to summon that feeling. This Thanksgiving don't shortchange yourself with hollow words.
Lincoln described character is a tree and reputation as its shadow. The tree will always be what it is but the shadow we see depends on where we stand and the angle of the light.
There is no adversity that cannot be overcome by good character.
Authentic gratitude is much more rare and precious than expressions of gratitude which are often empty courtesies or simply tactical ploys to encourage further gifts or kindnesses.
You are the captain of your own ship; don't let anyone else take the wheel.
Character is both formed and revealed by how one deals with everyday situations as well as extraordinary pressures and temptations. Like a well-made tower, character is built stone by stone, decision by decision.
America is a song that sounds the best when we all sing together - at least for a while.
The ethical person should do more then he is required to do, and less than he is allowed to.
Character determines how we lead our lives, how we deal with life's unearned fortunes and misfortunes and how we make choices that determine how those fortunes and misfortunes work to make us what we become.
Take pride in how far you've come. Have faith in how far you can go. But don't forget to enjoy the journey.
The difference between stepping stones and stumbling blocks is not in the event itself but how you think about it and what you do after it. Every failure and setback can become part of your success or an excuse for quitting or failing. People who develop the discipline of positivity are both happier and more successful.
Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident. It's not a matter of circumstance but of choice. Choose to live a life that matters.
Don't sacrifice a good life for a good time.
The way we treat people we think can't help or hurt us - like housekeepers, waiters, and secretaries - tells more about our character than how we treat people we think are important. How we behave when we think no one is looking or when we don't think we will get caught more accurately portrays our character than what we say or do in service of our reputations.
One problem with gratitude is that it competes with the sense of pride, self-reliance and accomplishment we have. We want to think what we have is the result of our efforts rather than the gifts, good turns and opportunities provided us by others.
Character refers to dispositions and habits that determine the way that person normally responds to desires, fears, challenges, opportunities, failures and successes.
When it comes to building character, wealth, good looks, athletic ability and even a high IQ are more likely to be impediments than advantages.
The only force that can sustain true and consistent courage is some form of spiritual belief that values like honor, duty, loyalty and integrity above the status, power, money and even security.
One of the greatest things about daughters is how they adored you when they were little; how they rushed into your arms with electric delight and demanded that you watch everything they do and listen to everything they say. Those memories will help you through less joyous times when their adoration is replaced by embarrassment or annoyance and they don't want you to see what they are doing or hear what they are saying. And yet, you will adore your daughter every day of her life, hoping to be valued again, but realizing how fortunate you were even if you only get what you already got.
There is within you, waiting to be called, a great source of power called courage. Call its name and it will give you the strength to confront challenges despite fear and to continue and the heart to continue with bold confidence despite the pain of caused by tragedy.
A person of character seeks true happiness in living a life of purpose and meaning, placing a higher value on significance than success.
The best way to show true gratitude for all our blessings is to be genuinely happy.
Gratitude is most treasured when it is unexpected. When we expect, even demand gratitude, we treat it simply as payment due for some service we rendered and we squeeze any good feeling out of it.
Good character is more important than wealth, good looks, popularity and even education. These things do not guarantee happiness and often they become obstacles to developing good character.
No one is born with good character; it's not a hereditary trait. And it isn't determined by a single noble act. Character is established by conscientious adherence to moral values, not by lofty rhetoric or good intentions.
Ethics is not about the way things are, it is about the way things ought to be.
I think Samuel Johnson had it right when he observed that hope is itself a species of happiness. So if we want to be happy it only makes sense to discipline ourselves to choose our attitudes, to think positively and to be hopeful.
Gratefulness is a payment everyone can afford.
Don't ask whether it is going to be easy. Ask whether it is worth it.
What will matter is not your competence, but your character. What will matter is not how many people you knew but how many will feel a lasting loss when you are gone. What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by who and for what?
Personal integrity is important, not because it gets us what we want, but because it helps us be what we want.
Christmas has a certain universal appeal that gives it meaning well beyond a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but Christians have a special duty to experience its sacred and profound spiritual significance and non-Christians have a duty to treat the day with special respect.
Sometimes the dues we pay to maintain integrity are pretty high, but the ultimate cost of moral compromise is so much higher.
Gratitude should be felt and experienced sincerely, expressed generously and received graciously.
What will matter in the end is not what you bought but what you built; not what you got but what you gave; not what you learned by what you taught. What will matter is not your competence but your character.
Go out there and do your part to change the world. You may not change all you had hoped but the world will be better for the caring demonstrated by your effort.
Hire for character, train for skills.
If we keep treating our most important values as meaningless relics, that's exactly what they'll become.
Everything you do sends a message about who you are and what you value.
The surest way to escape anxiety and defeat despair is action. Do, don't dwell.
Ordinary people, even weak people, can do extraordinary things through temporary courage generated by a situation. But the person of character does not need the situation to generate his courage. It is a part of his being and a standard approach to all life's challenges.
What you allow you encourage.
Discipline yourself to start each day identifying something to be grateful about. The world opens to those who approach it with a grateful heart.
It is easier to be grateful for the things we have than to the people who have helped us get them.
Be thankful for quality competitors who push you to your limit.
It can be frustrating and even frightening to observe the success which sometimes comes to outlaws and rogues who seem to refute notions of universal justice. Every time we see a villain enjoying the fruits of dishonorable acts we find ourselves doubting the value of character and the validity of the virtues we have been taught. Thus, it takes character to believe in character, but that belief is always rewarded, often by material success, but always by the esteem it earns from those who matter.
Someone who lies for you will also lie to you. The occasional benefit your business may gain from a successful deception or concealment is always outweighed by the encouragement it provides to those willing to risk trust for success.
Using the phrase business ethics might imply that the ethical rules and expectations are somehow different in business than in other contexts. There really is no such thing as business ethics. There is just ethics and the challenge for people in business and every other walk in life to acknowledge and live up to basic moral principles like honesty, respect, responsibility, fairness and caring.
Gratitude is not a payment for a kindness but another form of gift.
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the many things we have to be thankful for, not so we feel guilty about what we have that others don't, but to be genuinely grateful for our blessings.
Expressed gratitude encourages further giving; ingratitude drains vitality out of the spirit of generosity.
Ethics is not for wimps. It's not easy being a good person. That's why it's such a lofty goal and an admirable achievement.
If you want to be happy, learn to be alone without being lonely. Learn that being alone does not mean being unhappy. The world is full of plenty of interesting and enjoyable things to do and people who can enrich your life.
Neither heredity nor environment determine character. But whether we give in to or overcome the negative messages we are exposed to as we wend our way through life is often determined by whether our parents, teachers, mentors and friends exposed us to good examples and morally inspiring ideas.
Character is made up of core moral principles called the Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, caring, fairness and citizenship. Each of these virtues are independently important but together they provide the foundation for a worthy life.
Some jobs require a more consistent challenge to moral courage than others. Politics is one. In such a setting terrifically good men and women will still be found wanting occasionally. No one does the right thing all the time. It would be more generous and fair to consider their batting average than to judge them only by their last worst act.
Neither the intensity of your feelings nor the certainty of your convictions is any assurance that you are right.
When was the last time you wrote a thank you note? When was the last time you went beyond a mechanical "thank you" to express authentic gratitude? We can enrich the lives of others and ourselves by making it a habit to express genuine appreciation for what others have done for us.
Experimenting with drugs is like target practice where your head is the bull's-eye.
The choices you make in your life will make your life. Choose wisely.
There's a hole in the moral ozone and it's getting bigger.
Leadership is not a matter of authority, it is a matter of influence. A true leader teaches others to understand more, motivates them to be more and inspires them to become more.
Good intentions are simply not enough. Our character is defined and our lives are determined not by what we want, say or think, but by what we do.
The world has enough beautiful mountains and meadows, spectacular skies and serene lakes. It has enough lush forests, flowered fields, and sandy beaches. It has plenty of stars and the promise of a new sunrise and sunset every day. What the world needs more of is people to appreciate and enjoy it.
There are two sure ways to fail: never get started and quit before you succeed. Many companies promote the language of risk-taking and innovation but are so concerned with short term profit goals that their culture discourages innovation and abandons promising projects too soon. It shouldn't require exceptional moral courage to try new things and stick with them.
Whether we want them or not, the New Year will bring new challenges; whether we seize them or not, the New year will bring new opportunities.
Character is not only doing the right thing when no one is looking, it's doing the right thing when everyone is looking. It's being willing to do the right thing even when it costs more than you want to pay.
Yes and no are very powerful words. Mean them when you say them. Respect them when you hear them.
Many things in life are not fair but all things should be.
Lailah Gifty Akita
A W Tozer
Spencer W. Kimball
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Shannon L Alder
Michael Bassey Johnson
Frances Moore Lappe
Julie Anne Peters
Roy Jones Jr.
Robert W. Service
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