Favorite Quotations

Here are some of our favorites that we have run across over the years. Write me with some favorites you would like to share (click here for Keith's e-mail). Enjoy!

I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" -- Celia, As You Like It!, William Shakespeare. This is the "theme" of Orindawoods Tennis Club.

"If you can keep your head when all around are losing theirs and blaming you" -- Rudyard Kipling, from If

"If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same" -- Rudyard Kipling, from If

"It is not the critic who counts; not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. Credit belongs to the one who is actually in the arena; whose fate is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself on a worthy cause; who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." -- Theodore Roosevelt

"There are no mistakes, only lessons.
If you don't learn the lesson the first time, they get harder."
-- Dan Milman, Rules for Being Human

"Don't try, there is no try. You do or not" -- Yoda

"I honor English majors. It's a dumb thing to major in. It leads nowhere. It's good to be dumb, it allows us to love something for no reason. That's the best kind of love." -- Natalie Goldberg

"Thinking makes me stupid" -- a student

"You mean use physics, not be physical "-- a student

"Cloquet hated reality but realized it was still the only place to get a good steak." -- Woody Allen

Tom Seaver: "Hey Yogi, what time is it?"
Yogi Berra: "You mean now?"

"For every problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong" -- Unknown

"If this moment is enough, life is enough. If this moment is not enough, nothing is enough" -- Stephen Levine.

"We all want systems so perfect that no one will need to be good " -- Thomas Wolfe

"The last temptation is the greatest treason: to do the right thing for the wrong reason." -- T.S. Elliott.

"I'm going to live what I believe" -- Amy Grant

"Grandma was right, cheepies pay twice" -- Grandson

"If you hang out with nice people, you will have nice people for friends. If you hang out with coconuts, you will have coconuts for friends." -- Rocky

"You ain't much fun since I quit drinkin' "-- Toby Keith

"Yesterday is a canceled check, and tomorrow is just a promissory note. Only today is cash in hand." -- Unknown

"Two men looked out from prison bars
One saw mud, one saw stars "
-- Unknown

"If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." -- Harry Truman

"Good is the enemy of great" -- Jim Collins

"You can accomplish anything in life, provided that you do not mind who gets the credit." -- Harry Truman

"Winning isn't everything--but wanting to win is." -- Vince Lombardi

"It's easy to have faith in yourself and have discipline when you're a winner, when you're number one. What you've got to have is faith and discipline when you're not yet a winner." -- Vince Lombardi

"I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is the moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle-victorious." -- Vince Lombardi

"Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."
-- Macbeth, William Shakespeare

"I threw the kitchen sink at him, but Roger went into the bathroom and got the tub" -- Andy Roddick, Wimbledon 2004

"What doesn't kill you makes you strong eventually" -- Nietzche via Cheryl Crow, I believe Cheryl added "eventually," which somehow makes all the difference.

"You, you and you... panic, the rest of you, follow me"  -- Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant

"The only time you have too much fuel is when you are on fire." -- Air Force pilot

"When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane you always have enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash." -- pilot

"When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you" -- African proverb

"It's hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head."  -- Sally Kempton

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us" -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

- William Earnest Henley
OUT of the night that covers me,    
  Black as the pit from pole to pole,    
I thank whatever gods may be    
  For my unconquerable soul.    
In the fell clutch of circumstance    
  I have not winced nor cried aloud.    
Under the bludgeonings of chance    
  My head is bloody, but unbow'd.    
Beyond this place of wrath and tears    
  Looms but the Horror of the shade,    
And yet the menace of the years    
  Finds and shall find me unafraid.    
It matters not how strait the gate,    
  How charged with punishments the scroll,    
I am the master of my fate:    
  I am the captain of my soul.

"Only think thoughts that help you" -- Allen Fox, speaking about thoughts during competition

"The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself" -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

"Before I studied the art, a punch to me was just a punch, a kick was just a kick. After I'd studied the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick no longer a kick. Now that I understand the art, a punch is just a punch, a kick is just a kick." -- Bruce Lee

"There is nothing much in this art. Take things as they are. Punch when you have to punch; kick when you have to kick." -- Bruce Lee

"Angles can fly because they take themselves lightly." -- G. K. Chesterton

"A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep" -- Saul Bellow

"The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there" -- Robert Pirsig

"If a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand." -- Jesus, Mark iii. 25

"The 80/20 Rule: 80% of the results comes from 20% of the things that you have to do, and 20% of the results comes from 80% of what you do. Find the 20% that creates the 80% of the results and do that. As for the rest, leave most of that undone, there isn't much payoff in doing all that work." -- Alan Lakein

"Every gambler knows
The secret to surviving
Is knowing what to throw away
And knowing what to keep
For every hand is a winner
And every hand is a loser
And the best that we can hope for
Is to die in our sleep.
You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run
Never count your money
When you're sitting at the table
They'll be time enough for counting
When the dealings is done"
--Kenny Rogers, The Gambler

"Nothing is more frustrating to me than watching adults go to the clinics and keep working on the same flawed patterns that  are preventing them from ever moving up." -- Dave Smith, teaching pro

"I wouldn't give you two cents for all your fancy rules if, behind them, they didn't have a little bit of plain, ordinary, everyday kindness and a little looking out for the other fella too." -- Jimmy Stewart, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

"When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging and start climbing"

"Things should be made simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Enstein

"Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows that it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows that it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn't matter weather you are a lion or gazelle: when the sun comes up you had better be running." -- Unknown

"What goes around, comes around. Nobody plays for free" -- Unknown

"Mental Toughness: The ability to consistently perform toward the upper range of your talent and skill regardless of the competitive circumstances." -- James Loehr

"The older I get, the better I used to be." -- Unknown

"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it." -- Teddy Roosevelt

"There is a homely adage which runs: 'Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far." -- Teddy Roosevelt

"For there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so" -- Hamlet, II, ii, William Shakespeare

"Emancipate yourself from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our minds" -- Bob Marley

"Nothing remains the same. You are either getting better, or you are getting worse." -- Unknown

"Don't take a short cut unless you have enough time to go back and do it over again after the short cut doesn't work" -- Unknown

"The world gets out of the way of a man who knows where he is going." -- Robert Lewis Stevenson

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin  of little minds" -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"I am  not required to be successful; I am required to be faithful." -- Mother Theresa

"It's OK to give more than you get, but not more than you've got." -- Unknown

Biography of a Learner
Chapter One: A man walks down a street and falls in a hole. He screams, "It's not my fault! I didn't see the hole." He struggles, and it takes him a long time to get out.
Chapter Two: The man walks down the street the next day and falls in the hole again. "It's not my fault! Who put this hole here! I'm mad as hell, and someone is going to pay. I'll sue." It takes him a very long time to get out.
Chapter Three: The man walks down the street, sees the hole, but falls in anyway. He accepts responsibility for falling in the hole, puts his mind to getting out and climbs out fairly quickly.
Chapter Four: The man walks down the street, sees the hole, walks around it and goes on his way.
Chapter Five: The man walks down a different street.
-- Unknown

"It may take  a lot more effort and be a greater success for one person to make it ten feet up the mountain than for another to make it all the way to the top." -- Unknown

"No one can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [money]." -- Matt 6:24

"Vanity of vanities! All is vanity." --  Ecclesiastes 1:2

The Parable of the Old Man and the Young
--Wilfred Owen, 1893-1918
So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,
And took the fire with him, and a knife.
And as they sojourned both of them together,
Isaac the first-born spake and said, My Father,
Behold the preparations, fire and iron,
But where the lamb for this burnt-offering?
Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,
And builded parapets and trenches there,
And stretched forth the knife to slay his son.
When lo! an angel called him out of heaven,
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
Neither do anything to him. Behold,
A ram, caught in a thicket by its horns;
Offer the Ram of Pride instead of him.
But the old man would not so, but slew his son,
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.

“If we avoid that which we desire to achieve, we will only achieve that which we are trying to avoid.” -- Unknown

"Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duty, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour.” -- Winston Churchill

"It doesn't matter if you get there if you don't know where it is that you are going" -- Unknown

"Keep my heart, the damn thing is broken anyway." -- Unknown

"If a man doesn't keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears however measured or far away." -- Henry David Thoreau

"He went out of his zone and into his mind" -- John McEnroe, commenting on why Roger Federer made a rare error.

The Master doesn't try to be powerful;
thus he is truly powerful.
The ordinary man keeps reaching for power,
thus he never has enough.

The Master does nothing,
yet he leaves nothing undone.
The ordinary man is always doing things,
yet many more are left to be done.

The kind man does something,
yet something remains undone.
The just man does something,
and leaves many things to be done.
The moral man does something,
and when no one responds
he rolls up his sleeves and uses force.

When the Tao is lost, there is goodness.
When goodness is lost, there is morality.
When morality is lost, there is ritual.
Ritual is the husk of true faith,
the beginning of chaos.

Therefore the Master concerns himself
with the depths and not the surface,
with the fruit and not the flower.
He has no will of his own.
He dwells in reality,
and lets all illusions go.

-- Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching #38

"If any man is able to convince me, or show me, that I do not think or act right, I will gladly change. For I seek the truth, by which no man was every injured. But he is injured who abides in his own error and ignorance." -- Marcus Aurelius

"One cannot easily explain why in the early days of the republic, a nation of fewer than 3 million people could produce a half-dozen political giants and today, in a nation of nearly 300 million, we are aching to find just one." -- Warren Bennis

"I am who I am, and that's all that I am, I'm Popeye the Sailor Man." -- Popeye

"I can't live with losing. I can't live without taking my chance." -- Andre Agassi

"When you're through learning, you're through." -- Vernon Law, Cy Young Award Winner, '60

"If it is to be, it's up to me" -- Dave Porter, USPTA president

"Don't think of what you have to do, don't consider how to carry it out! The shot will only go smoothly when it takes the archer himself by surprise. It must be as if the bowstring suddenly cut through the thumb that held it. You mustn't open the right hand on purpose." -- Eugen Herrigel, Zen and the Art of Archery

I think there is only one quality worse than hardness of heart, and that is
softness of head. -- Theodore Roosevelt

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do
only a little. -- Edmund Burke, statesman and writer (1729-1797)

"There is a difference between 'tradition,' which is the living ideas of the dead, and 'traditionalism,' which is the dead ideas of the living" -- Ernesto Cortes, Jr.

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw

"It's hard to be driven when you're being driven." -- Paul Solomon

"Let sleeping dogs lie" -- sage advice


"Don't shoot Mongo, it just makes him mad" -- Mel Brooks, Blazing Saddles

On facing rough teams and bad calls: “It does not upset me. It is down to the referee to make the rules respected and down to us to cope with every team and every kind of football you face. We have to respond with more authority and calmness than we have until now." -- Arsene Wenger, Arsenal FC

Recall the comic strip character Charlie Brown. Time after time, he walked onto a baseball diamond and lost game after game. His creator, Charles Schulz, was asked why he invested this kind of energy in someone who lost with such frustrating frequency. Schulz countered: "I'd consider him a loser if he didn't even bother going out there."

"Of course I remember every one of the losses very clearly,... but to be honest, I get over the losses very quickly these days, and not like the way it used to be. When I used to play, I wasn't always 100 percent sure if  I  gave my best effort or if I just started to really lose hope in winning, and that would make me play very differently. Today I play from start to finish at a hundred percent, and when I walk off the court, I can only say [if I've lost] that the other guy played too good today, or it was just not my day. And then I can move on. But I think you have to analyze your losses because sometimes you can learn more from them than from matches you have won. So maybe it will be an hour of two after a loss where I feel like, "What a pity," but then I move on and I have more time for myself, more time for vacation. I always try to see the positive side. -- Roger Federer

"The problem with being sure that God is on your side is that you can't
change your mind, because God sure isn't going to change His." -Roger Ebert

"What you see from here is not what you see from there." -- Ariel Sharon on moving from opposition to prime minister

"The only trouble with the rat race is the rats are winning" -- poster on a UCSC dorm wall 30 years ago

"People who lean on logic and philosophy and rational exposition end by
starving the best part of the mind." -William Butler Yeats

"It doesn't matter if you get there, if  you don't know where it is that you are going." -- unknown

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away..." -- Henry David Thoreau

"This next song is a cautionary tale. Of course cautionary tales do no good, ... except for the tellers. Ah, we all hear cautionary tales when we're younger. You know, people try and warn us about things in life, and we think, "Oh geez, right! You silly old..., what do you know? God!" And then we go through life, you know, and we live, and we run into things, and we think back on some of those things we heard, at least I do, and I think, "Geez, they were right about some of that stuff. If I just had listened to that, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble....Wow. I think I'm gonna tell somebody." And so that is how they get handed down through time. Cautionary tales, it's really for the people telling 'em." -- Greg Brown

"A healthy consistency is the ability to adapt to changing circumstances." -- unknown

"Ask not what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive and go do it, because what the world needs is people who have come alive." -- Howard Thermond

"Everything people do is an act of love, or a cry for love" -- Unknown

"Follow your bliss" -- Joesph Campbell

"Never try to teach a pig to sing; it just frustrates you, and it annoys the pig" -- unknown

"I know no better life purpose than to attempt the great and the impossible" -- Friedrich Nietzsche

"The carrot and the stick are prevasive and persuasive motivators. But if you treat people like donkeys, they will perform like donkeys." -- John Whitmore

"If we don not change direction, we are liable to end up where we are headed." -- John Whitmore

"Probems must be resolved at the level beneath the one at which they occur." -- John Whitmore

Athletes trip as much as other people, they just recover gracefully. -- Dick Peters, tennis coach

"It is not how busy you are, but why you are busy. The bee is praised, the mosquito swatted." -- Unknown

"The unexamined life is not worth living" -- Socrates

"The unexamined life is one hell of a great party." -- unknown.

"Everyone confesses that exertion which brings out all the powers of  body and mind is the best thing for us; but most people do all they can to  get rid of it, and as a general rule nobody does much more than  circumstances drive them to do." -Harriet Beecher Stowe

"The most important thing in show business is sincerity, and if you can fake that, you've got it made" -- George Burns

"Count no day lost in which you waited your turn, took only your share and sought advantage over no one." -- Robert Brault

"Logic is a system whereby one may go wrong with confidence" -- Charles Kettering

A good traveler has no fixed plans
and is not intent upon arriving.
A good artist lets his intuition
lead him wherever it wants.
A good scientist has freed himself of concepts
and keeps his mind open to what is.

Thus the Master is available to all people
and doesn't reject anyone.
He is ready to use all situations
and doesn't waste anything.
This is called embodying the light.

What is a good man but a bad man's teacher
What is a bad man but a good man's job?
If you don't understand this, you will get lost,
however intelligent you are.
It is the Great secret.
-- Lao Tzu, Tao te Ching #27

When the Master governs, the people
are hardly aware that he exists.
Next best is a leader who is loved.
Next, one who is feared.
The worst is one who is despised.

If you don't trust the people,
you make them untrustworthy.

The Master doesn't talk, he acts.
When his work is done,
the people say, "Amazing:
we did it, all by ourselves!"
-- Lao Tzu, Tao te Ching #17

"Do nothing that is of no use" -- Miyamoto Misahi

"There is hardly anything in the world that someone can't make a little worse and sell a little cheaper -- and people who consider price alone are this man's lawful prey" -- John  Ruskin

"Doubts are more cruel than the worst of the truth" -- Moliere

"The future depends on what we do in the present" -- Mahatma Gandhi

"History is a vast early warning system" -- Norman Cousins

"If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain as he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought and could be" -- Goethe.

"Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong." -- John Diefenbaker

"Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly." -- unknown

"It is wise to keep in mind that neither success nor failure is ever final." -- Roger Babson

"The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself." -Archibald MacLeish

Just when did this happen
Was it always the fashion
Playin’ just to win disregarding the price
Such a Rich Man’s scheme using
Poor Boy’s dreams
To fight the fight
How far will we go
Pretending we don’t know
What is wrong or right
--Adrienne Young

To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people
    and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics
    and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better,
    whether by a healthy child,
    a garden patch
    or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier
    because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Our crusade was so stupid, only an idealist could have thought of it." -- Ingmar Bergman, The Seventh Seal

"I always listen for what I can leave out." -- Miles Davis

"Life is basically pretty simple. You get up in the morning, you do the things you have to do, and if you have time you do some things you want to do. You try not to hurt people and you help them if you can. Then you go to bed." -- Dean Sluyter

"Conclusions are ignorance arrested on the path to less ignorance." -- Lao-Tzu

"That resturant is so popular nobody goes there any more" -- unknown.

"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing  left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

"I think the next best thing to solving a problem is finding some humor in it." -- Frank A. Clark

"To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest." -Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948)

"Doubts are more cruel than the worst of the truth." -- Molere

"To find fault is easy; to do better  may be difficult" -- Plutarch

"Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or doing it better" -- John Updike

"Wise people talk because they have something to say, fools, because they have to say something." -- Plato

"There is nothing that is impossible to the man who doesn't have to do it himself." -- Unknown

"Manuscripts don't burn." -- Mikhail Bulgakov

"Cowardice is the greatest sin." -- Mikhail Bulgakov

"Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.  You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world."  -- Lucille Ball

"The heart has reasons which reason knows nothing of." -- Blaise Pascal

"I think he is one of the world's best. He's a winner and he lets his performances talk for him because
that's the best way to do things. Once you oblige to talk about how good you are you are in the wrong
situation." -- Arsene Wenger on one of his top players, William Gallas

"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change;the realist adjusts the sails."
-William Arthur Ward, college  administrator, writer (1921-1994)

"You got to be ready to die every day -- then you got a chance."  -- Daniel Woodrell, from Winter's Bones

"Fortune does not change men, it unmasks them" -- Suzanne Necker

"The foolish and the dead alone never change their opinions." -- James Russell Lowell

"For every ten people who are clipping at the branches of evil, you're  lucky to find one who's hacking at the roots." -Henry David Thoreau

"Everything is OK in the end; if it is not OK, then it is not the end." -- Trevor Bachmeyer

"I'm always ready to learn, although, I do not always like being taught.  Unfortunately experience is the hardest teacher, it gives you the test first and the lesson afterwards." -- Trevor Bachmeyer

"For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin --- real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, and a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dwned on me that these obstacles were my life." -- Trevor Bachmeyer

"Win means: What's Important Now." -- Trevor Bachmeyer

"This moment is enough." -- zen mantra

"Death teaches life." -- unknown

"The waves do keep coming, so learn to surf." -- Jack Cornfield

"The mills of the Gods grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine." -- unknown

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