Thinking About Thinking

by Don Meyer, Ph.D. | Feb 06, 2010

"Oh the thinks you can think. Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the things you can think up if only you try."
Dr. Theodor Suess Geisel

For most of my adult life I have been collecting quotes. I may be sitting at lunch with a friend or listening to a formal lecture or reading a book or even a billboard and a quote jumps out and grabs me around the mind. Here are a few that recently captured my attention on the topic of imagination: 

  • A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral. Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. Mark Twain
  • Sometimes imagination pounces; mostly it sleeps soundly in the corner, purring. Leslie Grimutter
  • We don't see things as they are we see things as we are. Anais Nin
  • If you do not raise your eyes you will think you are at the highest point. Antonio Porchia
  • It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see. Henry David Thoreau

Here are a few that recently captured my attention on success: 
  • The average person puts only 25 percent of his energy and ability into his work. The world takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50 percent of their capacity and will stand on its head for those few and far between should who devote 100 percent. Andrew Carnegie
  • Give me a stock clerk with a goal, and I'll show you a man who will make history; give me a man without a goal and I will show you a stock clerk. J. C. Penney
  • My greatest fear is not that I will fail, but that I will succeed at something that doesn't matter. Howard Hendricks
  • The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will. Vince Lombardi
  • For every achievement there is a price; for every goal there is an opponent; for every victory there is a problem; for every triumph there is a sacrifice. William Henry Ward

Here are a few that recently captured my attention on values: 
  • It's the cause, and not the death that makes the martyr. Napoleon
  • Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea...until they have something to forgive. C.S. Lewis
  • We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. Satchel Paige
  • The man who does not work for the love of work, but only for money is neither likely to make money nor to find much fun in life. Charles M. Schwab
  • I resolve never to do anything which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life. Jonathan Edwards
  • How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life, you will have been all of these. George Washington Carver
  • The pain of discipline weighs ounces, but regret weighs tons. Jim Rohn
  • Look at everything as if you were seeing it for the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory. Betty Smith

And since we are thinking about thinking, here are two final thoughts on thoughts: 
  • A great many people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices and superstitions. Edward R. Murrow
  • Words are things; and a small drop of ink falling like dew upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, persons millions, think. Lord Byron

Think about it.

Dr. Don Meyer is President of 
Valley Forge Christian College, Phoenixville, PA 
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