Archive

Quotations

磨刀不误砍柴工 
mó dāo bú wù kǎn chái gōng

Grinding an axe will not hold up [delay] the work of cutting firewood. Spending time preparing your axe may quicken the speed of your work.

Story goes that two men were chopping wood. One started ahead. The second man just continued grinding his axe. The first man, very conceited, was anxious to find out who fell more trees ? It was the second man.

image

Photo of Ainu carving by master wood carver Takeki Fujito in Tsuruga Wings Lake Akan, Hokkaido, Japan

image
Desk of Japanese Carver Kengo at Lake Akan Ainu village

Half way through chopping, the first man’s axe had become dull and blunt and it took him more effort and time to fall one tree.

工 欲 善 其 事,必 先 利其器
gōng yù shàn qí shì,bì xiān lì qí qì

“工欲善其事,必先利其器”
孔子告诉子贡,工艺的人,要想把工作完成,应该先把工具准备好。

What then for someone who manages the state?

居是邦也
Jū shì bāng yě

事其大夫之贤者,友其士之仁者
Shì qí dàfū zhī xián zhě, yǒu qí shì zhī rénzhě

孔子说:“工匠要做好工作,必须先磨快工具。住在一个国家,要侍奉大夫中的贤人,与士人中的仁人交朋友。” 

那么为仁是用什么工具呢?住在这个国家,想对国家有所贡献,必须结交上流社会有道德的人才,乃至政坛上的大员,政府的中坚;和这个国家社会上各种贤达的人,都要交成朋友。有了良好的关系,然后才能得到有所贡献的机会,完成仁的目的。
Source: Baidu with words in italics added by me

(The Baidu translation gives the impression that Confucius advised one should network with the rich, influential and powerful. But Confuscius emphasised seeking out the benevolent ones because his disciple Zigong’s question was on benevolence (仁).

When asked by his disciple how one should prepare to manage his country benevolently, Confucius noted in the “Analects” that just as a workman has to prepare his tools, an official preparing to govern a country benevolently must prepare his tools too.

Confucius advised that (humans being social creatures), one should seek out and befriend good and respectable talent in all levels of society.

How does a knowledge worker polish his tools?

Today, Confucius would have advised us, knowledge worker, what is the tool of your trade? Have you been spending time polishing it before cutting your tree.

Translation and reinterpretation by me.

Life is like jazz.
Much of it is improvised
We cannot control all the variables
We must live it with panache and flair,
Regardless of what it throws at us.

Check out International Jazz Day which is on April 30th. Just over. But well, plan for next year’s.
http://www.unesco.org/new/en/jazz-day

We can love our family and pray for their happiness.
We can give advice and help when needed
But we can neither make decisions for them
Nor make them act the way we want them to.
There are many things we cannot control in life.
That includes those closest to us.

Haemin Sunim, “The Things You Can See Only when You Slow Down”
Translated by Chi-Young Kim

(From my friend GK. Although many of these examples are probably collated from different places.)

Paraprosdokians are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected and is frequently humorous.

1. Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.
 
2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you…. but it’s still on my list.
 
3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
 
4. If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
 
5. We never really grow up…. we only learn how to act in public.
 
6. War does not determine who is right, only who is left.
 
7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
 
8. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
 
9. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
 
10. In filling out an application, where it says, “In case of emergency, notify….” I answered, “a doctor.”
 
11. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

12. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
 
13. I used to be indecisive, but now I’m not so sure.
 
14. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
 
15. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian, any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
 
16. You’re never too old to learn something stupid.

17. I’m supposed to respect my elders, but it’s getting harder and harder for me to find one now.

18. A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station. 

19. I used to be conceited, now I am perfect.

20. A bank lends money to those who dont need it.

Note: I have since found more blogs on the www.

Check out: http://www.economicnoise.com/2011/09/05/182-paraprosdokians/

Your mind cannot hold two thoughts at once.
That means that a single thought can occupy your entire mind
Whether good or bad, everything stems from a single thought
If we are careful with that first thought, even tragedies can be prevented.

image
Catching the sunset in Hawke’s Bay, NZ 2016.

Dream big but start small
A small adjustment can have a big effect on your life
If you want to be healthier, start by going to bed half an hour earlier

Haemin Sunim, “The Things You Can See Only when You Slow Down”
Translated by Chi-Young Kim

Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words.
Keep your words positive, because your words become your behaviour
Keep your behaviour positive, because your behaviour become your habits
Keep your habits positive, because your   habits become your values
Keep your values positive, because your
values become your destiny
-Mahatma Gandhi

Do not let other’s opinions of you determine who you are.
Instead of worrying about what others think,
Devote yourself to your dreams

image

When someone doesnt like us
It is not our problem but theirs.
Not everyone will like us.
This is a problem only if we let it bother us

By complaining that something we have to do is too hard,
We add another layer of difficulty.
Take a deep breath, and then just do it.

Haemin Sunim, “The Things You Can See Only when You Slow Down
Translated by Chi-Young Kim

Note to self: Haemin Sunim is a Monk from South Korea educated in Havard, Princeton, UC Berkley. Think less of yourself. Be less preoccupied with self. When you are happy, you will try to make the world a happier place. Many of us do things for others, actually we are doing it for ourselves.

“The Tao of Charlie Munger” with commentary by David Clark

“It is waiting that helps you as an investor and a lot of people just can’t stand to wait.”

“I constantly see people rise in life who are not the smartest, sometimes not even the most diligent, but they are learning machines. They go to bed every night a little wiser than they were when they got up, and boy, does that help, particularly when you have a long run ahead of you.

Blaise Pascal, 17th century French mathematician ” All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.

Wise men and philosophers throughout the ages have disagreed on many things, but many are in unanimous agreement on one point: “We become what we think about.” Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “A man is what he thinks about all day long.” The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius put it this way: “A man’s life is what his thoughts make of it.” In the Bible we find: “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

One Sunday afternoon, a cranky grandfather was visiting his family. As he lay down to take a nap, his grandson decided to have a little fun by putting Limburger cheese on Grandfather’s mustache. Soon, grandpa awoke with a snort and charged out of the bedroom saying, “This room stinks.” Through the house he went, finding every room smelling the same. Desperately he made his way outside only to find that “the whole world stinks!”

So it is when we fill our minds with negativism. Everything we experience and everybody we encounter will carry the scent we hold in our mind.

image
Flowers at Hamilton Garden, NZ.

May your day be carried with scented blooms.