‘Shem’s Idle Notes’ : Quotes every man should live by

Now that the New Year is here, and you are busy making resolutions that you don’t intend to keep, perhaps you could look at these and let them guide you to have a more meaningful life than you did in all those past years. No.10 - John Kennedy: “A man does what he must -- in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers, and pressures -- and that is the basis of all human morality.”

Now that the New Year is here, and you are busy making resolutions that you don’t intend to keep, perhaps you could look at these and let them guide you to have a more meaningful life than you did in all those past years.

No.10 - John Kennedy: “A man does what he must -- in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers, and pressures -- and that is the basis of all human morality.”

Doing the right thing is not always easy, but the greatest of men understand the obligation to do it anyways. JFK may have faltered on this front with Marilyn Monroe but maintaining complete morality is a tough process. This is for those everyday decisions. Do the right thing and don’t look back; a clear conscience is often underrated.

No.9 - Chuck Norris: “Men are like steel. When they lose their temper, they lose their worth.”

This metallic metaphor reiterates the importance of self-control, and just how destructive your temper can be. Losing your cool in a meeting, with your family, or with friends, is perhaps the most devaluing of exercises.

No.8 - Albert Camus: “After a certain age every man is responsible for his face”

We’re all products of our pasts, and at a certain point “who we are” is a reflection of “what we’ve done.” And when you reach that age, you better be proud of the choices you’ve made and the actions you’ve committed, because you’re responsible for them.

No.7 - Theodore Roosevelt: “Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.”

The long and arduous path to the top of the line is about proving yourself on the bottom. Underachievers always think they’ll start performing when they get the promotion to the bigger job, but they’re only fooling themselves. Start now, outgrow the small tasks, and you will be given bigger ones.

No.6 - George Washington: “Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.”

Anyone can be bought, anyone can be influenced, and anyone can be bribed. Only a select number of strong willed men are impervious to a price. One, a man should always strive to honor his principles no matter what the monetary offer may be. Keep your integrity intact and keep your self-worth.

No.5 - Oscar Wilde: “Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.”

There’s no such thing as a platonic relationship between a man and a woman. The man is usually consumed with the idea of sleeping with her. It’s a belief widely acknowledged by men, but rarely accepted by women. Remember that. Your intentions are not exactly what she interprets from your actions.

No.4 – Machiavelli: “It is not titles that make men illustrious, but men who make titles illustrious.”

Never be restricted or defined by your title, no matter who you are. You could be CEO or Junior Assistant Manager to the Office messenger, but it’s only worth what you make it. Make the best out of the situation, and you will shine bright enough to be noticed. Remember, a title is just a name.

No.3 – Plato: “When men speak ill of thee, live so as nobody may believe them.”

Criticism comes from all directions in life -- your spouse, your children, your colleagues. But in the end, it’s better to dismiss the ill will and maintain your own convictions.  While words are powerful, actions are better at portraying character. You should not be found lacking when they come checking.

No.2 – Napoleon: “There is one kind of robber whom the law does not strike at, and who steals what is most precious to men: TIME.”

The greatest enemy of any plan or idea is time. Life is short, unpredictable and you’re only given a small window of opportunity to complete your aspirations. Constant procrastination and indecisiveness is a sure way to be robbed of them. So quit putting off that master plan you have had for so long, and get your act together.

No.1 - Bob Dylan: “A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.”

This statement is clichéd, but it is a proven truth in life. It might not make you rich, but there’s nothing more valuable than waking up to do what you love. If you love singing, painting, doing business, travelling, etc, there is nothing more important that doing just that. Remember life is short, and a life not enjoyed is a life not lived.

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