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Thread: The Inspirational Thread

  1. #1

    Smile The Inspirational Thread

    I was thinking of starting an inspirational thread where we can all share some of our personal favorites. I have plenty to choose from. But I will begin with a few quotes from one of my favorite poets, Robert Frost.

    Robert Frost Quotes:

    “In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life. It goes on.”

    “Freedom lies in being bold.”

    “There's nothing I'm afraid of like scared people”

    “It's a funny thing that when a man hasn't anything on earth to worry about, he goes off and gets married.”

    “The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.”

    “There are two kinds of teachers: the kind that fill you with so much quail shot that you can't move, and the kind that just gives you a little prod behind and you jump to the skies.”

    “Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper.”

    And finally, my personal favorite:

    “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

    Last edited by General Gonad; 05-20-2006 at 05:04 PM.

  2. #2

    Thumbs down Steve Jobs: 'You've got to find what you love'

    This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005:

    I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

    The first story is about connecting the dots.

    I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

    It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

    And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

    It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5˘ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

    Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

    None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

    Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

    (continued below)
    Last edited by General Gonad; 05-20-2006 at 05:03 PM.

  3. #3

    Steve Jobs (con't)

    My second story is about love and loss.

    I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

    I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

    I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

    During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

    I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

    My third story is about death.

    When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

    Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

    About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

    I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.

    This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

    No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

    Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

    When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

    Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

    Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

    Thank you all very much.
    Last edited by General Gonad; 05-20-2006 at 05:03 PM.

  4. #4

    Thumbs down Some more inspirational quotes..

    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
    - Albert Einstein

    No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
    - Eleanor Roosevelt

    There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
    - William Shakespeare

    To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
    - Anatole France

    What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - it's the size of the fight in the dog.
    - Dwight D. Eisenhower

    To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor.
    - Oliver Wendell Holmes

    Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

    And in the end it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.
    - Abraham Lincoln

    One of the things I keep learning is that the secret of being happy is doing things for other people.
    - Dick Gregory

    People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.
    - Dale Carnegie

    It is not length of life, but depth of life.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

    The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart.
    - Helen Keller

    What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?
    - Jean Jacques Rousseau

    Never pretend to a love which you do not actually feel, for love is not ours to command.
    - Alan Watts

    To love and win is the best thing. To love and lose, the next best.
    - William M. Thackeray

    To love deeply in one direction makes us more loving in all others.
    - Anne-Sophie Swetchine

    What happens to a man is less significant than what happens within him.
    - Louis L. Mann

    There are times when a man should be content with what he has but never with what he is.
    - William George Jordan

    Your thoughts are the architects of your destiny.
    - David O. McKay

    When a man finds no peace within himself, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.
    - L. A. Rouchefolicauld

    The most important of life's battles is the one we fight daily in the silent chambers of the soul.
    - David O. McKay

    Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.
    - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

    The wisest mind has something yet to learn.
    - George Santayana

  5. #5

    Lightbulb Helen Keller's speech Lions International Convention Cedar Point, Ohio June 30, 1925

    Helen Keller\'s Speech
    1925 International Convention
    Cedar Point, Ohio USA June 30, 1925

    Dear Lions and Ladies:

    I suppose you have heard the legend that represents opportunity as a capricious lady, who knocks at every door but once, and if the door isn't opened quickly, she passes on, never to return. And that is as it should be. Lovely, desirable ladies won't wait. You have to go out and grab 'em.

    I am your opportunity. I am knocking at your door. I want to be adopted. The legend doesn't say what you are to do when several beautiful opportunities present themselves at the same door. I guess you have to choose the one you love best. I hope you will adopt me. I am the youngest here, and what I offer you is full of splendid opportunities for service.

    The American Foundation for the Blind is only four years old. It grew out of the imperative needs of the blind, and was called into existence by the sightless themselves. It is national and international in scope and in importance. It represents the best and most enlightened thought on our subject that has been reached so far. Its object is to make the lives of the blind more worthwhile everywhere by increasing their economic value and giving them the joy of normal activity.

    Try to imagine how you would feel if you were suddenly stricken blind today. Picture yourself stumbling and groping at noonday as in the night; your work, your independence, gone. In that dark world wouldn't you be glad if a friend took you by the hand and said, "Come with me and I will teach you how to do some of the things you used to do when you could see"? That is just the kind of friend the American Foundation is going to be to all the blind in this country if seeing people will give it the support it must have.

    You have heard how through a little word dropped from the fingers of another, a ray of light from another soul touched the darkness of my mind and I found myself, found the world, found God. It is because my teacher learned about me and broke through the dark, silent imprisonment which held me that I am able to work for myself and for others. It is the caring we want more than money. The gift without the sympathy and interest of the giver is empty. If you care, if we can make the people of this great country care, the blind will indeed triumph over blindness.

    The opportunity I bring to you, Lions, is this: To foster and sponsor the work of the American Foundation for the Blind. Will you not help me hasten the day when there shall be no preventable blindness; no little deaf, blind child untaught; no blind man or woman unaided? I appeal to you Lions, you who have your sight, your hearing, you who are strong and brave and kind. Will you not constitute yourselves Knights of the Blind in this crusade against darkness?

    I thank you.

  6. #6

    Thumbs down The Shawshank Redemption

    On the subject of inspirational movies, I cannot think of any movie that lifts my soul as much as 'The Shawshank Redemption', starring Tim Robbins (as Andy Dufresne) and Morgan Freeman (as Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding). This is simply one of the best films ever made and I know I am not the first to say that and I certainly won't be the last.

    1994 was the year of Forrest Gump but this was my favorite movie. In fact, it's one of my favorite all-time movies ever (along with Cassablanca) because it lifts my soul every single time I see it. It teaches me to value life, to value friendship, to persevere in the face of overwhelming challenges and to keep on going forward no matter what.

    I love the ending of this movie - and yes I get choked up whenever I see it!

    Last edited by General Gonad; 05-22-2006 at 04:19 PM.

  7. #7


    If it flies, floats or fucks = it's cheaper to lease.

  8. #8

    My All-time Favourite

    All great men are dead. Even I feel a little sick !

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    outside Boston

    I was just thinking...

    whether it has tires or tits,
    somewhere down the road
    you'll be disappointed...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Near By
    Wouldn't it be nice if whenever we messed up our life we could simply press "Ctrl Alt Delete" and start all over ?

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by CMA
    Wouldn't it be nice if whenever we messed up our life we could simply press "Ctrl Alt Delete" and start all over ?
    You want to go through toilet training all over again ?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Near By
    Originally Posted by chef
    You want to go through toilet training all over again ?
    Didn't tough about that Then ok, how about that one : Marriage changes passion. Suddenly you're in bed with a relative.

  13. #13

    Thumbs down Bismarck Student Succeeds Against all Odds

    Bismarck Student Succeeds Against all Odds
    Sunday May 21, 2006 10:26pm
    Reporter: Pamela Smith

    Graduating Senior Defies the Odds

    Bismarck - One inspirational story shows you can succeed against the odds. All students look forward to graduation, but for one Bismarck senior, this weekend was especially meaningful.

    The campus at Ouachita Baptist played host to Bismarck High School’s newest graduates.

    Among the 60 plus members of the class of 2006 is Laquania Geena Jacobs. She's described by a teacher as:

    (Toni McMahan, Bismarck English Teacher) "One of the most determined and courageous young ladies I've ever had the privilege to teach."

    Jacob’s compelling life story in her short 18 years is one of turning tears into triumph. She was taken from her mother and placed in foster care.

    (Jacobs) "I got placed in care, I was pregnant, I got sent to Promise House in Little Rock. From there I got sent to Riverdale."

    She was bounced around from foster home to foster home, from one treatment facility to the next, until a year ago, when with her son, she landed in Bismarck in a caring foster family home. Being a teenage mother in a predominantly white community, her caseworker told her it was best to get a GED.

    (Jacobs) "When I got here, my foster mother and father left it up to me whether I should come to school or wanted to get my GED, even though it was an all-white school. I didn't care."

    (McMahan) "Her statement to me was, I haven't gone through what I've gone through for 12 years not to get my high school diploma whatever it took."

    (Jacobs)"Oh, my gosh, the first day of school, I walked in the door, everybody turned their head and looked at me like I was strange, I was scared a little, maybe a lot."

    Fears subsided and strong relations formed as Geena was invited to join organizations and made the most of her senior year.

    (Jacobs) "The whole faculty, basically the whole student body, the community. It's been amazing. It's been wonderful."

    (McMahan) "We have the best students in the world here at Bismarck. I just think a lot of barriers have been broken down this year and Geena has been very instrumental in doing that."

    And Friday night, a proud Geena Jacobs wiped away tears of joy after fulfilling her dream and becoming the first black student to graduate from Bismarck High.

    (Jacobs) "My next mark is to make my family proud, to make everybody proud of me, basically to let them know I've done it and I'm going to continue doing what I have to do."

    Jacobs was awarded a scholarship and plans to pursue a college degree related to the medical field.

  14. #14

    Lou Gehrig's inspirational speech...

    Regnad's retirement poll mysteriously vanished but I wanted to share Lou Gehrig's parting thoughts with all of you:

    "Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.

    "Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure, I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I’m lucky.

    "When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift - that’s something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies - that’s something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter - that’s something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body - it’s a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed - that’s the finest I know.

    "So I close in saying that I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for."

    For more on Lou Gehrig, go here:

  15. #15
    One of the old guys
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Eastern Canada
    I remember being a kid and going to the movies to watch "Pride of the Yankees", starring my favorite movie star at the time, Gary Cooper. I absolutely loved the movie and have seen it dozens of times since. As a kid, i memorized Cooper's speech at the end of the movie. I still remember most of it today. However, i was unaware until now that the speech in the movie and the actual speech are not the same. I'm somewhat disappointed, but appreciate GG for posting a link to website dedicated to the great Lou Gehrig.

    I also remember seeing a more authentic bio-movie of Gehrig in the 70's. I believe it starred Ed Hermann as Gehrig & Blythe Danner as his wife. I remember them showing the famous Gehrig/Ruth feud as it actually happened. It was a more realistic movie than "Pride of the Yankees", but for for the doc, there will only be one Gehrig movie, and that's the one starring Coop. This one also had cameos by the Babe & the great Bill Dickey.

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