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  • Writer's pictureReuven Sherwin

Mottos - A One-Liner Perspective

Updated: Apr 24, 2023

An Escher-style black and white drawing showing different perspectives of the same object
DALL·E 2023 An Escher-style black and white drawing showing different perspectives of the same object

As part of school project, while preparing a presentation, a super-smart person on our team (you know who you are!) proposed we add to the slides - our personal mottos.

Wow! Boom! We all loved the idea - and adapted the presentation accordingly.

By definition, a motto is "a short sentence or phrase chosen as encapsulating the beliefs or ideals guiding an individual, family, or institution." (Oxford Dictionary, google search result).

I've been using this concept numerous times since, including at an event with close friends, where we all contributed - and guessed contributors of - mottos.

But why? Why do people like mottos?

I believe it's because when someone offers you a motto (whether their own, or quoted) - they offer you a brief snapshot of who they are, what are their beliefs and what they value - a brief and unique perspective of themselves.

And since I really appreciate perspectives, here are some of my favorites (including the one that started it all - which is the first one on the post, just right here after the line!)

I did my best to correctly attribute them where relevant.

If you have corrections - please LMK. [Quote first. Attribution follows)

The same boiling water that softens the potato, hardens the egg. It's what you're made of. Not the circumstances.

(Mel Robbins)

Be Kind. Intelligence, Talent, Appearance - are given, but Kindness is a choice you make. So be Kind.
The only difference between people who succeed and those who don't is that successful people didn't give up when they encountered failure.
Don't worry about things you can't control. Save your energy for things you can change.
Anyone can find a problem. Only people with the right attitude solve it.
You can’t slow down progress. You can choose to be the last to adopt it, or the first to benefit from it.
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is.

(Benjamin Brewster. Probably. See Quote Investigator)

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe!

(Albert Einstein. Or not. See Quote Investigator)

The Harder I Practice, the Luckier I Get.

(A golf player. Or not. See Quote Investigator)

Good, better, best. Never let it rest. (Un)til your good is better and your better is best.

(St. Jerome)

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.

(Allen Saunders. Not John Lennon. See Quote Investigator)

Common Sense is Not So Common

(François-Marie Arouet, a.k.a Voltaire, 1696-1778)



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