Growing in Gritty-ness

Einstein quotes about intelligence“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” –Albert Einstein, physicist, 1879-1955

The question of individual success has long fascinated philosophers and life thinkers. From Confucius, the 6th century BC Chinese philosopher, who once wrote, “The nature of man is always the same; it is their habits that separate them”, to the 4th century BC ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle – “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit” – one can find various musings throughout the centuries on humanity’s capacity to accomplish great and marvelous things.

Yet, even with centuries of life wisdom at our disposal, and a repertoire of more recent research that shed light on human behavior, it seems that man’s quest to understand the underlying factors of man’s success may never cease, as evidenced by Angela Duckworth’s 2016 book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. Read more

“Originals”: A Surprising Truth about Entrepreneurs

Originals book review“Originality is not a fixed trait. It is a free choice.”
–Adam Grant

When people think of entrepreneurs, they tend to see them as the ultimate risk-takers: people who unabashedly take a chance on something they believe in. People who enjoy going out on a limb, taking leaps into the unknown and thrive on uncertainty.

But, it isn’t necessarily so. In fact, entrepreneurs are more risk-averse – and much more calculated – than you think. The proof is in Adam Grant’s latest book, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World.

Utilizing data and studies from across industries, Grant shows how entrepreneurs are fueled less by risk and more by the opportunity to try something new, pursue a passion and see things in a new light. Read more

The Magic of a Winter Evening Sky

“Always without formulating the concept, I had based my sense of being in the world partly on an unreasoned conviction that certain areas of the earth’s surface contained more magic than others.”  –From Without Stopping by Paul Bowles (composer and author, 1910-1999)
NYC Reservoir Central Park
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, Central Park, New York City; 2016
“For I dipped into the future, far as human eye could see, saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be.” –From “Locksley Hall” by Alfred Lord Tennyson (English poet, 1809-1892)
Sunset quotes
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, Central Park, New York City; 2016
“The most beautiful gift of nature is that it gives one pleasure to look around and try to comprehend what we see.” –Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Ohio River Sunset
Ohio River, PA; 2016

#Kindness4Colleen, Kindness For All

“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.”

Colleen Ritzer legacyThe above quote, attributed to the Lebanese-American author Khalil Gibran (1883-1931) most well known for his book The Prophet, has always been one of my favorites. Serving as a counterpoint to a prevailing cultural ethos that too readily equates strength with acts of self-empowerment and self-aggrandizement, it is a reminder of a “quieter” strength, one that doesn’t seek the world’s attention and approval, but instead manifests itself in acts of humility, sacrifice and loving kindness when no one is looking.

While I did not know her, and was made aware of her only recently through a friend, I get the sense that Colleen Ritzer – a Massachusetts native and high school math teacher whose life was tragically and mercilessly stolen from her at the age of 24 – was one of these people. Read more

Life Wisdom For The Places You’ll Go

8,789 words of wisdomBe sure to also check out our message for this year’s college graduates on our Rose’s Ridge page.

As college graduates toss their hats in exhilaration and Dr. Seuss’ Oh, The Places You’ll Go! resumes its seasonal place on the bestseller list, we tip our hats to a few lesser-known books for their equally important life wisdom, advice and inspiration.

While this list is certainly not exhaustive, the words contained within these books are timeless and true, challenging us to a continual commitment to self-improvement and encouraging us to live deliberately, creatively and thoughtfully.

We hope they bring you – whether you are a college graduate or a seeker of all things good – the same inspiration, comfort and encouragement they have brought us. Read more

Four Years Wiser, A Message For This Year’s Graduates

college graduation speechesA little over four years ago, in one of my last articles for Holy Cross’ student newspaper, The Crusader, I offered a reflection – a “graduation message”, if you will – for my fellow Crusaders, the class of 2011.*

Inspired by graduation season, I recently reread it and was reminded of how much my life has changed since then. Now four years into the “real” and working world, long gone are the “all-nighters”, the month long vacations and the clearly defined sense of purpose that studying provides.

What remains, however, is a lesson I had learned and shared at the near end of my college experience: Read more

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother's Words of WisdomIn honor of all mothers and in celebration of Mother’s Day, All Things Good (ATG) shares below a sampling of words used to describe mothers and motherly advice or wisdom recalled by daughters and sons in their very own words.

Do you agree that mothers matter? Comment below or share this with your mom and tag us on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #ATGmothers.

Laura O. says:
  • The one word I would use to describe my mother is: Patient
  • The one phrase that has left an impression: “Make it a great day!” My mother said this to us before we went to school every day growing up, and now she sends me a text in the mornings, “MIAGD!” for short.

Read more

Quotes to Add a Little ‘Spring’ to Your Step

inspirational quotesHappy Spring and Happy Birthday to the late Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood ! Below are ATG’s pick of the 10 most inspirational quotes of Mister Rogers found in the book, Life’s Journey According to Mister Rogers.

1. “’Someone else’s action should not determine your response.’ It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? And yet what if someone else’s action should be shouting angry words at us or hitting us with a rotten tomato? That doesn’t affect what we do in response? Not if our compassion is genuine. Not if our love is the kind the Dalai Lama advocates.”

2. “’The outside is never as much as the inside…’ As you may know by now, that’s one of the major themes of our work: The invisible essential. Oh, the outsides of life are important, but the insides are what enhance so much of the rest.” Read more