A Message by George Carlin: The Paradox of Our Time

A Message by George Carlin: The Paradox of Our Time

I read this “message” roughly once a year to remind myself of what matters most and to remain grounded as possible. It’s incisive and deeply profound. Enjoy, share, and reflect. Comedians are the smartest and most perceptive people on the planet, in my opinion, like creative polymath Jim Carrey. They see the truth, as displayed in the message below, and put a coat of humor on it to ease the delivery and bypass our mental biases.

A Message by George Carlin

The Paradox of Our Time

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.
We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less.
We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time;
We have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years.
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.
We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space.
We’ve done larger things, but not better things.
We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.
We’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice.
We write more, but learn less.
We plan more, but accomplish less.
We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait.
We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships.
These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.
These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes.
These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw-away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer to quiet, to kill.
It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Quotes – Elite

Humorous Quotes

“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.” – Oscar Wilde
Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.” – Oscar Wilde
When I was young, I thought money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old, I know that it is. – Oscar Wilde
I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best. Oscar Wilde
“I’m sorry I was born with this perfect bone structure, that my hair looks better done up with gel and mouse than hidden under a stupid hat with a light on it.” -Zoolander to his father

The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.
Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”
-Sun Tzu, The Art of War
“A friend to everyone is a friend to no one”
“Play the game, not the score” -Derek Jeter
“We have two choices in life: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret” -Eric Mangini
“A man who doesn’t stand for something will fall for anything.”
“A real man loves his wife, and places his family as the most important thing in life” -Frank Abagnale Jr.
“Enter to learn, go forth to serve”
-Mr. Ceran
“There is no pressure when you’re prepared” -Jabrill Peppers
“Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good”
-Minor Myers
“If you ever want to do something great in the world, you must first realize that you’re just a blade of grass”
-Mr. Ceran
“The opposite of courage is conformity”
“It’s the start that stops most people”
“You get what you give”
“Solo los que se arriesgan a ir muy lejos, saben lo lejos que pueden ir”
-Alvaro Correa Gallardo
“Success is measured by where you are versus where you could be”
“Those that mind, don’t matter. Those that matter, don’t mind”
-Dr. Suess
Just because it glitters doesn’t mean it’s gold.
“Some people like my advice so much that they frame it upon the wall instead of using it.” -Gordon R. Dickson
If you want self-esteem, do esteemable things.
“To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.”
Eleanor Roosevelt
“The acquisition of riches has been for many men, not an end, but a change, of troubles.”
“Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life.” – Jerzy Gregorek
“If you bring forth what is within you, it will save you; if you do not bring forth what is within you, it will destroy you.”
“Have more than you show and speak less than you know.” – Shakespeare
“To the world, you may be one person. But to one person, you may be the world.”
“Don’t wait for your break, make your break. Go make it happen for yourself.”
 – Charlie Day
Jim Rohn — ‘We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.
“A man is as loyal as his options.”
The great historian Will Durant says in “The Lessons Of History”: “The second biological lesson of history is that life is selection. In the competition for food or mates or power some organisms succeed and some fail. In the struggle for existence some individuals are better equipped than others to meet the tests of survival. Since Nature has not read very carefully the American Declaration of Independence or the French Revolutionary Declaration of the Rights of Man, we are all born unfree and unequal: subject to our physical and psychological heredity, and to the customs and traditions of our group; diversely endowed in health and strength, in mental capacity and qualities of character…Inequality is not only natural and inborn, it grows with the complexity of civilization…every invention or discovery is made or seized by the exceptional individual, and makes the strong stronger, the weak relatively weaker, than before.”
“Too soon old, too late smart.”
Just because it glimmers, doesn’t mean it’s gold.  – Shakespeare origin
“Don’t try to teach a pig to fly. It doesn’t work, and it bothers the pig.”
Most people are in a dark cave and can’t see the light. – Plato

Will Durant: “A nation is born stoic, and dies epicurean”

“Father Time is undefeated.” In the end, he gets all of us.
“Make war with an army of counselors.”
“The more you learn, the more you earn.” Warren Buffet
“Damned by faint praise.”
“A fence that goes up fast, falls down fast.”
“Leave every person you come in contact with with the impression of increase.” – Wallace Wattles
Translation: Look to find ways to help them, rather than find ways to get something from them. Make them feel good after having come in contact with you via value-add, genuine compliments, help, etc.
“Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”
“There are thousands and thousands of people out there leading lives of quiet, screaming desperation, where they work long, hard hours at jobs they hate to enable them to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.” – Nigel Marsh
“What you do speaks so loudly that I can’t hear a word you say.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Memento Mori: remember your mortality
Harold Coffin: “Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own.”
“The extra mile is never crowded”
“Honesty, integrity, and vulnerability are expensive gifts. Don’t expect them from cheap people.”
We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same. —Carlos Castaneda
Vague beginnings invite chaotic endings.
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
novelist Evelyn Waugh wrote, “Punctuality is the virtue of the bored,”
“The road is always better than the inn.” [Cervantes] j
“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” – John R. Wooden
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. Antoine de Saint-Exupery
“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.”
It’s easier to act your way into a new way of thinking than vice versa.
Don’t be a spectator in any context go do something Jarrod Carmichael
Pressure is a privilege.
A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy? Albert Einstein
Look at your past but don’t stare.
 “Have nothing in your house you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris
“He or she who is willing to be the most uncomfortable is not only the bravest but rises the fastest.”
– Brené Brown
“Nothing in life is as important as you think it is while you are thinking about it.”
“It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.”
Chuck Palahniuk, Diary
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
―Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky
Rather than love rather than fame rather than money, give me truth.
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”―Leo Tolstoy
If you don’t know where you’re going, any train will get you there.
Pablo Picasso once said, “When I work, I relax; doing nothing or entertaining visitors makes me tired.”
People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing everyday.
The unlived life is not worth examining. (Balance is key in every quote).
“Invention requires a long-term willingness to be misunderstood.” – Jeff Bezos
“Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.”
The thief will always be suspicious.
  “At first they will ask WHY you are doing it, But later they will ask HOW you did it”
“The creative adult  is the child who survived”
“Champions don’t have a panic button.”
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? —Jesus
“If you don’t manage modern life, it will manage you.”
Every passing moment is another chance to turn it all around.
Everything you do has your name on it.
“If I could make a living out of loving you.  I’d be a millionaire in a week or two”
Anonymous country singer
They say ski’s the limit. How bitch? I’m moonwalkin’
Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it. – Andy Warhol
“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”
~Eleanor Roosevelt
They never knew who I thought I was supposed to be.
The only ship that sinks is a partnership.
Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.
“If you choose not to decide, you have still made a choice.” – Eugene Berman
Jacob Needleman observed, it’s good to keep an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out.
“If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not working on hard enough problems. And that’s a big mistake.” – Frank Wilczek, 2004 Nobel Prize winner
Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
“The best thinking has been done in solitude.” ~ Thomas A. Edison
“There are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Part of success is bringing others with you.
The best things in life are free. The second best things are very, very expensive.
“It’s the start that stops most people”.
We don’t stop playing when we grow old, we grow old when we stop playing.
“You’re a living magnet and you inevitably attract into your life, the people, circumstances, ideas, and resources in harmony with your dominant thoughts.” – Brian Tracy
Put effort in, and it’s effortless out.
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” – George Bernard Shaw
If you don’t stand for anything, you’ll fall for anything.”
“Perfection is not when there is no more to add, but no more to take away.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Little hinges swing big doors.
Stress is type A language for fear.  Tony Robbins.
Goethe taught, “Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.”
“I seek truth wherever I can get it.” Brett Bouer
“If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not working on hard enough problems. And that’s a big mistake.”
Judgement without further investigation leads a person blind.
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” – Bernard Baruch
“A mistake is a future benefit, the full value of which is yet to be realized” – Edwin Land
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care
“All courses of action are risky, so prudence is not in avoiding danger (it’s impossible), but calculating risk and acting decisively. Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer.”
– Niccolo Machiavelli,The Prince
John Maxwell has written, “You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.”
“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.”―Frederick Douglass
Hope is not a strategy. Luck is not a factor. Failure is not an option.
Don’t believe everything you think.
She wasn’t where she had been. She wasn’t where she’s going, but she was on her way…”
Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
“I will find a way, or make one.”
“A mistake is a future benefit, the full value of which is yet to be realized.” – Edwin Land, the inventor of the Polaroid camera,:
Benjamin Disraeli said, “Talk to a man about himself and he will listen for hours.”
“Many a false step was made by standing still.”
Never let your memories be bigger than your dreams.
“The problem with the world is that the intelligent peopleare full of doubts, while thestupidones are full ofconfidence.”
“As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Teamwork to make the dream work
“Do your own thinking independently. Be the chess player, not the chess piece.” – Ralph Charell
Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.
It’s what you learn after you already know it all that counts – John wooden
Money buys the things love can’t. -Gene Simmons
If You Want To Go Fast, Go Alone. If You Want To Go Far, Go Together
Don’t become a wandering generality. Be a meaningful specific.
Everything works out in the end. And if things aren’t working out then it’s not the end. – John Lennon
Colin Wilson — ‘The average man is a conformist, accepting miseries and disasters with the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain.’
Understanding how to act under conditions of incomplete information is the highest and most urgent human pursuit. —Nassim Taleb, The Black Swan
The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your arm.
The world is full of willing people, some willing to work, and the rest, willing to let them.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
-John Lennon
The Story of the Mexican Fisherman

The Story of the Mexican Fisherman

Wait but why? For what purpose? Below is one of the greatest and most eloquent reminders to enjoy the process and perpetually ask yourself, “To what end?” If you’re solely focused on the future, with no appreciation for the present, you’re all success and no happiness. If you’re fully present with no regard for the future ever, you’re all happiness and no success. Life is a rigorous balancing act, and if you’re anything like me, you lack the latter – overemphasizing the future at the expense of your happiness and presence.

Don’t get swept away in the American mania. Delayed gratification in pursuit of a worthwhile goal is noble. Grinding yourself to the bone and transmuting yourself into a miserable wreck as you chase (probably) someone else’s dream is not.

“Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life.” – Jerzy Gregorek

Enjoy this short story and use it to add awareness to your direction, purported destination, and how you are managing the process.

The Story of the Mexican Fisherman

An American businessman was standing at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish.

“How long it took you to catch them?” The American asked.

“Only a little while.” The Mexican replied.

“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” The American then asked.

“I have enough to support my family’s immediate needs.” The Mexican said.

“But,” The American then asked, “What do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, senor.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds you buy a bigger boat, and with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats.”

“Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening your own can factory. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But senor, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”

“But what then, senor?”

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO (Initial Public Offering) and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”

“Millions, senor? Then what?”

The American said slowly, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos…”

Parting Thoughts

Yesterday I got off a two-hour sales call that should’ve ended in half the time, and he didn’t purchase, meaning I lost and utterly wasted my time. But did I? In fact, I chose to keep the call going, knowing fairly well he was dead-on-arrival, because I was truly enjoying the process (/and his amusing squirrely ass). If you’re doing the right things in aggregate, why fret about the micro setbacks and self-perceived losses?

Easier said than done, but why not try to build this mindset? Even if you don’t give a damn about presence and happiness, and really only care about accomplishing your goals, this will still help you – high energy, optimistic people are more effective at life (don’t just take my word for it, read The Magic of Thinking Big).

Once you’ve rationalized that you will reach your end destination, if there is such a thing, you’re liberated to freely layer in mindfulness and appreciation along the way.

Find you motivator and make it happen. Mine is health. Gratitude and daily mindfulness = better health. The fact that it also allows me to be more productive and effective is simply a welcomed additional perk.

What’s your fish IPO and how are you faring in the process?

P.S. Though you’ve likely seen this, a highly recommend complement to The Story of the Mexican Fisherman: Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen