Monday, April 19, 2010

What the Great Scientists Had to Say about Personal Strength

There's nothing easy about science. So when we consider the great scientists throughout history, it isn't surprising that some of what they had to say was about the kind of personal strength that served them well.

It would serve us well, too. Here's a sampling from ten of the greatest minds of all time...

On OPTIMISM - "I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward." - Thomas Edison

On PATIENCE - “Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they will then be powerless to vex your mind.” - Leonardo da Vinci

On FLEXIBILITY “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” - Charles Darwin

On SELF-DEVELOPMENT - “We never understand a thing so well, and make it our own, as when we have discovered it for ourselves.” - Rene Descartes

On INITIATIVE - "The great end of life is not knowledge but action." - Thomas H. Huxley

On COMPASSION - "Kind words do not cost much. They never blister the tongue or lips. They make other people good-natured. They also produce their own image on men's souls, and a beautiful image it is." - Blaise Pascal

On THOROUGHNESS "Facts are the air of the scientists. Without them you never can fly." - Ivan Pavlov

On  FAITH "Anybody who has been seriously engaged is scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: 'Ye must have faith.' It is a quality which the scientist cannot dispense with." - Max Planck

On PERSEVERANCE "Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained." - Marie Curie

On OPEN-MINDEDNESS - “I have learned to use the word impossible with the greatest caution.” - Wernher von Braun

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., , Copyright 2010. Building Personal Strength . (Graphic licensed for use in this blog by

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