Thursday, December 25, 2014

Comfort Zone


Comfort Zone: being like everyone else - insecure - surviving - fear - just getting by - a dull life - play it safe - procrastination - regret - settling for less

Outside the Comfort Zone: going for your dreams - confidence - exploring new things - choosing happiness - fulfillment - getting the most out of life - embracing the unknown - excitement - liking change - living without limits - abundance - act in spite of fear

English. Creative people.

An infographic by Sylvia Duckworth:


English. Embrace risk.

English. Today I am wise.

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.


English. In every triumph, there's a lot of try.

In every triumph, there's a lot of try. — Frank Tyger


Friday, December 5, 2014

The Box

Here is some advice, not so much to think "outside" the box, but instead to IMAGINE the box ... is not a box.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Latin: Nosce te ipsum.

The image is from cheezburger.

Nosce te ipsum. 
Know yourself.

Latin: Gradatim vincimus.

The image is from cheezburger.

Gradatim vincimus.
Step by step, we win.

Latin: Occasionem arripe.

The image is from cheezburger.

Occasionem arripe.
Seize the opportunity.

Latin: Aedificate alterutrum.

The image is from cheezburger.

Aedificate alterutrum.
Help one another.

Latin: Perge audacter!

The image is from cheezburger.

Perge audacter!
Proceed boldly!

Latin: Ad astra!

The image is from cheezburger.

Ad astra!
To the stars!

Latin: Altius tendo.

The image is from cheezburger.

Altius tendo. 
I will go higher.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Dictonary of American Proverbs

I'm going to see what I can find in A Dictionary of American Proverbs by Wolfgang Mieder, Stewart A. Kingsbury, and Kelsie G. Harder.

Act as it were impossible to fail.
To act is easy, but to understand is hard.
Think — then act.

A good relief for grief is action.
Action is the basis of success.
Action without study is fatal; study without action is fatal.
Action without thought is like shooting without aim.
Actions speak louder than words.
It is only in action that you have the power to grow.
Hope inspires action, the true way to success.
Active minds that think and study, like swift brooks, are seldom muddy.

Take advantage of the little opportunities, and you won't need to wait for the big one.

Be not afraid; be only afraid of standing still.
Don't be afraid of opposition; remember, a kite rises against the wind.

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

Always in a hurry, always behind.

Ambition knows no obstacles.

He who never made a mistake never made anything.

Sour green apples sometimes turn into pretty nice pie.

The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.

Every artist was first an amateur.

A bold attempt is half success.
The first attempt is the most difficult.

An optimistic attitude is half of success.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Random Growth Mindset Cats

Each time you reload the page, there is a new random cat:

There is a 400-pixel-wide version (what you see below) and in a 200-pixel-wide version (what you see in the sidebar). Here is a link to the javascripts.

You can also make your own javascripts with Randy Hoyt's wonderful script-builder at Just put your content into an HTML table and the tool creates the script for you.

Scripts for the Random Cats

I made these widgets with Randy Hoyt's wonderful

Here is the 200-pixel-wide version (good for blog sidebars):

And here is the 400-pixel-wide version:

There is also an iframe version that you can use in Canvas or similar environment that does not allow direct use of javascripts; you can adjust the height variable as needed; I have only created an iframe version of the 400-pixel-wide widget:

If you are using an old http version of the script:

In order to make the scripts run in an https environment (complying with new mixed content rules), as of May 28 2016 I am hosting the javascript in an https space and I am also hosting all the images in an https space. You will just need to change


The old version will continue to run, but you will see that it displays an alert about needing to switch to https, and I won't be updating it with new pictures. I will only be updating the https version from now on.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Motivator: Brand New Ending

I thought this was a good inspiration graphic for both school, and for life too!

Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.

Motivator: Genius is...

Grant Snider is a fabulous artist, and he has created many posters inspired by reading and writing, and about the creative process in general. I really like this poster about "genius." Instead of the Thomas Edison adage about genius being "1% inspiration and 99% perspiration." I suspect Snider's breakdown is closer to the mark! For the full-size view, see Grant Snider's blog: Genius Is... His work is also available in poster-size to put on your wall!

Article: 6 Things You Learned in School that Don’t Apply in the Real World

I really liked this post from the blog:

6 Things You Learned in School that Don’t Apply in the Real World

The post provides a great list of things that are NOT TRUE but which you might think are true, given the way school usually works:

1. Failure is disastrous
2. It’s better to work alone
3. There’s always a right answer
4. Someone will tell you what you need to know
5. Education only happens in school
6. Only what’s in the syllabus is important

Be sure to read the original article to get some great insights into each of these items and why they are NOT true, and how you really need to get rid of those assumptions if you want to pass the test of life itself!

In that spirit, I thought this would be a great graphic to use to illustrate this blog post; it comes from Paul Bogush's blog.

And as my online buddy (and prolific author) Nathan Lowell remarks: "I didn't give final exams in my classes. I just told the students: There will be a test, but I'm not going to be giving it. It'll come sometime after you graduate. Good luck."

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Motivator: Children don't have to be slaves of praise.

Found at Twitter.

If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. That way, their children don't have to be slaves of praise. They will have a lifelong way to build and repair their own confidence.
- Carol Dweck

Article: Kids of Helicopter Parents Are Sputtering Out (Slate)

Kids of Helicopter Parents Are Sputtering Out (Slate)
Recent studies suggests that kids with overinvolved parents and rigidly structured childhoods suffer psychological blowback in college.
By Julie Lythcott-Haims


Madeline Levine, psychologist and author of The Price of Privilege, says that there are three ways we might be overparenting and unwittingly causing psychological harm:

  • When we do for our kids what they can already do for themselves;
  • When we do for our kids what they can almost do for themselves; and
  • When our parenting behavior is motivated by our own egos.

Levine said that when we parent this way we deprive our kids of the opportunity to be creative, to problem solve, to develop coping skills, to build resilience, to figure out what makes them happy, to figure out who they are. In short, it deprives them of the chance to be, well, human.

Motivator: Next Opportunity.

Found at Twitter. Dr. Abdul Kalam is something like an English Einstein, so I am not sure if he actually said this or not, but it does fit with his irrepressible spirit of learning!

If you fail, never give up because F A I L means "First Attempt in Learning." 
End is not the end. In fact, E N D means "Effort Never Dies." 
If you get NO as an answer, remember N O means "Next Opportunity."

Motivator: Learning is not a spectator sport.

Found at Twitter.

Learning is not a spectator sport.

Motivator: If you believe it will work out, you'll see opportunities.

Found at Twitter.

If you believe it will work out, you'll see opportunities. If you believe it won't, you will see obstacles.

Motivator: You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.

Found at Twitter.

You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.

Motivator: Baby bluebirds, it is time to spread your wings!

From this blog post: Baby Bluebirds Time to Spread Your Wings!

Baby bluebirds, it is time to spread your wings!

Motivator: The key to success

From a tweet for Kathryn Venable's blog post: Growing a Growth Mindset, Part I.

The key to success is not simply the effort or focus or resiliency, but it is the growth mindset that creates them. 

Motivator: What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Motivator: There are no limits.

As you make your way through the semester, you can keep this motivational thought in mind: There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work, there are no limits. :-)