26 Unusually Insightful Points of Uncommon Wisdom


I am usually rather late to trends. They have generally peaked, crested and are on their way down before I jump on the bandwagon.

I usually find myself raving about the latest this or that to people who are a) bored or b) horrified they know such a laggard.

And so it was with storing my phone numbers. Just as people got on the Internet and tiny little pocket computers, I fastened on to the salesman’s BFF from the ‘80’s – the trusty Rolodex.

Oblivious to the complete and utter nerdiness of my state, I would get quite excited as I took out a new pristine white card and write down the number with my favorite pen. I even searched high and low for a special hole punch to make my own cards.

Such was my thrall.

Meanwhile my kids were wondering how I never charged my cellphone. No-one seemed to understand that with two kids and all their clobber, I could never remember to carry my phone to and from the car. I couldn’t understand how just about everyone else managed to do what I apparently could not.

Eventually, my husband, frustrated and bemused, bought me a car charger and the blessings of a cellphone slowly revealed themselves. And I learned how I could store all my numbers in it.


And so it was my Rolodex became an organizational dinosaur. But unlike dinosaurs, it didn’t die out. Propelled by my loathing for waste, I transformed it into a repository for wit, wisdom and worldliness.

Whenever someone said, or I read, something I thought remarkably insightful, I would whip out my blue pen, a new card and write. it. down.

Sayings, quotations, wisdom, tips. Down it would go.

I wasn’t terribly good at attribution. Many of the origination has been lost. I apologize right here to the authors of these great words.

So here are some words from my Rolodex. The good, the prudent, the profound. ☺

1. Your playing small does not serve the world.
2. Do what you would do if you couldn’t fail.
3. Be your own guru.
4. Ask: What is important about today? What must get done today? What is important about the future?
5. Never hold a dustbuster and a cat at the same time.
6. Create healthy boundaries.
7. Do it anyway.
8. Use Post-Its.
9. Don’t gossip.
10. You don’t need more. You already have what you need. You just need to find it.
11. Visions and dreams are achieved through taking small steps, delaying gratification, and using strategic thinking.
12. Be an optimist, there is little point in being anything else.
13. Start sentences with : Thank you for…I like it when…You seem like…I appreciate…I notice…I like…I love…
14. Before speaking, ask: Is it kind? Is it necessary? Is it true? Is this the right time to say it?
15. There are times to attack, times to defend, times to be quiet. Wisdom is knowing which is the appropriate response in any given situation.
16. To say when someone is dying: I’ll miss you. I love you. I forgive you. I’m sorry. Goodbye.
17. You can’t feel your way to better behavior but you can behave your way to better feelings.
18. When your mom is mad at your dad, don’t let her brush your hair.
19. Buy something for the mother on the birth of a baby.
20. Live your life based on your best hopes not your worst fears.
21. If you want to create wealth or any other kind of success, you have to be a warrior.
22. ‘If you have children, the demands made upon you during the first hour of the morning can make the job of an air traffic controller seem like a walk in the park.’ ~J. Wurtman
23. Listening to conventional wisdom gets you conventional results.
24. When you’re going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill
25. True love is not princes and princesses and castles and happily ever after, it is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be and will not be.
26. Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.

Do you have any words of uncommon wisdom or unusual insight? Please share in the comments.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary E. Ulrich
February 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm

I think I like number 20 the best. 20. “Live your life based on your best hopes not your worst fears.” I go into surgery tomorrow. So, lots of good thoughts. 🙂

Also, if it is any consolation, I still use a file box with index cards and keep all my passwords, etc. on white index cards.

Once I lost my address book (yes, still us one of those too) and my life was a disaster for 6 months.

Someday I’ll figure out how to text message, put phone and addresses into my phone, take pictures, and the million other things some people with cell phones know how to do. Right now, I try to remember to charge the dang phone and not disconnect people when it rings.

Great quotes. Thanks Alison.
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Alison Golden February 28, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Yes, I can see why we’re friends, Mary. I am the same. Probably worse because I ask my children to do things on my phone so I don’t have to bother to learn them! I figure that while I’m driving them all over town, they can make themselves useful. They get to set my ringtone, bring up Facebook on my little screen and take pictures of each other. Nice work if you can get it! Lots of good thoughts for tomorrow. I’m glad that one sprung out at you. Take care, and big hugs, Mary. 🙂


Jennifer Milne February 28, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Is it okay that I don’t even have a mobile phone? I keep everything on post it notes, and my computer monitor looks a little funky with all the little yellow, blue and pink papers stuck to it.

For me, the big word of wisdom would come from Yoda from Star Wars: “Do or do not, there is no try.” Looking back on my forty years, it is good advice – anytime I have “tried” to do something, it never gets done – but when I “do” what I set out to do, things begin to happen.
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Alison Golden February 29, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Hi Jennifer! I once worked in an office where they ran out of post-it notes and I couldn’t do my work. Just couldn’t do it. So I know what you mean. 🙂


February 29, 2012 at 6:41 am

I love #15
‘There are times to attack, times to defend, times to be quiet. Wisdom is knowing which is the appropriate response in any given situation.’

I usually have ‘foot in mouth disease’.
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Alison Golden February 29, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Hey Glynis. I tend to be quiet when I’m not sure. 🙂


Chezzianne March 4, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Hello Alison…I like the numbr 18 too much…LOL..Never let my mom brush my hair if they had a fight with dad…
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Cathy35 March 5, 2012 at 6:16 am

Great words to live by..I agree that we should live life to the fullest.. Have some fun.. 🙂
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Sheila March 5, 2012 at 8:50 am

I go for #16 because if somebody is lost you miss a lot and remember all the good things happen in your life..
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March 5, 2012 at 8:46 pm

#18 is so cute and old-fashioned. Or is it?

Maybe I’ve just been slathering my 10 year-old’s hair with product for the better part of the last decade, that I envision Marcia Brady meticulously brushing her own hair (b/c Carol was never angry @ Mike) before bedtime whilst contemplating her latest school-girl crush in the mirror;).
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Alison Golden March 6, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Hi Linda: I’ve dug you out of spam, yucky stuff spam. Your comment now says ‘Un-spammed by alison’ in the admin panel. 🙂 What sort of product do you use on your boys’ hair, pray? My mind is boggling! 🙂


Dianne March 6, 2012 at 12:31 am

Its nice to create a kind of list like this in one’s life, its a kind of evaluating yourself to do right things… This is the best way of attaining good things in life… Thanks for sharing with us your great insight…
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Mirana March 6, 2012 at 4:09 am

Number 16 “To say when someone is dying: I’ll miss you. I love you. I forgive you. I’m sorry. Goodbye.”
My mom has cancer now and it’s been a long time that I have said to her the word “i love you”.. And I feel so sorry.. Thanks for sharing this reminder for now on I will say it to her everyday..
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Tim George March 6, 2012 at 9:05 am

This is such a wonderful post. I’ll surely share it.
Those 26 points are just irresistible.

Thanks for sharing.

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Philippa N. March 6, 2012 at 1:56 pm

These nuggets of wisdom are inspiring. I love the “be your own guru” saying. It means you should be confident enough to teach yourself and teach others what you’ve accumulated from experience. Which line is your favorite among the listed items?

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Layla March 23, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Love it!! 🙂

10. You don’t need more. You already have what you need. You just need to find it.

Is it okay to put it on my fridge?? 😉


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