Enlightened Conflict

some of my favorite quotes: Part 1

December 5th, 2009


“Never interrupt the enemy when he is making a mistake.”

Napoleon Bonaparte





This quote always reminds me of patience. I have always liked this quote.


So often we are in a rush to “do something” where patience is called for.


Napoleon’s strategies have been examined and torn apart by more expert analysis than I would be capable of doing, but I would say two things.


1. In general he selected great commanders of his armies and delegated initiative to respond.


2. His strength as a general was not in planning but responding. He put himself in situations. Waited. And responded. And won often.



This quote reminds me of patience and delegation.


There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures. (IV.ii.269–276)

William Shakespeare



I am not a big classic literature guy. I struggle to slog my way through things like the works of Shakespeare. But I truly appreciate the well articulated sound bite whenever it is written.


I love this one.


To me, it is a reminder that opportunities in life are fleeting, but there are many if you pay attention.


It is nice to remind yourself there are many opportunities ebbing and flowing in front of us (because then you stop dwelling on regrets). And  I am not just opportunities to succeed or do things … but also to laugh and love and live. We should seek these tides and enjoy them rather than simply float aimlessly on some ocean of time.


Of course.

Some literary expert will probably tell me I completely missed the point. But. This is my website. And my thought on the quote.




“We await glory in silence, oh, let the din of battle begin”

A midshipman on Collingwood’s flagship wrote this in his diary as his ship sailed into battle at Trafalgar


I hate and love presenting, big presentations and meetings.


It seems no matter how often I have done it my stomach tightens, I sweat a little beforehand and, in general, worry about remembering what I planned to say and whether I will be “smart enough” during the Q&A.


I hate that feeling.


And then the meeting/presentation/whatever starts. And that is the part I love. As soon as I step to the podium, or in front of the group, or get it going, I love it. I love “being in the battle.” Over time I have learned to recognize the moment when I shift from hate to love … and enjoy it.

It may be only a minute, possibly even just seconds, but there is the moment of calmness where everything kind of just “stills” and then everything swings into motion again.


When I found this quote I recognized it for exactly what it was … a description of the shift between my hate and love. I wish I could teach people this moment of stillness (and how to enjoy it) but I think it is something you only gain through experience.




Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world.

For, indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead



I believe this is a great reminder for everyone.

Remember that however little your voice may sound among the thunder of the majority there is hope … if you are in the right.


The two words that stand out for me are thoughtful and committed. I believe that people who are smart and thoughtful with regard to what they think and do and are committed to doing “what is the right thing to do” (versus what maybe everyone else is suggesting be done) you can change the world – even if it is only the small part of the big world that you can control.

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Enlightened Conflict