“A short saying oft contains much wisdom.”—Sophocles

Who knew there was a pithy quote about pithy quotes? Perhaps Sophocles was a fan of that Aesop guy, who may or may not have existed. Maybe Sophocles had “Slow and steady wins the race” chiseled into the bulletin board over his writing desk. Haven’t you hung motivational quotes where you can see them when you need a nudge? I have. Lots.

I love those short sayings, when they are genuinely wise and not just pseudo wise. Having a little slogan to recite when I find myself veering from my track can be a shortcut back to where I need to be. Some pithy quotes shine a light on something in a way I hadn’t thought of before. Some buck me up when I’m feeling downtrodden or insecure.

The good ones, that is. Some pithy quotes are just deep-sounding blather, or misguided. I stumble on plenty of quotes online that sound like someone just mixed unicorn juice with angel tears and rainbow sparkles and threw it all up in the air to see how it landed. Just because words sound loving and encouraging doesn’t make them genuinely useful.

And you never know where you might stumble on real wisdom. Some of the quotes I’ll trot out came from friends, some from my own head. I had a quote from actress Jenna Elfman (remember Dharma and Greg?) over my desk for years. I can’t remember the whole thing, but it started out “Do other things,” and talked about how she has interests other than acting because if you just do one thing all the time, you get kind of achy and sore. Pretty wise stuff from a sitcom star and one that I have taken to heart.

So in this new blog, we’re going to have fun with pithy quotes—breaking down the good and the bad to build a collection of short sayings with much wisdom for better living.

So if you have favorites—or least favorite—please bring them here. Let’s talk them through.


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    Last reviewed: 19 Jun 2012

APA Reference
Dembling, S. (2012). Motivation and Inspiration In A Nutshell. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 27, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/quotes/2012/06/why-we-love-pithy-motivational-quotes/



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