Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

George Matthew Adams

Newspaper Columnist, Author, Writer, Philosopher and Publisher who founded the Adams Newspaper Service

"Enthusiasm is a kind of faith that has been set afire."

"If we would keep filling our minds with the picture of happy things ahead, many of the worries and anxieties, and perhaps ill health, would naturally melt away... If we lived in the atmosphere of expectancy, so many of our petty problems would be no problems at all! Always expect the best."

"It is indifference which is the cause of most of our unhappiness. Indifference to religion, to the happiness of others, and to the precious gift of freedom, and the wide liberty that is the inheritance of all in a free land. Are we our "Brother's Keeper"? We certainly are! If we had no regard for others' feelings or fortune, we would grow cold and indifferent to life itself. Bound up with selfishness, we could not hope for the success that could easily be ours."

"It's what each of us sows, and how, that gives to us character and prestige. Seeds of kindness, goodwill, and human understanding, planted in fertile soil, spring up into deathless friendships, big deeds of worth, and a memory that will not soon fade out. We are all sowers of seeds - and let us never forget it!"

"One of the great arts in living is to learn the art of accurately appraising values. Everything that we think, that we earn, that we have given to us, that in any way touches our consciousness, has its own value. These values are apt to change with the mood, with time, or because of circumstances. We cannot safely tie to any material value. The values of all material possessions change continually, sometimes over night. The real values are those that stay by you, give you happiness and enrich you. They are the human values."

"There is no such thing as a "self-made" man. We are made up of thousands of others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success."

"Upon every hand we meet with those who have some secret resentment that is ever being nurtured within their hearts. They resent the success, or happiness of some one whom they think is less deserving than they are. They resent the just recognition that comes to others from work and long effort to excel. Or, they may resent being born poor - or resent the fact that they were even born!... Strive to excel, strive to achieve, where others have failed, and you will find no space within your mind to lodge resentment. Resentment is the child of selfishness, foolish envy, and inactivity... Our life upon this earth is too valuable for resentment of any kind. There is so much to do, so much to learn - so little time in which to live and work it all out."

"Encouragement is oxygen to the soul. Good work can never be expected from a worker without encouragement. No one ever climbed spiritual heights without it. No one ever lived without it."

"In this life we get only those things for which we hunt, for which we strive, and for which we are willing to sacrifice. It is better to aim for something that you want - even though you miss it - than to get something that you didn't aim to get, and which you don't want! If we look long enough for what we want in life we are almost sure to find it, no matter what that objective may be."

"Note how good you feel after you have encouraged someone else. No other argument is necessary to suggest that never miss the opportunity to give encouragement."

"One of the greatest secrets of success and happiness is always to have something left over."

"One reason why men and women lose their heads so often is that they use them so little!... The more the mind is used the more flexible it becomes, and the more it takes upon itself new interests."

"People with many interests live, not only longest, but happiest. People with interests are never bores!"

"Tension is a killer! Just relax and note the immediate effect. One of peace and ease of mind. One in which every organ of the body joins. In relaxation there is unity of mind, body and spirit."

"That one who does not get fun and enjoyment out of every day in which he lives, needs to reorganize his life. And the sooner the better, for pure enjoyment throughout life has more to do with one's happiness and efficiency than almost any other single element."

"There are high spots in all of our lives and most of them have come about through encouragement from someone else. I don't care how great, how famous or successful a man or woman may be, each hungers for applause."

"We can accomplish almost anything within our ability if we but think we can! Every great achievement in this world was first carefully thought out... Think - but to a purpose. Think constructively. Think as you read. Think as you listen. Think as you travel and eyes reveal new situations. Think as you work daily at your place in life. There can be no advancement or success without serious thought."

"We cannot waste time. We can only waste ourselves."

"What you think means more than anything else in your life. More than what you earn, more than where you live, more than your social position, and more than what anyone else may think about you."

"You are the greatest investment. The more you store in that mind of yours, the more you enrich your experience, the more people you meet, the more books you read, and the more places you visit, the greater is that investment in all that you are. Everything that you add to your peace of mind, and to your outlook upon life, is added capital that no one but yourself can dissipate."

"But there is always a beautiful way to say everything. Nothing so cuts into one's heart as a mis-spoken word that falls clumsily. Rarely, perhaps, the hurt was meant at all. Nevertheless when a word has gone from the lips, it cannot be recalled. Yours may go, but so long as memory lives, the scar of a mis-spoken word may remain."

"A cheerful frame of mind, reinforced by relaxation, which in itself banishes fatigue, is the medicine that puts all ghosts of fear on the run."

"As soon as you open your eyes in the morning, you can square away for a happy and successful day. It's the mood and the purpose at the inception of each day that are the important facts in charting your course for the day. We can always square away for a fresh start, no matter what the past has been."

"Beauty of expression is so akin to the voice of the sea."

"Courage is heartworth making itself felt in deeds. It never waits for chances; it makes chances."

"Anyone who has had a long life of experiences is worth listening to, worth emulating, and worth tying to as a friend. No one can have too much experience in any line of endeavor. We readily welcome to our group of friends that one who talks with the voice of experience and common sense. We know that we are safe in his hands. He is not going to get us into trouble. Rather is he going to point out the pitfalls and mistakes that experience has taught him to avoid. There is no experience but what carries its lasting good for us along with it. And you don't have to discard experience. It's a coat for life! It never wears out."

"Each day can be one of triumph if you keep up your interests."

"Each day of your life, as soon as you open your eyes in the morning, you can square away for a happy and successful day. It's the mood and the purpose at the inception of each day that are the important facts in charting your course for the day. We can always square away for a fresh start, no matter what the past has been. It's today that is the paramount problem always. Yesterday is but history."

"Every one of us, unconsciously, works out a personal philosophy of life, by which we are guided, inspired, and corrected, as time goes on. It is this philosophy by which we measure out our days, and by which we advertise to all about us the man, or woman, that we are... It takes but a brief time to scent the life philosophy of anyone. It is defined in the conversation, in the look of the eye, and in the general mien of the person. It has no hiding place. It's like the perfume of a flower -- unseen, but known almost instantly. It is the possession of the successful, and the happy. And it can be greatly embellished by the absorption of ideas and experiences of the useful of this earth."

"Character is greater than talent, genius, fame, money, friends - there is nothing to compare with it. A man may have all these and yet remain comparatively useless - be unhappy - and die a bankrupt in soul."

"Everyone knows that weeds eat out the life of the garden and of the productive fields. The gardener and farmer alike each has to keep the weeding process alive. It's like that in the building and developing of character. No one knows our own faults and tendencies better than we do ourselves, so that it is up to each one of us to keep the weeds out, and to keep all growth vigorous and fruitful."

"Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken a word of encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our character and our thoughts, as well as our success."

"Few people wear out before their time. Mostly they rust out, worry out, run out - spill out. A machine must have care and its different parts must be adjusted properly. No machine has ever approached the human machine. When it is right, it is in health."

"Fortify yourself with a flock of friends! You can select them at random, write to one, dine with one, visit one, or take your problems to one. There is always at least one who will understand, inspire, and give you the lift you may need at the time."

"He who does not get fun and enjoyment out of every day . . . needs to reorganize his life."

"He who praises another enriches himself far more than he does the one praised. To praise is an investment in happiness. The poorest human being has something to give that the richest could not buy."

"I don't care how great, how famous or successful a man or woman may be, each hungers for applause."

"I say to myself that I shall try to make my life like an open fireplace, so that people may be warmed and cheered by it and so go out themselves to warm and cheer."

"I wonder if the human touch, which people have, is not one of the greatest assets that one can have. You meet some people, and immediately you feel their warmth of mind or heart. You read a book, sit before the performance of a fine actor, or read a poem - and there it is - something that streams into your consciousness… Those who keep climbing higher, in their chosen work, all have this outstanding something. The nurse in the hospital, the man who delivers your mail, the clerk behind many a store counter, and the effective minister or public speaker. Without this human touch, hope has little on which to feed or thrive."

"If we had no regard for others' feelings or fortune, we would grow cold and indifferent to life itself."

"If you have nothing else to do, look about you and see if there isn't something close at hand that you can improve! It may make you wealthy, though it is more likely that it will make you happy."

"It is a great thing to have a big brain, a fertile imagination, grand ideals, but the man with these, bereft of a good backbone, is sure to serve no useful end."

"It is easier to win than to fail. Everybody sides with the winner. But the failure walks alone."

"It is no disgrace to start all over. It is usually an opportunity."

"It's marvelous the change that comes about when a man gets together all his forces and centers them upon the doing of one thing at a time."

"No matter what your work today, if it is worthwhile at all - time to plan it out, time to do it well, and time to finish it, is your day's greatest gift and your greatest job."

"No one ever gets too big to make mistakes. The secret is that the big man is greater than his mistakes, because he rises right out of them and passes beyond them."

"No one owns you. One hundred per cent of the stock in your personal corporation belongs to you."

"People do not want what we have in our pockets half as much as they want what is in our hearts. If we combine both, intelligently, however, according to our means, we give wisely and well."

"People who look down never get much of an idea of the sky where the stars are set. And the fellow who doesn't hitch at least one or two of his wagons to a star never gets very high up. Get your eyes off the ground. Look ahead."