Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Wilferd Peterson, fully Wilferd Arlan Peterson

American Author, Journalist for This Week Magazine, Columnist for Science of Mind Magazine and Published Nine Books

"Almost all the trouble in the world is created by things people think, say and write. Words of anger, malice, hatred, resentment, jealously, like physical blows, cause people to hit back. Over-bearing, demanding words create determined resistance. And the attitudes of mind back of them, even though we do not speak the words, are sensed by others. For the telepathic power of thought is no longer merely a theory. Thoughts are things."

"Action releases truth so it can inspire and regenerate; action releases ideas so they can bless and benefit."

"Change demands self-discipline... Change requires the substituting of new habits for old. You mold your character and your future by your thoughts... Change can be realized through conscious evolution. Moment by moment, day by day, concentrate on becoming the man you want to be."

"Crisis is creative... Out of crises flow new ideas, new approaches, new patterns, new inventions, new discoveries, new leadership... Crisis is challenge. It can challenge you to create a new life. Out of disappointment and defeat, out of illness and despair you can find victory."

"Each day is a lifetime in miniature... The supreme art of living is to strive to live each day well."

"Grow! Man is never finished. Man never arrives. Education never stops."

"Great men are little men expanded. Great lives are ordinary lives intensified. All lives are potentially great... Character is the bedrock of true greatness."

"Prayer does not change God, it changes us. It deepens insight, increases intuitive perceptions, expands consciousness. It transforms personality. Prayer opens doors to let in God and let out self, to let in love and let out hate, to let in faith and let out fear. Prayer helps us to find ourselves. By praying not to get more, but to be more, we discover a way to serve, a purpose for which to live, a dream to make real... Prayer is thinking and thanking. It is thinking of our many blessings and accepting them with a thankful spirit."

"He was a wise man who said: "As I grow older I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.""

"Simplicity deepens life. It magnifies the simple virtues on which man’s survival depends: humility, faith, courage, serenity, honesty, patience, justice, tolerance, thrift. Simplicity is the arrow of the spirit."

"The gifts of things are never as precious as the gifts of thought... The finest gift a man can give to his age and time is the gift of a constructive and creative life."

"There are no secrets of success. Success is doing the things you know you should do. Success is not doing the things you know you should not do."

"The art of humility begins with a recognition of our dependence on others and an appreciation of God’s gift of life... He discovers that those of a gentle spirit do have the earth for their possession; that humility opens the gates of the mind and heart so greatness can flow through."

"Freedom is an open door, but you must walk through it... Freedom is an invitation to be creative... Freedom is the right to be yourself, to make mistakes, to fail and try again. No failure is final; freedom always gives you another chance."

"Hate is death, forgiveness is life. Forgiveness works the miracle of change. When Lincoln was asked whey he did not destroy his enemies he replied: “If I make my enemies my friends, don’t I then destroy them?”... Forgiveness is the way to personal peace."

"Art is expression; it is mind in action."

"Through empathy a man learns not to judge others in terms of his own personal interests, likes and dislikes, but in terms of what life means to them."

"Happiness in marriage... is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner."

"Ideas are the beginning of all things."

"It is the wisdom to know that we should love before we think and think before we act."

"Love is a dynamic motivation behind every worthy purpose; it is the upward thrust that lifts men to the heights... The art of love is God at work through you."

"Man’s greatest freedom is freedom to think.... Every man can contribute more if he will think more."

"Perfect love casts out fear."

"The art of awareness is the art of learning how to wake up to the eternal miracle of life with its limitless possibilities."

"Not tension alone, not relaxation alone, but both in balance is the key to creative living."

"Prayer is a cup held high to be filled. It is an inward quest for inspiration. It is mentally reaching out of the great thoughts and illuminations of man in his continual search for meaning."

"Tomorrow’s memory depends upon today’s impressions... Your memory builds your personality, your personality builds your character, and your character determines your destiny."

"The leader is a great servant... The leader does not say, “Get going!” Instead he says, “Let’s go!” and leads the way... The leader uses his heart as well as his head... The leader is a self-starter... The leader can be led. He is not interested in having his own way, but in finding the best way. He has an open mind. The leader keeps his eyes upon high goals."

"The key to the art of prayer is thought. As we think so we pray. The highest level of prayer is to think God’s thoughts after Him, to attune our lives to love, hope, faith, justice, kindness; to become open channels for the goodness of God. Prayer is quiet meditation about eternal values. It is the mind adventuring in the universe. Prayer moves with the instantaneous speed of thought, through infinite space, to the four corners of the earth, to the depth of the human heart, to the mountaintop of inspiration."

"The key to the art of listening is selectivity... Listen critically. Mentally challenge assertions, ideas, philosophies. Seek the truth with an open mind. Listen with your heart... Listen for growth. Be an inquisitive listener. Listen creatively... Listen to yourself. Listen to your deepest yearnings, your highest aspirations, your noblest impulses. Listen to the better man within you. Listen with depth. Be still and meditate. Listen with the ear of intuition for the inspiration of the Infinite."

"You can’t pursue happiness and catch it. Happiness come upon you unawares while you are helping others... Happiness does not depend upon a full pocketbook, but upon a mind full of rich thoughts and a heart full of rich emotions. Happiness does not depend upon what happens outside of you but on what happens inside of you; it is measured by the spirit in which you meet the problems of life. Happiness is a state of mind... Happiness doesn’t come from doing what we like to do but from liking what we have to do... Happiness grows out of harmonious relationships with others, based on attitudes of good will, tolerance, understanding and love... The master secret of happiness is to meet the challenge of each new day with the serene faith that: “All things work together for good to them that love God.”"

"You become spiritually rich when you discover the riches of the kingdom within: when you have a consciousness of the oneness of all life; when you experience kinship with nature; when you are open to the buoyant spiritual life of being in tune with the Infinite; when you know the power of meditation and prayer."

"Decision is the spark that ignites action. Until a decision is made nothing happens."

"As artist Nature splashes color across the vast canvas of the sky with the radiance and splendor of sunrise and sunset. She arches rainbows against the passing storm, creates flowers and foliage, sets autumn woods on fire with the beauty of turning leaves and touches mountaintops with snow crystals."

"Be gentle with yourself, learn to love yourself, to forgive yourself, for only as we have the right attitude toward ourselves can we have the right attitude toward others."

"Cynics and critics wake us up. Kindness often covers up the truth and allows us to sleep on in our ignorance."

"And then there is the thrill of creatively sowing ideas and inspiration into the minds of others. Often our contributions will actually change lives by sharing appreciation, courage, love, and joy. Carry the ideal of being a creative sower, that you are on the side of growth, plenty, peace, and progress. Make it a point to scatter creative seeds every day of your life!"

"By the grace of God you are what you are; glory in your selfhood, accept yourself and go on from there."

"A man practices the art of adventure when he heroically faces up to life; When he has the daring to open doors to new experiences and to step boldly forth to explore strange horizons. When he is unafraid of new ideas, new theories and new philosophies. When he has the curiosity to experiment--to test and try new ways of living and thinking. When he has the flexibility to adjust and adapt himself to the changing patterns of life. When he refuses to seek safe places and easy tasks and has, instead, the courage to wrestle with the toughest problems. When he has the moral stamina to be steadfast in the support of those men in whom he has faith and those causes in which he believes. When he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints. When he has the nerve to move out of life's shallows and venture forth into the deep. When he keeps his heart young, his expectations high and never allows his dreams to die. When he concludes that a rut is only another name for the grave and that the only way to stay out of the ruts is by living adventurously and staying vitally alive every day of his life."

"Champion the right to be yourself; dare to be different and to set your own pattern; live your own life and follow your own star."

"Big thinking precedes great achievement."

"Happiness does not depend upon a full pocketbook, but upon a mind full of rich thoughts and a heart full of rich emotions."

"Good will is not a single quality. It is a composite of all the qualities of the spirit, applied to daily living."

"I like the old proverb: "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." We need to create a moral and spiritual equivalent to the supernova here on our earth, a super-creativity which will abolish war, which will conquer hunger, poverty, disease, and crime. Light illuminates, penetrates the darkness, shows the way ahead. Light is synonymous with creativity. It is explosive mental power. It is the mind aflame, the heart aglow, the spirit aware. It is God at work through you."

"Happiness doesn’t come from doing what we like to do but from liking what we have to do."

"Let me look upward into the branches of the flowering oak and know that it grew great and strong because it grew slowly and well."

"Inject laughter into tense situations to save the day; laughter calms tempers and soothes jangled nerves."

"It is time to browse through the precious books that have meant the most to you that you may rediscover illuminating phrases and sentences to light your pathway to the future."

"I've found that inspiration is the spark which starts the engine of creativity. Be aware, sensitive, and alert to inspiration, and when it comes put it to work. Keep your spiritual antenna reaching for inspiration, for nothing great was ever accomplished without it."

"Life is constantly pounding you from the outside with millions of hammer blows, but you have the last word as to how those blows will change you. Humans alone, of all the creatures of earth, can change their own pattern. Humans alone are the architects of their destiny. William James declared that the greatest revolution in his generation was the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives."