Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.


"The idle man stands outside of God’s plan, outside of the ordained scheme of things; and the truest self-respect, the noblest independence, and the most genuine dignity; are not to be found there." - Josiah Gilbert Holland, also Joshua Gilbert Holland

"He who every morning plans the transactions of the day and follows out the plan carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life. The orderly arrangement of his time is like a ray of life which darts itself through all his occupations. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incident, chaos will soon reign." - Victor Hugo

"There is a divinity within you. No matter what your problem appears to be, the real problem is seldom the problem you see. The real problems is your inability or unwillingness to allow this divinity to unfold its plan through you." - Richard and Mary-Alice Jafolla

"We are each put on this earth to make a particular contribution to humanity... Although God, the Almighty, has a plan for every one of us, He gives us choices. It is our responsibility to make the best of those choices in order to achieve our ultimate purpose." - Mary Lou Retton

"The despotism of will in ideas is styled plan, project, character, obstinacy; its despotism in desires is called passion." -

"You sow the seeds of your destiny through the way you think, the way you plan, the way you fantasize, the way you deal with fellow beings." - Shantananda Saraswathi, fully Swami Shantananda Saraswathi, born Chandrashekar

"Since the mind is a specific biocomputer, it needs specific instructions and directions. The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don't define them, learn about them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them." -

"Four steps to achievement: plan purposefully, prepare prayerfully, proceed positively, pursue persistently." -

"Only fools waste their present moments regretting what is over and done with. They will constantly say, “If only I hadn’t gotten involved in this venture, I wouldn’t have suffered.” “If only I would have stayed an hour longer, this would not have happened.” We are not prophets and there is no possible way to know in advance exactly what will be. Try to protect yourself from harm, but realize we can never plan for every contingency." - Mendel Zabaraz

"Most people don't plan to fail; they fail to plan." - John L Beckley

"The method of the enterprising is to plan with audacity and execute with vigor; to sketch out a map of possibilities; and then to treat them as probabilities." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"Killing time is suicide on the installment plan." - Noah Weinberg, fully Rabbi Yisrael Noah Weinberg

"God made sin possible just as he made all lying wonders possible, but he never made it a fact, never set anything in his plan to harmonize with it. Therefore it enters the world as a forbidden fact against everything that God has ordained." - Horace Bushnell

"The conscientious plodder is nearly always outdistanced by the fellow who stops occasionally to analyze and plan." - W. J. Cameron, fully William John Cameron

"A contemplative life has more the appearance of a life of piety than any other; but it is the divine plan to bring faith into activity and exercise." - Richard Cecil

"Nutrition is a young subject; it has been kicked around like a puppy that cannot take care of itself. food faddists and crackpots have kicked it pretty cruelly... They seem to believe that unless food tastes like Socratic hemlock, it cannot build health. Frankly, I often wonder what such persons plan to do with good health in case they acquire it." - Daisie Adelle Davis

"The individual's whole experience is built upon the plan of his language." - Henri Delacroix

"In the first place, the human mind, no matter how highly trained, is not capable of grasping the Universe. We are like a little child entering a huge library. The walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many tongues. The little child knows that someone must have written these books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books - a mysterious order which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the human mind to God. And because I believe this, I am not an atheist." - Albert Einstein

"With the seizing of the means of production by society, production of commodities is done away with, and, simultaneously, the mastery of the product over the producer. Anarchy in social production is replaced by plan-conforming, conscious organization. The struggle for individual existence disappears... Only from that time will man himself, with full consciousness, make his own history - only from that time will the social causes set in movement by him have, in the main and in a constantly growing measure, the results intended by him. It is the ascent of man from the kingdom of necessity to the kingdom of freedom." - Friedrich Engels

"To accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream, not only plan but also believe." - Anatole France, pen name of Jacques Anatole Francois Thibault

"The essential element of successful strategy is that it derives its success from the differences between competitors with a consequent difference in their behavior. Ordinarily, this means that any corporate policy and plan which is typical of the industry is doomed to mediocrity. Where this is not so, it should be possible to demonstrate that all other competitors are at a distinct disadvantage." - Bruce Doolin Henderson

"It is a bad plan that cannot be altered." - Publius Syrus

"Maybe we’re just one experiment... Maybe we’re part of the creator’s great caldron, boiling with a wealth of phenomena that the most learned physicians and physicists are just beginning to figure out... I think it’s impossible to think our being here is the result of chance. I think we’re part of a master plan known only to the Creator." - Cory SerVaas

"In order to remain self-sufficient and calm during chaos, one must have a holistic perspective--a master plan with which help you cope. Those who are flexible and have prepared themselves will find that the accelerated changes to come will provide a profound opening of consciousness to minimize the stresses and discomforts of the journey." - Richard Smolowe, fully Richard Edward Smolowe

"Research teaches a man to admit he is wrong and to be proud of the fact that he does so, rather than try with all his energy to defend an unsound plan because he is afraid that admission of error is a confession of weakness when rather it is a sign of strength." - H. E. Stocher

"Despite what man can do to man--and nature's plan--there are those civilizations out there in the cosmos who believe that Planet Earth is worth helping in its time of great adjustments." - Tauri NULL

"An intelligent plan is the first step to success." - Basil S. Walsh

"God has given man the eye of investigation by which he may see and recognize truth. He has endowed man with ears that he may hear the message of reality, and conferred upon him the gift of reason by which he may discover things for himself. Man is not intended to see through the eyes of another, hear through another’s ears nor comprehend with another’s brain. Each human creature has individual endowment, power and responsibility in the creative plan of God." - Abdul Baha, or ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, born `Abbás Effendí

"Shift your emphasis from problems to challenges. The relationship of this concept to tension is very close. When you have problems you worry about them. When you have challenges, you are working, applying and attacking this plan to get results. The shift in thinking from problems to challenges is important in making tension an asset. Don’t let unsolved problems pursue you, make your decisions and forget them, and then do your job as well as you can." - Joe D. Batten and Leonard C. Hudson

"If you plan for a year, plant a seed. If for ten years, plant a tree. If for a hundred year, teach the people. When you sow a seed once, you will reap a single harvest. When you teach the people, you will reap a hundred harvests." - Kuan Chung

"In our loss of the perception of the Void and our conviction that particular things are finally real, we come to believe in the separate, isolated reality of some enduring self within us for which we a plan and hope great things. Alas, we are frustrated in our hoping because all through our lives our hopes are incompletely attained or, if fulfilled, strangely unsatisfying after all." - Douglas A. Fox

"You grow in grace and understanding by solving your daily problems as they arise, by the Practice of the Presence of God, by a tolerant attitude toward others, by plan horse sense (which is Divine Wisdom in you), by sincere and honest dealing at all times, and by cultivating a true sense of humor – which always brings us nearer to God. The great point is that life is to be met and mastered. Outer conditions and appearances are simply of no importance in themselves except as they supply material for growth." - Emmet Fox

"I have always thought that one man of tolerable abilities may work great changes, and accomplish great affairs among mankind, if he first forms a good plan, and, cutting off all amusements or other employments that would divert his attention, makes the execution of that same plan his sole study and business." - Benjamin Franklin

"Retreat is often a plan of resistance and may be a precursor of great bravery and sacrifice. Every retreat is not cowardice which implies fear to die." - Mahatma Gandhi, fully Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu

"The message is clear: plan with attitude, prepare with aptitude, participate with servitude, receive with gratitude, and this should be enough to separate you from the multitudes." - Krish Khanam

"A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." - Eleanor Roosevelt, fully Anna Eleanor Roosevelt

"The Nine Mistakes [about ways to think about the meaning of life]: (1) Only the infinite has meaning; the finite can only have meaning insofar as it participates in the infinite. (2) The meaning of life consists in some goal or purpose. (3) The meaning of life is happiness. (4) The meaning of life must be invented. (5) Life cannot have a meaning if the universe is entirely composed of matter, as science teaches us. (6) The sole or primary purpose of evaluations is to guide our choice of actions, and value judgments are reducible to reasons for action. (7) The meaning of a person’s life cannot extend to things beyond the boundaries of his or her mode of living. (8) A person’s life does not having meaning because only linguistic items can be meaningful. (9) The meaning of our lives consists in our living in accordance with a self-determined life-plan." - Garrett Thomson

"We may conclude that the claim `Either there is a plan or else the existence of life is pure chance’ presents a false dichotomy. We’re not trapped into having to agree either with Teilhard or Monod. We can disagree with both." - Garrett Thomson

"While the theory of evolution spells out how the changes take place, any concept of a cosmic plan would specify why." - Garrett Thomson

"The 'preferred future' - an image of aspiration - [is] a powerful guidance mechanism… When people plan present actions by working backward from what is really desired, they develop energy, enthusiasm, optimism and high commitment." - Marvin Weisbord

"The world asks that we focus less on how we can coerce something to make it conform to our designs and focus more on how we can engage with one another, how we can enter into the experience and then notice what comes forth. It asks that we participate more than plan." - Margaret J. Wheatley and Myron Kellner-Rogers

"We could make our lives so much more interesting, and develop so many new capacities, if we sought to work with the unknowns of emergence, rather than try and plan surprise out of our lives." - Margaret J. Wheatley and Myron Kellner-Rogers

"The life that conquers is the life that moves with a steady resolution and persistence toward a predetermined goal. Those who succeed are those who have thoroughly learned the immense importance of plan in life, and the tragic brevity of time." - W. J. Davison

"Humans have the ability to act consciously, and collectively, [exercising foresight to] choose their own evolutionary path. In our crucial epoch we cannot leave the selection of the next step in the evolution of human society and culture to chance. We must plan for it, consciously and purposefully." -

"If humanity, or life in general, was created to serve a particular purpose beyond itself, our being would be analogous to a manufactured artifact. There seems to be little in this state of affairs to justify the exultation that religious people sometimes feel in thinking that God's plan reveals the purpose and the meaning of all reality." - Irving Singer

"If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you'll be unhappy for the rest of your life." - Abraham Harold Maslow

"To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe." -

"To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe."" -