Paul Hawthorne's Web Site

Paul's Favorite Quotations

Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.

Mary Lou Cook

Yet if the only form of tradition, of handing down, consisted in following the ways of the immediate generation before us in a blind or timid adherence to its successes, 'tradition' should be positively discouraged. We have seen many such simple currents lost in the sand; and novelty is better than repetition. [Tradition] cannot be inherited, and if you want it you must obtain it by great labor.

T. S. Eliot, "Tradition and the Individual Talent"

I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won't have to die. The truth is you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren't even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they're doing it.

Anne Lamott

You can accept, reject, or examine and test any new idea that comes to you. The wise man chooses the third way.

Tom Willhite

Even if you were a great swimmer and could easily swim the English Channel, a boat would still get you there far more quickly, dry, and not exhausted. Music theory is a boat.

Andrés Segovia

Commitment is not about struggle... it is surrendering to the choice.

Lance Giroux

If it feels good (tomorrow), do it (today). It may not feel good today.

Tom Willhite


inscription on a Babson Boulder in Dogtown Common, Mass.

Democracy is the worst form of government ever invented, apart from all the other forms which have been tried to date.

Winston Churchill

To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.

Theodore Roosevelt

God does not make mistakes.

Alexander Everett

If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.


The world is your oyster.

Rick Hughes (Paul ascribed this to me in an email – I used to hear it from Brian Audley, but it is more usually ascribed to William Shakespeare.)

You need to listen to your body because your body is listening to you.

Dr. Phil McGraw


Contributions by Paul's Web site, Rick Hughes, and Will Fastie. Other contributions welcome.

Updated 10 Apr 2007 by WF