Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What did you say?

I love collecting interesting expressions. I think it’s fascinating that a few words can sum up a profound thought so succinctly. Here are some of my favourites:

It's a low hanging fruit. This expression made me think of the Garden of Eden for some reason. It conjures how easy it is to do something when the idea is laid out before you. Or to be tempted. It also could be an obvious answer.

Not my circus, not my monkey. I chuckled when I first read this on a Facebook post. The meaning couldn’t be more obvious. Not my responsibility, not my business. Shikena! (That’s Hausa for ‘finish.’)

A lot of ink has been spilled on this. Time to move on! We have spent enough time on this!

We are made of flesh and bones...we cannot do this merely with the energy of our own despair
- Herve Falciani. Falciani, a Franco-Italian whistleblower, exposed the theft of thousands of HSBC clients' financial details, which led to a major probe into tax evasion and money laundering in 2013. Because whistleblowers are often prosecuted and criminalized, Falciani made this statement to state his belief that whistleblowers should be financially compensated. Financial compensation would take the sting out of the pressure to ‘do the right thing’. I don’t know whether I agree with him or not, but this statement definitely made me think.

A purpose is the eternal condition of success - Theodore T. Munger. As the Bible says, without vision the people perish. Having a vision born out of knowing God’s purpose for your life delineates your choices and sets boundaries for your life. Success is living God’s purpose.

Whoever enters the way without a guide will take 100 years to travel a 2-day journey – Rumi. This one makes me sigh almost every time I read it. No one can make it on their own. This statement is a great advocate for having a mentor and also for being a mentor to someone who wants to go where you’ve been. No one who has achieved anything in this life got there without help from someone else, whether they recognize and acknowledge that help or not. From a word of encouragement to a shoulder to cry on; from instruction to introductions, progress is not a one-man journey.

Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small people who find it easier to live in the world they have been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Need I say more?

The result of delayed obedience is lost opportunity. This was in my daily devotional a few months ago. How often are opportunities missed because of hesitation or uncertainty? Or just sheer pigheadedness?

Death is the reward of an undisciplined life; your foolish decisions trap you in a dead end. - Proverbs 5:23 The Message. Talk about an anecdote for today’s ‘if it feels good, do it’ lifestyle.

Some of my other favourite expressions are:

You should never gamble with something you're not willing to lose.

Why don't you light a candle instead of complaining about the dark? - Mother Theresa

If you want to go fast you go by yourself. But if you want to go far, you take your family. - Yvan.

Any relationship that cannot be tested is not reliable. - Pastor Ropo Tusin

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that don't work. - Thomas Edison. Talk about tenacity. I think anyone who wants to be a published author has to take this to heart.

What are some of the expressions or phrases that have captured your mind? Do you use any of them as a motto for your life?

Ufuoma Daniella Ojo is a Senior Technical Author and Software Trainer.


  1. “Roads were made for journeys not destinations." I think Confucius said it, but of course i head it off a movie ;) . I love "A purpose is the eternal condition of success." Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love that - roads were made for journeys...Will be adding that to my list. Thanks Angela

  3. Thanks Ufuoma for that list. I particularly love that Edison one. Incredible what he created and as you say he had such tenacity to fail and then keep trying to create the future.