• November 2012

How Empathetic Are You?

How important is it to be empathetic? Business experts agree that it’s the key to success.

Social entrepreneurs across the world agree, especially members of the Millennial generation. They are not simply talking about the value of being empathetic—they are making it the mission of their companies.

Consider the Holstee Manifesto. Pictured right, this treatise was written by three 20somethings in 2009, and has since has gotten millions of hits online, and sales of thousands of posters and greeting cards bearing the empathic, optimistic message: “This is your LIFE. Do what you love, and do it often.” Interestingly, the founders of the Holstee had no idea they were writing what would become the Desiderata of their time.

We had the opportunity to interview Michael Radparvar, one of the authors of the Manifesto, who is also the co-founder of the Holstee design firm that has the tagline: “Design with a conscience.” Check out his three Tips for Entrepreneurs, and our podcast on the new Inkandecent Radio Network. Plus, our Generations columnists explain why Millennials are so inspired by this Manifesto.

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:

  • With November being election month, we asked Forbes.com columnist Ken Krogue, Why did you vote entrepreneur? And, we had the privilege of interviewing international human rights expert “Karen Hanrahan, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Human Rights and Democracy”:,”:http://www.beinkandescent.com/articles/1213/karen-hanrahan about the work she is doing under the Obama administration.

We leave you with this parting thought from Daniel Goleman, psychologist and New York Times science journalist, who said, “If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships—then no matter how smart you are—you are not going to get very far.”

Here’s to your success.Hope Katz Gibbs, publisher, Be Inkandescent magazine • founder, The Inkandescent Group, LLC

The Future of Empathy: Insights From Bill Drayton, Founder of Ashoka

COVER STORY: NOVEMBER 2012

EMPATHY RULES

By Hope Gibbs, Publisher

Bill Drayton has been a social entrepreneur since he was a New York City elementary school student. He was born to a mother who emigrated from Australia as a young cellist and an American father who, also unafraid to step into the unknown, became an explorer at an equally young age.

Public service and strong values run through the stories of both parents’ families, including several of the earliest anti-slavery abolitionist and women’s leaders in the United States. These family influences, the rich diversity and openness of life in Manhattan—as well as America’s deep cultural concern with equity, which flourished during the Civil Rights years—all interacted with one another and with Drayton’s temperament to plant Ashoka’s earliest roots.

We had the opportunity to sit down with Drayton to talk about the powerful international organization that he founded in 1980—which today is focused on creating a world where every child masters empathy. Scroll down for our Q&A.

We also interviewed Danielle Goldstone, the Change Leader in charge of Ashoka’s Start Empathy Initiative. Click here for her three-part strategy on how to ensure that your child, and your company, are empathetic, in our Tips for Entrepreneurs. To learn even more, stay tuned for our upcoming podcast with both Drayton and Goldstone on Inkandescent Radio.

BILL DRAYTON’S START EMPATHY INITIATIVE: How to Create a World Where Every Child Masters Empathy

Be Inkandescent: Tell us about about the power of empathy, the importance of having this skill—and how if kids aren’t empathetic by the time they’re 12, there could be a problem.

Bill Drayton: Let me start by talking a little about when I came up with the idea of Ashoka. I was 19, and in India for the first time. It was the early ’60s, and the differences between poverty in America and India is no longer a statistic. I saw real poverty first hand, and it made a huge impact. If you are empathetic, you see that and want to take action and close the gap. That’s when the idea for Ashoka was born.

Be Inkandescent: It is a big goal, and one that others have likely had before. But creating an organization that can really make such a dramatic change is only effective if it’s in the hands of a great entrepreneur, right?

Bill Drayton: That’s absolutely right. There is a magical moment when the entrepreneur knows their idea is the next big step for the field—environment, human rights, whatever—and that they have learned enough to be able to change the structure of society on a really big scale.

That’s when they need to take the next step. But it’s not easy—especially when it comes to social entrepreneurs, because they often have an idea that doesn’t fit the way most people in their societies think, or the way existing organizations and corporations are set up. Uusally by this time they’ve got a family to support—because the apprenticeship period is typically 10 years.

Plus, in most of the world, there’s no social security system, and so the family they are supporting often really gets upset if the prime breadwinner stops doing the job that brings home the bacon.

Be Inkandescent: And that’s where Ashoka intervenes? Your organization is set up to assist these social entrepreneurs so they can make their big ideas a reality?

Bill Drayton: That’s right. With very small expense, Ashoka is able to allow those rare, rare people who are true social entrepreneurs—one and a half per 10 million, roughly—to quit their day job to work full time at launching their big ideas. It takes some time. They have to test and refine it, then refine it some more. And then they’ve got to figure out how to explain it, and they’ve got to build an organization and movement.

On average, that takes about three years. And we give those entreprenuers’ ideas the freedom to do that. So we give them personal financial support, as long as they need it, to the degree they need it. More important, we invite them into a family of their peers of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs.

Be Inkandescent: That must be incredibly powerful, because I imagine they feel supported.

Bill Drayton: It’s hard to overstate how important that is. You’re a part of a profession, you have colleagues who operate in the same way, you share ideas, methodologies, and truly help one another. Together we are so much more powerful than the sum of the individuals.

And these individuals are really powerful. More than half of them have changed national policy within five years of their launch, and 75 percent have changed the pattern in their field at least at the national level, within five years. Imagine 3,000 Ashoka Fellows working together—it’ll be one of the most powerful forces in the world.

Be Inkandescent: Can you give us an example of what the Ashoka Fellows are doing—and how they are using their empathic powers to make change?

Bill Drayton: Through the work of Muhammad Ibrahim Sobhan, there has been a 44 percent increase in enrollment in rural schools, and the drop-out rate has been cut in half. He was the first Ashoka Fellow in Bangladesh, and what’s beautiful is that the concept behind his Association for School Based Education is so simple. He put young people in charge, beginning with deciding how long school lasted.

The problem was that poor children couldn’t stay long enough at school because they had to go home to work. And, there was no time to do homework. They got frustrated, and felt humiliated they couldn’t keep up, and dropped out. So Sobhan persuaded 4,000 Bangladeshi schools to change.

Classes are now 60 minutes long, and the teacher comes and teaches for 25 minutes; then the kids then sit in circles outside. Whichever child has mastered the lesson leads the group through exercises, and kids who get it right help those who don’t. The teacher goes from group to group as a resource. No homework. Just learning. Now, poor kids have no reason to fall behind.

Be Inkandescent: Clearly, Sobhan is highly empathetic, and smart about knowing how to solve a giant problem. Can you give us another example?

Bill Drayton: Take a look at Canadian Ashoka Fellow Mary Gordon. She was teaching in Toronto, and increasingly saw children coming to school who were very aggressive. That invited other kids to be aggressive back. Every time kids went through that cycle, it got more ingrained.

So she found a way to break the cycle. At the start of the school year, she brings an infant who is 2-4 months old to “teach” the class. The baby wears a T-shirt that says, “The Professor,” and sits on a green blanket with its mom. The students then have the responsibility of figuring out: What is the professor saying? What is the professor feeling? It’s limbic learning, and it’s powerful.

Be Inkandescent: This is the essence of empathy, right? Is it something we are all born with?

Bill Drayton: Yes. We’re all born with an intense inherited and necessary need to be a part of society. We can’t survive without it. In that first decade of life, though, it can be bullied out of us. And that’s a concern, because if more people aren’t skilled at empathy—increasingly, they’ll be marginalized in life.

Why? To find out:
• Click here to read our entire interview with Bill Drayton.
• Listen to Drayton’s advice on Inkandescent Radio.
• In this month’s Tips for Entrepreneurs, Ashoka Change Leader Danielle Goldstone helps us discover the Start Empathy Initiative’s Three Ways to Be More Empathetic.
• And Holstee’s Michael Radparvar shares what he’s learned in Start-Up Rules for Business Success.

Danielle Goldstone Teaches Us To Be More Empathetic

HOW CAN KIDS, AND BUSINESS LEADERS, BECOME MORE EMPATHETIC?

Why is empathy so important, anyway?

Those are but some of the question we posed to Danielle Goldstone, the Change Leader at the international social business firm Ashoka, where she heads up the international organization’s Start Empathy Initiative.

The mission, she explains, is to create a world where every child masters empathy. That is, they foster the ability to understand the feelings and perspectives of others and to use that understanding to guide their actions.

A collaboration of social entrepreneurs, educators, parents, and key players in the media, business, and academic sectors, Ashoka’s ultimate goal is to make empathy as essential as reading and math in early education.

“We’re not building a program, or a curriculum, or a silver-bullet fix,” she explains. “Rather, we’re working to unleash demand for empathy as a core 21st century skill. We are building the case for why it matters, identifying key practices and principles needed to cultivate it effectively, and putting those principles into action.”

In October, we sat down with Goldstone at Ashoka headquarters, on the 20th floor of a building just outside of DC. From here, she and the other changemakers have a birds eye view of the nation’s capitol—a place where empathy isn’t always the focus. But Ashoka is trying to change that.

Be Inkandescent: Tell us a little bit about the Empathy Initiative. Why is it especially important for kids, and business leaders, to be empathetic?

Danielle Goldstone: As Ashoka founder Bill Drayton explained in your interview with him, the world is changing faster than ever before. Our success—as individuals, institutions, and society—increasingly depends on our ability to be changemakers, equipped with skills and mindset to create solutions where others see only problems.

Ashoka has the mission of “everyone a changemaker,” trying to create a world where every person, literally every person, believes that they can have their own ideas. They can use these ideas to take initiative and drive change in the world. We believe that this is essential in a world where change is as rapid as it is today and getting more so.

In Ashoka’s work with social entrepreneurs around the world, we have homed in on empathy as a foundational skill in one’s capacity to be what we call a “changemaker” in the world. If one doesn’t understand the feelings and perspectives of other people, it is difficult to be able to see through problems to solutions. That is how we define empathy. We talk about it as, “the ability to understand the feelings and perspectives of others and to guide one’s actions accordingly.” There is an active component of that and it is how you apply empathy in order to be a changemaker.

Be Inkandescent: Not everyone is born being empathetic?

Danielle Goldstone: There is more and more science and research on this topic. It shows that empathy is an innate capacity we all have as human beings, but like any other skill or capacity that we are born with, if you don’t develop it or practice it on a regular basis, then you are not going to be very empathetic. It takes treating it as a skill so you are growing up learning it, practicing it in order to develop higher abilities.

Be Inkandescent: I would imagine that in some communities, or even in some households where there is some patriarchy or violence, kids could see being empathetic as a dangerous quality.

Danielle Goldstone: Yeah, I think that’s right. And that is why we need to work closely with schools, but we are trying to draw parents in as much as possible because obviously parents have the biggest influence on their kids. In terms of a social change strategy, it is more difficult to get into every home in the country than it is to get into every school.

The schools that we are working with have ways of engaging parents and families and communities in their work. It is not just kids spending a school day in this isolated space and then going back to homes that may not be empathetic homes. It is something that we do have to be aware of: parents play a real critical role here. We have to help parents understand why this is so important and how they can develop their own capacity for empathy so they are modeling it for their kids as well.

Be Inkandescent: Can you give us a few tips for parents? What can we do for our kids to make sure that they have this important skill?

Danielle Goldstone: We have developed a website, startempathy.org where we are putting a lot of these tips for both parents and educators. We are gathering these tips from Ashoka Fellows, educators, and other parents and people who really have a lot of experience in this.

A few of the trends that come out of that: listening, very simple and very obvious. We have one Ashoka Fellow, David Castro, who has an empathy experiment where you just spend eight minutes listening to somebody. This could be a child, this could be somebody you work with, this could be anybody; you just spend eight minutes really listening. Without interrupting or trying to solve their problem, just really listening and trying to hear what their perspective is and trying to understand their feelings.

That is a very simple one. Another thing, with parents in particular, being vulnerable and allowing yourself to be vulnerable with your kids, instead of asking how their day was, you talk about your own day and some of the things you experienced and some of the feelings you experienced during the day: being open about that so they see you expressing your emotions. This will make them feel more comfortable doing that as well.

Be Inkandescent: That is interesting because I know a lot of parents feel that would be bad parenting to let your kids know too much of what goes on in your life, because you’re not protecting them then for instance. An interview that we did in the September 2012 issue of Be Inkandescent with Dr. Lisa Boesky, author of When to Worry, talks about that. How do you address this concern for parents?

Danielle Goldstone: Obviously there are boundaries that are important to have. And I disclaim right now that I am no parenting expert. But for a lot of folks we talked to, vulnerability becomes an important aspect of creating empathetic cultures generally in the workplace, home, and schools. We don’t allow people to bring their emotions into the workplace or into school. If we are going to build kids’ ability to be empathic, then that needs to be a part of the conversation. A lot of our fellows and other experts whom we’ve talked to stress that as an important aspect. And yes, of course, there are definitely boundaries to what you say to kids.

Be Inkandescent: I agree wholeheartedly that having appropriate boundaries is key. But I think it’s also about getting past your own fears, and helping your children not have those same fears. It’s really complicated for a lot of people—no matter how old you are.

Danielle Goldstone: Yes, I agree with that. And one great way to do that is to read books. Research shows us that this is a great way to develop empathy, because you are inherently putting yourself in the shoes of the characters you’re reading about. When we read to kids, and I do this when reading to my niece or nephew, a lot of adults ask kids about the “what” of the story, but don’t use that huge opportunity to ask questions like, “What are the feelings of the character?” and “What do you think she’s feeling in this situation?” By asking these questions, you’re developing your kids’ reading ability, but you’re also using that time as an opportunity to help them develop empathy.

Be Inkandescent: Excellent tips. While these tend be great ideas for your target group of kids 12 and under, do you have some tips on ways to help teens be more empathetic?

Danielle Goldstone: There are several Ashoka Fellows who work with teenagers, including Molly Barker, (pictured right), who founded Girls on the Run. Her program is a national phenomenon for it is physical and emotional training (running clubs, especially) to help girls challenge the status quo and see themselves as part of a healthy, well-balanced society. Since 1996, more than 400,000 girls have participated in the US and Canada. She’s created 191 active organizations in 46 states, and 37,000 volunteers were engaged in the program in 2010-2011 alone.

Eric Dawson’s Peace First program works with middle school students, as well as elementary-age kids. His program builds safe, effective school climates where children learn how to be engaged and active citizens. Often, participants are at-risk of dropping out, and of those who graduated from the program so far, 95 percent said they now understand how other people feel; 84 percent said they came to want to attend school.

Be Inkandescent: We understand that Ashoka also has a program called Youth Venture.

Danielle Goldstone: Yes, and we’re really proud of this program. It works with 12 to 20 year olds, basically to develop and launch their own social ventures in their school and communities.

We send kids to school and they go through that experience sort of passively, consuming knowledge and rules. But, it is such a great and critical time to really develop the skills to be creative, to figure out how to solve problems and to figure out how to work in teams to solve problems.

Our Venture program works with kids to do that. Young people in middle school and through college who have ideas and see a problem in their school or community and want to do something about it. We support them to basically create what we call a “venture” and build a team around it. They get other kids involved and help them lead that initiative. This is something that Ashoka has a program for, but it is something that the school and parent could do.

Be Inkandescent: Is this really an exercise in encouraging adults to get out of the way of kids?

Danielle Goldstone: It is! Often adults feel the need to control. When parents and teachers step out of the way, often the young people do amazing things. Obviously within the parameters and boundaries that young people need, but step out of the way and let them create while encouraging them to do that. I visited a school in Bridgeport, Connecticut. It was a Catholic school and it was phenomenal the environment they had created there.

Basically, the school was responsive to what kids wanted to do. This is, mind you, a Blue Ribbon School. They are doing really well in all of the traditional standards, but they are creating the space for young people to take charge.

A teacher there told me a story about how she had a 6th grader come to her crying because he had been unable to come up with an invention for this project that they were part of at the University of Connecticut called the Invention Convention. He was upset because it was a day or a week before the convention and he hadn’t been able to come up with something. Well, he was in her classroom when her 8th grade social studies class came in.

Here is where empathy and change making came into play. Empathy was such a part of the culture at this school that instead of laughing at the kid crying in the room, they asked the teacher why he was crying. They were concerned and she explained. They said, “Well why don’t we help him.” She said, “Okay, so close your social studies books.”

She recognized it as a learning opportunity and she obviously had the freedom within the school to make that decision to seize that opportunity, and they spent that class helping the 6th grader develop some ideas he could then take and run with and create his thing. That’s the type of school that we really need because that’s the way the world works.

Be Inkandescent: Ah, the power of brainstorming sessions!

Danielle Goldstone: It’s true. It’s used in business, but these are powerful tools for teachers, too. And those are the opportunities that most teachers wouldn’t spot necessarily or if they did, and many of them do, they feel completely powerless. They need to teach social studies in that period. That is what they have been told they have to do, and they don’t have the freedom to make that choice and to seize that learning opportunity. That is a problem.

Be Inkandescent: It sounds like a real undercurrent for the empathy project is just letting people do what comes naturally to them and encouraging them to be the special person they are, the empathetic, caring kind of person who sometimes society beats out of us.

Danielle Goldstone: Right. In fact, there is some interesting research on how babies tend to exhibit naturally helping behaviors. There are these studies in which an infant and an adult are in a room. The adult drops something and pretends and acts like they can’t reach it. The baby will come over and get the pen or whatever the adult dropped.

They see and recognize that, “Oh, this person is struggling to reach this thing and I can go help.” That research suggests that this is very innate, that we are born with this capacity for empathy. The problem is that somehow we beat it out. Certainly the education system that we have, which was developed in the Industrial Age, was created to serve Industrial Age purposes, and doesn’t support necessarily that skill.

That’s what we are basically seeking to change so that every child, as they are growing up and going through school, would be getting an education that is equipping them with empathy, team work, leadership, changemaking and this other set of skills that they need to be effective changemakers in this world.

Be Inkandescent: Sounds like a beautiful change. You also have a program that works at the college level?

Danielle Goldstone: Yes, our AshokaU program works with universities that are modeling social entrepreneurship education at the college level and thinking through in deep ways this changemaker vision and what role universities can play in advancing that world. There are several changemaker campuses.

We are building this link through the entire education system about how you educate people to be changemakers in the world. Of course, starting as early as possible, certainly elementary and even Pre-K.

Be Inkandescent: Amazing! Ashoka is also working with Harvard University?

Danielle Goldstone: We have been talking to some faculty up there, and they are working on a research project around distilling from evidence-based programs that cultivate empathy and other skills. What are the scalable strategies that any educator or parent could use?

Part of the problem is you have very expensive social learning programs out there, great programs, but pretty expensive for schools. There are principles in those programs that can be used by anybody. For schools that can’t afford it, what are the strategies that they can use to help cultivate these skills even without the expensive programs?

Be Inkandescent: Tell us about those principles.

Danielle Goldstone: The project is still in progress, so we don’t have the final report on that. But we are seeing even in our direct work with schools, and of course with our Fellows, three design principles that we think are important in creating an environment where empathy is developed as a skill.

The first, as I’ve said before, is that you treat empathy as a skill whether or not it is a skill. We have grown up thinking empathy is just a value, character trait, or genetic thing that only some people have. What we see Ashoka Fellows doing, and schools now, is treating empathy as a skill by helping kids develop it, practice it. Some people think of empathy as a soft skill, but it can be a hard skill if we define it simply by what skills you need to succeed in the world. So, treat empathy as a skill.

Then, there is a cultural aspect. How do you treat a culture for open exchange? That’s where the vulnerability and these sorts of things come in. How do you create environments of trust within schools? One of our first changemaker schools, Mission Hill in Boston, created an incredible culture of trust in the school among the teachers, and the teachers and the students, that makes developing these skills just part of their daily experience. So that culture is really important. What are the conditions in which empathy can thrive?

Finally, there is a systemic element. How do you create the systems that encourage and synthesize empathic action? Permission and development of teachers in schools is a critical synthetic aspect. If you don’t have teachers who have this set of skills and know how to cultivate them in kids, then it is not going to work, right? Are you building empathy into the profession and development of teachers?

This school in Bridgeport that I mentioned, by building a risk-free environment, allows young people to act on their empathy and use those moments. We have gathered a wealth of knowledge about the ways schools can develop empathy from the disciplinary part of the school. That is a key opportunity to whether you are going to cultivate empathy or not.

Be Inkandescent: Empathy begets empathy, it seems. This is true in business settings, as well. In fact, when we were chatting earlier, you mentioned a story about the Taj Hotel in India that reflected this beautifully.

Danielle Goldstone: Of course. And that’s the point about the Start Empathy Initiative—to create a world where everyone is empathetic, especially in the business community.

A great example is the Tata Group, a major corporation in India that has several subsidiary companies, owns the property and their hospitality company owns the Taj Hotel in Mumbai. When the hotel was attacked by terrorists in November 2008, a bomb set it on fire and employees literally risked their lives trying to get guests out of the hotel. Some of them did actually die trying to do this.

The interesting thing was that few people understood why the employees would risk their lives running into a burning building. So they did some research. It turned out that the Tata hires people based on their skills of empathy and related skills. They bypass the best colleges and universities in India or the top-scoring students in those universities to find the people who have a certain set of skills that they value as a company.

And those are exactly the kind of people who risk their lives to save someone else. So here, you have a major corporation valuing empathy, and using it in their recruitment process—bypassing traditional skills that are often sought after. The result is this amazing story from the Taj.

Be Inkandescent: That really captures the essence of empathy, and its power.

Danielle Goldstone: It does, and this is just the beginning. As humans, we are literally wired for empathy, but like any skill, it only flourishes if we nurture it. That’s why Ashoka has a three-part strategy that moves empathy from a nice-to-have skill to a must-have skill.

1. Accelerate social entrepreneurs. We are mobilizing Ashoka’s unique global network of social entrepreneurs to collectively realize the vision of a world where every child masters empathy. We are also identifying new Ashoka Fellows who are designing system-changing solutions that advance empathy in individuals, institutions, and communities.

2. Change the conversation. We are aggregating and amplifying voices from across society to help parents, educators, and others understand more clearly how essential it is that children grow up learning and practicing empathy. We’re also working with key influencers to help advance the public conversation about empathy.

3. Activate schools. We are collaborating with educators and building a leading network of schools that equip children to be changemakers, starting with empathy. We seek to inspire and enable all schools to clearly identify, and then assess, the habits and skills students and teachers alike need to be creative, solution-oriented, empathetic citizens.

For more information, visit StartEmpathy.org.

Ripeness is all.”

– William Shakespeare

As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.”

– Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent.”

– Thomas Edison

Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity.”

– Ray Bradbury

I will pay more for the ability to deal with people than any other ability under the sun.”

– John D. Rockefeller

Whosoever knows how to fight well is not angry. Whosoever knows how to conquer enemies does not fight them.”

– Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”

– Nolan Bushnell, founder, Chuck E. Cheese's

Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.”

– Annie Dillard

Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.”

– Leo Jozef Suenens

If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it.”

– Jesse Jackson

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.”

– President Calvin Coolidge

Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.”

– Helen Keller

If people like you they’ll listen to you; if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.”

– Zig Ziglar

No longer talk at all about the kind of man a good man ought to be, but be such.”

– Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.

– Robert Frost

Sometimes the dreams that come true are the dreams you never even knew you had.”

– Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones

Education is an admirable thing to have, but it is well to remember that nothing worth knowing can be taught.”

– Oscar Wilde

I don’t do very well without fear. There needs to be a part of me saying, ‘That’s going to fail,’ so I can prove myself wrong.”

– Harry Potter's Daniel Radcliffe

Speaking more than one language is no longer just an asset in today’s job market; it is a requirement.”

– Tom Adams, CEO, Rosetta Stone

Do not be afraid of mistakes, providing you do not make the same one twice.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

Friendship is the only cement that will hold the world together.”

– Woodrow Wilson

When you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…”

– John Lennon

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”

– William Shakespeare

There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”

– JFK

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams, for when dreams go, life is a barren field frozen with snow.”

– Langston Hughes

I was taught at a very young age that you can do whatever you want to, but you have to make it happen — not just talk about it.”

– Kathleen Jo Ryan

Never never never never give up.”

– Winston Churchill

When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.”

– Audre Lorde

If you would create something,
 you must be something.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

It is only when the mind is free from the old that it meets everything anew, and in that there is joy.”

– J. Kristnhamurti, The First and Last Freedom

A diamond is a lump of coal that stuck with it.”

– Norwegian proverb

The good ideas are all hammered out in agony by individuals, not spewed out by groups.”

– Charles Brower, Advertising Hall of Fame

Treat the attainment of happiness in the same way an entrepreneur would approach building a business — with a vision, plan, goals, and a systematic approach.”

– Ted Leonsis

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

– Thomas Edison

It is to no purpose to turn away from the real nature of the affair because the honor of its elements excites repugnance.

– Carl von Clausewitz, On War

Who cares if my glass is half empty or half full; I still have something to drink.”

– Optimism rules

You don’t love someone because of their looks or their clothes or their car. You love them because they sing a song only your heart can understand.”

– L.J. Smith

Destiny is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

– William Jennings Bryan

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. 
Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.”

– Mary Jean Irion

Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.”

– Thomas Carlyle

If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”

– Thomas Edison

Let us seize the day and the opportunity and strive for that greatness of spirit that measures life not by its disappointments but by its possibilities.”

– W.E.B. Du Bois

Find somebody to be successful for. Raise their hopes. Think of their needs.”

– Barack Obama

A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up.”

– Albert Schweitzer

The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. The greatest failure is to not try.”

– Debbi Fields, Mrs. Fields Cookies

You often meet your fate on the road you take to avoid it.”

– Goldie Hawn

It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them.”

– Alfred Adler

If you think you are too small to make a difference, try going to sleep with a mosquito in your room.”

– A wisdomism

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”

– Groucho Marx

Be Inkandescent Magazine's Back Issues

Don’t miss the great advice our entrepreneurs have offered in the past. Click below to view our back issues.