C. Kent Wright’s “Nectar in a Nutshell” Has Some Great Quotes

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Quotes, skmurphy

I saw a quote by C. Kent Wright “To sway an audience, you must watch them as you speak” and decided to purchase one of his quote collections “Nectar in a Nutshell.” It was first published in October of 1944 and my copy is the “fifth impression” from 1945. In his introduction he explains that he has been collecting quotes for years in different note-books:

This little anthology owes its existence to the casual application of Captain Cuttle’s famous maxim: “When found, make a note of.” I acquired the habit of jotting down odd quotations during my schooldays, and it has now developed into something akin to a vice. In some ways it is a tiresome habit, because it often means the interruption in the reading of an enjoyable and exciting passage.

This really resonated with me, although my own habit of collecting quotes didn’t start until my thirties. One quote from W.E. Henley in his introduction is such a funny image that I had to share it here: “As for So-And-So collecting his thoughts, as he threatens, a cat might as well collect the sparks from it’s back when it’s fur is stroked in frosty weather.”

He included two quotes that I have seen attributed to many folks who were not alive in 1945–or at least not adults–I include them here just for accurate sourcing:

  • “The world is divided into people who do things and people who get the credit. Try, if you can, to belong to the first class. There’s far less competition.”
    Dwight Morrow
  • “I divide the world into three classes: the few who make things happen, the many who watch things happen, and the overwhelming majority who have not idea of what happens.”
    Nicholas Murray Butler

We are in the midst of preparations for our workshop next Saturday and I found these two particularly useful advice:

  • “I became increasingly convinced that it is not knowledge, but the means of gaining knowledge, which I have to teach.” Arnold of Rugby
  • “The general principles of any study you may learn by books at home; but the detail, the color, the air, the life which makes it live in us–you must catch all those from those in whom it lives already.” Cardinal Newman

A number of entrepreneurs have a certain amount of issues with attention deficit (I normally follow Hallowell‘s advice from “Driven to Distraction” work with teammates who are afflicted with Attention Surplus Disorder so that between us we average out). What’s interesting is that conflict and stress normally allow people with ADD to focus much more effectively. I thought these two quotes about “the English” were also applicable to many effective entrepreneurs (see also “Cultivating Calmness in a Crisis“)

I have written about the value of jotting your thoughts on 3×5 cards, but here is more encouragement:

  • “Take notes on the spot; a note is worth a cartload of recollection.”
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

One of our clients is starting to wrestle with growth and the need to formalize policies and procedures. I found this quote a nice summary of the challenge inherent in writing a good guideline (e.g. for expense reimbursement, allocating sales compensation, or compensatory time off for exempt employees).

  • “It is a very easy thing to devise good laws; the difficulty is to make them effective.”
    Viscount Bolingbroke (1678-1751)

It’s a funny thing about money and happiness. I have written about entrepreneurial motivation and affluenza as well as the fact that we don’t encourage individuals to found a startup. I found the following very relevant to discussions of money and happiness.

  • “There is a taint about money earned by honest work. By the time one has earned enough of it one has got into such a habit of work that one does not know how to idle.” Robert Lynd
  • “It costs a lot of money to die comfortably.” Samuel Butler
  • “Happiness consists of intense activity in congenial surroundings”
    Harold Nicolson
  • “Happiness, I have discovered, is nearly always a rebound from hard work.”
    David Grayson (pen name for Ray Stannard Baker)
  • “The cause of most discontents is rust: rusty hands, rusty minds. Make what you can, be it symphonies or pullovers, epics or mince pies–and sweet content will be yours.” Francis Brett Young

I have blogged about the value of partners and how successful entrepreneurship is an ongoing self-improvement program. I found this quote very appropriate for entrepreneurs.

  • “The young have aspirations that never come to pass, the old have reminiscences of what never happened. It is only the middle-aged who are really conscious of their limitations.”
    Saki (pen name for Hector Henry Munro)

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Comments (1)

  • Laurentius Rex

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    “he was the kind of man who pronounces notwithstanding as a monosyllable” anon.

    Well I could give a Harvard citation to C Kent Wright for that little gem, but alas not back to it’s original author, but then does every schoolboy really know who imprisoned Montezuma and who strangled Atahualpa?

    My copy of the book has lost it’s from cover and alas is literally falling to pieces, I guess I will have to scan it one day for posterity.

    Reply

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