Top Useful Things Quotes

Browse top 58 famous quotes and sayings about Useful Things by most favorite authors.

Favorite Useful Things Quotes

1. "The art of meditation is a way of getting into touch with reality, and the reason for it is that most civilized people are out of touch with reality because they confuse the world as it with the world as they think about it and talk about it and describe it. For on the one hand there is the real world and on the other there is a whole system of symbols about that world which we have in our minds. These are very very useful symbols, all civilization depends on them, but like all good things they have their disadvantages, and the principle disadvantage of symbols is that we confuse them with reality, just as we confuse money with actual wealth."
Author: Alan Wilson Watts
2. "Concepts that have proven useful in ordering things easily achieve such authority over us that we forget their earthly origins and accept them as unalterable givens."
Author: Albert Einstein
3. "By standard intelligence texts, the dogs have failed at the puzzle. I believe, by contrast that they have succeeded magnificently. They have applied a novel tool to the task. We are that tool. Dogs have learned this--and they see us as fine general-purpose tools, too: useful for protection, acquiring food, providing companionship. We solve the puzzles of closed doors and empty water dishes. In the folk psychology of dogs, we humans are brilliant enough to extract hopelessly tangled leashes from around trees; we can conjure up an endless bounty of foodstuffs and things to chew. How savvy we are in dogs' eyes! It's a clever strategy to turn to us after all. The question of the cognitive abilities of dogs is thereby transformed; dogs are terrific at using humans to solve problems, but not as good at solving problems when we're not around."
Author: Alexandra Horowitz
4. "Material goods consist of useful material things, and of all rights to hold, or use, or derive benefits from material things, or to receive them at a future time."
Author: Alfred Marshall
5. "Man does not live by bread alone. I have known millionaires starving for lack of the nutriment which alone can sustain all that is human in man, and I know workmen, and many so-called poor men, who revel in luxuries beyond the power of those millionaires to reach. It is the mind that makes the body rich. There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing else. Money can only be the useful drudge of things immeasurably higher than itself. Exalted beyond this, as it sometimes is, it remains Caliban still and still plays the beast. My aspirations take a higher flight. Mine be it to have contributed to the enlightenment and the joys of the mind, to the things of the spirit, to all that tends to bring into the lives of the toilers of Pittsburgh sweetness and light. I hold this the noblest possible use of wealth"
Author: Andrew Carnegie
6. "...I felt joined to all the men and women across cultures down through the ages who'd done something useful with their hands, who'd made essential things from whatever was in front of them."
Author: Ann Hood
7. "Looking back now, I would say that this was one of the first valuable lessons I learned, and one that would be useful in my future line of work. Sometimes things go wrong. It is inevitable. But it is a mistake to waste time and energy worrying about events that you cannot influence. Once they have happened, let them go."
Author: Anthony Horowitz
8. "It is a painful thing to say to oneself: by choosing one road I am turning my back on a thousand others. Everything is interesting; everything might be useful; everything attracts and charms a noble mind; but death is before us; mind and matter make their demands; willy-nilly we must submit and rest content as to things that time and wisdom deny us, with a glance of sympathy which is another act of our homage to the truth."
Author: Antonin Sertillanges
9. "You see...I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that he knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent."
Author: Arthur Conan Doyle
10. "An open mind, in questions that are not ultimate, is useful. But an open mind about the ultimate foundations either of Theoretical or of Practical Reason is idiocy. If a man's mind is open on these things, let his mouth at least be shut. He can say nothing to the purpose. Outside the Tao there is no ground for criticizing either the Tao or anything else."
Author: C.S. Lewis
11. "Parlabane found the word 'pro-active' enormously useful, as it immediately exposed the speaker as an irredeemable arsehole, whatever previous impression might have been given. Once upon a time, he remembered, people and companies just did things. But that ceased to be impressive enough, and for a while they 'actively' did things. Now they 'pro-actively' did things, but it was still the same bloody things that they were doing when they just plain old did things. Meaningless wank-language."
Author: Christopher Brookmyre
12. "Questions?" Cade asked, pointing at the file where Zach had stuffed it into his messenger bag. "Yeah," Zach said. "Any chance I can go back to D.C.?" "Any useful questions?" "Do you think it's really the Boogeyman that killed Brent? You think it's back?" "I sincerely hope not." "When you say things like that, I start to cry a little on the inside."
Author: Christopher Farnsworth
13. "Novels for me are how I find out what's going on in my own head. And so that's a really useful and indeed critical thing to do when you do as many of these other things as I do."
Author: Cory Doctorow
14. "Organizations like the ACLU fought and won the good fight back in the 1960's, but it's clear that nowadays they've run out of useful things to do since they now spend most of their time defending the scum of the Earth from getting what they rightly deserve."
Author: Craig Bruce
15. "Because secrets do not increase in value if kept in a gore-ian lockbox, because one's past is either made useful or else mutates and becomes cancerous. We share things for the obvious reasons: it makes us feel un-alone, it spreads the weight over a larger area, it holds the possibility of making our share lighter. And it can work either way - not simply as a pain-relief device, but, in the case of not bad news but good, as a share-the-happy-things-I've-seen/lessons-I've-learned vehicle. Or as a tool for simple connectivity for its own sake, a testing of waters, a stab at engagement with a mass of strangers."
Author: Dave Eggers
16. "You are curious and quick, you have a deft mind, and for some unaccountable reason, people tell you things -- useful things."
Author: Deanna Raybourn
17. "Sit still with me in the shade of these green trees, which have no weightier thought than the withering of their leaves when autumn arrives, or the stretching of their many stiff fingers into the cold sky of the passing winter. Sit still with me and meditate on how useless effort is, how alien the will, and on how our very meditation is no more useful than effort, and no more our own than the will. Meditate too on how a life that wants nothing can have no weight in the flux of things, but a life the wants everything can likewise have no weight in the flux of things, since it cannot obtain everything, and to obtain less than everything is not worthy of souls that seek the truth."
Author: Fernando Pessoa
18. "It was extremely useful to grow up in front of the camera. It gives the camera no significance. I think it helped me have perspective on things. The attraction that Hollywood can have, I feel like I'm over that. Instead I just concentrate on acting."
Author: Giovanni Ribisi
19. "I feel a big obligation to the audience, almost in a moral sense, to say something useful. If I'm going to spend a year of my life on these things, I want something that I feel that strongly about."
Author: Harold Ramis
20. "Look, we're trying to explore other options to your retirement," the whitecoat said. "You might be useful to us in other ways."Because we're not that useful dead,"Nudge said thoughtfully.No," I agreed. "Well, maybe as doorstops."The whitecat made an "eew" expression.Or those things in a parking lot that show where the cars should stop," suggested Iggy. He closed his eyes and went stiff, to demonstrate what it would look like. Also an option."
Author: James Patterson
21. "Time and task were both disorienting, for if you were to remove everything from our lives that depends on electricity to function, homes and offices would become no more than the chambers and passages of limestone caves- simple shelter from wind and rain, far less useful than the first homes at Plymouth Plantation or a wigwam. No way to keep out cold, or heat, for long. No way to preserve food, or to cook it. The things that define us, quiet as rock outcrops - the dumb screens and dials, the senseless clicks of on/off switches- without their purpose, they lose the measure of their beauty and we are left alone in the dark with countless useless things."
Author: Jane Brox
22. "I wake up to write stuff down all night. Useful things like this: To more efficiently make love nocturnally, I must combine the best characteristics of bats, bears, and my Uncle Norman who disappeared in the mountains in '94."
Author: Jarod Kintz
23. "Since Mom wasn't exactly the most useful person in the world, one lesson I learned at an early age was how to get things done, and this was a source of both amazement and concern for Mom, who considered my behavior unladylike but also counted on me. "I never knew a girl to have such gumption," she'd say. "But I'm not too sure it's a good thing."
Author: Jeannette Walls
24. "College feminists made fun of skyscrapers, saying they were phallic symbols. They said the same thing about space rockets, even though, if you stopped to think about it, rockets were shaped the way they were not because of phallocentrism but because of aerodynamics. Would a vagina-shaped Apollo 11 have made it to the moon? Evolution had created the penis. It was a useful structure for getting certain things done. And if it worked for the pistils of flowers as well as the inseminatory organs of Homo sapiens, whose fault was that but Biology's? But no--anything large or grand in design, any long novel, big sculpture, or towering building, became, in the opinion of the "women" Mitchell knew at college, manifestations of male insecurity about the size of their penises."
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
25. "Nine requisites for contented living: Health enough to make work a pleasure. Wealth enough to support your needs. Strength to battle with difficulties and overcome them. Grace enough to confess your sins and forsake them. Patience enough to toil until some good is accomplished. Charity enough to see some good in your neighbor. Love enough to move you to be useful and helpful to others. Faith enough to make real the things of God. Hope enough to remove all anxious fears concerning the future."
Author: Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
26. "Afflictions quicken us to prayer. It is a pity it should be so; but experience testifies, that a long course of ease and prosperity, without painful changes—has an unhappy tendency to make us cold and formal in our secret worship. But troubles rouse our spirits, and constrain us to call upon the Lord in good earnest—when we feel a need of that help which we only can have from his almighty arm. Afflictions are useful, and in a degree necessary, to keep alive in us—a conviction of the vanity and unsatisfying nature of the present world, and all its enjoyments; to remind us that this world is not our rest, and to call our thoughts upwards, where our true treasure is, and where our heart ought to be. When things go on much to our wish, our hearts are too prone to say, "It is good to be here!"
Author: John Newton
27. "All procrastinators put off things they have to do. Structured procrastination is the art of making this negative trait work for you. The key idea is that procrastinating does not mean doing absolutely nothing. Procrastinators seldom do absolutely nothing; they do marginally useful things, such as gardening or sharpening pencils or making a diagram of how they will reorganize their files when they get around to it. Why does the procrastinator do these things? Because they are a way of not doing something more important. If all the procrastinator had left to do was to sharpen some pencils, no force on earth could get him to do it. The procrastinator can be motivated to do difficult, timely, and important tasks, however, as long as these tasks are a way of not doing something more important."
Author: John R. Perry
28. "It's really useful to travel, if you want to see new things."
Author: Jules Verne
29. "I grew up in Birmingham, where they made useful things and made them well."
Author: Lee Child
30. "I think people ought to do what they feel useful at the time. If I do things because I ought to do them, I switch off."
Author: Matthew Macfadyen
31. "In the sciences, looking good was usually a negative. It implied you wasted time on outdoor activities instead of building something useful. Even using hair product or makeup implied misguided priorities. Like you thought how things looked mattered, instead of how they worked. We liked to look at attractive people. We expected it of our movie stars and TV characters. But we did not respect it. We knew physical attractiveness was inversely correlated with intelligence, because look at us."
Author: Max Barry
32. "All the games were selected for them by supervisors and had to have some useful, educational purpose. The children learned these new games but unlearned something else in the process: they forgot to be happy, how to take pleasure in little things and last, but not least, how to dream"
Author: Michael Ende
33. "Learning a foreign language, and the culture that goes with it, is one of the most useful things we can do to broaden the empathy and imaginative sympathy and cultural outlook of children."
Author: Michael Gove
34. "We actually have a real community of people doing useful things."
Author: Mitchell Baker
35. "The true science of martial arts means practicing them in such a way that they will be useful at any time, and to teach them in such a way that they will be useful in all things."
Author: Miyamoto Musashi
36. "Now I have very little respect for the electoral system in the United States. I could have respected it in the early days, when the country was small and we had small population. The system that we have in the United States was set up at a time when the total population was the population of Tennessee. We've stretched it to try to make it work for different kind of problems and in stretching and adapting it, we've lost its meaning. We still have the form but not the meaning. There's a lot of things that we have to look at critically that might have been useful at one time that are no longer useful I think there's some good in everything. There's some bad in everything. But there's so little good in some things that you know for practical purposes they're useless. They're beyond salvation. There's so much good in some things, even though there's bad, that we build on that."
Author: Myles Horton
37. "Though simple, the trick was something that struck me as useful right now. Thus, the 'when I was little' nostalgia was misleading: it turned something that I was taking seriously as an adult into something soupier, less precise, more falsely exotic, than it really was. Why should we need lots of nostalgia to license any pleasure taken in the discoveries we carry over from childhood, when it is now so clearly an adult pleasure? I decided that from now on I wouldn't get that faraway look when describing things that excited me now, regardless of whether they had first been childhood enthusiasms or not."
Author: Nicholson Baker
38. "Like my father, I would never as a child throw anything away, keeping old toys, electric motors and bits of broken machines under my bed in what I called my Box of Useful Things."
Author: Nick Park
39. "Poets are not so scrupulous as you are. They know how useful passion is for publication. Nowadays a broken heart will run to many editions.""I hate them for it," cried Hallward. "An artist should create beautiful things, but should put nothing of his own life into them. We live in an age when men treat art as if it were meant to be a form of autobiography. We have lost the abstract sense of beauty. Some day I will show the world what is it; and for that the world shall never see my portrait of Dorian Gray."
Author: Oscar Wilde
40. "Look, there's not much useful to take away from this book – it's largely stories of a woman who has spent her life peeing on herself. But there is one way I really believe I can help the world, and that is to encourage everyone, in all things, to "Make It a Treat"
Author: Sarah Silverman
41. "Be passionate and bold. Always keep learning. You stop doing useful things if you don't learn. So the last part to me is the key, especially if you have had some initial success. It becomes even more critical that you have the learning 'bit' always switched on."
Author: Satya Nadella
42. "The younger and healthier a woman is and the more her new and glossy body seems destined for eternal freshness, the less useful is artifice; but the carnal weakness of this prey that man takes and its ominous deterioration always have to be hidden from him...In any case, the more traits and proportions of a woman seem contrived, the more she delighted the heart of man because she seemed to escape the metamorphosis of natural things. The result is this strange paradox that by desiring to grasp nature, but transfigured, in woman, man destines her to artifice."
Author: Simone De Beauvoir
43. "People in science fiction flicks always seemed to know useful things about the places time travel took them. But what if the time traveler had been only an average history student? What then?"
Author: Tad Williams
44. "He had a notebook. He took notes in it. It was always useful. And them Sybil, gods bless her, had brought him this fifteen-function imp which did so many other things, although as far as he could see at least ten of its functions consisted of apologizing for its inefficiency in the other five."
Author: Terry Pratchett
45. "On the dresser was a row of blue-and-white jars that weren't very useful for anything. They'd been left to her mother by an elderly aunt, and she was proud of them because they looked nice but were completely useless. There was little room on the farm for useless things that looked nice, so they were treasured."
Author: Terry Pratchett
46. "The education of youth belongs to the priests, yet they do not take so much care of instructing them in letters, as in forming their minds and manners aright; they use all possible methods to infuse, very early, into the tender and flexible minds of children, such opinions as are both good in themselves and will be useful to their country, for when deep impressions of these things are made at that age, they follow men through the whole course of their lives, and conduce much to preserve the peace of the government, which suffers by nothing more than by vices that rise out of ill opinions."
Author: Thomas More
47. "I think long and carefully about what novels ought to do. They should clarify the roles that have become obscured; they ought to identify those things in the past that are useful and those things that are not; and they ought to give nourishment."
Author: Toni Morrison
48. "If it is a human thing to do to put something you want, because it's useful, edible, or beautiful, into a bag, or a basket, or a bit of rolled bark or leaf, or a net woven of your own hair, or what have you, and then take it home with you, home being another, larger kind of pouch or bag, a container for people, and then later on you take it out and eat it or share it or store it up for winter in a solider container or put it in the medicine bundle or the shrine or the museum, the holy place, the area that contains what is sacred, and then the next day you probably do much the same again—if to do that is human, if that's what it takes, then I am a human being after all. Fully, freely, gladly, for the first time....[T]he proper, fitting shape of the novel might be that of a sack, a bag. A book holds words. Words hold things. They bear meanings. A novel is a medicine bundle, holding things in a particular, powerful relation to one another and to us."—"The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction"
Author: Ursula K. Le Guin
49. "With the exercise of a little care, the nettle could be made useful; it is neglected and it becomes hurtful. It is exterminated. How many men resemble the nettle!" He added with a pause: "Remember this, my friends: there are no such things as bad plants or bad men. There are only bad cultivators."
Author: Victor Hugo
50. "Whereas our words represent our person, our character is our very person. A person's usefulness, the things which can be entrusted to him, the responsibilities he can bear, and the things he is able to accomplish altogether depend on his character. A carpenter determines the use of a piece of wood based on its quality. Laziness ruins one's usefulness. Accordingly, character has very much to do with the Lord's service. Consider those persons in the Bible whom God used. They were used by God because they possessed a character that was fit for His use. Their character was simply their person. They became persons useful to God because their character could be used by Him. Since Abraham, Moses, and Paul all had an excellent character, God greatly used them. The destiny of our usefulness to the Lord hinges on our character. Whether we are useful before God depends upon the suitability of our human character."
Author: Witness Lee

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The weak are cruel. The strong have no need to be."
Author: Alice Hoffman

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