Planning is the cornerstone of success, says a business professional who aims to motivate readers to take action with his debut compilation of quotable quotes.
Other than a brief introduction, Harpool makes no commentary about the aphorisms included in this slender volume, but his lack of editorializing works well—the collection speaks for itself. Designed for quick browsing, the pages generally feature four quotes each. The quotations come from various sources: the Bible, philosophers, world and military leaders, business professionals, sports figures, writers, artists and the proverbs of different countries. There’s also a “miscellaneous” chapter at the end, as well as an index of sources. The first short chapter contains Bible verses, e.g., the King James Version of Proverbs 11:14: “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in a multitude of counselors, there is safety.” Elsewhere, readers will also find a Zen koan: “The obstacle is the path.” Some entries are yawningly familiar: Scouting’s motto, “Be Prepared”; the Old English proverb, “Lack of proper planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine”; and Walt Disney’s “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Other well-known sayings give more pause, e.g., the philosopher Heraclitus’ poetic “One cannot step twice in the same river.” A few of the quotes make compelling juxtapositions. For example, Confucius’ “Life is simple, but we insist on making it complicated” versus H.L. Mencken’s “For every complex and difficult problem, there is an answer that is simple, easy, and wrong.” For the most part, Harpool’s chapter on literature and the arts offers the expected players—William Shakespeare, Pablo Picasso, James Joyce, Charles Dickens, George Bernard Shaw. Still, there’s often something worth contemplating. Readers who like their maxims in one easy-to-transport book will appreciate this collection.
A breezy reference for speechwriters, civic groups, churches or anyone looking for a little enlightenment.