Every Friday, while in office, District President, Phil Huff shared a quote with the membership of MSBOA District VI.  Here are those moments of inspiration.

“The greatest respect an artist can pay to music is to give it life.”

Spectacular achievement is always proceeded by spectacular preparation – Robert H. Schuller

Don’t just talk about creating excellence or observing those who have created excellence, but let’s go about creating excellence. Excellence comes out of action, Takes some action!

Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the traveler, thousands of miles away, back to his own fireside and his quiet home! – Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, 1836

“Two stonecutters pursuing their craft are observed by travelers passing by. One traveler, seeing the first remarked on his diligence and effort. ‘What is it you are doing?’ he asked. ‘I’m chipping away at this block of stone,’ came the reply. To the second also hard at work, the traveler posed the same question. “I’m an artist.” the craftsman answered. ‘I’m building a cathedral.'”

“In a world where we are obsessed with getting things done quickly, the study of music requires just the opposite process. It jealously demands time. Music is about using our time, and time is required payment for being a proficient musician. There is no shortcut, and to assume there might be is just a waste of time.”

The rung of a ladder was never meant to be rested upon, but only to hold a man’s foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher.

Since we are what we repeatedly do, excellence is not a part-time standard. It is not something we turn on and off; it is a habit, and it reveals itself in all parts of our life.

Sense the texture, the tension and release points, the dynamic contrasts, the primary secondary themes, the phrases, and the entire personality of the musical score. Literally become the music.

Commitment is what transforms a promise into a reality. It is the words that speak boldly of your intentions, and the actions which speak louder than words. It is making the time when there is none. Coming through time after time after time, year after year after year. Commitment is the stuff character is made of; the power to change the face of things. It is the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism.

It is said that we have six to eight failures for every success. Knowing that, how can we possibly stop after four, five, or even six attempts? The payoff could easily be in the next try.

When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down happy. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. -John Lennon

“Each of us has been put on earth with the ability to do something well. We cheat ourselves if we don’t use that ability as best we can.”  Gracie Allen

“When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without so much as cracking it. Yet at the one hundred and first blow it will split into two, and I know that it was not that blow that did it but all that had gone before.”  – Jacob Riis

“Figure out what you want. Focus on it. Find people who have achieved what you want and find out how they think and act, and then follow their lead.” Bill Harris

“Think enthusiastically about everything you do. If you do, you will put a touch of glory in your life. If you love your work with enthusiasm, you will shake it to pieces. You will love it into greatness, you will fill it up with prestige and power.”

Since we are what we repeatedly do, excellence is not a part time-time standard. It is not something we turn on and off; it is a habit, and it reveals itself in all parts of our life.

“Be like a duck. Calm on the surface., but always paddling like the dickens underneath.”

The love of family and the admiration of friends is much more important than wealth and privilege. –Charles Kuralt

You don’t have the power to make life “fair,” 
but you do have the power to make life joyful.
 –Jonathan Lockwood Huie

“Success depends on the second letter.”

I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.  Hellen Keller

“The great eagle turned to the last remaining eagle and said, “Come with us, my brother. Just spread your wings and fly.” But the last eagle lowered his head and said, “I cannot. I am a chicken. Chickens cannot fly.” The great eagle knew that this brother had lived with ridicule for too long. His spirit had been broken, his self esteem had been crushed, his self image had been destroyed. He did not believe that he had the power to fly.” Mychal Wynn

“If we work upon marble, it will perish; if we work upon brass, time will efface it, but if we work upon immortal minds, we engrave on those tablets something which will brighten all eternity.”  Daniel Webster

“I have come to the conclusion that it’s my daily mood that can make the weather in someone else’s life. I can make others feel miserable or joyous. I can be an instrument of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a situation will be escalated or de-escalated.”

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” Booker T. Washington

“I am only one, But still I am one, I cannot do everything, But still I can do something.”

 The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago; the next best time is now!

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us is pale compared to what lies within us.

Hope works in these ways: It looks for the good in people instead of the worst; it discovers what can be done instead of grumbling about what cannot; it regards problems, large or small, as opportunities; it pushes ahead when it would be easy to quit; it “lights the candle” instead of “cursing the darkness.”

“At least three times every day take a moment and ask yourself what is really important. Have the wisdom and the courage to build your life around your answer.”  — Lee Jampolsky

When we think positively and imagine what we want, we risk disappointment; when we don’t we ensure it.  – Lana Limpert

Excellence is not a point of arrival, but rather a byproduct of the pilgrimage. 

“Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can.”

 “Humor helps us think out of the box. The average child laughs about 400 times per day, the average adult only 15 times per day. What happened to the other 385 laughs?

Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. 

Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right – Henry Ford

We cannot tell what may happen to us in this strange medley of life. But we can decide what happens in us, how we can take it, and what we can do with it-and what really counts in the end. How to take the raw stuff of life and make it a thing of beauty; that is the test of living.

The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children. -William Harvard

Cherish your dreams, as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed 
by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. 
So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. 
Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. 
- Mark Twain

If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say; here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so people won’t notice you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people permission to to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.  –Used by Nelson Mandela in his 1994 inaugural speech

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company…a church…a home. The remarkable thing is you have a choice every day regarding the attitude you will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is ten percent what happens to me and ninety percent how I react to it. And so it is with you. You are in charge of your attitude.”

In a world where we are obsessed with getting things done quickly, the study of music requires just the opposite process. It jealously demands time. Music is about using our time, and time is required payment for being a proficient musician. There is no shortcut, and to assume there might be is just a waste of time.

Not the maker of plans and promises, but rather the one who offers faithful service in small matters. This is the person who is most likely to achieve what is good and lasting. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)

“Leadership is not magnetic personality; that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not ‘making friends and influencing people;’ that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond it’s normal limitations.”          –Peter F. Drucker

It is easier to be better than someone else than to be the best we can be.

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.

Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. 

To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect. – Oren Arnold

 I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph. – Shirley Temple

Mother decided that 10-year-old Cathy should get something “practical” for Christmas. “Suppose we open a savings account for you?” mother suggested. Cathy was delighted. “It’s your account, darling,” mother said as they arrived at the bank, “so you fill out the application.” Cathy was doing fine until she came to the space for “Name of your former bank.” After a slight hesitation, she put down “Piggy.

It was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us,and all of us!  And so, as Tiny Tim observed, “God Bless Us, Every One!