Middle English (in the sense ‘stupid’): from Old French, from Latin nescius ‘ignorant’, from nescire ‘not know’. Other early senses included ‘coy, reserved’, giving rise to ‘fastidious, scrupulous’: this led both to the sense ‘fine, subtle’ (regarded by some as the ‘correct’ sense), and to the main current senses.
So, how come a word that meant ‘stupid, ignorant, frivolous, senseless’ became one of the most used words in the English language?
late 13c., “foolish, ignorant, frivolous, senseless,” from Old French nice (12c.) “careless, clumsy; weak; poor, needy; simple, stupid, silly, foolish,” from Latin nescius “ignorant, unaware,” literally “not-knowing,” from ne- “not” (from PIE root *ne- “not”) + stem of scire “to know” (see science).
In Portuguese the word still has the same meaning “nescio = ignorant, stupid”. According to some, after the word went through a few changes in meaning, highborn people in the eighteenth century started to gentrify the word to give it a more pleasant meaning. Apparently, Jane Austen’s also used of the word to describe good things. So, the word went from a negative connotation to a positive one.
The fact is that many words change meanings with time, though the changes are in use and how people perceive them does not necessarily mean that the word itself now means something else that what was originally designed to mean. People meaning does not do away with what the word actually mean in reality. Nice, in reality still lack of knowledge or stupidity even if that is not perceived as such.
What do you think, should we keep the original meaning of words and correct some of our vocabulary or keep it as it is fluid, allowing for the changing in meaning and use?
Can we be both nice and wise? for example, in the quote “The fool don’t think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” we would then read as “The nice don’t think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be nice”. odd?!
It is always important to remind ourselves of those things that are truly important in life. It also helps us to prioritise our daily life, our decisions every day and aim for what will add real value to us and others. So, here they are…
“Can anything be more idiotic than certain people who boast of their foresight? They keep themselves officiously preoccupied in order to improve their lives; they spend their lives in organizing their lives. They direct their purposes with an eye to a distant future. But putting things off is the biggest waste of life: it snatches away each day as it comes, and denies us the present by promising the future.”
“The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune’s control, and abandoning what lies in yours. What are you looking at? To what goal are you straining? The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.”
“You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire”
“But excess in any sphere is reprehensible.”
“As far as I am concerned, I know that I have lost not wealth but distractions. The body’s needs are few: it wants to be free from cold, to banish hunger and thirst with nourishment; if we long for anything more we are exerting ourselves to serve our vices, not our needs.”
“Life is long, if you know how to use it.”
“All life is a servitude.”
In summary, there are Five Things to Consider as we start the new year:
1 – What should my focus be every day this year?
2- What should I eliminate from my life?
3 – Stop procrastinating, show up and get on with it!
4 – Work hard and smart in the present, seize the moment, and the future will look after itself.
5 – Define what is ENOUGH and live by it, one can find meaning and happiness there.
Have you all a very peaceful, blessed and successful 2020!
Don’t get stuck in your old ways. Change happens in an instant; it’s a conversion, a turning of direction. The philosophy, worldview and the lenses by which you see everything must be in congruence with your goals and visions for your future; otherwise nothing will work. Change your philosophy is the starting line and the best way to achieve anything is by optimising your life for the starting line, not the finishing line. .
Don’t get stuck in your old ways. Change happens in an instant; it’s a conversion, a turning of direction. The philosophy, worldview and the lenses by which you see everything must be in congruence with your goals and visions for your future; otherwise nothing will work.
Change your philosophy is the starting line and the best way to achieve anything is by optimising your life for the starting line, not the finishing line…
Some claim they want to change the world, some others want to win the world, a large number of people just want to get by. No matter what you have chosen your life by your own philosophy. It ultimately informs your beliefs and values, shapes your choices, habits and decisions.
Whatever you want for you, it will be achieved or not by your own views of the world and the reality around you. That is what Jim Rohn is telling us here. The biggest giant lies within, without defeating him/her first you will never feel free to be what you have got to be. Your own self-limiting beliefs and philosophy is preventing you from growing and from success.
This blog aims to address the needs of those two initial types of people in the paragraph above. The ones who want to change and affect the world as well as the ones who want to win. And many times they are but the same people. You can’t conquer the world unless you truly affect lives.
You must affect your world first, to be able to influence others’. You must adopt a new mindset first then you will realise what steps you need to take to fulfil your dreams. You have to adopt the right attitude, the correct set of behaviours and values.
What is the minimum change you can promote today, right now to start the process? What should you think differently about? What kind of thinking is not supporting your vision for your future?
According to Wikipedia James Allen “was British philosophical writer known for his inspirational books and poetry and as a pioneer of the self-help movement.” I read his famous book ‘As a Man Thinketh’ a few years ago, it had a profound impact on my life during a very tough period I was living at the time. I have recently found some of the quotes I wrote from the book and decided to post them here.
Compared to Allen and many who have gone through similar life conditions, truly, I’ve had it easy! His dad was pronounced dead two days after arriving in the US where he was seeking after a better life for his family. Allen, age 15 then, had to stop his studies to work and support his impoverished family.
Another site devoted to Allen’s life mentioned that “James Allen is a literary mystery man. His inspirational writings have influenced millions for good. Yet today he remains almost unknown…… None of his nineteen books give a clue to his life other than to mention his place of residence – Ilfracombe, England. His name cannot be found in a major reference work. Not even the Library of Congress or the British Museum has much to say about him.”
“He never wrote theories, or for the sake of writing; but he wrote when he had a message, and it became a message only when he had lived it out in his own life, and knew that it was good. Thus he wrote facts, which he had proven by practice.” wrote Mitch Horowitz in his work “James Allen: A Life in Brief”.
Allen’s life was the message, what he had to do was to pack that in writing format and feed it to his readers. And that is where all the power lies. The secret was in the way he lived out his own philosophy, that would empower his thoughts and words on the piece of paper. In orther words, what impact us aren’t when we read his words are not emptied rhetoric but sweat, blood, tears and badassness in face of calamities, challenges and sufferings. Your writing comes alive when it is birth out of the fiery furnace of life torments, words pierce through the flakiness, excuses and comfort of us readers.
From his official webpage we read that “In 1901, when Allen was 37, he wrote his first book, From Poverty to Power. In 1902 he wrote his second book, As a Man Thinketh. Although this would be Allen’s most successful book, it is said that he felt it be unsatisfactory and not worthy of print. It was his wife, Lily, who convinced him to publish it. Allen wrote 19 books in all.”
It is also claimed that Allen sought to live a Tolstoyan life-style, meaning, a life of voluntary poverty, manual labour and ascetic self-discipline. Russia greatest novelist Count Leo Tolstoy apparently had some influence in his life choices, values and virtues.
Below I have copied my favourite passages from his second book ‘As a Man Thinketh’:
“Man is buffeted by circumstances so long as he believes himself to be the creature of outside conditions, but when he realizes that he is a creative power and that he may command the hidden soil and seeds of his being out of which circumstances grow, he then becomes the rightful master of himself.”
“Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.”
“O my soul, the time I trust will be, when thou shalt be good, simple, more open and visible, than that body by which it is enclosed.”
“Let a man radically alter his thoughts, and he will be astonished at the rapid transformation it will effect in the material conditions of his life”
“They who have no central purpose in their life fall an easy prey to petty worries, fears, troubles, and self-pityings, all of which are indications of weakness, which lead, just as surely as deliberately planned sins (though by a different route), to failure, unhappiness , and loss, for weakness cannot persist in a power evolving universe”
“Achievement, of whatever kind, is the crown of effort, the diadem of thought”
“There can be no progress, no achievement without sacrifice and a man’s worldly success will be in the measure that he sacrifices his confused animal thoughts, and fixes his mind on the development of his plans, and the strengthening of his resolution and self-reliance”
“Cherish your visions; cherish your ideals ; cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow all delightful conditionals, all, heavenly environment; of these, if you but remain true to them, your world will, at last, be built”
“Your circumstances may be uncongenial, but they shall not long remain so if you but perceive an Ideal and strive to reach it”
“You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration”
“The oak sleeps in the acorn; the bird waits in the egg; and in the highest vision of the soul, a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities”
“Whatever your present environment may be, you will fall, remain, or rise without your thoughts, your Vision, your Ideal”
“A man becomes calm in the measure that he understands himself as a thought-evolved being, for such knowledge necessitates the understanding of others as the result of thought , and as he develops a right understanding, and sees more and more clearly the internal relations of things by the action of cause and effect he ceases to fuss and fume and worry and grieve, and remains poised, steadfast, serene”
“The Vision that you glorify in your mind, the Ideal that you enthrone in your heart— this you will build your life by, this you will become”
in other words, be MONOMANIACAL ABOUT YOUR BEAUTIFUL LIFE OBSESSION!
“The strong, calm man is always loved and revered. He is like a shade-giving tree in a thirsty land, or a sheltering rock in a storm. Who does not love a tranquil heart, a sweet-tempered, balanced life? It does not matter whether it rains or shines, or what changes come to those possessing these blessings, for they are always sweet, serene, and calm. That exquisite poise of character, which we call serenity is the last lesson of culture, the fruitage of the soul. It is precious as wisdom, more to be desired than gold —yea, than even fine gold. How insignificant mere money seeking looks in comparison with a serene life— a life that dwells in the ocean of Truth, beneath the waves, beyond the reach of tempests, in the Eternal Calm”
“Self-control is a strength; right thought is mastery; Calmness is power. Say unto your heart, “Peace, be still!”
In Summary, Allen teaches two essential truths – “today we are where our thoughts have taken us, and we are the architects – for better or worse – of our futures.”