John Locke was an English philosopher and physician who was born in Somerset in 1632. He is known for being one of the most influential Enlightenment thinkers, and he is known as the ‘Father of Liberalism’. According to Wikipedia, Locke is also considered one of the first British empiricists, and his writings influenced many of the philosophers from later in history. Although he died in 1704, his words are still used for motivational and inspirational purposes. Here are the 20 best John Locke quotes that apply to business.
20. On Expanding Your Boundaries
“The boundaries of the species, whereby men sort them, are made by men.”
This John Locke quote is listed by Wikiquote. It is about how boundaries are set that may have the potential to restrict you. If you do not like the boundaries that either you or others have put in place and you feel that these are limiting your success, then move the boundaries.
19. On the Importance of Taking Action
“I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.”
What you think or what you say is not as important as the actions you take when it comes to business. Plenty of people have ideas in their heads, and some people spend a lot of time talking about their ideas. These are not people who become successful. Those who become successful are those who take action when they have a good idea.
18. On Decision-Making
“In many cases, it is not one series of consequences that will serve the turn, but many different and opposite deduction must be examined and laid together before a man can come to make a right judgment of the point in question.”
This John Locke quote is listed by Good Reads, and it is about weighing up all the possibilities when making a decision. To make an informed decision that will give you the best outcome, you need to weigh up all the pros and cons of the different options. Consider all the outcomes before deciding what you should do.
17. On Seeing Things from a Different Perspective
“We are all short-sighted, and very often see but one side of a matter; our views are not extended to all that has a connection with it. From this defect, I think no man is free, We see but in part, and we know but in part, and therefore it is no wonder we conclude not right from our partial views.”
Many people find it hard to think about things from a different perspective. Some people have a tendency to look at every situation in the same way. However, you may hit an obstacle and you need to find a solution to the problem. Looking at this difficult situation in the same way that you view every situation may not help you to find out a solution. Every problem is different, so you sometimes need to look at things in a different way. If you find it difficult to do this, then ask the opinion of a trusted team member as they may offer a different viewpoint.
16. On Making Self-Improvements,
“It is only practice that improves our minds as well as bodies, and we must expect nothing from our understandings any farther than they are perfected by habits.”
To become successful, it is vital that you are willing to make self-improvements as you are central to the level of success you can achieve. If you have flaws, which everyone does, then recognizing these and working towards improving these areas can increase your chances of success.
15. On Taking Control of Your Destiny
“The most precious of all possessions is power over ourselves.”
You have control of your own destiny, and nobody can dictate to you what you should do. If you want your life to work out in a certain way, then you have the power to make this happen, Decide what you want and then take steps to get there.
14. On Doing What Makes You Happy
“Business of man is to be happy.”
Most people spend a significant proportion of their lives at work. Therefore, it is essential that you have a working life that is happy. Life is too short to spend so many hours in an unhappy situation if you are dissatisfied with your working life. This is why it is so important that you are happy with your work. Also, enjoying your work means that you have a greater chance of success and you are more likely to remain motivated.
13. On Self-Awareness
“Personal identity depends on consciousness, not on substance.”
Those who are successful are usually very self-aware. This means that they have acknowledged their strengths and weaknesses, and this is something that you should also know about yourself. Identifying your strengths and weaknesses gives you an advantage in your chosen profession. By clearly understanding your strengths, you can then use these to benefit your career. An awareness of your weaknesses means that you can work on self-improvements.
12. On Being a Good Leader
“As usurpation is the exercise of power, which another hath a right to; so tyranny is the exercise of power beyond right, which nobody can have a right to. And this is making use of the power any one has in his hands, not for the good of those who are under it, but for his own private, separate advantage.”
If you own your own business or you are a business manager or team leader, then it is crucial that you take your leadership position seriously. As a leader, you are in a position of power and it is vital that you use this power in the right way. A good way to use your power is to motivate and empower others. You should also make them feel valued in the workplace. The wrong way to use power is to exert your authority in a way that belittles other people, demotivates them, and makes them feel undervalued.
11. On Taking Care of Yourself
“A sound mind in a sound body is a short, but full description of a happy state in this world. He that has these two, has little more to wish for; and he that wants either of them, will be little better for anything else.”
Listed by Good Reads, this John Locke quote is about the importance of having a sound mind and body to become successful in life. Running a business is hard work, and it takes a lot of focus. To give your business your all, it is essential that you are in top form, both physically and mentally. To make sure this happens, take regular exercise, eat well, get plenty of rest, and set some time aside to do the things you enjoy.
10. On the Importance of Education as a Foundation
“Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company, and reflection must finish him.”
Locke believed that education is the foundation for success. This does not necessarily mean formal education, but an openness to learning will set you on the road to success. However, learning is not the only step to becoming successful. An openness to learning more through reading, connecting with similar minded people, and reflecting on the positives and negatives are also important steps to take.
9. On Accepting Change
“Things of this world are in so constant a flux, that nothing remains long in the same state.”
Nothing in the world stays the same, and some people say that the only constant in life is change. Therefore, you must accept that change is inevitable and embrace this with open arms. Although some people fear change, it is often a good thing that will benefit both you and your business.
8. On Considering the Viewpoints of Others
“To prejudge other men’s notions before we have looked into them is not to show their darkness but to put out our own eyes.”
Often, people can become set in their ways and are unwilling to change their viewpoints. While standing by your opinions is sometimes a good thing, an unwillingness to see the viewpoints of others is not. In business, you may find that listening to the views of others is insightful as it may teach you something. It can also help you to see things from a different perspective.
7. On Ignoring the Critics
“New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not common.”
Those who become successful often achieve their success by trying something new and having the courage to do something different from the average person. The downside to this is that people who try new things often face criticism. Prepare to stand up to the critics and follow your heart.
6. On Surrounding Yourself with Positive People
“We are like chameleons. We take our hue and the color of our moral character from those who are around us.”
This quote is listed by Goalcast. Many people believe that people you surround yourself with can make a significant difference to your outlook in life and to your chances of success. Therefore, it makes sense to surround yourself with people who have a positive outlook in life and either those who are already successful or those who are striving towards success.
5. On Overcoming Your Fears
“What worries you, masters you.”
Everyone has fears, and these are different for each person. If you do not tackle your fears, then they can take control of your life. For those in business, the fear of failure is often what holds them back. However, not trying just because you fear failure means that you are denying yourself the chance of success.
4. On Learning from Others
“I attribute the little I know to my not having been ashamed to ask for information, and to my rule of conversing with all descriptions of men on those topics that form their own peculiar professions and pursuits.”
The way in which people learn is different from one person to the next. While some people learn better from reading, others learn best by getting hands-on. There are also many benefits to learning from other people. You can do this by asking questions to those who have experience in your field, or from observing their behavior or how they handle different situations.
3. On the Importance of Gaining Experience
“No man’s knowledge here can go beyond his experience.”
Although knowledge is essential in any business, gaining some experience is just as important, if not more important. It can take time to gain experience, and you will experience highs and lows along the way. Experience comes in many forms, and even failures can give you relevant and useful experience that will help you in the future.
2. On Thinking Things Through
“Reading furnishes our minds only with knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.”
You should not just learn from reading, but you should also think about the knowledge you have gained. Before making any decisions in business, you should think through what you have learned through both reading and experience. This will help you to achieve the best outcomes.
1. On Working Hard for Success
“All wealth is the product of labor.”
According to Brainy Quote, this is one of the best John Locke quotes that apply to business. It is about how you will only achieve financial success if you are willing to work hard. Although there are some people who are very lucky or who inherit their money, these people are few and far between. In most cases, you will only achieve professional, personal, and financial success if you are willing to work hard and put in effort consistently.
Written by Dana Hanson
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