Untapped potential

“If I have seen farther than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants”

Isaac Newton

If the great people in human history could share their thoughts, advice and guidance, to help you become your best self, what would they say?

They advocated using our hearts and our guts more. This is hard for most people to understand, so they tried explaining it in different ways.

They used different words to suggest we add more thought from our hearts. They used words like intuition, imagination, foresight, using our mind’s eye, reflection and your inner voice, to name a few. Each of these is ultimately about enhancing our stories and our mental pictures of the world, so we can see what they could see what they saw, which is the start of being able to do what they did.

The same with using our guts, it’s not easy to explain so, they used different words, but more often than not, they advocated using our instincts and the fire in our bellies.

A collection of thoughts, advice and guidance from these great people are given below…

People see only what they are prepared to see.


We do not describe the world we see, we see the world we can describe.


Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.


It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.


You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.


Einstein, in particular, tried to emphasise the importance of our hearts in numerous different ways. Some example are….

The intuitive mind [Nous] is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.


It’s the theory that decides what can be observed.

Albert Einstein

The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why.


The only really valuable thing is intuition.


Imagination [Nous] is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.


Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere


Imagination is more important than knowledge


The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination


I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking


The eyes only see what the mind is prepared to comprehend.

Robertson David

It’s only with the heart that one can see clearly, what’s essential is invisible to the eye.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“The theoretician believes in logic and believes that he despises dreams, intuition and poetry. He does not recognize that these three fairies have only disguised themselves in order to dazzle him… He does not know that he owes his greatest discoveries to them.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“Fantasy is a natural human activity. It certainly does not destroy or even insult Reason; and it does not either blunt the appetite for, nor obscure the perception of, scientific verity. On the contrary. The keener and the clearer is the reason the better is the fantasy will it make.”

J. R. R. Tolkien

“An Irishman’s heart is nothing but his imagination.”

George Bernard Shaw

Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice – and most important have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

Steve Jobs

In the creative state a man is taken out of himself. He lets down at it were a bucket into his subconscious, and draws up something which is normally beyond his reach.

E. M. Forster

“Intuition is the acquiring of knowledge through sensory contact with the object, without the intuiter being able to explain to himself or others how he came to his conclusions… Intuition is a fragile and personal thing, and its study has been easily discouraged by those who cling strictly to scientific principles and refuse to admit that a faculty exits unless it can be exercised and its effects reproduced at will.”

Eric Berne

“The thoughts that come often unsought, and, as it were, drop into the mind, are commonly the most valuable of any we have.”

John Locke

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside awakes.”

Carl Jung

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.


“Take thought”

the most frequent piece of advice given by Athena to Odysseus in Homer’s Odyssey

“To arrive at the simplest truth, as Newton knew and practiced, requires years of contemplation. Not activity. Not reasoning. Not calculating. Not busy behavior of any kind. Not reading. Not talking. Not making an effort. Not thinking. Simply bearing in mind what it is one needs to know.”

George Herbert Spencer

A powerful imagination generates the event


Thought is something limitless and independent, and it has been mixed with no thing but is alone by itself. For if it were not by itself but had been mixed with some other thing, it would share in all things, if it had been mixed with any. For in everything there is present a portion of everything, as I have said earlier. And what was mingled with it would have prevented it from having power over anything in the way in which it does, being in fact alone by itself. For it is the finest of all things and the purest, and it possesses all knowledge about everything, and it has the greatest strength. And nous has power over all those things, both great and small, which possess psyche. And nous has power over the whole revolution, so that it revolved in the first place.

Anaxagoras (teacher of Pericles, Phidias, Euripides)

A truth that has merely been learnt adheres to us only as an artificial limb, a false tooth, a wax nose does, or at most like a transplanted skin; but a truth won by thinking for oneself is like a natural limb: it alone really belongs to us. This is what determines the difference between a thinker and a mere scholar.


Our heart is probably the most powerful part of our Psyche. Just as it is neglected in modern education, so is using our guts, yet it is strongly advocated by many outstanding human beings…

Instinct is something which transcends knowledge. We have, undoubtedly, certain finer fibers that enable us to perceive truths when logical deduction, or any other willful effort of the brain is futile.


The best decisions aren’t made with your mind, but with your instinct.


Now you can apply yourself voluntarily to reading and learning, but you cannot really apply yourself to thinking: thinking has to be kindled, as a fire is by a draught, and kept going by some kind of interest in its object which may be an objective interest or merely a subjective one


Trust instinct to the end, even though you can give no reason.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you are inspired by these great people from history, please move on to read and ponder the education material on the Educate Yourself page?