Alan Alda quotes

“Be brave enough to live creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You cannot get there by bus, only by hard work, risking and by not quite knowing what you are doing. What you will discover will be wonderful: Yourself.”
― Alan Alda

 

 

“[B]egin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while or the light won’t come in.”
― Alan Alda

 

“At times you have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.”
― Alan Alda

 

“I’ll carry on, carry over, carry forward, Cary Grant, cash and carry, carry me back to Old Virginia, I’ll even ‘hari-kari’ if you show me how, but I will not carry a gun!”
― Alan Alda

 

“The difference between listening and pretending to listen, I discovered, is enormous. One is fluid, the other is rigid. One is alive, the other is stuffed. Eventually, I found a radical way of thinking about listening. Real listening is a willingness to let the other person change you. When I’m willing to let them change me, something happens between us that’s more interesting than a pair of dueling monologues.”
― Alan Alda

 

“So that’s it. I’ve told you everything I know. Think clearly and think for yourself. Learn to use language to express those thoughts. Love somebody with all your heart. And with everyone, whether you love them or not, find out if you can be helpful. But really, it’s even simpler than that. After all this time, and all these talks in public and in private, I think I get it now. If I were taking my friend Arnold’s suggestion and spoke from my deathbed, I think I know what I’d say. I see now that I had my meaning all along, I just had to notice it. The meaning of life… is life. Not noticing life is what’s meaningless, even down to the last second.”
― Alan Alda

 

“Here’s my Golden Rule for a tarnished age: Be fair with others, but keep after them until they’re fair with you.”
― Alan Alda

 

 

“If you know what you’re looking for, that’s all you’ll get – what’s previously known. But when you’re open to what’s possible, you get something new – that’s creativity.”
― Alan Alda

 

 

“When people are laughing, they’re generally not killing one another. ”
― Alan Alda

 

 

“Be as smart as you can, but remember that it is always better to be wise than to be smart.”
― Alan Alda

 

“During the first day, curious at having outsiders among them, a long stream of inmates came over and talked with me. Remarkably, according to what they told me, nearly every inmate in the prison didn’t do it. Several thousand people had been locked up unjustly and, by an incredible coincidence, all in the same prison.

On the other hand, they knew an awful lot about how to knife somebody.”
― Alan Alda

 

“Laugh at yourself, but don’t ever aim your doubt at yourself. Be bold. When you embark for strange places, don’t leave any of yourself safely on shore. Have the nerve to go into unexplored territory.”
― Alan Alda

 

“No man or woman of the humblest sort can really be strong, gentle and good, without the world being better for it, without somebody being helped and comforted by the very existence of that goodness.”
― Alan Alda

 

 

“It’s too bad I’m not as wonderful a person as people say I am, because the world could use a few people like that.”
― Alan Alda

 

 

“Real listening is a willingness to let the other person change you.”
― Alan Alda

 

“It isn’t necessary to be rich and famous to be happy. It’s only necessary to be rich.”
― Alan Alda

 

 

“The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself.”
― Alan Alda

 

“Loneliness is everything it’s cracked up to be.”
― Alan Alda

 

 

“Until I was twenty I was sure there was a being who could see everything I did and who didn’t like most of it. He seemed to care about minute aspects of my life, like on what day of the week I ate a piece of meat. And yet, he let earthquakes and mudslides take out whole communities, apparently ignoring the saints among them who ate their meat on the assigned days. Eventually, I realized that I didn’t believe there was such a being. It didn’t seem reasonable. And I assumed that I was an atheist.

As I understood the word, it meant that I was someone who didn’t believe in a God; I was without a God. I didn’t broadcast this in public because I noticed that people who do believe in a god get upset to hear that others don’t. (Why this is so is one of the most pressing of human questions, and I wish a few of the bright people in this conversation would try to answer it through research.)

But, slowly I realized that in the popular mind the word atheist was coming to mean something more – a statement that there couldn’t be a God. God was, in this formulation, not possible, and this was something that could be proved. But I had been changed by eleven years of interviewing six or seven hundred scientists around the world on the television program Scientific American Frontiers. And that change was reflected in how I would now identify myself.

The most striking thing about the scientists I met was their complete dedication to evidence. It reminded me of the wonderfully plainspoken words of Richard Feynman who felt it was better not to know than to know something that was wrong.”
― Alan Alda

 

 

“What then are doing if not creating a better place together? I think, for me the key has to be, what do I want to create? What is it I want to leave behind?”
― Alan Alda

 

 

“War is war and Hell is hell, and if you ask me, War is a lot worse.”
― Alan Alda

 

 

“Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been.”
― Alan Alda

 

 

“Communication doesn’t take place because you tell somebody something. It takes place when you observe them closely and track their ability to follow you. Like”
― Alan Alda

 

“For humans, flying isn’t magic, it’s physics.”
― Alan Alda

 

“You can tell a lot about people by the way they treat the help.”
― Alan Alda

 

 

“Ignorance was my ally as long as it was backed up by curiosity. Ignorance without curiosity is not so good, but with curiosity it was the clear water through which I could see the coins at the bottom of the fountain.”
― Alan Alda

 

“I would come in armed with only curiosity, and my own natural ignorance. I was learning the value of bringing my ignorance to the surface… Ignorance was my ally, as long as it was backed up by curiosity. Ignorance without curiosity is not so good, but with curiosity, it was the clear water through which I could see the coins at the bottom of the fountain.”
― Alan Alda

 

 

“My mother didn’t try to stab my father until I was six.”
― Alan Alda

 

“Be brave enough to live creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You cannot get there by bus, only by hard work, risking and by not quite knowing what you are doing. What you will discover will be wonderful; yourself.”
― Alan Alda

 

 

“You have to leave the city of your comfort ano into the wilderness of your intuition. what you’ll discover will be woderful. what you’ll discover will be yourself.”
― Alan Alda

 

“Maybe God is the ultimate bully who teases us with life, then pulls it out of reach. Maybe there’s nothing I can do but let life curl up and disappear like an old photograph.

Or maybe I can get it back. Maybe imagination gets it back. Perhaps play lets it breath again.”
― Alan Alda

 

“Starting with a gray cloud of brain cells that was subject to storms and flash floods, I had to learn to make my own internal weather.”
― Alan Alda

 

“Aren’t we lucky to be us?”
― Alan Alda

 

 

“I was what came to mind when there was blood on the floor.”
― Alan Alda

 

 

“I came to the conclusion that, even in life, unless I’m responding with my whole self—unless, in fact, I’m willing to be changed by you—I’m probably not really listening. But if I do listen—openly, naïvely, and innocently—there’s a chance, possibly the only chance, that a true dialogue and real communication will take place between us.”
― Alan Alda

 

“Dar acum, in loc de ratiune, multa lume se foloseste de dorinte, vise, mantre si incantatii. Incearca sa se vindece folosind cristale, magneti si ierburi cu proprietati necunoscute. Ti se ofera o pastila facuta din frunza unei plante necunoscute si ti se spune: “Ia-o, n-are cum sa-ti faca rau, e naturala.” Dar naturala e si matraguna.”
― Alan Alda

 

 

“The trouble with a lecture is that it answers questions that haven’t been asked.”
― Alan Alda

 

 

“Even when we think of empathy as a tool for good, it might not be a good idea to oversell its strengths, and we should remember that there will always be people who will use it against others for their own benefit.”
― Alan Alda

 

“If a rattlesnake thinks he can swallow a mouse, he probably can. Don’t assume you think like a snake unless you are one.”
― Alan Alda

 

 

“Anesthetized by youth, I missed it.”
― Alan Alda

 

“I’ve been an improviser since I was in my twenties. There’s really no failing in improv. You just go on to the next thing.”
― Alan Alda

 

 

“Sometimes, being willing to see the other person means you have to be willing to let them see you.”
― Alan Alda, If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating

 

“You’re going to learn if something’s bad. It’s not like you’re going to say, ‘Well, that lion was really unpleasant. I think maybe I’ll come back here and see if I like it the next time.”
― Alan Alda

 

“Not being truly engaged with the people we’re trying to communicate with, and then suffering the snags of misunderstanding, is the grit in the gears of daily life.”
― Alan Alda

 

“While leadership is important, just as important is how leadership is communicated. On the one hand, you can command good performance from someone in exchange for not firing them. On the other hand, you might be able to ignite the desire in a person to perform well by tuning in to their state of mind.”
― Alan Alda

 

 

“When you’re with someone, try labeling … is Jack upset? Is Jane excited? … It’ll change how you hear what they’re saying.”
― Alan Alda

 

 

“That struck a chord with me, because I know how important it is to look into the eyes of an audience when I’m giving a talk. I don’t just scan the audience; I catch the eye of individual people and hold their gaze for a few seconds. When I do that, something happens between us. I’m actually talking to someone, not just saying the words I’ve prepared, and as a result something changes in my tone of voice. It becomes more personal and direct. And I get reinforcement from the warmth I see in the faces.”
― Alan Alda

 

 

“life itself was an improvisation in which I was going to have to deal with what came to me and not think about what should have come.”
― Alan Alda

 

 

“As long as it doesn’t seem fake, the more we establish familiarity with our audience – not speaking to them from left field or from on high – the better chance we have that they’ll listen to what we have to say. And possibly even accept it.”
― Alan Alda, If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating

 

 

“I hope they’ll pay attention not so much to the mechanical things, like a sudden change of pace in a talk or a sudden change in volume of their voice. I hope they’ll pay attention, instead, to the fundamental source of that pacing and volume, which is the connection with the other person. That connection makes us respond like a leaf in the breeze to whatever is happening in the faces of those in front of us.”
― Alan Alda

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