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10 Life Lessons from Lord Chesterfield


The timeless advice of Lord Chesterfield

Philip Stanhope, better known as Lord Chesterfield was a man of letters, statesman, and diplomat. For over 30 years he dutifully wrote over 400 letters to his illegitimate son Philip which gave advice on a myriad of subjects. These letters were published in 1774 and contained dozens of nuggets of quotable wisdom that remain today.

Here are 10 quotes that apply to men and women of all ages.

  1. The power of concentration. “The power of applying attention, steady and undissipated, to a single object, is the sure mark of a superior genius.” 
  2. How do you get a good read on someone? Lord Chesterfield advises, “Look in the face of the person to whom you are speaking if you wish to know his real sentiments, for he can command his words more easily than his countenance”. 
  3. How do you make yourself liked by others? “Those whom you can make like themselves better, will, I promise you, like you very well.” 
  4. What’s the underlying motive? “When a man seeks your advice he generally wants your praise.” 
  5. What about the power of consideration and gratitude? “Compliments of congratulation are always kindly taken, and cost nothing but pen, ink, and paper.” 
  6. Here’s why we should always aim for the best possible result. “Aim at perfection in everything, though in most things it is unattainable; however, they who aim at it, and persevere, will come much nearer to it, than those whose laziness and despondency make them give it up as unattainable.” 
  7. What’s your mission? What drives you? “Firmness of purpose is one of the most necessary sinews of character and one of the best instruments of success. Without it, genius wastes its efforts in a maze of inconsistencies.” 
  8. What we choose to give our attention to matters. “A weak mind is like a microscope, which magnifies trifling things, but cannot receive great ones.” 
  9. Sometimes it’s better to say nothing. “Silence and reserve suggest latent power. What some men think has more effect than what others say.”. 
  10. What does being frantic tell others about ourselves? “Whoever is in a hurry shows that the thing he is about is too big for him. Haste and hurry are very different things.”



Editor in Chief: HECMWorld.com
As a prominent commentator and Editor in Chief at HECMWorld.com, Shannon Hicks has played a pivotal role in reshaping the conversation around reverse mortgages. His unique perspectives and deep understanding of the industry have not only educated countless readers but has also contributed to introducing practical strategies utilizing housing wealth with a reverse mortgage.
Shannon’s journey into the world of reverse mortgages began in 2002 as an originator and his prior work in the financial services industry. Shannon has been covering reverse mortgage news stories since 2008 when he launched the podcast HECMWorld Weekly. Later, in 2010 he began producing the weekly video series The Industry Leader Update and Friday’s Food for Thought.
Readers wishing to submit stories or interview requests can reach our team at: info@hecmworld.com.

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