As you know, I’m an historian by training, and the American Revolution has always been one of my favorite eras to study. It continues to fascinate me that great leaps forward (and backward) in our world cultures seem to take place when a particular group of like-minded, ambitious people come together, and never was there a more inspiring band of rebels than our Founding Fathers (and Mothers). So on this 4th of July, I wondered what they had to teach us about leading creative and purposeful lives.

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”   Thomas Jefferson.

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”  Thomas Jefferson

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”  Benjamin Franklin

“To cease to think creatively is to cease to live.”  Benjamin Franklin

“You will never be alone with a poet in your pocket.”  John Adams

“Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.”  John Adams

“We have too many high-sounding words and too few actions that correspond with them.” Abigail Adams

“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and diligence.” Abigail Adams

“99% of failures come from people who make excuses.”  George Washington

“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”  George Washington