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Creative quotes and quotations
On Resistance...


Resistance is normal. Whenever you try to introduce something new, you will get resistance. Just as a salesperson meets and overcomes objections, so also must the successful creative person learn to turn their creativity to overcoming the resistance to new ideas. Nevertheless, it is still really annoying.

See also

being uncreative, change*, conservatism, criticism, education, fear*, foolishness, habit, ignorance, impossibility, judgement, robustness


‘Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.’

Howard Aiken

‘He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils, for time is the greatest innovator.’

Francis Bacon

‘The barriers are not erected which can say to aspiring talents and iindustry, "Thus far and no farther".’

Ludwig van Beethoven

‘Good ideas, as we have seen, are not always well received, especially if there are too many of them.’

R. Meredith Belbin

Innovation—any new idea—by definition will not be accepted at first. It takes repeated attempts, endless demonstrations, and monotonous rehearsals before innovation can be accepted and internalized by an organization. This requires "courageous patience.".’

Warren Bennis

‘I am tired of all this sort of thing called science here…We have spent millions in that sort of thing for the last few years, and it is time it should be stopped.’

Simon Cameron

‘New ideas pass through three periods:
• It can’t be done.
• It probably can be done, but it’s not worth doing.
• I knew it was a good idea all along.’

Arthur C. Clarke

‘There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when you do it with reluctance.’

Marcus Tullius Cicero

‘The thermometer of success is merely the jealousy of the malcontents.’

Salvador Dali

‘There has been opposition to every innovation in the history of man, with the possible exception of the sword.’

Benjamin Dana

‘Old ideas give way slowly; for they are more than abstract logical forms and categories. They are habits, predispositions, deeply ingrained attitudes of aversion and preference.’

John Dewey

‘Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.’

Albert Einstein

Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.’

Ralph Waldo Emerson

‘These days, the problem isn't how to innovate; it's how to get society to adopt the good ideas that already exist.’

Douglas Englebart

‘Man’s fear of ideas is probably the greatest dike holding back human knowledge and happiness.’

Morris Leopold Ernst

‘Men are strong only so long as they represent a strong idea. They become powerless when they oppose it.’

Sigmund Freud

‘Faced with changing one's mind, or proving that there is no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.’

John Kenneth Galbraith

‘When people are least sure, they are often most dogmatic.’

John Kenneth Galbraith

‘By denying scientific principles, one may maintain any paradox.’

Galileo Galilei

‘Illness strikes men when they are exposed to change.’


‘Our energy is in proportion to the resistance it meets. We attempt nothing great but from a sense of the difficulties we have to encounter, we persevere in nothing great but from a pride in overcoming them.’

William Hazlitt

‘The real Antichrist is he who turns the wine of an original idea into the water of mediocrity.’

Eric Hoffer

‘The vast majority of human beings dislike and even dread all notions with which they are not familiar. Hence it comes about that at their first appearance innovators have always been derided as fools and madmen.’

Aldous Huxley

‘Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.’

Thomas Huxley

‘First a new theory is attacked as absurd; then it is admitted to be true, but obvious and insignificant; finally it is seen to be so important that its adversaries claim they themselves discovered it.’

William James

‘So we went to Atari and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we’ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we’ll come work for you. ‘And they said, ‘No.’ So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, ‘Hey, we don’t need you. You haven’t got through college yet.’.’

Steve Jobs (co-founder of Apple Computer)

‘Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must be first overcome.’

Samuel Johnson

The mind, I have discovered, is very clever. As soon as it recognizes that it is entering territory where it is not in charge, it becomes very protective. It quickly begins inventing reasons to stop, because it does not want to let go.’

Michael Jones

‘New ideas are not only the enemies of old ones; they also appear often in an extremely unacceptable form.’

Carl Gustav Jung

‘Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.’

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

‘Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope and, crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.’

Robert Kennedy

‘New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.’

John Locke

‘The human race is divided into two sharply differentiated and mutually antagonistic classes: a smal l minority that plays with ideas and is capable of taking them in, and a vast majority that finds them painful, and is thus arrayed against them, and against all who have traffic with them.’

H. L. Mencken

‘An age is called dark, not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it.’

James Michener

‘The greater the obstacle the more glory in overcoming it.’

Jean Baptiste Molière

‘There is no squabbling so violent as that between people who accepted an idea yesterday and those who will accept the same idea tomorrow.’

Christopher Morley

‘It is hard to let old beliefs go. They are familiar. We are comfortable with them and have spent years building systems and developing habits that depend on them. Like a man who has worn eyeglasses so long that he forgets he has them on, we forget that the world looks to us the way it does because we have become used to seeing it that way through a particular set of lenses.’

Kenichi Ohmae

‘Human inventiveness is overwhelming human adaptiveness. Our ability to judge lags behind our ability to create.’

Robert Ornstein

‘We have met the enemy and they is us.’

Ashleigh Brilliant

‘If anyone has a new idea in this country, there are twice as many people who keep putting a man with a red flag in front of it.’

Prince Philip

‘Ah good taste! What a dreadful thing! Taste is the enemy of creativeness.’

Pablo Picasso

‘A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it..’

Max Planck

‘But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.’

Carl Sagan

‘If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you.’

Carl Sagan

‘The discovery of truth is prevented more effectively not by the false appearance of things present and which mislead into error, not directly by weakness of the reasoning powers, but by preconceived opinion, by prejudice.’

Arthur Schopenhauer

‘Opposition inflames the enthusiast, never converts him.’

Freidrich von Schiller

‘Old fashions please me best; I am not so nice
To change true rules for odd inventions.’

William Shakespeare

‘There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance--that principle is contempt prior to investigation.’

Herbert Spencer

‘When a true genius appear in this world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.’

Jonathan Swift

‘There are none so blind as those who will not see.’

Jonathan Swift

‘I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the
greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most
obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of
conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.’

Leo Tolstoy

The mind likes a strange ideas as little as the body likes a strange protein and resists it with similar energy. It would not perhaps be too fanciful to say that a new idea is the most quickly acting antigen known to science. It we watch ourselves honestly we shall often find that we have begun to argue against a new idea even before it has been completely stated.’

Wilfred Trotter

‘Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.’

Mark Twain

‘The man with a new idea is a crank—until the idea succeeds.’

Mark Twain

‘There is a natural opposition among men to anything they have not thought of themselves.’

Barnes Wallis

‘One could not be a successful scientist without realizing that, in contrast to the popular conception supported by newspapers and mothers of scientists, a goodly number of scientists are not only narrow-minded and dull, but also just stupid.’

— J. D. Watson

‘New and stirring ideas are belittled, because if they are not belittled the humiliating question arises, "Why, then, are you not taking part in them?".’
H. G. Wells

‘In England, an inventor is regarded almost as a crazy man, and in too many instances invention ends in disappointment and poverty. In America, an inventor is honoured, help is forthcoming, and the exercise of ingenuity, the application of science to the work of man, is there the shortest road to wealth.’

Oscar Wilde

‘He who rejects change is the architect of decay.’

Harold Wilson



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