Stuck? Need inspiration? Motivation?

 “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Frederick R. Barnard*

“Compared to the spoken word, a picture is a pitiful thing, indeed.” Charles Osgood

“Most people do ont listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply” Stephen R. Covey

“A great quote can cause a paradigm shift in your thinking and your life—memorize one daily.” Royce White

It’s amazing the number of people I coach, consult, or simply talk to, that have had their thinking changed by a great quote—a literal paradigm shift in thinking. Granted, many times—if not most—the quote is the “final straw” of a long list of situations that finally gives clarity—or it is a great truth that is boiled down to a plucky saying. Like Proverbs, we compare and contrast wisdom in some fashion as to bring many words together in a few words. It’s like dehydrating fruits—as you remove the water from the fruit, the sugars become more concentrated and the dehydrated fruit becomes much sweeter tasting…

We have no shortage for quotes in the world. Some wise sages of old—Confucius, Ben Franklin, Socrates—seemed to narrow their thinking to only short, sweet, memorable sentences—or maybe those are the only things they said worth writing down. As well, motivational speakers of today spend thoughtful time distilling concepts into prophetic bites to pass on to those searching for inspiration. This is not a bad thing, but a good thing.

There are those that are a play on words, like this one from Papa John Maxwell, “No one cares what you know until they know that you care.” Or this one from Maya Angelou, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” They’re generally true 90% of the time. There are ones with alliteration or the rhyming ones like this one from Napoleon Hill, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” But mostly, they are simply truths distilled into a short, succinct sentence, like these three—

If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. Jim Rohn

That some achieve great success, is proof to all, that others can achieve it as well.
Abe Lincoln

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
Wayne Gretzky

Each one of these are true. Plainly true. But when we pause to reflect (the key I think), it somehow becomes so much more “true.” Or maybe it’s the celebrity name that is attached to the quote that opens up our minds for the truth of the quote.

For instance, hockey great Wayne Gretzky’s quote of “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” has significant meaning if you are stuck and are not moving toward your goal because of fear of failure. The point is if you take no shots, you’ll make no points—if you take no risks you won’t get ahead. If you’re struggling with getting started, this quote may have a more significant meaning to you and catch you just right so you realize you have too much fear and need to take more risk.

Abe Lincoln’s quote about achieving success is huge to me. In the past I have had a significant problem with the Comparison Gap which says that “others are better than I am” (the Comparison Gap is a Growth Gap which is a mistaken belief that creates a gap that keeps you from growing and reaching your potential). Hence, Abe’s quote has gone a long way in helping me realize that I can achieve as much as anyone else and not be fearful that Dave Ramsey, Michael Hyatt, or John Maxwell are way ahead of me… they just started before me and have a head start! I have an opportunity to succeed and succeed equally (or even more) as long as I’m on this side of the terra firma!

One of the greatest tools we have in life is the application of a good quote at the right time—in our life or someone else’s life. For aspiring speakers and authors, quotes are mandatory. They help you tell a story better. They punctuate a point.

Read through my top inspirational quotes. It’s very encouraging. As well, I am going to be doing a blog series on quotes. I am going to take a quote and unpack it or at least talk about how it inspires and encourages—hopefully you will jump in and give your own comments and thoughts.

Quotes are a powerful ally in the march to success and for dispelling “stinkin thinkin.” I’m really looking forward to this. In the meantime, I am trying to memorize a quote a day. My success rate is only about one every two days but that will still give me 100 plus quotes each year—which means a thousand quotes in ten years. What’s in your quotes wallet?

Reflection: Can you think of a time when a quote helped you out of your current attitude? Do you think well placed words will do you good?

Action: Start memorizing quotes on a regular basis—one or two a week? Whatever it is, it will help you in creating positive thinking for you and others. It’s well worth the trip. Can’t find any? Look no further than my page on quotes here.

MAKE it a great day!

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