“Change your thoughts and you change the world.” ~ Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
Have you noticed all the ‘positive attitude quotes’ on the Internet? When you go to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or the social media site of your choosing, you find a lot of motivational quotes and blogs. It is abundant, to say the least. Quotes from presidents, philosophers, motivational authors and famous leaders of the past, fill the social media world. Everyone is doing this, including me. You may notice that I often use a quote as the subline to my newsletter.
Some of my favorite quotes include the following:
“Never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never give up!” Winston Churchill
“Your altitude in life will be determined by your attitude in life.” Zig Ziglar
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” Nelson Mandela
“Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.” Charles Swindoll
I admit that I like reading quotes; this is a practice I have been following all of my life. However, I can understand how one might become immune to the constant parade of inspirational messages. Is it possible to have too much of a good thing?
As much as I like and have learned from the quotes I read, there is one inspiring message that trumps all of them. It is the personal message that was spoken or written to me by someone in my own life. It might have been a parent, teacher or mentor. Who was the one person who inspired you and made a difference in your life? What was the sentence they often used when writing or speaking to you?
The words they spoke can be recalled today, often with the tone, volume and all the senses. The expressions are powerful because you can see and sense that person. You recall and feel the actual moment. It is deeply personal.
My mom said simple things like, “You are smart.” In troubled times she would say to me, “You will sit down and write out your thoughts and figure out the solution.” The message that I heard loud and clear was to always pick myself back up and get in the game. She lived what she taught. Because of my memory and the relationship we enjoyed, her quotes are more powerful for me than the words of famous people. None of the expressions she used have become famous quotes. But, I certainly remember those words of inspiration and wisdom, recalling important points of my life, when what she said mattered in the outcome. These quotes are inspiring because they are personal – remembered by all my senses – and real – they are part of my history. The result is a huge impact.
On my office desk at home is a list of some of my mom’s quotes in her own handwriting. Every time I look at these quotes, I am inspired to never give up, to try to be my best, to pick myself up when down and to honor all the lessons she taught me!
Could you use a simple tool to motivate yourself on any given day at any given time? If this tool only takes seconds to implement, would it be one that you would call on often? Yes and yes. Write down a powerful quote from someone who has inspired you. Put it on your desk or wall, or in your wallet. Set it in a place where you will see if often. A 3 x 5 card is perfect – I often use this tool. If you have the quote in handwriting from the person, that is even better. But, the words are what matter. Put them where you will see them every single day of your life.
I will begin today with a great start as I remember . . . who impacted my life and often told me . . .
When I get stuck this week, I will pause for a few seconds and recall what was said so often to me . . . ; and with these powerful words, I will be inspired.
When life challenges me, I will do my best, because I want to honor those who have impacted my life. I will remember what they said and . . .