After a speaking presentation I delivered at the Midtown Optimist Club in Mobile, Alabama, I received the following email from one of the club members:
I would like to share a few quotes from my personal collection.
I have been collecting quotes from colleagues, mentors and business partners for over 30 years. The first is one from my father, Wendell L. Sawyer Sr., that I’m especially proud of:
- Mistakes– If you are not making any mistakes you are not taking enough chances. Wendell Sawyer, father-teacher-business partner
- Raise Your Vision– Don’t focus on menial distractions, focus on your long-term goals. Bob Kenningham
Del sent those quotes to me because he noticed that I share quotes in my presentation. In my newsletter editions, I always start with a quote, usually from a well-known person – someone who has achieved a level of success in a particular field. But, the most powerful quotes in my life, just like my friend Del, have been from people I know. And, if the person is someone very close to me, the impact is often significant.
One of the most influential people in my life was my Mom, Lucille C. Hackbarth. Her impact on me was effective because of how she lived her life. Because of her example, anything she said was, and continues to be influential. I attribute these quotes to her:
- Finish what you start.
- Don’t get too big for your britches! (The subject is humility)
The influence of her quotes was driven by the way she lived her life. A quote I use often was created as my own personal reflection on how she approached adversity in her life. When you get knocked down, pick yourself back up.
Personal quotes are more influential than those of famous people. The logic in this statement is simple. When we know someone personally and are part of their life, anything they say, that reflects their inner being, significantly affects us. It is not just a saying. It is transparency by evidence. Evidence that influences us.
Creating your own quotes will be enriching for you and for those with whom you communicate. What one or two sentences would summarize the best description of what you believe and practice? What expression do you, on a regular basis, say to others? Do any of your own statements represent wisdom on how to be your best? Here are some of my own:
- Success is being and becoming the best at what I am meant to be and do in life.
- Leadership is influencing another to do what really matters.
- Mondays are Great!
- Passion is a success multiplier.
- Create passion by choosing the right incentives.
- Make the BET: Belief, Enthusiasm and Team.
“Speech has power. Words do not fade. What starts out as a sound, ends in a deed.” Rabbi Abraham Joshua Herschel
Write down the quotes of people you have known. Write down your own quotes. Read them daily. Allow them to influence your life.