Call me a “motivational speaker”—and I’ll be tempted to punch you. On the other hand, I have collected a passel of “inspiring” quotes over the years. I put this little set together for a colleague. All yours …
“This is the true joy of Life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one … being a force of Nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” —G.B. Shaw, Man and Superman
The master in the art of living
Makes little distinction between
his work and his play.
He hardly knows which is which.
He simply pursues his vision
of EXCELLENCE in whatever he does.
Leaving others to decide whether
he is working or playing.
To him he is always doing both.
Source: Zen Buddhist text
“Make each day a Masterpiece!”—John Wooden, the most successful basketball coach [ever]
“I don’t think I was a fine game coach. I think I was a good practice coach.”—John Wooden on uber-preparation
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”—Oscar Wilde
“Make your life itself a creative work of art.”—Mike Ray, The Highest Goal
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”—Mary Oliver, poet
“Do one thing every day that scares you.”—Eleanor Roosevelt
“The illiterate of the 21st Century will not be those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”—Alvin Toffler
“Innovation is opera: Theft and murder and egos and false starts and years in the wilderness and years of treading water …”—author unknown
“Ever notice that ‘What the hell’ is always the right decision?”—shrewd observation, attributed to an unknown Hollywood scriptwriter
“No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”—Samuel Beckett
“Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious and anything self-conscious is lousy. You simply must … DO THINGS.”—Ray Bradbury
“You miss 100% of the shots you never take.”—Wayne Gretzky
“Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”—Ted Rubin, social media guru
BLAME NO ONE.
Source: Locker room sign posted by NFL football coach Bill Parcells
“The only thing you have power over is to get good at what you do. That’s all there is; there ain’t no more!”—Sally Field
“There is absolutely nothing that beats hard work. You hoped when you were coming out of college that you were the smartest. It turned out none of us are. But I could sure outwork a lot of folks.”—Sallie Krawcheck
“What we do matters to us. Work may not be the most important thing in our lives or the only thing. We may work because we must, but we still want to love, to feel pride in, to respect ourselves for what we do and to make a difference.”—Sara Ann Friedman, Work Matters: Women Talk About Their Jobs and Their Lives
“All of our artistic and religious traditions take equally great pains to inform us that we must never mistake a good career for good work. Life is a creative, intimate, unpredictable conversation if it is nothing else—and our life and our work are both the result of the way we hold that passionate conversation.”—David Whyte, Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity
“I WANT TO BE THOROUGHLY USED UP WHEN I DIE. … Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”—George Bernard Shaw
“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece, but to skid across the line broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, leaking oil, shouting ‘GERONIMO!'”—Bill McKenna, professional motorcycle racer
“It’s always showtime.”—David D’Alessandro, Career Warfare
“All human beings are entrepreneurs. When we were in the caves we were all self-employed … finding our food, feeding ourselves. That’s where human history began. … As civilization came we suppressed it. We became labor because they stamped us, ‘You are labor.’ We forgot that we are entrepreneurs.”—Muhammad Yunus
“Many of us don’t see ourselves as leaders, but the truth is that we are all confronted constantly with opportunities to ‘take the lead.’ [We either] take the lead—or fail to do so.”—Betsy Myers, Take the Lead: Motivate, Inspire, and Bring Out the Best in Yourself and Everyone Around You
The Big SIX
“We do no great things, only small things with great love.”—Mother Teresa
“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble.”—Helen Keller
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”—Anne Frank
“Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.”—Churchill
“To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.”—Henry David Thoreau
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.”—Victor Frankl