At the beginning of this year, I started posting a “thought for the day” on my Facebook page. I do this in part because I do not want my page to become stale, and in part because I enjoy the discussion that each quote generates. Not surprisingly, I have learned that the most life-affirming quotes are also the most likely to generate discussion. That makes sense because we all want to feel good about ourselves and our prospects. Words can evoke many different responses, but the best words are motivational, I think. Here are some of the quotes that I have enjoyed so far this year and how they can inspire us to move forward.
“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” (Will Rogers) No matter how successful you are, and no matter where you are headed with your career, you cannot accept success passively. There is a reason that ladders are used to describe a person’s rise to success. Success requires consistent effort and courage. Even if you are headed in the right direction with your career, make sure you are not waiting for the next rung of the ladder to come to you!
“The perfection of wisdom, and the end of true philosophy is to proportion our wants to our possessions, our ambitions to our capacities, we will then be a happy and a virtuous people.” (Mark Twain) Ever a man of practical wisdom, Twain recognized that if we always spend our lives wanting more than we have, we will never be happy with what we have. There is nothing wrong with striving for more — whether that means more money, more things, more time or something else altogether — but it is important to be content with what we have until the time comes when we have more of it. Do your best, but accept your limits.
“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” (Edgar Allen Poe) Don’t get caught in a rut. When we reach a certain age, the creativity of our youth may slowly disappear, eroded by the strain and stress of daily life. Rekindle that creativity and take time to dream every day. Whatever goals you established in your youth may not yet be out of reach. Grandma Moses started painting late in life and she still had a fruitful career as an artist. Know what you want, and work towards it.
“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.” (Groucho Marx) This is my favorite quote of the year and one that I shall never forget. Whatever struggles you may face, you still determine whether you will be happy each day. Find the perspective that allows you to be happy no matter what hurdles to happiness you may confront. Remember — life is not a dress rehearsal!
What words have you found that have motivated you? Who has inspired you to achieve?