For me, inspiration comes in many forms and I find I am most inspired when I’m creating. However, there are times I need a little extra boost, a little more can-do attitude, and a little reminder that ordinary people do extraordinary things all the time. For these moments, I often turn to inspirational people and their words of wisdom.
Today I thought I would share with you my Top Ten Favorite Inspirational Quotes. Perhaps you will be inspired to take bold action, too!
My Top Ten Favorite Inspirational Quotes
“Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.” –Pablo Picasso
If you are stuck on a problem, feeling less than inspired on a project, or doubting your abilities, stop dwelling on whatever is bothering you and get busy doing something. It doesn’t matter if you walk away from your desk and go scrub the floor, or if you turn up music and jump on the treadmill, just get your mind and/or body moving. Doing something unrelated to the issue at hand will let your mind relax enough so new thoughts and inspirations can come through.
“Think for yourself because I won’t be there with you.” –The Beattles
I know, this one is a bit of an oxymoron in using someone else’s quote telling you to think for yourself, but it is one of my go-to sayings when I’m at any sort of crossroads. I am sure think for yourself was uttered long before the Beattles included it in a song, but the second half of the lyric drives home the importance. Think for yourself because you are the one who must live with your thoughts, actions, and outcomes.
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” –Joseph Campbell
This quote inspires me to take action when fear is holding me back. When I read this quote, I imagine whatever I’m trying to accomplish already in its completed form, or I imagine the results of the accomplishment (success, pride, financial reward, etc). I imagine the end result tucked just inside a dark cave. It’s there, waiting for me to come inside and claim it. Sometimes I am able to run right inside, other times I simply step a bit closer each time.
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” –Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Of all my favorite quotes, this one keeps me most connected. It helps me remember I am more than the cells of my visible existence or the thoughts I think. I am an extension of our creator, as is each and every person. While I could, and may, write an entire post on this quote, for now I will simply say this quote gives me comfort.
“Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out.” –Art Linkletter
We’ve all heard this one in the form of, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!” Our attitudes truly do create our reality. No matter what the situation we have a choice in how we respond to it. When things aren’t going my way, I still choose to find the best feeling thought, the most optimistic outlook, or to find the lesson in the situation. If you change your thoughts you will change your life.
“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” –John Wooden
Never in history has help been so easily accessible. If you have a dream, pursue that dream by taking the actions you can, then seek help for the missing pieces. Utilize the resources at hand–ask others for help, research on the internet, join with like-minded people, turn to professionals. If you truly want something, you will find a way!
“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” –Nelson Mandela
Have you ever noticed how many people go through life in the “gray zone”–not lifeless, but lacking spark? Sadly, this gray zone seems to be the norm for most people! Put a vibrant spark of a person in the mix and what happens? Some people will shun the spark and deem it “weird” or “wrong” and continue living in their gray zone. However, there will be others who let that spark in and allow it to illuminate their own light. Let your light shine and be that spark for others. It isn’t always easy, but trust me, after a while the joy you see in others far outweighs the discomfort of lighting the room on fire! Burn, baby, burn!
“Keep in mind that the true measure of an individual is how he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good.” —Ann Landers
I cannot count the times I have seen someone who believes they are of great importance shun anyone considered beneath him/her and only pay attention to those who are equal or better. Those are people of small minds and small character. On the other hand, I have seen CEO’s and corporate presidents treat the lowliest of employees or waitstaff as if they were fellow board members. These are open-minded people of good character. I have seen humble people become overnight millionaires and suddenly those who shunned them want to befriend them and ride their coattails. I have also seen the high-and-mighty fall, only to find themselves utterly alone–those who were once equals now have no use for the fallen, and friendships with less-than-equals were never valued. Point of all this is: be kind to everyone. At the end of our lives, it will not matter how many dollars you made or what car you drove; what matters is the impression of your character upon others. Besides, it is so much more fun to get to know who someone is than what they do for work or the depth of their material possessions!
“Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.” –Harvey MacKay
A movie titled In Time came out last year and really drove this quote home for me. In the movie, each person is imprinted with their own personal time clock and with a glance at their wrist, they know exactly how much life they have left, down to the last second. That’s a little extreme, but perhaps we should all be more aware of the time we have now, how we are expending that time, and the true value of our time. Don’t squander your time gossiping, being miserable, or making others miserable, do something uplifting, inspirational or exciting with your time!
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
All creation requires an individual or organization to step out on the leading edge, question the status quo, and to be willing to look at things in a new way. The biggest advancements come from breaking out of the pack and forging new paths. You do not have to be great or powerful to create a new path and leave a trail for others; you simply must act from a place of curiosity and desire…and perhaps a little bit of bravery!
What do you want to create or accomplish? What is holding you back? Use the above quotes, or others that inspire you, to take action toward your dream today!
Have a great day, my friend!