I received a few messages from folks about last weekâs blogpost, mentioning the use of both George Bernard Shaw’s quote and my own grandmother’s prompt to “pretend you’re alone,” when faced with making decisions. As a result, I’ve been thinking a lot this week, as I’ve run my errands or while exercising on the treadmill, about the impact quotes and mantras have on us (or, in the instance of this particular blog entry, me).
Anyone who has participated in self-help books or self-improvement exercises has usually been advised to place reminders in various places around their home where they will be seen. Usually in the form of Post-it notes or note cards with quotes, these sayings or goal statements serve as visual cues to stay on track. Faithful readers of this series will note that I traditionally punctuate entries with various quotes as a means of underscoring my content.
I like quotes for a number of reasons: seeing wisdom encapsulated in these written snippets provides a ballast or redirect for me. Quotes also help me when I realize that I share a commonality, in terms of understanding a mutual lesson. It is reassuring when I see that I agree with someone who has achieved a level of success to which I aspire.
As it relates to independence, I also see quotes as an invisible coach of sorts, encouraging me from the page. When I feel as though I am not getting anywhere or, worse, going backwards, seeing/remembering a quote reminds me that all is not lost. That I have the power of choice.
So I thought that today, I’d share a few quotes that provide the framework for my work across strata: as a mother; as a friend; as a businesswoman. A few days ago, on twitter, there was an exchange among three other “tweeps” who were talking about work vs personal lives and personas. My answer was that mine intersect. I work with people I like. My work is woven into the fabric of who I am as a vocation; therefore, the quotes I use are applicable across roles.
Many of my personal favorites originate with Eleanor Roosevelt. There are literally hundreds of her quotes from which to choose, but the ones that drive me:
- It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself.
- You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
- No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
The naturalist and spiritual seeker in me is drawn to transcendentalists Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. These two men drew strength from nature and endeavored to align themselves not only with their environment, but also with their inner natures.
Here are three Emerson >quotes that regularly filter to the top of my consciousness:
- What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
- A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.
- All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.
Of these Thoreau quotes listed below, one is literally affixed to my refrigerator in the form of a magnet!
- Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
- If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
- If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
Other quotes attributed to favorite public figures from whom I draw strength: Pablo Picasso, Maya Angelou, Albert Einstein and Oscar Wilde. Please share some of your favorites in the section below. Have any quotes made a difference in your life? How?
Molly Cantrell-Kraig is a woman with drive. Possessing an innate sense of purpose and a pragmatic, solution-based approach to empowering people, she fused these two traits in order to establish Women With Drive Foundation. Based upon its founder’s personal history, Women With Drive Foundation is a means through which Cantrell-Kraig may effect change on both a micro and macro level. By providing women with something as essential as personal transportation in order to transition them from poverty to prosperity, she, through Women With Drive Foundation, seeks to empower women to help them help themselves. Through this action, the individual applicant benefits, as does society as a whole. Follow Molly on twitter as @mckra1g or @WWDr1ve (Women With Drive)