Catalyst Quotes

Compiled by Alex Pena ~ ‘Catalyst’: “to spark, to ignite, energize, mobilize; something that accelerates a reaction (DDI)." Thought-provoking & motivational quotes and stories for you to read, reflect on and move forward in making creative and positive changes in your life.

“Every Morning We Are Born Again / Live Each Moment in Full”


“Every morning we are born again.  What we do today is what matters most.”   (Buddha)



“Hello babies.  Welcome to Earth.  It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter.  It’s round and wet and crowded.  On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here.  There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — G** damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”   (Kurt Vonnegut, ‘God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater’)



“A lifetime is not what’s between

The moments of birth and death.

A lifetime is one moment

between my two little breaths.

The present, the here, the now,

That’s all the life I get,

I live each moment in full,

In kindness, in peace, without regret.”   (Chade Menge)



“My whole teaching consists of two words, meditation and love.  Meditate so that you can feel immense silence, and love so that your life can become a song, a dance, a celebration. You will have to move between the two, and if you can move easily, if you can move without any effort, you have learned the greatest thing in life.”   (Osho, Come, Come, Yet Again Come)



“What holds most people back isn’t the quality of their ideas, but their lack of faith in themselves.  You have to live your life as if you are already where you want to be.”   (Russell Simmons – Do You!)



“When you run after your thoughts, you are like a dog chasing a stick.  Every time a stick is thrown, you run after it.  Instead, be like a lion who, rather than chasing after the stick, turns to face the thrower.  One only throws a stick at a lion once.”  (Milarepa)

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“Never Surrender Your Hopes and Dreams / You Have Everything You Need”


“Do not limit yourself to your own preconceptions of yourself, but throw yourself out onto a blank page that you haven’t written on yet, and see what you find out about you, see what story unfolds, see what happens!  I always do this, and sometimes it can be very frightening! Too very often I have a blank page with nothing written on it yet!  I feel as though I am a soul with a single covering – my body of skin – and that’s the only thing between me on the inside and the rest of the world!  It’s quite frightening to begin each day on a blank page, forgetting your own preconceptions of yourself and allowing your mind to embrace the new!  It is like meeting yourself for the first time, over and over again!”   (C. JoyBell C.)



Never surrender your hopes and dreams to the fateful limitations others have placed on their own lives.  The vision of your true destiny does not reside within the blinkered outlook of the naysayers and the doom prophets. Judge not by their words, but accept advice based on the evidence of actual results.  Do not be surprised should you find a complete absence of anything mystical or miraculous in the manifested reality of those who are so eager to advise you. Friends and family who suffer the lack of abundance, joy, love, fulfillment and prosperity in their own lives really have no business imposing their self-limiting beliefs on your reality experience.”   (Anthony St. Maarten)



“The right moment.

You might be waiting for things to settle down.  For the kids to be old enough, for work to calm down, for the economy to recover, for the weather to cooperate, for your bad back to let up just a little…

The thing is, people who make a difference never wait for just the right time. They know that it will never arrive.

Instead, they make their ruckus when they are short of sleep, out of money, hungry, in the middle of a domestic mess and during a blizzard.  Whenever.

As long as whenever is now.”   (Seth Godin, Seth’s Blog, April 13, 2014)



“‘Everything will happen as was written by the Lord,’ replied the prophet. ‘There are moments when tribulations occur in our lives, and we cannot avoid them.  But they are there for some reason.’

‘What reason?’

‘That is a question we cannot answer before, or even during the trials.  Only when we have overcome them do we understand why they were there.’”    (Paulo Coelho, The Fifth Mountain)



“You have everything you need for complete peace and total happiness right now.”   (Wayne W. Dyer)

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“Take Hold of Your Own Life”


“Take hold of your own life.

See that the whole existence is celebrating.

These trees are not serious, these birds are not serious.

The rivers and the oceans are wild,

and everywhere there is fun,

everywhere there is joy and delight.

Watch existence,

listen to the existence and become part of it.”   (Osho)



“Accept everything about yourself – I mean everything.  You are you and that is the beginning and the end – no apologies, no regrets.”   (Henry A. Kissinger)



“This above all:  to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night of the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”   (William Shakespeare)



“When I say it’s you I like, I’m talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch.  That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive.  Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war and justice that proves more powerful than greed.”   (Fred Rogers)



“Yeah, about the test…

The test will measure whether you are an informed, engaged, and productive citizen of the world, and it will take place in schools and bars and hospitals and dorm rooms and in places of worship. You will be tested on first dates, in job interviews, while watching football, and while scrolling through your Twitter feed.  The test will judge your ability to think about things other than celebrity marriages, whether you’ll be easily persuaded by empty political rhetoric, and whether you’ll be able to place your life and your community in a broader context.  The test will last your entire life, and it will be comprised of the millions of decisions that, when taken together, will make your life yours. And everything, everything, will be on it.  …I know, right?”   (John Green)



“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”   (John Wooden)

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“Don’t Analyze Your Life, Celebrate It”


“I used to analyze myself down to the last thread, used to compare myself with others, recalled all the smallest glances, smiles and words of those to whom I’d tried to be frank, interpreted everything in a bad light, laughed viciously at my attempts ‘to be like the rest’ – and suddenly, in the midst of my laughing, I’d give way to sadness, fall into ludicrous despondency and once again start the whole process all over again – in short, I went round and round like a squirrel on a wheel.”   (Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment)



“If you want your prayers answered, you get off your knees and do the one thing you’re praying someone else will do for you.”   (Shannon L. Alder)



“Someone once told me that life wasn’t fair… and they were right.  But I don’t think that life was ever meant to be fair or perfect.  It’s not the tragedy; it’s how we deal with it.  It’s whether we come out stronger because of it. It’s not about blocking out the pain or hiding from it, it’s about letting the pain shape you into someone better than you were before.”  (Nicole Garber, Coming Apart:  The Disillusioning Art of Shell Formation, Volume I)



“No matter where you are right now, no matter far along you are on your own path, don’t wait to ‘have it all’ to celebrate.  You’re never going to figure it all out.  Make being happy your business, all along the way.  Life can’t be one long, tough haul, with a little party at the end. What good is that?  Life should be punctuated with celebrations and you have to build them into your time because being happy isn’t easy.”   (Bethenny Frankel, A Place of Yes:  10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out of Life)



“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”   (Oprah Winfrey)



“When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate.  And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow.”   (Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet:  Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way)

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“Trying to Find Out Who We Are”


“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not.  Make it your strength.  Then it can never be your weakness.  Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”   (George R. R. Martin, A Game of Thrones)



“O me!  O life! … of the questions of these recurring;

Of the endless trains of the faithless —of cities fill’d with the foolish;

Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)

Of eyes that vainly crave the light—of the objects mean—of the struggle ever renew’d;

Of the poor results of all—of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me;

Of the empty and useless years of the rest—with the rest me intertwined;

The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?


That you are here—that life exists, and identity;

That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.”   (Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass)



“We can spend our lives letting the world tell us who we are.  Sane or insane.  Saints or sex addicts.  Heroes or victims.  Letting history tell us how good or bad we are.  Letting our past decide our future.  Or we can decide for ourselves.  And maybe it’s our job to invent something better.”   (Chuck Palahniuk, Choke)



“In most of our human relationships, we spend much of our time reassuring one another that our costumes of identity are on straight.”   (Ram Dass)



“I mean, we’re all trying to find out who the hell we are, aren’t we?”   (Robert Ludlum, The Bourne Identity)

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“You Still Have No Idea the Effect You Can Have”


“Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think.”   (Buddha)



“It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head.  Always.  All the time. That story makes you what you are.  We build ourselves out of that story.”   (Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind)



“You must learn what life is now, not from me, but from life itself; but, if you will hear an old man’s opinion, I will give it to you.  If you think you can temper yourself into manliness by sitting here over your books, supposing you will grow into it as a matter of course by a rule of necessity, in the same way as your body grows old, it is the very silliest fancy that ever tempted a young man into his ruin.  You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.  Go out into life, you will find your chance there, and only there.”   (James Anthony Froude, The Nemesis of Faith, 1849, commonly misattributed to Henry David Thoreau)



“It’s not what you say out of your mouth that determines your life; it’s what you whisper to yourself that has the most power!”   (Robert T. Kiyosaki)



“We wouldn’t worry nearly as much about what others thought of us if we recognize how seldom they do.”   (Paulo Coelho)



“Know thyself, or at least keep renewing the acquaintance.”   (Robert Brault)



“Human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but … life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.”   (Gabriel García Márquez)



”Never mind searching for who you are.  Search for the person you aspire to be.   (Robert Brault)



“I think …. you still have no idea.  The effect you can have.”   (Suzzane Collins, Mockingjay)


“It’s About What is Best / There’s Power Within You”


“We cling to the idea that success is a simple function of individual merit and that the world in which we all grow up and the rules we choose to write as a society don’t matter at all.”   (Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers:  The Story of Success)



“It is never about who is right or wrong, it is about what is best.”   (Steve Backley, The Champion in all of US:  12 Rules for Success)



“There are going to be times when you learn more about the world you’re entering and feel defeated when you see the gap between the ideal and the reality.  But that’s something we’ll all face.  The people that face those obstacles and overcome them are people whose dreams come true.”   (Tsugumi Ohba, Bakauman, Volume 3:  Debut and Impatience)



“As the physically weak man can make himself strong by careful and patient training, so the man of weak thoughts can make them strong by exercising himself in right thinking.”   (James Allen, As a Man Thinketh)



“Success is doing what you want to do, when you want, where you want, with whom you want, as much as you want.”   (Anthony Robbins)



“I believe that you’re great, that there’s something magnificent about you. Regardless of what has happened to you in your life, regardless of how young or how old you think you might be, the moment you begin to think properly, there’s something that is within you, there’s power within you, that’s greater than the world.  It will begin to emerge.  It will take over your life.  It will feed you.  It will clothe you.  It will guide you, protect you, direct you, sustain your very existence, if you let it.  Now, that is what I know for sure.”   (Michael Beckwith)



“If you’re not gonna go all the way, why go at all?”   (Joe Namath) 

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“Your Story, Money, Essentials to Happiness and the Weather”


“Your story about money

Is a story.  About money.

Money isn’t real.  It’s a method of exchange, a unit we exchange for something we actually need or value.  It has worth because we agree it has worth, because we agree what it can be exchanged for.

But there’s something far more powerful going on here.

We don’t actually agree, because each person’s valuation of money is based on the stories we tell ourselves about it.

Our bank balance is merely a number, bits represented on a screen, but it’s also a signal and symptom.  We tell ourselves a story about how we got that money, what it says about us, what we’re going to do with it and how other people judge us.  We tell ourselves a story about how that might grow, and more vividly, how that money might disappear or shrink or be taken away.

And those stories, those very powerful unstated stories, impact the narrative of just about everything else we do.

So yes, there’s money.  But before there’s money, there’s a story.  It turns out that once you change the story, the money changes too.”   (Seth Godin, Seth’s Blog, 3.26.14)



“The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.”   (George Washington Burnap, The Sphere and Duties of Woman:  A Course of Lectures)



“May Light always surround you;

Hope kindle and rebound you.

May your Hurts turn to Healing;

Your Heart embrace Feeling.

May Wounds become Wisdom;

Every Kindness a Prism.

May Laughter infect you;

Your Passion resurrect you.

May Goodness inspire 

your Deepest Desires.

Through all that you Reach For, 

May your arms Never Tire.”   (D. Simone)



“How people treat you is their Karma.  How you respond is yours.”   (Wayne Dyer)



“I don’t believe that people create their own visions.  Rather, I believe that visions are actually God’s way of communicating with us.”   (Russell Simmons, Do You!)



“Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. (And now …) here’s Tom with the Weather.”   (Bill Hicks)

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“What Else Would You Like to Know?”


“The most difficult battles in life are those we fight within.”  (Old Chinese Proverb)



“‘It’s a sin to be poor!’”  He wasn’t referring to moral turpitude, but rather to ‘the frustration of potentiality.’  He believed and taught that, when we establish ourselves in the consciousness of God, the whole universe moves to flow into us with its abundance of life and substance.  This is obviously what Jesus had in mind when he said, ‘But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.’”   (Unknown Author)



“The older I grow, the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.”   (H. L. Mencken)



“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.”   (Gabriel García Márquez)



“I believe sincerely that every man has consummate genius within him.”   (Walter Russell, The Man Who Tapped the Secrets of the Universe)



“To believe your own thoughts, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men — that is genius.”   (Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Selected Writings)



“You are the Truth from foot to brow.  Now, what else would you like to know?”   (Rumi)

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“If I Had My Live to Live Over / Talk to Your Heart”


“If I had my life to live over

I would have talked less and listened more. 

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the “good” living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather rambling about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television, and more while watching life.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment, realizing that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more I love you’s and more I’m sorry’s

. . . but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute . . .  look at it and really see it . . . and never give it back.”   (Erma Bombeck)



“You have to begin to tell the story of your life as you now want it to be and discontinue the tales of how it has been or of how it is.”   (Esther & Jerry Hicks, Money, and the Law of Attraction: Learning to Attract Wealth, Health and Happiness)



“When you don’t talk, there’s a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said.”   (Catherine Gilbert Murdock, Dairy Queen)



“Don’t give in to your fears.  If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”  (Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist)

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