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.

Archive for the month “September, 2012”

“Courageous Change”

“Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, ‘Where have I gone wrong?’   Then a voice says to me, ‘This is going to take more than one night.’ “    (Charlie Brown)

“If you have ever planted a seed, you know the power and promise of hope.”    (H. Jackson Brown

“I promise you, as you choose to remake yourself, to see in new ways who you are and what you are capable of, to dedicate yourself to using body, heart, mind and spirit in living your life, you will open up windows of possibility within your life and within the lives of others.  Your courage will inspire others to be brave.  Your model will inspire others to change.  Together, the courageous change will create something worthwhile, something completely human.”     (Stephen R. Covey)



“When you love the work you do and the people you do it with, you matter.    When you are so gracious and generous and aware that you think of other people before yourself, you matter.    When you leave the world a better place than you found it, you matter.    When you continue to raise the bar on what you do and how you do it, you matter.    When you teach and forgive and teach more before you rush to judge and demean, you matter.    When you touch the people in your life through your actions (and your words), you matter.    When kids grow up wanting to be you, you matter.    When you see the world as it is, but insist on making it more like it could be, you matter.    When you inspire a Nobel Prize winner or a slum dweller, you matter.    When the room brightens when you walk in, you matter.    And when the legacy you leave behind lasts for hours, days or a lifetime, you matter.”    (Seth Godin)

“It’s time to start living the life you’ve imagined.”     (Henry James)

“It’s Hopeless, We’re Surrounded” Are You Sure?

“All right, they’re on our left, they’re on our right, they’re in front of us, they’re behind us … they can’t get away this time.”
(Chesty Puller (USMC, when surrounded by 8 enemy divisions during the Korean War.)

“We’re all in this together if we’re in it at all.”     (Johnny Cash)

“Control your own destiny or someone else will.”    (Jack Welch)

Do you think you would react in the same way that Chesty Puller did when surrounded by the enemy?   Instead of looking at it in a gloomy way and giving up, the message he gave his troops was that ‘we have them just where we want them.’  That put his troops in a different mind-set and also for them not to give up.   To paraphrase Johnny Cash, ‘if we are going to go for it, all of us have to be in it together and work as a team.’ 

As you look at your life at work or at home, do you give up easily when faced with insurmountable odds?   Do you or your team say, “I (we) can’t beat this.”  “I (we) can’t win.”   It’s no use in trying.”   Next time that happens, think about what Chesty told his troops, what Johnny Cash said, and most importantly, take note of what Jack Welch said – “Control your own destiny or someone else will.” 

           You can do it!   Don’t let someone else control your future.    ~  GMUniverse

General Manager of the Universe


Quite often I have to remind myself that others can take care of the Universe!
But it’s a pretty cool title, isn’t it?
All of us have our own universe that we take care of and nurture. Be good at it.

Enjoy your day! ~ GMUniverse

Cathedrals and Castles

“All the things we achieve are things we have first of all imagined.”    (David Malouf, writer)

A story is told of a visitor visiting a work site and talking to the workers to find out how they felt about their work. 

He approached the first worker and asked, “What are you doing?”   “What are you, blind?” the worker snapped back.   “I’m cutting these boulders with these tools and putting them together the way the boss tells me.  I’m sweating under this blazing sun, it’s back-breaking work, and it’s boring me to death!”

The visitor quickly backed off and retreated to a second worker.   He asked the same question:  “What are you doing?”   The worker replied, “I’m shaping these boulders into usable forms, which are then assembled according to the architect’s plans.   It’s hard work and sometimes it gets repetitive, but I earn good money every week and that supports my family.   It’s a job.   Could be worse.”

Somewhat encouraged, he went to a third worker.   “And what are you doing?” he asked.   “Why, can’t you see?” beamed the worker as he lifted his arms to the sky.   “I’m building a cathedral!”

As the Leader of your team, what are you doing to create a vision for your employees?   What is the “big picture” they see?   How can you inspire them to take pride in their work and believe in their company? 

It all begins with you, your dreams, your imagination and how you lead. 

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost.   That is where they should be.   Now put the foundation under them.”     (Henry David Thoreau)

“YMCA House Rules”

“To manage or to coach?   People will manage the work.   By attempting to manage people you are limiting their potential.   A manager is a title, it does not guarantee success.   Coaching is an action, not a title and actions will result in successes!”     (Catherine Pulsifer)

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Excerpt taken from the Communication Section of ‘YMCA House Rules, Y-Sports Basketball Coach Handbook:

  • Listen to others.  Then they’ll listen to you.
  • Avoid put downs.  Who needs them?
  • Take charge of yourself.  You are responsible for you.
  • Show respect.  Every person is important.

Cooperative-style coaches give direction and provide instruction when it is needed, but they also know when to let players make decisions and assume responsibility.  Your players will show more respect and be more willing to listen if they know that you are genuinely interested in their opinions.”  

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Let’s take a look again at the YMCA House Rules.  Couldn’t we apply the same rules at work or at home?  Instead of using the word “players” why not use associates or family members.  When we as Leaders at work or Parents at home begin treating those around us with respect, courtesy and genuine care, I believe an atmosphere of engagement, collaboration and trust will develop.  Once that occurs, the strategic plan at work will move forward with success and the “agenda” at home will flow smoothly.

Who knows?  Maybe you and those around you at work or at home will begin singing and dancing to the song, YMCA!  Okay, maybe not.  Just think about it.

                Enjoy the day!    ~  GMUniverse

“Dream a Wonderful Dream”

“Some people dream of worthy accomplishments, others stay awake and do them.”   (Unknown)


“Ordinary people believe only in the possible.   Extraordinary people visualize not what is possible or probable, but rather what is impossible. And by visualizing the impossible, they begin to see it as possible.”     (Cherie Carter-Scott)


“Do something brilliant every day.  Sell something in a dynamic way.  Spectacularly deliver a presentation.  Slash through a difficult obstacle.  Dream a wonderful dream.”     (Roger von Oech)


          Enjoy your day today!     ~  GMUniverse

“A Thief or Maybe Not”

“Once a man found that his axe was missing, and suspected his neighbor’s son of having taken it. Observing the youth walking around, the man was convinced that his was the walk of a thief. The youth looked like a thief and talked like a thief; everything he did pointed to his having stolen the axe.

 Then one day the man happened to find his missing axe.   After that, he noticed his neighbour’s son wasn’t behaving like a thief anymore.”     (Lieh-tzu)

How many times have we looked at people and automatically developed an image of who they are and what characteristics that person has?   How can we do that?   Experience?   Gut feeling? 

Isn’t every person unique in their own way?   Don’t we owe it to others to look at them without judging them initially?   Look at it from their side – how are you perceived the first time they see you?   Think about this:  The reality of life is that your perceptions – right or wrong – influence everything else you do.   When you get a proper perspective of your perceptions, you may be surprised how many other things fall into place.”  (Roger Birkman) 

Let’s remember to “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”  (Wayne Dyer)  

          ~  GMUniverse

Change Your Thoughts

An old Grandfather, whose grandson came to him with anger at a schoolmate who had done him an injustice, said, “Let me tell you a story.   I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do.   But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy.   It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die.   I have struggled with these feelings many times.”

He continued, “It is as if there are two wolves inside me; one is good and does no harm.   He lives in harmony with all around him and does not take offense when no offense was intended.  He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.”  “But the other wolf, ah!  He is full of anger.   The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper.   He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason.   He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great.   It is hard to live with these two wolves inside me,for both of them try to dominate my spirit.”

The boy looked intently into his Grandfather’s eyes and asked, “Which one wins, Grandfather?”

The Grandfather solemnly said, “The one I feed.”     (Azriela Jaffe)


“The trick is in what one emphasizes.   We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong.    The amount of work is the same.”     (Carlos Castaneda)


“Change your thoughts and you change the world.”     (Norman Vincent Peale)

“To Achieve Your Dreams Remember Your ABC’s”

 Avoid negative sources, people, places, things and habits.  Believe in yourself.  Consider things from every angle.  Don’t give up and don’t give in.  Enjoy life today, yesterday is gone, tomorrow may never come.  Family and friends are hidden treasures, seek them and enjoy their riches.  Give more than you planned to.  Hang on to your dreams.  Ignore those who try to discourage you.  Just do it.  Keep trying no matter how hard it seems, it will get easier.  Love yourself first and most.  Make it happen.  Never lie, cheat or steal, always strike a fair deal.  Open your eyes and see things as they really are.  Practice makes perfect.  Quitters never win and winners never quit.  Read, study and learn about everything important in your life.  Stop procrastinating.  Take control of your own destiny.  Understand yourself in order to better understand others.  Visualize it.  Want it more than anything.  ‘EXcellerate’ your efforts.  You are unique of all God’s creations, nothing can replace YOU.  Zero in on your target and go for it!”          (Wanda Hope Carter)

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