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 “November, 2012”

“Who Has Made a Difference in Your Life?

Please note below the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip.   

   “1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

    2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

    3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America.

    4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

    5. Name the last six Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

    6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

 How did you do?

The point is:   none of us remember the headliners of yesterday.   These are no second-rate achievers.  They are the best in their fields.   But the applause dies.   Awards tarnish.   Achievements are forgotten.   Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here’s another quiz.   See how you do on this one:

    1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

    2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

    3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

    4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

    5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.


The lesson:  The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards.   They are the ones that care; they are the ones who have made a difference in your life.   And, one more thing  . . .  :

Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today.   It’s already tomorrow in Australia.”         (Charles Schultz)

**  Please take note of the other two posts for today, November 30, 2012.


“I Don’t Want to Wax Philosophic, but … Flap Your Arms and Legs”


“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.”      (Babe Ruth)


“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”      (Theodore Roosevelt)


“Look, I don’t want to wax philosophic, but will say that if you’re alive you’ve got to flap your arms and legs, you’ve got to jump around a lot, for life is the very opposite of death, and therefore you must at the very least think noisy and colorfully, or you’re not alive.”      (Mel Brooks)


“Every man (and woman) is born into the world to do something unique and something distinctive, and if he or she does not do it, it will never be done.”         (Dr. Benjamin E. Mays)


“Wouldn’t It Be Interesting If … .”


“We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.”   (Henry Ward Beecher)


“Embrace the faith that every challenge surmounted by your energy; every problem solved by your wisdom; every soul stirred by your passion; and every barrier to justice brought down by your determination will ennoble your own life, inspire others, serve your country, and explode outward the boundaries of what is achievable on this earth.”      (Madeleine Albright)


“If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks.   I’ve had them; everybody has had them.   But obstacles don’t have to stop you.   If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up.   Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”      (Michael Jordan)


“Change is not a bolt of lightning that arrives with a zap.   It is a bridge built brick by brick, every day, with sweat and humility and slips.   It is hard work, and slow work, but it can be thrilling to watch it take shape.”     (Sarah Hepola)


“Trust that little voice in your head that says ‘Wouldn’t it be interesting if … .’   And then do it.”      (Duane Michals)


“See Yourself as One Who Can Create Miracles”


“There are some people, who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.”       (Douglas Everett)


“Great ideas come into the world as gently as doves.   If we listen attentively, we shall hear, amid the uproar a faint flutter of wings, the gentle stirring of life and hope.    Some say that this hope lies in a nation; others, in a man.   I believe rather that it is awakened, revived, nourished by millions of solitary individuals whose deeds and works every day negate … the crudest implications of history.   As a result, there shines forth fleetingly the ever threatened truth that each and every one of us, on the foundation of our own sufferings and joys, builds for all.”         (Albert Camus)


“Within each of us, in the ground of our being, powers reside for the healing of our world.   These powers do not arise from any ideology, access to the occult, or passion for social activism.   They are inevitable powers.   Because we are part of the web of life, we can draw on the strength – and the pain – of every creature.   This interconnection constitutes our ‘deep ecology’:  it is the source of our pain for the world as well as our love and appetite for life.”      (Joanna Macy)


“Once you believe in yourself and see your soul as divine and precious, you’ll automatically be converted to a being who can create miracles.”          (Dr. Wayne Dyer)


“What This Power Is, I Cannot Say”


“Most of us miss out on life’s big prizes.  The Pulitzer.  The Nobel.  Oscars.  Tonys.  Emmys. But we’re all eligible for life’s small pleasures.  A pat on the back.  A kiss behind the ear.  A four-pound bass.  A full moon.  An empty parking space.  A crackling fire.  A great meal.  A glorious sunset.  Hot soup.  Cold beer.  Don’t fret about copping life’s grand awards.  Enjoy its tiny delights.   There are plenty for all of us.”       (United Technologies Corporation advertisement)



“Is life so wretched?   Isn’t it rather your hands which are too small, your vision which is muddled?   You are the one who must grow up.”          (Dag Hammarskjold)



“Why do some people always see beautiful skies and grass and lovely flowers and incredible human beings, while others are hard-pressed to find anything or any place that is beautiful?”        (Leo Buscaglia)



“Yes, there is a Nirvanah:   it is in leading your sheep to a green pasture, and in putting your child to sleep, and in writing the last line of your poem.”         (Kahlil Gibran)



“Each day comes bearing its own gifts.   Untie the ribbons.”          (Ruth Ann Schabacker)



“What this power is, I cannot say.   All I know is that it exists … and it becomes available only when you are in that state of mind in which you know exactly what you want … and are fully determined not to quit until you get it.”          (Alexander Graham Bell)

“Seize Every Second of Your Life and Savor It”

“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.”       (Ralph Waldo Emerson)


“Everything we do that’s important is the result of conflict.   Not a conflict between us and the world–a conflict between us and ourselves.

We want to eat another dessert but we want to be healthy and skinny as well.  Who is we?  Who is the self in self control, and who is being controlled?

We want to stand up and make difference and we want to sit down and hide and be safe.   We want to help others and we want to keep more for ourselves.

It’s not a metaphor, it’s brain chemistry.   We don’t have one mind, we have competing interests, all duking it out.

This conflict, the conflict between I and me, is at the heart of being human.  One side sells the other.   Like all kinds of marketing, it’s far more effective if you know your audience.  You will do a better job of telling a story (to yourself) if you understand who you are marketing to.   In this case, I is marketing to me (and vice versa).   The marketing is going on in your head.     Successful people have discovered how to be better at self marketing.”       (Seth Godin)


“A wise man once sat in an audience and cracked a joke.   Everybody laughed like crazy.   After a moment, he cracked the same joke again.   This time, less people laughed.   He cracked the same joke again and again.   It came to a point when there was no laughter in the crowd, he smiled and said:

‘You can’t laugh at the same joke again and again, but why do you keep crying over the same thing over and over again?’”       (Unknown Author)


“You’ll seldom experience regret for anything that you’ve done.   It is what you haven’t done that will torment you.   The message, therefore, is clear.   Do it!   Develop an appreciation for the present moment.   Seize every second of your life and savor it.”      (Dr. Wayne Dyer)

“Be Who You Are – All Is a Miracle”


“We are constantly invited to be who we are.”      (Henry David Thoreau)


“Life isn’t about finding yourself.   Life is about creating yourself.”       (George Bernard Shaw)


“Without ambition one starts nothing.   Without work one finishes nothing.  The prize will not be sent to you.   As to methods there may be a million and then some, but the principles are few.   The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods.   The man, who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.”       (Ralph Waldo Emerson)


“Never tell a … person that anything cannot be done.   God may have been waiting centuries for someone ignorant enough of the impossible to do that very thing.”      (John Andrew Holmes)


“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle.   But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth.   Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child – our own two eyes.    All is a miracle.”       (Thich Nhat Hanh)


“You were born an original.   Don’t die a copy.”       (John Mason)


“Letting Go and Moving On”


“To be ambitious for wealth, and yet always expecting to be poor; to be always doubting your ability to get what you long for, is like trying to reach east by travelling west.   There is no philosophy which will help a man to succeed when he is always doubting his ability to do so, and thus attracting failure.   No matter how hard you work for success, if your thought is saturated with the fear of failure, it will kill your efforts, neutralize your endeavors and make success impossible.”          (Charles Baudouin)



Letting go doesn’t mean giving up … it means moving on.   It is one of the hardest things a person can do.   Starting at birth, we grasp on to anything we can get our hands on, and hold on as if we will cease to exist when we let go.   We feel that letting go is giving up, quitting, and that as we all know is cowardly.   But as we grow older we are forced to change our way of thinking.   We are forced to realize that letting go means accepting things that cannot be.   It means maturing and moving on, no matter how hard you have to fight yourself to do so.”           (Unknown)



“Moving on takes courage, it takes the shedding of skin, so that the new self may come to light.   Moving on should not mean running away from commitment, responsibility and difficulties, we all must learn to endure in life, but rather a decision taken in sound mind, which we will not regret in the future.   Many a times moving on is most important, especially in terms of walking into the next moment and leaving behind the shadows of the past.   Every once a while, when life brings us hardships, one may get fired from a job, be facing a painful divorce or the loss of a loved one.   If you find yourself there, call within your being for strength, for light exists within us.   Get up and take that step.   Sometimes in life we got to move on!”           (Unknown)



“If I keep saying it, if I keep reaching out.   My accident really taught me just one thing: the only way to go on is to go on.   To say ‘I can do this’ even when you know you can’t.”      (Stephen King, ‘Duma Key’)



“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”     (Helen Keller)


“The Four Hardest Tasks on Earth”


“The four hardest tasks on earth are neither physical nor intellectual feats, but spiritual ones:  1)  to return love for hate;  2)  to include the excluded;  3)  to forgive without apology, and  4)  to be able to say ‘I was wrong.'”       (Anon)



“Sometimes, divine revelation simply means adjusting your brain to hear what your heart already knows.”       (Dan Brown)     



“Things don’t go wrong and break your heart so you can become bitter and give up.   They happen to break you down and build you up so you can be all that you were intended to be.”    (Samuel Johnson)



“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind.   To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again.   To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”        (Henry David Thoreau)



“Live life fully while you’re here.   Experience everything.   Take care of yourself and your friends.   Have fun, be crazy, be weird.   Go out and screw up!   You’re going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process.   Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it.   Don’t try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.”        (Anthony Robbins)


“Wake Up”


“There has never been another you.   With no effort on your part you were born to be something very special and set apart.   What you are going to do in appreciation of that gift is a decision only you can make.”      (Dan Zadra)


“Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words.”      (Attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, but the origin of the quote is unknown)


“We must look for ways to be an active force in our own lives.   We must take charge of our own destinies, design a life of substance and truly begin to live our dreams.”      (Les Brown)


“Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so you shall become.   Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.”      (James Lane Allen)


“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.”      (Paul Valery)


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