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 “December, 2012”

“Recipe for a Happy Year” – REVISED

On December 29, 2012, I posted “Recipe for a New Year”; however, after looking through some of my files and additional paperwork, I found the same ‘recipe’ with additional wording.  Please accept my apologies for posting the previous incomplete recipe and please take a look at this one.  This has more meaning to it. 

Also, to all of you who have followed my blog as well as those who occasionally find my blog and read it, I wish you, your families and friends a glorious New Year filled with joy, love, good health, promising opportunities and inspiration to find your true self and the beauty of your soul.          – Alex Pena, aka General Manager of the Universe


The Recipe for a Happy Year is featured on the wine list at Smugglers restaurant in Calgary, Alberta – an outstanding casual dining experience and a local institution.  The recipe goes extremely well with a hearty meal, a bottle of Beaujolais and the company of your best friends.

“Take twelve fine, full-grown months.  Select only those which are thoroughly free from all old memories of bitterness, rancor, hate and jealousy.  Clean them completely free from every clinging spite.  Pick off all specks of pettiness and littleness.  In short see that each of these months is freed from all the past so that they are as fresh and clean as when they first came from the great storehouse of time.

Next, cut these months into thirty or thirty-one equal parts with one specifically into 28 parts. They will keep for only one year, so do not attempt to make up the whole batch at one time. Far too many people spoil the entire lot in this way.  Rather, prepare but one day at a time.

Into each day put twelve parts of faith, eleven of patience, ten of courage, nine of work (some people omit this ingredient and so spoil the flavor of the rest), eight of hope, seven of fidelity, six of liberality, five of kindness, four of rest (leaving this out is like leaving the oil out of the salad – don’t do it), three of prayer, two of meditation and one part only of well-selected resolution.  For spice and sweetening, according to our scruples, add about a teaspoon of good spirits, and a dash of fun, a pinch of folly, a sprinkling of play and a heaping cup of good humor.

Pour love, ad libitum, into the whole and mix with vim and vigor. Cook thoroughly in a fervent heart.  Garnish with a few smiles and a sprig of joy. Then be sure to serve with quietness, unselfishness and cheerfulness – and a Happy Year is a certainty.

Remember – with a smile and a prayer – twelve new and wonderfully glorious months have been issued in your name to do with as you wish. Father Time has signed your note, so that you have been issued a “credit card” for the entire year!

If you make a mistake, be sure you don’t make the same one over again. Laugh at difficulties, and they will soon vanish.  Attempt heavier responsibilities, and you will find them growing lighter. Face a bad situation and it will clear up.  Tell the truth and find an easier way out.  Do an honest-to-goodness day’s work every day and reap the rewards.  Believe men are honest, and you will find them living up to your expectations.  Trust in God and He will surprise you with His goodness.”        (Author Unknown)



“I Promise Myself”

Yesterday, I posted a “Recipe for a Happy New Year” and with today’s post, I hope that you take into consideration Christian Larson’s “I Promise Myself” as you think about what Goals you may set for the New Year. – G.M. Universe

“I Promise Myself –

To be so strong that nothing can disturb my peace of mind.

To talk health, Happiness, and prosperity to every person I meet.

To make all my friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make my optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only for the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as I am about my own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile to every living creature I meet.

To give so much time to improving myself that I have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of troble.

To think well of myself and to proclain this fact to the world, not in loud words, but in great deeds.

To live in the faith that the whole world is on my side, as long as I am true to the best that is in me.” (Christian Larson)

“Deserve Your Dream”


“Nothing happens unless first we dream.”      (Carl Sandburg)



“I dreamed a thousand new paths.  I woke and walked my old one.”       (Chinese Proverb)



“You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’  But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘why not?’”       (George Bernard Shaw)



“The world bursts at the seams with people ready to tell you you’re not good enough.  On occasion, some may be correct.  But do not do their work for them. Seek any job; ask anyone out; pursue any goal.  Don’t take it personally when they say ‘no’ — they may not be smart enough to say ‘yes’.”       (Keith Olbermann)



“Dreams are illustrations, from the book your soul is writing about you.”     (Marsha Norman)



“Deserve your dream.”      (Octavio Paz) 

“Recipe for a New Year”

Recipe for a Happy New Year!

As we prepare for the New Year, let’s consider the following recipe for a Happy New Year. All of us are blessed with beautiful families, great friends and many new and challenging opportunities that will come to us with the New Year. As I tell everyone – “you create your own environment.” Make it a great one! – G.M. Universe

“Take twelve fine, full-grown months; see that these are thoroughly free from old memories of bitterness, rancor and hate, cleanse them completely from every clinging spite; pick off all specks of pettiness and littleness; in short, see that these months are freed from all the past—have them fresh and clean as when they first came from the great storehouse of Time.

Cut these months into thirty or thirty-one equal parts. Do not attempt to make up the whole batch at one time (so many persons spoil the entire lot this way) but prepare one day at a time.

Into each day put equal parts of faith, patience, courage, work (some people omit this ingredient and so spoil the flavor of the rest), hope, fidelity, liberality, kindness, prayer, meditation, rest (leaving this out is like leaving the oil out of the salad dressing—don’t do it), and one well-selected resolution.

Put in about one teaspoonful of good spirits, a dash of fun, a pinch of folly, a sprinkling of play, and a heaping cupful of good humor.” (Unknown Author)

“Alter Your Beliefs, Change Your Life”

“What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are.”          (Anthony Robbins)



“We look at some people as if they were special, gifted, divine.  Nobody is special and gifted and divine.  No more than you are, no more than I am.  The only difference, the very only one, is that they have begun to understand what they really are and have begun to practice it.”         (Richard Bach)    



“You don’t have to get a job that makes others feel comfortable about what they perceive as your success.  You don’t have to explain what you plan to do with your life.  You don’t have to justify your education by demonstrating its financial rewards.  You don’t have to maintain an impeccable credit score.  Anyone who expects you to do any of those things has no sense of history or economics or science or the arts.  You have to pay your own electric bill.  You have to be kind.  You have to give it all you got.  You have to find people who love you truly and love them back with the same truth.  But that’s all.”      (Sugar, The Rumpus Advice Column)



“They’re not that different from you, are they?  Same haircuts.  Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel.  The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you; their eyes are full of hope, just like you.  Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable?  Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils.  But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you.  Go on, lean in.  Listen, you hear it?  —Carpe  — hear it?  —  Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.”       (John Keating, ‘Dead Man’s Poet’)



“Try a little harder to be a little better.”        (Gordon B. Hinckley)



“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.”          (William James)

“Every Person Counts”


“Leaders focus on the soft stuff.   People.  Values.  Character.  Commitment.  A Cause.  All of the stuff that was supposed to be too goo-goo to count in business.  Yet, it’s the stuff that real leaders take care of first.  And forever.  That’s why leadership is an art, not a science.  If leadership were just about hitting your numbers, about driving the troops to meet their quotas, then leadership would just be a math problem.  But leadership is a human mystery.”        (Tom Peters)



“What’s important in leadership is refining your skills.  All great leaders keep working on themselves until they become effective.  Here are some specifics:

  •  Learn to be strong but not rude.
  • Learn to be kind but not weak.
  • Learn to be bold but not a bully.
  • You’ve got to learn to be humble, but not timid.
  • Be proud but not arrogant.
  • Develop humor without folly.
  • Lastly, deal in realities.  Deal in truth.”        (Jim Rohn)



“The person who advances is not the one who is afraid to do too much; it is the one whose conscience will not permit him to do too little, the one whose driving desire is to give the best that is in him, even though it may seem at times like casting bread upon unrelenting waters.”    (B. C. Forbes)



“Some of you are itching to ask me exactly the wrong questions, which are:  ‘How do I do this?’  ‘How do I get my boss to let me do this?’  ‘What’s the risk-free way to insinuate myself into the system so I get approval to make change?’  Surely, there’s a method of making change without being burned at the stake?   It turns out that there is, but you already know what it is.   Belief.   Nobody is going to listen to your idea for change, sagely shake his head, and say, ‘Sure, go do that.’   No one anoints you as leader.  Change isn’t made by asking permission.  Change is made by asking forgiveness, later.”       (Seth Godin, Tribes, We Need YOU to Lead Us)



“The idea flow from the human spirit is absolutely unlimited.  All you have to do is tap into that well.  I don’t like to use the word efficiency.  It’s creativity.  It’s a belief that every person counts.”      (Jack Welch, Business Week)


“Wait or Do It Big”


“I realize that if I wait until I am no longer afraid to act, write, speak, be, I’ll be sending messages on a Ouija board, cryptic complaints from the other side.”      (Audre Lorde)



“You decide you’ll wait for your pitch.  Then as the ball starts toward the plate, you think about your stance.  And then you think about your swing.  And then you realize that the ball that went past you for a strike was your pitch.”       (Bobby Murcer)



“How then, find the courage for action? . . .  By accepting the human condition more simply and candidly, by dreading troubles less, calculating less, hoping more.”       (Henri Frederic Amiel)



“Once I decide to do something, I can’t have people telling me I can’t.  If there’s a roadblock, you jump over it, walk around it, crawl under it.”       (Kitty Kelley)



“Do it big or stay in bed.”       (Larry Kelly)


“Infinite Possibility”


“All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was.  I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory.  I was naïve.  I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer.  It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization, everyone else appears to have born with:  that I am nobody but myself.”       (Ralph Ellison, ‘Battle Royal’)



“Why do we have to spend our lives striving to be something that we would never want to be, if we only knew what we wanted?  Why do we waste our time doing things which, if we only stopped to think about them, are just the opposite of what we were made for?   We cannot be ourselves unless we know ourselves.  But self-knowledge is impossible when thoughtless and automatic activity keeps our souls in confusion.”      (Thomas Merton)



“We are what we think; as we desire so do we become!  By our thoughts, desires, and habits, we either ascend to the full divine dignity of our nature, or we descend to suffer and learn.”      (J. Todd Ferrier)



“The future is simply infinite possibility waiting to happen.  What it waits on is human imagination to crystallize its possibility.”              (Leland Kaiser)


“What is Christmas?”


“What is Christmas?  It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.”      (Agnes M. Pharo)



“It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you … yes, it is Christmas every time you smile at your brother and offer him your hand.”       (Mother Teresa)



“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”       (Charles Dickens)



“It is only giving that stimulates.   Impart as much as you can of your spiritual being to those who are on the road with you, and accept as something precious what comes back to you from them.”               (Dr. Albert Schweitzer)


“Too Much Snapping and Not Enough Shining”


“The legendary country singer, Johnny Cash was addicted to drugs in the 1960s and went to jail several times.  Cash says he overcame his addiction by renewing his faith.  He tells how a shoeshine man taught him a lesson for living back in 1956 but, unfortunately, it took several more years for him to really understand the lesson.

‘I was expecting a fast, snappy job like the young folks do,” Cash said, “and he was going about his job real slow.  I said to him, ‘You don’t seem to be doing too much snapping.’

“That shoeshine man looked up at me sort of sideways and said, That’s the problem with the world these days — there’s too much snapping and not enough shining.             (Lesson for Living, Apple Seeds, May, 1999)



“Most great accomplishments, throughout the course of history, began with one individual’s inspiration, idea or a desire to change a negative situation for the better.

What transforms thought into concrete achievement is the determination, perseverance, and patience of the individual.

The achievement of any goal often involves setbacks and failures, large and small.  But by letting failures educate rather than discourage, you can increase your chances of achieving your objective.  The only real failure occurs when you give up on an attainable goal.”       (Christopher News Notes    



“The question was once asked of a highly successful businessman:

‘How have you done so much in your lifetime?’

He replied, ‘I have dreamed.  I have turned my mind loose to imagine what I wanted to do. Then I have gone to bed and thought about my dreams.  In the night I dreamt about my dreams.  And when I awoke in the morning, I saw the way to make my dreams real.  While other people were saying, You can’t do that, it isn’t possible, I was well on my way to achieving what I wanted.”

As Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the U.S., said: ‘We grow great by dreams.  All big men are dreamers.  They see things in the soft haze of a spring day or in the red fire on a long winter’s evening.  Some of us let these great dreams die, but others nourish and protect them; nourish them through bad days until they bring them to the sunshine and light which comes always to those who sincerely hope that their dreams will come true.”

So please, don’t let anyone steal your dreams, or try to tell you they are too impossible.  “Sing your song, dream your dreams, hope your hope and pray your prayer.”               (Grow Great By Dreams, Anonymous)



“Everyone knows on any given day that there are energies slumbering in him which the incitements of that day do not call forth ….  Compared with what we ought to be, we are only half awake.  Our fires are damped, our drafts are checked.  We are making use of only a small part of our possible mental and physical resources….  Stating the thing broadly, the human individual thus lives far within his limits; he possesses powers of various sorts he habitually fails to use.”    (William James)



“All know the way, few actually walk it.”       (Bodhidharma)


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