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.

“What is the Cleaning Lady’s Name?”


“We have to look inwards to look into ourselves, look into this container, which is our soul; look and listen to it.  Until you have listened in to that thing which is dreaming through you, in other words – answered the knock on the door in the dark, you will not be able to lift this moment in time in which we are imprisoned, back again into the level where the great act of creation is going on.”      (Sir Laurens van der Post)


Fast Company Magazine Interview with Jason Fried:  

“Your business icon is your cleaning lady?”     (Fast Company interviewer)     

“She’s on her own, she cleans people’s homes, she’s incredibly nice.  She brings flowers every time she cleans, and she’s just respectful and nice and awesome.  Why can’t more people be like that?  She’s been doing it some twenty-odd years, and that’s just an incredible success story.  To me that’s far more interesting than a tech company that’s hiring a bunch of people, just got their fourth round of financing for 12 million dollars, and they’re still losing money.  That’s what everyone talks about as being exciting, but I think that’s an absolutely disgusting scenario when it comes to business.”     (Jason Fried, founder and CEO of 37signals, a software company)



“Compassion is the interdependent expression of passion.  Guideposts contributor JoAnn C. Jones related an experience in which her university professor taught her to live and learn by the guidance of her conscience:

     ‘During the second month of nursing school, our professor gave us a pop quiz.  I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one:  What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?

     Surely this was some kind of joke.  I had seen the cleaning woman several times.  She was tall, dark-haired and in her fifties, but how would I know her name?  I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank.

     Before the class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.  ‘Absolutely,’ said the professor.  ‘In your careers you will meet many people.  All are significant.  They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello.’

     I’ve never forgotten that lesson.  I also learned her name was Dorothy.’”              (The 8th Habit from Effectiveness to Greatness, Stephen R. Covey)



“When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.”        (Dr. Wayne Dyer)


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