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 “May, 2013”

“The Difficult Can Be Done Immediately”

“On the wall of my room when I was in rehab was a picture of the space shuttle blasting off, autographed by every astronaut now at NASA.  On the top of the picture it says, ‘We found nothing is impossible.’   That should be our motto.”    (Christopher Reeve)



“Leaders provide support when they act as role models.  From the superheroes of our youth to the inspiring figures of adulthood, we’ve all craved having someone to show us how to behave.  This ‘if-I-had-a-pattern-I-could-follow-it’ stems from our earliest way of learning.  As very young children we watched the people around us, imitated their behavior, and learned about how the world worked.  Leaders can support by serving as role models.”    (Chris Clarke-Epstein, 78 Questions Every Leader Should Ask and Answer)



“Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence, seeing how you react. If you’re in control, they’re in control.”    (Tom Landry)



” … team member(s) have “different strengths and weaknesses, work-style preferences, blind spots, and hot buttons.  There’s no way a leader can get a team to work together, experts say, without first learning how to work with each person as an individual.  Leadership is a one-on-one sport.”    (Eric Matson, Fast Company Magazine)



“What do leaders … DO?

 First and foremost they assemble and then develop a top-flight team of people.

 Here’s the way I like to put it, which I label “Seven Steps to Sustaining Success”:

  •  You take care of the people.
  • The people take care of the service.
  • The service takes care of the customer.
  • The customer takes care of the profit.
  • The profit takes care of the re-investment.
  • The re-investment takes care of the re-invention.
  • The re-invention takes care of the future.

(And at every step the only measure is EXCELLENCE.)

The obvious point:  Developing people comes first.  It is the ‘That without which there is nothing.’

The leader’s job?

Leaders ‘do’ people.”    (Tom Peters)



“The difficult can be done immediately, the impossible takes a little longer.”    (The Army Corp of Engineers)



“Leaders – Do You Know Your People?”

“Leadership is not magnetic personality — that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not ‘making friends and influencing people’ — that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.”    (Peter F. Drucker)



“Leading yourself is no easy task.  It takes self-discipline, planning, and the opportunity to get the job done.  But leading a team is different – and much more difficult.  It starts with a better understanding of human nature.  As you lead your team, remember that the people on your team will always want five things from you:

  • Authenticity that enables a solid connection.
  • Confidence that empowers and inspires them.
  • Awareness and ability to meet people’s needs.
  • Ability to lead with strategic direction.
  • Moments of victory during the journey.

If you provide those five things, people will always have good reason to follow you.”    (Teamwork Makes the Dream Work, John C. Maxwell)



“So, you want to change your people!  Do you know your people?  If you don’t know your people, there won’t be any understanding.  With no understanding, there’s no trust.  With no trust, no change.  If you don’t love your people, there won’t be passion for change.  With no passion, no value for taking risks.  If people don’t take risks, there won’t be any changes.  So, if you want to change your people, you have to know them … .”    (Mother Theresa)


“Limits and Challenges”


“I am thankful for all of those who said NO to me.  It’s because of them I’m doing it myself.”    (Albert Einstein)



“When you say ‘It’s hard’ it actually means ‘I’m not strong enough to fight for it.’  Stop saying it’s hard.  Think positive!”    (Unknown)



“If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life.  There are no limits.  There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”    (Bruce Lee)



“The only way most people recognize their limits is by trespassing on them.”    (Tom Morris, author of If Aristotle Ran General Motors)



“Give yourself an even greater challenge than the one you are trying to master and you will develop the powers necessary to overcome the original difficulty.”    (William J. Bennett, The Book of Virtues)         



“Good things come to those who wait … greater things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen.”    (Unknown)


“Don’t Live Life in Fear”

“Laugh, even when you feel too sick or too worn out or tired.

Smile, even when you’re trying not to cry and the tears are blurring your vision.

Sing, even when people stare at you and tell you your voice is crappy.

Trust, even when your heart begs you not to.

Twirl, even when your mind makes no sense of what you see.

Frolic, even when you are made fun of.

Kiss, even when others are watching.

Sleep, even when you’re afraid of what the dreams might bring.

Run, even when it feels like you can’t run any more.

And, always, remember, even when the memories pinch your heart.  

Because the pain of all your experience is what makes you the person you are now.  And without your experience – you are an empty page, a blank notebook, a missing lyric.

What makes you brave is your willingness to live through your … life and hold your head up high the next day.

So don’t live life in fear.  Because you are stronger now, after all the crap has happened, than you ever were back before it started.”     (Alysha Speer)



“Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad.  Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too.”     (Will Smith)


“Today is a new day.  You will get out of it just what you put into it.  If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you.  And supposing you have tried and failed again and again, you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call ‘failure’ is not falling down, but the staying down.”    (Mary Pickford)



“Set Your Life on Fire”

“Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect.  It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.”    (Gerard Way)


“To the wrongs that need resistance,

To the right that needs assistance,

To the future in the distance,

Give yourselves.”    (Carrie Chapman Catt)



“Whatever you desire is already connected in some way to who you are and what you now have.  Find that way, follow the connection.”    (Ralph Marston)


“You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.”    (Michael Jordan)



“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”    (Winston Churchill)



 “Set your life on fire.  Seek those who fan your flames.”    (Rumi)


“Land of the Free, Home of the Brave”

"Land of the Free, Home of the Brave"

“I Want to Know”

“The Invitation”

“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes!’

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.”    (The Invitation, Oriah Mountain Dreamer)


“All Good Things Are Yours”


“If there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person

If there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house

If there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation

If there is order in the nation, there will be Peace in the World.”    (Chinese Proverb)


“If you want happiness for an hour – take a nap.

If you want happiness for a day – go fishing.

If you want happiness for a year – inherit a fortune.

If you want happiness for a lifetime – help someone else.”    (Chinese Proverb)


“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is – ‘What are you doing for others?’”    (Martin Luther King) 


 “It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important.  You have to do the right thing.  It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit.  But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing.  You may never know what results come from your action.  But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”    (Mahatma Gandhi) 


 “Fear less, hope more;

Whine less, breathe more;

Talk less, say more;

Hate less, love more;

And all good things are yours.”    (Unknown Author)


“Follow Your Bliss; Be Brave”


“Everyone needs recognition for his accomplishments, but few people make the need known quite as clearly as the little boy who said to his father:   ‘Let’s play darts.  I’ll throw and you say ‘Wonderful!'”    (The Best of Bits & Pieces)



“You gotta have a dream.  If you don’t have a dream, how ya gonna make a dream come true?”   (Bloody Mary, in the movie ‘South Pacific’)



“Follow your bliss, and doors will open where there were no doors before.”    (Joseph Campbell)



“You don’t stop laughing because you grow old; you grow old because you stop laughing.”   (Michael Pritchard)



“No one imagines that a symphony is supposed to improve in quality as it goes along, or that the whole object of playing it is to reach the finale.  The point of music is discovered in every moment of playing and listening to it. It is the same, I feel, with the greater part of our lives, and if we are unduly absorbed in improving them we may forget altogether to live them.”   (Alan Watts)



“Be brave.  Even if you’re not, pretend to be.  No one can tell the difference.”    (Life’s Little Instruction Book)


“The Voice That Speaks Inside”


“Do not say, ‘It is morning,’ and dismiss it with a name of yesterday.  See it for the first time as a newborn child that has no name.”    (Rabindranath Tagore)


“If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy.  If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem.  But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world, and a desire to enjoy the world.  This makes it hard to plan the day.”    (E. B. White)


“Edward James Olmos, speaking at a commencement address, said, ‘Chase your passion, not your pension.  Be inspired to learn as much as you can, to find a cause that benefits humankind – and you’ll be sought after for your quality of service and dedication to excellence.  This passion will make you oblivious of quitting time and to the length of your workday.  You’ll awake every morning with the passion of pursuit, but not the pursuit of money.  Those who do more than they’re paid for are always sought for their services.  Their name and work outlive them and always command the highest price.  Chase your passion, not your pension.’”    (Page a Day Calendar)


 “The Voice –

 There is a voice inside of you

That whispers all day long,

‘I feel this is right for me,

I know that this is wrong.’

No teacher, preacher, parent, friend

Or wise man can decide

What’s right for you — just listen to

The voice that speaks inside.”    (Shel Silverstein)


“A disciple once complained, ‘You tell us stories, but you never reveal their meaning to us.’  The master replied, ‘How would you like it if someone offered you fruit and chewed it up for you before giving it to you?”    (Anonymous)  


“The meaning of things lies not in the things themselves, but in our attitude towards them.”   (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)


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