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, 2014”

“Do What is Right / Be Real With Yourself / Many Others Follow”

 

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”   (Andy Warhol)

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“There are many persons ready to do what is right because in their hearts they know it is right.  But, they hesitate, waiting for the other fellow to make the first move — and he, in turn, waits for you.  The minute a person whose word means a great deal dares to take the open-hearted and courageous way, many others follow.”   (Marian Anderson)

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“One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes.  In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves.  The process never ends until we die. And, the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”   (Eleanor Roosevelt)

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“You have to be real with yourself.  No one is doing that.  People are too concerned with making everything look nice and calm and pretty.”   (Donald Glover)

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“Tell me my dreams are unrealistic, and I’ll tell you yours aren’t big enough.”   (Unknown Author)

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“Did you know that for every smile you smile, more than you give will come your way?

That for every ‘thing’ you think of, it moves closer to you?

And, that for all the love you give, the younger you’ll look, the happier you’ll feel, and the bouncier you’ll walk?

Always go for more bouncy.   (Signed)   The Universe”   (Mike Dooley, ‘Notes from the Universe, May 29, 2014)

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“Always Follow Your Heart, Unless …”

 

“The deeper I go into myself the more I realize that I am my own enemy.”   (Floriano Martins)

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“How much evil throughout history could have been avoided had people exercised their moral acuity with convictional courage and said to the powers that be, ‘No, I will not.  This is wrong, and I don’t care if you fire me, shoot me, pass me over for promotion, or call my mother, I will not participate in this unsavory activity.’  Wouldn’t world history be rewritten if just a few people had actually acted like individual free agents rather than mindless lemmings?”   (Joel Salatin, Everything I Want to Do is Illegal: War Stories from the Local Food Front)

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“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.  Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.  Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”   (Steve Jobs)

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“It doesn’t matter what other people think.  The only opinion that really matters is yours.  We are all the writers of our lives.  We can make our stories comedies or tragedies.  Tales of horror, or of inspiration.  Your attitude and your fortitude and courage are what determine your destiny, Nick.… Life is hard and it sucks for all.  Every person you meet is waging his or her own war against a callous universe that is plotting against them.  And we are all battle-weary.  But in the midst of our hell, there is always something we can hold on to, whether it’s a dream of the future or a memory of the past, or a warm hand that soothes us.  We just have to take a moment during the fight to remember that we’re not alone, and that we’re not just fighting for ourselves.  We’re fighting for the people we love.” [Acheron]   (Sherrilyn Kenyon, Inferno)

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“The problem with hit radio.

When you only listen to the top 40, you’re letting the crowd decide what you hear.

And if you consume nothing but the most liked, the most upvoted, the most viral, the most popular, you’ve abdicated responsibility for your incoming. Most people only read bestselling books.  That’s what makes them bestsellers, after all.

The web keeps pushing the top 40 on us.  It defaults to ‘sort by popular,’ surfacing the hits, over and over.

Mass markets and math being what they are, it’s likely that many of the ideas and products you consume in your life are in fact, consumed because they’re the most popular.  It takes a conscious effort to seek out the thing that’s a little less obvious, the choice that’s a little more risky.

Popular is not the same important, or often, not the same as good.”   (Seth Godin, Seth’s Blog, 5.28.14)

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“Always follow your heart unless it’s been broken, then you must lead it.  Back into love.  Did you know that hearts are never too big to mend, too small to rebound, or too tired to love?” (signed)  The Universe.”     (Mike Dooley, Notes from The Universe, 5.22.14)

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Rest in Peace Maya Angelou – “Life Goes On / But Like Air, I’ll Rise”

 

“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.  I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things:  a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.  I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life.  I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as making a ‘life.’ I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.  I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.  I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”   (Maya Angelou) 

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 “I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.”   (Maya Angelou)

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“You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise!”   (Maya Angelou)

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“Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.”   (Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter)

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“If you don’t like something, change it.  If you can’t change it, change your attitude.  Don’t complain.”   (Maya Angelou)

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“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.  In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”   (Maya Angelou)

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“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels.  Life’s a bitch.  You’ve got to go out and kick ass.”   (Maya Angelou)

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“The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious.  The desire to reach hearts is wise.”   (Maya Angelou)

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“A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.”   (Maya Angelou)

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“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”    (Maya Angelou)

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“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”   (Maya Angelou)

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“Be Yourself, Accept Yourself / Don’t Be Afraid to Be Human”

 

“Ask yourself if what you’re doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.”   (Unknown Author)

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“Be your authentic self.  Your authentic self is who you are when you have no fear of judgment or before the world starts pushing you around and telling you who you’re supposed to be.”   (Phil McGraw)

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“To be beautiful means to be yourself.  You don’t need to be accepted by others.  You need to accept yourself.”   (Thich Nhat Hanh)

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“When you do something noble and beautiful and nobody noticed, do not be sad.  For the sun every morning is a beautiful spectacle and yet most of the audience still sleeps.”   (John Lennon)

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“In a world pulsating with so much information, the only information that you need is the stuff that will lead you straight to your own soul.  Think of this:  Most of the information that is fed to you is motivated by the desire to earn money.  Forget what the magazines say, what the forums say, what all the experts say.  Your soul does not need to be spoon-fed with stuff it doesn’t need.  Your soul needs to be seen and found, and what leads you to that is the only information that you need.”   (C. JoyBell C.)

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“You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do? You should go do them.”  (livehappy.com)

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“The main thing in life is not to be afraid to be human.”   (Pablo Casals)

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“Memorial Day – Celebrate Our Heroes and She-roes”

 

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”   (Ambrose Redmoon)

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“There was nothing macho about the war at all. We were a bunch of scared kids who had a job to do.”   (E. R. Sledge, WWII, Pacific)

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“Have you ever stopped to ponder the amount of blood spilt, the volume of tears shed, the degree of pain and anguish endured, the number of noble men and women lost in battle so that we as individuals might have a say in governing our country?  Honor the lives sacrificed for your freedoms.” (Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, & Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)

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“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.  Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”   (General George S. Patton)

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“Perform, then, this one act of remembrance before this Day passes – Remember there is an army of defense and advance that never dies and never surrenders, but is increasingly recruited from the eternal sources of the American spirit and from the generations of American youth.”   (W.J. Cameron)

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“I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day (Memorial Day).  I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it.  We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what they did.”   (Benjamin Harrison)

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“Dear Kylie, my old head can’t hold too much anymore but, today, a whole lot came flooding back into it.  You might remember this afternoon as just another Saturday at Opa’s farmhouse.  It wasn’t.  I’ve never liked the word ‘souvenirs’, but I guess that’s what they are. Shards of memory, shrapnel. You take them to help you remember.  What you don’t count on is they don’t let you forget.  Pain.  Happiness.  Friendship.  Death.  Smells of diesel and dead animals.  Eating meals within arm’s length of corpses.  Men you laughed with a day before.  People wonder if leaders are born or made.  All I know is, you can see it in a man’s eyes.  Problem is, leaders end up where they’re needed most.  And eventually, that’s war. You’re special Kylie.  I hope you know that.  I always have.  But I need you to stay strong. People look to guys like us to make decisions.  If you do wear the uniform one day, remember something, when you put it on, you don’t get to choose the war or what happens when you get there. There’s no right or wrong in combat. Here’s only what you did.  You do your best, and you try to live with it.  Some day they’ll take me off this porch for good.  When that happens, what’s left that matters?  Photographs, letters, empty clothes?  No.  It’s the stories behind them, those are what matter.  Stories live forever, but only if you tell them.  I may sound like I’ve known this a long time.  I didn’t know it until today.  I just wanted to say thank you for teaching me that.  It was one hell of a souvenir.”   (Memorial Day movie)

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“Lieutenant Bud Vogel:  [letter to parents] Although it’s a danger we all willingly face, so each soldier wishes to meet his end on the field of battle. Yet offered two paths, he would gladly choose death in the name of justice on the last day before victory, over life in the grip of tyranny.  Your son could not choose his time to die, but rest assured on his life, he chose to serve the cause of justice.  Justice will prevail.”   (Memorial Day movie)

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“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!”   (Maya Angelou)

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“Getting Ready to Live” / “At Least I Tried”

 

“We are always getting ready to live but never living.”   (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

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“Despite what you may believe, you can disappoint people and still be good enough.  You can make mistakes and still be capable and talented.  You can let people down and still be worthwhile and deserving of love.  Everyone has disappointed someone they care about. Everyone messes up, lets people down, and makes mistakes.  Not because we’re inadequate or fundamentally inept, but because we’re imperfect and fundamentally human. Expecting anything different is setting yourself up for failure.”   (Daniell Koepke)

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“Some people are afraid of what they might find if they try to analyze themselves too much, but you have to crawl into your wounds to discover where your fears are.  Once the bleeding starts, the cleansing can begin.”   (Tori Amos)

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“Refuse to fall down.  If you cannot refuse to fall down, refuse to stay down, lift your heart toward heaven like a hungry beggar, ask that it be filled and it will be filled.  You may be pushed down.  You may be kept from rising.  But no one can keep you from lifting your heart toward heaven – only you.  It is in the middle of misery that so much becomes clear.  The one who says nothing good came of this is not yet listening.”   (Clarissa Pinkola Estés)

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“Renew, release, let go.  Yesterday’s gone.  There’s nothing you can do to bring it back.  You can’t ‘should’ve’ done something.  You can only DO something.  Renew yourself.  Release that attachment.  Today is a new day!”   (Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)

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“‘You get older and you learn there is one sentence, just four words long and if you can say it to yourself it offers more comfort than almost any other. It goes like this… Ready?’

‘Ready.’

‘At least I tried.’”    (Ann Brashares, Sister Everlasting)

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“What Starts Here Changes the World”

 

Today’s Catalyst Quotes features part of the Commencement Speech given at The University of Texas in Austin (my alma mater) by Naval Adm. William H. McRaven, ninth commander of U.S. Special Operations Command.  This is only an excerpt of the speech; however this small part does not convey the full meaning of his speech. He imparts ten lessons that he learned from basic SEAL training with hopes that they would be of value to the graduating class as they move forward in life.  I encourage everyone to click on the link or cut and paste and watch the complete speech.   

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“The University’s slogan is, ‘What starts here changes the world.’

I have to admit—I kinda like it.  ‘What starts here changes the world.’

Tonight there are almost 8,000 students graduating from UT.

That great paragon of analytical rigor, Ask.Com says that the average American will meet 10,000 people in their life time.  That’s a lot of folks.

But, if every one of you changed the lives of just ten people—and each one of those folks changed the lives of another ten people — just ten — then in five generations — 125 years — the class of 2014 will have changed the lives of 800 million people.

800 million people — think of it — over twice the population of the United States.  Go one more generation and you can change the entire population of the world—8 billion people.

If you think it’s hard to change the lives of ten people — change their lives forever — you’re wrong.  I saw it happen every day in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A young Army officer makes a decision to go left instead of right down a road in Baghdad and the ten soldiers in his squad are saved from close-in ambush.

In Kandahar province, Afghanistan, a non-commissioned officer from the Female Engagement Team senses something isn’t right and directs the infantry platoon away from a 500 pound IED, saving the lives of a dozen soldiers.

But, if you think about it, not only were these soldiers saved by the decisions of one person, but their children yet unborn — were also saved.  And their children’s children—were saved.

Generations were saved by one decision—by one person.

But changing the world can happen anywhere and anyone can do it.

So, what starts here can indeed change the world, but the question is … what will the world look like after you change it?

(…)

To the graduating class of 2014, you are moments away from graduating. Moments away from beginning your journey through life.   Moments away starting to change the world — for the better.

It will not be easy.

But, YOU are the class of 2014 — the class that can affect the lives of 800 million people in the next century.

Start each day with a task completed.

Find someone to help you through life.

Respect everyone.

Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often, but if take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up — if you do these things, then next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today and — what started here will indeed have changed the world — for the better.”   (Naval Adm. William H. McRaven, ninth commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, at the University-wide Commencement at The University of Texas at Austin on May 17, 2014)

Link to Commencement Address:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxBQLFLei70

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“Every Day We Slaughter our Finest Impulses” / “Don’t Edit Your Own Soul”

 

“Every day we slaughter our finest impulses.  That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths.  We all derive from the same source.  There is no mystery about the origin of things.  We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, only to discover what is already there.”   (Henry Miller)

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“Sometimes life can be very painful.  It gets complicated at the worst of times, and sometimes you have no idea where to go or what to do.  Lots of times people just let themselves get lost. But that’s why we have to keep trying.  We have to push through all that hurts us, work past all our painful memories.  Because sometimes the things that hurt us are the things that make us strongest.  A life without experience, in my opinion, is no life at all. And that’s why I tell everyone that, even when it hurts, never stop yourself from living, from loving, from hoping and dreaming.  You deserve it.”   (Lessons Learned in Life)

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“Good advice is priceless.  Not what you want to hear, but what you need to hear.  Not imaginary, but practical.  Not based on fear, but on possibility.  Not designed to make you feel better, designed to make you better.

Seek it out and embrace the true friends that care enough to risk sharing it.

I’m not sure what takes more guts — giving it or getting it.”   (Seth Godin, Seth’s Blog, 5.15.14)

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“It’s a lot to live up to.  These pressures of achieving.  From the moment you’re born, you’re pounded with the expectations of what you need to actualize in order to become a success.  Go to college.  Get married.  Raise a family.  It’s what you’re supposed to do.  The plans you’re supposed to make. The life you’re supposed to live.  Diverge from the norm and you’re frowned upon.  Questioned.  Shunned.  There’s something wrong with you if you’re not interested in improving yourself.  If you can’t make a commitment of marriage.  If you don’t want to have children.  So people earn a college degree so they can get a good job.  They work at a job they hate just to earn a living.  They spend two months’ salary on an engagement ring. They pop out a couple of kids they don’t really want just so they can fit in.  Because it’s what their parents did.  Because it’s what society expects you to do. Because it’s safer to take the same path everyone else has traveled.  Truth is, no one’s listening to Robert Frost.”   (S.G. Browne)

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“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion.  Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”   (Franz Kafka)

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“You Aren’t Like Them” / “Are You Going to Cluck or Fly?”

 

“Admit it.  You aren’t like them.  You’re not even close.  You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them; watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people” as they go about their automatic existences. For every time you say club passwords like ‘Have a nice day’ and ‘Weather’s awful today, eh?’, you yearn inside to say forbidden things like ‘Tell me something that makes you cry’ or ‘What do you think deja vu is for?’  Face it, you even want to talk to that girl in the elevator. But what if that girl in the elevator (and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work) are thinking the same thing?  Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger?  Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle.  Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence.  Trust your instincts.  Do the unexpected. Find the others.” (Timothy Leary)

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“Don’t struggle so much, the best things happen when not expected.”   (Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez)

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“You are a fortunate person, indeed, if you can begin each day accepting the fact that during that day there will be ups and downs, good breaks and bad ones, disappointments, surprises, unexpected turns of events.”     (Roy Benjamin)

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“Fortune knocks at every man’s door once in a while, but in a good many cases the man is in a neighboring saloon and does not hear her.”   (Mark Twain)

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“If you hang out with chickens, you’re going to cluck and if you hang out with eagles, you’re going to fly.”   (Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)

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“Come to the Edge – It’s Fun to Do the Impossible”

 

Does life suck sometimes?  Absolutely!

Nonetheless, you and only you own your attitude.

Realistically, things may stink to high heaven.

Still, the day is yours to embrace with vigor and good cheer – or not.

Your call.  100%.  Period.

Remember, if you will, the annoying, persistent TPR (Tom Peters Rant):  ‘Excellence. Always.’

If not excellence, what?   If not excellence now, when?”   (Tom Peters)

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What, exactly, should you do now? 

You can choose to lead, or not. 

You can choose to have faith, or not. 

Are there thousands of reasons why you, of all people, aren’t the right one to lead? 

Why you don’t have the resources or the authority or the genes or the momentum to lead? 

Probably.

So what?

You still get to make the choice. 

But once you choose to lead, you’ll discover that it’s not so difficult.”   (Tribes – We Need YOU to Lead Us, Seth Godin)

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“You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

You’re on our own.

And you know what you know.

And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.”   (Dr. Seuss)

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“You can choose beliefs that limit you, or you can choose beliefs that support you.”   (Anthony Robbins)

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“Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it.

Boldness has magic, grace, and power in it.”   (Goethe)

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“’Come to the edge,’ he said.

They said, ‘We are afraid.’

‘Come to the edge,’ he said.

They came.

He pushed them.

And they flew!”   (Guillaume Apollinaire)

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“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”   (Walt Disney)

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