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 category “Attitude”

“And Will You Succeed?”


“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.  The mind is everything. What we think, we become.”   (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi)



“When a caterpillar bursts from its cocoon and discovers it has wings, it does not sit idly, hoping to one day turn back.   It flies.”   (Kelseyleigh Reber)



“… and then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”   (Anais Nin)



“Let’s borrow life preservers and jump over.  I think we should do something spectacular.  I feel that all our lives have been too restrained.”   (F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night)



“Go inside and listen to your body, because your body will never lie to you.  Your mind will play tricks, but the way you feel in your heart, in your guts, is the truth.”   (Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)



“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”   (Wayne W. Dyer)



“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.”   (Bob Dylan)



“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are.  When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”   (Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist)


“Do one thing every day that scares you.”   (Eleanor Roosevelt)



“And will you succeed?  Yes indeed, yes indeed!  Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed!”   (Dr. Seuss)





“We Are What We Think”


“There comes a day when you realize turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because you realize there’s so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on.”   (Zayn Malik)



“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.”   (Jordan Belfort)



“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.”   (George Bernard Shaw)



“You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.”   (Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich)



“Don’t wait for things to happen. Make them happen.”   (Roy T. Bennett)



“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”   (E. E. Cummings)



“Control your own destiny or someone else will.”   (Jack Welch)



“Create your own miracles; do what you think you cannot do.”   (Roy T. Bennett)


“We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts, we make the world.”   (The Buddha)



“You just have to decide if you’re a Tigger or an Eeyore.”   (Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture)



“Kids and Adults – Growing Up”


“There is no scientific theory of the universe that sufficiently answers the question, ‘Who entrusted to me this child.” (Robert Brault, Round Up the Usual Subjects)



“[Kids] don’t remember what you try to teach them.  They remember what you are.”   (Jim Henson, It’s Not Easy Being Green: and Other Things to Consider)



“Grown-ups don’t look like grown-ups on the inside either.  Outside, they’re big and thoughtless and they always know what they’re doing.  Inside, they look just like they always have.  Like they did when they were your age.  Truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups.  Not one, in the whole wide world.”   (Neil Gaiman)



“The clash between child and adult is never so stubborn as when the child in us confronts the adult in our child.”   (Robert Brault, Round Up the Usual Subjects)



“I was wise enough never to grow up, while fooling people into believing I had.”   (Margaret Mead)



“It’s funny, isn’t it?  When you are young you just want to be old, and then later you wish you could go back to being a kid.”   (Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall)



“Adults are always asking little kids what they want to be when they grow up ’cause they’re looking for ideas.”   (Paula Poundstone)



“’My kids are starting to notice I’m a little different from the other dads.’
‘Why don’t you have a straight job like everyone else?’ they asked me the other day. 

I told them this story:  In the forest, there was a crooked tree and a straight tree.  Every day, the straight tree would say to the crooked tree, ‘Look at me…I’m tall, and I’m straight, and I’m handsome.  Look at you…you’re all crooked and bent over.  No one wants to look at you.’  And they grew up in that forest together.  And then one day the loggers came, and they saw the crooked tree and the straight tree, and they said, ‘Just cut the straight trees and leave the rest.’  So the loggers turned all the straight trees into lumber and toothpicks and paper.  And the crooked tree is still there, growing stronger and stranger every day.”   (Tom Waits)



“When I was growing up I always wanted to be someone.  Now I realize I should have been more specific.”   (Lily Tomlin)






“It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.” (Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita)



“Man may have discovered fire, but women discovered how to play with it.” (Candace Bushnell, Sex and the City)



“I read once that the ancient Egyptians had fifty words for sand & the Eskimos had a hundred words for snow. I wish I had a thousand words for love, but all that comes to mind is the way you move against me while you sleep & there are no words for that.” (Brian Andreas, Story People: Selected Stories & Drawing of Brian Andreas)



“Come sleep with me:
We won’t make Love,
Love will make us.”    (Julio Cortázar)



“Love, I’ve come to understand is more than three words mumbled before bedtime.”    (Nicholas Sparks)



“I want
To do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.”    (Pablo Neruda, Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair)



“I love you also means I love you more than anyone loves you, or has loved you, or will love you, and also, I love you in a way that no one loves you, or has loved you, or will love you, and also, I love you in a way that I love no one else, and never have loved anyone else, and never will love anyone else.”    (Jonathan Safran Foer)



“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”    (Dr. Seuss)



“’How do you spell ‘love’?’ – Piglet
‘You don’t spell it … you feel it.’ – Pooh”    (A. A. Milne)



“Don’t Give Up” / “Whatever You Give, You Get”


“We aren’t who we want to be.  We are what society demands.  We are what our parents choose.  We don’t want to disappoint anyone.  So, we smother the best in us.”   (Paulo Coelho)



“I’d like to believe that for all the harm I’ve caused, I’ve also done some good. Maybe the angels need a sharp sword too.”   (Amanda Waller)



“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come.  You wait, and you watch, and you work:  You don’t give up.”   (Anne Lamott)



“To empower another, is to empower yourself.

To celebrate another, is to celebrate yourself.

And to free another is to free yourself.

I say empower, celebrate, and free them all.

See the trend?  Whatever you give, you get.  (signed)   The Universe”    (Note from The Universe, Mike Dooley 9.27.17)



“When it comes to being gentle, start with yourself.  Don’t get upset with your imperfections.  Being disappointment by failure is understandable, but it shouldn’t turn into bitterness or spite directed at yourself.  It’s a great mistake because it leads nowhere – to get angry because you are angry; upset at being upset; disappointed because you are disappointed.”    (St. Frances de Sales)



“For me, I am driven by two main philosophies:  know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others.  You’d be surprised how far that gets you.”    (Neil deGrasse Tyson)



“Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.” (Marianne Williamson)




“Go Inside and Listen to Your Body”


“Imagine you are walking in the woods and you see a small dog sitting by a tree. As you approach it, it suddenly lunges at you, teeth bared. You are frightened and angry. But then you notice that one of its legs is caught in a trap. Immediately your mood shifts from anger to concern: You see that the dog’s aggression is coming from a place of vulnerability and pain.
This applies to all of us. When we behave in hurtful ways, it is because we are caught in some kind of trap. The more we look through the eyes of wisdom at ourselves and one another, the more we cultivate a compassionate heart.”   (Tara Brach)




“Every time I judge someone else, I reveal an unhealed part of myself.” (Anonymous)




“And how deceived was I to think that what I feared was in the world, instead of in my mind.”   (A Course in Miracles)




“Do we all have monsters?”
“Why does God give us so many monsters?”
“You want to know my theory?”
“I think it’s other people who give us monsters. Maybe God doesn’t have anything to do with it.”  (Benjamin Alire Saenz, Last Night I Sang to the Monster)




“Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again. And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children.”   (Pablo Casals)




“Go inside and listen to your body, because your body will never lie to you. Your mind will play tricks, but the way you feel in your heart, in your guts, is the truth.” (Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)


“Change Into Who You Are”

“Close the door. Remove the dust. Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.” (Paulo Coehlo)


“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.” (J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)



”First realize that the world is only a reflection of yourself. 
Then stop finding fault with the reflection.” (Nisargadatt Marahaj)



“I will be grateful for the twenty-four hours that are before me. Time is a precious commodity. 
I refuse to allow what little time I have to be contaminated by self-pity, anxiety, or boredom. 
I will face this day with the joy of a child and the courage of a giant. 
While it is here, I will use it for loving and giving. Today I will make a difference.” (Max Lucado)



“It’s up to me to use the power of my mind to put my thoughts to better use.” (Affirmation for the Day)



Your Golden Heart

”You have seen your own strength.

You have seen your own beauty.

You have seen your golden heart.

Why do you worry?” (Rumi)

“Thank You”

(Re-post from November 21, 2012)


“Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.” (Edward Sandford Martin)



“Encourage one another.  Many times a word or praise or thanks or appreciation or cheer has kept people on their feet.” (Charles Swindoll)




“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” (Brian Tracy)




“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” (Meister Eckhart)




“If you are really thankful, what do you do?  You share.” (W. Clement Stone)




Thanksgiving Day is primarily an American holiday celebrated on November 22; however, Canada has a Thanksgiving Day celebrated in October and many other countries throughout the world set aside a day to give thanks and show gratitude. Regardless of whether there is a formal day to celebrate either as a cultural or religious holiday, giving thanks and showing gratitude is ingrained in all of us. Tell those around you “Thank You.” ~ GM Universe

“How We Spend Our Lives”


“I count myself lucky, having long ago won a lottery paid to me in seven sunrises a week for life.” (Robert Brault)




“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.  (Annie Dillard)




“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.”   (William Arthur Ward)




“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 5.14.14)




“Like it or not, the main way we learn is by falling flat on our face, just as we did when we first learned to walk. Our parents may tell us a million times not to touch that hot stove, but it’s only after we actually burn ourselves that we really understand why it’s not such a great idea. The learning opportunities provided by failure can actually help us to achieve our dreams. In the words of restaurateur Wolfgang Puck, ‘I learned more from the one restaurant that didn’t work than from all the ones that were successes.’

Yes, failure is frustrating. But it’s also temporary and eventually yields wisdom. We can think of failure as part of life’s apprenticeship. If we were perfect and had all the answers, we’d never get to ask questions, and we wouldn’t be able to discover anything new.”   (Kristen Neff, Self-Compassion)




“The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.”  (Paulo Coelho)




“I Have Seen Life as it Is”



“I have lived nearly fifty years, and I have seen life as it is. 

Pain, misery, hunger … cruelty beyond belief.  I have heard the singing from taverns and the moans from bundles of filth on the streets.  I have been a soldier and seen my comrades fall in battle … or die more slowly under the lash in Africa.  I have held them in my arms at the final moment.  These were men who saw life as it is, yet they died despairing.  No glory, no gallant last words … only their eyes filled with confusion, whimpering the question, “Why?”  I do not think they asked why they were dying, but why they had lived.  

When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies?  Perhaps to be too practical is madness.  To surrender dreams — this may be madness. To seek treasure where there is only trash.  Too much sanity may be madness — and maddest of all:  to see life as it is, and not as it should be!”          (Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha, Miguel Cervantes)




“There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”   (Edith Wharton)




“An old Grandfather, whose grandson came to him with anger at a schoolmate who had done him an injustice, said, ‘Let me tell you a story.   I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do.   But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy.   It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die.   I have struggled with these feelings many times.’

He continued, ‘It is as if there are two wolves inside me; one is good and does no harm.   He lives in harmony with all around him and does not take offense when no offense was intended.  He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.  But the other wolf, ah!  He is full of anger.   The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper.   He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason.   He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great.   It is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit.’

The boy looked intently into his Grandfather’s eyes and asked, ‘Which one wins, Grandfather?’

The Grandfather solemnly said, ‘The one I feed.’”     (Azriela Jaffe)




“Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.”   (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)




“When you understand that what most people really, really want is simply to feel good about themselves, and when you realize that with just a few well-chosen words you can help virtually anyone on the planet instantly achieve this, you begin to realize just how simple life is, how powerful you are, and that love is the key.     (signed)   The Universe”   (Mike Dooley, Notes from the Universe, 9.1.14)




“Are you scared?  Or are you not ready?  There is a difference.”   (Unique Quietness)




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