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 “Coaching”

“Joy and Inner Energy”

“Life is a series of collisions with the future. It is not the sum of what we have been, but what we yearn to be.” (José Ortega y Gasset)

“Ancient Egyptians believed that upon death they would be asked two questions and their answers would determine whether they could continue their journey in the afterlife. The first question was, ‘Did you bring joy?’ The second was, ‘Did you find joy?” (Leo Buscaglia)

“The most important thing in life is your inner energy. If you’re always tired and never enthused, then life is no fun. But if you’re always inspired and filled with energy then every minute of every day is an exciting experience. Learn to work with these things. Through meditation, through awareness and willful efforts, you can learn to keep your centers open. You do this by just RELAXING and RELEASING. You do this by not buying into the concept that there is anything worth closing over. Remember if you love life, nothing is worth closing over. Nothing ever is worth closing your heart. (The Untethered Soul, the journey beyond yourself by Michael Singer, New Harbinger Publications)

“You have a wellspring of beautiful energy inside of you. When you are open you feel it; when you are closed you don’t. This flow of energy comes from the depth of your being. It’s been called by many names. In ancient Chinese medicine, it is called Chi. In yoga, it is called Shakti. In the West, it is called Spirit.” (The Untethered Soul, the journey beyond yourself by Michael Singer, New Harbinger Publications)

“A Leader is Best When …”

“There are five practices common to most extraordinary leadership achievements.  When leaders do their best, they challenge, inspire, enable, model, and encourage.”     (Kouses & Posner, The Leadership Challenge)



“The key elements in the art of working together are how to deal with change, how to deal with conflict, and how to reach our potential … the needs of the team are best met when we meet the needs of individual persons.”     (Max DePree)



“The so-called … boss should become the humble servant leader who ‘runs alongside,’ asking questions such as:

  • How is it going?
  • What are you learning?
  • What are your goals?
  • How can I help you?
  • How am I doing as a helper?

It is when the spirit of servant leadership takes hold in a team, and between a manager or team and an associate, that … trust fully blossoms.”     (The 8th Habit, From Effectiveness to Greatness, Stephen R. Covey)



“A leader is best when people barely know he exists.

Not so good when people obey and acclaim him.

Worse when they despise him.

But of a good leader who talks little,

When his work is done, his aim fulfilled,

They will say “We did it ourselves.”     (Lao Tzu)



“The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.”     (Henry Kissinger)



“To lead the people, walk beside them.”     (Lao Tzu)


“Be A Change Catalyst; It Is An Attitude”

“Leadership is not so much about technique and method as it is about opening the heart.  Leadership is about inspiration — of oneself and of others.  Great leadership is about human experiences, not processes.  Leadership is not a formula or a program, it is a human activity that comes from the heart and considers the hearts of others.  It is an attitude, not a routine.”     (Lance Secretan)



“It’s not always easy to do the right thing.  But, doing the right thing makes you strong, it builds character, it forces you to make decisions based upon your beliefs and not what other people think.  In life, and in business, you have to stand for what you believe in and sometimes you have to stand alone.  But, what makes you a leader is having the courage of your convictions.”    (Queen Latifah)



“Do not follow where the path may lead.  Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”     (Ralph Waldo Emerson)



“I am personally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a ‘transformer’ in any situation, any organization.  Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf.  It requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence, courage, and faith to be a transforming leader.”      (Stephen R. Covey)



“To know how to do a job is the accomplishment of labor;

To be able to tell others is the accomplishment of the teacher;

To inspire others to do better work is the accomplishment of management;

To be able to do all three is the accomplishment of leadership.”     (Unknown Author)



“Our duty as men is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist.  We are collaborators in creation.”     (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin)


“What Are You Going to Do?


“An old man was asked what had robbed him of joy in his life.  His reply was, ‘Things that never happened.’”     (Dale Carnegie)



“If ifs were gifts, every day would be Christmas.”     (Charles Barkley)



“You can’t build a reputation on what you are GOING to do.”     (Henry Ford)



“The presence of fear does not mean you have no faith.  Fear visits everyone.  But make your fear a visitor and not a resident.”     (Max Lucado)



“There are those of us who are always ‘about’ to live.  We’re waiting until things change, until there is more time, until we are less tired, until we get a promotion, until we settle down – until until, until.  It always seems that there is some major event that must occur in our lives before we begin living.”       (George Sheehan)



“You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.”     (Wayne Gretzky)



“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”    (James Baldwin)


“No Limits”


“There has never been another you. With no effort on your part you were born to be something very special and set apart.  What you are going to do in appreciation of that gift is a decision only you can make.”    (Dan Zadra)



No Limits

“Fletcher turned to his instructor, and there was a moment of fright in his eye.  ‘Me leading? What do you mean, me leading?  You’re the instructor here.  You can’t leave!’

‘Couldn’t I?  Don’t you think that there might be other flocks, other Fletchers, that need an instructor more than this one, that’s on its way toward the light?’

‘Me?  Jonathan, I’m just a plain seagull, and you’re …’

Jonathan sighed and looked out to sea.  ‘You don’t need me any longer.  You need to keep finding yourself, a little more each day, that real, unlimited Fletcher Seagull.  He’s your instructor.  You need to understand him and to practice him.’

A moment later Jonathan’s body wavered in the air, shimmering, and began to go transparent.  ‘Don’t let them spread silly rumors about me, or make me a god.  O.K., Fletch?  I’m a seagull.  I like to fly, maybe …’


‘Poor Fletch.  Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you.  All they show is limitation.  Look with your understanding, find out what you already know, and you’ll see the way to fly.’

The shimmering stopped.  Jonathan Seagull had vanished into empty air.

After a time, Fletcher Gull dragged himself into the sky and faced a brand-new group of students, eager for their first lesson.

‘To begin with,’ he said heavily, ‘you’ve got to understand that a seagull is an unlimited idea of freedom, an image of the Great Gull, and your whole body, from wingtip to wingtip, is nothing more than your thought itself.’

The young gulls looked at him quizzically.  Hey, man, they thought, this doesn’t sound like a rule for a loop.

Fletcher sighed and started over. ‘Hm.  Ah… very well,’ he said, and eyed them critically.  ‘Let’s begin with Level Flight.’  And saying that, he understood all at once that his friend had quite honestly been no more divine than Fletcher himself.

And though he tried to look properly severe for his students, Fletcher Seagull suddenly saw them all as they really were, just for a moment, and he more than liked, he loved what it was he saw.  No limits, Jonathan?  He thought and he smiled.  His race to learn had begun.”      (Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Scribner)

“Your Worst Enemy? Could Be Between Your Ears”


“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”    (John Wooden)



 “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.”    (Tommy Lasorda)



“Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t live between your own two ears.”     (Laird Hamilton)



“The fight is won or lost far away from any witnesses.  It is won behind the scenes, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”     (Muhammad Ali)



“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career.  I’ve lost more than 300 games.  Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot – and missed.  I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life…  And that is why I succeed.”    (Michael Jordan)



“After the cheers have died down and the stadium is empty, after the headlines have been written, and after you are back in the quiet of your room and the Championship Ring has been placed on the dresser and all the pomp and fanfare have faded, the enduring thing that is left is the dedication to doing with our lives the very best we can to make the world a better place in which to live.”     (Vince Lombardi)


“Inspire Them to Greatness”


“The test of a good manager is to make ordinary people perform better than what seems to be their capability, to bring out the strengths they have, and to use each employee’s own internal desires to inspire them to greatness.”       (Luke De Sadeleer and Joseph Sherren, “Vitamin C for a Healthy Workplace”)



My Team Needs to KNOW:

Do I have a clear view of the future I am striving to create, and does my team share that view?

My Team Needs to GROW:

Are my team members more valuable to each other, to the company, and to themselves today than they were a year ago?

My Team Needs to OWN:

Do the people on my team perform like hired hands or as if they’re partners in business with me?”       (Lost & Found, Lyle Sussman, Sam Deep & Alex Stiber)


“Vision or Hallucination?”


“Not everyone you influence will think the same way you do.  You have to help them not only believe that they can succeed, but also show them that you want them to succeed.  How do you do that?

  •  Expect it:  People can sense your underlying attitude no matter what you say or do.  If you have  an expectation for your people to be successful, they will know it.
  • Verbalize it:  People need to hear you tell them that you believe in them and want them to succeed.  Become a positive prophet of their success.
  • Reinforce it:  You can never do too much when it comes to believing in people.

Once people recognize and understand that you genuinely want to see them succeed and are committed to helping them, they will begin to believe they can accomplish what you give them to do.”       (John C. Maxwell, Becoming a Person of Influence)



“Tell me and I forget.  Show me and I remember.  Let me do and I understand.”       (Confucius)



“Vision without execution is hallucination.”       (Thomas Edison)


“Crisis = Danger & Opportunity”

“Just don’t pretend that your choices don’t have consequences, and please don’t whine when you are held accountable for your choices. If you don’t like the consequence, make a different choice next time.

The world I live in is not void of consequences. You are free to behave as if the world you live in is inert, but please don’t expect me to collude with your delusion because that would be a disservice to both of us.

You really can do whatever you want to do, and you really are responsible for your choices. Ignorance is not an excuse. (Bret L. Simmons)


“We all know people who, under duress, throw up their hands and cry, ‘How can this be happening to me?’ Such people see themselves as victims, and living through hardship carries no lessons for them. But resilient people devise constructs about their suffering to create some sort of meaning for themselves and others.” (Diane L. Coutu, Harvard Business Review)


“When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters — one represents danger and the other represents opportunity.” (John F. Kennedy)

“Who Has Made a Difference in Your Life?

Please note below the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip.   

   “1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

    2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

    3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America.

    4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

    5. Name the last six Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

    6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

 How did you do?

The point is:   none of us remember the headliners of yesterday.   These are no second-rate achievers.  They are the best in their fields.   But the applause dies.   Awards tarnish.   Achievements are forgotten.   Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here’s another quiz.   See how you do on this one:

    1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

    2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

    3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

    4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

    5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.


The lesson:  The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards.   They are the ones that care; they are the ones who have made a difference in your life.   And, one more thing  . . .  :

Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today.   It’s already tomorrow in Australia.”         (Charles Schultz)

**  Please take note of the other two posts for today, November 30, 2012.

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