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 “Hope”

“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)





“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)


“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)




“Sometimes Things Become Possible”


“How is it possible, I think, to change so much and not be able to change anything at all?”   (Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall)




“The world is a possibility if only you’ll discover it.”   (Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man)




“The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.”   (Arthur C. Clarke)




“Let’s go back in time.  Way back.  Before there was even a ‘you’.  Good.  Now further back. Before there were mountains.  Right.  Now before there were oceans. Cool.  Now before there were planets.  Bravo.  Now before there was time and space. Wow.

What’s left?

Right, there was only me, Universal awareness.  And what is awareness, but thought?

Love it.

So, if where there was only ‘thought,’ there are now suns and moons and planets. Mountains and rivers and oceans.  People and places and pets.  What must they all be made of?


And look who’s thinking now… You?  You are thinking now?  Are you sure?  But if ‘where’ there was only me there’s now you, who must you really be?

Nice roots.   (signed)    The Universe”    (Notes from the Universe, Mike Dooley, 5.24.17)




“So many things are possible just as long as you don’t know they’re impossible.”   (Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth)




“Sometimes things become possible if we want them bad enough.”   (T. S. Eliot)



“The Universe / Things Do Not Change”


“Think left and think right and think low and think high.  Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”   (Dr. Seuss)




“The truth is you live in an infinitely kind and unspeakably wise Universe that you are a part of, not apart from; where you, yourself, are a creator.  And of your countless creations, your life is one.  You chose to be here.  And infinitely benign and intelligent yourself, your choice was impeccable.

In this greatest adventure of all adventures, whatever you wish for is my command. I am your most faithful servant and constant companion.  Whatever you once dreamed of for yourself, can still come to pass.  It’s never too late to come from behind, and things can literally change for the better in the twinkling of an eye – as you have so often shown us in the past.

You are a supernatural being whose thoughts become things and for whom all things are possible.  This, being a creation amongst your own creations, is as good as it gets, because whenever you don’t like what’s before you, you can simply recreate it… without hindrance from the past or so-called contracts you no longer remember.  There are no other rules.  There are no hidden agendas.  And there are no unknown variables working against you in this paradise you call home, where manifesting change most certainly couldn’t be any easier than getting what you think about.

Oh yeah, way better than winning the lottery. Huh?   (signed)    The Universe”   (Notes from the Universe, Mike Dooley, May 4, 2017)




“You are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself.”   (Alan W. Watts)




“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”   (Paulo Coehlo, The Alchemist)




“Things do not change; we change.”   (Henry David Thoreau, Walden)



“Apply Within”



You once told me

You wanted to find

Yourself in the world –

And I told you to

First apply within,

To discover the world

within you.

You once told me

You wanted to save

The world from all its wars –

And I told you to

First save yourself

From the world,

And all the wars

You put yourself

Through.”   (Suzy Kassem)




“Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”   (Maya Angelou)




“Close your eyes and let the music set you free.”   (The Phantom of the Opera)




“For years, copying other people, I tried to know myself.

From within, I couldn’t decide what to do.

Unable to see, I heard my name being called.

Then I walked outside.”    (Jalaluddin Rumi, Open Secret:  Versions of Rumi)




“Anyone can plot a course with a map or compass; but without a sense of who you are, you will never know if you’re already home.”   (Shannon L. Alder)




“. . . None of us are born as passive generic blobs waiting for the world to stamp its imprint on us.  Instead we show up possessing already a highly refined and individuated soul.

Another way of thinking of it is:  We’re not born with unlimited choices.

We can’t be anything we want to be.

We come into this world with a specific, personal destiny.  We have a job to do, a calling to an act, a self to become.  We are who we are from the cradle, and we’re stuck with it.

Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.”   (Steven Pressfield, The War of Art:  Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles)




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



“Unless Someone Like You Cares”

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”  (Dr. Seuss, The Lorax)




“Most good things have already been said far too many times and just need to be lived.”   (Shane Clairborne)




“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.  Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist.  Be curious.  And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.  It matters that you don’t just give up.”   (Stephen Hawking)




“Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete?  Proving nature’s laws wrong, it learned to walk without having feet.  Funny, it seems to by keeping it’s dreams; it learned to breathe fresh air.  Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared.”   (Tupac Shakur, ‘The Rose That Grew from Concrete’)




‘Good Bones’

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.

Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine

in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,

a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways

I’ll keep from my children.

The world is at least

fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative

estimate, though I keep this from my children.

For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.

For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,

sunk in a lake.  Life is short and the world

is at least half terrible, and for every kind

stranger, there is one who would break you,

though I keep this from my children.  I am trying

to sell them the world.  Any decent realtor,

walking you through a real shithole, chirps on

about good bones:  This place could be beautiful,

right?  You could make this place beautiful.   (Maggie Smith)




“Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.”   (Socrates)




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


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