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 “Risk”

“Find the Unspeakable Fear and Speak It.”


“Don’t believe everything you think.”   (Bryon Katie)




“What if every ‘no’” meant ‘not yet’? 

Every setback meant, ‘there’s something way better’? 

Every loss meant, ‘even more is on the way’? 

And every disappointment meant, ‘pucker up, buttercup’? 

Yeah, precisely.   (signed)  The Universe”   (Notes from the Universe, Mike Dooley, February 17, 2017




“Your complaints, your drama, your victim mentality, your whining, your blaming, and all of your excuses have NEVER gotten you even a single step closer to your goals or dreams.”   (Steve Maraboli)




“Sometimes life just walks up to you, excuses itself and punches you in the face.”   (Mike Kunda)




“You always do what you want to do.  This is true with every act.  You may say that you had to do something, or that you were forced to, but actually, whatever you do, you do by choice.  Only you have the power to choose for yourself.”   (W. Clement Stone)




“I’m afraid of that.

If you can say this out loud, when you’ve been holding back, avoiding your confrontation with the truth, you will free yourself to do something important.  Saying it takes away the power of the fear.

On the other hand, if you say it 8 times or 11 times or every time, you’re using the label to reinforce your fear, creating an easy escape hatch to avoid doing something important.  Saying it amplifies the fear.

The brave thing is to find the unspeakable fear and speak it.  And to stop rehearsing the easy fears that have become habits.”   (Seth Godin, Seth’s Blog, 7.11.15)



“Take Risks” / “Look Under Your Feet”


“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”   (Lao Tzu)




“Promise yourself to live your life as a revolution and not just a process of evolution.”   (Anthony J. D’Angelo)




“Take risks.

If you win, you will be happy; 

If you lose, you will be wise.”   (Anonymous)




“When you hear ‘Repent for your past,’ realize it’s a great religious distraction from waking up.  Wake up!  That’s what repent means.  Not ‘weep for your sins.’  Wake up! Stop all the crying.  Understand!  Wake up!”   (Anthony De Mello)




“None of us can predict with certainty the twists and turns our lives will take.  Life is uncertain, the future unknown.  This is neither good nor bad.  It just is, like gravity. Yet the task remains:  how to master our own fate, even so.”   (Jim Collins and Morten Hansen, Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck — Why Some Thrive Despite Them All)




“The lesson which life constantly repeats is to ‘look under your feet.’

You are always nearer to the divine and the true sources of your power than you think.

The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive.

The great opportunity is where you are.

Do not despise your own place and hour.

Every place is under the stars.

Every place is the center of the world.”   (John Burroughs)




“We are here on Earth to do good to others.  What others are here for, I don’t know.”   (W.H. Auden)



“I’m With You Kid. Let’s Go.”

“Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told:

‘I’m with you kid.  Let’s go.’”   (Maya Angelou)



“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)



“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.

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



“I can’t believe God put us on this earth to be ordinary.”   (Lou Holtz)



Kicking and screaming (vs. singing and dancing).

Unfair things happen.  You might be diagnosed with a disease, demoted for a mistake you didn’t make, convicted of a crime you didn’t commit.  The ref might make a bad call, an agreement might be abrogated, a partner might let you down.

Our instinct is to fight these unfairnesses, to succumb if there’s no choice, but to go down kicking and screaming.  We want to make it clear that we won’t accept injustice easily, we want to teach the system a lesson, we want them to know that we’re not a pushover.

But will it change the situation?  Will the diagnosis be changed, the outcome of the call be any different?

What if, instead, we went at it singing and dancing?  What if we walked into our four-year prison sentence determined to learn more, do more and contribute more than anyone had ever dreamed?  What if we saw the derailment of one path as the opportunity to grow or to invent or to find another path?

This is incredibly difficult work, but it seems far better than the alternative.”   (Seth Godin, Seth’s Blog, February 18, 2015)


“Always Follow Your Heart, Unless …”


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



“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)



“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)



“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)



“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)



“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)


“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)



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? 


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)



“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)



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



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

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



“’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)



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


“Get Rich Quick – Believe in Yourselves”


Get rich (quick).

Enrich your world by creating value for others.

Enrich your health by walking twenty minutes a day.

Enrich your community by contributing to someone, without keeping score.

Enrich your relationships by saying what needs to be said.

Enrich your standing by trusting someone else.

Enrich your organization by doing more than you’re asked.

Enrich your skills by learning something new, something scary.

Enrich your productivity by rejecting false shortcuts.

Enrich your peace of mind by being trusted.

The connection economy pays dividends in ways that the industrial one rarely did.”   (Seth Godin, Seth’s Blog, 5.1.14)



“Man surprises me most about humanity.  Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.  Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.  And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”   (Dalai Lama)



“Not only are selves conditional but they die.  Each day, we wake slightly altered, and the person we were yesterday is dead.  So why, one could say, be afraid of death, when death comes all the time?”    (John Updike, Self-Consciousness)



“Perhaps, as we say in America, I wanted to find myself.  This is an interesting phrase, not current as far as I know in the language of any other people, which certainly does not mean what it says but betrays a nagging suspicion that something has been misplaced.  I think now that if I had any intimation that the self I was going to find would turn out to be only the same self from which I had spent so much time in flight, I would have stayed at home.”   (James Baldwin, Giovannie’s Room)



“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”  (e. e. cummings)


“Take the Risk, Blossom and Be Happy”


“There is the risk you cannot afford to take, and there is the risk you cannot afford not to take.”   (Peter F. Drucker)



“Of course I’ll hurt you.  Of course you’ll hurt me.  Of course we will hurt each other.  But this is the very condition of existence.  To become spring, means accepting the risk of winter.  To become presence, means accepting the risk of absence.”   (The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)



“Kick yourself all day about the stupid thing you said, the bug you introduced, the promise you failed to keep.  That’s pretty common.

Perhaps you should think about the stock you didn’t buy, the innovation you didn’t pursue, the compliment you didn’t give?

Way more productive, I think, to push yourself to be more in the world, not to encourage yourself to hide.

We respond to what we keep track of.  Too bad we’re not better at keeping track of how many failures we incorrectly predicted, how many innovations we failed to notice and how many apparently risky steps we failed to take.”   (Seth Godin)



“Inspiration turns ordinary people into passionate people.  It gives them the courage to take risks, challenge the old rules, chase their dreams, and never give up.  It creates a fire in the belly that fuels curiosity, persistence, and resourcefulness.”    (Sacred Cows Make the Best Burgers, Robert Kriegel)



“Know yourself and your resources – and know that audacious risks are the parents of audacious rewards.”   (Ezra Adams, music teacher)



“… 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)


“If you do not risk, you cannot grow…

If you do not grow, you cannot be your best…

If you are not your best, you cannot be happy…

If you cannot be happy, what else matters?”   (Dr. David Viscott)

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