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.

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2015 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

“Nothing That’s Worthwhile is Ever Easy”

“Love is the reason you were born.”  
(Dorothy Fields)



“Just really, really believe in what you’re trying to do.  Don’t let people alter that.  Let people advise you and lead you down paths to make smart business decisions.  But trust your instinct and trust that overwhelming drive that made you put all your dreams and everything on the line.”   (Luke Bryan)



“But the struggles make you stronger and the changes make you wise.  And happiness has its own way of taking its sweet time.”    (Gary Allen)



“If one suffers we all suffer.  Togetherness is strength.  Courage.”   (Jean-Bertrand Aristide)



“Nothing that’s worthwhile is ever easy.  Remember that.”   (Nicholas Sparks)



“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness.  I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can.  And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”   (Neil Gaiman)



“Ali on how he’d like to be remembered:  “One who took a few cups of love, one teaspoon of patience, one tablespoon of generosity, one pint of kindness.  Then you mix it up and stir it well.  Then you spread it over the span of a lifetime and you served it to each and every deserving person you met.”   (Unknown)


“Heal the World / Give Up on Being Perfect”


“The miracle of healing … is simply the decision to shift our perceptions of the people and the experiences surrounding us.  None of us has greater healing power than anyone else.  Some practice the healing process more often, however.

The one absolute in every day for everybody is that there will be an opportunity to offer a healing gesture to someone or some situation.  Just knowing that we can improve the world we live in by a tiny thought or action gives the most mundane of days real meaning.  We are equal in our ability to move us all closer to home.

If we look at our experiences from this perspective, it will change how we see every minute of our lives.  We’ll even begin to look for opportunities to offer healing.  Knowing that all of us benefit through the gestures of any one of us inspires our willingness to participate in the miracle.”   (Daily Meditations for Practicing The Course, Karen Casey)



“The inner self of every human waits patiently until we are ready;

Then it extends an invitation to enter the luminous mystery of existence in which all things are created, nurtured, and renewed.

In the presence of this mystery, we not only heal ourselves, we heal the world.”   (Deepak Chopra, Power, Freedom and Grace:  Living from the Source of Lasting Happiness)



“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.”   (Anna Quindlen)



“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your heart.

Who looks outside, dreams.

Who looks inside, awakes.”   (Carl Jung)


‘I’m Not the Kind of Person Who …’


‘I’m not the kind of person who …’

“We box ourselves in long before the outside world ever gets a chance.

‘I’m not the kind of person who watches movies like that.’

‘I’m not the kind of person who proposes new ideas.’

‘I’m not the kind of person who reads books for fun.’

‘I’m not the kind of person who apologizes.’

‘I’m not the kind of person who gets a promotion.’

‘I’m not the kind of person who says ‘follow me’.’

‘I’m not the kind of person who’ …    is up to you.”   (Seth’s Blog, Seth Godin, 4.14.15)



“The thing that most forget while dreamily looking off into the horizon for the ship of their dreams is that such ships never sail in but are actually built beneath their very feet.  Get my drift?  …    (signed)  The Universe”   (Mike Dooley, Notes from the Universe, 4.14.15)



“Buddha left a road map,

Jesus left a road map,

Krishna left a road map,

Rand McNally left a road map. 

But you still have to travel the road yourself.”   (Stephen Levine)



“Don’t spend your precious time asking ‘Why isn’t the world a better place?’

It will only be time wasted.

The question to ask is ‘How can I make it better?’ 

To that there is an answer.”   (Leo Buscaglia)



“Things are only impossible until they’re not.”   (Jean-Luc Picard, ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’)

Who is that woman with my son?

Beautiful post.

that cynking feeling

Who is that woman with my son? She just stands there as Philip messes up the craft. At this table, the public library has a project in which a coffee filter is supposed to be glued to the top of the green rectangle of construction paper to become a flower on a stem. Philip is gluing it in the middle! Wait, is she helping him do it wrong? Why didn’t she point out how the other kids are doing it the right way? She acts as if this gymnasium full of families won’t notice.

Philip should now select a pastel cupcake liner and glue inside the filter as the flower’s blossom. He touches the pink, blue, and yellow cups, but puts the cap back on the glue stick. And that woman lets him.

Now he is moving to the other side of the table. He has discovered the librarian’s stash…

View original post 306 more words

“Leadership – Know, Tell, Inspire”

“Leading yourself in really weird times:

  • Be conscious in the Zen sense.  Think about what you are doing more than usual.  Think about how you project.
  • Meet daily, first thing, with your leadership team — to discuss whatever, check assumptions.  Perhaps meet again late afternoon.  Meetings max 30 minutes.
  • If you are a ‘big boss,’ use a private sounding board — check in daily.
  • Concoct scenarios by the bushel, test ’em, play with ’em, short-term, long-term, sane, insane.
  • MBWA.  Wander.  Sample attitudes.  Visible but not frenzied.
  • Work the phones, chat up experts, customers, vendors.  Seek enormous diversity of opinion.
  • “Over”communicate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  •  Exercise — encourage your leadership team to double up on their exercise.
  • Underscore ‘excellence in every transaction.’”   (Tom Peters)



“Leadership is based on four E’s:

  • The personal Energy to welcome and deal with the speed of change.
  • The ability to create an atmosphere that Energizes others.
  • The Edge to make difficult decisions.
  • The ability to consistently Execute.”   (Jack Welch)


“Leadership is scarce because few people are willing to go through the discomfort required to lead.  This scarcity makes leadership valuable.  If everyone tries to lead all the time, not much happens.  It’s discomfort that creates the leverage that makes leadership worthwhile.  In other words, if everyone could do it, they would, and it wouldn’t be worth much.  It’s uncomfortable to propose an idea that might fail.  It’s uncomfortable to challenge the status quo. When you identify the discomfort, you’ve found the place where a leader is needed.  If you’re not uncomfortable in your work as a leader, it’s almost certain you’re not reaching your potential as a leader.”   (Seth Godin, Tribes – We Need YOU to Lead Us)



“It is sometimes said that the difference between ‘management’ and ‘leadership’ is ‘doing things right’ versus ‘doing the right thing.’   I think that’s nuts.  In fact, let’s assume there is a ‘doing things right’ and a ‘doing the right thing.’  Well, both are of equal importance, and if anything ‘doing things right’ takes precedence.   Another way to put it is that having an ‘excellent strategy’ is approximately worthless unless execution is equally ‘excellent.’  Far more things fail to come to fruition because of lousy execution than because of lousy strategy.  (‘Execution is strategy’ is the way a boss of mine, Fred Malek, put it waaaaaay back in the 1970s.)  Hence my ‘take no prisoners’ ‘bottom line’ is that ‘doing things right’ is as much a part of effective leadership as ‘doing the right thing.'”   (Tom Peters)


“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.”     (Guy Furguson)


The Greatest Rule of All

The post below was initially posted on November 8, 2012. Considering all of the issues in the nation and the world today, I thought it would be apropos to re-post it again. – Alex Pena


There is one rule recognized in some form or other within every major human culture I have been able to investigate … the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Treat others the way you would want to be treated in their place.’

This is probably the most famous moral rule ever promulgated. And it’s found in culture after culture, every time and place. It’s expressed in many forms, but the main thrust is remarkably the same. Here are a few examples:

Confucianism: ‘Do not do unto others what you would not want them to do unto you.’

Buddhism: ‘Seek for others the happiness you desire for yourself. Hurt not others with that which pains you.’

Hinduism: ‘All your duties are included in this: Do nothing to others that would pain you if it were done to you.’

Judaism: ‘That which is hurtful to you, do not do to your fellow man.’

Islam: ‘Let none of you treat his brother in a way he himself would not like to be treated. No one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.’

Taoism: ‘View your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.’

Christianity: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ (If Aristotle Ran General Motors, Tom Morris)

One simple rule albeit said differently in others parts of the world. Whether it is in San Antonio, Texas, Australia, Canada, India, Europe, Mexico, China or the Middle East, people have a difficult time following these simple words.

Let’s try to follow this rule for the next thirty days and see what happens. I believe many of us will be amazed. Whether you are at home, at work or anywhere else where there are people, let’s try to follow this simple rule. Things would be so much better. ~ Alex Pena

“Be Whoever You Want to Be”


“Do not feel lonely; the entire universe is inside you.”    (Rumi)



“I am strong, because I’ve been weak.

I am fearless, because I’ve been afraid.

I am wise, because I’ve been foolish.”     (Author Unknown)



“We are sometimes taken into troubled waters, not to be drowned but to be cleansed.”    (Author Unknown)



“Miracles start to happen when you give as much energy to your dreams as you do to your fears.”    (Author Unknown)



“Spend a little more time trying to make something of yourself and a little less time trying to impress people.”    (The Breakfast Club movie)



“For what it’s worth:  it’s never too late or too early to be whoever you want to be.  There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want.  You can change or stay the same; there are no rules to this thing.  We can make the best or the worst of it.  I hope you make the best of it.  And I hope you see things that startle you.  I hope you feel things you never felt before.  I hope you meet people with a different point of view.  I hope you live a life you’re proud of.  If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”    (F. Scott Fitzgerald)


Imagination, Truth and Bliss


“Only in men’s imagination does every truth find an effective and undeniable existence.   Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art, as of life.”     (Joseph Conrad)


“Why abandon a belief merely because it ceases to be true?   Cling to it long enough and … it will turn true again, for so it goes.     Most of the change we think we see in life is due to truths being in and out of favors.”    (Robert Frost)


“Follow your bliss.”    (Joseph Campbell)


Be Awesome Today


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