Some quotes have the power to make you start something new or to get you over something. Here are some quotes that clicked with me.
“You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.” – Henry Ford
Henry Ford reminds us that people do not care much for what we say. Actions speak for themselves. We do not need to mention our plan to somebody else, it will usually kill it because we get praise for it before we even got started. Stop talking and start doing.
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama
The former President of the United States tells us that if we wait, nothing will change. When we know what we should do, we should do it, for nobody else but we can. We are indeed, the change we want to bring into this world. Waiting for someone to do something or for something to happen is a good way to procrastinate and postpone our own actions. Get out there and change the world yourself.
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realise this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius
We do not have control over whatever happens to and around us. What is up to us is to deal with these situations the best we can. We only have an impact on our reactions to events, through which we can, ultimately, have a positive impact on these events. The stoic philosophy reminds us of that constantly – deal only with what is within your control. I can only recommend Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, lessons from the life of a stoic philosopher and Roman emperor.
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” – Seneca
Another stoic reminds us of the importance of preparation – that nothing happens overnight. We are only lucky to be presented with the right opportunity if we can take it. The others will call it luck, but us, we know how we got it, and it had nothing to do with luck. It has to be with being ready and prepared. Get yourself ready now, so that you can grab your opportunity when it arises.
“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” – Epictetus
Yet another stoic, slave that became a teacher, tells us that desire is our enemy. Desiring things is a never-ending battle. There are always new things to want and always new people to compare yourself to. We must like what you have now. It will make us less stressed about what we do not have and more aware of how good our life already is. Do not be sad about not having what everybody else seems to want. Work for yourself.
Okay, one last one, for the road!
“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” – Marcus Aurelius
The path lies ahead! When obstacles show up? The path still lies ahead. This is a quote that the book The Obstacle is The Way by Ryan Holiday is based on – a recommended read. We must never let an obstacle defeat us but instead take the opportunity to gain from the adversity it creates. Traffic on the way to work? Time to practice patience. A friend embarrasses you in public? An opportunity to practice forgiveness and mindfulness (read our article on meditation). Ankle injury? Hit the gym to work on your upper body. Master your reaction to events and make the best out of bad situations.
What is your favourite quote?