My Top Ten Inspirational Quotes

So many quotes, so little time. A collection of 10 of my favorite quotes.

Whether on Instagram, Tumblr or Pinterest, we can’t help but Stumbleupon (see what I did there?) all manner of inspirational quotes that, depending on what our life situation is at the moment, will give us quotes and sayings to encourage us, wake us up, or maybe kick us in the butt. Many corporate work spaces and offices will invariably have some sort of poster or placard with various inspiring quotes and images.  Some are meant to tug at our heartstrings, make us smile with something funny, or remind us to connect with that friend or loved one.

There are literally millions of awesome quotes yet these 10 quotes are those that jumped out for me today.  A well-timed quote can be “just what the doctor ordered” on some days.  Perhaps one or two of these famous, or not-so-famous, quotes will come alive for you as they did for me. I think quotes are often quite personal in nature. Please let me know what you think!

Number 1

“Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.”

~Swami Sivananda

This is one way to get “into the zone”. When completely present and focused on every moment, we become more in that moment.  A fellow I know had a Monk come and stay with him for a weekend. His name was Peter.  The conversation went something like this after Peter and the Monk had finished dinner and the Monk got up to wash the dishes:

Peter: Let me help you with the dishes and then we can go talk some more.

Monk: No, I’ll do the dishes.

Peter: Please let me help you and we’ll be done more quickly.

Monk: No, I will do the dishes.

Peter: But why?

Monk: You want to do the dishes to get them finished faster so we can talk together. I want to do the dishes to do the dishes.

We can even put our all into doing the dishes and not be distracted by what will be next. Be in the zone.

Number 2

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

~ Maya Angelou

This inspirational quote from Maya Angelou – wow. When I think of surviving versus thriving. A homeless person, bless their heart, is surviving but most likely not thriving. Nor are they likely to be engaging in their passion.  

That said though, it isn’t just about having wealth because there are many rich people who aren’t the most compassionate, and they may not be living their passion.  Some may not agree but I don’t think that a passion for making money goes deep enough. Passion has to touch humanity in some meaningful way to qualify in my book.

My mission aligns with Maya’s, as thriving with passion, compassion, humor and style ticks my boxes!

Number 3

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”

~ Rabindranath Tagore

Pema Chodron, Tibetan Buddhist, says that we are the sky and everything else is just weather.  Trials, tribulations, road-enraged drivers, lack of finances, grumpy people – all weather.

Be the blue sky.

Number 4

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”

~ Henry David Thoreau

The Bible says in Proverbs that iron sharpens iron. Achieving your goals will change you. NOT achieving your goals will change you too.  I believe in goal setting. It works.

However, let’s not miss out on the wonderful changes and opportunities for growth that arise on the pathway to our goals. In other words, we are rewarded along the way to our goals, just because we are on the way to our goals, so to speak.

Number 5

“You cannot save people, you can just love them.”

~ Anaïs Nin

And by loving them, can we save them?  Maybe, but that isn’t the point. When I try to change another person, I attempt to inject my paradigm onto theirs.  I can only save them my way and from my experience and understanding.  

In trying to save them, I minimize their experience, their feelings, their desires, their shadows. That probably will be more frustrating than helpful for all parties.  

However, if I just love them, I accept them. I send them virtual hugs and blessings. I accept them for them. I love them and nothing else matters. They will notice, trust me.

Number 6

“The grass is greener where you water it.”

~ Neil Barringham

This quote is likely a response to the quote about the grass being greener on the other side of the fence.  

We often imagine life in a different situation. A new home, or city, or country. Or maybe a new lover, spouse or friend. Or that new car, bike or airplane. Or maybe a different job or that business you will start some day.  

Here’s the thing – where we apply our attention, time and money - that’s what will grow.

Number 7

“Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.”

~ John Maxwell

Even a “sure thing” can turn against you. We’ve all read about the greatest leaders that have failed from time to time. So, should we change how think about failing?

Consider a famous quote from Nelson Mandela, the late South African revolutionary and inspired leader who said: "I never lose. I either win or I learn."  

In fact, I believe that we learn prodigiously more from our failures than from our wins.

Number 8

“I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone.”

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

I. Cannot. Do. Small. Talk.  

Well, not for very long at least. Talk to me about sports, celebrities or politics and I’ll soon be excusing myself.

Talk about truth, nature, the mind, inner or outer space, spiritual explosions, tantra, future tech and I’m diving deep.

Or leave me to be alone. 

Number 9

“Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you.”

~ Chuck Klosterman

We are in all things. All things are in us. As mammals, we all share the same air and water, eventually.

This could be the basis for an article about how racists have the breath, sweat, and tears of those they hate, inside them. And vice-versa but that is for another day.

We are greater than what we witness in our bodies.  See the beautiful and magic of yourself in all art and love.  Sit in silence for awhile and marinate on that.

Number 10

“You are not something separate to experience, you are experience itself.”

~ Eric Louthain

Or how about this? RUMI said: “You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.”  

You are everything. You are complete. And powerful. And divine.

You are complete and perfect and powerful, just as you are.

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