The power of other people's words.

I love to quote people. I have used them as a device to get people to change behavior, open them up to new ideas or just think about something in a way they weren’t.

But putting all my favs and a few exceptional others in 1 form was a pain in the ass. Then, one day it struck me how valuable this could be for my daughter, and it seemed less like pain and more like time well spent.

In no particular order.

“100% of the shots you don’t take, don’t go in”

Wayne Gretzky

This was a comment made after hearing about his taking too many shots and the team losing. It was born out of frustration, but it is in essence, ‘don’t give up’.

“The smartest person in the room knows 1 thing, he’s not the smartest person in the room”.

-unknown

This is a variation on a Socrates and an Einstein quote. To me, the main take away is, ‘always understand there is more to know.’

“Crazy is fun to date, you don’t marry it”.

-Every man walking the earth.

The female version of this is something about dating assholes or bad boys.

“You can be right about a lot of things at home on your couch watching cartoons, but 1 of them isn’t how to achieve anything.”

-Unnamed talent agent.

People either find reasons to do things or not to do things. Don’t be the person who can explain in detail every episode of Sponge Bob.

“Sometimes the only way to get people’s attention is to hang somebody.”

-unknown

So you want to be the boss? That quote is a harsh reality of responsibility.

“They can take your car, your house, your kids even your dog, but only you can give away your character.”

-Leland Davis

If this is allowed to find space in your consciousness, it will be there every time you almost do something you shouldn’t do. If Keeping your word is incredibly important to you, move on to the next quote, if not reread this one a couple more times.

“People that treat you with respect expect to be treated with it.”

-Flemlo raps

I heard a Youtuber (great channel is incredibly thoughtful) influencer say this in the context of someone punching someone who was talking shit to him. The puncher had been publically vilified. Flemlo made the point, he was absolutely in the right to be mad, but the punch was a questionable reaction. Given all that went into the situation, had the person who got punched acted with any self-respect or respect for the man who punched him, never would have happened.

“Never surround an army on all sides, if you don’t leave them a path to retreat, they will fight to the death.”

-Sun Tzu

Give people an out otherwise you will have to play by a desperate man’s rules.

“You can’t always use the baseball bat, because eventually someone will take it from you and beat you to death with it.”

-Jeremy Zimmer, president of UTA

This is one of the few here that someone said directly to me. Over my career, it has proven to be sage.

“Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.”

-John Wooden

I LOVE THIS. You don’t win on the day of the game; you won when you got out of bed to run up a hill 3 months earlier. The reason US NAVY SEALS are so capable of dealing with situations no matter how fucked-up, is because of the hell they go through during training.

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

– John Wooden

People spend endless time wallowing in self-doubt, mistrust of yourself or suffering from a lack of confidence.

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone can see.”

– Confucius

Yeah…just yeah.

“You speak how you think”.

-Prof Freund

A prof in college used to say this. If your uncle makes racists jokes, but also says woke things and the “jokes, are just jokes.” Dude is racist. If you drop N bomb’s or other racists comments alone in your car, that’s who you are. And if you want it to stop, not just ‘not want people to know you do it’, then change the way you speak and think. Fix you.

“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.”

– Chinese Proverb

Leave your demons outside, I have shit to accomplish…

“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”

– Mark Twain

This is an extrapolation, but ‘don’t lie to yourself.’

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”.

-Don’t know

A lot of these center on you taking control of you.

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

– Lao Tzu

If you are not open to love you are closed to life.

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.”

– Robert Frost

There is a Chinese proverb this reminds me of that I love.

-After years of study a Monk goes to his Master and says, “it’s time for me to leave and find my flok to help guide spiritually. Do you have any last teachings that I can use on my journey?”.

The Master says, “yes”. And gives the young disciple a box and tells him, “When you get to where your journey ends, bury this. Do not open it and leave it be until you lose your faith, or your doubts overtake you. Only when you are at the lowest point can you dig it up and open it. Only at the time will the contents of this box be ready to help you out of your dire circumstances”.

The Monk buries the box once he reaches a village that he decides to stay in. Years go by until a plague overwhelms the village. Half of the villagers have died, and misery overcomes his flok. The Monk is even questioning himself, then he remembers the box. He digs it up and opens it. Inside there is a note that reads,

“This to shall pass.”

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”

– Carl Bard

Fuck yesterday. You control tomorrow.

“It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.”

– E.E. Cummings

You be you.

“Don’t give up, don’t ever give up”.

-Jim Valvano

This requires context. Valvano is known for two things. Winning a national title in college basketball as the biggest underdog in history and dying of cancer. The championship was 1983 and by the early 1990’s he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

March of 1993 was the first ESPY awards. Kinda a dumb idea made for TV BS, but they wanted to give Jimmy V a lifetime achievement award. But he was sick. Really sick and his being there was impossible. As the story goes Valvano a strong-willed man decided he was going. The entire trip, let alone the event and up onto the moment he accepted the award, he was vomiting. If you watch the speech his walk up and walk away, looks like he couldn’t stand on his own. He looks frail, but the minute he starts the speech he lights up.

He rallied to give one of the most optimistic, upbeat speeches in history. The only speech in its category is the “I have a dream” speech by MLK.

Valvano died a few weeks later. But that quote was at the end of his speech (that you should go watch on youtube right now and finish reading this later) really stands alone.

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says ‘I’ll try again tomorrow.’”

– Mary Anne Radmacher

Don’t give up.

“Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

Its also not a constant state. In other words, except the reality that bliss isn’t achievable. Life is a series of moments.

“The only true wisdom is knowing that you know nothing.”

– Socrates

I made reference to this earlier.

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”

– Elbert Hubbard

Well, a close friend.

“Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.”

– Benjamin Franklin

Stop being lazy.

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche

I don’t take this at face value. To me, if you do not have adversity, you never learn to deal with adversity. Brutal bullying is terrible. Kids being left to sort their hierarchy out is not bulling. And I think that subtle difference is pretty massive. Because being an overprotective mother will hurt your child as much as anything yet, no one sells cookies to bring awareness to it.

“If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not working on hard enough problems.”

– Frank Wilczek

Why a 4.5 GPA is bullshit.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

– Thomas Edison

Edison was a dick, but man he had some good quotes. Again, stop being lazy. Notice the theme here. People accomplish so much less than they should. I write this blog, anonymously. Every post is perhaps 20 hours, including research. It's a tool to make me better, if it helps anyone (other than my daughter who better have read all the way to this point, then comment on it so I know she wasn’t lazy) else be better, awesome. If not, that’s fine too.

“Love me when I least deserve it, because that’s when I really need it.”

– Swedish Proverb

True love.

“A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open.”

– Frank Zappa

The last 4 years should provide enough explanation.

“Your worth consists in what you are and not in what you have.”

– Thomas Edison

If I said this was MLK, you’d believe it.

“Read more and drink less.”

-Dave the bookie

I call it how I see it and that is on point.

“Others can stop you temporarily — you are the only one who can do it permanently.”

– Zig Ziglar

Man vs. himself. If you don’t accomplish something, never, ever sit around and complain or blame anyone else. Do some people have advantages? Obviously. However, what they do matters not. Its what you do.

“It’s not bragging if you can back it up.”

– Muhammad Ali

Ali won with skill, tactics and brilliance.

“Failure is like free tuition.”

– Tomas Gorny

Learn to admit you are wrong. Weakness is knowing you are wrong and not being able to say the words.

“Hire people smarter than yourself to do the things you can’t”.

-Mark McCormick

If someone asks for the ‘best business advice’, I can give them, that’s it. Be conscious of your insecurities, and don’t let them lead you to a bad place.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

-MLK

A truer hope will never be dreamt.

--

--

--

Shit is about to get real. Or I’m just going to complain a lot.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

In Pursuit of the Balanced Life

Top Five New Year Resolutions Tips

New Year 2022 (Fireworks)

Resolve (n.): Is it the Birthplace for Change?

Note to Self: A SWOT Analysis of “Being Kinder to Myself”

A young woman with short dark brown hair shrugs her shoulders and looks both confused and disgusted while holding a mobile phone.

5 Simple Principles Determine Your Success

How to Care Less About What People Think of You

Eight Lessons From the Bosses #3

Top 10 for a Great Day?

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Lord Dukes de Enfer

Lord Dukes de Enfer

Shit is about to get real. Or I’m just going to complain a lot.

More from Medium

I’m Sorry You See It Like That

And now…Yoga!

Dormant (Iku yato si orun)

Retiree Suicide Rates Rising — Retired Musings