Quotation Marks


Among the things that I passionately collect (another being “experiences”) is quotes. I have shelves full of quotation books and love how a well-crafted, simple statement can contain an entire lifetime of meaning…or even pithy quotes that are just plain fun. Here are some of my favorites. I’ll gladly add more as time permits – especially any contributed by clients (yes, you are formally invited!)

Feel free to “borrow” them to add value to your presentations, reports, or simply to inspire you during the day, as they have me.

Let the insights (and the adventure!) begin…




TAKING ACTION
"Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do." - Goethe

"Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; suddenly you are doing the impossible." - St. Francis of Assisi

"A life of reaction is a life of slavery, intellectually and spiritually. One must fight for a life of action, not reaction." - Rita Mae Brown

"The smallest action is better than the noblest intention. We’re not judged by our intent – only by our actions.” - Mark David Jones

"You don't have to see the whole staircase.  Just take the first step." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"It’s pretty simple really…’You try, you might. You don't, you won't’." - Mark David Jones

"Life is what happens to you while you are making other plans." - A.J. Marshall

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

"If you would hit the mark, you must aim a little above it; Every arrow that flies feels the attraction of earth." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"You cannot have what you want if you are content to remain what you are." - Unknown

"Try not to become a man of success but rather a man of value." - Albert Einstein

"When one door closes another opens. But we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we fail to see the one that has opened for us." - Alexander Graham Bell

"Every day, every minute, is a new chance to start living the new life of your dreams…if, in that moment, you’re willing to begin." - Mark David Jones

“Part of being tired is being uninspired.” – Carin Storm Jones

"Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith" - Margaret Shepherd

"Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say it hot." - D. H. Lawrence

ADVERSITY
"The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials." - Chinese proverb

"Good people are good because they've come to wisdom through failure." - William Saroyan

ATTITUDE
"When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge." - Albert Einstein

"I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet." - Gandhi

"World-class leaders turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones." - Mark David Jones

"Life is too short to be little." - Disraeli

"Drag your thoughts away from your troubles - by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage. It's the healthiest thing a body can do." - Mark Twain

"No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit." - Helen Keller

CHANGE
"It is in changing that things find purpose." - Heraclitus

"Observe always that everything is the result of change, and get used to thinking that there is nothing Nature loves so well as to change existing forms and make new ones like them." - Marcus Aurelius

"If you're doing something a certain way because it's always been done that way, then you're probably doing it wrong." - Colin Baden, VP Design, Oakley Inc.

"Everyone who got where he is had to start where we was." - Robert Louis Stevenson

COMMITMENT
"If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Young man, make your name worth something." - Andrew Carnegie

“You can’t ride a bike without lifting your feet.” – Mark David Jones

"I promise you this: at the end of your days, you will discover that the things you now perceive to be the big things in your life will be seen as little things - and all those things that your now believe to be the little things, you will realize, were really the big things." – Unnamed terminal cancer patient

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

COURAGE
"The people that get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them." - George Bernard Shaw

"He who loses wealth loses much; he who loses a friend loses more; but he that loses his courage loses all." - Miguel de Cervantes

"Survival is having the courage to take one more step in the right direction" - Mark David Jones

"Don't bunt. Aim out of the ballpark. Aim for the company of immortals." - David Ogilvy

"It's better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life." - Sister Elizabeth Kenny

"Your lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." - Martin Luther King, Jr

“The tragedy of life is not death. The tragedy of life is what we allow to die inside of us while we live.” - Dr. Norman Cousins

CREATIVITY
"Creativity is all about seeing what everybody else is seeing and thinking what nobody else is thinking. Innovation is about having the guts to do something useful with the idea." - Mark David Jones

DISCIPLINE
"No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated and disciplined." - Harry Emerson Fosdick

"The heights by great men reached and kept, Were not attained by sudden flight, But they, while their companions slept, Were toiling upward in the night." --Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

It is useless to desire more time if you are already wasting what little you have. - James Allen

ENJOYING LIFE
"Each day, and the living of it, has to be a conscious creation in which discipline and order are relieved with some play and pure foolishness." - May Sarton

"Most of us miss out on life's big prizes. The Pulitzer. The Nobel. Oscars. Tonys. Emmys. But we're all eligible for life's small pleasures. A pat on the back. A kiss behind the ear. A four-pound bass. A full moon. An empty parking space. A crackling fire. A great meal. A glorious sunset. Hot soup. Cold beer. Don't fret about copping life's grand awards. Enjoy its tiny delights. There are plenty for all of us." -- Author Unknown

GOAL SETTING
"Either you set your goals and, in doing so, have your life governed by design or you do nothing and gave your life governed by default. Which choice are you making?" - Mark David Jones

"My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there." - Charles Kettering

"Decide that you are not going to stay where you are." - J.P. Morgan

LEADERSHIP
"He who praises everybody, praises nobody." - James Boswell

"No one can defeat us unless we first defeat ourselves." - Dwight D. Eisenhower

"The price of greatness is responsibility." - Winston Churchill

"...I think that ideally that is how a company works. It becomes a place of ideas, not a place of position." - Jack Welch

"All it takes is one match to light a forest fire." - Anonymous

"People will not follow you if they don’t trust you. And people will not offer their hands until you first touch their hearts." – Mark David Jones

"The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight but no vision." - Helen Keller

"Doing the right thing is a choice, not a mood. Emotions, while a key part of life, is a lousy master. Don't surrender your life to your moods" - Mark David Jones

"It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." - Motto of the Christopher Society

"Life is too short to be little." - Benjamin Disraeli

“A real hero isn’t made with a single brave act; they’re made from multiple, consistent acts of bravery.” – Mark David Jones

LEARNING
"The books that help you the most are those that make you think the most. The hardest way of learning is that of easy reading: but a great book that comes from a great thinker is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and beauty." - Theodore Parker

PURPOSE
"The secret of life is to have a task...something you bring everything to...And the most important thing is - it must be something you cannot possibly do." - Henry Moore, sculptor

"I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." - John Fitzgerald Kennedy

"To be in hell is to drift; to be in heaven is to steer." - George Bernard Shaw

"The road to happiness lies in two simple principles: find what it is that interests you and that you can do well, and when you find it, put your whole soul into it -- every bit of energy and ambition and natural ability you have." -- John D. Rockefeller III

"Many people have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose." -- Helen Keller

"Man's task is simple. He should cease letting his existence be a thoughtless accident." - Friedrich Nietzche

To make a man happy, fill his hands with work, his heart with affection, his mind with purpose, his memory with useful knowledge, his future with hope, and his stomach with food. - Frederick E. Crane

"I don't know what your destiny will be but one thing I do know: The only ones among you who will be happy are those who have sought and found how to serve." - Albert Schweitzer.

"If a man hasn't discovered something that he would die for, he isn't fit to live." -- Martin Luther King Jr.

"Most of us die with our music still in us." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

"Most of us dread finding out when we come to die that we have never really lived." - Thoreau

"While we can’t choose how we’ll die, we can always choose how we’ll live." Mark David Jones

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." - Ben Franklin

RELATIONSHIPS
"Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves." - Carl Jung

"Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier." - Mother Theresa

"Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and help them become what they are capable of being." - Goethe

"We have made the world a neighborhood through our scientific genius, and now through our moral commitment we must make of it a brotherhood. We've got to learn to live together as brothers or we'll perish as fools." - Martin Luther King Jr.

"The more valuable people in any business are those who can and do collaborate with others. Effective relationships, more than any other learnable skill, accomplish more than standing alone.” – Mark David Jones

"To different cultures, respect speaks the same language" - Carole Leonhardt

RISK-TAKING
"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away." - Henry David Thoreau

"I think we should follow one simple rule: if we can take the worst, take the risk." - Dr. Joyce Brothers

"Risk big, live big. Risk small, live small.” - Mark David Jones

"The timid person, afraid to be drowned, will remain on the shore while the daring swimmer will dive deep and score all the pearls." - Unknown

"Adventure is a human need. We recognize it as the daring thing which makes us bigger than our usual selves. Adventure is the curiosity of man to see the other side of the mountain, the impulse in him that makes him break his bonds with lesser things and frees him for greater possibility." - Walt Burnett

SELF-MASTERY
"Carpenters bend wood. Fletchers bend arrows. Wise men fashion themselves." - Eastern Proverb

"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves" - Sir Edmund Hillary

"We cannot live better than in seeking to become better." Socrates
Cherish your vision and your dreams as they are the children of your soul- the blueprints of your ultimate achievements. -Napoleon Hill

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear... not absence of fear. -Mark Twain

There is no knowledge that is not power. - Emerson

All things are difficult before they are easy. - Thomas Fuller

All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal that was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible. - Orison Swett Marden

Do the thing you fear to do and just keep on doing it. That is the quickest and surest way ever discovered to conquer fear. - Dale Carnegie

It's never too late to be what you might have been. - George Eliot

There is more to life than increasing its speed. - Gandhi

There is the risk you cannot afford to take and there is the risk you cannot afford not to take. - Peter Drucker

Simplify your life. Don't waste the years struggling for things that are unimportant. Don't burden yourself with possessions. Keep your needs and wants simple and enjoy what you have. Don't destroy your peace of mind by looking back, worrying about the past. Live in the present. Simplify! -Henry David Thoreau

Before knowing your purpose, you must first know yourself. – Mark David Jones

A little bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives you roses. -Chinese Proverb

I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor. - Henry David Thoreau

Nothing happens unless first a dream. - Carl Sandburg

We first make our habits, and then our habits make us. - John Dryden

We’re all explorers in life. Discover the adventure and you’ll eventually discover yourself. – Mark David Jones

"Before you can do something you must be something." - Goethe

SUCCESS
"Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued. It must ensue. And it only does so as the unintended side of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself." - Viktor Frankl

"On the human chessboard, all moves are possible." - Miriam Schiff

"Character is the foundation of all worthwhile success." - John Hays Hammond

"How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?" --Satchell Paige

"Greatness is not found in possesions, power or prestige. It is discovered in character, gratitude, and service." - William Ward

WISDOM
"Wisdom is the sunlight of the soul." - German saying