10 Lessons to Learn From Famous Inspirational Quotes
You know the kind – the quote you read or hear and think, "Wow, that is so on the nose." Even if it's not applicable to you that second of the day, the words are memorable, and come with first-hand experience behind them. When you stop to think about where each of these quotes came from, you can gain a whole new level appreciation, too. Just like the people who coined them, each story is unique in its own right. They have a history that made them come into existence, and that very story is also what makes the quote so important – complete with powerful wisdom that can only be learned by doing. 2
But who says you have to wait for a good quote to come along? When you're needing advice or a little direction, start searching for the words that can help you come up with a quicker solution, and that can reduce stress along the way.
Here's our top-10 list of meaningful and professionally inspiring words worth reading.
10. "It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela
Mr. Mandela leaves us with one of the best business lessons that there is: things always sound harder than they actually are. (Especially when it's something risky … and that you've never done before.) Starting your business will be difficult, no doubt, but anything worth having is hard to come by. It's those that have the longevity to power through that are able to make it to the other side.
9. "The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." Walt Disney
You can plan and plan, and then you can plan some more. But what are you actually accomplishing during all of that planning? Other than creating a very detailed list? Chances are that the answer is not a lot. While it's a good idea to have some type of plan, it's also good to move past those initial stages and start moving forward with said plan.
8. "With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts." Eleanor Roosevelt
Taking an elegant spin on the notion to "sleep on it," the former first lady offered up some great advice. Taking a little time to think and gain perspective can do wonders for your professional outcome. Especially on the days where you're worn out and about as brain-tired as it gets. (Trust us, there will be a lot of those days when starting your own business.) Learning to take the time to settle your thoughts and think will help you to make better, and more reasonable decisions.
7. "Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." Arthur Ashe
If you wait for everything to be in place, you'll never get started at all. The same goes for sub-tasks that are always waiting on someone or something before they can go forward. Rather than becoming a perpetual waiter, use Arthur's advice and do what you can, as soon as you can do it. This will help you feel more accomplished, and knock tasks off your list.
6. "We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated." Maya Angelou
As Maya Angelou explains, there is a definite difference between being defeated and experiencing smaller setbacks along your path toward greatness. Being defeated means quitting, and encountering a defeat means persevering through a hardship (or through a couple of them). Remember this as a very clear difference between success and giving up.
5. "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." Dalai Lama
Going cutthroat might gain you some business, but it might lose you some contacts, too. Know the difference between what's fair professionally, and what might be considered crossing the line. And of course, you should always, always be kind to others. Being nice doesn't mean being stupid, but it does allow you to keep and foster relationships vs. burning bridges … whether or not you'd like to cross it again.
4. "Expect problems and eat them for breakfast." Alfred A. Montapert
When your expectations are lowered, you have a more realistic version of what's going to take place. Get rid of the notion that things will go as planned, which can only leave you disappointed. Instead, get in the mindset that problems will always happen. That way you aren't caught off-guard when a situation arises, but you're prepped and ready to take on the situation. That also means you'll have a better shot at downplaying and settling whatever comes your way, just by understanding it's part of reality.
3. "Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th." Julie Andrews
Twenty seems like a lot of times to try, especially when you've failed the last 19. But in order to get what it is that you're after, that 20th time might also might be necessary. Do you have what it takes to keep going? And keep going again? Many times it's those who are willing to push past their failures that are able to find success. While those who gave up too soon are only left with their disappointment.
2. "There's a way to do it better – find it." Thomas Edison
Chances are, you'll go through a lot of "wrong ways" throughout your career. But there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, it's a chance to let you learn and grow as a professional. Always keep it in the back of your mind that there's a better way to do something. You might not find it immediately, but through trial and error, and as you gain more knowledge, you'll be able to find that improved momentum.
1. "Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds."
Owning your own business is difficult. It means plenty of work. But that work will also pay off, with money earned, and with a career. Don't forget that fact, especially on the hardest days of them all.