6 Inspiring Quotes That Have Stood the Test of Time (and my Mom)


By Doug Sandler, “Nice Guys Finish First”

A challenging morning can be made less difficult by reading a few inspirational or motivational quotes. Sources for inspiration can be found in the quotes of former presidents, successful business people, inventors or even your parents. A deeper meaning for each quote can be determined by what is going on in your life at any given time.

These quotes have helped guide me during challenging times, times of failure and times of victory. I hope they have significance in your life as well. As you read the quotes, let them simmer in your head. Allow each quote an opportunity to find meaning with you.

Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you are right.” — Henry Ford

Your brain is an incredibly powerful organ. Electrical impulses fire off at incredible speeds and if we don’t learn how to work the mechanics of our brain properly, it could possibly work against us, letting fear of failure or fear of the unknown block our way to success. Feed your brain with positive self-talk, happy thoughts and keep yourself thinking about success (however you define it). You are in control of your behavior and your thoughts.

Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” — Dr. Benjamin Spock

What does your gut tell you? The vast majority of the time you have the tools to make decisions on your own. What is good for someone else might not be good for you, so rely more on your ability to make decisions, taking your best interest at heart. When you trust yourself, you start to build more self-confidence. Ultimately, this will benefit you as well. When you make a wrong decision, get value from the lessoned learned, grow from it and allow it to help you trust yourself even more.

If I have nine hours to cut down a tree, I would spend six hours sharpening my axe.” — Abraham Lincoln

Preparation is very important, but there is a fine line between preparation and procrastination. Be wise enough to know the difference when it comes to you making decisions and taking action. Write down a list of the actions that you are fearful of. Maybe you are afraid of cold calls, public speaking, networking, making decisions, etc. If these are troubling areas for you, when it comes to taking action, be sensitive to your inability to move forward. Prepare to be the best you possible, but don’t wait for perfection. If you do, it will never come.

Anyone that has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” — Albert Einstein

Scientists, inventors, visionaries and entrepreneurs understand the importance of making mistakes. Learn the valuable lessons that mistakes and missteps can create. Look back to all the amazing things that you have been able to accomplish in your lifetime. You have earned many achievements. I can assure you that you did not go from point A to point B without a few, if not many, mistakes. Mistakes made is the Universe’s way of asking, “Congratulations for stepping outside your comfort zone, what did you learn?”

Some people come into your life as blessings. Other people come into your life as lessons.”— Mother Teresa

Not everyone you come in contact with will be your friend, no matter how awesome you may think you are. I had a tough time with this one. People come into your life for a reason. Personally, I’d prefer to meet someone with the hope that they are a blessing in my life, as I would hope to be a blessing in their life as well. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Think of the relationships you started over the past few years. Are all of there people still in your life as a positive influence? Probably not. Appreciate the fact that some people are placed in your life as a way for you to grow. Do not see this as a negative. I have learned several valuable virtues including patience, diligence and perseverance from people that I no longer have relationships with, but needed them in my life at that specific time, to teach me these values.

Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.” RosaLea Finstein (Doug’s Mom)

My Mom, a frequent participant in the comments section of this blog, has provided a generous amount of content for my Nice Guys Finish First speaking and writing platforms. I will often label a quote, “Doug’s Mom.” Although many of the quotes are tongue and cheek, they all have a deeper meaning with multiple interpretations. Although the exact origin of this quote is unknown, this “show me your friends” quote dates back, for me, to her mother, my grandmother. I never had the honor of knowing her during my lifetime. Both professionally and personally you are who you associate with. Align yourself with positive, caring, empathetic people if you want to be a positive, caring and empathetic person. When you are working towards a goal, it is always a good idea to associate with others who have reached similar goals so you can learn from them. It may require effort to separate from some of your “negative” influences, as they might, at times, be disguised as things like television, Lazy Boy chairs or even a persuasive friend.

There are many great sources for finding inspiration. Social media channels including Twitter and Instagram can provide great inspiration. Search engines like Google provide an “Images” tab for their query results to help me visualize the quotes I select for inspiration and motivation. Websites like BrainyQuote.com are wonderful as sources for content as well. Good stuff in equals good stuff out, and inspirational quotes are a great way to kickstart your thinking.

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