General Question

Dsg's avatar

What is your favorite inspirational quote?

Asked by Dsg (1406points) July 28th, 2012

I have a lot that I like to re-read constantly because they help me get through difficult days. Are there any you would like to share?

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54 Answers

Berserker's avatar

“I like it when a flower or a little tuft of grass grows through a crack in the concrete. It’s so fuckin’ heroic.”
George Carlin

I didn’t post this just as an excuse to write the f word. I really like the quote, and while it may not be all so inspirational, it always puts a smile on my face when I think about it.

blueiiznh's avatar

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
~marrianne williamson

bookish1's avatar

“If one studies too zealously, one easily loses his pants.”—Albert Einstein

MilkyWay's avatar

Believe you can and you’re halfway there.
-Theodore Roosevelt

Dsg's avatar

@blueiiznh: What a quote! I liked it. You reminded me that God has given each of us a special gift…a special talent that we need to use. When we use these special gifts, it helps others to shine with their special gifts. Well said. Thank you for that!

linguaphile's avatar

Saying this over and over like a mantra got me through some really hard spots over the years:

“Many a time I sit and wonder why. This race so – so very hard to run, Then I say to my soul: take courage, Battle to be won.” from I Know by Bob Marley

As I got older, I realized life didn’t need to be a battle and I don’t need that quote anymore. However, there was a time and place in my life where the mentality that life was a battle was necessary to get through.

I often use song lyrics for inspiration—Sarah McLachlan’s Fumbling Towards Ecstasy and Elsewhere both are calming and empowering for me.

this_velvet_glove's avatar

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Dsg's avatar

@linguaphile : I like the idea of song lyrics. I agree that song lyrics can help. Music guides me where I want/need to be for that day/moment.
@this_velvet_glove : This is a good one to remember.

this_velvet_glove's avatar

@Daisygurl It has helped me get through many bad days.

Coloma's avatar

My 3 favorites gleaned over the years.

1. You don’t HAVE a life, you ARE life!
2. What we lose in form we gain in wisdom This one works great for me as I watch my boobs going south in my middle age but am brimming with wisdom. lol
3. Don’t should on yourself.

Dsg's avatar

@Coloma Thanks. I especially like #2. As we all age, things start going downhill. You made me think of those Hallmark cartoons with that old lady…what’s here name?

Coloma's avatar

@Daisygurl Oooh, um…oh man, I can’t remember…midlife dementia. lol

SuperMouse's avatar

“As ye have faith, so shall your blessings be, this is the balance…” `Abdu’l-Bahá

I love this quote because it can be read religiously as in “have faith in God” or just on a personal level as in “have faith that you can succeed and you will.”

ragingloli's avatar

“Lying is a skill like any other. And if you want to maintain a level of excellence, you have to practice constantly.” – Fox News

gailcalled's avatar

Tell me. what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

From this poem ( last two lines) by Mary Oliver.

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Sunny2's avatar

“When you walk through a storm hold your head up high and don’t be afraid of the dark. . . . walk on . . . with hope in your heart and you’ll never walk alone.”

From the musical, Carousel

Mr_Paradox's avatar

The song Walk On by U2.

JSpeer's avatar

“When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”

gailcalled's avatar

^^ So, who said that?

JSpeer's avatar

From the bible – james 1:2

gailcalled's avatar

Thank you.

ragingloli's avatar


Dsg's avatar

@JSpeer Thank you. I liked your verse.
@Sunny2 Very nice! I need to write that one down.
@SuperMouse I like that the quote can be looked at both ways. For me, I believe in God, so that is the way I would think of it. Thank you.

ucme's avatar

“You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!!”

stardust's avatar

“Even after all this time, the sun never says to the Earth, “you owe me.” Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky”
Sufi poet, Hafiz

ragingloli's avatar

“When troops flee, are insubordinate, collapse or are routed in battle, it is the fault of the general.” – Sun Tzu
It applies to every aspect of life.

filmfann's avatar

Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Alfred Lord Tennyson, Ulysses.

anartist's avatar

This, too, shall pass.
[not to be used in times of great joy]

ETpro's avatar

“Write a wise saying and your name will live forever.” Anonymous

Oh, and when it comes to just enjoying good, healthy food, I take heart in what Jane Caminos said, “A waist is a terrible thing to mind.”

Adagio's avatar

@filmfann The quote from Tennyson is wonderful, thanks : ^)

rooeytoo's avatar

There are no mistakes, only lessons.

@ragingloli – that is interesting, it virtually eliminates personal accountability and allows one to blame all of ones failures on someone else!

SomeoneElse's avatar

‘Carpe Diem’
(I love the ‘Carpe Jugulem’ from Terry Pratchett as there are an increasing number of people I would like to throttle.)

_Whitetigress's avatar

“Time moves from past to present”

ETpro's avatar

@rooeytoo Without putting words in anyone else’s mouth, I think what @ragingloli was getting at it what Edison told an upstart reporter why he had failed at inventing the lightbulb, he said; “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” In case even that doesn’t make the sentiment obvious, the also is credited with this quote, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” If that’s an abrogation of personal responsibility, I need lessons in English.

@_Whitetigress The arrow of time is stated with consummate eloquence here.

rooeytoo's avatar

@ETpro – I don’t think what you are saying is anything like what this is saying ”“When troops flee, are insubordinate, collapse or are routed in battle, it is the fault of the general.” – Sun Tzu
It applies to every aspect of life.”

Now to me and my understanding of the english language, that takes all accountability from the troops and puts it on the general. So if they run it is not because they are cowards, it is because the general was bad, if they disobey, same deal, if they collapse or are routed, it has nothing to do with the individual, it is all the general. I think the general could have been the best teacher and leader in the world but the old you can lead a horse to water, etc. could apply as well. It may sometimes be the fault of the leader but not always or in all ways. And then to say it is true of every aspect of life, meaning if I don’t study for the test and fail, it is not my fault that didn’t study, it is the fault of the teacher for not inspiring me to study??? Nope I don’t buy it.

Maybe when @ragingloli translated it from the original language she took some poetic license and your translation says or implies otherwise.

ragingloli's avatar

The reality is that people in general are professional and dedicated to what they do.
When they nevertheless disobey or flee, the General has failed to assert his authority, or inspire sufficient confidence in his troops or has failed to either ascertain the actual strength of the enemy force of which the soldiers only came to be aware of on the battlefield, or he failed to inform his troops of the enemy’s strength, and he failed to “know himself”, e.g. the morale, strength and expected reaction of his own troops in the face of battle. The same if they are routed in battle. He failed to accurately assess his own strength, the enemy’s strength, and battlefield and terrain conditions.
A competent General assesses his own strength, the strength of the enemy, the importance of locations and objectives as well as how terrain, weather, supplies, etc, will turn out to be advantages or disadvantages, and plans his battles accordingly, or even choses to avoid battle at all, especially if expected losses are too high, an objective is too unimportant in the face of losses, and if because expected enemy superiortiy, desertion, escape and collapse are likely to occur. That way he always be victorious.

An example: Colonial cars.
It is not the colonial engineers’, assembly workers’ or unions’ fault that the cars they make are mediocre at best. They are just as competent and dedicated as their european and japanese counterparts.
The fault lies solely with incompetent management decisions, and managers and ceo’s that care only about cost, not about delivering a good product.
Unions and regulations are even stronger in Germany for example, yet it consistently produces good to great cars. The difference? Managers that care about the product. The CEO’s are all engineers by trade.

Dsg's avatar

Thank you all for your wonderful words of wisdom. I like all of them!! I always remember the words that my Dad instilled in me since I was a little girl….“Don’t give up, Don’t ever give up. Keep your head up and keep fighting for what you believe in.” He would also say to me….How do you eat an elephant? Answer… One bite at a time. That applies to us and how overwhelming life can be for us at times.

“Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.” ~Unknown

“Just for today I will give thanks for my many blessings. Just for today I will not worry. Just for today I will not be angry. Just for today I will do my work honestly. Just for today I will be kind to my neighbor and every living thing.” ~ Reiki Principals

“The sun is my guiding light. The moon is my emotional balance. I look to the stars and reach my full potential.”

Here is a wonderful poem that I found and it fits in perfect with everyone’s lives…

Don’t You Quit
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

- Author unknown

blueiiznh's avatar

“I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost

“To thine own self be true.” – Shakespeare

“Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.” – Einstein

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

“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. I believe that dreams are more powerful than facts, that hope always triumphs over experience, that laughter is the only cure for grief, and that love is stronger than death.” – Robert Fulgahm

“Take him and cut him out in little stars, and he will make the face of heaven so fine, that all the world will be in love with night.” – Romeo & Juliet

Response moderated
Bilbo123's avatar

Not all those who wander are lost.

Bother burgling and everything to do with it! I wish I was at home in my nice hole by the fire, with the kettle just beginning to sing!

Today is my one hundred and eleventh birthday: I am eleventy-one today!

Are all these children yours? Gracious, you have been productive!

I want to see mountains again, Gandalf – mountains; and then find somewhere where I can rest. In peace and quiet, without a lot of relatives prying around, and a string of confounded visitors hanging on the bell. I might find somewhere where I can finish my book. I have thought of a nice ending for it: and he lived happily ever after to the end of his days!

rooeytoo's avatar

@ragingloli – that’s what I said, it eliminates all personal accountability. And in my book, that is an invitation to personal mediocrity or worse.

But hey who am I to argue with ancient chinese wisdom! Perhaps I should qualify it to say that when I fail or route, I consider it my failure or routing, I don’t blame anyone else but me!

ragingloli's avatar

Soldiers are tools, with strengths and weaknesses. Those that wield that tool must know these attributes. You don’t blame the hammer if it shatters because you hit too hard.

rooeytoo's avatar

You said it “applies to every aspect of lifeI” That’s pretty all inclusive.

And I would blame the hammer, they are designed to hit things, that is their job. It would be their failure not mine. So far I haven’t seen disclaimers on hammers saying don’t hit too hard I might break.

linguaphile's avatar

@gailcalled I love that poem and that line, really, really do!!

Another song lyrics/quote I like is from I Hope You Dance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances, but they’re worth takin’
Lovin’ might be a mistake, but it’s worth makin’
Don’t let some Hellbent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to sellin’ out, reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance…

rooeytoo's avatar

In the dancing theme, I have always liked this one,

If you’re going to walk on thin ice, you might as well dance!”

linguaphile's avatar

@rooeytoo Or, don’t just roll with the punches, make it part of your dance. :D

prasad's avatar

When I am tired of the rat race, I remember my friend’s saying:

When we run so fast to get somewhere, we miss the fun of getting there. Life is not a race, so take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over!!!

@Daisygurl GQ! Great Poem! It suits my present time! May I copy that? oops, copy complete!

anartist's avatar

@ETpro I swear I love you for this!
Jane Caminos said, “A waist is a terrible thing to mind.”

anartist's avatar

Omar Khayyam:
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit,
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

in other words—get over it.

bookish1's avatar

@prasad: Good one, such an important thing to remember. That’s part of why this is one of my favorite songs :)

mattbrowne's avatar

Dreamers think big and start small. Fools think small and start big.

SuperMouse's avatar

From The Most Exotic Marigold Hotel: “Everything will be ok in the end; if it’s not ok it’s not the end.”

rooeytoo's avatar

@SuperMouse – I like that one maybe best of all! Thanks for sharing.

prasad's avatar

@bookish1 Yeah, that’s why I drive slow and find pleasure in cruising!

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