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Quotes

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Self Improvement is the improvement of one’s knowledge, status, or character by one’s own efforts. It is the ability to become a better version of yourself and discovering what you can become. The great thing about self-improvement is that eventually, the results would come as we get rewarded in public for the things we practice in private.

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” – Rumi

Here are some great quotes on self-improvement:

Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair.

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “Trust is the assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.” Trust is what solidifies a relationship, and without trust, it is nonexistent. Whether it is building a solid relationship, creating a great culture, making a sale, or trusting your instincts, they all require trust.

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, in his great book, Invent and Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos, puts it this way:

THE WAY YOU earn trust, the way you develop a reputation is by doing hard things well over and over and over. The reason, for example, that the US military, in all polls, has such high credibility and reputation is because, over and over again, decade after decade, it has done hard things well.

It really is that simple. It’s also that complicated. It’s not easy to do hard things well, but that’s how you earn trust. And trust, of course, is an overloaded word. It means so many different things. It’s integrity, but it’s also competence. It’s doing what you said you were going to do—and delivering.

Here are some great quotes on Trust:

There is a great story that teaches the power of focus:

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, “My son, the battle is between two “wolves” inside us all.
One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Like the story above, when you change what you focus on, what you focus on changes. If you focus on the bad things in your life, it expands, and if you focus on the good things, the good things expand.

Here are some great quotes on the power of focus:

Your attitude determines your altitude; we all go through challenging times in life, peaks and valley, ups and down, frowns and smiles. Life is a fight for territory. There is no problem-free life, and the way to get through whatever you are going through in life is to have a positive attitude and believe there will be a brighter day, this too shall pass; it is not being pollyanna but holding on to hope.


If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. – Wayne Dyer

In his book, “Thinking for a Change: 11 Ways Highly Successful People Approach Life and Work.”, Author John C. Maxwell, believes attitude is

  • It is the “advance man” of our true selves.
  • Its roots are inward but its fruit is outward.
  • It is our best friend or our worst enemy.
  • It is more honest and more consistent than our words.
  • It is an outward look based on past experiences.
  • It is a thing that draws people to us or repels them.
  • It is never content until it is expressed.
  • It is the librarian of our past.
  • It is the speaker of our present.
  • It is the prophet of our future

Here are some great quotes on having a positive attitude:

An army of sheep led by a lion is better than an army of lions led by a sheep.” – Alexander the Great

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction.” – John F. Kennedy

Hellen Keller once said that “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.’ Life is a fight for territories; you are either up or down, going through a storm, going to a storm, or leaving a storm. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, no pain, no gain, and anything meaningful in life involve taking a calculated risk. Many of us do not take the needed risk because of the uncertainties involved with making a move, but nothing moves until you move.

Here are some great quotes on risk taking:

“When something bad happens you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.”- Theodor Seuss Geisel

We are our choices, the good, the bad, and the ugly. We make choices every day that have far-reaching consequences than we can anticipate, the choice of how to spend your time, who to spend your time with it, what to do, our choices determine the quality of our life. A choice to be rich or poor, a choice to be kind or be nasty, a choice to make excuses or take responsibility, a choice to study or watch Netflix.

Here are some great quotes on choices:

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

You are not your lost job, your failed marriage, your failed exam, or your fancy cloth, watch, car or house. The value you place on yourself determines how others treat you, just like the dollar bill is always worth a dollar no matter what you do to it: rumple it, step on it, tear it, still a dollar. Why? Because the marketplace and the society agreed to accept it as legal tender no matter what. That is the same way your worth is determined, the value you place on yourself.

You are what you say you are, what you tolerate becomes your standard.

The marketplace would pay you exactly the value you place on yourself, nothing more nothing less. You are worthy, you need nothing more, you are specially made to withstand any circumstance trust on you. As Leo Buscaglia once said: ” ‘Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.’

In his great book, Seasons of Life, Jim Rohn writes:

Do not doubt yourself, for where doubt resides, confidence cannot. Do not neglect yourself, for with neglect comes loss. Do not imagine yourself to be less than you are, nor more than you are, but seek always to become all of which you are capable. Do not allow yourself to become arrogant or discourteous, for both are characteristics adopted by those who seek to cover their weaknesses.

Do not spend time regretting the past, but invest that time wisely by preparing a better future. You are a fertile seed of the creator of all things, destined not to lie dormant, but to spring forth from the soil called life, and grow upward toward the unlimited horizons— overcoming all obstacles in the process. It is your destiny to tap your talents and to achieve all that of which you believe yourself to be worthy… to love more, anticipate more, overcome more, plan more, attract more, and enjoy more than you ever dreamed possible. Such is the standard of life awaiting your mental decision and outstretched hand. You are deserving— you are becoming—and you shall succeed.

When you’re 18, you worry about what everybody is thinking about you.
When you’re 40, you don’t give a darn what anybody thinks of you.
When you’re 60, you realize that nobody has been thinking about you at all!

Here are some great quotes on knowing your self-worth:


“Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.” – Josh Billings

Anytime you say: “yes” to one request, you might have to defend it over time with 100 NOs. There is always a trade-off. If you say yes to mindless social media scrolling or picking up your phone to check WhatsApp messages every 15 minutes, you are saying NO invariably to your dream of writing a book or a blog post article. Many of us find it hard to say NO to people’s requests because we do not have clear goals, values, priorities, and boundaries.

The key to saying NO is to say it graciously and with utmost sincerity. You can say something like: Thank you for the offer/invitation but due to my other commitments, I can not do this right now. Honesty is the best policy, mean what you say and say what you mean. No need to promise people what you know you are not going to do, this eventually leads to resentment and loss of trust in the relationship.

Here are some great quotes on Saying No:

“Don’t wish it was easier wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenge wish for more wisdom” –  Jim Rohn

It is easy to stay motivated when things are going as you expected, but life is not a bed of roses. It is not a matter of if, but a matter of when, whatever would go wrong would go wrong (Murphy’s Law). When things go wrong like they often do, the key is to keep your head up high; this can be a daunting task during these trying times. As the saying goes, tough times don’t last, but tough people do.

Here are some great quotes on staying motivated:

  • “Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.” – Sam Levenson
  • “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier
  • “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot
  • “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe
  • “It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness.” –  Seneca

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain

Purpose is the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. He who has a strong WHY can deal with anyhow. With purpose, you go the extra mile because you have a compelling vision and why you are doing whatever it is you are doing. It gives you direction, drive, unrelenting perseverance, and resilience. Your purpose keeps you going when times are tough because you have a clear vision of the future.

Author and Entrepreneur, Gary Keller, Author of ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, share some great insights on the power of purpose:

Purpose is the straightest path to power and the ultimate source of personal strength—strength of conviction and strength to persevere.

The prescription for extraordinary results is knowing what matters to you and taking daily doses of actions in alignment with it. When you have a definite purpose for your life, clarity comes faster, which leads to more conviction in your direction, which usually leads to faster decisions.

When you make faster decisions, you’ll often be the one who makes the first decisions and winds up with the best choices. And when you have the best choices, you have the opportunity for the best experiences. This is how knowing where you’re going helps lead you to the best possible outcomes and experiences life has to offer.

“Adhere to your purpose and you will soon feel as well as you ever did. On the contrary, if you falter, and give up, you will lose the power of keeping any resolution, and will regret it all your life.”— Abraham Lincoln

Purpose also helps you when things don’t go your way. Life gets tough at times and there’s no way around that. Aim high enough, live long enough, and you’ll encounter your share of tough times.

 That’s okay. We all experience this. Knowing why you’re doing something provides the inspiration and motivation to give the extra perspiration needed to persevere when things go south. Sticking with something long enough for success to show up is a fundamental requirement for achieving extra-ordinary results.”

Purpose provides the ultimate glue that can help you stick to the path you’ve set. When what you do matches your purpose, your life just feels in rhythm, and the path you beat with your feet seems to match the sound in your head and heart. Live with purpose and don’t be surprised if you actually hum more and even whistle while you work.

When you ask yourself, “What’s the ONE Thing I can do in my life that would mean the most to me and the world, such that by doing it everything else would be easier or unnecessary?” you’re using the power of The ONE Thing to bring purpose to your life.

“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” – Viktor Frankl

Here are some great quotes on purpose:

“Anger is like a red light flashing on the dash of a car. It indicates that something needs attention.”

The dictionary describes anger as “a strong passion or emotion of displeasure, and usually antagonism, excited by a sense of injury or insult. Anger is a very strong emotion that can be either harnessed positively or negatively utilized.

Martin Luther King Jr. was rageful towards racial segregation & discrimination; he used his anger to lead a movement and dreamt of a nation where people would be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character; that dream led to the United States of America to elect the first African American President four decades later.

The same anger drove Adolf Hitler Nazi regime to initiate world war II, the holocaust, genocide of about 6 million Jews and millions of other victims whom he and his followers deemed Untermenschen (subhumans) or socially undesirable. 

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin

In his book, Anger: Taming a powerful emotion, American author and radio talk show host, Dr. Gary Chapman points out that Anger can be a powerful and positive motivator, useful to move us toward loving action to right wrongs and correct injustice—but it also can become a raging, uncontrolled force.

“Anger is directed inwardly when you bottle it up rather than expressing it constructively to others. Anger is directed outwardly when you criticize or attack other people.”

“Nothing limits achievement like small thinking; nothing expands possibilities like unleashed imagination.”- William Arthur Ward

One of the major difference between we humans and other primates is the ability to use our imagination to create innovative products, execute on great ideas and bring to life what we imagined. As the popular saying goes whatever your mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.

We humans are the only mammals that can see things before they happen, we can imagine things before they happen. You can not take people farther than you have gone, your imagination is a preview of things to come.

In her very inspiring 2008 Harvard University Commencement speech, Author J.K.Rowling spoke about the power of imagination:

Many prefer not to exercise their imaginations at all. They choose to remain comfortably within the bounds of their own experience, never troubling to wonder how it would feel to have been born other than they are. They can refuse to hear screams or to peer inside cages; they can close their minds and hearts to any suffering that does not touch them personally; they can refuse to know.

I might be tempted to envy people who can live that way, except that I do not think they have any fewer nightmares than I do. Choosing to live in narrow spaces leads to a form of mental agoraphobia, and that brings its own terrors. I think the wilfully unimaginative see more monsters. They are often more afraid.

Here are some great quotes on the Power of Imagination:

Leadership is unveiled by vision, driven by passion, activated by planning, engineered by sacrifice, and actualized by tireless pursuit.

It was the best of times, and it was the worst of times as Charles Dicken once quipped, that is the life of a leader. A leader is a dealer in hope, positivity, and optimism in trying times, and in crisis, the leader charts a course for recovery. A leader’s job is to create an enabling environment where your people can do their best work and become a better version of themselves.

Here are some great quotes on Leadership:

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Not making a decision is a decision itself; the choices you make today have long-term consequences in the future. How far we go in life is due to our options, the choices made by your parents on where you lived, schooled and exposure, your own choice on where to live, study, work who to marry, parenting, and other seemingly insignificant decisions that always have consequences.

MJ DeMarco, in his book The Millionaire Fastlane shares some great insights on decision making:

“Your life’s choices are like a mature oak tree with millions of branches. The branches symbolize the consequences of your choices. Near the trunk of the tree, the branches are thick, reflecting the decisions you’ve made early in life, while the top branches are thin, symbolizing decisions near the end of your life.”

Youthful choices radiate the most strength and fabricate the trunk of your tree. As the branches ascend topside through time, they get thinner and weaker. They don’t have enough power to bend the tree in new directions because the trunk is thick with age, experience, and reinforced habits.”

“The smallest choices made in your daily life create habits and lifestyle that forms process-they are the ones that can make the biggest impact. You can’t decide to “go Fastlane” because that itself is just an event. A Fastlane process is hundreds of choices.”

Here are some great quotes on decision making:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!”― William Hutchison Murray

Most of us set new year resolutions every 365 days, but we start faltering from February/March; the missing piece is the commitment to follow through. We all want the prize, but we do not love the process; we are unwilling to pay the price, but we want the joy of winning the prize. Anything worth doing takes a lot of time, grit, sacrifice, whatever-it-takes-attitude, and the ability to want it more than you want to breathe.

Commitment is the ability to stick with something long after the initial excitement is gone. Commitment is a decision to stick with a project, idea, relationship, or goal against all odds, failure, and tribulation. Setting a goal is not enough, you have to be committed to making it happen against all odds.  

In the early 1960s, President John F. Kennedy set a great goal to land a man on the moon when he said: “This nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon. The most important word in that statement is the Commitment to achieve a goal.

The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed.

There is a business fable about the chicken and the pig which is a metaphor for commitment to a project or cause.:

When producing a dish made of eggs with ham or bacon, the pig provides the ham or bacon which requires his or her sacrifice and the chicken provides the eggs which are not difficult to produce. Thus the pig is really committed to that dish while the chicken is only involved, yet both are needed to produce the dish.

Here are some great quotes on commitment;