Insight News

Feb 14th

Motivational quotes inspire and ignite

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jdesmondA recent discussion on LinkedIn asked, “What’s your favorite motivational quote?”  The responses were many and varied and interesting to share. Motivational quotes can keep us going when the going gets tough, inspire us to achieve more, or remind us to have some fun once in a while.  Sometimes, simply seeing a quote in front of you every day can actually make you believe something about yourself and your capabilities that you didn’t believe before. 

What’s written on your wall?  Are you motivated by practical, common-sense sayings, deep and thought-provoking quotes, or funny one-liners you can repeat to your friends?

One might not expect Dolly Parton to dole out much practical advice, but one LinkedIn writer quoted her with saying, “If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”  Other quotes in the Practical category include:  “They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care,” a favorite of Zig Ziglar; and, from Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”

Often, motivational quotes are philosophical and heady, with a deeper meaning than meets the eye.  For example, “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day; teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime," credited to Mahatma Gandhi.  And Mother Theresa’s, “To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.”

Some days, the best motivational quotes are those that inspire a smile and a nod of agreement:  "If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough!"  (Mario Andretti)  Or, attributed to Thomas Jefferson, “When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.”  Minnesotans can appreciate this anonymous but important one, too, “If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in the dark with a mosquito.”

Someone said motivation never lasts more than a day; but then, neither does bathing.  It helps to repeat the inspirational sayings that get you through life’s ups and downs.  If, after listening to other people’s favorite motivational quotes, you still haven’t found a gem to call your own, I recommend the mother of all motivators, the most memorable, safe and effective, catchall inspirational phrase:  “Just Do It!”

Julie Desmond is an experienced recruiter and career counselor.  She currently leads job search and career planning workshops for in Edina, MN.  Write to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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