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Inspirational Quotes About Change, Growth, & Starting Anew

Posted Oct 18 2008 2:35pm 1 Comment

I'd like to share with some excellent, inspirational quotes about change, growth, & overcoming old patterns & starting anew.

While many of these quotes apply generally to life, I think a lot of them are also very salient for those of us who are trying to adopt healthier lifestyles or who are facing new challenges in their fitness programs. Some even directly refer to the importance of learning to synchronize the mind & body, so they are in concert with each other in order to affect change by the most efficient & effective means possible.

I hope you'll find a few quotes that inspire you & make you not only want to be a better athlete, but a better person as well. And, as for effecting positive change, there's no time like the present! ;-)

Get ready, as I will now assault your eyes with a veritable encyclopedic catalog -- nay, dare I say, a copious cornucopia -- of quotations! Stand back Encyclopaedia Britannica & Barlett's Quotations -- Get ready to meet your match! Hahahahaha! Only kidding......

OK, so after that daunting little intro, I know your eyes are probably wandering or scanning down the page right about now, to see exactly what's in store for you. And quite possibly you might also even be freaking out right about now too, thinking, "Sheesh! Is this like the longest post ever written?" Or: "Does she really expect me to read all THAT?!" Well, I know it seems like I'm asking a lot from you, more than most (non-A.D.D.-afflicted) readers could bare -- Yes, I'm asking you to have lots of patience & bear with me as you slosh through this very long post, but I strongly urge you to stay with me, as I think you'll find the below quotations make for some very entertaining & worthwhile reading.

So, without further ado, I bring you these very quotes, organized alphabetically by authorship. (Several are annotated with my own comments/observations in italics!)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Corey's Compendium of Quotations About Change:
(Is that enough alliteration & consonance for you English majors, writers, & other literary types out there?! LOL!)

--A--

"The birds are molting. If only man could molt also - his mind once a year its errors, his heart once a year its useless passions." --James Allen

"It doesn't work to leap a twenty-foot chasm in two ten-foot jumps." --American Proverb
(Hahahaha! If this one doesn't make you laugh when you think about its implications, then perhaps you've never witnessed the antics of Looney Toons characters,Wile E. Coyote & Roadrunnerbefore! Meep, meep!)

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain." --Maya Angelou
(Maybe we're all guilty of complaining at one point or another, but atleast this quote will make us think twice before doing it again! ;-) )

"When you blame others, you give up your power to change." --Dr. Robert Anthony

"Change in all things is sweet." --Aristotle
(OK, I don't know if I agree with this one in an absolute sense, as I find it hard to see some things, like dying or death for instance, as sweet.)

"Hard work, sacrifice and focus will never show up in tests." --Lance Armstrong

"We would rather be ruined than changed;
We would rather die in our dread
Than climb the cross of the moment
And let our illusions die."
--W.H. Auden

"The universe is transformation; our life is what our thoughts make it." --Marcus Aurelius

--B--

Francis Bacon:
--"Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly."
--"He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator."
--"As the births of living creatures are at first ill-shapen, so are all innovations, which are the births of time."
(I like to think of this quote as a free-pass to cut ourselves some slack & put things in perspective about our first attempts at creation or progress, as we can only get better with the experience & wisdom that time affords us.)

"Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations." --Faith Baldwin

"For nothing is fixed, forever and forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have. The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out." --James Baldwin

"When you are through changing, you are through." --Bruce Barton

"Stubbornness does have its helpful features. You always know what you are going to be thinking tomorrow." --Glen Beaman

"Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have -- and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up." --James Belasco and Ralph Stayer, Flight of the Buffalo (1994)

“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.” --Saul Bellow
(Oh, how true this one is, as every writer surely knows! If an idea was so important that you woke up in the middle of the night to write it down, then it certainly must be an inspired work of art. And who in their right mind would ever want to mess with a creative idea which comes to you as a flash of inspiration in the stillness of the night, fully formed in its conception like a newborn child?!)


"To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly." --Henri Bergson

"If you come to a fork in the road, take it. --Yogi Berra
(Hahahaha, the mere mention of this quote always cracks me up! Got to love a legendary sports figure with a sense of humor! ;-) This quote reminds me of that scene from Spaceballs, when Rick Moranis's "Dark Helmet" character tells his minions to "comb the desert," & then the camera cuts to this gigantic/life-sized plastic ACE comb literally combing the desert.)

"The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind." --William Blake

"The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.” --Nathaniel Branden
(Sheesh, this sounds more like a 12-step program than a quote! ;-)

"Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are." --Bertold Brecht

Pearl S. Buck:
--"A good marriage is one which allows for change and growth in the individuals and in the way they express their love."
--"You can judge your age by the amount of pain you feel when you come in contact with a new idea."
--"I am comforted by life's stability, by earth's unchangeableness. What has seemed new and frightening assumes its place in the unfolding of knowledge. It is good to know our universe. What is new is only new to us."
--"Growth itself contains the germ of happiness."

“Everything changes, nothing remains without change.” --Buddha (Prince Siddhārtha Gautama)

“The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.” --Leo F. Buscaglia

--C--

"We must be fond of the world, even in order to change it." --G.K. Chesterton

"What is required for effective change is continuity of sincere effort to release and let go of inefficient thought patterns from the past." --Doc Childre and Howard Martin, Freeze-Frame

"A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of idea." --John Ciardi

"We are chameleons, and our partialities and prejudices change place with an easy and blessed facility, and we are soon wonted to the change and happy in it." --Samuel Clemens (a.k.a., Mark Twain)

"It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power." --Alan Cohen

Confucius:
--"Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change."
--"A scholar who loves comfort is not fit to be called a scholar."
--"They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom."

“Resistance is thought transformed into feeling. Change the thought that creates the resistance, and there is no more resistance.” --Robert Conklin

--D--

Anthony J. D'Angelo:
--"Don't fear change, embrace it."
--"Become a student of change. It is the only thing that will remain constant."

"It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory." --W. Edwards Deming

“I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” --Jimmy Dean

"The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become." --Charles DuBois

--E--

"He that never changes his opinions, never corrects his mistakes, and will never be wiser on the morrow than he is today." --Tryon Edwards

“If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts.” --Albert Einstein

"It is never too late to become what you might have been." --George Eliot
(I absolutely LOVE this quote! I think it speaks very strongly to so many adults, whatever their age!)

Ralph Waldo Emerson:
--"Life is a progress, and not a station."
--"Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow."
--"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."

"If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it." --Mary Engelbreit

"It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows." --Epictetus

"What can we take on trust in this uncertain life? Happiness, greatness, pride - nothing is secure, nothing keeps." --Euripides, Hecuba

--F--

Marilyn Ferguson:
--"It's not so much that we're afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it's that place in between that we fear.... It's like being between trapezes. It's Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There's nothing to hold on to."
(This is a really good point about change. I think it beautifully & humorously illustrates where our challenge truly lies, i.e., at the crossroads of change. It also captures & isolates the exact moment at which we take that first leap of faith in ourselves so we can get to the other side of the transition.)
--The greatest revolution in our generation is that of human beings, who by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.

"Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself." --Harvey Fierstein

“Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” --Malcolm S. Forbes

"We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance." --Harrison Ford

"You may wonder, 'How can I leave it all behind if I am just coming back to it? How can I make a new beginning if I simply return to the old?' The answer lies in the return. You will not come back to the 'same old thing.' What you return to has changed because you have changed. Your perceptions will be altered. You will not incorporate into the same body, status, or world you left behind. The river has been flowing while you were gone. Now it does not look like the same river." --Steven Foster, The Book of the Vision Quest

"Then, without realizing it, you try to improve yourself at the start of each new day; of course, you achieve quite a lot in the course of time. Anyone can do this, it costs nothing and is certainly very helpful. Whoever doesn't know it must learn and find by experience that a quiet conscience makes one strong." --Anne Frank

Victor Frankl:
--"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves."
--"What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him."

"The colossal misunderstanding of our time is the assumption that insight will work with people who are unmotivated to change. Communication does not depend on syntax, or eloquence, or rhetoric, or articulation but on the emotional context in which the message is being heard. People can only hear you when they are moving toward you, and they are not likely to when your words are pursuing them. Even the choices words lose their power when they are used to overpower. Attitudes are the real figures of speech." --Edwin H. Friedman

"Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world." --Paulo Freire

"Nothing is easy to the unwilling." --Thomas Fuller
(Now THAT's a little gem of a quote, eh?!)

--G--

"Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof." --John Kenneth Galbraith

"Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine." --Robert C. Gallagher

"We must become the change we want to see." Or, sometimes also quoted as, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." --Mahatma Gandhi

"Oh, would that my mind could let fall its dead ideas, as the tree does its withered leaves!" --Andre Gide

"While we flatter ourselves that things remain the same, they are changing under our very eyes from year to year, from day to day." --Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Ellen Glasgow:
--
"The only difference between a rut and a grave is their dimensions."
--"All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward."

"Everybody wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow." --Goethe

“Inside yourself or outside, you never have to change what you see, only the way you see it.” --Thaddeus Golas

"Change has a bad reputation in our society. But it isn't all bad — not by any means. In fact, change is necessary in life — to keep us moving..., to keep us growing.., to keep us interested.... Imagine life without change. It would be static..., boring..., dull." --Dr. Dennis O'Grady

--H--

"We did not change as we grew older; we just became more clearly ourselves." --Lynn Hall

"Sudden resolutions, like the sudden rise of the mercury in the barometer, indicates nothing but the changeableness of the weather." --Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

"The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows." --Sydney J. Harris

"A person needs at intervals to separate from family and companions and go to new places. One must go without familiars in order to be open to influences, to change." --Katharine Butler Hathaway

Heraclitus/Heraklietos of Ephesos:
(There are many translations of the famous quote by Heraclitus/Heraklietos: "Nothing endures but change." "There is nothing permanent except change." "All is flux; nothing stays still." Etc., etc. Directly below is the original verse in full, where the modernized version of this quote, "Change is the only constant," is derived.)

"Whosoever wishes to know about the world must learn about it in its particular details.
Knowledge is not intelligence.
In searching for the truth be ready for the unexpected.
Change alone is unchanging.
The same road goes both up and down.
The beginning of a circle is also its end.
Not I, but the world says it: all is one.
And yet everything comes in season."

"You cannot step twice into the same river, for other waters are continually flowing in." --Heraclitus/Heraklietos of Ephesos

"If you are still being hurt by an event that happened to you at twelve, it is the thought that is hurting you now." --James Hillman

"In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists." --Eric Hoffer

"A man may fulfill the object of his existence by asking a question he cannot answer, and attempting a task he cannot achieve." --Oliver Wendell Holmes

--I--

"There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse; as I have found in traveling in a stage coach, that it is often a comfort to shift one's position and be bruised in a new place." --Washington Irving
(That's very apropos to running, eh?!)

--J--

"To change one's life: 1. Start immediately, 2. Do it flamboyantly, 3. No exceptions." --William James

--K--

"The inability of those in power to still the voices of their own consciences is the great force leading to change." --Kenneth Kaunda

"Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be." --Thomas A. Kempis

"Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." --John F. Kennedy

"If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong." --Charles Kettering

"Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights." --Pauline R. Kezer

“Leaders establish the vision for the future and set the strategy for getting there; they cause change. They motivate and inspire others to go in the right direction and they, along with everyone else, sacrifice to get there.” --John Kotter

"The moment you have in your heart this extraordinary thing called love and feel the depth, the delight, the ecstasy of it, you will discover that for you the world is transformed." --I. Krishnamurti

--L--

"Even those who fancy themselves the most progressive will fight against other kinds of progress, for each of us is convinced that our way is the best way." --Louis L'Amour, The Lonely Men

"The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s determination." --Tommy Lasorda

“Times change and we change with them” --Latin Proverb

"Unless you are prepared to give up something valuable you will never be able to truly change at all, because you'll be forever in the control of things you can't give up." —Andy Law, Creative Company

"When you jump for joy, beware that no one moves the ground from beneath your feet." --Stanislaw Lec

"If you want to truly understand something, try to change it." --Kurt Lewin

"I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better." --Georg C. Lichtenberg

"Our only security is our ability to change." --John Lilly

"Only in growth, reform, and change, paradoxically enough, is true security to be found." --Anne Morrow Lindbergh

"I'll go anywhere as long as it's forward." --David Livingstone

--M--

Mignon McLaughlin:
--"What you have become is the price you paid to get what you used to want."
--"It's the most unhappy people who most fear change."

"Most of our assumptions have outlived their uselessness." --Marshall McLuhan

“It is always the simple things that change our lives. And these things never happen when you are looking for them to happen. Life will reveal answers at the pace life wishes to do so. You feel like running, but life is on a stroll. This is how G-d does things.” --Donald Miller

"The man who looks for security, even in the mind, is like a man who would chop off his limbs in order to have artificial ones which will give him no pain or trouble." --Henry Miller

"We have a hunger of the mind which asks for knowledge of all around us, and the more we gain, the more is our desire; the more we see, the more we are capable of seeing." --Maria Mitchell

"No two men ever judged alike of the same thing, and it is impossible to find two opinions exactly similar, not only in different men but in the same men at different times." --Michel Montaigne

"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals." --Hannah Moore

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.” --Mike Murdock

"Concerning all acts of iniative and creation, there is one elementary truth -- that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves, too." --W.H. Murray, The Story of Everest

--N--

"Everything is in a process of change, nothing endures; we do not seek permanence." --Masatoshi Naito

"Growth is the only evidence of life." --John Henry Newman

“G-d, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” --Reinhold Niebuhr

Friedrich Nietzsche:
--“When we have to change our minds about a person, we hold the inconvenience he causes us very much against him.”
--“We would not let ourselves be burned to death for our opinions: we are not sure enough of them for that. But perhaps for the right to have our opinions and to change them.”
--“Love is more afraid of change than destruction.”

Anaïs Nin wrote a lot about change. Here are some of her best quotes:
--"We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations."
--"Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death."
--"There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

--O--

"All things change; nothing perishes." --Ovid
(I can always count on Ovid to supply a good quote for the "O" section. ;-) Oh no, now my brain is free-associating back to a specificscenefrom the movie,Office Space. Bet you know which one, too! ;-) I know, I just can't help myself; there are so many hilarious quotes from this movie! Don't think I can use any of them here in this post, as I can't recall any of them being about "change"! Unless you consider that the movie as a whole basically makes fun of everything that's wrong & totally stagnant about corporate America as we know it in the modern era. ;-) )

--P--

“Excellence is in the detail. Give attention to the detail and excellence will come.”
-Perry Paxton

"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers." --M. Scott Peck

"After you've done a thing the same way for two years, look it over carefully. After five years, look at it with suspicion. And after ten years, throw it away and start all over." --Alfred Edward Perlman

"Just because everything is different doesn't mean anything has changed." --Irene Peter

"I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it." --Pablo Picasso

“I don't need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.” --Plutarch

"There is no reason why the same man should like the same books at eighteen and forty-eight." --Ezra Pound

"The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning." --Ivy Baker Priest

"Change always comes bearing gifts." --Price Pritchett

"Time, which changes people, does not alter the image we have retained of them." --Marcel Proust

"It is a bad plan that admits of no modification." --Publilius Syrus, 1st Century BC

--Q--

Robert E. Quinn:
--"One key to successful leadership is continuous personal change. Personal change is a reflection of our inner growth and empowerment."
--"When we see the need for deep change, we usually see it as something that needs to take place in someone else. In our roles of authority, such as parent, teacher, or boss, we are particularly quick to direct others to change. Such directives often fail, and we respond to the resistance by increasing our efforts. The power struggle that follows seldom results in change or brings about excellence. One of the most important insights about the need to bring about deep change in others has to do with where deep change actually starts."

--R--

Anthony Robbins:
(I don't normally find myself quoting Anthony Robbins, as I find his personal style a bit off-putting & somewhat ersatz for my taste -- i.e., he appears to come from the "Have a nice day" school of personal presentation & there's also the "cheese" factor to contend with, etc. -- but nonetheless, I'll give him his due: There were several meaningful & inspirational quotes of his about growth that I thought you might find useful. OK, here we go. Please just ignore me as I go off to cringe silently in the corner. Hahahahaha!)
--"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten."
(I've been known to repeat this quote on occasion, but had no idea where it came from, until now. Weird. To think I'd been channeling Anthony Robbins all this time & didn't know it. That freaks me out just a little. ;-) )
--"Take control of your consistent emotions and begin to consciously and deliberately reshape your daily experience of life."
--"Surmounting difficulty is the crucible that forms character."
(Now what do I frequently blog about regarding the importance of doing "character-building" runs?!!! ;-) )
--"For changes to be of any true value, they've got to be lasting and consistent."
--"A real decision is measured by the fact that you've taken a new action. If there's no action, you haven't truly decided."
--"There is no such thing as failure. There are only results."
--"We can change our lives. We can do, have, and be exactly what we wish."
--“All personal breakthroughs begin with a change in beliefs.”
--"The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results."
(Now this one DIRECTLY applies to athletes, as it addresses the potent mind-body connection & awareness that athletes usually have in spades! Implicitly integral to this connection is the role of eating & exercise, for a healthy lifestyle will directly contribute to the attainment of these goals. It makes sense that, in order to sustain the long-term growth of the body & mind, that we "feed" both entities in a healthy way.)
--"We will act consistently with our view of who we truly are, whether that view is accurate or not."
(And I'd like to add that we can also change that view to produce better results! ;-) )

--"If we habitually focus on how to improve things that are already great, can you see how this spirit can transform ourselves, our organizations, families and communities?"
--“I also remember the moment my life changed, the moment I finally said, ''I've had it! I know I'm much more than I'm demonstrating mentally, emotionally, and physically in my life'.' I made a decision in that moment which was to alter my life forever. I decided to change virtually every aspect of my life. I decided I would never again settle for less than I can be.”
--“The truth of the matter is that there's nothing you can't accomplish if: (1) You clearly decide what it is that you're absolutely committed to achieving, (2) You're willing to take massive action, (3) You notice what's working or not, and (4) You continue to change your approach until you achieve what you want, using whatever life gives you along the way.”

"The bottom line is that (a) people are never perfect, but love can be, (b) that is the one and only way that the mediocre and vile can be transformed, and (c) doing that makes it that. We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love." --Tom Robbins, Still Life With Woodpecker

Jim Rohn:
--"You must constantly ask yourself these questions: Who am I around? What are they doing to me? What have they got me reading? What have they got me saying? Where do they have me going? What do they have me thinking? And most important, what do they have me becoming? Then ask yourself the big question: Is that okay? Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”
--“If you don't like how things are, change it! You're not a tree.”
--“You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight."

--S--

"If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth." --Mitsugi Saotome

"The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created-- created first in the mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them, changes both the maker and the destination." --John Schaar

"Some people change when they see the light, others when they feel the heat." --Caroline Schoeder

Arthur Schopenhauer:
--"Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal."
(Sounds suspiciously like brilliant ole' Arthur had been reading a bit too much of Heraclitus/Heraklietos's writings & then suddenly forgot to quote his source. ;-) You know what they say about there being "no new ideas" anymore?! Well, whatever. It still doesn't justify ripping off one of the most famous quotes of all-time, eh?! Did he really think he could get away with it?! It's such a very obvious allusion for anyone who's ever heard the original quote. And anyone who hasn't is probably living under a rock, or is possibly too young to spell "Heraklietos," let alone know who he is. ;-) So ha, Arthur, you've finally been outed for plagiarism! So there!!!! But I guess it doesn't really matter now, since you've been dead for 148 years. OK, people, I'm just kidding around..... LOL!)
--"Every possession and every happiness is but lent by chance for an uncertain time, and may therefore be demanded back the next hour."
(Alas, the impermanence of life! Its fleeting joys & sorrows. OK, puh-leeese! Enough melodrama & "sturm und drang" for one day. Acchhh, this dreary little quote is giving me a headache. Wonder what this guy did for fun?! Hopefully coming up with "cheery" little gems like these wasn't it! Hahahahaha. Knowing what I already do about his life & literature, I think this guy probably contemplated every depressing outcome in the universe. Looks like he did enough of that to suffice for time immemorial for the rest of us! ;-) True, his life was filled with misfortune, but he still clearly had a choice in his responses & in his outlook. Apparently he wasn't able to "make lemonade" out of the lemons life gave him. While I appreciate his brilliance as a philosopher, I must say that he was just way too much of a pessimist for me!)

"Those who expect moments of change to be comfortable and free of conflict have not learned their history." --Joan Wallach Scott

"People don't resist change. They resist being changed!" --Peter Senge
(Hahahahaha, so true!)

"The circumstances of the world are so variable that an irrevocable purpose or opinion is almost synonymous with a foolish one." --William H. Seward

"We know what we are, but know not what we may be." --William Shakespeare
(So true. And yet, we can still imagine the possibilities.)

George Bernard Shaw:
--"Some men see things as they are and say, "Why?" I dream of things that never were and say, "Why not?" (Now THAT's more like it!)
--"The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them."

”Success is simple. Do what’s right, the right way, at the right time.” --George Sheehan
(The larger question then becomes "How do I know when the right time is?" ;-0)

“If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we are not really living.” --Gail Sheehy
(Great quote, isn't it?!)

"If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less." --General Eric Shinseki (Chief of Staff, U. S. Army) (This also sounds like something a boss might say to their employees! ;-) )

"Learn wisdom from the ways of a seedling. A seedling which is never hardened off through stressful situations will never become a strong productive plant." --Stephen Sigmund

“If you're in a bad situation, don't worry it'll change. If you're in a good situation, don't worry it'll change.” --John A. Simone, Sr.
(One could also say the same about the weather! That is, unless you are fortunate enough to live in a place where it's 75 degrees & sunny all year round! ;-) )

"We spend our time searching for security and hate it when we get it." --John Steinbeck, America and Americans
(
This quote is very similar in tone to the expression, "Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it!")

"If the shoe doesn't fit, must we change the foot?" --Gloria Steinem

"The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn." --Gloria Steinem

"Without accepting the fact that everything changes, we cannot find perfect composure. But unfortunately, although it is true, it is difficult for us to accept it. Because we cannot accept the truth of transience, we suffer." --Shunryu Suzuki

“In this world of change, nothing which comes stays, and nothing which goes is lost.” --Anne Sophie Swetchine

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes.” --Charles R. Swindoll

--T--

Henry David Thoreau:
--“Love is an attempt to change a piece of a dream-world into reality.”
--"Things do not change; we change."

"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." --Leo Tolstoy
(Shall we all humble ourselves by first looking at the face in the mirror, before we ask others to do what we might not be willing to do ourselves? ;-) )

“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.” --Brian Tracy

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” --Lao Tzu

--U--

"If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies." --Unknown
(Just think about that for a second..... Pretty cool quote on several levels, eh?!)

"Your current safe boundaries were once unknown frontiers." --Unknown
(Although this quote doesn't necessarily need to be taken literally, it does make me think of so many great explorers & adventurers, who roam(ed) our universe, endlessly searching for answers & seeking out the great unknown, in an attempt to quench their thirst for knowledge.
Curiosity is definitely one of Man's greatest assets!There is something truly magical about discovering new "worlds" -- whether they be physical or ideological -- for the very first time. The encounter indelibly alters us forever.)

"G-d grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it's me." --Unknown
(If this one doesn't make you laugh, then I give up. ;-) Such a great send-up of the oft-quoted
Reinhold Niebuhrpassage.Abi, I know you'll love this one, as you posted it on yourblog! ;-) )

"In his later years Pablo Picasso was not allowed to roam an art gallery unattended, for he had previously been discovered in the act of trying to improve on one of his old masterpieces." --Unknown

"Only (s)he who can see the invisible can do the impossible." --Unknown

“Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become." --Unknown

“You can't change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying about the future.” --Unknown

"If you're not moving forward, then you're standing still." --Unknown

"The problem is not the problem; the problem is your attitude about the problem."
--Unknown
(Now isn't this just so true?! We've all had times when we either found ourselves in this situation ourselves, or could see others in the midst of dealing with such a situation.)

"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." --Unknown, commonly misattributed to Charles Darwin

"The change we want for tomorrow must begin today." --Unknown

“To learn is to change. Education is a process that changes the learner.” --Unknown

--V--

"Every beginning is a consequence -- every beginning ends some thing." --Paul Valery

"The most successful businessman is the man who holds onto the old just as long as it is good, and grabs the new just as soon as it is better." --Robert P. Vanderpoel

"Life is its own journey, presupposes its own change and movement, and one tries to arrest them at one's eternal peril." --Laurens van der Post

“When we think of failure, failure will be ours. If we remain undecided, nothing will ever change. All we need to do is want to achieve something great and then simply to do it. Never think of failure, for what we think, will come about.” --Mahesh Prasad Varma (a.k.a., Maharishi Mahesh Yogi)
(This quote certainly reminds me of another quote which talks about visualization as a means of self-fulfilling prophecy: "What you think, you become." --Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.)

--W--

Denis Waitley:
“You must welcome change as the rule but not as your ruler.”
“Forget about the consequences of failure. Failure is only a temporary change in direction to set you straight for your next success.”
“Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.”

"No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow." --Alice Walker

"They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself." --Andy Warhol

"The most powerful agent of growth and transformation is something much more basic than any technique: a change of heart." -John Welwood

"We want the facts to fit the preconceptions. When they don't, it is easier to ignore the facts than to change the preconceptions." --Jessamyn West

"The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order." --Alfred North Whitehead

"If enough people think of a thing and work hard enough at it, I guess it's pretty nearly bound to happen, wind and weather permitting." --Laura Ingalls Wilder

"He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery." --Harold Wilson

--X--

(Betcha didn't think I could come up with a quote from someone who's last name begins with "X"!!!!?! Well, think again, my friends. Hahahahaha!)

Guo Xiang:
--"The ordinary people will consider it lack of simplicity to harmonize all the changes throughout ten thousand years. With a tired body and a frightened mind, they toil to avoid this and to take that. The sage alone has no prejudice. He therefore proceeds with utter simplicity and becomes one with transformation and always roams in the realm of unity."
--"Therefore if we realize that our nature and destiny are what they should be, we will have no anxiety and will be at ease with ourselves in the face of life or death, prominence or obscurity, or an infinite amount of changes and variations, and will be in accord with principle."

--Y--

Yoda: (OK, so what if he's really a fictional character from Star Wars; he's still got some great quotes!)
--"Luminous beings are we... not this crude matter."
--"Do or do not. There is no try."

"The most successful people are those who are good at plan B." --James Yorke

--Z--

"There's no sense talking about priorities. Priorities reveal themselves. We're all
transparent against the face of the clock." --Eric Zorn

"I like wherever I am. That's my big secret." --Warren Zevon

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So how shall I close this post? Since this post has more or less been a regurgitation of the thoughts of some great & very profound thinkers, I'd like to close this post by tossing in a few "deep thoughts" of my own -- Just like SNL's Jack Handy! Heheheheheh!

Corey Irwin:
--"It's best to make your peace with change, before it makes pieces of you."
--"With the beginning of a great & compassionate love, comes the growth of one's heart, and with that, a profound inner change. The way to opening the mind is often first through the heart. And once is the mind & heart are open, so many things become possible."

Comments (1)
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Thank you so much for this wonderful compendium of powerful quotes. I just happened to be looking into the background of some of Tony Robbins quotes when I happened across your site. I was wondering how many were really his or not actually and gathering quotes myself from the Garden of Internet Wisdoms!

The one quote;

"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten."
(I've been known to repeat this quote on occasion, but had no idea where it came from, until now. Weird. To think I'd been channeling Anthony Robbins all this time & didn't know it. That freaks me out just a little. ;-) )

 -was actually penned by Mark Twain, as far as I can tell, but most quotes go back thousands of years to the ancient philosophers, in one form or another, and are simply recycled for the cultural need of the day I believe.

 Anyway, thanks again and I LOVE your style and mindset.

I am also in the process of embedding a Wellness based Model that I have developed over the past 14 years that is being templated over existing Ob/Gyn practices and allowing for the integration of traditional medicine with, well, just about evrything else (functional medicine, functional nutrition, metabolically derived dietary styles, leading edge info for the doc and individual(epigenetics, detoxification, environmental medicine, CAM, coaching, proprietary fitness components (multiple platforms, vehicles, DEFINITIVE and STANDARDIZED teaching constructs/paradigms, too much to place here ), etc, etc, etc). 

Perhaps one day we will meet, such engines of change as you and I!

With Great Intent,

Dr. Don Joergens

Founder, Wellthy You.
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