The right quote at the right time from people often wiser and more perceptive than we are can sometimes be just what we need to lift our spirits – professionally and personally – and provide us with that little bit of inspiration and encouragement when we need it.
These ten are amongst my favourites. I’ve stumbled across them in books, blogs, tweets and even on the orders of service at various friends’ funerals.
Some of the best of them came my way via my remarkable mentor and friend, Alan Mullett. At one time or another, I’ve been grateful for all of them. I hope some of them work for you…
1. “In the end, just three things matter: How well we have lived; how well we have loved; how well we have learned to let go.” – Jack Kornfield.
2. “Success – To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; this is to have succeeded.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.
3. “The thing that lies at the foundation of positive change, the way I see it, is service to a fellow human being.” Lee Lacocca.
4. “The best communicator is the person who pays attention and makes other feel that they’ve been heard.”
5. “It’s not about how good you are now, it’s how good you – and the business – can be that really matters.”
6. “All human suffering exists in the gap between where we are and where we perceive we want to be.”
7. “Keeping the faith is about sticking to your promises, going down into darkness rose-crowned, proud, and unreluctant, knowing you’ve done the right thing and stuck by your friends in times of trouble. These are perhaps old-fashioned values: honour, loyalty, trust, pride, support, fidelity, reliability, dependability, strength, seeing things through, constancy – but no less worth having for all that. We live in a throw-away society and keeping your word, being there when you said you would, being dependable and reliable, makes you stand out as a person of some value, some worth.” Rupert Brooke.
8. “When you move onto the next place and you’re comfortable, it’s time to move on to something else.” Steve McQueen.
9.”Life is very simple. It becomes complex when we think only of ourselves. The moment we stop doing that and begin to help others, life becomes perfectly simple.”
10. “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” Sir Richard Branson.
Overcoming the TED terrors!
The last few weeks have been, well, different.
Apart from being lucky enough to work with some amazing clients this month and helping them and their teams achieve a bit of clarity and purpose, I was presented with the opportunity to speak at the University of Chester TEDx event!
For someone who’s been phobic for most of his life about public speaking, this was quite a challenge, even more so when you’re a big TED fan and you have the images in your head of the some of great speakers who have taken to the TED stage and who made such an impressions on me and literally millions of others.
I took it as a personal challenge to find the courage to be able to walk out there, in front of an audience, stand on the famous TED red carpet, under the stage lights and in front of four cameras! I was dealing with a demon.
There were weeks of writing, rewriting, learning, self-doubting and seriously contemplating how I could back out of the commitment I had made – to myself as well as the organisers. But this time I didn’t bottle it. (I have done in the past, to my eternal shame).
What an adventure it was. What an experience. I will confess to feeling just slightly proud that I did this thing and if just one person gets only one thing from it, I will consider it a success.
The best bit of all? Sharing the run-up, the preparation, the rehearsals, the nerves and the post-event relief – the whole experience -with the other speakers.
You make good and lasting friends very quickly in these pressured circumstances! Thanks to Sam Ryley for being my rehearsal buddy and to the encouragement and kindness of the other speakers who were just amazing, including Laura Fearnall, Lou Walker, Dr Christian Dunn and the remarkable Jonathan Quinn. We did it!!
A massive thanks to Fiona Rose and Debbie Hayes for their constant encouragement and support.
The talks are now live and available on YouTube: