Inspirational Quotes and Sayings

The following is a small collection of motivational and inspirational quotes and sayings that I like. I'll be adding to the list as I find more. Feel free to add any of your own within the comments section. Also see Motivational Quotes for a huge list of quotes.

"Do, or do not. There is no 'try'." - Yoda

"Don't stay in bed, unless you can make money in bed." - George Burns

"The consequences of today are determined by the actions of the past. To change your future, alter your decisions today." - Anonymous

"Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." - Steve Jobs

"Nobody gets to live life backward. Look ahead, that is where your future lies." - Ann Landers

"What you are is what you have been. What you’ll be is what you do now." – Buddha

"20 years from now you will be disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the one’s you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

"The only reason we don’t have what we want in life is the reasons we create why we can’t have them." - Tony Robbins

"Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change." – Jim Rohn

"So long as there is breath in me, that long I will persist. For now I know one of the greatest principles on success; if I persist long enough I will win." - Og Mandino

"Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything." - Napoleon Hill

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

"Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses." - George W. Carver

"Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever." - Lance Armstrong

"I am not discouraged because every wrong attempt discarded is a step forward." - Thomas Edison

"When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place." - Anonymous

"To be a champ, you have to believe in yourself when nobody else will." - Sugar Ray Robinson

"Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful." - Zig Ziglar

Creating Habits - An Easier Approach

If creating good, effective habits is the way towards achieving what we want in life, how come everyone just doesn't pick a habit they want to form and just do it? The main reason is because sticking to an action long enough for it to become a habit isn't all that easy. A lot of will power and reminders are usually involved and as a result, we end up starting over and over again.

So here's what you do. Take an existing habit that you've already formed and attach a new habit to it. For example, you can use your habit of taking a shower at night to attach it to a new habit of doing push ups for example. The existing habit will already be triggered, once that happens, start the new habit that you want to create. This can be done before or after the existing habit.

The reason why this works is because one of the hardest things about forming a new habit is triggering it to occur. Since you have to constantly remind yourself to do what you need to do until it becomes an actual habit, it's easy to forget. By using an existing habit, the trigger is already there.

A habit is just a set of actions that play out once a trigger occurs. With this habit linking method, all you're doing is adding on more actions. So with the example with showering and working out, the habit is no longer just showering, it's working out and then showering.

Try it out for yourself. Choose an existing habit and attach it to a new one.

Getting the Most Out of Self Improvement Books

Reading self improvement and motivational books can have a life changing impact IF you actually use the ideas and strategies you learn. So many people read books and attend seminars but never really commit to taking long term action and as a result, their life doesn't really change and they find themselves attending more seminars and reading more books.

If you're reading these types of books just to read them, then that's fine, continue on. If you want to actually produce results however, nothing beats a plan of action followed by actual action. It's much better to read just a handful of books and consistently apply what you learn than to read hundreds and only take action when you feel like it.

Results in life comes from what you do on a daily basis. If you've gotten into the habit of reading self help books then add onto that the habit of following through and taking action. If you pick up a great idea, even if you're not done with the book yet, apply it. Your goal isn't to finish books; your goal is to gather ideas and apply them in order to achieve the results that you want in life. While you're reading, take notes. Underline and highlight things that jump out at you. Those empty columns isn't just to fill up space. Use them to write your thoughts.

Of course, if you aren't reading these types of books and you aren't already getting the results that you want, then it's time to get into the habit of reading them even if it's just for 15 minutes a day. Just remember, action trumps knowledge. Knowledge without action is pointless.

5 Self Improvement Tips

Whether it's being able to run a bit longer, learning how to be a better parent, improving your skills on a musical instrument, earning more, increasing the quality of friends, discovering more of the world by traveling, learning how to be at peace, or anything else, one of the great joys in life is knowing that you are growing in some aspect. There tons of self improvement tips that you can apply to your daily routine in order to start making incremental improvements in the overall quality of your life. The following are 5, in random order, that I find to be useful.

1. Keep a Journal

There's just something awesome about writing down your thoughts. Whether I'm feeling inspired or down, writing in my journal helps to organize my thoughts and gets me to feel better. I used to write in an actual journal but now I use a software. I don't write about things like what I had for lunch though. For the most part, I stick to writing about the progress of my goals and dreams, anything interesting I learned or notice about myself, and my challenges.

When I write about my current challenges, I also add things that I can do to help improve the situation. Even if I can't come up with anything at the moment, simply writing these things down helps to ease my mind. One of the things I love to do is to read back on past entries to see what my thoughts were at the time and to see how my thinking has progressed through the years. I often notice patterns in my thinking and actions that I haven't noticed before which I can then use to adjust my actions so that I don't repeat the same mistakes in the future. Also, being able to read back some of the things I learned at the time helps to remind me of those powerful lessons.

2. Watch Your Diet and Exercise

As we get older, our health will typically become more and more important to us. Taking care of your health isn't something you want to wait until your doctor gives you bad news. If you want to live a long and vibrant life, you're going to have to make an effort to develop the habit of eating the right foods and exercising. What you decide to put into your body on a consistent basis will have a major impact on your health down the road. Read books on healthy eating to become more educated on the subject. Often times, it's when we understand the reason why we should eat certain foods and why we shouldn't eat certain foods that we able to make a permanent change in what we eat. There's a big difference between knowing certain foods will make you gain weight and knowing certain foods will clog up your arteries and eventually cause a heart attack or a stroke.

When it comes to exercise, just keep it simple. If you're currently not moving very much, move more! In an age where many of us have jobs where we're sitting most of the day, daily exercise has become even more important. You don't need to run on a treadmill if you don't enjoy doing that. You could take a walk, move faster during the day, take up a fun activity like martial arts or rock climbing, or even get one of those desk cycling gadgets so you can workout your legs while working at your desk. If time is an issue for you and you don't mind going to the gym, try high intensity interval training.

3. Accept the Price

Since many people associate self improvement with achieving goals, then here is a tip that can help increase your chances of actually obtaining those goals. Before you start on a goal, take the time to figure out what it takes to accomplish it in terms of time, money, energy, resources, etc. From there, double or even triple those numbers. Now that you have a good idea of what it is going to really take to achieve your goals, you can decide whether or not you are willing to accept the price.

When you decide to put time into reaching a goal, you're taking time away from something you used to do. Are you willing to lose some sleep? How about cutting down your TV time? If your goal has to do with money, perhaps it's going to mean cutting down your expenses and forgoing certain things that you've grown accustomed to.

In other words, are you willing to make the sacrifices that are necessary to achieve your goals? Once you decide to accept the price, you'll have an easier time dealing with the struggles and challenges that are bound to show up.

4. Learn/Try Something New

A great way to improve yourself is to learn or try something new. Learn a new language. Learn to play an instrument. Read on a daily basis. Try an activity you haven't tried before. Take classes. Learn to cook. Step out of your comfort zone and do something that scares you a bit every week. Travel.

When you do something new, you'll likely learn something. When you consciously engage in things that keeps your mind active like learning a new skill, you'll be sharper, have better memory, and so on. If you're a bit older, then doing these things can help slow down things like memory loss.

5. Contribute

When you give, you're basically telling your brain that you have more than enough. When you have that mental state of abundance, positive things will usually come into your life. You know the saying, "What goes around comes around." Many people who give will tell you that they receive a lot more in return through indirect ways. I don't really buy into the new age mystical stuff but I do know that when you give, it makes you happy and when you're happy, it affects the way you act and of course, the actions you take will have a major impact on how your life plays out.

Contributing doesn't just mean donating money. It could mean giving your time as well. Volunteer, help brighten up someone's day, smile at people more, be kind... you don't need money to contribute. You can even start a blog to help encourage and motivate people :)

There are obviously a lot more self improvement tips that can help improve the quality of your life. Do you have any tips you'd like to share? If so, please share them in the comments section.

Our Habits Create Our Destiny

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle

If you want to know why your life is where it is today, look at your past habits. If you want to know where your life will be 10 years from today, look at your current habits.

If you have a habit of eating junk food, it's going to affect your health. If you have a habit of procrastinating, it's going to affect your level of success. The difference between those who are successful in life and those who are failures in life comes down to what they do on a daily basis.

Is it hard to go to the gym just once? Of course not. Is it hard to do it consistently for the rest of your life? It will be at first, but once that action becomes a habit, it's easy. Ask anyone who's working out for years if it's a struggle for them to hit the gym and they'll tell you it's like brushing their teeth, it's automatic.

The point is simple. If you want your life to change, look at your habits. Create the necessary ones and eliminate the counter productive ones. Once you've done that, let time do the rest.

Motivational Messages to Help You Take Action

If there is one thing that will change your life, it's taking action. Learning more is great but if you learn something and don't put it into action, it's pointless. One of the biggest challenges when it comes to creating a habit is getting yourself to stick with the actions until it becomes a habit. This is where having the right mindset comes in.

When your mind is on your side, during those times when you feel lazy and would rather not do what you know you're supposed to do, you'll be able to get yourself to do it anyway. When it's not on your side, it will come up with the most convincing reasons to put things off. Anyone who had to wake up early on a weekend to hit the gym on a cold morning only to stay in the warm, cozy bed knows how convincing their mind can be.

One way to get your mind on your side is to override it by constantly feeding your mind with empowering thoughts of action.

New Year, New You

If you want to make this year a great year and have basically been setting the same resolutions each year, perhaps it's time to do something a bit different. Instead of focusing on a resolution, focus on developing the right habits.

One of the reasons why many people give up on their goals is because of disappointments, they don't get the results they were expecting fast enough. This could be due to a lot of things such as an unrealistic timeline or circumstances not within their control. If you instead focus on developing habits that will lead to the accomplishment of your goals, the results will be completely under your control. You'll either follow through or you won't. The beauty of it all is that once the habits are developed, it'll just be matter of time before you reach your goals.

For example, instead of setting the goal of losing 50 pounds, focus on developing the habits of exercise and proper diet. When those habits are a part of your everyday life, not only will it become easier as time goes by, you'll also keep the weight off as well. This is the power of habits, whether good or bad, the actions are near automatic.

If you can align those habitual actions towards an outcome that you want, slowly but surely, your life will change.

So drop the resolutions and pick up some good habits.

Eat Radishes but Stay Away from Those Cookies

“Control yourself!” People say it to you and you say it to other people. More important, you say it to yourself. Sometimes, most of the time in fact, you control yourself. Other times it’s difficult, if not impossible, to reign yourself in. You find it hard to stop doing whatever it is that you’re doing. You might be talking too much, eating too much, or watching too much Doctor Who—though that might not be possible. Why is that? Why can you sometimes control yourself and sometimes not? Why can’t you control yourself all the time?
Your Will-Power is Limited
Your will-power is limited. You only have so much of it and, when you’ve used most of it up, controlling yourself gets hard. When your will-power is low, you’re like a hungry dog let loose in a gourmet kibble shop.

How do we know this? Picture yourself in a psychology study:
Radishes and Cookies
You are a student at a mid-Western university. One evening, you are phoned by an experimenter. She is studying people’s preferences for various foods. You’ll be taste-testing. “Wow,” you think to yourself, “extra credit and taste-testing? I love psychology!”
The next morning, the friendly experimenter escorts you into her laboratory. The smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies overwhelms you. The experimenter seats you at a table. In front of you are a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

Your stomach is growling. There is also a plate of radishes.

The experimenter asks you to taste-test the radishes. You are not to taste the cookies. In fact, don’t even touch them! No cookies for you! She leaves you alone in the room. You dutifully taste the radishes and resist the urge to grab a handful of cookies. In fact, you go through the entire session without touching a single cookie. Good for you!
Upon her return, the experimenter says, “I wonder if I can ask you a favour. A friend of mine is having trouble recruiting subjects for his study on solving puzzles. Could you help him out?” “Sure, why not?” you say agreeably. She introduces you to the second experimenter. He takes you to his lab and gives you your instructions: You are to trace a complex figure without lifting your pen off of the paper or doubling back on yourself. If you do either of those things, you have to start over. You are to continue until you solve the puzzle or give up. He starts a stopwatch as you begin.
Times passes…
You are having trouble solving the puzzle. Undeterred, you press on.
More time passes…
You still can’t solve the puzzle! You sometimes get close, but then you either lift your pen or double-back. You are frustrated. You try twice more and give up. The experimenter clicks his stopwatch and writes down the time. The two of you chat about the experiment. You say that the puzzle was hard and very frustrating. He nods his head, “Yes, the puzzle is unsolvable.”
He says, “All will become clear in a moment. First, though…” To your surprise, the experimenter from the taste-test study enters the lab. You learn that the two studies were, in fact, one study. Those sneaky psychologists!
The experimenters think that exercising self-control—by resisting the urge to eat chocolate chip cookies—depletes will-power. The experimenters expect that subjects who resist eating chocolate chip cookies won’t have much will-power left. You learn that other subjects were told to eat the chocolate chip cookies, but no radishes. Poor them! Those subjects probably didn’t need to restrain themselves from eating the radishes. They should have more will-power left after the taste-test. They had cookies.
So, what was with the puzzle? Trying to solve a difficult puzzle—especially an unsolvable one—is extremely frustrating. It takes will-power to control that frustration and continue on in the face of adversity. So, subjects who ate the cookies should have persisted longer at the unsolvable puzzle than did subjects who ate the radishes. And that’s what the experimenters found.
That study, and dozens of others like it, show that people only have so much will-power. When you have to control yourself, there is less will-power available to you. This fact is a good one to know because people who lose their will-power often do things that they would rather not. They become aggressive, sexually impulsive, or start thinking that the later seasons of Star Trek: Voyager weren’t as bad as everybody says.
Will-Power is Like a Muscle

But here’s the good news: You can increase your will-power. How? Simple: Exert some will-power. It’s just like building a muscle. The more you use your will-power muscle, the stronger it becomes. Of course, after a will-power ‘workout’ you will be vulnerable. In the long run, though, you are best served by exercising your will-power as much as you can. But how can you exercise your will-power? Eating radishes in a bakery doesn’t seem all that practical. What to do? It’s time to wait for my next post. I hope that you can control yourself …

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Good Conferencing Habits: Or, How I Learned to Have Fun and Still Get Some Sleep

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