In Praise of Quotes

In my late teens, I started a quote collection. I would underline sentences (and sometimes entire paragraphs) in books and jot down inspiring thoughts from other print media. I would then copy these words of wisdom into a journal. When I joined Pinterest, I set aside a page—Words I Love— where I recopied these quotes.

Maintaining a personal collection of quotes has helped me immensely. Here are some of the benefits I have discovered:

  • Quotes have the power to transform moods. While books and movies can accomplish the same goal, quotes do it faster. I don’t have to invest hours of my time to experience the same effects. Whenever I need a quick jolt of inspiration, I click on my Pinterest page or visit one of many twitter hashtags devoted to quotes, among them #Quoteoftheday, #Inspirationalquotes, and #quotes.
  • Quotes have introduced me to new authors, poets, and other creatives. After hearing Oprah and other celebrities quote from Maya Angelou’s poems, I picked up several of Maya’s books. My favorite poems include Phenomenal Woman, Still I Rise, and Amazing Peace.
  • Quotes provide excellent starting points for essays and articles. During my Toastmaster years, I would start my speeches with an appropriate quote. A seasoned toastmaster advised me to memorize quotes and weave them into the Table Topics segments of each meeting. Being able to quote from past (and present) wisdom supports and enhances all forms of communication. Or to quote W. Somerset Maugham: “The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute to wit.”
  • Quote collections can help friends and future generations. If a friend is experiencing a difficult season, a tweet or text of daily encouragement in the form of a quote can uplift them. Children and grandchildren can learn more about you by reading your favorite quotes. Consider passing on your collection.
  • Quotes provide different perspectives. In addition to validating my feelings, quotes gently steer me in new directions. One quote that continues to resonate with me is the following from best-selling author and speaker Brené Brown: “You can choose courage or you can choose comfort, but you cannot choose both.”

Here are five more favorite quotes:

“The question is not how to survive, but how to thrive with passion, compassion, humor, and style.” Maya Angelou

“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.” Coco Chanel

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” C.S. Lewis

“Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.” Margaret Shepard

“Every great comeback first requires a setback. What you’re going through is a season of your life, not the end of your life.” Pastor Rick Warren

Do you have a favorite quote? Please share in the comments.

 

Where to find Joanne Guidoccio…

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