Why is it that a few words put together in a certain order invoke such strong reactions in us?
Is it thanks to history’s greatest authors, philosophers, and orators who are just naturally able to communicate ideas succinctly and vividly?
Largely, yes—but there’s a lot more going on than first meets the eye.
Take a look inside the mind of the average person and you’ll no doubt be confronted by a whole load of negative mental chatter: “I can’t do this”, “I’m a horrible person”, “I’ll never achieve what I want”.
With our inner worlds dominated by self-criticism and self-defeating thoughts, it’s a much welcome relief to hear quotes—or as they’d be considered in Buddhism, ‘affirmations’—that transcend nasty psychological blocks and tap into our core beliefs.
You see, the purpose of affirmations is not to convince you of something—they simply ‘make firm’ something that already exists inside of you which has been obscured by doubts.
To help us bring to light these inner truths, affirmations need to be repeated over and over and over again. In the case of understanding quotes and making sure you put them into action, that means reading them consistently as part of your daily routine.
Spring to life every morning by reading these 21 inspiring and motivating quotes from some of history’s greatest thinkers and doers:
“You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.” — Henry David Thoreau
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”—Marcus Aurelius
“Do not say, ‘It is morning,’ and dismiss it with a name of yesterday. See it for the first time as a newborn child that has no name.” —Rabindranath Tagore
“Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it.” —Richard Whately
“Be pleasant until ten o’clock in the morning and the rest of the day will take care of itself.” — Elbert Hubbard
“Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” – Jim Rohn
“Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend — or a meaningful day.” —Dalai Lama
“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination” —Oscar Wilde
“What ever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”—Napolean Hill
“Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them.” —William Arthur Ward
“Many a false step has been made by standing still.” —Fortune Cookie
“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” —Seneca
“Life is very short for those who forget the past, neglect the present, and fear the future.” —Seneca
“Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.” —Jim Rohn
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” —Anthony Robbins
“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” —Leonardo da Vinci
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” —Anne Frank
“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” —Thomas Jefferson
“Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” —Farrah Gray
“There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” —Aristotle
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot
Want to take the next step to getting your day off to the best possible start?
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Joseph is a freelance writer, and the co-creator of Project Monkey Mind—a new blog for the 21st century solopreneur and young professional who wants to lead a more free and fulfilling life.
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