There are so many motivational and inspirational quotes going around nowadays. Almost everything out of a famous person’s mouth suddenly gets turned into a quotable quote, and people everywhere immediately repeat it to others or to themselves. Do they really understand the meaning of the phrases they’re uttering? Or are the phrases only important because they’re popular? Why are they so popular, anyway?
The quotes that fill up every greeting card and every heartwarming book become so widely used mainly because of how good they make people feel. The quotes, much like a motivational speaker, give people hope and make them feel better about themselves, regardless of the situation. Whether or not they’re wildly popular or just slightly known, the important thing is that you understand them. Pretty words mean nothing to an ignorant mind, but simple words can mean the world to one that comprehends it.
John Wooden said, “Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.” It sounds nice, but it seems complicated. Simply put, the quote means that people cannot control the outcome of their decisions and actions all the time, and the successful ones are the ones that don’t dwell on whether things worked out how they wanted it to or not. They instead focus on how to make the best of the outcome they received.
Jim Rohn, a famous motivational speaker, once said that “if you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” This one is applicable to almost everyone who is afraid of risks or change, but somehow still expects their lives to get better. With his statement, Rohn explains that in order to elevate yourself from the ordinary, you must be willing to change and deviate from your routine.
Probably the most famous name in movies to date, Walt Disney is most definitely not a professional motivational speaker. However, he does have many inspirational quotes from the many speeches he’s delivered through the years, like this one: “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” It’s almost a naïve statement, but it has substance. Every dream is achieved through will and hard work, but there is no will without courage. It takes courage to decide to pursue a dream, and without it, a dream will be just that.
Winston Churchill defined success as “walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” Quite a tricky statement to understand, but he might have been referring to the fact that failure is always bound to meet us and hit us every step of the way, and success comes when one can power on through every failure without getting discouraged.
“Opportunities don’t happen; you create them.” Chris Grosser tackled one of the biggest excuses of people when he said those words. A lot of times people would blame lack of opportunity, bad luck, or unfortunate circumstances, when in reality the problem is that these people just sit around all day hoping for a change to happen. It might seem like opportunity knocks only on lucky doors, but actually, those doors have called out and given their addresses to opportunity. It takes action to create opportunity, because it does not happen by accident.
One of the most famous quotes of all time didn’t come from a motivational speaker, but from a very well-known scientist. Thomas Edison, when referring to his experimentation with the light bulb, said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” His positive thinking and logical reasoning is reflected in that quote, something that a lot of people could benefit from. Many give up and quit at the first obstacle, and almost all stop trying after several failures. Edison, on the other hand, “failed” 10,000 times and he didn’t even consider them “failures”. He merely considered them as steps towards success, and that attitude contributed to why his name lives on until today.
These are only an extremely small percentage of the all the famous quotes that have been uttered so far, and there certainly are hundreds of thousands more to come. You do not need to memorize or even hear them all to capture their essence. You only have to understand what they want to say.