Quotes can be found everywhere and it is rare that you go through a day without hearing one. That’s because nothing needs to be said that someone, somewhere hasn't said before. The best thing about quotes is that regardless of the context in which they were originally made, most can be used to fit a variety of situations. The following quotes have been chosen to help you provide motivation to your employees.
How to Use Quotes for Motivation
There are numerous ways in which you can use these quotes to help provide daily inspiration to your employees. Here are a few to get the ideas started.
*Use them in the company calendar. Instead of the traditional picture, put the focus on the quote so it is seen every day.
*Meeting handouts. Start staff meetings with a flyer that focuses on the quote.
*Wall art. Paint the quotes on office walls or have prints made and hung so employees see them daily.
*Monthly challenges. Prepare handouts that list the quote at the top of the page and discuss its implication in the context of your unique business. At the bottom, include a related challenge to employees that utilizes the quote's concept.
Note: To help with the challenges, an idea has been provided at the end of each of the below quotes to help get you started.
"Whether You Think You Can or Think You Can’t, You are Right”
- Henry Ford
Our mind tends to believe everything we tell it. Too often we face a task that seems so daunting we believe it is impossible. At this point, we either approach the task half-heartedly or not at all. With the lack of effort, we end up failing. How many people have you seen that have accomplished what seemed impossible? They accomplished these things because they refused to believe in the word impossible.
Challenge: Step outside your comfort zone and ask yourself what it is you would like to do but have been putting off because you felt you lacked the skill to make it happen. Replace your "I can't" with "I will" and jump in.
"The Question Isn’t Who’s Going to Let me, it’s Who’s Going to Stop Me"
- contributed to Ayn Rand
When you use the words "They won't allow me to ___" you automatically give up all your power to some invisible "they". Consider people like the Wright brothers. "They" told these dreamers that man could never fly. This didn't stop them, however, because they refused to give power over their dreams to someone else. They took on the attitude of "We'll show them!" Today we see daily the proof of their dreams becoming reality.
Challenge: Do you have an idea that would make things easier at work? You haven't expressed that idea because it goes against the way the company has always worked. Take back your power and speak up. Let your idea have a chance. Prove to "them" that change can mean progress.
“Talent Wins Games, but Teamwork and Intelligence Wins Championships”
- Michael Jordan
Have you ever watched a game where it seemed that one player was doing most of the work? In most cases, that player was very talented and was able to bring the team a victory. The rest of the team members stop trying but they must eventually face another team that is more skilled than those they are accustomed to. They lose because the one player who pushed forward with his talent has to face a number of those just as talented - and his fellow team members have grown weak from lack of practice.
Challenge: Find time to bring your co-workers on board with a project you are working on. Maybe they aren't as skilled as you at the moment but you may be surprised at how much a different insight can help improve both of your skills. You can complete the project alone, but learning to share the work, and the glory, will strengthen everyone involved and help you face that championship project that will appear down the road.
“Intelligence Without Ambition is a Bird Without Wings”
- Salvador Dali
Replace the word "intelligence" with any number of substitutes - "talent, training, skill" - and the idea is the same. You can have everything it takes to succeed but if you don't want to put those things to use, they can't push you ahead on their own. Think about the doctor that has been trained as a surgeon. He is capable of performing surgery, but if he hates the hospital environment and would rather spend time painting, that knowledge is useless.
Challenge: Take time to re-examine what you want to do with your life. Are you using your skills to their fullest or are you simply sitting back and thinking promotion will come eventually because you have these skills? Start finding ways you can use your knowledge to help you fly. Put effort into it. Watch how adding passion to your actions doubles your efforts.
“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe”
- Muhammad Ali
Think about this one. You set out to accomplish a huge task and then little annoyances start popping up. Interruptions keep occurring, you accidentally forget a step, and eventually you become so stressed you wonder if your ability to finish is actually present. Like that pebble, it isn't the task itself that is impossible; it is your irritation at all the delays that will eventually stop you.
Challenge: Remove those pebbles from your shoes. Find a way to reduce the minor irritations that eventually build up and stop you from achieving your goal. Rearrange your schedule, set ground rules, and focus on that mountain summit.
“Luck is a Matter of Preparation Meeting Opportunity”
Think back to when you got your first car. Many of us work to save money and keep looking for a car that meets our budget. One day that car appears and you may think you were lucky that you happened to read a particular ad or was at the right location at the correct time. But thinking further you realize that if you hadn't saved the money, you wouldn't have been prepared to buy the car. If you hadn't been actively looking, you may have passed it by without noticing. Both things worked together to create this moment.
Challenge: Think about what you want to accomplish. Start preparing now for when that time comes. That isn't all, however, because all the preparation in the world isn't going to matter if you aren't in a place where that opportunity appears. Prepare, then go out and watch for the opportunity.
“A group of people get together and exist as an institution we call a company so they are able to accomplish something collectively that they could not accomplish separately – they make a contribution to society, a phrase which sounds trite but is fundamental.”
– David Packard, founder of Hewlett-Packard
This quote is a simple concept. Employees in your company have one major goal that is shared by all - to see the company succeed. Each individual plays an important role in the process and no one individual is more essential than another to the final outcome.
Challenge: Take time to acknowledge your coworkers and what they contribute to your environment. Let them know you appreciate the role they play and you will be surprised that you will soon see that acknowledgement of your contribution coming back.
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
- Leo Tolstoy
There is one thing about free will that many of us forget. We do not have the power to change anyone else. We do, however, have the power to change our actions and ourselves. If we are to see change in others, the best way is to exhibit that change within ourselves and show by our behavior how we would like things to be. Lead by example, not force.
Challenge: Think of how you would like your environment to be different and then consider what you personally can do to bring about that change. Create the change within yourself and watch as the environment changes over time.
“Every experience in your life is being orchestrated to teach you something you need to know to move forward.”
- Brian Tracy
Have you ever had one of the moments where you were in the middle of some emergency or crisis weren’t sure what you needed to do next and suddenly an event from the past came to mind and the way that past event played out gave you a clue as to how to handle your present situation? Everything in life, good or bad, can teach you something, and it is something that will help you grow in one way or another.
Challenge: Think about a current situation that is causing you problems. Ask yourself, “What can I learn from this? Is there some mindset you find yourself in when things go bad that make things worse? Is there some action you hesitate in making that could make it less confusing?
"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream."
- C.S. Lewis
People have gone back to get degrees when they were in their 80’s. Many of the world’s greatest books and important discoveries were written or made after the age of fifty. Dreams don’t have time limits. Often around the age of 55, we get a feeling that we are missing out on something we have always wanted. That is our soul’s urge to examine our lives and go for what we have always wanted.
Challenge: Think back over the years. Isn’t there one thing you have wanted to do since you were young and then “life” happened and you put it off? Now, is the time to bring that dream back to life and figure out how to make it happen.
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
- Thomas Edison
Opportunity is not going to come waltzing in the door. Many people mistakenly believe that if something is meant to happen, it will just happen. This is a good way to miss out. Your ship may be coming in, but you need to work hard to make sure there is a dock for it to come into.
Challenge: Make a plan to reach your dreams. Ask yourself what steps you need to take to make sure you are ready for opportunity when it arrives. How are you going to get to that port where your boat is likely to dock?
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
- Winston Churchill
Situations are neither good nor bad, they just exist. It is your reaction to situations that gives them meaning. Every situation contains within it the chance to fail or win, it all becomes a matter of how you are willing to approach that situation.
Challenge: Focus on a situation that you have been seeing as being full of roadblocks. Ask yourself what you can do to circumvent those roadblocks and try to find the positive results of the altered plan.
"Do. Or don't do. There is no try."
The word try indicates giving less than everything you have. Nothing is worth doing if you can’t put your whole effort into it. When you “do” something, you might fail. If you “don’t do” it, you will fail. The difference is that when you “do” your focus is on success. Saying you will “try” means you are focused on the chance of failure, so you don’t give it your all.
This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created between the author and reader of this blog post, and its content should not be relied upon as legal advice. Readers are urged to consult legal counsel when seeking legal advice.