Wise Words: Go for the great

Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.

~John D. Rockefeller

Wise Words: An Effort to Win

I recognize that winning is not everything but the effort to win is.

~Zig Ziglar


I can’t take credit for finding this quote. It actually came from Brook Noel’s “Good Morning” affirmations. For those not familiar, Brook Noel has this awesome organizational program called Make Today Matter. In one of those “Good Mornings” it had this quote along with the affirmation: I exercise my power and choice to live my dreams. Great affirmation. Love it. But mind kept replaying the quote.

I guess it’s because we always hear that phrase “well, winning isn’t everything.” Sometimes I tend to agree with it. Other times I don’t. When I really, really, really wanted to win at [insert whatever it is], it’s hard to agree. When you’re dealt a bad hand, literally and figuratively, or when someone cheats (because we all know it happens from time to time).

But what got me are the words that follow that phrase–the effort to win is everything. The effort to win. That changes the perspective for me because isn’t that the real reason why we get upset when we don’t win? It seems the effort we put into the task deserves a win? But when your focus is on the effort, the process, and not the result, or the outcome, it seems to fulfill itself. At least, that’s the way I read it. You did good. You tried. You worked hard at it. And that should be what matters in the grand scheme of things. If you strive to do the best, you’re doing the best. 

What a paradigm shift!

As an aside, this Good Morning really was a good one. Brook notes Zig Ziglar’s whole quote which mentions how women gives birth to boys and/or girls and not doctors, lawyers, etc. yet when you read obituaries doctors, lawyers, etc. dies so somewhere between being born and dying we choose how to live. Very awesome food for thought. 

Wise Words: Breathe. Trust. Let Go.

The world just seems to be on fast-forward. Like all the time. And I’m not sure about you but, to me, it feels like you should have a plan. There seems to be this need to have one. 

“What are you going to do after graduation?”

“Are you saving enough for retirement?”

“You know, if you just stick it out a little while longer you can apply for that higher position.”

Now don’t misunderstand me. I understand the importance of at least having an idea of how you want things to go. Planning has its time and place. 

What I’m referring to is when planning turns into this rigid scheduling that ends up exhausting you. When what you plan becomes the sole focus and takes over every aspect of life. When your plan is so rigid that it sets you up to feel like a failure.

There are times I feel judged for not have a detailed, step-by-step life plan for the rest of my life. The truth is I was one of those people. Maybe not the down-to-the-last detail kind of planning, but I had this idea of what life is supposed to look like (graduate high school with a diploma, go to school for a degree, find a home, get married, have kids, work, then retire–something like that) and then life throws you a curve ball. You get the rug pulled from under you and all of a sudden your plan just doesn’t make sense or there is no way your plan will work given your new circumstances and yet you keep trying to follow your original plan. 

Am I rambling? It seems like I’m rambling.

Point is, sometimes you just need to breathe. Trust. And let go. Which is why this quote is relatable. For me, I plan the major things (family parties through the year or a doctor’s appoint on my next day off, things like that). Then I keep a general idea of what I want done and just go with it. It’s scary at times and, again, those looks of judgement catches my eye once in a while, but for the most part I can breathe easier. I don’t feel so confined or like I’m a disappointment because Step B did not come directly after Step A.

You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens.

Wise Words: The Silent Chapter

Everyone has a chapter they don’t read out loud.  Unknown

Seriously. Everyone. And it doesn’t have to be dark or negative or something ghastly or shocking. Sometimes there are things that are private. Things that you only tell people who have earned your trust. And sometimes not even then.

Silent doesn’t mean bad either. You’re just a bit more selective. You hand your book to that someone and have that someone read it to themselves.

So, hats off to your own thoughts, to your moments, to your silent chapter!

Wise Words: The Illusion

The light at the end of the tunnel is not an illusion. The tunnel is.


There is something about this quote that’s both inspiring and . . . calls for thought. 

It’s inspiring in the way that motivational quotes inspire. They keep you motivated. They give you hope. And I cannot help but admire that. If you focus on the light, the tunnel disappears.

Yet . . . it calls for thought, at least for me, because not all tunnels end in light. And perhaps that’s a negative way to see it, but I think I make a good point–at the very least causes the need for closer examination.

So if you consider the tunnel as the illusion, what is the motivational cue if there is no light at the end? Is the point of the quote to have hope? I mean, hope is a very powerful thing. I understand the strength behind hope. But what about that end? Perhaps you should focus on the tunnel. Maybe there’s another way out if you take a closer examination of the tunnel. You can’t do that if you’re thinking the tunnel is an illusion.

And maybe I’m making a bigger deal out of this than is necessary, but I can’t stop my mind from the hesitation it has towards that light.

Wise Words: A Creative Life

To live a creative life we must lose our fear of being wrong.

The first thing that came to my mind when I heard this quote was Meet the Robinson and the “keep moving forward” mantra.

But how often do we skip doing something, skip pushing ourselves to the limit, simply because we don’t want to be wrong? I know I have. It’s a hard pill to swallow, being wrong.

I’m a firm believer that failure is a part of success, but doesn’t make it any easier. It still does good to remember this. That being wrong isn’t always a bad thing, especially if it makes you a stronger and even smarter person. There is humility to be learned in being wrong. A certain lesson learned that can’t be learned any other way.