Quotes & questions: A powerful combination

I have always loved quotes.  My inner circle has even called me a quote junkie because I use them frequently in my communications and writing.  I recently experienced a day where a quote from the past and a question for today joined together to create a change catalyst for me. Has that ever happened for you?  You read something and then you experience that truth in a very real and vivid way.  It is one of the spiritual phenomenons that will bring me to my knees in gratitude every time.

The quote:  Mark Twain once said that “..The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”  Sounds rather simplistic but in fact, there is magic in those words.  One of the most challenging lessons I continue to learn is that progress will always trump perfection.  Continuous progress builds momentum and with momentum, we can transform a dream into reality.

The question:  A mentor asked me what I was willing to give up to realize a particular dream.  Always before the question was about what I was willing to do.  Now it shifted.  What was I willing to give up.  Finding the time to “start” was caught in a showdown between priorities.  I had to choose.  My answer?  I am ready to give up excuses. Because when it is all said and done, time isn’t the problem.  I am.  When asked why that was my choice I responded:  Because my excuses are holding me back from starting. Nothing else. And holding back from the start is robbing me of the finish line.  So to begin, that is what I must give up.  To finish, that is what I must give up.  Excuses.”

We never know when the words we hear or the questions we ask are going to be that “spark”.  Excuses weren’t something I even acknowledged before that conversation.  It wasn’t until that moment that I saw that the reasons were in fact just excuses.  The spark of change can be knowledge, insight, praise, even criticism.  But the outcome holds universal potential.  The right words at the right time can spell magic: if we allow it.

What quote from a thought leader have you heard recently that really resonated with you? What questions should you be asking related to that thought? The sounds bites can bring insight.  But when we really hear them and ask the right questions, they can also get us to action which is key.  I’m thinking of it as going from insight to incite. Let’s get started!