15 Quotes That Motivate And Inspire

I don’t know what quotes are good for, but they work.

The more often you focus on them, the more they become internalized. Reading inspiring quotes is a great way of changing your state of mind and taking control of your focus.

In moments of uncertainty, doubt or sadness, I like to re-read some of my favorite quotes. This a personal selection of the very best – specifically for a variety of situations.

LIFE

A reminder to take things to the next level and kick ass! No matter where I am at right now, there’s also more – more to achieve, to feel alive and be productive. These quotes show that risks are inevitable and taking the path of safety will lead to a life of regret.

The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.

Every man dies. Not every man really lives.

Growth is the only evidence of life.

One finds limits by pushing them.

PAIN

Problems are an essential and important part of life. However, often times they’re only problems because of the way we see things. By changing perspective and focusing on the bigger picture, problems become opportunities or valuable learning experiences.

Especially when facing a difficult situation, pain or needing to make a tough decision – these quotes give support.

If you’re going through hell, keep going.

The word ‘happiness’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.

It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

There is no such thing as failure. There are only results.

Tony Robbins

Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.

Zig Ziglar

PEOPLE

I tend to forget the importance of friendships and their role in my life. The people I surround myself with need to be chosen carefully and cultivating friend- and relationships is an essential contributor to success and happiness.

The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

Jim Rohn

A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.

Truth is everybody is going to hurt you: you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.

Assumptions are the termites of relationships.

How To Use Quotes

There’s many ways of using quotes and integrating them into your daily experience. Quotes can be put anywhere, in an almost unlimited fashion – only limited by your imagination.

For starters, here’s a couple of suggestions.

  • Paper cards on the desk, kitchen or somewhere else in your sight.
  • Configuring the screensaver to show a specific quote.
  • Using quote wall stickers in different rooms.
  • Using the wallpaper/background on a computer or phone.
  • Creating a paperback vision board containing quotes.
  • Browsing quotes online and reading them daily.
  • Printing or buying a poster with quotes on it.

The Flinch Book Review – Julien Smith

Taking action – we all struggle with it here and there. I’m certainly no stranger to procrastination, and my guess is you aren’t either.

Or you’re lying, and will go to hell.

3 things I did right after finishing this book:

  • Took an ice bath in the rain barrel outside.
  • Threw my mom’s lunch sandwich into the yard.
  • Went shopping to the mall wearing only boxers.

There’s no other book that compelled me to take action so immediately. Is this a good thing? As you’ll see, I doubt it.

Searching for better ways of dealing with fear and inner resistance, I came across a forum where this book was recommended. Supposedly free and quite a good read, I decided to download it on my Kindle.

The weekend had been full of frustration where I didn’t take any action on my goals. Sitting at home, but secretly wanting to be approaching girls outside.

After reading this book, something must have changed.

I put my Kindle aside and went downstairs, aiming for the rain barrel outside.

My mom was sitting outside eating lunch and I went around the corner to get the barrel, filled it with cold water and immersed myself in it. I had done this in the bathtub many times before, but only waist-deep.

The perfect opportunity to look the Flinch directly into the eye.

The flinch is the instinct which tells you to run, the reaction which causes you to refuse a challenge and prevents you from moving forward. It urges you to avoid risk and hard work, and it pushes you to choose the safe and easy options.

This isn’t so bad, I thought. Once I had been in the barrel for a couple of seconds, the water started to feel warm. Great – I faced the flinch!

Not quite…

Right after that, the next stupid idea came to mind. Taking my mom’s sandwich and throwing it into the yard was the last thing I could see myself doing. There he was again – the flinch.

Then I just did it. My mom looked confused, then shocked and finally angry. Looking back, I realize how stupid this idea was. After all, there’s a million other ways of pushing your comfort zone.

But my inner idiot hit me again.

Meeting with a friend to approach girls in the mall had been scheduled for the afternoon. I decided to leave my pants in the car and head inside wearing only boxers. The shades helped, but I could barely contain my laughter. People walking past left and right were giggling, yet I was committed to keeping my composure.

Simply pretending this was business as usual. They’re pants, not boxers. I knew better, but that’s what I told people that asked.

Despite going at lengths to confronting my instincts, none of it helped with girls. Later that day, my friend and I drove to the city center in order to meet girls.

My friend did, I was just watching passively, full-on spectator mode.

Pushing my comfort zone and the resulting confidence, apparently, didn’t transfer into other areas.

If you don’t already know, ‘The Flinch’ will help you realize that you are your own enemy. The only person stopping you, is you. However, just make sure not to misinterpret the book and turn into a sociopath. I had been on the brink of it.

Will this book change your life?

Unlikely, but it can definitely be worthwhile stepping stone in the process of improving yourself as a person.

Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not.

This book covers one of the most important skills in life – getting yourself to take action. Knowledge is potential power, action IS power. You can know a good deal, but unless you act, things won’t change. Action is the key to directing change.

This book is free and doesn’t take long to read. Devour it. It’s a valuable reminder for many things you flinch about every day.

My Creative Process – How I Write Posts

Writing is frustrating – especially when you don’t have ideas. Welcome to my life.

At times, I draft and finish an entire article in under an hour. There’s no brainstorming, or thinking involved – words just flow. Frankly, that’s rarely the case, and almost never when I urgently need to produce content.

Finally, I’ve had enough and created my own creativity and writing process. I didn’t just want to publish anything, it had to be quality content I was happy with.

Brainstorming 101

Before I ever log in to WordPress, I start with a sheet of paper and pen. One idea or thought forms the basis of this brainstorming process, I write it in the middle. Slowly, related ideas or topics come to mind, and occasionally I use these as a starting point of an entirely new article – and repeat the same process there.

Doing this on the computer quickly leads to surfing the web or procrastinating. I’ve learned to rely on good old paper for brainstorming ideas and it works well.

It doesn’t take long until I have a couple of bullet points and ideas – at least enough to start drafting the article in WordPress. The title will be whatever comes to mind and refined at a later stage.

Then, it’s as simple as following the 5 steps below.

1. Structure

Everything from the brainstorming session is now copied into the draft where I create structure by using headlines, subtitles and paragraphs. Nothing fancy, really, just making the article easier to write by having different sections rather than one long piece.

2. Drafting

This is where I start writing without any regard to errors, typos or logic. They key is to keep writing without filtering thoughts and let it all out. There’s a target number of words (500) that I want to reach as a minimum and I’ll keep writing until then. Literally whatever comes to mind, it could the dumbest thing.

3. Rest

I don’t usually write an entire article from draft to finish on the same day. I’ve found it to be inefficient and now do things in bulk. I might draft a couple of articles one day and finalize all of them the next day.

In the meantime, I have some space to think about all the ideas and occasionally re-write or improve parts or the article.

4. Finalize

The is the hardest part of all – making sure everything is grammatically correct and has great structure. Errors aren’t allowed anymore, everything needs to be on point. Whereas the previous steps allow to just go with the flow, this part requires concentration.

Sometimes, I end up changing parts or re-writing the entire article. In most of my drafts, I unconsciously use filler words or add unnecessary information – this is the stage where I remove all of them and make the content smoother.

The end result has to be top-notch, anything less is unacceptable.

5. Proofread

I have a look at the published version of the post and read through it. Particular attention is paid to paragraph-structure, the way headings and titles look.

In most cases, it takes 2 days to finish an article. The important thing has been creating a process on my own and not blindly trying to make somebody else’s work for me.

The best productivity tool for each stage is using a timer. By limiting the time available, I am creating a sense of urgency and automatically work faster. Currently, I am using the online timer E.ggtimer.com

How To Make Decisions – 2 Simple Steps For Speed

There’s few things that I hate more than making tough decisions. It’s usually a complete disaster.

Even comparatively trivial decisions such as spending $700 on a 3 week trip to Thailand took weeks.

I would think through all the alternatives, go round in circles and eventually end up frustrated, confused and depleted of willpower. Let’s better not talk about the time wasted. Complete and full-on disaster.

Ultimately, coming up with a streamlined decision making process became a necessity.

Making decisions is both a skill and an art.

You get better with practice and definitely once you’ve found your own process. In the end, that’s what everyone should aim for: finding what works for you.

The benefits are obvious – making quicker progress, less frustration and life becomes more of a smoother ride, rather than a bumpy road. Mistakes can quickly be turned into lessons learned.

Resolve Decisions In 2 Steps

All decision making is based on values and goals – this is something we do naturally anyway. However, without knowing your values or not having set goals, making a decision becomes significantly more difficult.

After all, what do you base your decisions on?

Decision making is value clarification. You decide which value or goal you pick over another.

I’ve struggled with this for so long because I haven’t set any goals at all. Nowadays, I’m able to do it in as little as 15 minutes.

An important ingredient for making good and quick decisions is the state of mind you’re in. I always put leverage on myself to resolve and decision I am facing. The best way of doing this is to focus on the potential consequences of NOT making timely decision.

  • The time you waste by dabbling.
  • The unresolved issue that you’ll always have in the back of your mind.
  • The missed opportunities by neither deciding for, nor against any option.

Making no decision or putting it off indefinitely is also a decision. It’s the worst of all options and costs more mental energy and time than making a wrong decision, learning from the mistake and moving ahead.

Important decisions are best made on paper, otherwise going round in circles becomes an issue.

1. Brainstorming Options

The more alternatives you come up with, the better you are off. Brainstorming on paper is my favorite way of coming up with a series of options and sometimes even ideas that solve the problem entirely. At least 3 options are needed, otherwise you are facing a dilemma.

Furthermore, each option can be ranked based on certain criteria. This could be something like costs in terms of time, money, or simply the risks or potential rewards involved.

If the top choice doesn’t become stand out at this point, I’ll usually sleep over it and decide the next morning. The subconscious works in fascinating ways and sometimes taking a nap, or waiting until the next day brings more clarity to your thoughts.

2. Commitment & Action

Immediately – and I mean that – after making a decisions, action has to follow. That’s the ONLY way of locking yourself in and staying committed to the new decision. Right after I decided to visit Thailand, I cemented the decision by looking up flights and booking a ticket.

Taking action could be anything from making a phone call, to scheduling an appointment and even purchasing a specific item. This step is absolutely essential because without making a commitment, the decision won’t be and feel real.

A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action.

The action is where you burn the bridges – you leave yourself no way of going back.

Frankly, most decision don’t require this sort of process, but it’ll be even more valuable for the ones that do.