Even more quotes to live by

We all have scriptures, thoughts, ideas that run deep. Here are five more quotes that always cause me to stop, think and evaluate. Hopefully, they’ll do the same for you.

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” ~Jim Rohn.

This quote may need to move into my Top 5 soon. The more I speak with people, the more I understand their challenges and the more I observe the problems in our communities and country, it becomes more obvious that the people around you — your inner circle — not only greatly impact the direction and the decisions in your life. More succinctly, the people you surround yourself with can also make or break you. Think about the five people who are your top influencers, the five people who are in your face and in your ear on a daily basis. They are your encourager or deflator, your motivator or pessimist, your advocate or your fair-weather friend. Jesus had 12 disciples, but only three of them were part of inside circle. Every CEO and great leader has a small team of people to whom they lend an ear. You should be no different. Take inventory! Who is in your Fab Five? Make the list and ask yourself: Are these 5 people making me or are they breaking me?

“The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives.” ~Albert Schweitzer.

The message here is don’t carry your song to your grave! If there is a dream, if there is hope, if there is a message in your heart, do not delay, find a way to sing it out loud and clear! Too often, fear, insecurity, concern for what others might say, finances, time or resources build a roadblock for people who don’t live up to their potential or live out their dreams. Benjamin Franklin said, “Some people die at 25 but they aren’t buried until 75!” I’m convinced that everyone has a dream inside them. It may be small in your mind, but your small, your little can become much if you turn it loose. Don’t carry your song to your grave!

“None of the disciples was a first-round draft pick. They were a mess. Peter had his mouth always open, his foot always in it. Thomas met every plan with, “I doubt it.” St. John the Divine? That same John and his brother James were called the “Sons of Thunder.” Matthew was a selfish tax collector. As a group, they were always arguing about who was the greatest.” ~Ray Johnston in The Hope Quotient.

So you don’t consider yourself a first-round draft pick? Not even a second or third-round pick? No worries, you’re in good company. The disciples were simple men, all of whom had doubts, concerns and various idiosyncrasies. Probably men just like you work with, go to church with, eat dinner with or play games with. Think you need an education or lots of money to step out into your dream? Steve Jobs, Ted Turner, Michael Dell, Rachel Ray, John D. Rockefeller and Dave Thomas never finished college, but they became great successes, even multi-millionaires. The point is this: Your doubts, fears, challenges and journey have made you the person you are today. No one is more prepared than you. No one has the same path as you. No one has a better story to tell than you.

Make each day your masterpiece. ~John Wooden.

John Wooden was so much more than a basketball coach. He knew how to motivate people. His perspective on life and sports were unique and rare, but he realized that building a great basketball first involved building the heart and soul of the man inside the player. Life, like sports, work and other facets of your life, is indeed about perspective. You choose life or death every day. You choose to be happy, or to wallow in guilt, fear, angst, despair or hopelessness. The beauty of life is that we each have the opportunity to start afresh and anew every morning. Lamentations tells us that “his mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning.” Today, you have a blank slate, a clean canvas and you can start again. Make today your masterpiece!

“People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures.” ~F.M. Alexander.

If you want to change your life, you have to change something. Albert Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Well, duh. But there is a process. You don’t just turn the car on a dime at 60 mph. You first turn on the blinker, slow down, perhaps grab the steering wheel differently, move into a turn lane, then negotiate the turn. Similarly, changes begin with our thought pattern, and our thoughts turn into actions and our actions become habits. It’s those habits that ultimately determine character, direction and consistency. What habits are holding you back? What habits are keeping you from making the turn? What habits are speeding you down the same road of insanity at 60 mph? Think about it. Take inventory of your habits and determine to make changes that will allow you to Stop The Insanity!

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