I’m not sure who came up with it, but the first time I heard it, something clicked in my head. The idea that we can change a situation by changing our behavior made me realize how much power I have over how my life. The takeaway: it’s up to us to get the results we want. And this realization actually ties to the next one:
This was first said to me by my seventh grade music teacher. I honestly don’t remember how we got on the subject, but the conversation was intense. A room full of students all shouted out examples of situations where we didn’t feel we had a choice, ie. do our homework or get in trouble, etc. She pointed out that it was still our choice, it was just that we didn’t like the consequences if we chose not to do the homework. We didn’t do a note of singing that day, but that teacher’s quote sang to me.
Speaking of teachers, here’s a quote I actually created as a teacher myself. I do a lot of work helping college students and young professionals make the transition into the workforce. I open my career strategy course with this:
I have great compassion for younger workers. They’ve been told that a college education is their ticket to career success. Sadly, they enter the workforce and find out that they haven’t been properly prepared. School doesn’t teach you how to be a professional. The result is a young person with their confidence rocked to the core, and a case of on-set career crisis. The solution is to help them connect-the-dots and gain back a sense of control over their future. That quote explains how.
And finally, there’s my personal favorite, which comes from my dear old dad, who told me early in life:
This is so true! You can look at work as a personal sacrifice or an endless opportunity to experience, learn and grow. When you do the latter, success seems to materialize. It’s the attitude that makes the difference in the outcome.
Now please know, there are also quotes I can’t stand. Here’s one that drives me nuts:
I get the point of this quote, but people often fail to think of the ramifications of telling people today they can be anything. How do you choose from anything? What happens if you make a wrong choice? It’s like being told to pick a flavor of ice cream in ten seconds from a list of a thousand – what is supposed to be a treat turns out to be stressful. The idea of determining what you want to be when you grow up is outdated. Americans have as many as 9 careers in their lifetimes with an average of 3 jobs in each one. So, putting all your stock in the idea that you are only going to be one thing is misguided. I think the phrase should be reworked to something like this:
How’s that? Better?