Often, quotes can be a source of inspiration – or illumination! I’ve chosen ten that I enjoyed below, and I’ve added a few words about each. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments, too.
#1: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Reinhold Niebuhr
This has been one of my favorite quotes since childhood. It’s known as “The Serenity Prayer” and reminds me that, while I can’t control everything, I can and should have an influence on some things.
#2: “All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.” – Ellen Glasgow
Change for the sake of change isn’t a good thing. If you find yourself constantly looking for “change” then try focusing on “growth” instead.
3#: “Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly.” – Francis Bacon
Here, Bacon is saying that if we don’t choose to change things for the better, they’ll naturally tend to get worse. A good example of this is the proverb a stitch in time saves nine.
#4: “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” – Margaret Mead
It’s so easy to feel small and helpless as one of seven billion people in the world. But your actions can and do make a difference.
#5: “All the evidence that we have indicates that it is reasonable to assume in practically every human being, and certainly in almost every newborn baby, that there is an active will toward health, an impulse towards growth, or towards the actualization.” – Abraham Maslow
You might be familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This quote ties in with that, emphasizing that we all have an innate impulse to grow and to improve – even if that impulse gets stunted by society.
#6: “Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.” - Gail Sheehy
This is one of the reasons why I find change and growth so tough! True growth can be scary and uncomfortable – it means stepping well outside your comfort zone.
#7: “Growth is an erratic forward movement: two steps forward, one step back. Remember that and be very gentle with yourself.” – Julia Cameron
This is another reason why growth is difficult. Sometimes, you might feel like you’re not making consistent progress: you make mistakes or back-slide. That’s normal, though; don’t beat yourself up about it.
#8: “All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work.” - Calvin Coolidge
Perhaps you think about change a lot … but are you actually doing anything? It’s all too easy to read about getting fit or getting out of debt, but it’s a lot harder to take action. The problem is, without action, you’re not going to get anywhere.
#9: “Life is about growth. People are not perfect when they’re 21 years old.” - Bill Walton
I’m still pretty young (26) – but I sometimes get frustrated that I’ve not accomplished as much as I’d like, and that I’m not always the person who I want to be. This quote reminds me that I’ve got plenty of years of growth ahead of me.
#10: “Problems do not go away. They must be worked through or else they remain, forever a barrier to the growth and development of the spirit.” – M. Scott Peck
M. Scott Peck wrote the bestseller The Road Less Traveled, an inspiring, if tough, book about emotional and spiritual growth. He emphasizes that we need to work to grow, even when it’s tough, otherwise we can’t reach our full potential