9 Lessons from 9 Inspiring Quotes I Live By

9 Lessons from 9 Inspiring Quotes I Live By

Today I want to share nine inspiring quotes that changed my life.  I’ve listed them below along with supplementary lessons I’ve learned about each one over the years.  I hope they inspire you just as they have inspired me.

1.  Intuition

“At times you have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.  What you’ll discover will be wonderful.  What you’ll discover is yourself.”  -Alan Alda

Your intuition is a gift.  It is your third eye – a way of seeing with your soul.  Pay attention to what it shows you.  More often than you realize, you have the answers you seek already inside you.  Your unconscious mind is the greatest source of your genius; you just have to pay attention.

Trusting your intuition is trusting your true self, and the more you trust your true self, the more control you have of making your goals and dreams come true.  Read 1,000 Little Things.

2.  Responsibility

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves.  The process never ends until we die.  And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”  -Eleanor Roosevelt

Don’t blame your parents, your friends, your teachers, your boss, or anyone else.  Blame yourself and then do something about it.  If something isn’t right and needs to change in your life, you’re the only one who can make that change.

The trajectory of your life is directly proportional to the strength of your choices.  To say you have no choice is to relieve yourself of all the responsibility and control you have over your life, which is another way of saying, “I don’t care.  I give up.”

3.  Expectation

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”  -Alexander Pope

As you get older you will find that life isn’t necessarily any easier or harder than you thought it was going to be; it’s just that the easy and the hard aren’t exactly the way you had anticipated, and don’t always occur when you expect them to.  This isn’t a bad thing; it makes life interesting.  With a positive attitude you will always be pleasantly surprised.

When you stop expecting things to be a certain way, you can appreciate them for what they are.  Ultimately you will realize that life’s greatest gifts are rarely wrapped the way you expected.  Read The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.

4.  Small Steps

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”  -Desmond Tutu

All the skills and understanding necessary for achievement will not be fully available to you when you first start a new endeavor.  But once you start, you will build the necessary skills and understanding as you need them.

Do not overwhelm yourself by thinking about the entire project.  Instead, focus on the one particular action step you can take right now.  Give your best to the task at hand.  Build what you can with what you have, and as you acquire additional resources, build upon what you have already built.  Read How to Get What You Want.

5.  Questions vs. Answers

“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”  -Voltaire

Life is filled with unanswered questions, but it is the courage to ask enough of the right ones that ultimately leads you to an understanding of yourself and your purpose.

You can spend your life wallowing in sorrow by asking negative questions like, “Why me?”  Or you can be grateful that you survived – that you’re still strong enough to breathe, walk and think for yourself – and then ask, “Where do I want to go next?”

6.  Focus

“Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want.  No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.”  -Paulo Coelho

Raindrops falling gently over a wide, sprawling area will always yield to the obstructions present in the landscape.  Yet when these raindrops are concentrated into the mighty force of a river, they have the power to cut through nearly any obstruction imaginable.

In the same way, when your thoughts, feelings and actions are concentrated on a clear and consistent purpose, nothing can hold you back.  The roadblocks standing in your way are no match for your focused, unwavering purpose.  Give your life a decided advantage over all the obstacles you encounter by living each moment in the service of a meaningful purpose.

7.  Relationships

“Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.”  -J.K. Rowling

When it comes to relationships, be careful not to continuously doubt the positives and ignore the negatives.  You likely do this more often than you think.  For instance, you will say to your partner dozens of times:  Do you really love me?  Are you sure?  And ask similar questions that doubt the existence of their love.  But you will rarely ask:  Does this upset you?  Are you sure?  And similar questions that have the potential to resolve conflict before it starts.

This imbalance creates tension on both sides of the equation.  The positive things become more burdensome while the negatives fester in the background, unresolved.  Bottom line:  Have faith in the positives as you work on turning the negatives around.  Read The 5 Love Languages.

8.  Humility

“On the highest throne in the world, we still sit only on our own bottom.”  -Michel de Montaigne

If you become impressed with your own importance, you will cease to be impressive regardless of how successful you are.  Anyone who must announce that they are great rarely is.

True greatness and admiration is earned when you spend your time listening and learning rather than boasting and preening.  Let go of the need to be better than anyone else.  Humility is a virtue that will carry you far.  When you free yourself from the crushing demands of your ego, you free yourself to be your very best.

9.  Life Experience

“Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.”  -Rita Mae Brown

Experience is what you get when your plans don’t go as planned, and experience is the most valuable commodity you own – it builds your strength.

You have the power to turn your wounds and worries into wisdom; you just have to do something about them.  You have to accept what has happened and use what you’ve learned to step forward.  Everything you’ve experienced has given you the upper hand for dealing with everything you have yet to experience.  Realize this and set yourself free.

Photo by: Hartwig HKD


  1. Renee says

    Marc and Angel, thank you both from the bottom of my heart. I have been reading your blog for almost a year now. I am very thankful that I stumbled upon it. Your writing always touches me greatly. I absolutely love the inspiring quotes and lessons you’ve written about in this post.

    PS: I will purchase your eBook this week. I look forward to taking your inspiring words on the go with me.

  2. says

    Thanks for writing such a wonderful and interesting write-up on each of these quotes. Some of the points jolted me. All of them moved me. If I can practice just a fraction of what you teach here, it will result in a significant positive change in my life… that’s my goal.

  3. PJ says

    Again, the simplicity of your work makes me smile and gives me hope. Thank you both for making my days a little brighter with the ideas you share with us each week.

  4. says

    Humility is a great virtue, but one that’s overlooked and often neglected entirely. I’m glad to see you included it.

    The greatest leaders are usually the most humble. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

    When we check our ego at the door it opens up an entire world of possibilities . . . because those who already know it all can learn nothing.


  5. says

    Possibly the best post on your blog so far.

    The last two sentences under Life Experience are profound :

    “Everything you’ve experienced has given you the upper hand for dealing with everything you have yet to experience. Realize this and set yourself free.”

    Thank you!

  6. Diedra says

    Once in a while, I read something that you’ve posted, and it really must be shared with my friends on Facebook. There are so many people who are hurting, and could use just such encouragement. Although I am a Christian, I have found the majority of things stated to be quite useful. Sometimes what you state is so in line with the Bible that I find it truly inspiring. I hope you don’t mind that I copy and paste some things on my wall for my friends to see. If they comment, I tell them about you. Thanks for this wonderful post.

  7. says

    Quote no. 9 is my favorite on this list.

    And an one of my personal favorites is:

    The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
    -Mohandas Ghandi

  8. says

    Number one is particularly meaningful today as I turn my attention to the direction my life is going. I was attempting to ignore the wisdom of my intuition. Not very helpful. You have been helpful with this reminder. Thank you so much.

  9. David Rapp says

    Another winner. I am taking a first step and heading to Houston to visit an old friend. Its been too long. I also made a pledge: find 52 friends and family I miss, and contacting them by phone or in person, before Christmas this year. I got to two friends today, and they were both in tears that I remembered their birthdays. Facebook and Twitter cannot do that.

  10. marlene alves says

    I am amazed at how each & every post you share is filled so succinctly with wisdom, encouragement & caring. Especially today, I needed exactly what you have offered. Thank you!

  11. Caz says

    I literally stumbled upon your page. Still do not know how I got here but thank you thank you thank you. This is exactly what I need right now. Amazing how positive energy works.

  12. Sonia says

    I loved this whole post, but the caution about ignoring the negatives in a relationship is something I’ve been struggling with today especially. Thank you Marc and Angel!

  13. says

    This could be my new favorite post! I love the quotes (I’m a bit of a quote addict if I’m honest!) I especially love the Desmond Tutu quote as I’ve not come across that one before – thank you – awesome as ever!

  14. Deb says

    I love your blog so much – the frequency, the content, and although similar themes regularly run through the posts, it’s always a fresh angle, a great reminder of where to focus my energies. I never tire of it, and recommend it frequently! Keep it up and Thank You!

  15. says

    Lovely post and I want to implement many of the points from this post like Point no. 2, 3 & 4…
    The discipline of implementing these ideas is not always easy, but I will do my best.

  16. says

    @Diedra: Thank you so much. When you share our content on Facebook and Twitter, please be sure to link back to our site.

    @All: Again and again you inspire us with your kindness. Your comments continue to be the sunshine in our lives. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

  17. Dee says

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful and thought provoking posts. I often tweet and share on facebook. I think my favorites were the ones about responsibility and expectations. It also reminds me of one of my other favorite quotes. “I thought my life was a tragedy until I realized I had a choice.” I don’t even know who to attribute it to – it was on a page-a-day calendar I had some twenty years ago. But it literally changed my life. Thanks again for all the great things you share.

  18. The Tube says

    I am an avid reader of this blog, and while I enjoy every post, this is one of the best I have read. Thank you so much for this.

  19. says

    One of the best quotes I’ve read in a long time:

    “Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.” -Rita Mae Brown


  20. Bailey says

    I love this blog, website. You say in one of you posts to exploit your resources. This is a resource for me. “Indifference and neglect” have the power to crush a person. The good judgement quote, true. Yet, it does not mean the bad judgement must be ours. Being very focused, and smart, you learn from others bad judgements. Humility, tricky one. I’ve known people whose ego were fed by their abundance of humility. That can feed on itself. Humility is crucial.
    Thank you

  21. Lee says

    Marc & Angel –
    I’m a college student pursuing entry into medical school. The path is incredibly difficult, and sometimes very discouraging – especially since I chose one of the hardest majors (physics) at a really tough institution. I stumbled upon your website a few months ago, and now whenever I’m having a particularly self-doubtful day, I visit this blog and it helps re-focus and re-inspire me to be the best that I can be. I owe you my sanity. Thank you <3

  22. Dave says

    I love this blog! I have passed it along to a few of my friends .. mostly those who are having difficulties, or who may need a small, encouraging push to have a GREAT day! Thanks so much!!!

  23. says

    Another great post guys. Most of the nine quotes actually relate with my running. Expectation – I don’t expect to win any race so I’m never disappointed. Small Steps – I started by running one lap near where I live. Now I can run 20. Focus – Combined with determination enabled me to achieve a new personal best only two weeks ago. Keep up the great work guys.

  24. Mompoloki Makwana says

    These quotes and tips are so emotionally building and motivating. I will share these will my friends.

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