Three quotes to live by

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It was fun to pull together my “faves” lists – websites, books, even music – for my new website, but I hadn’t spent much time thinking about quotes until someone asked me recently to share my favorite . . . and I discovered that I couldn’t narrow the list down from these three. As it turns out, they’re all interrelated.

 

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” – Mike Tyson

I’m not a Tyson fan and don’t like boxing, but sometimes wisdom comes from unexpected sources. The reason I love this quote is because it’s a visceral reminder that adversity is inevitable. It’s what we do after we make the wrong choice, receive bad news, stumble or outright fail that determines the outcome of the next round.

 

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” – Alvin Toffler

Bottom line: success today requires an entrepreneurial commitment to lifelong learning, self-transformation and, occasionally, reinvention. Here’s a blog post I wrote last fall about highlights from the 2012 Harvard Coaching Conference, which featured several fantastic speakers, including Dan Siegel of the Mindsight Institute, Dan Goleman (Mr. EQ) and Deborah Ancona of MIT, who addressed the topic of brain plasticity from different angles.

 

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell

Storytelling, storydoing, storyselling – there’s no shortage of articles these days about how humans are hard-wired to remember and respond to stories. Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth) knew that better than anyone. The most powerful stories, the ones that galvanize or imprison us, are the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. Sometimes, those stories were written for us by others. Often, they’re stories we wrote a long time ago. Letting go of those old narratives frees us up to create new ones that reflect who we are now, and who we aspire to become one day.

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