My teacher Stephen K. Hayes shared this practice he got from his father, motivational speaker Ira Hayes, the practice of compiling  quotations and ideas. Every now and again, we hear a quote that instantly resonates, that makes sense. We have that feeling of “aha!” or “that explains everything!” when we hear words of wisdom.

In my travels, these are some of the quotes I’ve heard which provoke those moments.

  • Advice, like fruit, is best when it’s fresh. – Jason Fried
  • Any opportunity to be helpful is an opportunity to earn money. – Chris Brogan
  • Be yourself, because others are already taken. – Oscar Wilde
  • Chaos at the bottom means order at the top. Order at the bottom means chaos at the top. – Stephen K. Hayes
  • Demand is local, supply is global. – Andy Xie
  • It’s hard to measure water from a fire hose while it’s hitting you in the face. – Antoine Dore
  • Energy flows where attention goes. – Ken Savage
  • Everyone has a chapter in their life they don’t read out loud. – Jon F. Merz
  • The dose makes the poison. – Paracelsus
  • Weapons are made to be felt, not seen. – Doug Marcaida
  • Heroism is the antidote to evil. – Phillip Zimbardo
  • How many rough edges can you have before something becomes too sharp to handle safely? – Scott from the WoW.com forums
  • I would do this for free, but I make you pay so that you understand the value of what you’re getting. – Mike Lipkin
  • I’m pissed at a nickel because it isn’t a dime. – Gene Simmons of KISS
  • If a collections agency can send letters to people who have no money, offering them nothing, and still get money, imagine what marketers who have something to offer could do with letters to people who have money? – Dan Kennedy
  • If a pig is happy in her stall, the open door means nothing. – Christie Golden
  • If sometimes dreams come true, what of our nightmares? – J. Michael Straczynski
  • If the jockey is no good, don’t bet on that horse. – Baris Akyurek
  • If they’ll do it for you, they’ll do it to you. – Steven Tyler
  • If you do not pay for a service, you are the product they sell. So it ever has been. – Tom Webster
  • It takes two to make a bully. – Stephen K. Hayes
  • Even with gallons of soup, a teaspoon is enough to know if it’s seasoned well if you stir it enough. – Tom Webster
  • It’s not about who you know. It’s about who knows you. – Mitch Joel
  • Money flows through responsibility. – Mitch Joel
  • Calm people live, tense people die. – Adam Savage
  • No excuse will ever be as good a story as how you got it done. – Chris Brogan
  • No longer lend your strength to that which you wish to be free from. – Jewel
  • One of the characteristics of a leader is that he not doubt for one moment the capacity of the people he’s leading to realize whatever he’s dreaming. – Benjamin Zander
  • Opportunities do not float like clouds in the sky. They’re attached to people. If you’re looking for an opportunity, you’re really looking for a person. – Reid Hoffman
  • Our stature is measured by the enemies we make. – Andrew Robinson
  • Peace is fragile when resources are in demand. – World of Warcraft
  • Scarcity makes foes of everyone. – Campbell Robertson
  • Some people never quite get it, no matter how many times they’ve been hit over the head with the two-by-four of wisdom. – Michael Panzer
  • The inbox is the perfect delivery system of other people’s priorities. – Chris Brogan
  • The media only writes about the scandals, but that’s normal, because a tree that falls makes more noise than a forest that grows. – Pope Francis
  • The only person I try to be better than is the person I was yesterday. – Jon F. Merz
  • The plural of anecdote is not data. – Cynwise
  • You can explain things to people, but you can’t understand things to people. – Jeff Bezos
  • The primordial soup that creates heroes never tastes of rainbows — it’s a lumpy gumbo of suffering and evil. Heroes are born from darkness, because we desperately need someone to light the way. It’s an unfair world that cries out for heroes. To bring order out of chaos and justice to the downtrodden is the hero’s call. Is it any wonder that the world is an unfair place? It’s monstrously unfair. And it’s going to stay that way. It means we’re going to need a lot more heroes to bring justice to an unjust world. We’re going to need you to step up and reshape the world. – Dave Kosak
  • The role of art is to chase away ugliness. – Bono
  • The smaller the mind, the greater the ego. – Tom Clancy
  • The smaller the target, the more vigorous the reaction. – Ken Savage
  • There is a greater darkness than the one we fight. It is the darkness of the soul that has lost its way. The war we fight is not against powers and principalities; it is against chaos and despair. Greater than the death of flesh is the death of hope, the death of dreams. Against this peril we can never surrender. The future is all around us, waiting, in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born in pain. – J. Michael Straczynski
  • There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. – Nelson Mandela
  • Timid salesmen have skinny kids. – Zig Ziglar
  • Tools get socially interesting after they’re no longer technologically interesting. – Clay Shirky
  • We live or die on our database. – Chris Brogan
  • Never underestimate the fool with a cause. – Sogg
  • When the shooter misses the target, it ain’t the target’s fault. – Bob Burg
  • What distinguishes science from the rest of academia is that in science, you can’t predict the conclusion from the name of the author. – Bruce Levin
  • You’d be surprised how much people will pay for a Rabbit when the only alternative is a Ferrari. – World of Warcraft forums
  • Weapons are meant to be felt, not seen. – Doug Marcaida
  • Your price, my way. Your way, my price. – Unknown
  • Proximity breeds care, and distance breeds fear. – Emmanuel Acho


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