I’m writing this on a Monday. Online every Monday the hashtags #MotivationMonday and #MondayMotivation accompany memes with famous quotations designed to encourage and inspire us as we begin a new work week. Why do so many people find Mondays so hard? Are weekends always that good?
Many times I’ve written down or tried to remember inspirational quotations that resonate with me. I’ve saved several inspirational memes posted by friends on Facebook. I’ll admit I haven’t gone back to look at them, but I know where to find them. Recently I caught the tail end of a news story that featured a woman––I’m not sure who and my online news search came up empty—giving a commencement address. She said, “A setback is a setup for a comeback.” It’s not poetic, but it’s simple and impactful. It works for me, where I am, right now.
I’ve always loved the last three lines of Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken”:
I’m not sure how much the road I’ve taken is the one less traveled by, but I’ve definitely traveled and had some great opportunities, and I'm glad for the experiences I’ve had. I like these lines because they encourage the reader to follow the unbeaten path, to think differently, and things will turn out fine—even better. I wonder if that’s the message Frost intended when he wrote the poem, and whether he’d be pleased that I, and others, love it so much.
I also like quotations by the beloved American college basketball coach John Wooden and bestselling author Brené Brown. Someone close to me, who asked not be named, said his go-to motivational quotation is “Always give your best, never get discouraged…” Turns out it’s part of a quotation by former President Richard Nixon. I found it ironic, but he—my unnamed source—is pretty positive and I would say he’s definitely always given his best.
When I texted a good friend to ask what her favorite was, she sent me several. She said she has Erma Bombeck’s “If I had My Life to Live Over” posted on a bulletin board in her office. My favorite of the ones she sent was “You can’t always have a good day. But you can always face a bad day with a good attitude.”
What’s your favorite quotation that motivates you? Do you have it, handwritten or hand printed, and placed somewhere strategic or somewhere secret? Do you look at it daily or pull it out when you need it? Can you recite it? Do you share it with others? Have you shared it with your children, your loved ones, your friends? Have you shared it at work?
Maybe you have more than one or maybe you’ve traded in one for another as you’ve progressed through your career and through life. Is it a line from a poem, words said by someone famous or is it advice from someone you know? Have you noticed how motivational quotations appear at just the right time? I certainly have. Whatever works for each of us is what works.
Motivational quotations keep us focused, determined and hopeful. They inspire us when we’re down; they help us get back up and keep going. They guide us through tough times and remind us of what’s important. Whatever yours is, work it.