8 Quotes That Have Made Me Think

In an effort to always be learning and progress, I often forget about those moments that help you make decisions that propel your forward. These 8 quotes have recently had a big impact on my life.

“Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do” — Steve Jobs

Seeing that we live in a world where there are hundreds if not thousands of choices to be made everyday, figuring out what matters most and how to say no is almost more important than saying yes. I love Derek Sivers mind set on that, it’s either “No” or “Hell Yes!” Figure out what you definitely don’t want to do, then you’ll know whats left are the good things, or you need to invent the right choice.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” — Mark Twain

I love this perspective, if you want to get ahead and make some progress you’ve got to put a foot forward. Just start, don’t worry about it too much, just get started. “Ready. Fire. Aim”

“When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely in your thoughts advanced to the state of science.” — Lord Kelvin

Data nerd alert, but our friend Lord Kelvin is dead on correct. Whatever it is, if you want to improve it, you have to be able to measure it, and if you can apply numbers to it you’ll be able to gain real knowledge and insight about it. Peter Drucker spoke of this as well in saying, “What gets measured gets improved.” Apply science to as many things as need improving.

“Too many impatient politicians buy today‘s votes with tomorrow‘s inflation.” — Neal A. Maxwell

Shouldn’t we be willing to patiently discipline ourselves today for a better tomorrow? A little more patience from everyone would do a lot to move the ball forward in the right direction.

“As much as you think you know, you don’t know. In a game of lifelong focus on success, I always want to be asking, “What do I NOT know?” And how do I understand the system as a whole, not just my perspective on the system.” — Tony Robbins

It’s hard to learn that you aren’t as smart as you think. Those who stop learning stop progressing. The ability to step back and look at everything will yield invaluable results to your progress and achievement.

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.” — Mark Twain

Such an interesting way to think about this principle, and why we should learn more about history. I think the similar saying goes, “those who don’t understand history are destined to repeat it.” Try not to forget about the past, especially your past experience too quickly, it might just help you and all of us not make more mistakes in the future.

“100% of the time is easier than 98% of the time” — Clayton M. Christensen

We need to decide what we are going to stand for, and then stand for it all the time. It’s easy to think that “just this once” I can cross the line and then never do it again. But, “ life is just one unending stream of extenuating circumstances.” And as Harvey Spector would say, “if you’ve done it once, you’ll likely do it again.” Hold true to your personal principles, which means you first have to know and establish them.

“Think. Let us be honest with ourselves and consider how averse we are to doing just that. Thinking is work… When a difficult decision or problem arises, how easy it is, after looking at it superficially, to give up thinking about it… It is easy to decide that it is insoluble, or that something will turn up to help us. Sloppy and inconclusive thinking becomes a habit. The more one does it the more one is unfit to think a problem through to a proper conclusion… One must think until it hurts… in the early stages, thinking is hard work and one must accept it as such, later one will find that it is not so difficult, the thinking apparatus has become trained.” — M. Russell Ballard

It’s frustrating that so many people don’t actually think, and really think. When was the last time time you “[thought] until it hurt?” I love this idea that we can train our minds to become accustomed to difficult problem solving. Don’t let sloppy and inconclusive thinking become a habit.


I hope you thought a little bit, and maybe even triggered some ideas for yourself. What quotes have made you think?

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