Words have always been my form of motivation.
Perhaps that's why I got into writing; I found it incredible that a few words strung into a simple little sentence could potentially influence the course of your life forever.
Over the course of the last 2–3 years, I’ve gathered hundreds and thousands of inspiring quotes from Pinterest and reposted them all on social media, especially the ones that I thought could also help other people in their hard times.
For me, the best thing about a quote is the way it makes you feel. It’s almost like the person who created it knew exactly how you were feeling and went through the same struggles as you, and they managed to overcome them, now they want to tell you that you can too.
This precise reason is why I decided to focus on motivational quotes in 2021; I wanted to inspire people to strengthen their work ethic and motivate them to continue working on their dreams despite the problems they might be facing.
With that being said, here are 5 quotes that, if applied, will inevitably change your work ethic for the better.
“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” — William James
Too often, we allow ourselves to think that for our work to be relevant and to have meaning, we have to be some sort of internet sensation.
While having an audience is great and helpful, your work can still touch the lives of so many people without you even realizing it.
Think about your social circle, your family, the people you spend the most amount of time with; they can be just as affected by the things you do as strangers.
How to apply it:
Next time you find yourself wondering whether or not something you’re doing is worth it, pause for a moment, and remind yourself that your work is just as good as anybody else’s.
As a content creator, I’ve found myself holding back countless times because I feared what other people might say.
“Who do you think you are to give advice?” It was a constant thought that housed itself in the back of my mind.
I’ve learned that it’s imperative to block those thoughts out the moment they try to seep into your life; if not, you’ll remain stagnant, and the likelihood of you achieving your goals will be slim.
Don’t focus so much on how many people see your work; your crowd will find you after you put in the effort and after you spend countless nights staying up and working towards your dreams.
I have a fairly small YouTube channel, but I work on it as if I’ve got hundreds and thousands of people counting on me. Why? Because I know that eventually, I’ll get to that point, and even helping 1–2 people now makes me feel like my work makes a difference.
“If You Are Working On Something That You Really Care About, You Don’t Have To Be Pushed. The Vision Pulls You.” — Steve Jobs
A lot of people live in what Steven Pressfield calls “shadow careers.”
Essentially, when you’re terrified of embracing your true calling, you embrace a shadow calling instead. Your shadow career is a metaphor for your real career, and despite it being similar, your shadow career entails little to no risk, and you don’t get to do what you really want.
For instance, you work for a writer and put your own writing aside because you’re afraid to pursue your own passion for writing.
Or, you work for a startup because you’re too afraid of starting your own.
When that happens, you often feel little to no motivation to work, whether that be for the company or for yourself. Your vision becomes more and more blurred over time.
How to apply it:
Learn to become more aware of yourself and your actions. Are the things that you’re currently doing enabling you to have the life that you want?
Every day you sit down to do your work, are you doing the things that will put you ahead or pull you back even farther?
When you decide to work on your true calling, it won’t always be easy, but it will be much more fulfilling than working for someone else who is doing what you wish you were.
“As long as you can keep taking shots on goal, and you keep getting back up; eventually you’ll get through. Just stick at it.” — Naval Ravikant
Within the majority of creative careers, you usually throw things at the wall until something sticks.
You know what you want, but your presentation will be different each time you present it. You try new things, different angles, sometimes you screw up, and it doesn’t work out; other times, it feels like you’re making a tiny bit of progress.
Most people give up because they want that overnight success that everybody seems to have, but if they just stuck with it — maybe their outcome would have been different, maybe that one last shot they ended up not throwing — would have been the winning shot.
How to apply it:
Find a goal, a realistic yet incredibly ambitious goal, and stick with it.
Don’t try to jump from one flower to the next; you need to identify your own purpose and stick with making it come to fruition. Just because it doesn’t seem to work now doesn’t mean it won’t ever happen for you.
When I first started my journey of working for myself, I watched a ton of Shark Tank, and I became pretty obsessed with Mark Cuban. One of my favorite quotes by him that has always helped me in my times of struggle is this,
“It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. You only have to be right once, and then everyone can tell you that you are an overnight success.”
Nobody is an overnight success. The only reason you feel like they are is because you haven't seen all of the hard work they’ve been putting in behind the scenes.
Find your goal, your purpose, the thing that makes you want to wake up every morning, and do everything in your power to make it work — every single day, until one day you wake up and everybody thinks you’re an overnight success.
“If you’re in the luckiest 1% of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99%.” — Warren Buffett
The only way to truly become successful is by providing value to others.
You can have everything you want out of life if you just help others along their journey, and a lot of people forget that because they’re so focused on their goals.
If your energy is constantly focused on how you can make more money or how you can be famous or popular, people will see right through you.
How to apply this:
Next time you’re sitting down and writing out your goals and intentions, instead of asking yourself how you can help yourself, identify ways that you can help other people.
As a content creator, I struggled with this at the beginning of my journey. I was constantly focusing on what I could do for myself, which is why I saw little to no growth on any of my platforms.
The moment I switched my mindset from being all about me to providing value to others, things shifted. Instead of struggling with content ideas, my journal started overflowing with great ways that I knew would benefit the people watching my YouTube or reading my articles.
The more you learn and grow, the more you could help others along their own journey.
It’s not about being selfless; it’s about leaving your mark on the world. It’s about inspiring people and motivating them to open up their eyes to all of the possibilities in life.
“Without hustle, talent will only carry you so far.” — Gary Vaynerchuk
Can you imagine how many people there are out there with all of these incredible talents that they haven’t put to use?
There are singers, artists, writers, people who know how to create a gourmet meal out of 3 things that you probably would never have even thought of, and the sad thing is — they haven’t done a single thing about it.
They go through life without giving that talent a chance, and what if they had? What if they put action behind those talents? Can you imagine what they could have amounted to?
The same goes for you and your talents. If you know you’re great at something — whatever it might be, and you’re not putting in the work daily, you’re allowing your gifts to die.
How to apply this:
Whatever your talent might be, utilize it. Don’t rely on it to get you places; rely on your discipline and the amount of effort you put in. Your talent is merely the cherry on top.
You have to work daily; you have to put in the work when you don’t feel like it.
Being gifted a Lamborghini is amazing, but you can’t do much with it if you don’t know how to drive it or fail at putting gas in it. The same goes for your talent — you need to learn how to use it, shape it, and work it to the best of your ability.
You can read all the inspirational and motivational quotes you want, but at the end of the day, they won’t work unless you actively apply them to your life.
It’ll be challenging at first, but little by little, you’re going to start seeing results, and your life and work ethic will inevitably change.
Continue working, continue grinding for your dreams, and remember that you’re the only person that is responsible for creating the life you want.