Thursday, March 31, 2011

Quotes Can Do More Than Inspire - You Can Use Them to Change Your Behavior

I have a very special database of quotes. I've been collecting them for about 40 years. In my work I come across a lot of quotes, but I mentally reject 20 before I'll decide to add one to the others. The quote has to illuminate one of the dozens of personal strengths that I write about. It has to ring true, and it has to be stated in an original and memorable way. The author has to be a recognized, credible authority. If I can't find any biographical information on the author, I reject the quote. So not many make the cut, even though I have about 3,000 in my collection at this point.

My entire database is accessible for learning purposes within ProStar Coach, plus I share them liberally in ebooks and on Twitter and Facebook. Folks seem to find them helpful. Dozens of people retweet my quotes every day, often with comments. I'm always delighted when one of my quotes inspires or causes reflection.

But you know what? It's even better when you learn something from a quote. And even better than that, when you try to change your behavior.

Yes, that's the ultimate reward from reading a quote. How can an inspirational quote change your behavior? Well, you can definitely make this happen, but it doesn't happen automatically just  because you found a quote meaningful. You'd have some work to do!

The learning would go something like this...
  1. If a particular quote feels inspiring, reflect on it. What does it mean to you? How can you apply this truth in your life? what would the behavior look like?
  2. Make an honest attempt to manifest the truth in your behavior.
  3. Afterward, analyze your experience by asking "The 5 Magic Questions."
  4. Based on your analysis, implement the truth once more in your life.
  5. Repeat the cycle over and over...
I told you that you'd have some work to do; but you have to admit that you absolutely can use a quote to change your behavior! In ProStar Coach, we've set up exercises and tools to make this kind of learning easier. And yes, you have to bring a fair amount of motivation to the process. You'd have to really want it.

But sometimes making a change is important enough to do just that.

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2011. Building Personal Strength . (Permission to use image purchased from


Sarcastic Bastard said...

I have a handful of quotes I enjoy, too. Mine are mostly humorous. Go figure.

Thanks for reading my blog. It means a lot to me.



Danielb48 said...

I post a lot of quotes on Twitter without thinking about them very much. I think I will be more selective now. Thank you for the insights.

Your Everything Services said...

Hi, Denny!
I'm a firm believe in quotes. They can change a persons life, as you mentioned.

How have you been able to collect so many for so many years?

What a fabulous accomplishment!

Make it an awesome day.

Deb Lamb
SEO Ghostwriter

Unknown said...

I always loved quotes too and probably don't use them enough. Thanks for the inspiration!