Top Quotes of 2016


The older I get the more I rely on quotes. They are a mirage in the distance. While they have no defined shape or form they are powerful in their intangible, ephemeral state. Always there on the periphery to reveal themselves in times of need.

Here is a list of the quotes I found most helpful this year:

  • “Not better, worse, or equal. No comparison.” – Gil Fronsdal
  • “Amor Fati” – Marcus Aurelius
  • “Inject Levity. Laugh, smile, and touch.” – Mark Manson
  • “Those who know, do not speak. Those who speak do not know.” – Lao Tzu
  • “Practice enlightened self interest.” – UNKNOWN
  • “Ideas are extremely fragile.” – UNKNOWN
  • “Consider the source.” – MN
  • “The obstacle becomes the way over and over again.” – Seneca
  • “Never interrupt.” – DN
  • “Never sum up other people’s lives, points, stories. Let them do it!” – DN
  • “Be the platform.” – DN
  • “Art == To do.” – Zizek
  • “Acknowledge and accept.” – DN
  • “Collaborate on planning. Solo implementation.” – JN
  • “Disagreement != Criticism.” – DN

Who’s in your Posse?

Now that you’ve got a gratitude journal going, it’s time to take a look at things influencing you from the outside. Are you being intentional with who you spend your time with? There are times in life when a stranger who listens to your problems is all you need. But watch out for leaky mirrors. Some microphones have more feedback than others. Make sure you’re choosing intentionally!

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn

In Contagious Culture, Cavanaugh writes, that “the right Posse will provide you with the following benefits:

  • Community. Being a leader or an entrepreneur (or parent, teacher, human being, etc.) can be a very lonely venture; don’t do it alone.
  • Support. Having people around you to champion what you’re up to and believe in you will be priceless, providing wisdom and courage when you need it most.
  • Possibility. Seeing what your peers and colleagues do, how they generate, how they lead, and how they navigate obstacles exposes you to new possibilities, ideas, and opportunities you won’t see alone.
  • Growth. Having people in your sphere committed to your being your best and rocking it with your work in the world provides you with great feedback and acceleration.
  • Care. Your Posse will love and support you through think and thin. They’ll see you as big, even when you’re falling down. And they’ll catch you, help you brush yourself off, and then send you back out there to get bigger.”

It is not possible to have no impact

Positive or negative or completely ineffectual, you are having an impact – on yourself, on those you lead, on your peers, on your customers, on your boss, on your kids, on the barista at the coffeehouse.” – Cavanaugh

It is not possible to have no impact. Let’s say that aloud together.

It is not possible to have no impact.

Just by our living, we are creating problems for other people. How about flipping that default action and thinking about it differently.

If we can’t help but impact those around us, why not be intentional about minimizing the damage we do by just being here.

First we need to check ourselves and get into a practice of gratitude.

Let’s play a game.

Get yourself a moleskine notebook. If you can’t get one don’t let that stop you! Get a notebook of some sort and put a pen in it.

Leave it on your nightstand when you go to bed.

When you wake up, make it your mission to write 3 things that you’re grateful for. They can be anything.

Try to come up with 3 new ones each day. If you can’t think of any new things to be grateful for, that’s not a problem. Loop back around to your previous lists and more specifically define just what makes you grateful about it.

Creating a giant list of things is not the goal. The process of noticing how great life really is forces your brain to see more clearly.

Do this for 30 days straight.

You will feel your perspective shift. From this stance of gratitude, your being will shift. You will subtly move toward a baseline of kindness and gratitude.

In Contagious Culture, Cavanaugh suggests answering one of the following seven questions in your morning gratitude journal:

  1. What am I grateful for today?
  2. What relationship do I want to nurture and celebrate?
  3. What is the thing that’s bugging me or scaring me or whatever?
  4. How am I contributing to it, or what am I assuming?
  5. What am I going to do about it – even the littlest thing?
  6. How am I going to take care of myself today?
  7. What is the impact I want to have today?

If you’re going to have an impact no matter what you do (or don’t do) you might as well make it compassionate, kind, and caring.