Blog Post No. 55
6th January 2018
Copyright © Renata Taylor-Byrne 2018
Renata’s Coaching Blog: A philosophy of happiness and success for 2018
Five powerful quotations that change people’s lives!
Here’s a selection of treasures from the past which strengthen us in the present
Some simple words and phrases, created by others, can help us to survive in this complex world that is saturated with excessive information and bad news. Our thoughts, feelings and behaviours are all interconnected. And some insights from profound thinkers can change the way we think-feel-act. For this reason, if you change your philosophy of life, you can become happier, healthier and more successful, at home and in work.
In this blog I want to present a brief range of profound insights which have woken me up, and which can awaken you to a new way to think, feel and act in your new year of opportunity: 2018.
These quotations are like a dose of medicine, strong and powerful, (and without side effects); which can ground you in your body-mind and your actual surroundings; and awaken you to the stunning world in which you live; thus recharging your energy, and providing optimism for the year ahead.
These insights have worked wonders for me – and I hope they help you to be happier, healthier and more successful in the period ahead!
Teddy Roosevelt quotes
Theodore (“Teddy”) Roosevelt was an American president who had strong views about how to live. He won a Nobel Peace prize and entered political office in 1901. The following quotation from him is magnificent – because it forces us to reign back our minds from fantasies and re-orient ourselves to the reality around us, and our limitations. We aren’t superhuman; and we need to manage our bodies, and our environments, carefully, and not exhaust ourselves. This is it:
The next quote by Roosevelt was one that I heard for the first time at a Landmark Forum, (or Personal Development marathon), in Leeds, many years ago. And I was blown away by it. It states, very eloquently, the warning message that, whatever we do in life, there will be people on the side-lines criticising us, and trying to demotivate and divert us from our goals. But to live our lives fully we need to be in the arena of life, striving to find our way forward. (Imagine a massive football stadium with you in the centre, dealing with life and its challenges).The glory doesn’t go to the critics, sitting in the stands; but to the millions of heroic people who struggle through life to achieve their goals. Here are the words that moved me:
We now move on to a statement by Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese sage, who created Taoist philosophy, and who lived in the 6th century BCE. His profound insights were written down and put in to a book called the “Tao Te Ching”, and I strongly recommend that you read this book, many times.
This is the bit I mean:
In this quotation, Lao Tzu is advising us to work at accepting reality and accepting change as a constant part of our lives. (But please remember, it’s okay to try to change those things which are changeable, as we will see when we look at Epictetus, below). And Lao Tzu is also saying that blocking change is not a constructive thing to do. This is not easy to accept, and at times it can seem overwhelming. However, it is, he implies, the wisest way to live our lives.
Epictetus and the question of control…
This leads us into one of my really top quotes, which I use myself, by reminding myself of its wisdom, whenever I become upset about the nature of reality. I also mention it to my coaching/counselling clients, because of its simple clarification of our personal boundaries. It comes from an ancient Greco-Roman philosopher called Epictetus. He was born in 55 CE in Turkey and was one of the most famous Stoic philosophers. (I advocate the use of the moderate elements of his philosophy, but I reject, and warn against using, his extremist views: such as the one where he asserts that we are not upset by what happens to us! [All our heroes have feet of clay!])
This quote, below, states that there are some things that we can control and some things that are definitely beyond our control. This sounds glaringly obvious, but it isn’t! Lots of human suffering arises when we try to change something which we can’t – because we haven’t got the power. And all too often, humans continue to try to change things which are beyond their control – and this makes them very frustrated and unhappy. To be really happy we’d better actually work at sussing out what we can control, and forget about trying to change those things, events and people which we cannot change or affect in any significant way. Here’s that relevant statement:
The question of personal change…
Finally, this last quote explains why there are limits in the control that we have over other people. Marilyn Ferguson was an American author, editor and public speaker who specialised in personal and social transformation. She was born in 1938, and died in 2008. Her quote describes the truth that people can’t be forced to change – it’s up to them and they are (often) firmly in charge of their own growth processes (in those areas which they can control! This is what she said:
Reading the views and ideas of thoughtful and wise people, who have lived before us, can be very helpful – as indicated above. They can broaden our view of life; and help us to manage our emotions in difficult circumstances. They enrich the wealth of knowledge that can be passed down in our families, and can be therapeutic for us and our nearest and dearest.
Their views can act like compasses or road maps, and help us make our way through life more easily. The quotes I have selected above are some of my favourite, treasured principles; and I strongly recommend that you look for your own, which will nourish you when times get tough. (But please remember, all our heroes have feet of clay. So we’d better read their writings critically, and try to avoid following their errors or unhelpful thoughts.
As a lifestyle coach/counsellor, I am always looking for examples of the practical and useful wisdom of others, which can strengthen my clients as they make their courageous way through life. I hope you find this blog post helpful; and I hope you also search for and find some really good wisdom quotes for yourself.
That’s all for today.
If you need to clarify your thinking or feelings, call me to arrange a conversation.
The Coaching/Counselling Division
Telephone: 01422 843 629