The power of motivational quotes

August 12, 2015   🕑 3 minutes read

Motivational quotes capture people’s imagination. What’s so special about these portable tidbits of wisdom?

I am currently ghostwriting a book about stock market investment strategies. Yes, it’s a topic that is all about numbers. But don’t worry – the way I write it, readers will stay awake. One little trick in this book is that each chapter begins with a motivational quote, something to put the reader in the frame of mind to think about what’s coming up next.

In this case, my client is supplying the quotes, but if he did not, I would be just fine pulling together some great quotes myself. As I type, I am facing a shelf of books, half of which are full of motivational quotes…although I usually just search for quotes online these days.

This above all, to thine own self be true. - William Shakespeare

Why are motivational quotes so effective? Why do people like them so much and latch onto them so well? I am not the first to try to define the appeal of these quick snaps of wisdom and inspiration.

Randy Hilarski discusses how to use motivational quotes to increase social media engagement. He explains that, “It seems daily I come across quotes that remind me to appreciate life on social media. Deep down inside people do have a soft spot.”

I have found that, second only to cartoons, motivational quotes get people talking and liking. They are by far my most liked and shared pins on Pinterest. People relate to them, feel better or somehow more whole after reading them, and they are short enough that they don’t scare people away.

Michael Todd weighs in with a whole page of his favorites. A whole very long page! He says, “For me it is the sudden change of attitude or shift of mindset that inspirational quotes can give me.”

Uttoran Sen offers 35 of his favorites for his readers. Some people just cannot resist sharing their favorite bite-sized wisdom with their audiences.

Life is complicated, and we all seek to find the simple truths that we miss as we rush through our busy day. If a quote can capture that bit of wisdom we seek, that vital element we feel is missing in ourselves or in the world around us, that quote will strike a chord for us. And if it comes from a familiar name, a well-known figure we respect, I think people tend to be even more receptive.

As writers, sometimes we have to let others do the talking. We can spin words all we want, but our message becomes even more powerful if we can defer to the wisdom and direction of others, especially famous and respected personalities. If Abraham Lincoln said it, it’s probably more impressive than if I said the same thing. I don’t hold a grudge against Lincoln for that.

Here are a few of my favorite motivational quotes.

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. – Chinese Proverb

Love your neighbor as yourself. - Jesus

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. – Wayne Gretzky

From a distance, you look like my friend, even though we are at war. - Bette Midler

Yes, it’s a shorter collection than some.  But if I let myself get carried away, I could spend the next week on PicMonkey and BeFunky.  And then I would never find out how I end the book on stock market investment strategies. So please feel free to drop your favorite motivational quote in the comments below.

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About David Leonhardt

David Leonhardt is President of The Happy Guy Marketing, a published author, a "Distinguished Toastmaster", a former consumer advocate, a social media addict and experienced with media relations and government reports.

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  1. Ann Smarty says:
    at 3:50 pm

    My favorite one:

    “Everything will be ok in the end. If it’s not ok, it’s not the end!”

    • David Leonhardt says:
      at 4:56 pm

      I like that one, too, Ann. But what if everything is already OK?

      • Ann Smarty says:
        at 12:53 pm

        omg that’s a good question lol
        I guess that never happened to me! Always something to fix :)))

  2. Emory Rowland says:
    at 4:43 pm

    My contribution:

    “What doesn’t crash my computer, makes me stronger”

  3. Theodore Nwangene says:
    at 4:39 am

    Great post David,
    I love motivational quotes a lot in fact, i don’t joke with them because they always get me relaxed, happy and focused.

    If you find the habit of reading such quotes, it will always give you peace of mind and also fill your heart and body with lots of energy to do whichever work you want to do.

    I’m going to save some of them for easy reference.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Pen says:
    at 7:44 am

    My favourite ‘self-doubt is the enemy to creativity’ Sylvia plath

  5. Swapnil Jagtap says:
    at 10:33 am

    Motivational quotes help many people to stay focused with the aim and also helps to stay concentrated. I am also bookmarking this page to save all quotes. Thanks for this post.

  6. Mateen Hamza says:
    at 7:00 am

    i like writing funny quotes for myself. Now i have started publishing them on my website my favorite one is as follows

    “Learn to swim in the river of possibilities even if you don’t own a swimming costume”

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