Spry editor Lisa Delaney is one of the rare souls who know what it’s like to be an “after.” This journalist and author of Secrets of a Former Fat Girl shed 70 pounds—and six dress sizes–and has kept it off for 20 years. She answers your questions here each week.
It’s commonly acknowledged that words can hurt and harm. A cutting remark here, an insult there—each can tear down your self-confidence, bit by bit, if you let them. But just as words can damage, they’re just as powerful at lifting you up, helping you overcome obstacles, keeping your spirit fortified when you’re tempted give in and give up.
So, as somewhat of a departure, I’m skipping this week’s Q and A and offering you this list of quotes to psych you up to tackle whatever’s on your New Year’s list. Some are from famous folks, others are not. But all have helped me, at one point or another, stay strong, focused and confident that I can reach for and achieve what I want in life. I hope they do the same for you.
1. “The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.”—Anonymous
2. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”—Arthur Ashe
3. Don’t let a bad day make you feel like you have a bad life.
4. A setback is a setup for a comeback.
5. Your beliefs don’t make you a better person, your behavior does.
6. The first step to getting somewhere is to decide you are not going to stay where you are.
7. If you want something you never had, then you’ve got to do something you’ve never done.
8. Be not afraid of going slowly, be only afraid of standing still.—Chinese Proverb
9. The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”—Ayn Rand
10. “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
11. No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch.
12. “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”—George Eliot
13. “Don’t be pushed by your problems; be led by your dreams.”
14. “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”
15. “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”—Milton Berle
16. “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”—Thomas Edison
17. “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson
18. “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”—Michael Jordan
19. “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”—Abraham Lincoln
20. “In any situation, the best thing you can do is the right thing; the next best thing you can do is the wrong thing; the worst thing you can do is nothing.”—Theodore Roosevelt
21. “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”—Napoleon Hill
22. “Some men see things as they are and say why—I dream things that never were and say why not.”—George Bernard Shaw
23. “Many of life’s failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”—Thomas Edison
24. “Some people dream of great accomplishments, while others stay awake and do them.”
25. “It’s not who you are that holds you back; it’s who you think you are.”—Denis Waitley
26. “Strive for progress, not perfection.”—Unknown
27. “You want me to do something… tell me I can’t do it.”—Maya Angelou
28. “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”—Wayne Gretzky
29. “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”—Mahatma Gandhi
30. “Motivation will almost always beat mere talent.”—Norman R. Augustine
31. “I’d rather be a failure at something I enjoy than a success at something I hate.”—George Burns
32. “Energy and persistence conquer all things.”—Benjamin Franklin
33. “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson
34. “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”—Jim Ryan
35. “Fear is what stops you… courage is what keeps you going.”—Unknown
36. “The finish line is just the beginning of a whole new race.”—Unknown
37. “The difference between a goal and a dream is a deadline.”—Steve Smith
38. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”—Mark Twain
39. “It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.” —Anonymous
40. “Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.”—Oprah Winfrey
41. “Clear your mind of can’t.”—Samuel Johnson
Lisa Delaney is editor of Spry magazine and Spryliving.com. Ask her your question here.