“In quoting others we cite ourselves.” – Julio Cortazar
I spend thousands of hours with hundreds of business leaders across the country facilitating their company planning-sessions. If you took a snapshot of our meetings, you’d see a handful of really cool people hard at work in a conference room with neon sticky notes covering the walls. You’d also see a mini-Yoda perched in the middle of all the action.
You might be asking: Why the sticky notes and Yoda?
The sticky notes have quotes scribbled on them—little sentences that condense huge epiphanies into tiny phrases. Whenever someone in the group says something profound or wacky, or when a well-know quote is pertinent to discussion, we write it down and stick it to the wall.
We do this for a couple of reasons:
As for our friend Yoda, well he’s known for his Yodaisms—short and superior pieces of wisdom like, “Do or do not. There is no try.” We keep him around for this sort of insightful commentary.
My enthusiasm for quotes doesn’t stop at quarterly planning sessions. I post quotes of the day on Petra’s Facebook and Twitter profiles; I pass out 2-inch square papers with quotes typed on them wherever I go, i.e. conferences, planning sessions or Starbucks; and I tile quotes on Petra’s website homepage.
I love quotes because they give me an opportunity to learn from someone else’s experiences, and because repeating a short mantra could be just the medicine I need to grow my business, break a habit or change my life.
Here are some of my favorites:
The other tidbit of wisdom I glean from this is that a bit of skepticism or constructive criticism is healthy. You can’t ignore all negative interactions, but positivity should overwhelmingly outweigh negativity.
What’s your favorite quote? Post it where you can see it (How about on Petra’s Facebook page?) and remember to live by it.
Originally published in The Tennessean.
Photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/wandering_angel/2796305576/”>The Wandering Angel</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>