A popular commercial for smart phones manages to answer every question a potential customer has about the phone’s ability to do a huge number of things with the answer; “There’s an app for that.”
Of course, they’re talking about mobile apps (applications), the kinds of mini-programs that run useful programs or fun games on your phone or tablet computer. But I want to introduce you to my personal meaning: “There’s an appropriate quote for that.”
I’m a quote-aholic. I’ve collected hundreds of quotations from all kinds of sources and put them in books, slid them under the glass on my office desk, tucked them into the frames of pictures on the walls, and carried them in my wallet. Quotes are like a cup of espresso, a scoop of ice cream and a good night’s sleep on vacation, all rolled in to one. Best of all, they’re totally portable, so they can go with me wherever I roam.
That’s a good thing, because in my prior career in sales, I roamed a lot. And, unlike the Travelocity gnome, I often roamed alone. Depending on the time zone, time of day, signal strength and the conflicting schedules of the people in my life, I couldn’t always reach someone to talk with, vent to or offer me advice when I really needed it. But my quotations were always with me, a constant, supportive presence.
Let’s be straight up about something: no matter how much you love your job, sometimes, you’re ready to turn in your badge, change your name and skip the country, and spend your entire 401K drinking pina coladas on a tiny island somewhere it’s always sunny.
Ok, so while that’s a nice idea, it isn’t going to happen. So what’s the alternative? You guessed it—a visit to my quotation book, where I write down all the inspiring, motivational, uplifting, and sometimes just downright funny quotes that help me keep my chin up.
I’ve also found that quotes can help me think through problems or reframe difficult situations by reminding me that I can change my perspective. This has been very valuable when I’ve been involved in training new hires, motivating sales people, or dealing with clients, situations where the people with whom I’m working may not initially share my vision.
Quotes have helped me handle ethical issues by reminding me of what I truly value, and have enabled me to overcome disappointments, as well as bad bosses. Quotations have also given me new energy and rekindled my enthusiasm when I felt burned out and over stimulated. They’ve fed my soul, and strengthened me so that I, in turn, could support others. When I’ve ventured into new and difficult situations, I’ve kept my quotation books close at hand for encouragement, and when I’ve been a lone traveler, my quotes have lessened the boredom and given me fresh perspective.
There are two ways I pick my quotes: by what they say, and by who said them. In some cases, the quote alone is so good; it doesn’t matter to me who the source was, many are anonymous. Other quotes have twice as much meaning because of who said them. So one of my favorite quotes, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all,” means even more to me because it was Helen Keller, the woman who overcame amazing physical obstacles, who said it.
So what challenges are you facing? No matter what it is, remember: There’s an app for you!