You Can Quote Me

Why You Should Have a Quote File (& a Few From My Own)

As those of you know who’ve read “How to Wow” keeping a quote file on your computer is a must for use when you need an attention-grabbing opening to a speech, a closing punch to a presentation, or a pithy roundup to a blog post.

The beauty of starting a quote file when you don’t need it, is that when you do you won’t be left scrabbling frantically around the web looking for that perfect one-liner to drive your point home.

In the interest of helping you get started, I’ve included 25 from my own file, below. If you have a quote file of your own, I’d love to have you send your favorite along to me.

Happy quoting,
Frances Cole Jones

“You have not converted a man because you have silenced him.” -Eldridge Cleaver

“Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them.” -Rabindranath Tagore

“The tragedy of life is not death, but what we let die inside us while we live.” -Norman Cousins

“The seeds of god-like power are in us still. Gods are we, bards, saints, heroes, if we will.” -Matthew Arnold

“What limits people is that they don’t have the fucking nerve or imagination to star in their own movie, let alone direct it.” -Tom Robbins, “Still Life With Woodpecker

“To change one’s life: 1. Start immediately, 2. Do it flamboyantly, 3. No exceptions.” -William James

“Stare. Pry. Listen. Eavesdrop. Die knowing something. We are not here long.” -Walker Evans

“My beloved child, break your heart no longer. Each time you judge yourself you break your own heart.” -Swami Kripalvananda

“Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Timing: the alpha and omega of aerialists, jugglers, actors, diplomats, publicists, generals, prize fighters, revolutionists, financiers, dictators, lovers.” -Marlene Dietrich

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Winston Churchill

“The distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion, however persistent.” -Albert Einstein

“The last temptation that’s the greatest treason is to do the right thing for the wrong reason.” -T.S. Eliot

“Anybody not busy being born is busy dying.” -Bob Dylan

“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.” -Lucius Annaeus Seneca

“An organ that has no demands placed on it will atrophy. So it is with the human heart.” -V.E. Frank

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” -Aristotle

“No man who is occupied in doing a very difficult thing, and doing it very well, ever loses his self-respect” -George Bernard Shaw

“Each man has an aptitude born with him. Do your work.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Trust those who seek the truth; doubt those who find it.” -Andre Gide

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” -Winston Churchill

“Storybook happiness involves every form of pleasant thumb-twiddling; true happiness involves the full use of one’s powers and talents.” -John W. Gardner

“Fail, fail again. Fail better.” -Samuel Beckett

“Opportunity is missed by most because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.” -Thomas Alva Edison

“To know is to be ignorant. Not to know is the beginning of wisdom.” -J. Krishnamurti