I like quotes. They inspire me. In fact, my days start by reading a quote to set the tone for the day. They prove to be a great help when you need motivation, or when self-doubt kicks you hard on the shins.

In this digital era, finding inspirational quotes has become so easy, and they have become cool to say the least – back in the day, quotes were so cheesy and kitschy that they were best avoided unless you want to be labeled “the cat lady”.

Sometimes though, I ask myself, “Really?” I find myself asking if quote-abiding is the way forward.

I know, these words come from wise people and it should be heeded, but that rarely happens. I have this thought and am curious to know your opinion about it: Successful people don’t live by quotes (because they live to be quoted).

Apart from the universal truths in life that The Little Prince spits almost every line of that book, quotes tell stories about the speaker – and all of us share the same experiences but at the same time, experience them all under different light. I am busy writing my own story as they were, and want to live a quotable life too.

So in between checking papers and drinking tea in my tiny office cubicle, I’ve ruminated on the differences between the quotable and the non-quotables.

Quotable people are sensitive

They know when to lead and when to follow. Success has different meaning to each person, ergo, reaching it takes on many paths, too. So if your goal is to be complacent, stay in your comfort zone with routines mapped out for you every single day, well, you can consider yourself successful if you are living that.

Most “successful” people get out of their comfort zone and end up being alone. It is a lonely place, hence we get effective quotes from these people, because it teaches the life lessons and insights that a person won’t normally have if she were in a position of a follower.

They learn by doing

We all learn by doing stuff; we all learn by making mistakes. One of my pet peeves of late is when people get annoyed when someone “did them wrong” because a) nothing is personal b) we all make mistakes c) that someone is learning a lesson and most people whiplash him – which I understand is part of the lesson but it can be too harsh. Needless to say, I’m guilty of this too and I’m mindfully kicking it out of my system.

Anyway, the point is, as opposed to reading quote books or Pinterest quote boards, the successful don’t even bother – they do stuff to that will provide experiences so rich that they end up with their own thoughts, words, ideas and interpretations of the world as they know it.

They know the rules and when to bend them

Creation is success. Expressing ideas to form something tangible and useful is not a failure – hence creativity is celebrated. But let’s take a look at innovation – Innovation is the pinnacle of creation because you create something that’s never created before.

How can you create something that’s new if you follow rules? How are you supposed to change the world by following the guidelines other people set under different circumstances?

Quotes are guidelines, not road maps. They give you options, the major highway to your destination. The thing with innovation is that you have to make your own road. Gotta take tools, yes, but you gotta pave the way. So go out and find your path, and work hard towards your growth. Let’s thrive.


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