Category Archives: Quotes

What Can We Learn From An Apple?

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One of my favorite fall time activities is to visit apple orchards, indulging in cider and donuts. Last week, I went on a hunt for an apple orchard since they are less common in the Southeast than in the Midwest. I was lucky to find one of the most beautiful apple orchards I have ever seen in Zirconia, North Carolina – Sky Top Orchard! I was amazed that I had to drive up a mountain to an apple orchard overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains. Nestled near the rows and rows of apple trees was a barn with farm animals and an incredible bamboo forest! I felt like I was traveling overseas when I saw the bamboo forest.

Walking through the rows of my favorite apple trees, I started to think about apple wisdom I have heard over the years. Some of the quotes you may have heard, and some maybe not. Below I wanted to pass along some great messages we can learn from apples:

Apples are a symbol of patience for us to wait for the “one” to come to us (aka our ideal life partner), and to not settle for anyone less. As a woman, I appreciate this quote: “Women are like apples on trees; the best ones are on the top of the tree. The men don’t want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and don’t want to get hurt. Instead, they just get the rotten apples from the ground that aren’t so good but easy. So, the apples at the top think something is wrong with them, when in reality they are amazing. They just have to wait for the right man to come along, the one who’s brave enough to climb all the way to the top because they value quality.”

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“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”¬†Apples are a¬†reminder of how much our parents influence us and how we, as current or future parents, have the opportunity to influence our children. As we reflect upon who we are and who we would like to be, we can consider our circle of influences and what values and traits we would like to pass along.

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Apples help us stay healthy by eating them regularly. There are so many ways to enjoy apples and get the nutrients we needed…whether we bake an apple crisp or pie, drink apple cider, or simply eat an apple off of a tree. I took this advice as an excuse to cook apple crisp last weekend…which has been one of my annual traditions (originally with my mom!) since I was born. I know some of you are thinking brown sugar and oats in apple crisp don’t have the same health magic as apples…but they are worth every calorie :).

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“Just because you find one bad apple doesn’t mean you should give up on the whole tree.” This quote is a new one for me, and I find it to be really insightful. We can interpret this in many ways. I am thinking about the people I meet personally and professionally…even if we meet one “bad apple,” we should not lose faith or hope about where we are, what we are doing, or where we are going. Everything happens for a reason, and everyone we meet comes into our lives for a reason.

What other apple wisdom have you heard? Share a bite with the inspirNational community! Happy Fall, Y’all ūüôā

 

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Why Travel? Part Nine

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It is crazy to me to think that since my last “Why Travel?” post in February, I have traveled to 7 countries and lived in 3 places. My desire to travel has continued to grow, along with my¬†appreciation for home and what makes a house a home. As we plan the last couple months of 2016 and prepare for a new year of adventure ahead, I wanted to share more inspiration for all inspirNational followers to travel and experience the world, whether you are one mile or one thousand miles from home.

 

As I have said in my Why Travel?, Why Travel? Part Two, Why Travel? Part Three, Why Travel? Part Four,Why Travel? Part Five, Why Travel? Part Six,Why Travel? Part Seven, and Why Travel? Part Eight posts, there are SO many reasons to travel. Each of the quotes in these posts makes our wanderlust grow stronger. Start planning your next inspirNational adventure!

Enlightenment from Living in Paris

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Approaching my first two weeks abroad, I already feel that I have had substantial time to reflect on my adventure in Paris. As expected, I have learned a great deal about the French language and culture while in class, living with my host family, visiting tourist sites, and exploring the city. More significantly, though, I have learned about myself and how I can apply my Parisian mindset to my daily life. Below I have captured some of the key lessons that have enlightened me while living abroad in Paris.

  • Eat to enjoy, not to indulge.¬†Many Parisians eat bread and cheese at every meal, and chocolates or pastries after every lunch and dinner. Most of our waistlines are saying “no fair! How is that possible?” This seems contrary to all diet rules we have heard. I eat sweets almost every day now, including¬†crepes with Nutella, creme brulee filled chocolate, coconut cookies, and chocolate waffles. One significant¬†observation is that¬†the portions are a quarter of the size of those in the United States. The smaller portions are encouraging me to enjoy each morsel, rather than feel full after eating sweets. My host sister told me that the average French woman’s BMI is 19, which is on the verge of being underweight. ¬†This reminds me¬†that portion control is key. Rather than restraining ourselves and then indulging too much, we should allow ourselves to enjoy small portions and satisfy our cravings.
  • Look to appreciate, not to just see. Notice differences between your new destination and your home, and learn from them! Tourists are often better at looking to appreciate than locals, especially because tourists experience a series of “firsts” when traveling: “first time seeing the Eiffel Tower,” “first time cruising on the Seine River,” etc. For those living abroad, it becomes easy to overlook our surroundings. We may walk past monuments without appreciating their history. Or we may drive home from work when the sun is setting without noticing the beautiful sky. With the opportunity to visit Paris a second time, and now fully engage with the city as a student, I am focused on appreciating all of my surroundings. I am taking several photos to capture memories. I am reading every sign and researching the significance of the buildings, monuments, and streets around me (centuries of history I should mention). This appreciative outlook is helping me become more understanding of the French culture. I also feel more grateful for the small things that bring me¬†joy and¬†empowered¬†to face adversity in my¬†daily life.
  • Listen to understand, not to judge. While traveling and especially while living abroad, we are constantly encountering new people, which means new perspectives. In various conversations, we will likely hear things that enlighten us, surprise us, or even enrage us when living abroad. I’m surprised by home many expats in Paris I’ve met who have said,¬†“You’re American, why do you need to learn French?” Or “Why are you traveling in Europe? I thought Americans only stayed in the U.S.” I have chosen to listen to their questions respectfully and respond with my genuine interests and goals about learning French. I realized that according to this stereotype about Americans, I might be rare for having the travel bug, eager to learn new languages, and explore new cultures. Rather than judging their assumptions, I am working to be an American ambassador, demonstrating that¬†many Americans do in fact enjoy learning about other languages and cultures.

On a separate but similar note, traveling often forces us to take the role of listener. Particularly when we are learning a new language,  we are still learning how to formulate words to contribute (confidently) to a conversation. This intensive listening is a good exercise particularly for those of us who often voice our opinions. Without having to (or being able to) speak, we become more understanding and less apt to make quick judgments in a conversation.

  • Speak to communicate, not to fight. The world is full of hateful words, and it is easy for us to engage in a fight. We can be more effective by having the objective to communicate and foster understanding in a conversation. This became more apparent to me when I visited the Place Republique in Paris, which has a monument¬†with a memorial for¬†the terrorist attacks in January and November 2015. The memorial¬†speaks volumes about the pain the French felt when attacked over the past year. Hundreds of candles, photos, poems, and letters surround the monument, voicing the Parisian’s¬†sadness, values, and dreams for the future. The memorial has a way of communicating powerful words that inspire the world, rather than engaging in a fight.¬†If we truly want to end the war on terrorism, we need to disengage from the “dirty fight,” respect each other, and not fall victim to the endless fear that terrorists are hoping to provoke. I have faith that goodness will prevail, especially if we can effectively communicate with eachother throughout the world.
  • Live to experience, not to achieve.¬†Every year, I have come closer to the realization that life is a series of experiences, and not necessarily achievement milestones. With the expectation that we will have a series of experiences (and not just accomplishments), we will no longer fear failure. One of my favorite quotes that I recently read was by Nikola Tesla: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” We will go through ups and downs, all of which combine to create the experience of life. My time in Paris has been a great example of this “experience” mindset. My first weekend in Paris I went the wrong way on the metro a few times, but it made me learn the “ins and outs” of the metro before beginning school. My phone died a few times and I didn’t have¬†a charger, but it reminded me to pause and look with my own eyes rather than the eyes of my iPhone camera and social media pages. Despite all the changes and new beginnings in 2016, I have a sense of calm within me, solely because I am enjoying considering both positive and negative¬†moments as life experiences.

I hope these inspirNational lessons I have learned while living in Paris can inspire you too. What other enlightenment have you experienced while living abroad?

Happy Holidays from inspirNational!

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As we travel near and far throughout the year and especially this holiday season, may we remember that “life brings us to unexpected places, but love brings us home.”image1

Moving to South Carolina and soon to France have both been unexpected for me, but very exciting at the same time! I have started the holidays in Virginia and Ohio, and now will be home in Michigan for the next couple weeks. I look forward to starting the new year Parisienne style! Wishing you, your family and friends a joyful and relaxing holiday season. See you in 2016 with more exciting inspirNational insights from around the world!

Eastern Philosophy to Simplify Life

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While in my global strategic management class, I heard the following insightful quote:

“To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, subtract things every day.” -Lao Tzu

Our class was learning¬†about the importance of considering eastern and western philosophies when expanding business¬†globally. In East Asian strategy, simplification is a priority for business success. As a person who has been mostly influenced by western philosophy, I was inspired by this quote from the eastern part of the world. Outside of the business context, this quote has lifestyle implications about simplifying our days to become wise. I am constantly trying to add more to my life: more school, more certifications, more social events, and more experiences. Tzu’s quote reminds me that I can grow just as much, if not more, by simplifying my life, subtracting distractions and filtering out any excess things.

Source: Oracle Modern Marketing Blog

Source: Oracle Modern Marketing Blog

It has taken me many years to understand the importance of simplification, and it wasn’t until my experience studying abroad in Spain that I learned to simplify and prioritize the people and activities that bring me the most joy and positive energy. Now in graduate school, I am easily tempted to add things every day, but I am working to remind myself to stay focused and prioritize in order to achieve my long-term goals. Graduate school is a time to specialize and if I truly want to be an expert (a happy expert I might add), I need to continue to live simply.¬†Regardless of our life stage, we can all remember the importance of simplification in order to maintain balance at work and at home.

Over the past couple months, I have enjoyed learning global perspectives from my international business classes. It has been fascinating to combine international philosophies in the field of business. I will continue to share my favorite insights with you!

The Gift of Instinct

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Source: YMC

In the most recent newsletter¬†from Susie Frazier, an artist in Cleveland, I could not help but pause and think about the significance of instinct. I wanted to share Susie Frazier’s¬†wisdom with you:

“I can’t tell you how many times in my career I’ve been questioned about my training. What can you possibly create in the way of art, if you didn’t study it in college? What do you know about promoting a band, if you come from outside the industry? What business do you have being a radio personality, if you’ve never worked at a radio station?

Maybe you’ve had this kind of second-guessing happen to you. Maybe you’ve even used this doubtful tone with yourself. Pay no mind. What matters more than knowledge or experience is instinct.

Instinct is that inner voice that tells you to go left when all your competitors are going right. It’s that urge to take on something new despite the hesitation of those around you. It’s that inner flame that sparks ideas not because you saw the model work somewhere else, but because you felt the synergy of all the important elements, right here. Instinct is a sixth sense that can’t be taught — it’s only cultivated after falling on one’s face so many times that the wipeout actually becomes a welcome part of the discovery process.

Don’t be swayed by the critics in your head or elsewhere. Simply by the bold act of trying, you’ve begun the only relevant training you need.”

Any time I have felt uncertainty about an idea or a decision, I have tried to think about it logically and seek advice from others. As Susie describes, I am reminded to go beyond logic and external opinions, and instead focus on my gut instinct, which transcends time and global boundaries. Our instinct is what makes us unique as individuals and should be our guiding force in life. No one can see, hear, or feel the instinct we have that comes from within. It makes us powerful and should give us the confidence to go forward with our ideas and decisions. Our instinct is a gift. We should trust that it will lead us to our individual paths of success and happiness!

Below are a few other powerful quotes about instinct:

“It is by logic we prove, but by intuition we discover.” -Leonardo Da Vinci

“Trust your instincts. Intuition doesn’t lie.” -Anonymous

“Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next.” -Jonas Salk

“Intuition is the whisper of the soul.” -J. Krishnamurti

“Intuition makes sense after you follow it, not before. You don’t get to know the beauty unless you take the risk.” -McCall Erikson

“The only real valuable thing is intuition.” -Albert Einstein

“Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect.” -Steve Jobs

You can read more inspiring messages from Susie Frazier in my inspirNational Quotes II post.

inspirNational Quotes V

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Recently, someone asked me what was the most recent television show I watched, and I paused and thought, “I don’t remember the last time I have watched TV!” February has turned into one of my busiest months with constant work, little relaxation,¬†and living the fast life. I have accepted this situation though because I have exciting opportunities ahead of me and I know that every ounce of work will make a difference in my future. My workout shirt today keeps me going and reminds me that my hard work will pay off.

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Looking for more inspiration, I turned back to Change Your Life! A Little Book of Big Ideas, by Allen Klein, which I described in my inspirNational quotes III post. I finished the book and outlined my favorite inspirNational quotes from the following sections:

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Gather your courage. Grow old gracefully:

“Courage is grace under pressure.” -Ernest Hemingway

“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” -Billy Graham

“Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.” -Mark Twain

“In youth we learn. In old age we understand.” -Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

Have hope. Help others:

“To travel hopefully is a¬†better thing than to arrive.” -Robert Louis Stevenson

“The hopeful man sees success where others see failure, sunshine where others see shadows and storm.” -Orison S. Marden

“A life isn’t significant except for its impact on other lives.” -Jackie Robinson

“Somewhere out there is a unique place for you to help others-a unique life role for you to fill that only you can fill.” -Thomas Kinkade

“Service is rent that you pay for room on this earth.” -Shirley Chisholm

“The world is good natured to¬† people who are good natured.” -William Makepeace Thackeray

“If you always give, you will always have.” -Chinese Proverb

Keep it light. Know thyself:

“Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.” -Margaret Lee Runbeck

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

“Know how to live within yourself: there is in your soul a whole world of mysterious and enchanted thoughts; they will be drowned by the noise without; daylight will drive them away; listen to their singing and be silent.” -Fyodor Tutchev

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” -Carl Jung

“You were born an original. Don’t die a copy.” -John Mason

Learn to forgive. Let ‘er rip life’s journey:

“Always forgive your enemies-nothing annoys them so much.” -Oscar Wilde

“First, I was dying to finish high school and start college. And then I was dying to finish college and start working. And then I was dying to marry and have children. And then I was dying for my children to grow old enough so I could return to work. And then I was dying to retire. And now, I am dying…and suddenly realize I forgot to live.” -Anonymous

“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon-instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today.” -Dale Carnegie

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” -Joseph Campbell

“Life is like a sewer- you get out of it what you put into it.” -Tom Lehrer

“Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.” -Annette Funicello

Never give up:

“Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there.” Josh Billings

“A bend in the road is not the end of the road…unless you fail to make the turn.” -Anonymous

“Sometimes things which at the moment may be perceived as obstacles-and actually be obstacles, difficulties, or drawbacks- can in the long run result in some good end which would not have occurred if it had not been for the obstacle.” -Steve Allen

“Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.” -William Arthur Ward

“Turn your stumbling blocks into stepping stones.” -Anonymous

“We are continually faced by great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.” -Lee Lacocca

Sweet smell of success:

“Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.” -David Frost

“I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is: try to please everybody.” -Herbert B. Swope

“People become really quit remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success.” -Norman Vincent Peale

“While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.” -Henry C. Link

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” -Mark Twain

“Don’t wait for your ship to come; swim out to it.” -Anonymous

“The secret to success in life is¬† for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.” -Benjamin Disraeli

“The secret to success is constancy to purpose.” -Benjamin Disraeli

“Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will e sharing the adventure with them.” -Denis Waitley

“No one is a failure who is enjoying life.” -William Feather

Take the first step:

“If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.” -Laurence J. Peter

“Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do in order to have what you want.” -Margaret Young

“knowing what you want is the first step to getting it.” -Louise Hart

Win some, lose some:

“For everything you have missed, you have gained something else; and for everything you gain, you lose something.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

“You really never lose until you stop trying.” -Mike Ditka

“Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well.” -The Buddha

I hope these quotes inspire you as they have inspired me to keep making a difference in the world, fight for what I believe in, work hard, and never give up. Thank you, Allen Klein, for compiling the quotes in your book to help readers reflect and feel encouraged.

I tweet inspirational quotes and articles often – follow¬†@brittanyvb¬†to see all the quotes. Also check out my new¬†inspirNational Facebook page¬†– “like” the page to see all of my blog updates and related articles.