Inspiring Quotes for all Occasions

This week I was the guest of honour at a prize giving ceremony in a local secondary school, which was a first for me. To be fair their super famous ex-teacher turned comedian speaker let them down at the last minute so they came to me because I’m cheap (free) have time (free again) and am seldom fazed by large groups of mixed ages. I really enjoyed myself and anyone who knocks young people only has to see an event like this to realise how splendid they really are! I’m sure not one of them would have wanted anything much to do with me if I had met them at the same age but older and wiser we got along famously.

Sometimes we all need to inspire ourselves - this is my office wall which I painted over a few dark days last year because I needed to be reminded.

The Head teacher had instructed me to be funny, tell some personal anecdotes and be inspiring in my address so being willing to please I did just that and I think I can safely say I amused many, moved many and even inspired a few too if the comments from older and young alike are anything to go by. I chose to talk about 3 inspirational quotes that have had meaning for me in my life which were selected from a short list of ten as time was finite. Afterwards several people asked me what the full 10 were so I promised my top 10 list of inspirational quotes – and here they are.

This is for anyone who loves a good quote but in particular the parents, students, staff and Headteacher, Jo Longhurst of Orleans Park School in Twickenham.

The three already quoted were:

‘It’s not how long you live but how much you live that counts’ – Eric Ray Evans, actor and mentor

“Things you own end up owning you” Chuck Pahlaniuk, Fight Club

“Where you stumble, there your treasure lies’ Goethe

My other seven are as follows – and I’m more than happy to talk about any in detail should you wish!

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

“There are two great ways of spreading light: To be the candle or to be the mirror that reflects it” Edith Wharton

“As soon as you trust yourself you will know how to live” Goethe again

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong” Mahatma Gandhi

Security is mostly a superstition, it does not exist in nature …Life is either a daring adventure or nothing” Helen Keller (Who as I’m sure you know was born blind and deaf)

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes” Marcel Proust

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves” Carl Yung

Put all together like that they seem to lose a little power but each one of them could form an excellent basis for a family chat some meal time. As if. I’d love to hear your inspiring quotes.



    1. Gosh Sue, three of them took me 20 minutes to talk about so I think all ten will have me writing for days so forgive me I think I’ll just pick one for now. The Eleanor Roosevelt quote was on my wall in my previous office for some years. I have struggled all my life with feeling not good enough – not smart enough, not socially adept enough, not intellectual enough, not well read enough – you name it, I know I’m not alone. Its easy to find someone somewhere who is more of everything I value than I am.
      That quote made me smile, it still does because every time I see it I am reminded of the truth of it. I mess up quite a lot, I say stupid things, I make lots of mistakes and I sometimes behave like a brat but when I look inside myself there is not one iota of me that isn’t good enough. My actions are sometimes foolish or embarrassing, but they are not who I am. All those others didn’t start where I started, they didn’t climb the mountains I climbed and they didn’t walk the streets I have walked. My Mum says I argue about everything and she may be right so why oh why would I agree with someone who thinks me inferior?

      1. Thanks for that Gill. For what it’s worth, the times I’ve heard you speak I’ve found you inspirational, particularly the Eel Pie island writing workshop.

        My favourite quote is by Steve Jobs and I have it on my noticeboard: “Remembering I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

      2. Thanks Sue I absolutely agree, it was working with people who were dying that changed my life for sure. there’s another Chuck Pahlaniuk quote I like which is “on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero”. I am a huge Steve Jobs fan by the way, he’s one of my heroes. I shall be sad to see him go. thanks for the kind comment about the Eel Pie event, I remember you there too.


        Sent from my iPad

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