When Inspirational Quotes Get Real

You know those fridge magnets, mugs, stickers, cards, calendars, instagram posts, that remind you to be yourself, to pause, to step out of your comfort zone, to trust your instinct, to stay present, to seek joy, and so on? 

I have to admit I’m not really much of a fan. These tokens have always felt trite, too simple, and dare I say a little cheesy. They may good to have around or send out to others, but if you’re honest, on their own they don’t do too much to shift your old habits of comparing yourself to others, moving too fast, staying safe, avoiding listening to your deeper self, and continuing to spend much of your time and attention on the past or the future, or both.

Having said that, they do contain kernels of wisdom and truth, and they can be comforting and helpful right now. You DO need to pause and acknowledge what’s comfortable and what’s not. You need to cultivate your capacity to pay attention to the present moment so that you can hear your gut instinct telling you what’s needed for yourself and for those around you. It’s essential in the midst of your many Zoom meetings and working strange hours, that you can tap into a sense of joy and ease. 

So let’s think of these messages as not just as decorations, but rather calls to action that we can dig into. They are the tools we can use to ground ourselves, stay present, make decisions, all in the midst of intense ambiguity and complexity. 

So pick one that you love, or find one, or make one up yourself –  then ask yourself some questions that allow you to reflect on the message at a deeper level.

For Example: 

This Too Shall Pass – What do I need to let go of? What can I hold lightly?

See Possibility in Everything – If this moment was an opportunity, what would the opportunity be? 

You Got This – What have I ‘got’ right now OR what’s working well right now? What am I doing that’s contributing to that? What is something I haven’t ‘got’ yet OR what’s something I’d like to develop?  

These simple reminders are like cheerleaders – they can add fun and spirit to the game but don’t replace actually stepping onto the field to play. .  

Navigating complexity is all about slowing down to really see what’s unfolding, experimenting to see what makes a positive difference, and learning as you go.  Anything we can use to support this journey is worthwhile having around.